I am now churchless.
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20-04-2013, 03:42 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(19-04-2013 12:54 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(19-04-2013 12:46 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Me too.

I'm sorry you're stuck with all this stress. I think your long, spoilered post about what happened is a perfect illustration of how humans have the capacity to screw up everything, good or bad, once we start in with our own power-games, machinations, and ambitions.

Religion is not immune from this problem. In fact, it might be more prone to it that most anything else humans do.

I'll gladly debate all day long about whether there is a god, and interesting points can be made on both sides, but any debate about whether most religious institutions are corrupt tools used by scheming leaders to exert their own power ambitions seems to me to be an already a foregone conclusion. In short, I'm not at all surprised that some churchgoers can and do on occasion make political power grabs within their church - this behavior is a staple crop of religions and has been throughout history.

Although I agree with your sentiment, there is some conclusion-jumping going on.

There could be a genuine grievance that triggered this dismissal. Perhaps the committee are sparing the guy's reputation by not making it public.

Not saying it's so just saying that, right now, the lack of transparency is the problem.

Root cause... unknown.

Someone else in the other topic said this. I actually had a 2 hour phone conversation with the pastor and point blank asked him.

He said there were no grievous offenses. The only charges brought against him were that attendance was down, he can sometimes come across as cold, and that his sermons are too deep and complex.

He also backs up his claim by sending out the letter saying he didn't want to leave. If he had something to hide, he wouldn't have pushed the issue or fought so hard to stay.

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20-04-2013, 03:44 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(20-04-2013 03:39 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(20-04-2013 03:35 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is the third time this situation has occured at a Southern Baptist church that I've been associated with. Enough is enough.

I'm willing to agree with you about religion being more prone to it. It's so obvious to me why people leave religion.


Correlation =/= causation.

Maybe it's not the religion... maybe it's you?

Tongue

It probably is.

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20-04-2013, 03:46 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(19-04-2013 03:07 PM)Foxcanine1 Wrote:  
(19-04-2013 10:17 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I've been documenting this on the private part of the forum because I know I had church members that read what I post here. But now, I don't care. And, it's over. So, it's all irrelevant. I'm going to copy and paste my updates from the other topic.

Keep in mind... they are long.

1:
I've never been shy about expressing my discontent with the people at my church and how I've been limited due to my theological stance; likewise, I've also haven't been shy about expressing my discontent about certain church members that flirt with libelous, blasphemous, and slanderous talks.

I don't think I've ever said anything to TTA, not that it matters, but my pastor and I have a good relationship. He is a great man... a wonderful man. And, he's poured his life... 28 years as a senior pastor... into this church. The dude has never had a moral slip... never had the "power" go to his head... never stolen a dime. He's the type of person that epitomizes "Christian behavior". I don't arbitrarily throw that type of compliment around.

Last week, it came to my attention, that there were some strange things afoot at the Circle K. For those of you that don't know, Southern Baptists have a bassakwards government system that instead of an authoritarian style of government (per the Bible), they rely on a democratic system.

So, instead of

Pastor--->Elders=Associate Pastors--->Congregation

it's

Congregation--->Pastor=Committee=Associate Pastors

Our by-laws follow the latter. Congregation first, then pastor/committee/associate pastors.

The Personnel Committee (in charge of maintaining order and compliance of the pastors) that consist of 6 members are forcing a resignation of my pastor.

They did this secretly and in haste (giving him only 2 weeks).

Now, as you can probably guess, there are a myriad of problems with this situation.

I) The Personnel Committee has no authority to do what they are doing.

Dismissal of a pastor can only be immediate and by the Personnel Committee if the offense is grievous - adultery/stealing/arrest

If the dismissal is because of repeated, mundane offenses it has to be a congregational vote.

A congregational vote for dismissal can only occur if proper steps have been taken to correct the mistakes.
The corrective process must be documented and evaluated by the Personnel Committee as well as the Associate Pastors
The corrective process must be presented to the congregation.

II) The decision to force a resignation was done secretly.

III) The decision to force a resignation was done in extreme haste.

IV) The Personnel Committee's vote was not unanimous. It was 4-2.

V) None of this information has been made public to the congregation.

Now, as you can see, this presents a MASSIVE problem... and has me livid. I have so much anger towards this situation that I can barely think straight.

I have decided to put my foot down, though. Next week, if my pastor announces his resignation, I will... right then and there... publicly denounce his resignation as well as the decision of the Personnel Committee.

Then, God willing, if I am allowed to address the congregation, I am going to rip into this whole fiasco.

I will ask for the Personnel Committee to publicly identify themselves and identify how they voted.
I will ask them how they can justify their actions.
I will ask them why this decision was made in secret and done in haste.
I will question the integrity of the Personnel Committee.
If they cannot give a satisfactory answer and it's made obvious that they have violated the church's by-laws, I will then demand their resignation from the Personnel Committee and demand a public apology to the entire congregation for their actions.
If they refuse, I will ask for an invoking of Paul's instructions on how to deal with church members that cause issues and are deceitful and refuse to ask for forgiveness - I will demand that they be removed from the church... yes, kicked out.
Finally, I will call for a public vote for whether or not to demand a resignation of our pastor. Our pastor is beloved by the congregation... he seriously has like a 95% approval... so I don't see this going awry.

I'm taking a huge risk in doing this... as I could become a target; also, my actions could also be viewed as "inappropriate". But, my actions can be back up with scripture, but as most of you know, not many Christians read the Bible.

It's just a strange set of events... do whatever form of "praying" y'all want to do for me. I need all the help I can get.

I'm all about justice... and what's happening to this man isn't right. I want to fix it.

Edit:
I also want to acknowledge how all of you have helped me to gain this confidence. Y'all have helped me see the corruption that exists with many Christians. Y'all have helped me see that these type of Christians need to be forced into public scrutiny.

So, thanks for that.

2:
The personnel committee set up a date (agree upon by the deacon board) for a church vote... then sent out a letter stating that the vote was for his severance package not whether or not he was going to stay... then tried to change the date to a Wednesday instead of a Sunday without approval.

The pastor sent out a letter saying that he wanted to stay and he is being forced to resign and that the vote isn't going to be about his severance... but about whether or not he stays.

The committee canceled the meeting because of the letter and is now pressing legal charges against the pastor because something about mentioning the severance in the letter without approval. Now, they aren't offering him anything.

It's pretty disgusting.

3:
Welp...

...I told off the people behind all of this tonight at the business meeting. I wasn't nice. I didn't hold back. Pretty sure I've got some enemies now.

Fine by me. They can choke on their horrible excuse for a church for all I care.

I'm leaving this Southern Baptist refuse behind me forever.

4:
Okay, since I am keeping y'all in the "know", let me give y'all the gist of what happened.

Basically, we were voting on our pastor's severance package. The curator of the meeting was one of the main deacons or something like that. Anyway, he is against the pastor.

He was allowing people to speak for or against the package. The first person that spoke was against the pastor. My hand flew up in the air. The next person to speak was for the pastor. She was sitting on the left hand side of the church. I was sitting on the far right side in the front row (lol go figure, right?).

As soon as the lady finished, the curator turned towards the middle of the church, and another deacon's hand few up. He immediately called upon him.

This is when I knew there was an agenda. This man spoke against the pastor, and proposed a new package with far less severance.

The curator then floored the amendment. That's when I stood up and yelled, "Hey! I need to talk."

The guy said there wouldn't be any more discussion because the amendment was on the floor. I said that I had my hand up before the amendment was proposed. He said, "Sorry, I didn't see you."

I said, "You need to look harder then."

He said again that there was going to be no more discussion. I then said that since there for 2 "againsts" and only 1 "fors" the other "for" needed to be heard. I now had him cornered because he couldn't seem biased, and if he denied me, his agenda would be obvious.

I walked over to him and snatched the mic from his hand.

I started out saying, "Several months back, I stood before this church asking for money on behalf of my atheist friend. Y'all gave this atheist $700; no questions asked, so that person could get back on their feet. And now, y'all are trying to deny your pastor, a man that faithfully served all of you and this church for 28 years his livelihood."

I said that the fact that this meeting has to exist is disgusting, and the actions being portrayed tonight spit in the face of Christ.

I said I'm ashamed of the church, and how would atheists react to Christians acting this way? Thank God they're not seeing this.

I said no wonder why people hate Christians.

I told them that I would rather be around atheists than Christians.

Finally, I told them that neither me nor my family would ever step foot in this church again or be a part of a Southern Baptist church in my lifetime.

I gave the mic back and left. I went and got my kids from the nursery and from the playground and went home.

My father-in-law told me people were cheering and clapping for me. I don't really know. I was too angry to hear anything and I left too quickly. I never turned around or looked back.

I'm done. When I say I'm done... I mean it.

So yeah... that's what happened last night. I'm a pretty quiet and chilled dude until you piss me off.

Oh, FYI - the pastor received a full year of severance, a full year in the parsonage, gets to keep his insurance for a full year, and all the other miscellaneous requests by him were accepted. Basically, he got the full package.

5:
...I really feel like just letting out a string of profanities...

So, it begins...

I've got people wanting to "talk" to me.

I've people saying, "Don't reject Christ!"

They are so self absorbed that it doesn't even occur to them that THEY are the problem... not God.

Mindless drones.

...I swear, if someone comes to my house or comes to me to talk, I'm probably going to drop them. I'm not dealing with that BS.

This might be imature but

that......was......Awesome

Yep, you have officially become the coolest Christian I have known ( well, perhaps besides Lapkine77 on YT). The fact that you could stand up to B.S. like that shows that you are by no account holding on to the churches sheepma. If every christian acted like you then the world would have a lot more green and not so much red.

Good luck finding a new church man. I hope that it all works out for ya.

^^^^ That coming from a heathen. Who'da thought.

Wow. Thank you. That really means a lot.

I get more praise from atheists for standing up as a Christian than from Christians.

Who'd thunk it?

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20-04-2013, 04:39 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(20-04-2013 03:42 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  ...
The only charges brought against him were that attendance was down
...

So it's nothing personal, it's just business.


Nah! I couldn't be bothered to find a Godfather clip.


In business, we have to do the same if a salesperson is not working out and revenue drops.

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20-04-2013, 05:09 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(19-04-2013 03:41 PM)Egor Wrote:  I'm actually not in total disagreement here. It's like I don't believe in predestined salvation where everyone who is saved is saved already and will go to heaven no matter what. But on the other hand, I don't believe that all men are created equal when it comes to spirituality. There are some folks who seem, quite literally, born for hell.

Isn't that contradictory, though? I mean, doesn't that go against omniscience?

Quote:In your opinion, what is the purpose of evangelism? What is the purpose in telling people about Jesus Christ? If salvation is predetermined, are you saying that there are some who can turn but won't without our wittness? That would make evangelism necessary. Or, are those who are elect, elect from birth and nothing changes heaven or hell for people--thus rendering evangelism pointless.

Since I believe in absolute predestination (God has preplanned and controls every bit of minutia), I don't think that we have a choice to evangelize or not. I think God plans that and uses it according to His purpose.

I think God uses evangelism... plans for a person to do it... then prepares the recipient... then if it's that person's time for a regeneration, God uses the tool of evangelism.

To me, it's just another way God uses for regeneration.

Without God, evangelism is pointless... impossible even. So, it's not a matter of not evangelizing... because I couldn't not evangelize if I wanted to if God had planned that for me since I can't defy God's predestination.

I think other Christians don't fully understand a Calvinists point of view of evangelizing... we do it because it's God's predestined plan for us to do it... because... it might be the way God chooses for someone to be regenerated. We can't choose against it.

Make sense?

Quote:Or is there among people some who will never turn and be saved, some who might turn and be saved, and some whom God has chosen to be saved and so directs their life toward salvation?

I believe that there is no "might". There are those chosen for salvation and damnation.

Quote:I don't mean to rattle on, but I have no theory on this. I believe people have to become Christ--that's what salvation is. Ironically, that's more supported in the New Testament than in the Veridican Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospels just presuppose it, but the letters of the early Apostles seem to spell it out (which is where I got the idea to begin with).

Yep. Salvation is becoming one with Christ - the Almighty God. Something we can never do on our own, which is why God as to choose us and prepare us.

Quote:But I have no theory on who gets saved. Part of me thinks it is an election by God alone, and Jesus certianly seems to support that in his teachings. He's very elitist. Nevertheless, there's no sense to Jesus' ministry if there isn't a choice people can make. At the same time, even if God blinds himself to the knowledge of who will or won't be saved, He still knows it in some part of His mind.

If God's plan for Christ was infinite (supported by omniscience), then Christnhad to do what He did to fulfill the plan that was set up. Why God set it up that way can't be answered, I think.

Jesus was a crucial link in God's plan for salvation of the elect for all time. That was the point of Jesus... not that people would choose Him, but that the elect would has His righteousness imputed on them.

This has to be for omniscience to exists.

Quote:Do we agree if I make this statement:

There are those who will never be saved; there are those who cannot avoid salvation, and there are those who might be saved.

Again, no "might". But yes, we agree.

Quote:Or is evangelism just us shooting off a flare and hoping to attract the others who are saved as well?

If you could answer some of this, it might very well help me shape the direction of my ministry. Right now I'm locked and loaded and ready to rock and roll, I just don't know where to point the gun.

Again it's simply an unavoidable tool for us. God uses us. He uses us to evangelize, and we have no say-so in the matter.

The good part about this is that God has planned all evangelism... so none of it is a waste. There is a reason for it all.

Hope this helps, Ed.

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20-04-2013, 05:10 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(20-04-2013 04:39 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(20-04-2013 03:42 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  ...
The only charges brought against him were that attendance was down
...

So it's nothing personal, it's just business.


Nah! I couldn't be bothered to find a Godfather clip.


In business, we have to do the same if a salesperson is not working out and revenue drops.

Yeah, but even then you have protocol and corrective steps that have to be taken... right?

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20-04-2013, 05:35 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(19-04-2013 10:17 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I've been documenting this on the private part of the forum because I know I had church members that read what I post here. But now, I don't care. And, it's over. So, it's all irrelevant. I'm going to copy and paste my updates from the other topic.

So a few power-hungry individuals got their way, and have now dislodged a worthy deacon through their actions. There are many things I could say here. I could say "they will know we are Christians by our love" just doesn't seem to pan out in practice... but this sort of thing does happen in churches. What strikes me about this situation and various similar situations my parents have been in from time to time is the natural selection that seems to go on. The bad come in in a way that good men fail to prevent or reverse. The good leave and the bad multiply. These situations seem to me to result in the bad becoming more powerful, when they should become less powerful due to their actions. I wonder if there is another way that such scenarios can be approached that reduces church corruption rather than increasing it?

To me relationships are worth saving, and that includes relationships with church communities. I'm glad you spoke out, but I'm concerned that you expressed your rage in terms of a rejection of the church community - and you said this is not the first time. I wonder if your pride and your determination to stick to your promise never to return is a net positive or a net negative in this situation. I doubt you will find a better church. No church can live up to our expectations. In the end my sense is that it is usually more beneficial to all involved for those who do good to stay and to keep fighting the good fight.

I can't judge the situation fairly either from my perspective at the other end of a keyboard, or from my perspective as an atheist... but I do think relationships matter. I do know from my own experience that prideful severing of relationships seems usually to result in an overall negative outcome for those doing good. I wrote flippantly about being careful not to spend too much time out of church, but if you value your faith I really do suggest finding your place again quickly within a church community, lest it be wrestled from you. As much as I am prepared to deride your beliefs, the nature of these events and where you go from here is concerning to me.

All the best, and I hope you find your place again soon.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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20-04-2013, 05:47 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(19-04-2013 05:02 PM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  KC, my hat is off to you, sir. Well done indeed.

The world can use more people like you.

I have but one regret in the way you handled the affair: you didn't leave them looking at pictures of upside down dogs. You passed up an unforgettable dramatic exit. But, fear not, there may be other churches in your future. You can save it for them.

If I would have had time to prepare I definitely would have left some UDDs on the projector for some added derp.

Alas though, these things sometimes sneak up on you. Tongue

Oh, and thanks for the compliments.

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20-04-2013, 05:50 AM
RE: I am now churchless.
(19-04-2013 05:23 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(19-04-2013 10:17 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  ...I really feel like just letting out a string of profanities...

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain

Let 'em fly KC!

I do try to control my tongue, though.

When it's just QC and me, the restraints come off. Neither of us are offended by cussing.

We are extremely careful around my son and others, though.

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20-04-2013, 06:00 AM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2013 06:06 AM by DLJ.)
RE: I am now churchless.
(20-04-2013 05:10 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Yeah, but even then you have protocol and corrective steps that have to be taken... right?

Different protocols in different countries.

But it's very common in Managed Services ( Laughat I do hope you are seeing the parallels here) to move or remove a Relationship Manager / Account Manager / Salesperson if the customers are not happy and / or revenue is down.

I think I'm gonna use the word 'Soulsperson' in future.

Church in the US has been a business ever since the de-merger with King George Enterprises.
The Establishment Clause effectively privatised it.

Seriously dude, look at the products and services that you are buying... what products do you like and which ones are causing your allergies?

If the 'community' product is the main reason for your brand loyalty, look for new sources:
Book Clubs
Humanist Societies
Parent/Child groups.

Come to think of it, how many 'loyalty' cards do you have in your back pocket?

Why not pick'n'mix?

How would it feel to be an emancipated shopper?

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