Building bigger building is not the reason for the Church.
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Jesus and his death on the cross for Our sins and his resurrection out of the grave and soon return from heaven is the real reason for the season. That is what the Church needs to be preaching. What will make me whole again, nothing BUT the blood of Jesus. Anything else is just tickling your ears.
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I have heard it myself right from the pulpit. Personally I think there is no place for politics from the pulpit, but that does NOT change the facts. Pastors are the ones who brought politics to the front 30 years ago. Now young people are leaving in droves. The evangelical church in America has become an arm of the Republican Party. My word John, you have made my day! I love your comment about the other side of Exodus!
It is so good to know I am not alone in these thoughts. It broke my heart to see the senseless of its obsessions — advertising, light shows, sound systems. It was so cold. I will pray that the Holy spirit will guide you into the direction that you need to go. You should be extremely optimistic about having the ability to serve the Lord and worship Him. There are brothers and sisters out there for you to gather with. People may come back. Thank you for your article. Some, have cried, some laughed and others just looked off in the distance. It is so sad that we have taken Christ out of Christianity.
I left the Catholic church before my confirmation, because of how little women matter in their worldview. I have ovaries, and therefore I am not worthy of a position of leadership? I come from a big Irish Catholic family—my mother has 7 brothers and sisters—and of the 19 children and 7 couples, only one couple is still Catholic. Everyone else has split for another church or for private beliefs. The church is just becoming irrelevant. Man, each of these points resonates deeply with me.
We attended one for several years whose pastor turned out to be a demagogue. He openly insulted Catholics in a community with tens of thousands of people from Catholic backgrounds, many right in his own congregation. Then he flat-out lied to the church board about something that had happened in the missions department. The associate pastor who runs the place now knew that he had lied but remained silent about it because he believed it was a bigger sin to contradict the guy in charge than to let him lie to the congregation.
The next church we tried had megachurch ambitions and few principles. Aside from running an expensive private school on campus, that church did literally nothing for the community AT ALL. No food bank, no clothing drive, no toy drive for the holidays, just glitz and show. Once I had to help a disabled newcomer in and out of a bathroom stall; I was blessed to assist him but unhappy that he had to endure that embarrassment in the first place. On and on and on it went: too little Christ, too much agenda that avoided or directly contradicted what Christ Himself taught.
It was about four years ago that we dropped the church altogether. I decided if I was going to be a Christian, I had to be a red-letter Christian because without following the specific teachings of Christ, that title is worthless. My faith in Christ has never changed, but I actively hate the state of the Church in general and will never return. I feel your pain, Todd. My husband and I were in some really bad churches and were terribly hurt more than once.
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I almost gave up hope but I knew I needed the fellowship of other believers. I have since found a church home where I am comfortable, but I am not highly involved, too much pain mistrust still lingering to allow myself to get overly involved, but I enjoy the worship services, I think the pastor and others who teach there are Spirit-inspired for the most part and I see them reaching out into the community in many and varied ways.
I hope you can find some sort of community of believers at some point. My prayers are with you. This was a great article.
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The Church continues to live in the past and pretends that women are not holding down full time jobs outside the home. Would love to hear things from your perspective Virginia! Shogren, I beg to differ. We do have a place in the body of Christ. I have to conclude that you completely misunderstood me, Mildreanne, or else I did not express myself clearly. Of course women have a place in the Body of Christ. Half of the people I train for Christian ministry are women.
Nor would I sit still if someone said there there is a monolithic manly point of view.
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We are all individuals, that is to say. Virginia, I do find that there are churches that are less hostile toward women who work outside the home and recognize their needs, though they may be hard to find. The problem I have is that even most of these churches see women having divinely decreed roles that are subordinate to men, both in the church and in relationships.
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A growing number of Christians, including myself, see this as an error, with the verses commonly cited at restricting women from certain roles in the church and the home taken out of context. I for one like to consider my partner an equal partner. This is one thing I do see driving some people away from the Church. I have needs and those needs were not being met by the Church. I was supposed to give and give and get nothing in return but shame and guilt.
Not all of them can be stay-at-home moms. It isnt fair, and it certainly isnt what i think of as love becoming of a group of believers who claim to emulate the God of love. Steve and Rueban, obviously not Virginia, my spouse was cheating regularly, church said I had to forgive, he moved in with his lady friend, I had to forgive. Work in the church? Taught 2 classes, did the funeral lunches, worked the food pantry, the homeless week, food drives, sat on committees. A young man was beating his child and abusing his wife, she was told to forgive even as her spouse was sent to jail.
Where is the compassion for the woman? To forgive is a conscious decision to not hold something against someone weather they ask for forgiveness or not. Forgiveness does not mean you must continue in an abusive relationship. Matthew explains why we must forgive.
If we walk with an unforgiving heart we are not walking in the fruit of the Spirit and we allow the devil access. Also the body of the church people with Jesus as the head should be showing compassion for any of their brothers and sisters that are abused and for that manner helping anyone that needs help. Scripture in Hebrews specifically tells us to be kind to strangers. Scripture in Corinthians specifically tells us to help widows and orphans.