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  1. #1
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Church

    My wife and I have reached the point where we feel it's time to find a new church. She's discovered that a bunch of social activities doesn't make a community. For various reasons, we haven't been there is 4 weeks and no body from the senior pastor down has contacted us. I'm worn out from how shallow the theology is. We're both tired that everything is labeled "Bible Study" yet the Bible is never studied.

    We want to be long-term, committed members. We've been so in the past. Unfortunately those churches are now closed. It's so frustrating and disappointing that we can't find anything.

    I think the issue is we both take being Christian seriously. We know being a disciple takes work. I think too many churches teach an easy Christianity that makes you feel good but doesn't impact your life. Probably this is a relative of cheap grace. Churches know programs but don't know what to do with people that don't fit into the program. Maybe put them into leadership but that's not always the answer.

    Frankly I think this is part of the reason church attendance is declining. The people who have a shallow commitment are moving on. (I'll admit there is also a significant number leaving because of the various scandals that have emerged. That is something that needs serious repentance.) The church leadership is too busy trying to hold their numbers so church gets more and more spiritually meaningless.

    Now believe it or not, I think long-term, say 10 to 20 years from now, this is a good thing. I think as more and more shallowly committed people leave, the churches will slow return to the community, discipleship, and ministry they were meant to be. It's just going to be painful to live through.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

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  2. #2
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    I think church complacency has been a big problem in the US for decades with a lot of them being more like social clubs for the religiously minded than institutions for real discipleship and Biblical instruction. Heck, this has been the theme of Steve Taylor's music since he got his start in the early-80s. I can't tell you the number of sermons I've sat through in my life where the preacher will read a token verse at the start and then spend the next hour pontificating without ever referring to scripture.

    Thankfully, my own church has a pastor who believes in old school sermons where he'll pick a passage of scripture and go through it verse by verse giving explanation, instruction, and examples of practical application, but I realize this is not common in a lot of churches.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  3. Amen Thoughtful Monk, Obsidian amen'd this post.
  4. #3
    tWebber The Remonstrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I think the issue is we both take being Christian seriously. We know being a disciple takes work. I think too many churches teach an easy Christianity that makes you feel good but doesn't impact your life. Probably this is a relative of cheap grace. Churches know programs but don't know what to do with people that don't fit into the program. Maybe put them into leadership but that's not always the answer.
    For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

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    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Maybe:
    just maybe:

    Stay and strengthen what remains ...

    Maybe:
    just maybe:

    Form a Christian Studies/Fellowship group, with members of your current congregation (or not), and see if the rafters can be shored up.
    1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

  6. #5
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    My wife and I have reached the point where we feel it's time to find a new church. She's discovered that a bunch of social activities doesn't make a community. For various reasons, we haven't been there is 4 weeks and no body from the senior pastor down has contacted us. I'm worn out from how shallow the theology is. We're both tired that everything is labeled "Bible Study" yet the Bible is never studied.

    We want to be long-term, committed members. We've been so in the past. Unfortunately those churches are now closed. It's so frustrating and disappointing that we can't find anything.

    I think the issue is we both take being Christian seriously. We know being a disciple takes work. I think too many churches teach an easy Christianity that makes you feel good but doesn't impact your life. Probably this is a relative of cheap grace. Churches know programs but don't know what to do with people that don't fit into the program. Maybe put them into leadership but that's not always the answer.

    Frankly I think this is part of the reason church attendance is declining. The people who have a shallow commitment are moving on. (I'll admit there is also a significant number leaving because of the various scandals that have emerged. That is something that needs serious repentance.) The church leadership is too busy trying to hold their numbers so church gets more and more spiritually meaningless.

    Now believe it or not, I think long-term, say 10 to 20 years from now, this is a good thing. I think as more and more shallowly committed people leave, the churches will slow return to the community, discipleship, and ministry they were meant to be. It's just going to be painful to live through.
    A lot of the moving on comes between high school and first job out of college. When parents are shallowly committed, kids usually find other things to do Sunday morning.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  7. #6
    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    Maybe:
    just maybe:

    Stay and strengthen what remains ...

    Maybe:
    just maybe:

    Form a Christian Studies/Fellowship group, with members of your current congregation (or not), and see if the rafters can be shored up.

    We tried the first where we were. There comes a point where, when there is an unwillingness for change on the part of the church, a person needs to leave and find a place where leadership is determined to teach scripture and not get caught up in trying to make the church like the world, or follow unsound teachings that are anti-biblical.

    It's not an easy thing to do, and good luck (as much as I hate that phrase) finding such a church.

    We still haven't found one in our town after leaving a church 6 years ago.


    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

  8. #7
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    We tried the first where we were. There comes a point where, when there is an unwillingness for change on the part of the church, a person needs to leave and find a place where leadership is determined to teach scripture and not get caught up in trying to make the church like the world, or follow unsound teachings that are anti-biblical.

    It's not an easy thing to do, and good luck (as much as I hate that phrase) finding such a church.

    We still haven't found one in our town after leaving a church 6 years ago.
    I do sympathise. Been there, done that. Am there - trying the "stay and strengthen" thing yet again, hoping that this time I get a window of opportunity.
    1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

  9. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
  10. #8
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    My Wife and I were very blessed 20+ years ago to find the church we are currently in. We had some rough patches with the previous pastor (but then he died suddenly). But, we have an awesome pastor now!

    But, the thing that kept us in this church through the last pastor-ship, was our Sunday Morning Bible group (We STILL call it Sunday School). We absolutely love it! The teacher takes his time and goes deep into the Word, fleshing out Greek word meanings and the true Biblical concepts.

    (I get to teach it next month for 4 - 6 weeks to give our regular teacher a summer break. )
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  11. #9
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    I guess I've been blessed - the only stretch where I didn't get much out of church (aside from my Navy time, when I pretty much didn't go) was at my dad's church while I was going to college (I spent summers at my dad's).
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  12. #10
    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man
    I can't tell you the number of sermons I've sat through in my life where the preacher will read a token verse at the start and then spend the next hour pontificating without ever referring to scripture.
    Or they'll make you "Stand for the reading of God's word" at the beginning (which is stupid), then read a passage of several verses to you, and then you'll sit down and that'll be the end of the Bible citations.

  13. Amen Thoughtful Monk amen'd this post.

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