Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wrong Reasons to Leave a Church

Many transfers from one local body to another have nothing to do with Scriptural reasons. People conjure up all kinds of reasons why they must leave their church that are not legitimate or God-led. Here is a list of the reasons I often hear when someone leaves their church: 1. "I wasn't getting fed." Proverbs says, "To a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet" (27:7). As long as the Word of God is being preached-accurately and with insight-spiritual feeding is taking place. 2. "God is telling us to leave." How can you be sure God is telling you this? Is it because of conflict you're running away from? Or problems that you could be part of fixing? God is not the "author of confusion." If God is truly telling you to leave, the message will be confirmed over time; your leaving will not be sudden or in response to anger or done in revenge. 3. "The people at my church do not like, appreciate, use, understand, or care about me." This is a common complaint. Maybe you need to take steps to get involved. The enemy loves it when saints go church hopping. The instability and overreaction of those sheep who leave the flock at the slightest provocation have broken many pastors' hearts. The church of Corinth remains a great example of a church with problems where the people refused to give up. Paul took sixteen chapters to rebuke the church for sixteen major problems, but the Holy Spirit never told anybody to go anywhere except the man living in immorality with his stepmother (mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5). One should always take the matter of changing churches seriously. The Lord adds to the body as He chooses. Each local church is precious to the Lord. Beware when a bitter saint from the church down the road enters your doorway. Unless he is released by his church and led by the Lord, he may bring with him far more than you care to handle. Some who come may not even be Christians. Remember, the local church needs you. As the apostle Paul wrote, it is "the pillar and ground of the truth." Find one you can support, where the doctrine adheres to the Word of God and leaders and pastors are above moral reproach. Serve there with gladness, and you will find spiritual strength, support, and training in the spiritual battle. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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