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post #1 of 37 Old 11-08-06, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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general well-being

I think I am in search of prayer support from abroad, if that makes sense? Basically My wife and I had a falling-out with the church and its political/hierachial leaders, and as such i have been finding it harder and harder to find a church environment were I feel at home and aren't subject to what seems like naive, selfish or wisdomless leadership. It is taking too long and now I feel my physical health starting to suffer with my spiritual health. It has been almost 2 years since i attended church outside of family baptisms or weddings and the like. Any thoughts, opinions or advice ( even if it sounds harsh) are more than welcome.

With many thanks for your time.

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post #2 of 37 Old 11-08-06, 10:47 AM
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Re: general well-being

Congregational issues are plentiful throughout the world. Satan will use any and every opportunity he can to divide the brethren. When Paul wrote Timothy he warned (which is also a warning for us), "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3, 4) There is no doubt this is one reason why Jesus says only a few will find eternal life and to beware of false teachers. (Matthew 7:13-15)


While it is good to worship with a congregation that is worshipping in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, 24), it is also important to remember we do not attend worship for what we get out of it, or for what pleases us. We worship to glorify God... to please Him and to learn how we can help Him further His kingdom while we are here on earth.

As Christians it is a challenge to find a congregation where we can worship in spirit and in truth and at the same time a congregation of saints where everyone is on the same page. Again, Paul urged the Corinthians, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:10)

We also know that we cannot forsake the assembling of the saints because it is willful sin. (Hebrews 10:24-27)

It may be that you cannot find a congregation that preaches and teaches directly from the Bible... that is not full of controversy and evil. This is of course, provided you are not simply being selfish of your own desires and wants. No one is perfect and everyone in every congregation is imperfect, therefore you will never find a completely perfect congregation. However, I would suggest you definitely need to be assembling and worshipping, even if it is in your own home. Prayer, teaching and preaching, the Lord's Supper, singing and giving are all part of the pattern of worship the apostles set forth for us when the church was first established on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2) They came together every Lord's Day, even some in their homes.

Whatever you do, make sure the congregation you attend is at least preaching and teaching the truth. Don't be so concerned with the people as much as the preaching and teaching. Make sure you know the truth... study to show yourself approved unto God and be able to rightly divide the Word so that you can know the truth. Until you find the right congregation, worship at home. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)

In the meantime, I will definitely pray for you and your family.
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post #3 of 37 Old 11-09-06, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: general well-being

Thankyou, there was some very good insight there that I have not given enough thought to.
I suppose most of my previous issues have been insignificant compared to the greater good of a church family.

May I ask how often do you find yourself at odds with the direction (be it financial or socialogical) a congregation is heading? If something wihtin a church really worries me should I do something about it or quietly let it pass by?

once again thanks.

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post #4 of 37 Old 11-09-06, 07:22 AM
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Re: general well-being

We have some really well organized and balanced leaders (elders), in our congregation. Fortunately we haven't had any problems to speak of. While there are a couple of things I might do differently, they are considered "matters of opinion" and not "matters of faith". I also would not consider the things I would do differenly that important.

If the Bible addresses a particular subject or issue, then it would be a matter of faith and the appropriate action would be to address the elders and point out what the Scriptures say about the subject or issue. If the Bible does not address a particular subject or issue, we can only voice our opinion and leave it to the elders to hopefully make the wisest decision.


There is an article at Apologetics Press that talks about situationism, legalism and rebellion against the authority of God's Word, that touches somewhat on some of what you might be dealing with. It's not directed at congregations but might give you some further insight. There may be other articles there at Apologetics Press as well... they are totally non-bias and all of their info is straight from the Bible... very accurate.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-08-07, 11:26 AM
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Re: general well-being

To many people pick churches based on which one fits their personal beliefs and opinions, instead of finding one that teaches from the Bible.

The first step is obvious. Pray for God to lead you to the church (He Wants You to Go To).Second,read the Bible. That way you can determine if a church is following it or not.
The third step is get off your couch and start going to churches, cause you ain't gonna find one if you ain't looking
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post #6 of 37 Old 03-08-07, 07:10 PM
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Re: general well-being

Quote:
Sonnie wrote: View Post
While it is good to worship with a congregation that is worshipping in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, 24), it is also important to remember we do not attend worship for what we get out of it, or for what pleases us. We worship to glorify God... to please Him and to learn how we can help Him further His kingdom while we are here on earth.

As Christians it is a challenge to find a congregation where we can worship in spirit and in truth and at the same time a congregation of saints where everyone is on the same page. Again, Paul urged the Corinthians, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:10)

.
So very true...

I don't normally get involved in peoples beliefs because everyone has their own ideas and understandings of Christianity, and how we are to worship God...

I was in a similar position to you drf about 30 years ago....
I had totally lost faith in "Religion" from all the ways and attitudes of so called Christians..
What was being preached held no substance and seemed meaningless to me...and yet I felt there had to be more than what was being preached..

So I set out on a journey to try and find some answers...I visited numerous organizations( outside of Christianity), who purported to have the answers for eternal happiness, and the greater understanding of our being and purpose here on Earth..

I came away from all this, being even more confused and disappointed than before...It just showed that these people and organizations are just as blind as many Christian churches...And as Jesus said " If the blind lead the blind, then both will fall into a ditch"..

I felt spiritually starved, and my health suffered as well...Then one day some years later, I was watching tv, just switching channels, and I came across a religious broadcast..I thought, here we go again..but this preacher was saying things that I had NEVER heard from any other preacher..

He talked about God, the Creation, the reason for our being, and of our future as Sons of God in his Kingdom..
But what struck me most of all was that he said "Don't believe what I say, read it for yourself in the Bible. Everything that I have said is written in your Bible"..

I had read most of the Bible over the years, but I hadn't seen the things he was talking about...

Then he said "Ask God to open your eyes, to give you understanding of his words that are written in the Bible..
And then he said something that really shocked me.." God has closed the eyes of those who are perishing, so they may not understand" ( a passage in the Bible spoken by Jesus)..

To cut a long story short...I bought a new Bible and prayed to God to give me understanding of his words..
I read the Book from cover to cover over a period of months and was absolutely ASTOUNDED at what I learnt..

It gave me TOTALLY new meaning to my life and I felt spiritually filled..

My whole life completely changed after that, I joined the Church and I took on a 2 year Bible study course with this Christian group ( who are based in the US ) to further undrestand our total being and our future..

I pray drf that you can also find this truth of God's word and of the meaning of life...
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post #7 of 37 Old 03-09-07, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: general well-being

Thanks prof. I know what you and Sonnie are saying is true, I guess it is coming to a time now where I just have to bite the bullet and accept that my fear of becoming "one of them" has to be dealt with in order not to perish with my eyes closed but to understand what it is about being "one of them" that I don't understand. Fortunately I know deep down my faith is very strong, 2 examples:
1. at work (over 140 people) I found out one of them was a Christian, and I was so excited and joyed by the knowledge that I almost had tears in my eyes.
2. Everytime I see someone bad mouth or take Christianity out of context in order disprove it or God, I get very upset and angry that people are so dumb to the existance of God.

I just hope I find the right place of worship for my family soon.

"one of them" = Christians that speak the scripture but seemingly walk the wrong path.
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post #8 of 37 Old 03-09-07, 11:22 AM
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Re: general well-being

Well there are lots and lots of "one of them" walking around... they are all among us.

Something we have to face as a reality (if we have faith and believe in God and the Bible) is that only a "few" will find eternal life with God. The majority, or "many" as Jesus said it, will follow that broad path to destruction.

Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."
Matthew 7:14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Then notice in the very next verse He tells us one reason why so many follow that broad path.

Matthew 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

Therefore we are going to be surrounded by "many" who are either false teachers themselves or following false teaching... headed down that wrong path of destruction. Paul warns us of these types...

Romans 16:18 "For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting."

It's really not so hard to believe that God will only save a "few". He did it with Noah... saving only eight souls. How many a few represents is hard to say, but we do know that "few" is not the majority... therefore the majority are in the wrong in some way or another and those of us who are truly children of God are going to be surrounded by the majority most of our life.


One thing I would caution everyone about it emotions. I would not allow emotions to determine whether or not I am saved. Remember Paul before he was a Christian? He called himself the chief among sinners and he did what he did while a sinner in good conscience...

Acts 23:1 Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, "Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day."

So how can we know that we are saved?

John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

1 John 2:3 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."

Hebrews 5:9 "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-09-07, 05:27 PM
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Re: general well-being

I totally agree with everything you said Sonnie..and this is the key to being saved, and to have eternal life in the Kingdom...

1 John 2:3 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."

Not only by the letter of the Law...but also in the spirit of the Law...
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post #10 of 37 Old 03-09-07, 05:57 PM
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Re: general well-being

drf,

From what you have said and how you feel about Christianity, there is obviously a deep down desire to have greater understanding and to be with people who are on the narrow path to enlightenment..

But I must warn you, the straight and narrow path is not an easy path, particularly in todays Society..

To live by Gods Laws requires absolute dedication, at the expense of relationships, friends, and work situations..
Many have found it too difficult to give up things in their life that are no longer appropriate, and to basically remove themselves from the majority behaviour and ways of the World..

People who you thought were your closest friends can turn on you and denounce you as a religious nut..
You will be shunned by Society and considered as an outcast...

If you plan to follow this path, then it is essential that you find a congregation of like people, who will help you through this total life changing journey...

If you can stay the path, then the rewards that God has for all, is beyond the Human mind to comprehend..

I wish you well..
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