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Thread: A Faction in the Church

  1. #1
    Christ's Bride Johanna's Avatar
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    A Faction in the Church

    I've just arrived from my Saturday biblical class with small children in a village nearby and am alone at the moment. My parents and everyone else is out in the countryside for a church meeting.

    What has happened in our church is strange, to say the least. The brother that left our congregation said he did this because he was not happy with our pastor, he found many faults in him and so he would just not stand this anymore. As I've read our Lord's word, I would suppose this was a good reason to leave a congregation, but instead, that we should take advantage of such a situation to pray for humilty, meekness and a way to learn to bear my brother.

    In any case, he didn't do that, and what is worst, he said his reasons right in the pulpit, one day that he was supposed to preach!!!! I was not present but he said he was feeling this way against the pastor, and he pastor was THERE.

    My mom said she felt so terribly hurt and sorry for the pastor, he seemed so shocked.

    So anyway, this is in brief what happened. I've been observing this and not doing anything except praying for our ex-brother (I don't know if he's attending other church) and for other brothers and sister who might leave as well because this is like a cancer... it's reaching far and contaminating more people.

    This brother has two daughters who are my friends. One is married to our Choir director, and he has just told us that he will no longer be our director... she's not coming anymore and I would guess she influenced her husband somehow to stop attending our church. The other daughter is single but is going to get married in October and we are also guessing her husband-to-be will also stop coming.

    What would you suggest that I do with my friends? They have stopped any contact with anyone, even me. I would love to talk to them and help somehow... I don't know truly what to do so I pray that the Holy Spirit guides their conscience. I've already sent a written message about forgiveness and not going against authority... but what else...

    Ok my friend, I didn't intend this to be so long, I don't want to bother you, but I felt I could ask. It's such a blessing to be able to share this with you though!

  2. #2

    Prayer for healing in this Church

    It is difficult for me as a third party to look in on this situation and honestly discern all the variables. Anything I would say would be presumptuous less a greater knowledge surrounding the facts.

    First, I know the scriptural method for an offense is never to preach condemnation against the leader from a speaking platform! We are clearly admonished by Christ in scripture to first take an offense to a brother in private, not to make a spectacle of it. In most cases, we should only address the other person, without discussing with others. However many people need a cheering section, and immediately go forth to recruit supporters for their cause. This is NOT the heart of Christ, this is the heart of selfish and sinful pride. Matthew 18:15-17 reveals the proper steps in this process, for addressing offenses.

    With Christ’s words in mind, Paul admonished us in Romans 16:17 to mark those who cause division. This verse was primarily about incorrect doctrine, but can easily be a truth applied to divisions within the body. In love we must be "perfectly joined together." Perfectly joined means there is no visible seam, no cracks, not apparent points of separation. Which means, we sometimes have to be willing to withdraw our contentions for the sake of unity. However, in the face of grave error, one cannot stand quiet, but most divisions I have witnessed start as a small seed of contention that sprout into a ravenous vine of poisonous dissension.

    The Corinthian church grew quickly and it was categorically troubled, albeit a thorn in Paul’s side. They were predominately immature, always off on a tangent, behaving according to the precepts of the world. If we review 1 Corinthians 1:10-14, we see Paul had a quarrel on his hands. In the case of your church, people have split off to follow the instigator, and others stand fast to the church and pastor. The comments Paul made fit this situation fairly well.

    "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?..." Paul trails off on who he baptized after this. The point is, we don’t follow men, we must never fix our heart’s eyes on any leader. I mentioned recently among a group who was exalting Paul from an Epistle, Paul was just a man who was writing letters to the churches. He would have rebuked anyone exalting him and his writings with such laurels and platitudes. Christ is the preeminent Lord of all, the only one whom we must adore.

    Paul continues later by saying “In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.” 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 Here he is not condoning division, but adheres to the reality that divisions do occur, so that the truth may be seen clearly against abiding error. Like a splinter under the skin, if not removed, the body will develop inflammation and eventually discharge it through a painful process and potentially take on infection during the cycle. Equally, error in our midst will build as a poison and eventually require attention for remedy, sometimes by force. Ignoring it could be fatal in some cases.

    I assume they have discontinued communication with you because you remain at the church in support of the pastor? It is one thing to remove oneself from the person who offends, but to create a divide of “us against them” is a failure in the faith. Such action is no better than the pagans who know not Christ. This may serve to be a surgical extraction for the betterment of your church, if this is the condition of their hearts. If I were you, I would continue to reach out in love to your estranged brothers and sisters, as Christ does us despite our often short-sightedness. You may never realize restitution with all of them, but I have not failed to see the mighty power of God’s love accomplish glorious triumphs beyond the scope of our ability or understanding.

    Unto the pastor I might ask, “have you not declared the whole counsel of God?” The fundamental teachings regarding the church community would have potentially nullified or offset such behavior. Or maybe, there is an overarching lack of spiritual edification and instruction, the truth is lacking and people are wandering aimlessly in the dark? This is a point in which I have no knowledge and shouldn’t try to guess.

    This spiritual breakdown I would liken unto a dam or levee that has not been properly constructed. A gale force trial has washed up against the foundation, and the house has taken on damage because the primary walls are not secure. This responsibility lies in large with the pastor. For to whom much is given, much is expected. The call of Shepherd requires a mighty person of heart, vigilant, not given to worldly devices, but devout in private time - at all times. However, the laymen have a personal responsibility ill regardless of the clergy, to seek truth from the Scripture daily and spend time in a covenant of prayer, as to become an imitator of Christ.

    Much prayer for you and your church in Temuco, Chile.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Michael's Avatar
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    You not only ministered to her you also ministered to me!

    Thank you for continuing to reach out to people in service to God. The church I previously attended was a mirror image of the one that was referenced.

    Your impact goes far beyond the words contained in your website and forum. It is so easy to be blinded by our fallen nature when we focus on ourselves in place of Jesus Christ.

    Blessings!

  4. #4
    Member Watchman's Avatar
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    I have been through this in various degree's in 2 church's that I have attended.
    My advice is to seek the Lord in prayer about what you are to do.
    There are many reasons why this could have happened, maybe one or both parties could be at fault.
    Some one or something could be manipulating the key players to cause a split.
    An offence that was not dealt with and became infected(bitterness)
    A rebellious spirit etc
    The Lord knows the root of this division and Him you should seek.

    God bless.

  5. #5
    Christ's Bride Johanna's Avatar
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    How amazing to hear our Lord's words and to feel instantly healed. I have been healed by your message Eternal Path.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write and show me your concern. I will trust my Lord and read more my Bible to seek counsel.

    May God Bless you and continue giving you grace to deliver his word to those in need.

    When you have time, let me know and we can chat by Skype.

    Johanna

  6. #6
    Pastor, India John's Avatar
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    Dear brother in Christ,

    Greetings in the name of our messiah!

    The message is timely. I am also facing similar problem in my church here in India.

    One brother, Paul by name compelled me to stand as collateral-guarantee for his 2 lakh rupees loan from ICICI Bank . This bank is notorius for repayment harassing. So I contemptuously refused to stand guarantee for the loan.

    So this brother became an enemy-like person and tried to drag some of our board members away from me and rebel against me. I prayed earnestly and at the same time, his wife got stomach pain and some of my friends came asking his daughters hand for one of them's son Ravi. In this circumstance it became inevitable for him that I should stand with him. Or else he should stand with me.

    Our Lord told us to for give seven times seventy. So i forgot everything and stood with him and the marriage-betrothal was successfully conducted by me and nearly 400 people gathered and that number is a record for a betrothal in Indian villages when the people are new converts to Christianity. The marriage will be conducted by me on the 7 Th of the coming month .

    Satan is attacking the Christian Church more than any time before because Satan's judgment got nearer than ever before. Take for example I am considering the reverend Ray as the International Executive Director of the Messiah Missions worldwide. But another contacted persons named email was sent to his email address just to spoil the relationship between us and I never knew how it happened. It is darkness at work to spoil Gods plan.

    I believe Satan will be defeated and the relationship between the Messiah Missions Worldwide will be more stronger than ever before. My son has cautioned me not to sit on the computer at late nights.

    Indian churches on the crossroads. They are on the extremes. many of the Pentecostal churches are producing phariseeism and not disciples. In this situation Messiah Mission's ministry is needed and we need an able leadership like the one of the Rev. S. E. Ray.

    In the Corinthian church itself [I Cori.1/10-14] and in the days of Our lord among the disciples was problem in the church and it continues.

    Our prayers stand with Sister Perez.

    With loving greetings and well wishes,

    Brother john madhanmohan

  7. #7
    Brother Madhan Mohan John,

    Darkness does indeed sweep across the Christian fields, to cause division, strife, doubt and factions. Much is created by the prideful sin nature of man, and the powers of darkness are indeed real. The evil that lurks takes small matters and enlarges them disproportionally. The battle rages here at every front, as it does in every land. Christian brother betrays friend, Christian husband divorces wife, Christian business takes another to court, churches split because love is not foundation. Brother against brother and sister against sister. In all these things, Paul the Apostles writes that we are but failures in the faith to conduct ourselves as the world. Indeed, how much more is the offense of the Christian, endowed with the Holy Spirit to choose the course of darkness to resolve conflicts?

    The letter to the literal churches in Revelations warns each that among them are certain compromises, and they are steadfast on the course to lose God’s anointing. That in such a case, the lamp stand (God’s presence) could be removed. The church of Ephesus lost their passion for Christ and fell in love with the world. The church of Pergamum turned the heads in toleration of immorality and false teachers. The church of Thyatira tolerate cults like today’s New Age and idolatry. The church of Sardis was full of dead bones, and only a few remained striving. Laodicea was backslidden and only going through the motions in the most liturgical sense. To all these it was said, change your heart or lose my presence says the Lord of host.

    Not only to the churches, but these matters equally address the professing Christian. To those who have become apostate, no longer in the fellowship among the brethren. To those who have wandered back into the pig pen and to those who have turned as dogs to consume their own vomit (Proverbs 26:11). The Spirit will eventually depart, the attributes of holiness will not remain within a heart of rebellion. Keep the temple pure, or the Shekinah glory will depart. Nor can the Christ be crucified again for the cleansing of sin (Hebrews 6:6). Those who wander from the faith are vicariously gambling with their very souls!

    "Return, O backsliding children [Jer. 3:14]. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you [Mal. 3:7], when they did not repent, it said, I WILL RETURN TO MY PLACE [Hosea 5:15]."

    We read this in the parable about the keeper of the vineyard and the master, where the master commanded the keeper to cut down the tree and cast it out for it does not bear friend. But the keeper pleaded to try for another year to fertilize and tend, and if in the extended time, it does not produce, then it will be cut down (Luke 13: 6-9). This is speaking of us, Christians… who choose to wander from the course. The Holy Spirit can be taken, and will be taken from the rebellious heart, and such shall suffer the wrath of the wicked. (Ezekiel 18:24-26).

    Would we allow out very own child or grandchild play in the street with fast moving carriages? Why then would we allow our precious souls to wander off into vanity and darkness, to flirt with the snares where the hordes of hell itself lay wait? Is it we do not grasp the sensitive nature of our one life to live? That the glory that awaits the steadfast Saint is not merely fables and illusive dreams, but a reality to be soon realized? It is destined unto us once to die than the judgment, so why do we consider anything but eternity? If our idolatry lie in passing worldly affairs, affluence, recognition, appearance of knowledge, possessions, money and pursuits of pleasure, are we still not in love with the world? We are told to “Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father's love is not in him.” 1 John 2:15. If we continue in our love affair with the world, then we can question if the Holy Spirit dwells within us, for his presence cannot tolerate ongoing divided loyalties.

    Many Christians petition, let us pray for revival. To this I say, let us first fall to our faces and repent. After a season, in due time, the Lord shall restore us. However, it is written, that ALL who call themselves by his name must repent as it was with the city of Nineveh. Jonah 3:5 states, “And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.” God honored their repentance. The flames of revival will only fan as far as the souls are humbled. This is a remarkable display of faith, as they had to immediately give up their idols to seek the Lord. What are the idols that confront us? Anything that separates us from the passion of Christ.

    “On the whole, we appear to be more concerned about the sins of society than we are the sins of the saints. In fact, we often indulge in what I call the ‘respectable’ or even ‘acceptable’ sins without any sense of sin. Our gossip or unkind words about a brother or sister in Christ roll easily off our tongues without any awareness of wrongdoing. We harbor hurts over wrongs long past without any effort to forgive as God has forgiven us…” (Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, pg. 19)

    Philippians 2:14 addresses one of those “acceptable” sins we tolerate in our lives even while we condemn other people’s sins. Our tendency is to dismiss personal sins as not important. James tells us to peer into the perfect law and we shall see ourselves as we really are as if looking into a spiritual mirror (James 1:25).

    Philippians 2:15-16 offers three reasons why we should confront all of our sin, not just the obvious ones. Notice what Paul says: “[so] that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” I Peter 1:14 says, “As obedient children…as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” Peter uses thoughts about Jesus’ return as motivation for being godly; “since you are waiting for these things, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (II Peter 3:14).

    May the Lord be merciful with His saints, found ever abiding in patience, granting us wisdom daily to the discern our true nature.

    Peace and Grace in Christ Jesus

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