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 Have you ever noticed..

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PostSubject: Have you ever noticed..   Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:22 pm

Have you ever noticed how many people say "I used to be a Christian until "this Church" or "this person" burned me." God has showed me that that person was focusing on the people around them instead of Christ. It seems to me that if a person walked away from Christianity because of someone else or the actions of a church they probably never really knew Christ to begin with. Once you meet and know Jesus on a personal level the actions of others around you won't shake your faith and relationship. What does everyone else think?
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:47 pm

It is difficult to understand why someone would deny Christ as Savior just because of the actions of some of his supposed followers. But it seems to happen a lot, I too have to wonder if those people ever really "knew Christ" in the first place.
I mean it makes as much sense as me deciding that I hate you, just because your friend was a jerk to me.

I've also had people tell me they don't want to go to church because it is full of hypocrites. I heard a preacher/evagelist on the radio once say something to this effect in response: "It may be true that the churches are full of hypocrites, but I would rather attend church with them on Sundays then spend eternity with them in hell".

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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:33 pm

I think you probably know my take on this. People will always make excuses for why they choose things other than what is right. When I was in high school the church I had grown up in basically split over a conflict between the very popular youth minister and the very popular pastor. It was honestly one of the ugliest scenes I have ever been a part of. Several other kids in the youth group were turned off of church for a VERY long time, but to my knowledge none of the ones whose faith really had roots ever renounced Christianity and at least most have started attending church again (there are a couple I don't know about). I would never go so far as to say 'if you turn away, then you were never really a Christian to begin with" because I don't know their hearts, but I too have to wonder.

Another thing that comes to my mind is the awesome responsibility the Church (both as an individual congregation and the entire body of Christ) has of being Christ's ambassadors to the world. I don't remember who it was (David Meece?) had a song in the 80s that said "you're the only Jesus some will ever see." The way we act and behave and treat others is a direct reflection on Christ and is what those outside the Church use to formulate their idea of who Christ is. Those of us in the Church realize when others are off the mark, but those outside the Church don't necessarily.
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Driven

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:32 pm

Thoughts:
- A young/naive Christian may think that since his Christian mentors did something hypocritical, and possibly didn't apologize/ask forgiveness, he/she's been told a lie.
- Seeing other people stumble/fall should not lead us to collapsing.
- We are only as strong as we let ourselves be. If you let God be strong in you, then you are pretty much "invincible" in a sense.

Don't attack me, please… but be kind. Smile
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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:08 am

I think you make good points dbf.
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rockerVu2

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:12 am

We all are disappointed in how people can treat us.
I'm in a situation in church that things are getting out of control.
That's not a reason to leave church.
I join church to not for the people, but for God.
Maybe people should talk things out with each other, in church and forgive each other.
God is not happy when He is seeing people leave church for situations.
He wants us to talk about if and ask forgiveness and forgive each other.
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Guilty/Forgiven

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:13 am

I had a friend years ago who claimed to be a believer, but said he'll never go to church again cuz he was burned by a youth leader that he used to look up to. I don't understand this kind of thinking for the same reasons ya'all have already said. I tried to lovingly show him our need to focus on Christ and not people. He eventually came to church with me, but I don't know where he stands today (haven't seen him in years).
As far as leaving a church because of people issues, I plead with anyone who does this (if you can't make it work) to leave on a good note - even if the pastor/leaders/whoever is clearly in the wrong. If you leave on a bad note, you will deal with the feelings of no closure... and this can mess with your emotions later.

People are sinners... and that doesn't change when we become Christians. It is the Spirit inside us that gives us the ability to avoid sin and ask forgiveness when we do mess up. That means asking forgiveness of our Father, as well as forgiveness of anyone we affected. If more leaders in the church would do this, less people would be disillusioned with all of the church.

As far as determining whether someone's a real Christian or not cuz they leave the church due to being burned, that's between them and God. We need to be there for them and love them, pointing them to Christ and pray that they'll overcome their bitterness.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:48 pm

[quote="Guilty/Forgiven"], I plead with anyone who does this (if you can't make it work) to leave on a good note - even if the pastor/leaders/whoever is clearly in the wrong. If you leave on a bad note, you will deal with the feelings of no closure... and this can mess with your emotions later.

[quote]

We left our old church on the best terms possible. I even continued to chat with our old pastor on occasion (a fantastic man of God) before he finally moved out of state. Because we bowed out gracefully we were able to retain several friendships with many people in our old church. So it does work (but it takes some effort).

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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: Have you ever noticed..   Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:46 pm

quote="Guilty/Forgiven"]
As far as leaving a church because of people issues, I plead with anyone who does this (if you can't make it work) to leave on a good note - even if the pastor/leaders/whoever is clearly in the wrong. If you leave on a bad note, you will deal with the feelings of no closure... and this can mess with your emotions later.[/quote]

Excellent point. While it that kind of thing isn't a reason to leave THE church, it may be a reason to leave THAT church. I stayed at the church I mentioned for another year after the big explosion occurred. About four or five months into that year I realized that I could not stay there, but I felt like I had a responsibility to the other kids in the youth group since I had been elected president of the youth council shortly before the youth minister was fired. So I planned my exit. I stayed through the end of my term and worked to make sure the youth had their voices heard when it came to hiring a new youth minister. Then, after youth group on the last Wednesday in June when my term expired, I walked out of the church, intending to never return.

Quote :
As far as determining whether someone's a real Christian or not cuz they leave the church due to being burned, that's between them and God. We need to be there for them and love them, pointing them to Christ and pray that they'll overcome their bitterness.

Another excellent point! AFter all, what better way to show them the love of Christ than to sit around condemning them because they don't meet our standards.
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