Pastor Wrinkles: Hey Jude Pt. 21

“But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” Jude 1:17-19

Many years ago my grandmother was very upset with the pastor of her Baptist church. The contention in her soul had gotten to the place where she was ready to flee her house of worship and begin attending another. That was when my great-grandmother Bern got involved in the situation.

Bernice Lillie was an outspoken woman for her day. No one to be trifled with by my grandmother’s accounts. While I never met her I can imagine her manner as she sat my grandmother down and gave her philosophy of church attendance.

“Thelma, you never leave a church because of a disagreement with a pastor. Pastor’s come and go but the church is a family. We stay together.”

Sage advice. While I do believe that there are points of doctrine which might cause us to leave a church (such as a new pastor coming into a church and preaching Jesus is not God for instance) , my years of pastoring have left me wondering at  parishioners who pigeon from one steeple to another because they feel the preacher is too long-winded or they don’t like the taste of the communion bread.

Our world is short on people who know how to get along. So the church should be a place where we learn to practice  mending relationships not breaking them up. I know God moves people sometimes but leaving a church should be a call of God not a fight with a deacon.

I know this is an argument with lots of nuance so tell me what you think.

16 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: Hey Jude Pt. 21

  1. Thank you for giving us a look at this and sharing your thoughts too. I have often felt, maybe less than?, because I had not been to many churches. I didn’t have a lot of other church experience. Just the church I went to. So, reading this encourages me that that wasn’t a bad thing, necessarily. God bless you!

    • That definitely is not a bad thing Deb! Contrary to what many think church experience does not come by widely sampling many churches. It comes from learning to live in the body of Christ God has called you to.

  2. I have to say that I admittedly did leave some churches because I did not like the message the pastors were preaching. I would like to believe that if I had Christ then I would of stayed and prayed that my heart would change. I have Christ now and I truly can’t image leaving my church because it is my true family and I am closer to my church family than my biological family for the most part. Looking back, I now realize God made good of my bad choices because as soon as I walked into Cornerstone I knew I was home. I know I could have done it better when leaving those other churches. Thank you, God for all your grace and mercy in the choices I made. Many blessings to you Pastor J!

    • There is something to be said about finding your church “home” isn’t there Deb! It can only truly come once you are born again and I believe that is what has made all the difference in my life. You are right GOd wastes nothing and HIs grace is with us through all of our choices good and bad!

  3. I think you’re right on, Pastor J! If we can’t get along down here, what’re we gonna do when we get to Heaven–where there’s no escape?!! God bless you and fam–(are y’all safe from the storm issues? I’m geographically challenged, so I just pray for everybody–but I fret a lot too!) love, sis Caddo

    • We weathered the storm very nicely. My son was right in its path living just 45 minutes out of Philly. But he took it all like a 24 year old. He was planning on going to Valley Forge Park with some friends to watch it. Of course being the loving/controlling Dad I am I said no he shouldn’t do that. My daughters and I weathered the storm from our various abodes with no ill effects. Thank you for your prayers which were heard and answered!

  4. I recently found my “family” at a small local community church 3 1/2 blocks from my home. I don’t drive anymore so when I moved to this village 4 years ago– I decided I would just “go it on my own, with worship music, online services and much time with the Lord alone. But, I missed the fellowship! To make a long story short, I am now a member of a wonderful, loving local Body. Do I always like Pastor’s messages? NO! But that Body of Believers is my family. Thanks for covering this topic effectively.
    Be blessed,
    PS: I do agree if the differences are doctrinal… get on your knees!

  5. I have been in a weird place as far as “church” goes. I know we are called to meet together and to encourage and spur each other on. Unfortunately, I think most of us go to a “church” looking for what other humans can give us rather than going to praise and worship God with a heart of what we can give. Blessings jlillie!

    • I would agree with you Tom. I believe that much of the body of Christ is in a state of lukewarmness but that means that all the more we must embrace the body and pray that God would use us to fulfill Ephesians 4! Praying for you Brother! 🙂

  6. The local Church is our family. We don’t move out of our Church family because of a difference of opinion. We work together, for the good of the whole. Of course, if a new pastor preaches a ‘false doctrine’ – and the Church elects to follow him – that Church would not be a place I could support. (That actually happened when an incoming pastor preached that we are born again by baptism, and all unimmersed are lost)

    . . .
    I’m pleased to see in the comments that you weren’t badly affected by the storm. I have been praying for you, a couple of others in Sandy’s path, and of course my eldest son who lives in Lower Manhattan. He works for Bloomberg and Bloombergs moved him to a city hotel near the office, so I’m sure he is safe. I’m waiting for power to be restored so that he can contact us again.

    What amazing peace and security we have in Christ!

      • Thank you. I’m sure he is OK but we haven’t heard from him since he moved to the hotel. He probably doesn’t have power. I presume Bloombergs will be back to work today, if they have power, and I’ll hear from him from work. I don’t think they will move him back to his apartment until the subway reopens and power is restored to his apartment, which is on the sixth floor, so there won’t be flood damage.

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