Meeting with your pastor

Have you ever had to meet with your pastor about something that has bothered you? I’m not talking about the music style or the color of the carpet, but something more serious. Perhaps a leader who is teaching contemplative mysticism, or a whiff of The Message or Ragamuffin Gospel in the youth group. Or even a questionable book being studied in your women’s ministry.

We get so many letters from people who are seeing these different movements infect their churches, and have had to take a deep breath and knock on the doors of the pastor or elders. What advice do you have for them? Are you in the same boat yourself?

Chris Lawson’s video on confronting abusive leaders has some biblical tips for those worst-case scenarios. Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

 

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6 Responses to Meeting with your pastor

  1. Bob Hall says:

    I sat in front of our elder board once. Not the greatest of feelings. I had asked to speak to them about an upcoming Beth Moore conference several of our church ladies were attending and brought up the topic of contemplative prayer. Most of the elders were clueless about the practise but as I explained they began asking questions . . . of me! Aftewards, one of the elders pulled me aside and thanked me. He told me he had similar thoughts about Miss Moore and her mind-empying techniques.

    My advise to those contemplating (sorry for the word choice there) the voicing of their concerns would be to:

    1. Do so in love. These are our brothers and sisters, not our enemies. They will have opinions and we are ALL different.
    2. Do NOT raise your voice. Speak calmly. Slowly.
    3. Be prepared. Scripture is good. Search this website and others for information on tour topic up for discussion. Stand Up For The Truth is an amazing resource as well as Mike's book. Never go into a battle without counting the cost . . . and having some ammo. 😉
    4. Present solutions. Never complain without offering your thoughts on how to get out of the mess.
    5. Make sure your objections have a scriptural defense. It's easy for the elders to deny you. NOT so easy to deny God.
    6. And this should probably have been number one but . . . pray your butt off! Walk into the meeting prepared spiritually as well as factually. You'll be glad you did.

    The worst thing that happened in my case was the elders caught up with me later and explained a few things and some steps they had taken to address my concerns. That's awesome. The other thing was that now they now someone is on the lookout for apostacy and it will help keep them on their toes. Voicing your concern will help verbalize what others may only be thinking. SOMEONE has to stand up. Is it you?

    God bless those who defend the faith and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you travel this road.

    In His service,
    Bob

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  2. Mr Davis says:

    Good points Bob. I'm glad it turned out well in your case. I would only add, be prepared in your heart not to return blow for blow before you go in there, your flesh will want to. It is natural for any challenge to be attacked especially if they feel they have the upper hand.

    I would greatly desire that in the future this these would not be handled in a board setting as is our custom in the western church but with the whole congregation that the conduct of all may be observed by the body. So that the fruit of each may be tested.

    It would exercise the body

    For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
    1 Corinthians 14:31 KJV

    If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

    It would expose our hearts

    But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. James 3:8-10 (Truely from the outpouring of the heart does the mouth speak.)

    The fruit would be out there for all to see.

    Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure , then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:13-18

    A place would be be available for corperate discipline

    Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 1 Corinthians 5:6-13

    And also corperate restoration for the repentant 2 Cor 7:9-11

    Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corithians 2:6-11

    If only we would put into practice God's word instead of doing things behind closed doors.

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  3. Darrel says:

    Bob, you may be the rare exception. There are few, if any, who teach bad doctrine/heresy that will adhere to the Biblical way of handling a "dispute" from one of their flock. Most often you are met with false accusations, lies, and the big turn-around where you become the bad guy who is causing division within the ranks. "Unity" becomes the clarion call from the leaders that be. Unity meaning that you are unify with them no matter how far away from sound doctrine they have traveled. Threats are all too common, threats of physical violence are used to intimidate you into capitulating to their demands. Ultimatums are also used, in that you will be required to believe as the "leadership" does or face threat of bodily removal from their facilities. These are first-hand accounts from two churches that I belonged to in as many years. Churches that will not see my face again. The only regret I have is that I forgot to shake the dust off of my feet as I was leaving.

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  4. Ann says:

    I believe spiritual abuse is quite common in the religious institution of man as those who claim to profess Christ and His teachings as truth, has now gone the way of feelings, experience and mysticism, rather than sound doctrine. Those who follow doctrine as defined in our Sciptures are now becoming the minority instead of the majority and this is a dangerous place to be. I used to attend a church that had a heavy shepherding leadership with a pastor that previously attended the so called Toronto Blessing services who ascribed to their teachings and extra Biblical manifestations, ie. drunk in the spirit or slain in the spirit, as Holy Spirit inspired. In one of his last sermons before he left our church, he accused those who didn't believe in his doctrines as having "a Jezebel spirit." A couple of weeks later he left our church after the truth came out that he was pursuing a married woman he was counseling. One of the characteristics of a Jezebel spirit is sexual immorality…..so I am wondering if he was speaking of himself in that sermon. One of the characteristics that I have discovered is that so many preachers and teachers who specialize in false doctrine fall themselves have corrupt minds and lusts of the heart that are used to injure the true body of Christ.

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  5. Mr Davis says:

    You know God has given us his word His Holy Scriptures that in them we find Christ Jesus who is our life and any who follow another doctrine than is taught in His word we are to mark such as these and have no fellowship with them. This becomes a hard command, while we desire true fellowship with other believers very very very few hold to following in accordance with what the scriptures teach in all matters of life and godliness.

    What is comforting is God knows where His children are, the sheep of His pasture, that long for His voice, so Cry out to the Shepherd, the author and perfector of our faith and plead with him to show you where His sheep are that you may have fellowship with them that you may walk in the law of love. You will not find the world promoted there nor man but Christ Crucified! Christ buried! Christ who rose again and assended to the right hand of God in fulfillment of the scriptures.

    Please understand this it may be in someones home!

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