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samuelg1

My Church Practices Heresy

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51 minutes ago, samuelg1 said:

I've been attending this church consistently for the past 4 years, since 2015. It's a large church but the pastor is the best in the local area, by far. 

Sadly, as the church has grown more successful with a larger congregation and with the ability to meet multiple high dollar target fund drives in the past year alone, the pastor has grown more ambitious still. 

The pastor is now preaching a variant of prosperity theology in a way which is clearly non doctrinaire. In essence, the pastor is more or less guaranteeing financial prosperity very specifically in exchange for donations to the church. The pastor also states that the congregation should give until it is actually painful or detrimental to your own welfare. I wish I was making this up.

I haven't heard a peep from anyone in the congregation complaining or even raising concerns about these wildly non orthodox teachings. As long as there is free coffee and a croissant and day care, no one seems to mind. 

This is very upsetting to me as I've yet to hear this pastor speak in a manner which was in any way outside of the bounds of the teachings of scripture. 

 

I have/had a plan b, which was to attend an evening service with a different church. This church has a far less aggressive approach with regards to fundraising, but then again, they are a significantly smaller church which cannot offer as much to the community. It saddens me that a church which steps outside of doctrine has so much more worldly success than others. 

I've attended many other local churches and regrettably the pastors are not as competent as I would hope. I enjoy attending church but wonder what heresy will follow next. 

I've scoffed at many new age pastors in recent years who teach this type of mumbo jumbo: Paula white and the lateens in particular, but large church scammers have been a thing since the early 80's at least. I've long been drawn to Christ but it's often embarrassing sharing my faith since these televangelist scammers are the first to come to mind for most people. 

I didn't really think it was possible for my local church and pastor to become corrupted in this way. I'm saddened and angered. 

This is a trend with many  churches that happens when  they out grow themselves. More congregation the more it needs for money. It kills the church. What is it that you are looking for in a preacher. I would choose a smaller church with  a pastor whos heart is true.  What is your focus? Is it how good the preacher is or grow in Christ. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us. Church corruption is nothing new. We want to learn to be like Christ. stay  focused. Study the word as one who is really hungry .  Pray everyday in your closet place and get a good devotional.

Edited by Mike Mclees
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This church has actually attempted to expand with three new services: a Spanish language service, a service in a neighboring town, and a third on Saturday evening. All closed due to a lack of attendence. It is now back to it's three main Sunday service: two morning, one evening. 

The evening church I attend also has plans for expansion, but has a much smaller congregation and far less aggressive in fundraising. The pastor is ok. He follows scripture but is a bit dull and formulaic in his sermons. He tries to touch upon current events, but not in a way which would be controversial. 

I enjoy attending church, even the heretical larger church. This church for the most part follows scripture closely. For the most part. The prosperity theology and aggressive requests for donations is troubling however. 

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2 hours ago, samuelg1 said:

I've been attending this church consistently for the past 4 years, since 2015. It's a large church but the pastor is the best in the local area, by far. 

Sadly, as the church has grown more successful with a larger congregation and with the ability to meet multiple high dollar target fund drives in the past year alone, the pastor has grown more ambitious still. 

The pastor is now preaching a variant of prosperity theology in a way which is clearly non doctrinaire. In essence, the pastor is more or less guaranteeing financial prosperity very specifically in exchange for donations to the church. The pastor also states that the congregation should give until it is actually painful or detrimental to your own welfare. I wish I was making this up.

I haven't heard a peep from anyone in the congregation complaining or even raising concerns about these wildly non orthodox teachings. As long as there is free coffee and a croissant and day care, no one seems to mind. 

This is very upsetting to me as I've yet to hear this pastor speak in a manner which was in any way outside of the bounds of the teachings of scripture. 

 

I have/had a plan b, which was to attend an evening service with a different church. This church has a far less aggressive approach with regards to fundraising, but then again, they are a significantly smaller church which cannot offer as much to the community. It saddens me that a church which steps outside of doctrine has so much more worldly success than others. 

I've attended many other local churches and regrettably the pastors are not as competent as I would hope. I enjoy attending church but wonder what heresy will follow next. 

I've scoffed at many new age pastors in recent years who teach this type of mumbo jumbo: Paula white and the lateens in particular, but large church scammers have been a thing since the early 80's at least. I've long been drawn to Christ but it's often embarrassing sharing my faith since these televangelist scammers are the first to come to mind for most people. 

I didn't really think it was possible for my local church and pastor to become corrupted in this way. I'm saddened and angered. 

Lots of times people are afraid to criticize a pastor, and this can lead to big trouble and ruined lives.

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The church is very large, well, very large by our standards. The pastors stay up at the front of the stage at the end of service, the congregation exits in the opposite direction. I suppose the congregation is too large for the pastor to walk to the exits to greet church members. Actually, we are only attendees. The actual number of members is very limited and has to be vetted (not sure what the actual process entails). 

So really we're just spectators. Kind of like a large herd of cows to be managed (and milked?). 

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3 hours ago, samuelg1 said:

I haven't heard a peep from anyone in the congregation complaining or even raising concerns about these wildly non orthodox teachings.

I think you are to take this up with the pastor. Tell them what you think. Pastors can lose their way just like the rest of us. It could be that the pastor got off trek somewhere without realizing it. If after the pastor refuses to listen then maybe you need to find another church. That is up to you and how you feel about it. But this is what I would do. 

Edited by LadyKay
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17 minutes ago, samuelg1 said:

The church is very large, well, very large by our standards. The pastors stay up at the front of the stage at the end of service, the congregation exits in the opposite direction. I suppose the congregation is too large for the pastor to walk to the exits to greet church members. Actually, we are only attendees. The actual number of members is very limited and has to be vetted (not sure what the actual process entails). 

So really we're just spectators. Kind of like a large herd of cows to be managed (and milked?). 

Oh I do not think that would be good for me at all. I attended a church like that when I first moved from a small town to the Detroit area.  The church seem okay but it was so large that it was very impersonal. I do not even think that the pastor knew I was even there. I went for a little while then found a smaller church to attend. 

Edited by LadyKay
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Just now, LadyKay said:

I first moved from a small town to the Detroit area.

another Michigander, greetings from the other side of the state.

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3 hours ago, samuelg1 said:

The pastor also states that the congregation should give until it is actually painful or detrimental to your own welfare. I wish I was making this up.

I haven't heard a peep from anyone in the congregation complaining or even raising concerns about these wildly non orthodox teachings.

2 Corinthians 8 New International Version (NIV)

 

..."And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.  In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,  they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.  And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.  So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.  But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.  Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,  as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

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Lady Kay is right .. discuss this clearly and candidly with the pastor .. if you are not satisfied with his responses, you might take your concerns with what is going on in the Church and what happened when you met with the pastor to the parish council .. if you do not wish to approach the parish council alone, you could send them a very detailed letter that clearly and fully expresses all your concerns .. at any rate, you need to leave that Church .. if it is not fully in accordance with God's Word and Truth, it is not in accordance at all .. definitely, though, you need to meet with the pastor and tell him what you think .. it is the only fair thing to do as he has a right to know .. again, if you are hesitant about meeting with him, write him a very detailed clearly put letter and at the end of it, say you wish to meet with him when he has had a chance to study your concerns .. it will not be easy to do what is right and good .. such will take courage but remember you are not alone .. Christ will be with you as will be the Holy Spirit Who may speak out, too, by speaking in and through you .. be open to His guidance and interaction .. all the best in your endeavour and may God bless and be with you

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