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Thread: Need to talk...

  1. #21
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    Jesus Died for Our Sins.

    Run from that CHURCH.

    This is Not a Church, sounds cultish.

    Praying for you and Your Daughter. May you all Find Peace within Our LORD.

  2. #22
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    That church is absolutely wrong and you should leave there immediately. They are making up their own rules that aren't in the bible. Yes divorce is wrong, but once you have been saved (which I assume your daughter has been), nothing is going to stop you from going to Heaven. His grace is deeper than our sins, not just our "little sins". If you have received His grace, you are saved.

    Not only that, but her husband was the one who kicked her out....she didn't leave him. Yes she is the one who filed for divorce, and I personally wouldn't have done that- but whether that was the right choice or not, if she's saved she IS going to Heaven.

    Your daughter has done everything she can to get ahold of him, so the best thing to do is probably to love him from afar (which pretty much means to pray for him and not hold a grudge against him).

  3. #23
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    Annie, I have no advice other than what you've already been given. You and your family have been treated in a despicable manner. I'm sorry for what you've all gone through, especially your daughter. I hope that you can all find a new church where you can fellowship and be loved, and know that God is with you.

    Please check in and let us know how things are going.

  4. #24
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    Cry Remember me?

    I dont know if any of you remember this...I thought I would give you an update. After the divorce, and my daughter finished school, she moved back to our town to start a business. She got a great deal on a storefront and started a retail business. The business has done surprisingly well. All was quiet with the church for awhile..then in January the pastors started sending her letters and coming into her place of business. They said that they didnt think she had repented of her divorce. She is living at home with us, and lives a quiet, peaceful life. She is either at her store, or home. She is not drunken, or wild, she does not have that many friends here now, and has actually gotten back into the word and was enjoying church. The letters have continued and said that since she was in sin, and not reconciled with her ex, according to Matt 18 they were bringing it to the elders. We did not want her to go to the elders because of sensitive issues with sexuality in the marriage. Her husband left her and we suspect he is gay. We did not think it proper for a young woman to stand before 12 men and talk about that. We asked for an advocate to go with herand they said no. Our daughter said that she knows that divorce is wrong, and is a sin, and that she repents, but has anger issues and has issues forgiving her ex so said that she did not feel full repentance would be possible until she came to terms with her forgiveness issues..so they said that she was not fully repentant, and would bring it to the church. After church last Sunday, they had a congregational meeting and read a three page statement from the pastors and elders. We were encouraged NOT to come, and said that we would not like to hear what they would say, and they would not allow statements either. So, we left town for the day. We had given two trusted friends letters giving statements for us, but they were not allowed to read them. Basically, they said that our daughter could not attend church there. We wish to attend church as a family, so basically we cant go either. This is a small town of 1200 people and everyone knows everyone. I cant go uptown without wondering what people are saying, or if they are talking about us. I have not been able to work. Actually, my daughter has had a small boom in business, probably from people who are sympathetic to her. I have started having panic attacks whenever I see someone from church who used to be a friend. I am so depressed, almost to the point of being suicidal, I dont really want to die, I just want to hurt myself, and that makes no sense to me. There is no one to help us here. Our pastors wont help us and no one calls, because I think people have been warned not to talk to us. I thought that after almost two years of this I could move on. Our son is getting married Saturday, and I am really wondering if I will be able to make it through it. I just feel so much shame I want to die. I just want this to be over, but mostly I need help, our whole family needs help. I find it hard to believe anyones claim to christ anymore. Our church has had several divorces, and the pastors thought that people were taking it too lightly, so I have heard from others that they felt the need to make an example out of us

  5. #25
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    This is not Christ's heart for the church to treat you this way, and maybe they need to be reminded of the verse, if there is any sin among you than cast the first stone. I can assure you there lives are not sinless either. Can you find another church?

  6. #26
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    Please get help for suicidal thoughts, it could be a medical issue, who knows? get professional help.

    I pray you have peace for your son's wedding...

    But why don't you leave that church? It doesn't make sense to me.

  7. #27
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    First and foremost, if you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself, you do need to talk to someone face-to-face. A counselor, or therapist that is Christian would be good, as you could talk through all of this hanging over your head.

    Also, it still sounds like these people from this "church" are influencing your feelings; don't give them any power over you, what happens with you and in your family are between you and God, as I'm assuming you've cut off contact with the church in question. Run to Jesus, ignore the bleating sheep... or goats, whichever they are.

    Thanks to sweeetlilgurlie on Narniaweb for the sig

  8. #28
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    Annie, thanks for the update. I am sorry to learn that your family has maintained affiliation with this group in your town. They have brought you grief and trouble. The shame that you say you feel is not legitimate. It was unfairly placed there by these mis-guided people who are running your church. I would flee and not look back. If your family has to re-locate to another town, then so be it. Your entire community sounds like they are walking under the shadow of these intimidating people.
    (Almost sounds like something from an old Rod Serling TV show) You don't need this.

    If you stay there, they are likely going to continue to dominate the atmosphere. If you don't want to actually move, then I would at least go to another community for church. Your family needs some spiritual encouragement right now, not discouragement. There are some fine Biblically-based churches out there with people who will welcome your family with open arms and be thrilled to have you as part of their fellowship.
    So glad you came back to RR to update us. God bless you and your dear family.

    -Lynn

  9. #29
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    Annie, I hate to say it, but the fact that this group of men is using intimidation and control to influence the people in the church without the individuals EVER having the opportunity to defend themselves tells me that this is a cult. The fact that they would not "allow" your daughter to go before the elders with someone by her side speaks volumes about the fact that this meeting's purpose was to intimidate her. That is not of Christ. They were not handling the situation with love. They were not handling the situation in a way to discern the truth in a very very sensitive situation. The behavior of the elders is not indicative of a church that strives to put Christ and His teachings first.

    Please, please do not go back there. None of you deserve to be treated this way. This is not the way a church is supposed to behave. They are not the feeling police. They are not the repentance police. That is between a person and God only. your current Pastor has his fifedom and he is ruling it with an iron fist - this is about the Pastor and HIS need to control. This is not about your daughter's marriage to her ex or her repentant spirit. The fact that he had to read a three page document to the people in the church and publicly shame you all speaks volumes about it. Please do not go back there. The Pastor's behavior is NOT of Christ.

    I have no doubt there are other great churches in your area or within a reasonable drive from your town. Please begin looking for one because you need support while you are walking this path. And, as you find a new church home and begin to settle in, you will feel more confident in dealing with those in your current community who still attend the church.

    As for the suicidal thoughts, please call you doctor and make an appointment to get a full physical. You might need a referral to a therapist. And, remember, your daughter needs you now more than ever.

    Big big hugs.

    One more thought - if the Pastor continues to harass her, it might be worth having an attorney write a cease and desist letter and even getting a restraining order against him. Make it VERY clear he is not to have ANY contact with any of you. You do NOT need his abuse.
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

  10. #30
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    Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.


    Your church needs to commit the above to memory and life application.

    Honestly, why do you still attend there?


    They have no right to condemn publicly, humiliate or intimidate your family and daughter. If you and your family love the Lord, do the best you can to uphold his two laws...love your God, love your neighbor, what more is there.

    Secondly, Why do you uphold this church so much? Clearly they do not hold LOVE as their first command. My church is not perfect, but we love all our sinners equally, hold them up, pray for them - even in their mistakes, sin whatever you want to call it and guide them to do better.

    Your daughter sounds happy and is doing well. Move forward past the divorce. Sounds like she has...but the "church" has not. Why??? Is his family of some influence at this "church"?

    Thirdly, Why does the opinion of non immediate family members matter so much?

    Like a poster said last August, shake the dust off your feet and walk away and don't look back.
    Even with my glasses I need help.

  11. #31
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    Thanks you all so much. I have been feeling a peace and calm about this weekend and i do believe we can look forward and enjoy the wedding. Our son and his wife to be are Godly young people. He is going to attend seminary when undergrads are complete, so this has been quite an enlightening and learning experience for him. He is now considering christian counseling along with pastoral studies, so maybe God has a purpose in all this.
    Many of you wondered why we are still affiliated with this church. It has been our family church for almost 100 years, my grandma emmigrated from Sweden where the state church was very controlling and they could not even study the Bible in their own homes. When they got here, a group started the Free Church as we are affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church. I believe these problems are with our pastor, not the denomination. He has been here 25 years and feels quite at home here and is very controlling, dogmatic, and legalistic.
    We have not been attending here regularly. My elderly dad attends there and it means a lot to him to have our family there. He feels like it is his legacy in some way. We have only attended for a few special events just for him.
    We have been attending a church in a neighbor town. It is hard because we are in a rural area and it is a 25 mile drive. This church does have a yourth group outreach that meets in our town twice a month. That is how we decided on them as we have 2 teenage sons who are very active in our former churches youth ministry. We have been torn that way because we dont want them to come to spiritual harm because of this.
    In the letter read to the church, they made it very clear that this is in no way over for them...they stated that they will pursue her for repentance and reconciliation... so that is what I fear. We have considered legal action but the waters are muddy there for several reasons...we are exploring that avenue further....
    I have been nesting in the Psalms right now...The Lord will protect me and deliver me from my enemies...I just never dreamed that my enemies would be members of our church family or other "Christians" Thanks so much..your prayers are coveted this weekend!!

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie View Post
    I have been nesting in the Psalms right now...The Lord will protect me and deliver me from my enemies...I just never dreamed that my enemies would be members of our church family or other "Christians" Thanks so much..your prayers are coveted this weekend!!
    I am so sorry that you and your family have experienced this UN-Christlike behavior by "the church". Their actions do not glorify Father.

    I have experienced a situation w/some similarities and agree w/you that I never dreamed such treatment would come from my family~in~Christ. I do believe this is one way the enemy works. Another way he works is in keeping us from God's Word and prayer as a result of our hurt. You mentioned that was a struggle at one point in the thread.

    I am glad that you seem to be healing and that you have peace about the wedding. I hope it is wonderful!!!
    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
    Revelation 4:11

  13. #33
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    The Evangelical Free denomination is a respectable one. This pastor needs to be held accountable for his actions, including harassment if he is threatening to "pursue" the issue. Your son or perhaps someone else trustworthy needs to find out who in the denomination handles issues when a pastor needs discipline, and let them know what's going on. Your loyalty is to Jesus, not an errant church. In fact, we are to expose evil, not accommodate it. Praying for you!

  14. #34
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    I agree with Accepted - find out who the over-arching body is in charge of the Pastor at the church (not the Elders, but the actual denomination) and pursue this with them. Take it all the way up the chain of command if necessary. If that is not possible, personally I would send a cease and desist letter and if they continued harassing her, I'd seek a restraining order. They are seriously out of line. She does not deserve to be harassed in her place of business or in her home. She was not at fault here and for them to doggedly publicly shame her over her ex-husband's behavior simply because she was the one who filed after he refused counseling and kicked her out of their marital home is unbelievable.
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

  15. #35
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    I just did a quick web search - here's the contact info for the Evangelical Free's office. In your shoes, I'd call Monday to seek counsel from them about how to handle the situation. I'm sure there is someone there who can help you. And, don't dance around it - be very very blunt with the people you speak with about what is going on with the Pastor, the public shaming, the harassing your daughter, the details of the divorce, etc.

    Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA)
    901 East 78th Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55420
    (800) 745-2202
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

  16. #36
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    I would take this excellent suggestion and contact the head office. If you can explain the situation better in writing, you might call them first to determine who should receive the email and who has the power to intervene. The local guys have gotten away with this for far too long. They are suppressing the true work of the church there, and it's time for it to stop. Party's over.
    Please do write again next week to update us about your son's wedding. He sounds like a fine young man that God has blessed with a godly wife-to-be.

    -Lynn

  17. #37
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    The wedding went well..there were not many friends from church there. I thought this was all settling down again, our pastor called again this noon and wants to have another meeting. He wants to meet at 7 AM tomorrow morning. My husband told him in no uncertain terms NO. They wont leave us alone.

  18. #38
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    Annie, please call the main national office for the Evangelical Free church in the post above tomorrow morning to seek guidance on how to close the book on the situation with this "pastor". Be very clear that you are former members of the church and the pastor is publicly humiliating your family and he is now harassing your family and you want it to stop immediately on both fronts. Be very clear that one does not attend church to be abused and make it clear to the people you speak to that that is what is occuring and it needs to stop NOW.

    Hugs. I'm sorry your friends did not attend the wedding, but it sounds like it was lovely anyway. My best wishes and heart-felt prayers for a wonderful marriage to your son and his new bride.
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

  19. #39
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    Dear Annie, I'm so glad that the wedding went well. What an occasion for rejoicing! I'm sorry that the timing of this difficulty with your church coincided with the happy occasion of your son's wedding.
    But that's just life. Events, both good and bad, don't always happen at just the 'perfect' time.

    You may be reluctant to contact the head office of your church's denomination. It would be good if your husband would be willing to do this (just an opinion of a couple of others on this board and me, included). However, you and your family have to be the ones to make this decision, because it will be your family who will have to deal with the 'fallout' of such an action in your small town.
    Personally, I think someone needs to get this pastor/elders back on track (if they were ever on track to begin with ), but your family may not choose to be the instruments of reproof in this circumstance at this time. You two will have to be the ones to decide this, not us. We aren't the ones 'in' the circumstance; you are, and your dh and you have to do what the two of you think is best.

    Hopefully, your family will soon have some peace about all of this. The Psalms are wonderful comfort for trying times, as you know. I heard a great sermon on radio yesterday by Dr. Robert Jeffress (Pathway to Victory). 'Living a Life that Matters' is the name of the series, but the particular sermon yesterday was all about trials that we face in this life (based on Joseph's time in prison) We can trust God and His purposes in all of our trials. It was one of the best sermons on suffering/affliction that I've ever heard. www.oneplace.com In the search bar at Oneplace.com, you can type in his name. This sermon is listed in recent radio broadcasts, and the date it was broadcast is yesterday, May 8, should you decide to listen online. All of us have our trials, and this sermon was a great encouragement to me, as I'm sure it was to others.

    God bless you, Annie. Please post again soon and let us know how you're doing.

    -Lynn

  20. #40
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    Dear Annie, I am so sorry for what all you and your daughter have gone through. But listen, our God is in control of EVERYTHING. He has had mercy on your daughter. He has allowed her to not suffer with this man for the rest of her life. He has had mercy on the little children that could have been born into this mess. Can you thank God for His mercy in your life and the whole situation? God knows this situation--He has pity on your woes. Bring your sadness and hurt to Him. He will help you in His omnipotence. Do not allow this church to continue to ABUSE you family. THEY ARE SICK PHARISEES--HYPOCRITES! Now, the only thing that matters is what does God think--that is it. You MUST keep your heart and mind on God and His Word. You must read the Word daily and pray--leave that cult and find a better church even if you have to go out of town. Lift up your head and your spirits because you are RIGHT WITH GOD. Your daughter did not do anything wrong--she needs YOU NOW. You must show your daughter how to lean on the Lord during the hard times--because as believers we must expect persecution--but we are shocked and surprised when it comes from other believers. Nevertheless, the devil goes about as a ROARING LION, seeking whom he may devour--and yes, he uses carnal, proud, believers who are caught up in their own POWER OVER CHURCH MEMBERS. I don't care who they are--if they are not following scripture get out of there. They are not manifesting the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT--love, joy peace, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, KINDNESS...you can correct someone in LOVE--they are not even doing that. Therefore, I would GET OUT OF THERE! The Lord wants you to come to Him--leave your burdens with Him and sit back and watch Him work on your behalf. I speak from experience. This whole situation can be used to allow you to have a deep relationship with the Lord that you NEVER DREAMED POSSIBLE. But you must run to Him and cling to Him through prayer and reading the Word--then one day you will look back and be thankful that this whole thing happened because of how the Lord has dealt in your life--I speak from experience. Verses will jump out of the page and you will know God is speaking TO YOU! Test Him--Your Sister in Christ.

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