Thursday, August 4, 2011

Leaving the Church/Denomination

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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I inherited him as an elder/officer if you know what I mean.

It was long ago - shortly after I was ordained.

He was an enfleshed exposition of Jesus' warning: "They come in sheep's clothing..."

Whenever we had a hymn sing, he requested his favorite: "All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give...I surrender all."

Nobody bought it.

He didn't really believe in Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture and acted like it; especially when he didn't get his way.

And then, one day, when I relieved him of a responsibility because he couldn't/wouldn't work with anyone who didn't goosestep to his passive-aggressive intentions just beneath the veneer of his baritoned mouthing of his favorite hymn, he left.

While nobody really missed him and our committees/boards stopped walking on eggs 'cause they didn't have to anymore with him gone, I often prayed he would come back; not because I liked him 'cause I have a particular undershepherding responsibility when it comes to passive-aggressives if you know what I mean, but 'cause I've never believed Jesus came, died, rose, and reigns to segregate, splinter, divorce, or do anything other than enable the holy communion through Him that is one of the greatest evidences of getting it/Him.

Simply, people who separate themselves from other people over anything but the basic Christocentric confession are posers and just don't get it/Him.

Read the 8th sentence-paragraph of this section again.

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I'm reminded of sitting with an especially faithful elder at a Friday night high school football game a few years ago.

Pointing to different people in the stands or walking around, he said, "She/he left the church about 30 years ago...25...20...15 years ago...since you came!"

As I've thought about that "elder" who exposed himself shortly after I was ordained and think/pray about this faithful elder's observation/concern/intercession, I've come to realize lots of people leave churches because of other people but can't stay together through/for or 'cause of Jesus.

As I look at the crumbling of mainline denominations and the neo-monasticism of splinter groups who want cookie-cutter religion in violation of the varieties/diversities so often heralded in Holy Scripture, I've come to realize lots of people/pewsitters/pulpiteers/posers leave one stinking denomination for another stinking denomination 'cause they all stink of their fallenness 'cause of issues like abortion, human sexuality, some hyper-theology only coincidentally connected to Holy Scripture, and so on but can't stay together through/for or 'cause of Jesus.

Isn't that blasphemy?

Isn't that an affront to the character of Jesus and everything exemplified in Him and expected of His?

Read the 8th sentence-paragraph of the first section again.

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Another tragedy.

Have you ever noticed how the same people who are always leaving churches/denominations are among the most shameless when telling everybody else that everybody else can get along through/for Jesus?

Have you ever noticed how some of the most irascible, irregular, and irreconcilable people posing in pews and pulpits are among the most strident in saying everybody can be reconciled through/for Jesus?

Wouldn't it be nice if they practiced what they...?

Gotta go.

I've got something in my eye.

Be that as I am like other posers, go back to the 8th sentence-paragraph of the first section.

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Blessings and Love!

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7 comments:

Pastor Dennis said...

My old home church is leaving the denomination (by the will of the voting majority) which is very disturbing to me. For them faithfulness is a matter of going, for me it is a matter of remaining.

john wimberly said...

Perfect. The denominations are shrinking because God doesn't need them being big anymore. Not a crisis. Not a catastrophe. Just is what it is. We ministered before there were Presbytery staffs. We'll minister after them. Stay after that guy who left. He needs you! john

Anonymous said...

That was one wierd article. I'm scratching my head.

Crystal said...

Dr. K.,
    Lately I've been thinking the same thing...there should be more that unites us than separates us. 
Bless you,
Crystal

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Amen sister!

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Anonymous,

Me too, friend.

Blessings and Love!

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Pastor Dennis,

Sadly, I understand, brother!

Blessings and Love!