English: I took photo of First Baptist Church in Rockdale, TX, with Canon camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, there are churches popping up on every corner. As far as the eye can see and beyond there is a church house (literally houses) being converted to churches on every other block and every other corner? I wonder why, because what we also see today is people church hopping; going from one church to the next never able to find roots. Hop, Hop, Hop they go on and on and on, and for whatever reason they can never settle down. There are many answers given for these occurrences, and some make sense while others do not.
The big thing today is that some churches split, because someone doesn’t like this or that; or, someone feels that they can do a better job of the pastor ship than the current pastor.
This is what happened in heaven; Satan wanting to be like Elohim and convinced some others to side with him so they could take over heaven which started a war in heaven. (Revelations 12:7-10).
In times pass we could blame this behavior on the individuals, because we had churches with supposedly, sound doctrines, and so called seasoned pastors to lead us. Everything was stable, and if you were Baptist each week we could count on the following:
- Sunday School
- Morning Worship
- 3 o’clock service
- BTU at 6 p.m.
- 7:00 evening worship
- Wednesday night /Bible study prayer meeting (not sure cause I never quite got a good grasp of the word of God of how prayer helped, but people prayed).
We expected to be fed at church or either would grab a bite in between those times. I did not hear any griping, people just followed instructions and did what they were told, and things seemed to work. I really had some good times at church and I thank God today for my beginnings, because I was able to remember some of my earlier teachings which in turn brought me to a place of surrender in my mind later on.
Ironically, there are some churches that had those same ideals but are no longer in existence today, and others split because the members, for whatever reason rebel against the Shepard of the house and gather together other members to ban with them against authority, and, either are kicked out or leave to start other churches. (i.e., Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church/Greater Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church).
I was considering why people strike out on their own, and I wonder is it to fulfill the great commission, or that they are in an act of rebellion because some people do not like the way the church is running. Consequently, are good reasons for some when we see leaders of the flock falling to sin, being caught in compromising positions and the members are leaving the churches. Also, the members are not working together where people are gossiping, and people are arguing over positions and people are acting (for all purposes) like people on the street while others who look on wonder what is going on?
In the article, “What is the cause of church splits? How can healing occurs after a church split?” the author conveys and ideal consequence, “Divisions that lead to church splits are a sad and all-too-common occurrence in the body of Christ. The effects of a church split, regardless of the cause, can be devastating. Church splits distress and dismay mature believers, disillusion new believers, cause havoc in the lives of pastors and their families, and bring reproach upon the name of Christ.”(Got Questions, 2012).
No one ever addresses these critical scenarios, because all we hear of these splits is there was an argument and depending on the people; either another church is started or those people move their membership to another establishment. Similarly, when speaking of people moving their membership to the new “church plant”…do they forget, are they ever counseled about the fight that led them to the new place?
We cannot continue to walk away from problems leaving unresolved issues in our wake, because “weeds” choke, and “seeds” planted come back to haunt.
The article states further, “Churches are like hospitals, full of wounded and sick people, but in the church the sickness is sin and the wounds are those we inflict upon ourselves and one another because of sin. One sin that causes multiple problems is a lack of forgiveness. No Christian is perfect, and no pastor or elder or deacon is perfect. When all these imperfect people get together, disagreements, hurt feelings and misunderstandings are inevitable. If our expectations of others are too high, disappointment is inevitable and can cause further feelings of hurt and resentment. Our response to one another should be to forgive one another in kindness and compassion (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13) and in Christian love, which covers a multitude of sins, followed by an increased commitment to serve one another (1 Peter 4:8-11). Once we are committed to forgiving, loving, and serving one another, we will see each other’s differences in a new light. But if we react to differences of opinion by taking sides and gossiping, the split will widen, more harm will be done to the church members, and our message to the world will be further compromised.” (Got Questions, 2012). This is the jest that we must always see our part in the situation and realize that everyone has their own opinions, but everyone must see the need of others more than themselves. There is too much mess in the churches of today residue from life’s woes and ills left unchecked.
Why do churches split? The article states, “A church split may happen when someone seeks to manipulate people and/or events for his own ends. It may be that there is pride in rule-keeping, and those who do not keep the same rules are ill-treated. It may be that a pet interpretation of doctrine is emphasized and used as a litmus test for belonging to the “in” group. Or, it could be that someone wants to wrest leadership from the pastor or elders and rallies a group of people around himself to accomplish a coup d’état. Sadly, difference of opinion regarding music and worship style is also a frequent cause of division in the church. The excuses for the conflict are numerous, but they all stem from the same root cause—pride and selfishness. James 4:1-3 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (Got Questions, 2012).
Ultimately, the church has to get a clue; that is, the war in heaven (the spiritual) is being played out now (the natural) and the church is the stage. What is the world seeing when it comes to Kingdom business, because they can look at the soap operas on television; that is, Jane sleeping with Jake, and Alexis owning a new Benz. What else has the kingdom to offer, they wonder? Good question, are they seeing God or the devil there.
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