Monday, December 13, 2004

A sad state of affairs...

It is not my intention to bring the mood of this blog down, but there are things still looming in the air after the voters' meeting that was held at my church Sunday. I just think it would help me to get some positive feedback from my readers.

I've been to a lot of Lutheran churches in my life. I've been a member at probably ten, and have had very different experiences at each one. (Not to rely on experience), but until Ron and I joined Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, I have never been a part of adult goings-on, probably because I was with my parents at all of the other churches and was not looked at as an adult. Now I am. And as an adult, I participate in the voters' meetings to help our church decide what actions to take. I want to be involved.

Throughout my life, I've probably only missed less than 20 Sunday services. No matter where I was, visiting a strange town or staying in my hometown, I and my family always tried to find a church at which to worship on Sunday mornings. This is something Ron and I make a point of researching before we travel anywhere: Where are we going to worship while we're there? We even e-mail or call the pastors before we leave to make sure we can commune, and give references from our home church. My faith life has been enriched by this.

Even when I was going through the incredibly debilitating foot surgeries from the time I was four until this year, I never wanted to miss church. It has always been THAT important to me.

So, when I find a pastor with whom I really connect, someone I really respect and have learned a lot from, someone as learned as the pastor Ron and I have right now, it pains me a great deal to watch and listen as one person after another gets up to describe him as a monster, something I know for a fact he is not. And if anyone comments on this blog that this is a lie, or that my pastor has been lying to us, you are dead wrong!

There were a number of people who attended the voters' meeting Sunday whom I've never seen in three years of attending every Sunday worship service and every Advent and Lenten service. It was obvious that they held an agenda and that someone told them about the meeting so they could be there to cause dissention.

Let me speak to this honestly: If you go to a church meeting with an agenda to divide the sheep, you work for the wolf, a.k.a., the DEVIL! You have nothing but evil in your heart and you are doing the work of Satan! Examine yourself and pray! If you don't realize this, the devil has already won you over. May God have mercy on you!

Pastors are shepherds called by God to lead his sheep. If the sheep rebel, they fall off the cliffs and die. Sheep cannot lead themselves, people! That's why we call pastors, shepherds, to lead us! We need them! If you attack the shephard, you might as well be what the Bible refers to the devil as: the wolf.

Am I saying that everyone who gets up and lets out an emotional response is possessed? NO! What I am saying is that the devil is working on you and you're giving in. If you go so far as to attend a church meeting for the sole purpose of dividing the sheep, you have become the wolf. You are not welcome in our presence because you cause harm to us; you destroy us!

There was a man who spoke during the discussion period after the business portion of the meeting who said he'd been a member of our church for 28 years. Okay, fine. Where have you been for the last three, because we sure haven't seen you!

Don't go to voters' meetings to cause dissention. That's wrong. It's un-Christian. You become a wolf in sheep's clothing. You are deceitful, an instrument of evil. I pray that you lose your wolf costume for good, before you actually become the wolf, yourself.

6 comments:

Devona said...

Erica,

I'm sorry that you're having a tough time at your church. In Revelation it shows us that the anti-christ springs up from within the church, and it is happening in a small way in every congregation. Don't let it shake you up though, because we know the ending. Jesus will prevail and all will be right.

I will be praying for your congregation, and for your pastor.

We love you guys, stay strong.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

Thank you, Devona. Your support means a lot, as do your prayers. We need them very much. We love you guys, too.

ghp said...

Erica,

You & Ron are viewing the increasing (and unfortunate) tendency of good, confessional, orthodox pastors coming under fire because they take their vows seriously. In their efforts to be true undershepherds, these good men run afoul of folks who have become jaded by the onslaught of our current American Methobapticostal "feelgood" culture, and who take great offense at being divided from that culture by orthodox Lutheran Word & Sacrament ministry. Their itching ears are not being scratched by your pastor, and they are rising up in rebellion.

Even worse, is that there are many in the District & Synodical leadership who tolerate, if not outright abet, such rebellion.

Stay true to that which you know is true. Support your pastor and his family. Pray. Speak the truth, in love, when the opportunity arises. Don't be unduly discouraged. You will have our prayers. God's Will *will* be done, and whatever the outcome, it will be such that God will use it to further His Kingdom.

God's blessings to you, your pastor, and all the saints at Immanuel during this blessed, albeit difficult, Advent season.

-ghp

Cap'n Fun said...

Just started reading this Blog. You don't describe what you are talking about so I have a hard time following. Does you bunch appoint or call a pastor? Catholics and some Methodists are appointed and that's all I and familiar with. Keep the faith! You will be fine. Regards Bert

Mrs. T. Swede said...

Welcome to my blog, Bert! Glad to have you here. As Lutherans, we call a pastor from the seminaries. It is up to the congregation, though, which pastor is chosen if more than one respond positively toward coming to lead the church in need.

If you have other questions about Lutheran theology and politics, which I don't often get too deep into, you might find Here We Stand to be a helpful metablog. A number of Lutherans (mostly Missouri Synod -- there are about 100 synods worldwide) blog on that site, and get more into the nitty-gritty. Also, check out Dan the geologist (or rock guy)'s blog (both sites are on my blogroll). He will often post links and commentary about the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Glen, thank you for your support. I've been thinking about what I might say if, at our next meeting in January, someone gets up to try to attack our pastor again. I think I'll give a short speech that will be taken from this post. I just pray that 1) it doesn't come to that, and 2) that if it does, I have the strength to give the speech.

Elizabeth said...

Erica,
I'm very sorry to hear about the voter's meeting. Our congregation had one on Dec. 5th that was similarly frustrating. I couldn't believe it when grown adults were yelling out of turn. It was weird. It's sad that most LCMS folks (myself included at one time) don't understand the call of ministry. It would be a good practice for all of us to go back and review the promises we made to our pastor at his ordination service and in his call documents.

1 Corinthians 11:19