Your Prayers are needed for my Church Situation

Discussion in 'Prayer Requests' started by Truckerboy, May 4, 2014.

  1. Truckerboy

    Truckerboy Member

    I am facing having to go and see the leaders at my church with quite a challenge, and need it to be thoroughly covered in prayer.

    We are a fellowship of around 80 members, plus around 40 who come and go on Sundays. We are an ageing congregation, and because we are situated in a fairly wealthy suburb, once our youth go off to university, they can't afford to come back. Please excuse the lengthy background to the situation, but it is necessary.

    About 18 months ago our lead pastor returned from a missionary trip to Ghana full of a desire to see miracles and healings in ministry at the fellowship, and started a big push in this direction.

    I am not a cessationalist, and don't have a problem with signs and wonders themselves - God is Sovereign, and can do whatever He wishes. My problem is when we start to move away from scripture in our search for signs and wonders, and that is what has been happening. The pastor started quoting David Yonghi Cho because he leads that huge church in Seoul, and regularly claims the occurence of the supernatural. However, if you read Cho's books you find they are theologically horrendous, and advocate Word Faith, Gnosticism and other occultic influences.

    I have spoken about this with him several times, but what has also come to light is that a number of people practice contemplative prayer, which is also unbiblical, and leads to all manner of faith issues. These individuals are beginning to promote these practices to the church, with the pastor being particularly evangelistic about Taize worship, which is contemplative at its roots.

    I preached against both Word Faith and Contemplative a couple of years ago, and got a varied but overall good response.

    However, last year we started intensive prayer for one of our members who was dying from cancer. It transpired that one of her close friends, a former evangelical, was now her "spiritual director", which means she is a person who trains others in contemplative prayer. I immediately warned him that this lady would more than likely be opposed to most foundational Christian doctrines, with one or two being prominent. He reported back that she was aggressively opposed to orthodox doctrine in ALL the areas I had suggested, and wanted to know whatmore I could tell about contemplative prayer.

    I did a fairly detailed study/overview and gave it to him last October. Time pressures meant that he passed it on to one of the elders to check out, but I had heard nothing up until last week, when the issue of Taize worship surfaced, at which point I found out that he hadn't read the report, not even the 1-page precis I had provided!

    It turns out that the elder who had been asked to look at the study did have some concerns, but I am puzzled why he hasn't approached me, despite having had the study for nearly 6 months. But this morning, despite knowing my objections to it, he had the musicians play Taize worship during communion.

    I do admit to feeling very angry, firstly that he was paying no regard to the details I had given him about contemplative prayer, which he himself had asked for, but also that he was clearly promoting a dangerous practice to the whole congregation, with no warning about it whatsoever, instead presenting it as spiritually wholesome.

    We have had a couple of wake up calls from the Lord in the last few months, specifically via the message to the Church at Sardis, from the letter to the churches in Revelation chapter 3. This is very spewcific about being careless and not guarding what is coming into the church, effectively leaving the back door open for the enemy to come in and take the inhabitants captive.

    I believe this refers specifically to us embracing both Word Faith teachings in search of miracles, and in dabbling in contemplative prayer. So instead of the fellowship's future being under threat as an aging congregation gradually dies out, we could find ourselves having our lampstand removed in a very short space of time - this is what was threatened to both Ephesus and Sardis.

    I believe the time has come to go beyond friendly discussion - it is time for something much more forthright, but exactly how to take this forwards I am not so sure. I do expect opposition from the pastor, especially as he has more than likely practiced some of the contemplative techniques himself and is more than likely going to defend his position - it is a standard response in these situations.

    Could you therefore pray for clarity as I prepare to speak with the pastor, and more than that, for the spiritual health of the people involved at the fellowship.

    Many thanks for your support,

    In Him

    Dave Ellis.
     
  2. Ruthlyn

    Ruthlyn Beta Tester

    My heart breaks for you and your fellowship :(. I will devote a day of prayer and fasting for you that the Lord Jesus Christ will give you a clear way forward and strengthen you to go in the way He has chosen. However, you must be willing to let Him direct you even if it seems not to be the way you think is best. God knows what is happening and will sort it out one way or another, but always in the best way possible for His people.

    I have been listening to sermons by Dr. Spence and he has been going over the Scripture which states:
    Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
    Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
    Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
    Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

    May God give you discernment and consolation in these difficult times you are facing.
     
    marty likes this.
  3. davidedmorn

    davidedmorn New Member

    In the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. It be our care to act under the guidance and power of the blessed Spirit.