Our Church, Their Church, or His Church?

Probably one of the bigger questions that encompass a lot of the issues the 21st Century church has, is: who’s church is it? Generally today, you will hear four major concepts (or statements) taught: 1) “There is the church.” - a building with walls, a parking lot, and a sign, (no scripture) 2) “Our church” - a division of Christians that you have to join or "place" membership, (no scripture) 3) “This or that church”  - a group of people that generally consider themselves “autonomous” (self-lawed or self-governed) and divided from everyone else on opinion matters, socioeconomic, or race, (no scripture) 4) “The church”  - the single unified body of Christ and the one true church that He established in the first century. (Romans 12:5, 1 Cor 12:12,13,20, Eph 2:14-16, Col 3:15, John 10:16 and so many more)  Can be described as "the church" at such and such, or "the church" in such and such, but is always referring to "the church" of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We … [Read more...]

Is my congregation “right”?

The true nature of a Christian's, or a group of Christians, character is not defined when things are easy. Nor is it defined with any one snap shot in history. Often times in discussions, we have found that people will point to “that one time” to say a congregation is misunderstanding or over reacting. They will use individual cases to attempt to refute categorical problems. While I in no way am claiming to have it all figured out... any of us can look at something and see if it’s flawed or not. The human eye for instance can perceive the most minor flaws in the metal of a freshly painted car. We can feel with our hands the difference in a fake and a real coin. We can smell bread cooking in the other room and a skunk several blocks away at the same time. We can taste the difference between honey collected in a forest, in a city, or an orange grove. We can process a thousand sounds simultaneously and identify which was different, or wrong... or right. However, imagine trying to see that … [Read more...]

What is a Faction?

I was once a member of a congregation that I now believe could easily be labeled as a “faction" (even if  it became one by accident). In fact, I was a deacon, evangelist, Bible class teacher and a missionary for that congregation. Unfortunately it took me years and going through some extremely heartbreaking situations to realize what the congregation was. However, hindsight being 20-20, it seems so clear now what I should have seen before. Sadly most of my former "church family" are still on that journey and are in the same boat we were in for years; not being able to see the forest for the trees. Admittedly I still wonder if I see it all. I still wake up in the middle of the night remembering situations from ten years ago that in the moment I was convinced I was on the right side of. I have shared and cried with some of my closest friends and can tell they are unable to empathize with the pain we have experienced; only sympathize. The shock and disbelief, while completely … [Read more...]

The Gory Details

As you may or may not know "Faithful Woman Newsletter's" last printed publication was 2 years ago this month (January 2015). While many people have asked for the "gory details," we have remained relatively silent about the whole ordeal. With the exception of a handful of very close friends, we decided to "allow the benefit of doubt", and let time tell if our observations were in fact true. Sadly, we have found them to be so. And even among these few friends some of the details were so unbelievable, so unimaginable, so unplausible that it was hard to hear, it was even harder to understand, and even still harder to accept; even holding the proof. Some of those friends, we had to stop discussing it with altogether because we recognized that if the small percentage of the details we did share caused so much emotional stress upon them we could only imagine what the "whole truck load" could potentially do to their faith. One asked us to give them some time to try and "work things out" … [Read more...]