High attendance and donations flowing in isn't a sign God is in it.

seated with Christ

Well-Known Member
Be it a church, ministry or you name it, crowds and finances doesn't nessasarily mean God is in it. You may be receiving 5 million a month and seat 600 plus attendants and yet the Holy Spirit presence is missing. I'm thinking of a international ministry that is in that case, but I believe and sense it is cursed and it is all the work of man and the work of the flesh.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
The church that currently has the most members in Fairbanks appears to be the Assembly of God church. I used to attend there in the 80s when I came in to Fairbanks on Sundays. Back then I lived further south towards North Pole. I recently went to the Assembly of God for a few weeks recently. It didn't take very long to realize that they're on a wrong path. They're about to start a big church building project which is often the straw that breaks a church's back. If they fall apart it won't be much of a loss.

Another church that used to have a lot of members still has a large building but when I attended their service for two or three weeks in a row the church only had a dozen or two people in attendance. It was strange being in a huge building with a huge capacity only to have it so empty. It used to be a really good church and was one I often attended back in the day. This church is tied in with the Hillsong bunch now, as was the Assembly of God Church.

Throughout my born again life I've enjoyed visiting different churches. While I still do it, it's kind of sad now... what I usually discover... a lack of salt and light and a lot of worldliness.

While I don't expect I'll ever call myself a Baptist, we've most recently been attending a Southern Baptist church. Their teaching has been correct, but they lack something. They're maybe a little too comfortable, lukewarm maybe. I attend a Bible class before the service and the teacher is someone who does a mostly incredible job. I've had my eyes opened to a couple of things that I'd not realized. One example is when I'd read through the 4 gospels and the part of when Jesus disrupted the marketing and sales that was going on in the Temple, I figured the various gospels were all referring to one event. This teacher showed us that the thing occurred more than once. BUT, this teacher is pushing calvinism as well. He's very learned. He's apparently been teaching Bible classes at this church for a few decades. I don't know how long he's been on a calvinism trend. This church is not calvinist so it's interesting that he's allowed to teach some of the things he's teaching. I have to wonder if the pastor or his father (the previous pastor) or the elders of the church are even aware of it. During my years I've seen a church body destroyed when the pastor became converted to calvinist thinking and incrementally and sneakily started introducing calvinism to the church body. That church was in the Washington D.C. area. They began sneaking in calvinism during the Wednesday evening Bible class. Instead of the elder Board firing the pastor, they resigned one by one and the pastor replaced each with his own man... I moved from the area at a time when the church was beginning to die. It didn't take much longer before membership fell to such lows that the pastor left because the congregation couldn't pay his salary... That church no longer exists.

I keep attending this Baptist church because my wife seems to like it. I don't think she's saved, but it's one of those things that is beyond me to sort out. But I always hope she'll find Christ if she hasn't already. She lives with some mental illness, so that makes it hard to know the truth of things. I keep going to the Bible study because when the teacher isn't pushing calvinism, I do have things to learn from him that are worthwhile.

The church I mostly attended back in the 80s merged with another church and they became super gungho with regards to missions. So much so that that pretty much became what the church was about. Missions are good, but there was a lot this church was missing at the local and congregational level. I understand the church has changed again. I used to like it so much before the merger that I'm afraid to visit now, afraid what I might find... plus it's a bit far away from where I currently live.
 

Armor of Light

Praising my Savior all the day long!
BUT, this teacher is pushing calvinism as well
I attended a church for a few years that was ok, but as you say just seemed a bit off, the attendees and the teaching, after doing a men's bible study and another separate study I notice all the pastors/teachers had the same bibles, John MacArthur bibles and study bibles . One day one of the pastors was teaching and started discussing TULIP and 5 points of Calvinism, I left that church and have not returned.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
I attended a church for a few years that was ok, but as you say just seemed a bit off, the attendees and the teaching, after doing a men's bible study and another separate study I notice all the pastors/teachers had the same bibles, John MacArthur bibles and study bibles . One day one of the pastors was teaching and started discussing TULIP and 5 points of Calvinism, I left that church and have not returned.

Good for you. If the church itself was teaching calvinism I'd of only gone to one service and wouldn't of returned. Eventually I'll ask a person in authority if they know what this teacher is presenting in his class. They might not even know since he's been there for so long. They might just trust him. I'm not a member of the church, just a visitor, but I'd hate see seeds of calvinism destroy the congregation.
 

mattfivefour

Well-Known Member
what I usually discover... a lack of salt and light and a lot of worldliness.
That's the result of living in a Laodicean age. But we are salt ... and we are light. And if worldliness doesn't characterize our life, we can flavor the church we attend with the sweet-smelling savor of Jesus Christ who indwells us by His Spirit. Make it a matter of deep prayer, my brother, and then go forth in confidence: God will use you in ways you cannot dream. You ARE a warrior for Christ: His power indwells your human-ness and your weakness. You ARE a minister of His Kingdom. Let Him work His will through you in whatever church fellowship you attend. The called shepherds --such as I presume this Southern Baptist pastor to be-- need men alongside them, in the same way that Moses needed Aaron and Hur to uphold his hands during the battle.
 

Belle of Grace

Longing for Home
we can flavor the church we attend with the sweet-smelling savor of Jesus Christ who indwells us by His Spirit. Make it a matter of deep prayer, my brother, and then go forth in confidence: God will use you in ways you cannot dream. You ARE a warrior for Christ: His power indwells your human-ness and your weakness. You ARE a minister of His Kingdom. Let Him work His will through you in whatever church fellowship you attend.
Yes! Very well stated. :scoregood it's so true! I've seen it clearly in my own life. It's been quite a surprise, and like you said, God will do more than we ever dreamed in these situations. So thankful for a sovereign holy God who is willing to use 'even' me.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
I've been sensing God wants me to find a new church, and the cancellation of the afternoon traditional music service was kind of the last straw :cry

Been looking at Lutheran Brethren since they're conservative and still believe, teach, and preach the Bible is literally true, they're premillennial (or lean so), but retain most Lutheran doctrines. I know most here agree more with Baptist/similar. God has impressed upon me that He wants me in a Lutheran church, so that's where I'm looking.

Having issues finding an old-fashioned liturgical service :frown

Any more, finding an old-fashioned liturgical service anywhere is hard :frown

And then, finding one at a time that works for me :eek

I fear I may be stuck with a lukewarm service :frown but avoiding apostasy and other bad stuff is far more important :smile

If I were a man, I think I'd start my own church. As a woman, I'm not called to do so.

But if The Lord tarries, once I have my own place again, I can set up a home altar in my prayer closet and worship and pray as I like, and still go to a Bible believing/teaching/preaching church for the corporate worship, teaching, and fellowship :smile


:pray :pray :amen :amen
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Interesting thread. :nod





Hey TT, may I ask what you thought was missing? I was thinking your observations might be helpful for those who are involved in ministries that are reading. :)

It's been over 20 years and the church merged and changed after I went to a new duty station. I only would go there when visiting the area. It just seemed that they were all foreign missions and not much else.
 

Carl

Well-Known Member
I fear I may be stuck with a lukewarm service :frown but avoiding apostasy and other bad stuff is far more important :smile

If I were a man, I think I'd start my own church. As a woman, I'm not called to do so.

But if The Lord tarries, once I have my own place again, I can set up a home altar in my prayer closet and worship and pray as I like, and still go to a Bible believing/teaching/preaching church for the corporate worship, teaching, and fellowship :smile


:pray :pray :amen :amen
Haven't you heard of Deborah in book of Judges chapt. 4?
 

Mama Bug

Well-Known Member
I wonder if it’s the Assembly of God as a whole or just some of them. The one I was raised in has changed. My dad had talked of leaving that church but I think he stuck around because of my grandmother. He was involved in foreign missions. He would go twice a year for the main purpose of winning souls for Jesus. He would also do repair work or help build schools or churches. He was ready to quit that too because the people he would travel with only cared about going to a foreign country and having fun. He took his final trip two months before he passed away.

I was going to a Baptist church for a while but with the gas prices I’m thinking of going somewhere closer to home. I like it ok but nobody tries to talk to me. I started going there because my uncle goes there and I feel comfortable because of him. He reminds me more and more of my dad the older he gets. I’ll miss seeing him every week but I don’t always get to talk to him anyway. Most of the time I don’t because he’s busy afterwards getting his things together. He plays piano for them. He’s really good.

I refuse to set foot in the Baptist church near my home because it’s more of a social club. My husband’s nephew and his wife go there. They decided to take my MIL with them one Sunday. When it was over she decided to loudly say what she thought of it. “This is the deadest church I’ve ever been to “. I’d have to agree with her.

I’m not sure where I’ll end up. I want to be in a Bible believing church and connect with other Christians my age.
 
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