by Pastor Dean A. Brown
So many Christians today are walking away from their Churches and the pastors that God has ordained to speak into their lives because they are being persuaded to do so by those who have taken offense and left over things that were not offenses at all. Many who would never have been led astray end up leaving because they stayed in close relationship to those who are causing divisions and offenses. They stay in these ungodly relationships in the name of “walking in love” when in reality they are “walking in disobedience.” Loving someone doesn’t license you to violate the word and keep company with them.
Let’s examine the scripture to see what it says.
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18 NKJV)
These are not my words but the words of the Apostle Paul. Are they not truth even as other scriptures are? Yet so many are willing to disobey them forgetting that all actions that violate the word are sinful. It is therefore right to avoid those who purposefully cause and continue to create division among the saints.
Let me ask you: Why is it that you were not offended at your church or your pastor until a divider got you to take offense at their offense? Was the pastor you left behind immoral, unethical, or operating in illegal activity? If any of these is your claim, do you have proof of such other than the words of a divider who is walking in offense?
Here are more scriptures to consider.
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Corinthians 1:10-13 NKJV)
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?” (I Corinthians 3:1-4 NKJV)
Let me say this. For years I’ve told my congregation that there are three types of people that come to the church. First, there are those who God has ordained to be there for the duration of their lives. Second, there are those who God has placed there for a season to be prepared for the next phase of their calling or purpose. They will leave to fulfill whatever God requires in due season. Third, there are those who are church hoppers. No pastor can help those because if they won’t listen to the Word, they surely won’t listen to a pastor.
Why did I share that? Because I’m fully aware that people do need to leave churches for godly reasons. However, if you believe it’s God’s purpose for you to leave, LEAVE RIGHT. Leave in a manner that shows respect for the pastor and church and maintain brotherly love. Leave in a manner that honors Christ. Leave so that you can return to visit or even rejoin if God would have it that way, with your heart in peace.
A WORD TO PASTORS: I had a gentleman come to my church for a season who was once on the staff of a nationally known ministry. The person worked closely with the leader, traveled with him, represented him, ect. I had the opportunity to help this person and their spouse in a season on challenge. I never once asked why the person left. In one conversation, the person hinted at something put I let it pass, moved on to something else. I do the same with every person that comes from another church to mine. I don’t like it when people do that to me, and they have, so I will not allow anyone to do that to another pastor.
Finally, know that these words still remain true.
“Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” (Psalms 105:15 NKJV)
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4 NKJV)