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When Does One KNOW When It's Time To Leave The Church They're Attending?

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My wife and I have attended many churches, and I've been lay-preacher for several of them. I have had this question asked of me more times than I care to count. But, it has come up again, not just in the church we are attending in now, but in a couple of churches that are being attended by friends....two of them IFB, one being a Free-Will Baptist church, and one being an SBC church. It's disconcerting hearing some of the answers that people have given for their wanting to leave, and I've recommended to most that they should go and speak with their pastors with their concerns...all but two have agreed to do this. So, when do you believe it's time for a person to seriously consider leaving the church they're in? What conditions should prevail to make them consider such a drastic action?

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Only you can know through prayer.

I've left churches for various reasons but usually it comes down to me backsliding. 

There was one case though where a pastor and a deacon had a meeting with me because he wanted to use me more for various things within the church like teaching Sunday School. I wanted to clear the air first and tell him my position on the KJV. He was shocked and tried talking me out of it. What surprised him even more was the head deacon agreed with me during the meeting. After that I was pretty much put on the back burner. 

What really was the final straw was how the deacon was treated afterwards. He was a man who served faithfully in the church probably as long as the pastor had been alive but the pastor tried to vote him out in favor of a recently born again man who owned a contractors business and the pastor was in the process of building a new palace...er...I mean church building. Fortunately, the old timer won reelection and remained deacon. I left the church after that as did my good friend and evangelist who eventually started his own church.

So, sometimes you'll know the answer when you are ostracized and are no longer part of the church as had happened to me.

My only advice is don't raise a ruckus on the way out. Maybe a letter to the pastor that your are moving on and that's it. 

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If I'm going to leave a church I ALWAYS talk to the pastor first. I'm not one to beat around the bush. I was a lay-preacher for one church and the pastor was in doctrinal error on several things. He had chased several people off because they disagreed with him. He stalked my wife and me where we worked, and he had his father and brother attack me in my place of employment. I wouldn't press charges, and my boss wanted to know why. It was a clear physical attack and the stalking was terroristic in nature. We came home one day to find the pastor standing in our kitchen. He had obtained the key through the previous tenant as they attended the church as well, and he was always checking on her. 

I always have my reasons for leaving typed and in order with Scriptures and a diary of how the Lord had been leading us. I keep a journal anyway. The only time I don't use the journal is if the pastor is clearly going off the deep end, or he's been caught in something illegal or immoral, which several have. We have been through 14 church splits since we've gotten married, four times staying with the original church, and the other 10 going with the split. I hate splits, and I hate moving to a new church. It's time consuming, and it's usually hard on everyone involved, especially if there are friends in both churches. I ALWAYS advise people to go back and talk to their pastors before leaving, and to pray hard, and fast if they can, to obtain an answer from the Lord...not something preconceived in their own hearts already.

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11 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

If I'm going to leave a church I ALWAYS talk to the pastor first. I'm not one to beat around the bush. I was a lay-preacher for one church and the pastor was in doctrinal error on several things. He had chased several people off because they disagreed with him. He stalked my wife and me where we worked, and he had his father and brother attack me in my place of employment. I wouldn't press charges, and my boss wanted to know why. It was a clear physical attack and the stalking was terroristic in nature. We came home one day to find the pastor standing in our kitchen. He had obtained the key through the previous tenant as they attended the church as well, and he was always checking on her. 

I always have my reasons for leaving typed and in order with Scriptures and a diary of how the Lord had been leading us. I keep a journal anyway. The only time I don't use the journal is if the pastor is clearly going off the deep end, or he's been caught in something illegal or immoral, which several have. We have been through 14 church splits since we've gotten married, four times staying with the original church, and the other 10 going with the split. I hate splits, and I hate moving to a new church. It's time consuming, and it's usually hard on everyone involved, especially if there are friends in both churches. I ALWAYS advise people to go back and talk to their pastors before leaving, and to pray hard, and fast if they can, to obtain an answer from the Lord...not something preconceived in their own hearts already.

Yeah, him stalking the wife if a good reason to leave. 

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1 minute ago, SureWord said:

Yeah, him stalking the wife if a good reason to leave. 

I agree with that! I knew several of the police in town and I had one of them go and give him a stern warning. He stopped just a few weeks before we moved to Tennessee.

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When Does One KNOW When It's Time To Leave The Church They're Attending? When God tells you to. The issue I see is that people use that excuse to leave when they are the ones in the wrong. If God is calling you to move on, be 100% honest with the pastor and leave on great terms. People have left our church and told me one thing, and told others something completely different. Be upfront and willing to listen to the pastor when he talks after he's listen to you. 

This is general and not direct directly at you @BrotherTony

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12 minutes ago, PastorMatt said:

When Does One KNOW When It's Time To Leave The Church They're Attending? When God tells you to. The issue I see is that people use that excuse to leave when they are the ones in the wrong. If God is calling you to move on, be 100% honest with the pastor and leave on great terms. People have left our church and told me one thing, and told others something completely different. Be upfront and willing to listen to the pastor when he talks after he's listen to you. 

This is general and not direct directly at you @BrotherTony

Oh, I understand that.  I would NEVER have taken it that way. LOL  🙂

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I have only left one church, and that was due to blatant dishonesty of the pastor toward me. I may have stayed to work it out, but it was about a very personal and difficult issue I was going through, and his dishonesty made matters worse. Later, I was glad to have left, as I found him to be a very controlling and legalistic pastor, more concerned in some areas with appearances than substance. 

Most who have left the church I pastor have never spoken to me, just left. One family left because we had no programs for their kids: I told him stay and help that happen, but they wanted something already running, so they left. One left because my wife worked, (we had no kids and I didn't have any problem with it) and he felt it was a bad fire example to his kids. Later his wife went to work.

An older couple left because they disagreed with my stand against babbling tongues. Didn't want to discuss it or open the Bible, just, nope, and they were gone. One left because I wasn't willing to have community baseball games to attract kids. And thought I was mismanaging the offerings, (no one gave, there were no offering except what my wife and I gave).

But most never said anything.

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1 hour ago, PastorMatt said:

I will say this, when anyone feels led to leave a church, do not take others with you. These decisions needs to between you and the pastor only. 

That's why if anyone ever says they're leaving "with" or because of our departure, I automatically request they go back to the pastor and speak to him about what is on their mind, letting him know of their concerns. This happened once, and the pastor came and spent several hours with my wife and I. His basic mssion was to thank us for doing so, but, in the long run he ended up talking to us about staying...we did for two more years, and it was a blessing. He left at the end of those two years, and the church merged with another in Augusta.

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I certainly agree -- you leave when God leads you to, and not before. We have been in a church before were we did not agree with the pastor choice the church made. There was some clear error in his teaching when he candidated, but the church had been without a pastor for three years and they were desperate and took the first person who was willing. My husband was on the pulpit committee and tried to warn them, but was ignored. Within a year several people had left over the difference in doctrine, and the church didn't have many people to lose because attendance had dropped sharply over the three years without a pastor. We were inclined to leave as well, but we didn't get the go ahead from God to do so. We stayed, didn't cause trouble, tried to honor the pastor as best we could. But when our Sunday School student moved on we were both given the green light from God to move on. That was three years later. So, sometimes God has a purpose for you being in a church where you don't agree with the pastor, and it's best to wait on His timing.

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On 8/19/2021 at 9:19 AM, Corinne said:

No and no! I Sadly, this type of assemblies are present everywhere. It's almost impossible to find a group where they only trust Christ.

 

In the KJV Bible, what did /does/ Christ say about immersion (baptism) ? 

(not commentaries please - there's virtually no end of commentaries.  Just KJV Scripture.)

Mods or Admin or Thread Starter:  if this is better in a new/different thread, good.  

I think many people might change or wonder if they think they should change churches because of not knowing what Christ Himself Says.   When they know,  I believe there is universal (within the assembly, not the world) harmony as God Planned all along.

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