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"...I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church....but of course there must be divisions among you so that those of you who are right will be recognized."

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 NLT

The church that we have been attending since around Labor Day has disintegrated. It’s very confusing trying to pinpoint exactly why but it centers on personality conflicts and a power play by a family that had been there 12 years and felt slighted. Accusations were made against the Pastor and his wife and they resigned. The accusations included one concerning our family forcing a visitor to move so that we could sit together. We love the Pastor and his wife, and feeling unwelcome ourselves, we left too.

Tuesday I was reading my Bible on my palm pilot and started by typing the word "church" after the FIND: function, thinking (jokingly) that we needed to find a church and maybe this would help. Instead I found a slew of verses that convinced me of the following:

 Jesus is the head of the church
 He nourishes and cherishes it
 It is his body
 It has suffered divisions, schisms and doctrinal disputes from the beginning
 The purpose of those disputes is (above) to sift out the wheat and the chaff

So if my reason for leaving was that the church was suffering from strife and contention is that a valid reason to leave? If the reason for leaving is that a schism has occurred how does it work that God sifts out the wrong and approves the right if the right leave? (assuming I’m right). If I left over the family that made the power play what's my reason for leaving now that I know that the board has dealt with them and they are gone?

Rachel asked me in tears when we left “When does someone stand up and fight for the church? Why do you always just leave?” I have always felt that fighting for a church is like two children fighting over a cream puff in a sand box, by the time the fight is over what would be left worth having? You can't fight (in the flesh) and expect that anything good would be left. Nevertheless I am beginning to wonder if we have to go back and fight for the church. Not against flesh and blood, but in the Spirit. It goes against my whole nature to even consider it. Any advice?

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I can't believe there are no comments here. Especially since it's 5 weeks old. I would assume by now you have resolved this question, but I will say that my advice would have been and is to obey what God tells you to do. I know He speaks when we need direction and I know He would not have you wait in uncertainty for all of us to hear that answer for you. But nonetheless, I sought out in prayer an answer and heard the scripture from Galatians 5:1 in my head. "Stand therefore in the liberty where which God has set you free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage...etc."

Your heart of compassion is wonderful, but perhaps this just is not the time for the battle. I agree with your presentation, though. But only if God is calling you to the battle. This chapter goes on to say that a little leaven affects the whole lump. You'd have to be sure to have your anti-leaven armor on. And a few verses later it talks about us being careful of others whilst we are walking around in our liberty. Anyway you can read Gal 5 and 6 if you need any input. Which of course I don't think you do. Love you, wish you were here.

Re: Advice

That was me - Connie.

Thanks! I prayed it through, spoke with several people at the church and then went back for a Sunday service. It didn't feel right and God freed us up to move along.

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