I've just recently read a 2 part posting of why a man had left a particular denomination in search of a "church" that was more suitable to his liking. He gave a brief description, in part one,
of his attendance to various schools in the persuit of a pastorial position, but decided not to enter that arena of "employment". In part two of his posting he describes in short detail many different "plegues" of today's "chruch". The end result of his "search" has been that he "landed" at a doctrine/denomination that even there he is not sure of.
Here is the issues that I would like to address and pray that he & others could gain better insight from.
Shame: the author mentioned twice of being ashamed of himself. One for having spent the better part of 10 years "searching" for a church. He feel the constant leaving on to try another could harm his family's walk with the Lord. The second, he stated that he was ashamed for his own personal traits of having a "check-list" (my words, not his) to gauge the various churches by. My response to this issue of shame or feeling ashamed is this; shame is an attack of Satan. We all know the story of Adam and Eve in the garden. They hid themselves from God because they were "ashamed". If you are the high preist of you home, as the Word of God describes, then your family will be ministered to. As for being ashamed of one's self, you are made in the image and likeness of God Himself, and He knew you before you even born. With this ever in our mind, as children of the Most High God, being ashamed of ourselves would be equal to being ashamed of our Father in Heaven.
Check-Lists: In regaurd to the afore mentioned "check-list", I'd say that it is my belief that even when Jesus Himself came to this earth and began His ministry there was many of the same issues this author mentioned. The twelve diciples were the first of the church to jocky for positions, think more highly of themselves, loose faith, doubt Jesus and, yes, even betray their leader. We can't fool ourselves into thinking that today's church would not have the same issues. When we resolve to attend services at a church to first receive God's word, from a pastor that is grounded in Biblical truth, and then owe no man anything other than to love him, as we love ourselves, we could then grow our own faith in God. Hopefully this would inspire others in the same.
Everything else: Now I would like to focus on the issues of denomination, searching for a church and even weather or not one should seek the "profession" of being a pastor. Scripture tells us that God directs the steps of a righteous man. I am NOT trying to say or imply that the author is not a righteous man. All are righteous who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. What I would like to impress to you is that no where in either of the two posts did the author mention, or even imply, his decissions were reached through thoughtful prayer. I have learned that when faced with life's decissions the ones that have turned out to be most benifical for me, and my family, have been the result of asking God to guide me. I may not receive the answer as fast as I would like. I may not even receive the answer I would like (at the time). But, when I receive the answer that God gives me and I am obedient to that answer, I have peace. A wise woman in the Lord once told me and my wife (we were facing a huge decission) to follow peace as a plumb line. That is to say, before making a final decission, weigh all the options, pray and the option that brings peace to our heart is probably the best.
As children of God, we should seek our Father in all things. Ask Him for guidance and obey Him when He answers. Give Him the glory, even in the times of testing. Look at others the same as the Father look at us, even with our faults. Know that it is His grace that has saved us. His grace that will keep us. His grace that we receive and then give freely to others. I read a quote that truely made a profound impact on my life and would like to share it with you. "God's providence will not place you where His grace cannot keep you." I do not remember the author of that quote, but for the quote I want to leave with you is from the Apostle Paul. "May the grace and peace of Lord Jesus Christ be with you.