This is an rant. You’ve been warned.
I used to go to a great church in Reseda, it’s about a 20 minute drive from where I live. It was a great hispanic church with about 1200 members strong. A thriving youth group of 150+ a week and great fellowship but in the past few years things have been changing. People that where high up in the church government have been leaving the church without even saying good byes. The pastor started threatening that that he was going to pack up and leave the church if people weren’t committed, from the pulpit. The times I saw it coming, I would turn his mic down. Mainly because visitors should not be expose to these types of things, especially if they are not believers. I would get some flak but I knew how hold my ground.
My family was actively involve in church. My mother was the president of the women’s fellowship for three years and my father held various positions in the men’s fellowship. I was actively involved in planning sermons, music, and concerts. I was also involved in youth ministry but to a lower extent. I helped mold the sound of the church into a great sounding hall. I spend countless hours fine turning levels, Eq, fixing broken speakers, amps and soldering yards over yards of mic cables.
Since last winter, the once thriving church has dwindle down a couple hundred people. The temple which was once own has been sold for an undisclosed sum. My parents, primarily my father, wanted to see why this was the case. My father being somewhat educated in how business are run believes that church is sitting on about 2.3 million dollars, not adding that the church has refinance last August for another undisclosed sum. My father has also gone through all the trouble of trying to talk with the conference which we thought the church belong to, which at this point is no longer the case. The pastor made the decision of changing conference without notifying the congregation. My father like any concerned person started asking around if anyone knew why these things where happening without notification to anyone and that these thing clearly violated the church own constitution. After a few weeks my father acquired a few followers, people wanted answers. Soon after there was a private meeting with the deacons, the pastor and these people that wanted answers.
I don’t not know all the facts, I really don’t want to know. The rumor, which seems like it will happen and soon, is that the pastor has ‘bought’ some of the deacons to sign the paper to sell the church, start leading the church badly, therefore making people leave, and then move to Texas with a lot of change in his pocket. My father brought this up and there where many that opposed this, but many other people that had worked closely with the pastor and have left the church have given slight clue that this is the case. Either way, when confronted instead of revealing that everything ok, showing the books, explaining why he has done these things, threaten my parent to never to return to the church.
I’m very young in my walk with God but doesn’t that kind of defeat the idea of Christianity. I thought that only the Pope could kick you out of church, by excommunication. I for one doubt anyone can ban you from the house of God.
My parents have left church but have kept in touch with great fellow brothers and sisters of christ have stayed behind to try to mend the problems of the church.
I’ve been close with a lot people that have recently left church, and they all don’t want to talk about because, mainly they don’t want to have a confrontation similar to what my parent had.
This past Saturday I went to the church to give the project studio some basic maintenance, and see if I can pull up some of my old project and remix them. As I arrived I saw a ton of new people that I had never seen, I was happy. But as I went into the project studio I was stunned and stopped in my tracks when my key no longer worked.
After asking around I found out that all of the gear had been ‘sold’. (A friend of mine says that the ‘church’ has a storage unit which all the gear is at.) I felt sadden to say the least, and then the Pastor came up to me and tried to explain to me that because my parent had been ‘let go’ I no longer have any clout in the church; I had been in a stripped of my membership of the church. I responded, by asking him where is he getting such crap from.
To my knowledge everyone is welcomed at any church at anytime which the church is open. Let me remind you this is the same church I worked at last year as a youth coordinator for high school student. I gave studies for the youth service and Sunday school. To be told I have not more clout and am not welcomed anymore seems a bit extreme. All I have to say, if you have nothing to hide, show your cards.
I am not going to return not because I was told not to, but because I really think that I have done what I had to do in that church. It’s my time to look for another one and start from the bottom. I really don’t mind. If Jesus came down and serve his disciples, why no me?
I am not mad but ashamed, people like this give Christianity a bad name. Non-believers see pastors that run out with the church money and then say, why should I convert?
May God have sympathy and compassion upon his soul. May those who follow him, see the light before its too late.
This in no way hinders my beliefs in God, it just goes to show that one does not follow a man but the everlasting Father. One is to follow what the Bible instructs us to do. I am now going to continue to do what God want me to do, I will look for another church where I can share my gifts and have fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.