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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: What one might consider an adequate reason to leave a church
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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I hope you get listened to on the situation of your friends. The church's attitude to homosexuality is something everyone should discuss openly, not just swept under the carpet until someone leaves as a point of conscience.

I remember talking with a friend who left in similar circumstances and the one thing she remembers is that 'he just didn't listen'. I guess it's the respect you show someone by listening to them, even if your views differ, that matters.

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34626 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
# 158

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The meeting should indeed be on neutral territory. You (and he) should also be accompanied by a witness -- not to talk, but just to be there to see what is said and how.

John

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jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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Wood, I have been following this thread with a lot of interest. I hope the meeting goes well and I admire you very much for making a difficult decision on behalf of your friends.
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Boopy
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# 4738

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It might be an idea, if you do agree to a meeting, to agree beforehand if possible the proposed content of the meeting to see if you both have the same expectations of what the meeting is intended to achieve. Does the pastor want to wish you well and say goodbye/try to persuade you to stay/tell you 10 reasons why homosexuality is wrong/rehearse your perceived faults in church life/really listen to why you are leaving? Possibly a combination of those but it is good before any difficult meeting to agree shared expectations and a common agenda for discussion if possible.

It is also worth agreeing who will attend. I once - many years ago - arranged to meet up with a minister for a difficult discussion about a specific issue in a church. He invited someone else to the meeting without telling me, but didn't do me the courtesy of inviting me to bring someone along myself. That created a very uneven and awkward discussion where the 'balance of power' felt very uncomfortable. Check that a 'meeting with the pastor' doesn't in practice mean, say, a meeting with the pastor and three church elders who all support his views.

Good luck!

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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That's been pulled on me before, although they did do it at our house and I am not easily intimidated. This time, though, it's going to be mano a mano, as they say in lame hipster movies.

--------------------
Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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It's having a knock-on effect. My eldest son, for example, wanted to go to the other church yesterday.

I ended up having to explain it to him, as best I can. I was completely honest with him, and he was sad, but OK about it.

--------------------
Narcissism.

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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by Boopy:
It is also worth agreeing who will attend. I once - many years ago - arranged to meet up with a minister for a difficult discussion about a specific issue in a church. He invited someone else to the meeting without telling me, but didn't do me the courtesy of inviting me to bring someone along myself. That created a very uneven and awkward discussion where the 'balance of power' felt very uncomfortable. Check that a 'meeting with the pastor' doesn't in practice mean, say, a meeting with the pastor and three church elders who all support his views.

That kind of thing is good advice but may I point out that it is also good practice for the protection of the Pastor?

Considering Wood's situation I can see why the advice has all been from this perspective, but it is worth bearing in mind that abuse can go the other direction too. (Again, I'm not saying Wood is doing this here.)

I'm not accusing anyone on this thread of doing this but I have been in conversations where the discussion has been entirely about protecting the church member from the church leadership as if it is impossible for the church member to abuse the situation.

Leaving a church is a painful process for everyone. Pastors will always take it personally because it will always feel to them a criticism of their ministry. Usually church leaders are pooping their pants about this type of meeting just as much as the church member.

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
I'm not accusing anyone on this thread of doing this but I have been in conversations where the discussion has been entirely about protecting the church member from the church leadership as if it is impossible for the church member to abuse the situation.

Leaving a church is a painful process for everyone. Pastors will always take it personally because it will always feel to them a criticism of their ministry. Usually church leaders are pooping their pants about this type of meeting just as much as the church member.

This is (hang on, need to take a deep breath here, check the poster's name, read the post again just to check I read it correctly) right.

Having said that, we've had several posts on the thread from the minister's perspective — it's not a side of the situation that's been unrepresented.

But yes, it's important that although the likelihood is slightly higher that the person in authority might abuse the situation, this does not mean that members of the a congregation cannot abuse their ministers, particularly in congregational churches. And it really happens. I am reminded, for example, of a thread in Hell a few weeks ago posted by Zappa about precisely this sort of thing.

I'm meeting the pastor in a public place anyway. He's not the sort of man to abuse a position — at least not deliberately — and I'm not wanting to make a big deal of it. It's hard enough already.

--------------------
Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
It's hard enough already.

Sure. [Votive]
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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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A friend emailed me last night that he has switched churches. He had fussed at me "5 years in this church and no one knows my name." Sang in choir, served on committees, so it's not like he was one of the people who prefer to stay apart. But no one will chat with him at coffee, if he makes a suggestion at a committee the discussion continues as if he had said nothing, when his wife died not one person in his church sent flowers, or a card, or a phone call, or an email. Not one.

Last night he told me Sunday he went to a neighboring town's same denomination church and people greeted him, chatted with him, so different!

Funny how churches get a group personality, some are friendly to newcomers, some freeze them out.

If you are used to church being to some extent a social activity - what else does it mean to gather together around the person of God instead of staying home to watch it on TV, although different denominations assume more or less social interaction - then how long do you keep trying before concluding "these people don't want me," and go elsewhere?

I mentioned his situation to a clergy friend today who said "stay and change it." I asked "how long?" It's not like he's giving up in a week or two, or even a year or two. How long should you go home from church each week feeling lonelier than before you went? I think 5 years is too long. For someone over 70, there aren't a lot of active years left to stick around and see if things change and you can start making friends. Heck, in any age group 5 years of social rejection is too long to stick around. Why should a child or a teen or a young parent put up with years of social rejection instead of moving to a church that delights to have his or her presence?

So here's a reason that has nothing to do with theology, but instead a kind of abuse (neglect counts as abuse, taking your money and your time but not acknowledging your personhood). Years of going to pot lucks and no one at whatever table you sit at will talk with you, they are all busy enjoying their own friends and don't want more.

I don't know long one should "stay to try to change it," but I know people all over town who moved here, tried that church for anywhere from 5 months to 5 years, left and are much happier wherever they landed. (Well, I know one who says he will never enter a church again, but if that church had such a negative effect on him, he was right not to stay.)

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Belle Ringer, I can't help thinking that the best you can do is to stop worrying about all your friends and why church doesn't suit them, and trust God to work out their problems for them. Surely you have enough of your own to keep yourself and God busy for a while?

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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W Hyatt
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# 14250

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
So here's a reason that has nothing to do with theology, but instead a kind of abuse (neglect counts as abuse, taking your money and your time but not acknowledging your personhood). Years of going to pot lucks and no one at whatever table you sit at will talk with you, they are all busy enjoying their own friends and don't want more.

I don't know long one should "stay to try to change it," but I know people all over town who moved here, tried that church for anywhere from 5 months to 5 years, left and are much happier wherever they landed.

It seems to me that this question can be approached from two different points of view. If I'm considering a "stay or leave" decision, I can easily find myself considering it from the point of view of what I need from the church versus my obligation to stay and contribute, which can lead to some rather agonizing decision-making.

Or I can approach it from the point of view of choosing between what I think I will be able to do to contribute and/or serve God and neighbor if I stay versus what I might be able to do to contribute and/or serve God and neighbor if I leave for somewhere else. Since how much I can do to contribute or serve will very much depend on how much I am accepted in any given group (and maybe even how comfortable I feel being a member of that group), approaching my decision from this point of view won't necessarily lead me to a different conclusion and it won't necessarily make my decision easier. But it might help me remove the guilt aspect that can contribute so much to the agony of making it, as well as allowing for a more clear-headed decision as a result.

If things get to the point where I'm pretty sure I can make a more valuable contribution to a different group because I'm just not being accepted in my current group, then why should I not make the change, even if it also happens to make me happier? Personally, I think God often arranges for the two to go together.

--------------------
A new church and a new earth, with Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life.

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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I've been thinking about it a lot recently. My sit down with the pastor is tomorrow.
quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:

So here's a reason that has nothing to do with theology, but instead a kind of abuse (neglect counts as abuse, taking your money and your time but not acknowledging your personhood). Years of going to pot lucks and no one at whatever table you sit at will talk with you, they are all busy enjoying their own friends and don't want more.

I was talking with a friend and she described the exact same situation: her entire family were part of this church for years, and each of them was important to the running of it... and no one spoke to them except to ask them stuff. So eventually they moved on.

I was visiting friends yesterday, and I went to their church, which was, frankly, completely outside my comfort zone, a charismatic place with a rock band that didn't just look like a leisure centre, it was the leisure centre (as in, the church had turned their building into a leisure centre for a community that didn't hitherto have one, with like gym, soft play and coffee shop and everything).

Anyway, there was this bloke who was not the pastor who did most of the talking, and he was smug, and made inappropriate jokes (like, really inappropriate, like sexist, mildly risqué but still too risqué for the pulpit gags) and used the language of self-help and therapy to describe Christian faith. The pastor was largely sidelined: even when he got to stand up on stage, the other man "interviewed" him, not allowing the pastor to get a word in edgeways. The communion was an afterthought. Many of the more ecclesiologically inclined posters here would have been utterly appalled by the lack of solemnity and importance given it. Hell, I was, particularly when I later was told that it was "more formal than usual" (I suppressed my urge to say something that rhymed with "bowlie duck").

Suffice to say, I could hear the little alarm bells in my head going didngdingdingdingding throughout the service. I did not know how I was going to talk to my friends about their church when it came to going to their place for lunch.

The thing was, it turned out that my friends had been going there for well over a year and this chap was new, like only present for a few months, and it was not always like this.

He is, it transpires, a "church consultant", a term that chills my blood just thinking about it. The church apparently has paid to get this man in to "revitalise their outreach". And I bet he's not on minimum wage.

And my friends do not like him at all — information they volunteered before I could say anything. Hell, they know me. They knew I was cringing.

And they're worried about the church, and about the grip this man has been given over it. And I told them that it wasn't time to leave. I told them that even the Apostle Paul used inappropriate language, worse than this fella, and that he's only temporary, and asked them if he had crossed the line over to actual abuse of the congregation outside of dodgy worship meetings.

I told them what they thought already. That it wasn't right to leave yet, but that it soon might be.

--------------------
Narcissism.

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
I told them what they thought already. That it wasn't right to leave yet, but that it soon might be.

Hard to know. Just plain really hard to know if staying can make a real difference or if the specific church is headed in a direction different than and incompatible with the direction God is leading you. Or sometimes one can be useful and grow by staying but more useful and more growing by moving.

And no matter what the decision we often can't know for sure if it was the right one.

But the threat of others throwing around nasty labels like "church hopper" for moving or "stuck in a rut" for not moving, is irrelevant. As with any decision, we've got to try to follow God however we understand guidance, and trust God to somehow use our sincere but often flawed decisions for good.

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Wood, a good test for your friends would be for them to use inappropriate language to this jerk to see how he reacts ...

Just a suggestion.

I'm past patience with wankers like that.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Twangist
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# 16208

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quote:
the church had turned their building into a leisure centre for a community that didn't hitherto have one, with like gym, soft play and coffee shop and everything
Seems like they are really trying to serve the community already. Why do they need to hire a consultant to revitalise their outreach? Let alone the one they got?
I always wonder how these "wrong uns" into get these positions in the first place.
[Votive] for everyone struggling with whether they are in the right place or not

--------------------
JJ
SDG
blog

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
He is, it transpires, a "church consultant", a term that chills my blood just thinking about it. The church apparently has paid to get this man in to "revitalise their outreach". And I bet he's not on minimum wage.

And my friends do not like him at all — information they volunteered before I could say anything. Hell, they know me. They knew I was cringing.

And they're worried about the church, and about the grip this man has been given over it.

That guy wasn't 'formerly from Devon' was he? He sounds so much like someone I recognise and who caused so much trouble. Such people often get passed from church to church as they exhaust the patience of each congregation. The guy I'm thinking of believed he had a special ministry to Christian Ministers. And some Christian Ministers were very gullible and believed him. At least at first....

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Ophelia's Opera Therapist
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# 4081

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Thanks for this thread, which I have followed with interest. I hope your meeting involves grace, wisdom and clear communication on both sides and that you can have a good ending with integrity or an obvious break through (however unlikely that may seem).

God be with you,

OOT [Votive]

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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CorgiGreta
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# 443

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:


I went to their church, which was, frankly, completely outside my comfort zone, a charismatic place with a rock band that didn't just look like a leisure centre, it was the leisure centre...

Anyway, there was this bloke who was not the pastor who did most of the talking, and he was smug, and made inappropriate jokes (like, really inappropriate, like sexist, mildly risqué but still too risqué for the pulpit gags) and used the language of self-help and therapy... The communion was an afterthought...

Greta faints, partially recovers, and crawls back to the haven of Ecclesiantics.
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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Twangist:
quote:
the church had turned their building into a leisure centre for a community that didn't hitherto have one, with like gym, soft play and coffee shop and everything
Seems like they are really trying to serve the community already. Why do they need to hire a consultant to revitalise their outreach?
It depends on whether they actually get community groups in to use the facilities they have.

--------------------
Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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Ophelia's Opera Therapist: Thank you. It goes down in my lunch break.

Chorister: The man's accent was certainly West of England, even though we were in a smallish town not far from Bridgend. I honestly have no idea. PM me and we shall see if we can find out anything more.

quote:
Originally posted by CorgiGreta:
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:


I went to their church, which was, frankly, completely outside my comfort zone, a charismatic place with a rock band that didn't just look like a leisure centre, it was the leisure centre...

Anyway, there was this bloke who was not the pastor who did most of the talking, and he was smug, and made inappropriate jokes (like, really inappropriate, like sexist, mildly risqué but still too risqué for the pulpit gags) and used the language of self-help and therapy... The communion was an afterthought...

Greta faints, partially recovers, and crawls back to the haven of Ecclesiantics.
I know! It's mostly as awful as it sounds. Trust me, I was not comfortable there at all.

I'm OK with the church building thing (it wasn't an old building -- it was basically a concrete box, so it's not like they were vandalising anything) but the other stuff, especially the communion. I mean there's a lot I have had to come to terms with in a Baptist communion service, but you cannot say that they don't approach it with solemnity and respect.

--------------------
Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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I met him. It went about as well as it could possibly have done.

He was gracious, and honourable, and agreed with my stand that resigning membership, given I couldn't actually live up to the membership covenant, was the only thing I could do with integrity. He said that the door was open to me to come back. He was sad. He thought I was wrong but was smart enough to know that an argument would get him nowhere.

He's not the excommunicating sort. He's a better man than that.

But the bad thing, the thing I was dreading... the disappointment. I knew he was going to say he was disappointed, and when he did, for the first time, and the other few times he said it, it was hard to take.

That's all.

--------------------
Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ophelia's Opera Therapist
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# 4081

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Glad it went as well as it did - I was thinking of you.

The point about disappointment is understandable, but there is a very big difference between someone being disappointed that you are leaving, and being disappointed in you.

The first sounds honest, fair and realistic, based on all you have contributed.

The second would be judgemental - that you haven't lived up to his expectations. From the point about agreeing with your decision based on the circumstances, it sounds like the former to me.

Just in case that helps at all,

OOT [Smile]

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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Helen-Eva
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# 15025

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
I met him. It went about as well as it could possibly have done.

He was gracious, and honourable, and agreed with my stand that resigning membership, given I couldn't actually live up to the membership covenant, was the only thing I could do with integrity. He said that the door was open to me to come back. He was sad. He thought I was wrong but was smart enough to know that an argument would get him nowhere.

He's not the excommunicating sort. He's a better man than that.

But the bad thing, the thing I was dreading... the disappointment. I knew he was going to say he was disappointed, and when he did, for the first time, and the other few times he said it, it was hard to take.

That's all.

It sounds like you did all you could - and plenty of people wouldn't have done so much. [Votive]

--------------------
I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
# 158

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I agree that you (and he, probably) did all you could.

I have to wonder if part of his disappointment was due to learning that someone from his congregation could possibly disagree with him on the issue in question. Someone who's been there for years, done the work you've done, heard the teaching of the plain truth...and yet disagrees with him. I'd be willing to bet that's never been part of his universe, until now. WHich is why I think he's done all he can.

John

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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Keep in mind that "disappointment" terminology is often recommended managementspeak for underperforming/contrarian employees...I know when I was in supervisory positions the literature always suggested that as a way to gently but firmly express one's displeasure: "I have to say, Bob, that I've been disappointed by your failure to meet the last two project deadlines." I wouldn't take it to heart.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
Keep in mind that "disappointment" terminology is often recommended managementspeak for underperforming/contrarian employees...I know when I was in supervisory positions the literature always suggested that as a way to gently but firmly express one's displeasure: "I have to say, Bob, that I've been disappointed by your failure to meet the last two project deadlines." I wouldn't take it to heart.

I find that British evangelical Christians, among whom I have travelled for 16 years, use it in the same way, a nice way to express displeasure with someone.

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Narcissism.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Ah well, at least he didn't tell you that you were ungracious and unsubmissive as well. Graciousness and submissiveness seem to be highly prized qualities amongst those who want people to follow them without questioning anything.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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South Coast Kevin
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# 16130

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Well done Wood, and may the future be brighter for you. I'm not surprised that you're struggling to accept your (former) leader being disappointed in you when your own conscience is clear and your mind settled on the path you have chosen. [Votive]

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My blog - wondering about Christianity in the 21st century, chess, music, politics and other bits and bobs.

Posts: 3309 | From: The south coast (of England) | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
But the bad thing, the thing I was dreading... the disappointment. I knew he was going to say he was disappointed, and when he did, for the first time, and the other few times he said it, it was hard to take.

Once is enough FF sake. Sounds to me like he was, um, gracious-ness challenged. [Roll Eyes]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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multipara
Shipmate
# 2918

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Ah, yes, the old more in sorrow than in anger line.

That's just emotional blackmail dressed up in sheep's clothing.

You could have offered to pray for him...

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quod scripsi, scripsi

Posts: 4985 | From: new south wales | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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I think he was genuinely sad.

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Narcissism.

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multipara
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# 2918

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No doubt he was. The state of mind and the behaviour are not mutually exclusive.

Perhaps the departure of a faithful soul such as yourself might lead him to rethink matters.

m

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mdijon
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# 8520

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It's difficult to judge at such a distance and without context.

For instance, there's a world of difference between "I'm disappointed in you" and "I'm of course really disappointed that we'll be parting company but I understand the reasons".

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12277 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
It's difficult to judge at such a distance and without context.

For instance, there's a world of difference between "I'm disappointed in you" and "I'm of course really disappointed that we'll be parting company but I understand the reasons".

Yeah, and honestly, the feeling communicated, although somewhere between the two, was somewhat closer to the latter than the former.

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Narcissism.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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He's on a journey, too. He's just taking longer than you. Perhaps one day he will thank you for being one of his teachers on the road. (Well, you never know. Stranger things have happened.)

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
He's just taking longer than you.

How do we know this? I mean, I agree with Wood's take on this specific issue, but I don't think we can necessarily generalize to evaluate an individual's position on whatever journey from that.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12277 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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It's true.

We are of course all on journeys... but we really don't have any way of knowing where folks are going. Or how quickly.

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Narcissism.

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ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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To what extent does this show that the leader involved is as sincere in his beliefs as Wood?
Posts: 3845 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
To what extent does this show that the leader involved is as sincere in his beliefs as Wood?

In the end, I know the guy, much better than his second-in-command. He's gone over 15 years in the same church from being the church's youth worker, to being assistant pastor, to being the senior pastor. Mrs Wood is good friends with his wife.

I think that he's sincere.

He asked me if this was about the authority of Scripture; I said no, and explained that I believed very strongly that two Christians who view Scripture as central to the revelation etc. God's Word word blah blah blah basis of Christian belief blah blah blah inevitably pick and choose what they believe, and that there are alternative interpretations of the passages in question which one can believe without abandoning the Bible and so on, and he realised that I had actually read some stuff and thought about it and that an argument was going to be counterproductive.

So we changed the subject and talked about it a bit more and I made the point that if I'm right, I've got to go, and if I'm wrong — and I said I could be, although I'm fairly sure I'm not — I still have to go, because I can't honestly accede to the membership covenant anymore, because to be part of it you have to accept the Evengelical Alliance Basis of Faith, which I mostly don't, these days.

And I said that the only path I could take with integrity was to resign my membership. And he looked like he was about to cry and said the door was always going to be open. And I said, OK.

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
mdijon
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# 8520

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God it all sounds really difficult.

I think we can't really know if he's sincere in his beliefs. Perhaps he is as sincere as any of us, perhaps he isn't. Wood is in a better position to judge than us, but none of us really know.

The "disappointment" phrases might reflect that his inner not-so-good-evangelical was screaming "Fucking hell, this isn't supposed to happen" but that couldn't come out. So what came out was "disappointment".

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12277 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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Quite.

And on the flip side, you only have my word as posted here as to my own sincerity.

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Narcissism.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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But even if this was all 'hypothetical' and Wood isn't really leaving a church at all, it's still good for us to discuss. It's not exactly an unfamiliar scenario. There would be another 'Wood' out there, going through exactly the same thing. And one day it might be us, if it hasn't been already.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
The "disappointment" phrases might reflect that his inner not-so-good-evangelical was screaming "Fucking hell, this isn't supposed to happen" but that couldn't come out. So what came out was "disappointment".

I'm trying to think what he should have said. I suppose ideally something like "I trust your integrity in wanting to follow God, and I trust God to lead you wherever you should go; thank you for your years of service here, go in peace."

But I guess that's unrealistic. Pastor has lost a hard worker, and has failed to convince with what he thinks is truth, and probably believes one of "his sheep" is now fallen into error. He is suffering loss of a worker and perhaps loss of confidence is his own capability as a leader. Loss is a hard emotional position from which to bless the one causing or demonstrating the loss.

I give him a lot of credit for not scolding or condemning, as too often happens in this kind of situation.

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
But I guess that's unrealistic. Pastor has lost a hard worker, and has failed to convince with what he thinks is truth, and probably believes one of "his sheep" is now fallen into error. He is suffering loss of a worker and perhaps loss of confidence is his own capability as a leader. Loss is a hard emotional position from which to bless the one causing or demonstrating the loss.

I give him a lot of credit for not scolding or condemning, as too often happens in this kind of situation.

See, I think this gets across how I'm feeling. Like I said, it was a pretty hard meeting, but nothing was said in anger.

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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One thing I forgot to add but in hindsight seems pretty significant is that the pastor asked - honestly - what he should say to the people who were asking where we've gone.

I thought that a very good gesture.

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
goperryrevs
Shipmtae
# 13504

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Wood, your PM inbox is full.

I'm glad your meeting with your minister went as well as could be hoped.

At the beginning of your thread you said:

quote:
I don't post here much these days, because generally I don't have anything to say that other people can't say better.
Well, I for one hope you stick around for a bit longer. I actually think that you say things better than a lot of other people!

I tend to read a lot more than I post, so I get it - but I've valued your contributions over the last few weeks, and hope that there'll be a few more.

Thanks for this thread.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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It's not full anymore. Try again.

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
Shipmate
# 14715

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
To what extent does this show that the leader involved is as sincere in his beliefs as Wood?

He's gone over 15 years in the same church from being the church's youth worker, to being assistant pastor, to being the senior pastor. Mrs Wood is good friends with his wife.
Tangent I know - but it would be interesting for other people's views of this kind of succession. I am not necessarily in favour of it myself.


Wood I really feel for you. I've been in the same place over the same issue but in my case it was a matter of integrity that I couldn't remain with teaching and a lifestyle that I considered didn't square with what the bible said. I felt that the leader's own gay lifestyle was the issue, esp as it was an "open secret" in a denomination that (then in the 1980's) was supposedly very anti: seems that a certain higher up turned a blind eye.

Couldn't agree with the position nor the theology and couldn't stick the hypocrisy - So I walked. Would I do different today? Probably not but that doesn't stop me respecting you for the courage of your convictions.

Posts: 3845 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
To what extent does this show that the leader involved is as sincere in his beliefs as Wood?

He's gone over 15 years in the same church from being the church's youth worker, to being assistant pastor, to being the senior pastor. Mrs Wood is good friends with his wife.
Tangent I know - but it would be interesting for other people's views of this kind of succession. I am not necessarily in favour of it myself.

I think it might be worth its own thread.

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged



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