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Featured Leaving Church, Looking for Input Outside of People I Know

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by EnriqueNye, Sep 11, 2019 at 5:18 PM.

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  1. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    Hey,

    I am posting on here because recent events at my church have led me to decide on leaving and finding a new church family. It is something very controversial to me that I would like input on. I guess I will just give you the whole story.

    I have been at the church I am currently at for my entire life. My parents joined it right after it started, and I was born like 10 years later. Fast forward to today, I am still attending, I am saved, and I am living on an old school campus that my church bought and rents out to people who attend. It is an entire floor of single guys.

    This past year I have seen sin manifest itself in my life, specifically lust. I am not like actively lusting after every woman I see with burning desire, I would view every woman that I would begin to have a relationship with as a sexual object and it was hurting us both a lot, and I did not like what it was doing to either of us. Obviously this is an embarrassing thing to talk about, so I kept it to myself for a while, but one time after a date that almost went crazy, (you could argue it did go a bit crazy) I said I need God to change me, and I think my pastor will help.

    One of my pastors actually lives below me, so I went and saw him. I explained the situation, and I how I wanted to work on this area of my life and he was not having it. He said you are forgiven, but just like with David and Bathsheba, God will not let the sword leave your house. And he said that he did not trust me anymore, that it would take a while to regain his trust. He said he would meet with me regularly for counselling and accountability, which we did the next day. There he informed me that it was his duty to bring this to the senior pastor, which I was kinda confused, because why not just keep this confidential? I expressed a genuine desire for change and I had not hurt anyone at the church from sexual objectifying them.

    I was supposed to go to my church's youth retreat that day to serve, but I got a call from him legit an hour before I was going to head out that he had spoken to the senior pastor and that I was barred from going due to what I did. He did not say why, and I was kinda mad.

    I had to bring all my camping stuff back home and my mom was all like ???. so I had to explain to her what happened and she was not having it. Both my sisters have had falling outs with the senior pastor and both no longer attend. I would argue one is still a Christian, but does not go to church, the other now hates Christianity because of what happened to her. My mom and dad ended up calling my senior pastor (against my wishes) for 3 hours about this, and my mom even threatened to quit her job at the church. I guess she is just mad to see all her kids have bad experiences with them Idk.

    Right after their call, I got an email from my senior pastor explaining that I have proved myself so dishonorable among women, and that he does not want me around any of the girls at the youth retreat. I was really angry, I felt like I was being treated like a pedophile just for admitting that I have a problem with objectifying women who I date. I sent him back a lengthy email explaining why I thought barring me for that reason was an overreaction, and how I wished the convo between me and the other pastor had stayed confidential.

    We end up meeting, all three of us, me, the pastor I went to, and the senior pastor, and we had a long heated meeting. I will admit, I went into that meeting pretty heated. The majority of it was just them trying to pull out more details of the specifics of the last date I went on. I did not think this at the time, but now I am just like "Why do you need more details of that? I already came to you for help with a repentive heart." And I did not want to tell them, because again, it is embarrassing to talk about this. They accused me of lying and hiding information from them because I did not want to tell them.

    He ended up starting the meeting with saying I was getting kicked out of the Church campus living thing. He changed his mind when I agreed with him on the fact that lust starts earlier then you think in a dating relationship. I dont know why he was basing it off that. He said I was on probation for the rest of the summer, and I had to meet with the other pastor regularly.

    The next two months I made HUGE progress. I am closer to Christ then I have ever been in my life. and I would say my lust is 40% of what it was, which is huge to me. The pastor I met with thought the same. Our last meeting, he recommended that I stay on campus to our senior pastor.

    Then like two weeks later it fell apart. There was a girl that I hung out with a lot in the spring of this year. She really liked to flirt especially sexually. I still had her as a contact in my phone and we started flirting one day. It was going to go further, but I stopped myself, and blocked her off my phone. Because I blocked her, she got mad, and told a friend who told a friend, who told a friend, who told someone who goes to my church, who told a pastor and on and on. I got a call from my pastor saying "whats this I am hearing?" and I was upfront and honest with him. I said I did not think to bring it up to him because at the time, while I was ashamed and sorry that it happened, the fact that it normally would have gone further with her, and that I stopped it in the heat of the moment was a huge win for me. Keep in mind this happened a few weeks before it got to him.

    He said he had to bring this to the senior pastor who said that I am out. We then met later that night for an hour and a half, where they tried to convince me that I had broken the probation, and that what I did, was in no means a win, and if anything a less of a loss. I did not and do not agree with that, and they tried to change my mind during that whole time. They said that because I did not agree with them, I was clearly not repenting or showing any desire to change.

    We left that meeting with no progress made. We met again a few days later with my parents present. It was the same thing, just them trying to change my mind, and since I do not agree with them, I am not repenting or broken from what I did. Like I repented and felt bad at the time, but I did not sin to you! So how am I supposed to show that other then say that I did it? My dad did not say a word throughout the entire meeting, and when my mom tried to say something, the senior pastor shut her our and said, your time will come. They tried changing my mind for an hour and then sent me out of the room for two hours where they talked about I dont know what.

    My parents wont speak about it, and neither will any of the three pastors. It is common for this kind of thing. I do not even know what really happened with my sisters. My mom is still considering leaving her job and wants to visit other churches.

    I am honestly done with them at this point. I came to one of them for help and a genuine desire for change, and I got punished for it. I understand how you should be removed from leadership if your life is not in order, but I am not in leadership. This whole situation has distracted me from what I am really trying to focus on, and stresses me out to have to put on a show for them. Recently they have been acting like they caught me in the act of adultery or something, and I am refusing to admit it, and its like "No, I came to you for help, and you are just rebuking me."

    I am moving out Oct 15th. I'm still attending church until then, but after that I am going to be actively looking, unless someone on here changes my mind. FYI I have been very transparent about this. I am giving you their genuine logic on this. Everyone I have talked to at my church has agreed that it is my duty to leave after this and all that, but a couple of them have been genuinely concerned and gone to my senior pastor and asked about it. I don't know what he tells them, but I'm sure if they disagreed with him, they would be in the same boat as me. Lot of people feel that way about my senior pastor, not being allowed to have their own opinion and what not.

    But yeah, I really enjoy the community of brothers I am with, I really do not want to leave my church but this is kind of the knock out punch at the end of a stream of other stuff in the past. I am kind of excited to see where God takes me, I kind of feel like it is what he wants me to do. If you can change my mind about leaving, go for it, if not feel free to support my reasoning on leaving.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 6:05 PM
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  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +20,897
    Anglican
    Married
    Leave and find a good church. It's that simple. This one is not typical of Christian churches, regardless of denomination, so there is almost nothing to lose.

    Prepare yourself by looking closely at the other churches in your area which might be candidates, especially ones that your family members would consider attending also, make visits to all of them, find the right one, and do not look back. That is the only course of action that makes sense, and I recommend that you do it soon.

    Blessings to you, and 'thank you' for bringing the matter to our attention.
     
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  3. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

    +1,856
    Christian
    1 Corinthians 9:24-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
    Striving for a Crown
    24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.

    Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
     
  4. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    I dont know what you are trying to sat my guy.
     
  5. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    say*
     
  6. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

    +1,856
    Christian
    You have been having issues with lusting and going to far inappropriately with girls, so v27 is appropriate.
    You do know not everyone will have the same resurrection...That depends partly on how we choose to run the race of life.

    And do a word study about the lusts of the flesh, which should help you in your walk with God.

    And you have none to blame but yourself for your behavior, do not pass the buck.
     
  7. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    Yes, but I have greatly changed I the two months since the first meeting, and I have made huge progress
     
  8. maintenance man

    maintenance man Well-Known Member Supporter

    766
    +1,055
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I hope you can find a way to stay in close contact with your "community of brothers" but I think you're right in taking this opportunity to move on. Lust at your age is extraordinarily common and I would expect church leadership to be ready to help someone like you who comes looking for support. I pray there is a church in your area that is more supportive of young men like yourself who are sincerely trying to take control of their fleshly desire.

    Welcome to CF and thank you for trusting us with this difficult situation. I'm praying for you.
     
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  9. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,036
    United States
    Christian
    In Relationship
    You can run all you want however lust will follow you where ever you go. It is good that you rebuke those thoughts however, it sounds like you may get out of control with your sexual desire. Dangerous. The Pastor is just concerned and is most likely protecting you and the girl. You do not want to be accused of over powering a girl to satisfy your desire that one day may be uncontrollable. Also, it is possible you scared the girl and she told her parents and Pastor etc..etc.. Sounds like your community of Christians are very close.
    If you were my son, I would garner information on male sexuality. I would also expose you to victims who have suffered sexual abuse and crime. This puts a face on the "object" and replaces it with a real human being. Above that, you should walk in the Holy Spirit as He is the only one that can help you gain the respect for women that is desperately needed in your life at this time. I will pray for you. And do not run away, because it will follow you.
    Blessings
     
  10. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    Thank you, but I am not leaving because I want escape conviction, I just don’t like how they’re treating me about it. Also the girl does not attend our church.
     
  11. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,871
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    Leave. Find a church where when you confess something it is actually held in confidence. You know you have work to do so start doing it but with better spiritual direction. IMHO.
     
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  12. Lost4words

    Lost4words In reality, an old dog! Supporter

    +3,716
    United Kingdom
    Catholic
    Single
    Its a pity that the pastors have been very harsh with you and unsympathetic towards your feelings.

    A true man of God is filled with compassion and love. How would Jesus react to you?

    Jesus is all mercy and all love. Full of compassion.

    Your pastors should have helped you not punished you. At the end of the day you are only human and not a machine that has no feelings.

    My personal advice would be to seek a church that follows Jesus properly and has a pastor / priest who REALLY cares for his flock and knows how to guide them, in the name of Jesus.

    God bless you OP.
     
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  13. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +1,997
    Anglican
    Married
    I think OP is too vague to give much counsel. I do not know what is meant by a date that went "a bit crazy." Having thoughts is one thing, but acting on those thoughts is something entirely different. If you crossed a line and sexually imposed yourself in an unwanted fashion, I think the Pastor has the responsibility and right to limit your access to the youth group and to evict you from your living situation. I think the Pastor's first responsibility is to protect his flock. On the other hand, if the Pastor is expelling you for what you think about, I think he is in error, and if equally applied, he might have few congregants left.

    That said my personal experience is that when you only go to the church you grew up in, you never really know what you are missing. It's perfectly acceptable to look around to find a church that better nurtures your faith. I did it, and kick myself for not having done it earlier.
     
  14. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    It did sort of cross the line if you know what I mean, but I was not forcing myself. Its why I said this needs to stop here and now.But thanks for the encouragement.
     
  15. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +5,059
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    Was there any ambiguity about their consent?
    Did you steer the dates so that they would go too far?
    What is the age difference between you and the young women in question? Were any of them underage or otherwise mentally not competent enough to legally consent?
     
  16. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    No everything was consensual and mutual and legal age wise, I wanted it to go that was so I steered it that way and she would be ok with it, often preferring it.
     
  17. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +5,059
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    Is there anything else they were upset about that you're not telling us?
     
  18. EnriqueNye

    EnriqueNye New Member

    21
    +16
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    No, that’s all they’re mad about
     
  19. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +5,059
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    OK then. They seem to have no use for a young man who is honest. My vote is for you to leave, and never give financially to that church ever again.

    Note however, that you're putting church leaders of any new fellowship you would attend in a difficult position because they don't know you. They have to simultaneously grow and protect their flock, which is not easy to do. I'd look for a church that is doing a men's outreach event. They have to know that whoever they get will not be perfect.
     
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  20. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    932
    +786
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    There's always two sides to the story. But you have come across as very forthright and open to me. So, if what you are telling us is a true and fair account of what is going on, I feeling the pastors have handled your situation very poorly and you have every reason to be upset by how they've treated you. Ultimately leaving or staying is up to you. All I'll say is to follow your heart and don't let them manipulate you.

    btw, for whatever it is worth, I am a senior pastor myself.
     
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