Wednesday, January 30, 2008

They found it "refreshing"!

I received a nice email from a first time guest at our church this past Sunday. Part of the note said,"I really enjoyed your lesson on Sun. Your "please gossip, whine and complain elsewhere" policy is refreshing. We plan on returning to Nags Head..."

"Refreshing" is that feeling you get when you first brush your teeth in the morning. All the scum that has fermented in your mouth overnight as you slept is cleaned out and your taste buds aren't gagging.

Sunday I shared our position on why we don't allow divisive people to stick around. We actually have had to ask people to find somewhere else to spread their venom, since it was obvious they weren't with us to worship and serve.

My guess is that most pastors wish they could take a similar stand, but don't because somebody has them on a short chain, either a board or whoever controls the purse strings. The sad truth is that job security among pastors is non-existant in many circles. At the whim of a few many a good pastor has found himself kicked to the curb. So, telling someone to stop being divisive and a burr in the saddle of the body of Christ, "might offend Sister Flapjaws and we sure don't want to do that!". What's gagging the church is allowed to go on.

Never mind that "Sister (or Brother, for that matter) Flapjaws" is an offense to the cause of Christ.

Lest you think I'm a bit harsh, let me quote from one of my role models.
If anyone is causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with that person. For people like that have turned away from the truth. They are sinning, and they condemn themselves.
[Paul, the Apostle to Titus]

Church halitosis will keep those you're trying to reach from getting close enough to hear your message.


TruePraise said...


beachbug said...

Sister (brother)Flapjaws! Church halitosis!
Most excellent post.
Someone in my seminary class asked me a question when I stated that we are attracting people that are tired of "church as usual". It think this is an excellent example.

Anonymous said...

Amen, I am not here to "play church"

Scott said...

Thanks for a great post Rick, feels like a good brush and gargle with some listerine for my soul.

Laurie said...

Great Post!!! More pastors need to step out as you have and speak the truth. "Sister Flapjaws", now that cracks me up. I have met a few.:)

Have a wonderful weekend,
Laurie in Ca.

PS. If I didn't live so far away, I'd attend your church. I live that close to the ocean, but it is the Pacfic and not the Atlantic:)

Rick Lawrenson said...

I couldn't "step out" like that Laurie if it wasn't for a church that gets it and wants to be God's church and a team of godly men who shepherd me.

I'm convinced that if churches would just look at the Word and say, "Let's take it seriously and put it into practice" most of the heartaches that sandbag the church would be breached by a tsunami of God's power.

FourBlackSheep said...

What an AWESOME policy you hold in your church. Soooo many people are turned off from church all together because of this problem.

Granted, no one is perfect, not even Christians. Although, it is wonderful to see you are nipping this problem in the bud at your church.

You are holding your congregation to a higher standard. Keeping everyone accountable for their actions, and it looks like making everyone happier in the end.

If I lived in the area, our family would certainly love to attend such a great place to worship.

Keep up the good work. Good for you for not being shy about keeping everyone in check!

Blessings ~ Ashley