Home About Us Apostolic Free Library Questions & Answers Guestbook Order Online Search The Network

To hop or not to hop?

Submitted: 7/16/2014
Post a comment or
ask a follow-up question
Question: I've been a part of the same Apostolic church for over a decade. During this time I have strained with authority more than once*. However, each time I took it to the Lord in prayer and each time God responded by making, both the authority and myself better disciples of Jesus Christ. At first, I stuck it out because I believed that church hopping is not pleasing to the Lord. As I matured, my reason for sticking it out changed to a sense of obligation to that authority upon my realizing just how VERY patient that authority had also been with me! Despite our growth, I just don't have quite the same enthusiasm that I once did. Within the last year I resigned from leadership and have redirected my efforts to supporting our children's participation in numerous ministries. I do not believe that I will ever change churches, because of my reasoning that God always helps me clean up the mess once we are home. So far, I don't think it is hurting our children to discuss these things. Given that it does not appear to be turning out all that bad for us, my question is, Is it ever wrong to NOT be a church hopper? Should I have changed churches years ago? * For instance, on one occasion a lesbian activist Sherrif of our county (who was representing the police officers that our church was giving honor too at one service) was allowed to speak to the congregation. On another occasion, the senior pastor endorsed a candidate for mayor who had a reputation as being a huge liberal causes donor. After his being elected mayor, he was invited back and spoke to us for about 30 minutes on one Sunday morning. On yet another occasion, the same senior pastor lauds an individual for his upscale restaurants write up in a national magazine. The write up touts the restaurants bar and bar tender. The individual is held out to be a 'brother of like precious faith'. Deep into the message that morning, the senior pastor says that he does not esteem anyone who professes to be a Christian but that drinks alcoholic beverages. The one that I struggled with the most had to do with the people, basically, being told to mimic the sound that they will hear in their head. Assuring them that that is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I don't know about you or your readers, but all of that caused me to feel some pretty serious friction towards my authority over the years. I met with the authority a couple of times, but I never got the sense that I could or should bring these things up.

Answer: A church is like a foster home: pastors are responsible for taking care of someone else's children. In the case of the church, pastors are responsible for taking care of God's own children. If foster parents were found to be abusing the children placed in their care, it would be only right and proper to remove those children from the house and find other foster parents who would care for them properly. In like manner, if pastors are abusing the people in their care, the people have a responsiblity to relocate to a church where they will receive proper care. We have no way of knowing whether your situation rises to the level of abuse. It seems as though it probably does not. But to answer your question, yes, in some cases, people do need to relocate to a more biblically functioning assembly.