Why I left the Chicago congregation
From: NONNYMOOS 22-Sep 08:59
To: ALL 1 of 74
Some have asked me: why did you leave the Chicago Church?
Boy, that's a loaded question. I know that many people are wrestling with this decision, either for themselves or wondering why their fiends and loved ones have left.
How to answer this question? Do I list my grievances? Do I list the disagreements I have with the doctrines or practices of the church? Do I air out any of the dirty laundry about matters private between me and others?
No. I see no value in this. It should be fairly obvious that completely happy and satisfied folks do not leave their churches. So yes, it is true that I was not completely happy or satisfied.
However, I do not think my time in the ICC/Chicago Church would be fairly represented by me listing the problems and disagreements I've had over the years. Also, this is a sensitive time. I wish to do all I can to build bridges between my former and current fellowships not drive wedges.
I will say that there is nothing new. No "last straw" no revelation of something that I wasn't previously aware of. The disagreements I've had with the doctrines and practices of the ICC/Chicago Church are ones I've had and spoken publicly about for years, have talked to the leaders about for years. There is nothing new to add. In fact, there has been progress made in changing some of these things in the Chicago congregation.
So why leave now?
There were three main things that have kept in the ICC/Chicago Church: doctrine, relationships, and "where would I go?" As my disagreements began to widen, I still had very little incentive to leave as I loved my relationships and I simply did not follow those things I disagreed with. Besides, "where would I go?"
For years I and others have said "well, there are problems in our church, but where would I go". "Where would I go" being a rhetorical question. Even though I did not theologically buy into the One True Church teaching (that some but not all of the leaders I was under taught) -- I still had the notion that "no church is as good as ours".
So, over the years as I grew more and more disenchanted with some of our practices and teachings, I never really thought there was a viable option. No matter where one goes, there will be disagreements and differences, so why not just stay and work things out and wait upon the Lord to change things in His time.
That's an attitude I still support. We need to bear with one another in love, and we do need to have the perspective of faith believing that God will work things out. I can see that God is working things out in the Chicago Church.
About 5 months ago, one of my best friends left and joined this CoC congregation nearby. He loved it and we talked a lot about it. Frankly, though, it was hard for me to believe the "hype" (that did not turn out to be hype).
Then one by one about 4 other of my close relationships left to this same congregation. So I decided to visit it -- and I was very drawn to what I saw. "Where could I go" -- well, just down the road. Here was a congregation of saints living nearby that I never even knew....which was led according to principles that I was much more in line with.
So, "where would I go" no longer was a rhetorical question. My closest relationships were now split between the two congregations, thus neutralizing that factor in my mind. And not just my close relationships, but approximately 20 families have switched. It doesn't feel that much like a new church at all.
The disagreements I have had for many years turn out to be agreements with this particular congregation.
But still....I wasn't compelled to leave the one and join the other. I could very well have remained and dealt with things just like I have for years. My disagreements have not kept me from being happy. Love covers over a multitude of sins. I have been loved greatly by my brothers and sisters in the Chicago Church, and I love these people greatly myself.
The choice I made is specific to my own perceptions of my family's best interests. God arranges the parts of the body just as He would have them. I felt that God has directed my steps in making me a part of the ICC and that God is still directing my steps as I move to a CoC congregation. The boundaries of these organizations are not the boundaries of God's kingdom. It is His prerogative to rearrange the furniture, to redeploy His resources.
I do not think there was a bad choice to be made. I could have chosen to worship God as part of either of these two congregations or others yet unexplored by me. I made the choice based on my own assessment of my families needs and will rely on God to work it out to our best advantage.
My Desire: 1 Peter 3:8-16 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
My Reality: Romans 7:15 What I hate I do
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Опубликовано на: 2003-09-26 (5999 Прочтено)[ Назад ]