Tell us Why You Are Not Presently Attending a Local Church
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
As we hear from abuse victims – Christians – we learn that in many cases they have ceased attending a local church. We understand why. I don’t like saying that. I am a pastor in my local church. The Bible instructs us to seek out the gathering together of the saints, to be part of a local body of Christ. That is the context for the exercise of the gifts God has given us – for the edification of the body. But…
I am not hearing abuse victims say that the reason they are not attending a local church right now is because they don’t need a church to be a Christian. Or that they don’t want to be part of any single church, so they have decided to just float around. You know that kind of person, right? But this isn’t what we are hearing from these victims of abuse. What I am hearing is that they are sound Christians who truly want to follow Christ, but that the church has rejected them, not the other way round. They feel as if they are viewed as a kind of leper – unclean and untouchable. So they stay outside the camp. And I don’t think they are happy being there. I think they really do desire to be in a real fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe I am mistaken. Maybe I have been duped by a bunch of rebels? But I don’t think so.
So, would you tell us? If you are not plugged into a local church, and if you are an abuse victim who used to be in a local church, we would like to hear from you. And tell us how you feel when someone reminds you that, “God wants you in a church. You need to be in a church. It is sin not to be in a church.”
I wish we had a Star Trek transporter so we could beam you all into our own church this morning. Hey! Wait a minute – we do broadcast our Sunday morning service on Christ Reformation Church at 10:45AM Pacific time. Now, we aren’t a real pro production. Our time of worship and singing is good and our people work hard on it, but it doesn’t come across on the broadcast very well. And we aren’t super-punctual. We might start at 10:50 or 10:55, but just hang in there and we will come on. And you are all very, very welcome to join us.