Misuse of the local church

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.
S

susi

Guest
#1
Hi all.
Ive just posted this in the Bible Forum but just realised this may be the right place. My apologies.

Not long ago I discovered through Facebook that a birthday and farewell party was held in my local church.
One of the elders and his wife decided to do this for their 18 year old daughter.
Most of the church members do not know it as they werent invited and nothing was announed in the announcements on Sunday morning.
I have to admit that my first reaccion was hurt as I wasnt invited. Then focusing on the photos, I noticed that the other 2 elders and most of the deacons including their famlies were there. Family memebers and friends realated to the 18 year old from church and people who are not from our church, but mostly among the guests were members of this church. About 40 to 50 people assisted. Our church has around 100 members. It was obvious a private party and not for all church members. Not a church thing, but celebrated inside the local church.
Im not against celebrations at church. There have been farewell parties before where the whole church was invited to join in or at least a whole part of a church like the womans group or youth group etc...but this case is different as the criteria for selecting the guests had to do with the type of relationship the 18 year old and her family have in church and out of church.
Honestly, I find this has a lack of respect for the rest of the members who arent aware that these things happen without them knowing. Not just because its the whole church who looks after the church and sustains it economically (water, electrisity, maintenance etc..) but the fact that there are people, including the elders who use the church without the consent of the rest.
I accedently found out through Facebook but others also found out through different means. there were family members of the 18 year old (cousins) who go to church who werent invited and also felt left out.

Ive spoken to the mother of this 18 year old how I felt. That this is a lack of respect to the rest of the church and that we shouldnt use the church for our own private and pesonal things as this is a misuse of the church and people can feel left out. That if its a church thing great but private parties and stuff should be celebrated elsewhere. We gotta divide what is of church matter and what is of personal use.
Her response was that we all see things differently but these things will continue to happen.

Im I being unreasonable? Its not the only case and Im wondering how many other similar things are taking place...
Knowing this, even though I might get invited one day I will not accept the invitation to respect the rest of the uninvited church members.

Has anybody here had a similar situation? Isnt this abuse of authority and favouritism?

It just seems wrong....
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#2
Ok, so what doesn't he Bible say about the way to handle an offence?
You did step one you went to that person alone, now take several witnesses and talk to her.
Then if that don't work call a meeting with the pastor and elders. Of that don't work then what does the scriptures say about it?
"If your brother sins , go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed . If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15‭-‬17 NASB

I personally don't care about this kind of stuff. I don't know and don't care of my church engages is such things, I hope not because I can see how it would hurt someone's feelings. It is inconsiderate and disrespectful.
But for all I know you may be a busybody and a wet blanket, and they don't like having you around. If that's the case they should say so. Not be jerks about it. If someone don't want me around all they gotta do is say so. I will be happy to whistle while I step.
 
S

susi

Guest
#3
Ok, so what doesn't he Bible say about the way to handle an offence?
You did step one you went to that person alone, now take several witnesses and talk to her.
Then if that don't work call a meeting with the pastor and elders. Of that don't work then what does the scriptures say about it?
"If your brother sins , go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed . If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15‭-‬17 NASB

I personally don't care about this kind of stuff. I don't know and don't care of my church engages is such things, I hope not because I can see how it would hurt someone's feelings. It is inconsiderate and disrespectful.
But for all I know you may be a busybody and a wet blanket, and they don't like having you around. If that's the case they should say so. Not be jerks about it. If someone don't want me around all they gotta do is say so. I will be happy to whistle while I step.
Yes I have spoken to the person. but this person is the wife of a pastor who is also involved. Not only him but the other 2 pastors.
If the pastors do something wrong, you have witnesses and they still dont repent or see it. yes you go to the church. the church must judge..not the pastors. But our church are told they dont judge anything and believe it. we dont have a say in anything. so in conclusion, there is noone to go to here because the pastors are involved and have brainwashed the rest to be quiet.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#4
You must still follow procedure before jumping ship and going to another church
 

preacher4truth

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2016
8,220
1,813
113
#5
Perhaps they decided to do it this way as to not make others feel obligated to give something. I wouldn't take it personal.
 
Jul 27, 2018
91
95
18
The Garden of Weeden
#6
I have attended wedding and receptions in churches of people who don't even go to the church. I've been to anniversary receptions in the same manner. I've even been to a Christian Comedian shows held in church auditoriums. Churches do this for income to help keep the doors open and to further missions. I can't say the elder paid for the use, being a member, but none of my business. The people are the church, let them make money using the building so the church can keep their place of worship.
 
M

Miri

Guest
#7
I don’t see a problem at all. They wanted to hold a party for an 18 year old.
Maybe their house wasn’t big enough so they held it in the church.

Just by the fact that they held it in the church, doesn’t entitle every church
member to attend.

It’s like weddings lots are held in church but would you want expect to attend
every wedding.

There are cost implications too don’t forget. The more people attend the more
food etc has to be supplied.

People are fully entitled to decide who attends their family events and to limit
the numbers.

By the way the church building is just a building, it has no special powers. It isn’t
a sacrilege to use it for other purposes.

Our church is rather large, it gets hired out for its conference facilities and is
regularly used by the police, local hospitals and social services for training and
conferences. As well as funerals, weddings etc.

One of the pastors used it for his sons 14 birthday to throw a pizza party for him.
A few times it’s been used for 40th or 50th birthdays as it also has catering
facilities. Nothing wrong with any of that.
 

1christian1

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2018
799
256
63
#8
Hi all.
Ive just posted this in the Bible Forum but just realised this may be the right place. My apologies.

Not long ago I discovered through Facebook that a birthday and farewell party was held in my local church.
One of the elders and his wife decided to do this for their 18 year old daughter.
Most of the church members do not know it as they werent invited and nothing was announed in the announcements on Sunday morning.
I have to admit that my first reaccion was hurt as I wasnt invited. Then focusing on the photos, I noticed that the other 2 elders and most of the deacons including their famlies were there. Family memebers and friends realated to the 18 year old from church and people who are not from our church, but mostly among the guests were members of this church. About 40 to 50 people assisted. Our church has around 100 members. It was obvious a private party and not for all church members. Not a church thing, but celebrated inside the local church.
Im not against celebrations at church. There have been farewell parties before where the whole church was invited to join in or at least a whole part of a church like the womans group or youth group etc...but this case is different as the criteria for selecting the guests had to do with the type of relationship the 18 year old and her family have in church and out of church.
Honestly, I find this has a lack of respect for the rest of the members who arent aware that these things happen without them knowing. Not just because its the whole church who looks after the church and sustains it economically (water, electrisity, maintenance etc..) but the fact that there are people, including the elders who use the church without the consent of the rest.
I accedently found out through Facebook but others also found out through different means. there were family members of the 18 year old (cousins) who go to church who werent invited and also felt left out.

Ive spoken to the mother of this 18 year old how I felt. That this is a lack of respect to the rest of the church and that we shouldnt use the church for our own private and pesonal things as this is a misuse of the church and people can feel left out. That if its a church thing great but private parties and stuff should be celebrated elsewhere. We gotta divide what is of church matter and what is of personal use.
Her response was that we all see things differently but these things will continue to happen.

Im I being unreasonable? Its not the only case and Im wondering how many other similar things are taking place...
Knowing this, even though I might get invited one day I will not accept the invitation to respect the rest of the uninvited church members.

Has anybody here had a similar situation? Isnt this abuse of authority and favouritism?

It just seems wrong....
You know what , Our priest after every mass, asks if anyone has or had a birthday that week. And also anniversaries... I think that this is a good thing... Maybe it was a last minute thing for them. You are in church. Be happy ...
 
S

susi

Guest
#9
I don’t see a problem at all. They wanted to hold a party for an 18 year old.
Maybe their house wasn’t big enough so they held it in the church.

Just by the fact that they held it in the church, doesn’t entitle every church
member to attend.

It’s like weddings lots are held in church but would you want expect to attend
every wedding.

There are cost implications too don’t forget. The more people attend the more
food etc has to be supplied.

People are fully entitled to decide who attends their family events and to limit
the numbers.

By the way the church building is just a building, it has no special powers. It isn’t
a sacrilege to use it for other purposes.

Our church is rather large, it gets hired out for its conference facilities and is
regularly used by the police, local hospitals and social services for training and
conferences. As well as funerals, weddings etc.

One of the pastors used it for his sons 14 birthday to throw a pizza party for him.
A few times it’s been used for 40th or 50th birthdays as it also has catering
facilities. Nothing wrong with any of that.
Yes. i dont have a problem with the fact it was done at the church. If its something official that anyone can rent it for whatever..great! Obviously you invite the people you want like any other thing you would do anywhere else. The thing is they dont pay rent, the rest of the church who pays the bills(light,water etc which comes from the offerings on Sundays, dont know anything about it. Theres no policies or rules rent or anything and its done behind doors. once they even cancelled a womens meeting (which is a church thing) so they can do their own thing, without giving any reasons. Can I do what they do? no.
 
S

susi

Guest
#10
I have attended wedding and receptions in churches of people who don't even go to the church. I've been to anniversary receptions in the same manner. I've even been to a Christian Comedian shows held in church auditoriums. Churches do this for income to help keep the doors open and to further missions. I can't say the elder paid for the use, being a member, but none of my business. The people are the church, let them make money using the building so the church can keep their place of worship.
There is no income. This is not the USA. Im in Spain. Ive lived in Australia and was in a church that did the same as what you are talking about. i have no problem with that. its not the building, its the attitude. its doing things behind doors. there are no poilicies about using the building this way. Nothing official.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#11
It sounds sad to me. I love my fellow Christian Brothers and sisters and especially those in my particular congregation. I want to include not exclude them. I want to fellowship, and enjoy their company. Maybe it's a southern thing, but maybe it's a Jesus love thing.
 

1christian1

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2018
799
256
63
#12
Yes. i dont have a problem with the fact it was done at the church. If its something official that anyone can rent it for whatever..great! Obviously you invite the people you want like any other thing you would do anywhere else. The thing is they dont pay rent, the rest of the church who pays the bills(light,water etc which comes from the offerings on Sundays, dont know anything about it. Theres no policies or rules rent or anything and its done behind doors. once they even cancelled a womens meeting (which is a church thing) so they can do their own thing, without giving any reasons. Can I do what they do? no.
I just wish that people would just stop making everything about themselves..This was a celebration for a person in their family. I think that It was great that they thought of sharing this in church.. Can we not let them be happy and not make it about me for once...
 

Kim82

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2018
644
554
93
#13
I don't see anything wrong here. I can understand that you felt hurt and left out. But these people have a right to exclude who they want. And it's their church also, so nothing wrong in having an event there as long as it doesn't involve anything ungodly.

It would also have been great for you to send best wishes to the 18 year old and the family on Facebook or in person.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#14
I don't see anything wrong here. I can understand that you felt hurt and left out. But these people have a right to exclude who they want. And it's their church also, so nothing wrong in having an event there as long as it doesn't involve anything ungodly.

It would also have been great for you to send best wishes to the 18 year old and the family on Facebook or in person.
The op wasn't invited, in person would not be possible. They learned of it after the fact.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#15
I just wish that people would just stop making everything about themselves..This was a celebration for a person in their family. I think that It was great that they thought of sharing this in church.. Can we not let them be happy and not make it about me for once...
The op is not trying to make it about themself. What is salacious accusation.
The op simply feels that use of the church at the exclusion of many church supporters is rude. And it is.
It is most emphatically, rude.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#16
It's divisive , and rude to use facilities that are supported by people and then exclude those supporters from events held at the facility. Sencondly church is supposed to be a family. That's not how you treat family to exclude them from events. Thirdly the church facility is for the use of the body, does one envite the hands but the the feet. Do they not have homes to eat and drink in.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#17
The church facility is not a private or rented banquet hall. It is the meeting place of the local body of Christ. If you want a private party rent a facility, or do it at your home.
It's a sad world where street gangs act more like a family that the body of Christ.
We have to get this, we are autonomous individuals attending an event, mentality out of the church, and get the mind of a unified body of Christ mind set.
Not only didn't they misappropiate funds, by using the facilities for a non-church function, but they caused offence and division in the church, by excluding many members; to which Paul with stood Peter, when Peter excluded himself from the gentiles while the Jews were in town.
What they did was rude, disrespectful, divisive, and sinful.
The Bible is demonstrably opposed to such behavior through out it's pages.
 

preacher4truth

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2016
8,220
1,813
113
#19
The church facility is not a private or rented banquet hall. It is the meeting place of the local body of Christ. If you want a private party rent a facility, or do it at your home.
It's a sad world where street gangs act more like a family that the body of Christ.
We have to get this, we are autonomous individuals attending an event, mentality out of the church, and get the mind of a unified body of Christ mind set.
Not only didn't they misappropiate funds, by using the facilities for a non-church function, but they caused offence and division in the church, by excluding many members; to which Paul with stood Peter, when Peter excluded himself from the gentiles while the Jews were in town.
What they did was rude, disrespectful, divisive, and sinful.
The Bible is demonstrably opposed to such behavior through out it's pages.
Bro the above is a huge overreaction and the Biblical principle you're using is apples and oranges. Completely different scenario and huge stretch to find some sort of Bible passage to support you.

It isn't biblical to suggest that since a person got their feelings hurt that it should be called "division." That's frankly silly. Doing so, in my opinion is causing division that is simply not there.

I didn't get invited, boo-hoo? Then coddle that? Come on man, that is really callow.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
1,997
1,259
113
Texas
#20
Bro the above is a huge overreaction and the Biblical principle you're using is apples and oranges. Completely different scenario and huge stretch to find some sort of Bible passage to support you.

It isn't biblical to suggest that since a person got their feelings hurt that it should be called "division." That's frankly silly. Doing so, in my opinion is causing division that is simply not there.

I didn't get invited, boo-hoo? Then coddle that? Come on man, that is really callow.
Their behavior caused an offence. Paul wrote that he would rather not eat anything than to cause an offense, and while he was talking about Christian liberty, the idea applies here. They took liberty with the church facility, and caused an offense
I believe in the unity of the body of believers, especially, in a local body they should be unified and inclusive. Practicing the action of loving each other, excluding folks is not loving them.
I don't think that what Peter was doing was any different than what this op was talking about. He was being party to fellowshipping with one group at the exclusion of another group; one group being the preferred clique and the others treated as lesser.
If the op felt left out or separated it is division.
And while I may have over stated my position , I found it rather sickening that one person who wanted simply to excuse an offence layed accusation back onto the op, who actually has a valid point. That being Facilities are supported by the church so if it is not a church function do it elsewhere. Or at least get the support of the body first. You know those schmucks that pay the bills. May be they ought to have at least asked if it were ok to have a private function. Something like say , so and so family would like to have a private family event up here at the facility, as their home is too small for the numbers of people attending, it wouldn't be open to the whole church but they would appreciate the use of the facilities, all in favor say I ... Opposed neigh. Thank you for your support. Blah what ever.
It is very sad to me that the church body acts as if there is no further connection between each other than we come up to the meeting house for a motivational speech on Sunday and smaller speaches on Wednesday.
I was quoting an ex gang member who left church because when he joined the church he was looking for a family unit. It was his words I didn't think that street gangs act more as a family than the family of God. And his words are true. It's true we go to church on Sunday and that about it the rest is treated as an autonomous life. It's my goal to work toward changing that.