Well, here I am again, in a new church. It's been a year and one month since I left the Presbyterian one and now I journey to still another one. I really don't want to be a church vagabond but today with so little good Bible teaching and practically no foundational doctrines being taught, what does a Christian do? So what was wrong with my last church? Well, I don't think I nitpick. I really don't need to have everything perfect, although of course I would like everything to be perfect. But when in your small group the guy sitting next to you yells and screams and swears violently, continually pounds his fist on the table and this is going on for forty minutes....and when the group leader at the next meeting minimizes this behavior by saying, "Well, we all need to vent sometimes;" when the people, who are friendly, never seem to connect much.....when you never hear the gospel of salvation being preached....when the level of pulpit teaching is vague.....and the coup d'grace being, when the pastor says (as he did a few months ago) "God didn't send Jesus to the cross because that would be child abuse"---well, it's time for me to leave.
Since I am a Pentecostal in my beliefs anyway, I have been trying to find a Pentecostal church, mainly a Foursquare church, in my area. There are four English speaking ones within 20 minutes of me. In my city of 191,000 there are two non-English speaking Foursquare churches but no English speaking one although the majority of people here speak English. Go figure. I visited three of the four churches in the past three years. In one, most were under 40 and more emergent than I would ever wish. Another one is mostly Baby Boomers and are in Warrensville teachings (as in Rick Warren). The third one probably has maybe 20 people and the pastor is crazy.
So that left the one I am attending now. It's another one with mostly people under 40, I think, and the worship music is so loud in the small building that I will need to probably wear ear plugs. But the people are friendly. Whether they will connect with an old person like me I have no idea. The pastor is very young but a good teacher and actually is a committed Christian. He is the rare young pastor who can bring in postmodern techniques without changing the gospel. I mean this morning we heard all about "missional." Thankfully he couched it in the true gospel instead of the liberal Protestantism hidden in emergent that so many of these younger pastors are into. This morning was my fourth time attending and they served communion which I hadn't had there yet. A young something girl got up and gave a terrific 7 minute mini-communion sermon. I hadn't heard about atonement like this in the last 10 years. I wanted to compliment her after church but she left midway. The one problem I see here and this is a problem I think with many younger churches today, is the levity and joking around in the service by the leaders. I'm not trying to be a killjoy here but I do think the times we are in call for a more sober approach. It's not that we cannot have fun together in more relaxed out of church meetings. But the service needs to be much more serious than this one. Well, God told me to pray for the things I think need to be corrected here, so we shall see what happens. I am not to open my mouth to anyone about my concerns--just pray. Stay tuned for my interesting experiment.