Monday, April 30, 2012

Evangelize When it Looks Good

Beaverton Grace Bible Church is a church with a very strong emphasis on evangelism.  It is one of the primary reasons why my husband wanted to start attending.  We had evangelism classes for two hours each Sunday at "Grace Bible Institute".  Groups of people went out evangelizing on Friday nights to malls, canvassing neighborhoods, Portland Rose Parade, Mormon Temple, Jehovah's Witness "conventions", downtown, parks, church-sponsored car washes - anywhere there was an opportunity, BGBC availed themselves.

However, my "wayward" 21-yr old daughter seemed to be exempt from their evangelism efforts.  My daughter left our home abruptly a year or so after we started attending BGBC.   She didn't want anything to do with church anymore.  She was hurt and confused.

Besides Meaghan and possibly her friend from high school, can someone please tell me why not one person from the church (especially elders/pastor) asked me for my daughter's phone number or address to go out and see her to talk with her, to show love to her, to "evangelize" her? 

A very interesting thing happened the last week our family was at BGBC.  The very last week we were there - at a time I am fairly certain the pastor and elders thought we might be staying, Pastor Chuck mentioned to my husband that they ought to go pay Hannah a visit.  What should have made my heart leap for joy made me sick.

Oh really?  Why now?  Why not at any time during the previous 11 months?  Just now  . . . when it's convenient . . . when they knew we were having difficulty with the church . . . to try to keep us there?  Sit back and think about that, friends.  Go out and evangelize to strangers week after week, but when one of your own flock has left and you know the mom has been in mourning week after week, ignore that fallen sheep until it's convenient to try to win over the family to remain at the church???  That is not evangelizing for the sake of the soul, that is evangelizing for the wrong reason. 

What kind of shepherding is this?   Seriously.  Outward appearances, anyone? 




24 comments:

  1. too true. we were never sought out after we left either, even before we had officially said we left. no one checked in, and no one was concerned that we might have strayed. nothing.

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    1. I remember asking Chuck and about certain people who had left. Different excuses were given: they didn't agree on doctrinal issues, the wife didn't want to go and the husband didn't want to take the lead, etc. It was always presented as "their issues", never anything wrong with the church or church leaders (that should have been a red flag - it's perfectly reasonable and expected for someone to have personality clashes with leadership and nothing wrong to say that).

      Later, I learned after going directly to some of these people that their answers for leaving were far different.

      In hindsight, maybe it was good that no one sought you out, you know? Thanks for confirming that this was certainly not an isolated case.

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    2. Yeah, this is usually how it goes with any church. They are not to blame but the people who left are and when you leave, they could careless. That's because it is all about their kingdom instead of God's.

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  2. We were never sought out after we left either. I am certain that the reason given for our absence had nothing to do with the real reason we left. Suffice it to say that the pastor/elders did not want it widely known that they had discriminated against a disabled child.

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    1. I just caught myself sighing heavily and audibly. I know you didn't hear it, but I have to tell you that reading your post has me feeling all kinds of emotions: anger/sadness/disgust. The church is supposed to defend the weak, the poor, the elderly, the children. I am so sorry. The stories just do not seem to end.

      Are you in a good place now and getting support?

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    2. Yes, thank you. We are in a wonderful church that has gone out of their way to reach out and find out how they can help our son to know the Lord on any level he can. We have been so blessed and are growing in the Lord beyond anything I could have imagined.

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  3. I have noticed that those who were the most hotly pursued were those who had the most material resources and were consistent with their tithing/giving.

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    1. Ouch! I'm going to have to think more on that one.

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    2. That would actually make sense a little, as we were not pursued (see the very first comment on this post) and we were also referred to as "the most broke people they knew" by more than one person.

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  4. Julie Anne Jezebel!!

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    1. Hey - that has a nice ring to it. I think it would look better with a French ending: Jezebelle.

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    2. It fits better with the Anne with an "e". LOVE your sense of humor Julie Anne :) :)

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  5. Julie Anne, this is a heartbreaking story. I am so sorry we didn't minister more to you, your family, and Hannah. We did not have enough mercy and compassion to leave the 99 and go after the 1...that is what Jesus taught us to do...go after the 1.

    Well, when we received the left "boot of fellowship" we certainly never felt the love or grace coming from BGBC. We questioned, disagreed, and were "kicked out", so to speak. Through these trials, our Lord Jesus taught us (and still is teaching us) humility, grace, mercy, kindness and so much more. I love you, my dear sister and am praying for you.

    All of us would do well to study the story of the prodigal son told by Jesus in Luke 15:11-32. John MacArthur's book 'A Tale of Two Sons' is a beautiful exposition of the text.

    From page 131: The parable reminds us that Christ receives sinners who are in exactly the same situation as the Prodigal Son...with the same kind of gladness seen in this parable--and infinitely more.

    From page 168: The parable comes down to this: it is a very serious and urgent wake-up call for scribes, Pharisees, chief priests, and any other religious person who is hypocritical and self-righteous.

    John 13:35
    "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    1 John 4:20
    If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

    Matt. 6:14
    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


    Love, mercy, forgiveness, grace....these are conspicious by their absence at BGBC. :(

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    1. Uh oh! For you spell checkers out there:

      conspicuous

      I'll put that on my spelling list for the week. lol

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    2. I have not read that MacArthur book, but what beautiful expressions of grace and love you noted. Thank you for your apology. I have no idea who you are, but know that my heart is not bitter toward anyone there. I have forgiven people in my heart and would like for all to be free and walk in truth and grace.

      I used to be militant about a lot of things in my day - not so much anymore. God has taught me so much about being judgmental, walking in the shoes of others, abuse, grace, compassion, and having a heart for hurting, precious souls. We've been through much and God will use our experience to help others. That is the purpose of this blog - to reconnect, expose and validate what really did go on, restore relationships, and move on. I am thankful for this venue and that God is clearly using it for His purposes. I could not have done this on my own.

      Chuck is suing us and I have a smile on my face as people are breaking free, restoring relationships, and on the road to recovery. Let's party! This is cause for celebration!

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  6. God is so good and gracious to us, especially in the trials He has placed in our lives. When I begin to question others motives, I find God is asking me, what is 'your' part. There are many times I would like to place blame on others but see where He is showing me places where He is infusing faith, not fear. I know I was abused while there~on many spiritual levels. The Word of God is living and real, He gives me His strength when I am weak, more faith when I have fear, and the joy of the Lord when I am scared...to love others the way I want to be loved, stand strong in Him when I am humble, and carry the message that Christ spoke, forgive others for they know not what they do. When I get angry over the abuse, I go to my Lord and He speaks to my heart, healing those old wounds and giving me strength to walk in His wisdom, giving love as He loves me.
    May God continue to open eyes of those still there, grant grace to those who walk in the lust of the flesh and grow all of us in His love as we faithfully wait for His return.
    As dear old Bob used to say~I am doing great because I am one day closer to meeting my Savior. To God be the glory, great things He has done.
    My love and prayers to all those who are still reeling from the confusion and pain....

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    1. That is beautiful, Meaghan. I love this.

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  7. On 4-26-12 I requested Chuck to delete a comment I had made on 9-29-04 because I no longer believe in his preaching and teaching, as of today, he has not deleted it. Wonder if he will respect my request?

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    1. Well, if he doesn't, it's just a permanent record of when you were blind . . . . but now you see! Yea!

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  8. I find it interesting that he didn't try to contact me or ask me why I left or try to resolve any differences at all. He disregarded me for 4 years. I put a google review in December, then my mother starts this blog in February, and then *shocker* I'm important because of review I did in December. Important enough to sue for a good portion of a million dollars. Not once even after I wrote the review (and still to this day) did he seek to hear my opinion, come to some mutual understanding, or even ask me if I'd remove the review. One would think that some sort of reconciliation should at least be attempted before taking action on a legal level.

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    1. Hannah - In both secular and Christian world, there are processes by which people use to mediate conflicts. Ordinary people know these are available. Who knows why he elected to file a civil lawsuit instead of a more reasonable way of dealing with things. Even my non-Christian friends shake their heads in disbelief. It is just not normal. I hate seeing the court tied up in a frivolous case like this, but we have no choice.

      Love you, daughter!

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  9. While I fully support your efforts against this vile cult, I also was revolted by the treatment of your daughter by your family. I really hope you've learned a lesson that will translate to others.

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    1. As was I. If you haven't read my more recent story: In Honor of Hannah.

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