Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 06:30 AM by Lois
So you leave an unhealthy or abusive church but are thinking of remaining within the same religious organization because you don't question the salvation doctrine or something along this line. You haven't done anything wrong, but are no longer in agreement on an issue.
Sometimes these pastors take it upon themselves to call around to other area pastors within the organization, to 'warn' them about you. I know firsthand as it was done to me. I went to see a neighboring pastor, to decide if I might attend there, and he informed me that my former pastor had called to warn him about me. (He would have been fine with my joining the church, though I decided later that I could no longer attend these churches.)
It is funny how some pastors, who feel that salvation isn't found much outside their organization's doors, will feel it is right to try and block a person from attending another church with their same "truth." I guess they want you to be lost. Isn't that really what they are saying when they do things like this? Or maybe they are trying to force you to come back to them on your knees, begging to be allowed back. If so, that is pathetic, controlling, manipulative and sick. In the years since I left, I have heard from a number of people from all over, that their former pastor warned other pastors about them.
If the pastor who is being warned is anything like the one doing the warning, then you will be told you are not welcome there. They probably won't even give you a chance to explain why you left. If they are not, you may have an opportunity to attend. There is a chance you could be welcomed openly, but there may be more of a chance that you will be closely watched and not trusted, nor allowed to become involved. You may have to go through months of this before being fully accepted-- that is, if you don't somehow 'mess up' in the meantime. Another thing that goes along with this, is pastors sometimes telling current members to have no contact with the person who left.
Should you find yourself in this place and not openly welcomed, you may want to consider the possibility that your reasons for leaving may not just be a local church issue (this is initially what I thought) and that there may be more wrong with the actual group than you thought. People are not owned by the church they attend, nor the pastor of it. And if someone is trying to keep you outside the walls of 'truth,' then perhaps that 'truth' isn't really what it is claimed to be....
Again, if your church feels they have some special 'truth' that the majority of people do not have, wouldn't it be more fitting to do everything they can to reach out to you, even if they believe you are in sin or rebellious or whatever? Isn't it better that you be saved, then cast aside and doomed for all eternity? From the actions of some, you wouldn't think so!