296Re: The Trapped Pastor
- Jan 1, 2006
[I have only read this one post in this thread. It is here that I must inject a much needed point. I have yet to meet a single Fellowship Pastor that was qualified to be a pastor. The averge
fellowship pastor doesn't have any formal biblical training, no formal counseling training, no managment skills, ... The average fellowship pastor is launched soley because he kissed butt better than any of the other disciples. Proof of this can be found in those churches that have pulled from the fellowship and succeeded in staying a church. They operate just as Ken described. The follow the fellowship pattern but drop the fellowship name. Worthless.]
Now I will give a brief summary of another pastor who left the fellowship. This man simply resigned and gave the church back to the fellowship. I mentioned him before as the one who said that you cannot work with fellowship people. In the two years preceding my own exodus from the fellowship, this man and I had a few intense conversations about what we were seeing with the hypocrisy and the brutal leadership. However, when I pulled out, this fellow mocked me on the phone while Mitch was tearing apart my church.
He stayed in another five or six years after I left. When he did finally leave he contacted me and even wrote me a letter of apology, which I in no way required. As we talked certain things came out. He said we had no real friendships in the fellowship, but that he wanted to renew his friendship with me. However, I soon found the friendship to be very conditional on my giving him dominance in any conversation. He could talk about the "things of God" but I could not discuss any of my beliefs or my study of astrology with him. He was still very much like the fellowship.
He told me about going to his pastor/leader to resign and to tell this leader exactly why he was leaving. He said that this leader trembled through the entire two and half hour conversation and essentially agreed with all of his objections. However, this leader's constant come back was that there is no perfect fellowship. This pastor asked this leader if what I had told the pastor about the circumstances of my being thrown out was true. The leader said it was true, but that the important thing was that no one found out.
This pastor resigned the church and then moved clear across the country to link up with another church which he connected to through the Brownsville "revival". He got a job doing clean room work, but his ambition was to get a ministry position. He eventually, through writing proposals to the church leadership, obtained a pastoral position. The church was on the "spirit filled" side, i.e., Charismatic.
What is interesting to me is that he used his fellowship experience as a pastor as a qualification to have a ministry position in this church. While I do not subscribe to the idea that you have to have formal training to be a good pastor, or that such formal training would qualify anyone necessarily, I have to wonder. This man, like myself, saw the fellowship as evil from the roots up. Yet, he felt his fellowship experience qualified him for ministry. Could this church, which hired him, be somewhat like the fellowship?
This brings up another issue. The whole idea of believing that you are called to preach has a profound effect on those pastors who leave the fellowship. Just because the fellowship was phoney, does that mean your calling was also phoney? This is something I struggled with. I found myself wishing I had completed my education and done something else with my life. On the other hand, I really did believe I was called to pastor and preach. To say that a fellowship pastor should just chuck it sounds right, but it is not always that simple.
It does seem to be true that most who make in the "ministry" after they get out end up going back to the fellowship pattern. In the case of this man it would be interesting to get some of his current sermons. Is he still threatening people with loss salvation if they don't do what he says they need to do to "stay saved"? If so, he has simply found another group where he can utilize his fellowship background as a spiritual dictator and exploiter.
Eventually he pretty much cut me off. When my divorce was coming down he offered to have me come stay with him, find a job, etc., but I would have to conform to his beliefs if I had done that. He acted pretty much the same as a fellowship pastor.
Meanwhile his fellowship church is still in the fellowship. I have to wonder what the people in the church thought when he left like that, and what the next pastor coming in had to say about it all. He was spared the horror of a church split, and I can't blame him for taking the route he did in regard to just leaving. He moved about 3,000 miles away and saved himself and his family a world of hurt.
My personal opinion is that he has simply gone to a slightly modified version of the fellowship. Is he preaching forced tithing? Is he preaching forced attendance? Is he threatening people's salvation unless they do this or that? If so, that really isn't much of a change. One of these days I will have to get a hold of something he preached recently. That would be very revealing.
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