Tuesday, April 18, 2006

If you go to that church you won't go to heaven

I have found out something that tops the response "you are female" I received a couple of weeks ago.

Last week (I haven't had a chance to blog since then, been busy for some unexplainable reason) I found out that there is a Christian church in the area who is telling people if they come to my church they won't go to heaven!

They were door knocking to share the Easter message and to invite people to come to their church for Easter. When they knocked on a particular person's door she said that she would probably go to my church for Easter.

The response was "If you go to that church you won't go to heaven."

When she asked why he started on about the bible being very clear about the roles of men and women and that because there was a female minister at that church that the wasn't a biblically based church and therefore if you went to the church you wouldn't get to heaven.

The woman he was speaking to knows me from school and so launched into a character defense on my behalf. (what a wonderful person)

The final remark was, "But don't you want to go to heaven.
To which she replied "Yes, but not yet." and then closed the door.

I have been called and told many things in the time I have been in ministry, but this is the first time I have been accused of being responsible for sending people to hell!!

It doesn't bother me or the other pastor but my husband instantly went into protection mode and is ready to pummel the people that are saying it. You need to understand that my husband is a Christian biker and has the potential to be scary, and along with the other guys from the club that he was going to enlist to visit the church together, it would have been a very scary but amusing thing to watch.

I haven't responded in any way to this church and the things that are being said and am wondering what
a) you would like do or say and then
b)how you would respond in the legal and appropriate way.

I am still tossing up whether I do anything at all.



Update 25/4/06
I have just found out that this entry has made it onto a website for Baptist worldwide called Baptist Life under the forum thread Fundamentalist Pharisee. If anyone is visiting from that link I would love to hear your comments Emma


k8 said...

When the bikers all go, make sure they take Chris with his knife tshirt. And get some of your chocolate box girls to dress full-on goth. Then all turn up and proudly proclaim that you all are going to heaven and you look forward to seeing them there :)

OK, maybe get dad to write them a letter - he's really good at writing strong letters that say exactly what you want them to say without being rude or anything. Then send it to their minister - unless it was them specifically who did this or 'gave orders' for it, they might not even know its going on.

Oh, and make sure that people who know and love you are aware of this so they can be prepared if they encounter it themselves.

LutheranChik said...

Oh, good grief.

Being who I am, I'm being constantly told by the Holy Folks that I'm not going to heaven, so I'm pretty well inured to it by now...but I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of this nonsense.

I'm going to suggest a very Lutheran response -- remind your detractors of the passage in Romans that we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by doing or thinking the right things. Also remind them that, in the Gospel of John, Christ says to us that, "Whoever comes to me will I in no way cast out." That would seem to be a pretty strong refutation of their theology, coming from the Word of God himself.

If you want to go for humor, you can tell them that if God could use the jawbone of an ass to make God's will done, then you're trusting that God can make use of you as well. (Although people like this generally have NO sense of humor or irony.)

I'm struggling with you. Courage!

LutheranChik said...

PS, being open and inviting to the rejects from these judgmental churches is a sure sign that you're living into the Reign of God.

Songbird said...

Oh, Revem, how yucky! I don't know the law in your country, but that certainly is defamatory language.

Revem said...

In our country it is certainly falls inside the realms of defamation which is illegal.
I don't know that threatening them with a lawsuit would be the most productive or biblical thing to do. Not that I didn't think about it initially lol

St. Casserole said...

I'm sorry this happened. I like Lutheranchik's counsel.
Do you need the RGBP posse to come down?

Lorna said...

Will smama had a very good response on caroline's blog ... a quote from Paul I think (grin)

seriously, their theology is wrong, and their behaviour appalling.

My first impression was this "I'm not sure where you are - but I think I'd try to get a local paper to run the story ..."

but to be honest I think turning the other cheek is the way to go forward.

It's unlikely that it's the pastor himself knocking on doors - if it is, then I think you at least owe it to yourself to go over there and speak with him - (though it won't be pleasant!) - and if it's not him, you prob need to go see him anyway because he is responsible for what they are being taught about how to do door-to-door invitations to church.

I wouldn't go alone though. I'd take hubby with me - because it's the smart thing to do. (Also given their theology - they will be less attacking if 'the man of your household' is with you')

All of this might be poor advice - I think prayer is good. For your own wounds in this, for everyone who heard this Easter message and was turned off from God because of it and yeah pray for this other church too. They are deceived in this - but only God can set them free.

Most of all be blessed.

Kathryn said...

Coming late to this...and absolutely appalled. I think a very short verse from John's gospel is the only response. tbh, I suspect that engaging with them is unlikely to be productive...since they are convinced that you are already the unbiblical spawn of Stan, your visit to them is unlikely to cut much ice I fear.
I've been told I'm a "travesty of priesthood" but this has to take the biscuit. Huge sympathy.

SingingOwl said...

Oooooh...bleeeech! This "takes the cake" as they say in Texas. I think LC and Lorna both have some good thoughts that I cannot expand upon. But I am going to stop right now and pray for you
(((((((((RevEm)))))))))) so sorry! And then I'm going to pray for the other church. I would like to call fire down from heaven on them, but I won't. (Not that God would obey anyhow...) "Count it all joy..." but it isn't easy.

Purechristianithink said...

In some places folks would say this situation calls for opening a big ole can of whuppass . . .

will smama said...

The posse is ready (I mean, c'mon it IS Australia), pcit - the can is ready to be opened, and yet I think there is no immediate 'fix'. Time will be the answer to this one... as they watch and hear and learn of your powerful ministry in the area and God begins to soften their hearts through you.

If not, we'll go back to Paul's quote.

LutheranChik said...

Revem: I've been thinking about this for awhile...

This may actually provide your church with a great opportunity for outreach -- without directly engaging this other church, positioning yourself in your community as the church where everyone is welcome and valued and an equal partner in the Reign of God.

I know of a church that took this tack...they're very committed to being an active presence in their community -- they provide volunteer help for the local homeless shelter, they provide meeting space for support groups, they participate in community events, they're part of a circle of local churches that help people in crisis situations; and they're also known locally as the church that welcomes people who get chased out of other churches, or who are hanging onto their Christianity by a frayed fingernail.;-) You know, those aren't bad things to be known for.;-)

Mary Beth said...

What a bunch of potlickers.