25 May, 2006

Unfounded Accusations and Murder By Tongue


I know that some could be angered by the post I am about to make, but there comes a time when things need to be exposed and dealt with accordingly, and for me, that time has come. Over the past month I have been attacked from various places and people, accused of being someone with no love, with a prideful spirit, of being rude, of not preaching the Word of God, of destroying my church, of chasing out "our people" and filling the church with "people who do not belong" and the list goes on and on.
In the past six weeks, I have received two unsigned letters basically telling me that "nobody" wants me to stay here as pastor and that I was destroying my church. Just last night I was told that I am always rude to people in the pulpit and that I was chasing off the entire church and that there would be no church left in a matter of months. I could go on and on with the names I have been called and the things I have been accused of, but that is not the point of this post. My post is not so much to deal directly with these accusations, but rather the spirit behind them.

First, let me say that when I receive an unsigned letter, I give it very little consideration. I figure of someone lacks the guts or integrity to sign their name to such accusations, then it is not worth my time or consideration.
Second, let me respond to the accusation thrown at me last night, that I am always rude in the pulpit and I was chasing off family after family after family with my rudeness.

1 Timothy 5:19 (from The Message Translation) says:
19) Don't listen to a complaint against a leader that isn't backed up by two or three responsible witnesses.

I ask the person leveling these accusations at me to name one family who had left the church because I was rude. They could not name one, but insisted, "I have been told by others that there have been people who left because you are so rude in the pulpit."
Again I asked for the name of one person or family who left the church in the two years I have been here because I was rude. They could not name one.
According to the scripture listed above, then I am not supposed to listen to such a complaint, and I told the accusing person that they were blantantly going against scripture with such accusations. They retorted, "But people don't like you. You have to change!"
I won't even entertain this further, other than to say that if someone is leveling complaints or charges against pastor or any other person for that matter and cannot come up with two or three reliable witnesses... reject such criticism!

The same person told me last night, "Our church is dwindling away. We only have 26 or so people left." I asked this person what church they had been attending! I told them that this past Sunday we had 60 for morning worship and that we had not been under 40 anytime since I had come here, with the exception of days of bad weather. Then I was accused of falsifying numbers to make myself look good.
To who?
Really, outside of our church, who really cares how many attend our church?

My point in all this is not to make people feel sorry for the pastor. I have dealt with garbage like this for the past 16 years, and the sad truth is, it will always go on.
But I wonder, do people realize the damage they do to the Body of Christ with their gossiping, slandering tongues?
Do people really believe that anything constructive can come from sitting for hours on the phone spreading such venom?
Is murder ever a good thing?
Murder?
Yes murder; because that is exactly what is being done when such junk is propogated in the Body. It has to stop.

I decided to share this openly today because there is one thing I have learned to be true. When the light is turned on and gossip exposed, darkness has to flee.
Darkness and light cannot co-exist.
So, I have turned the light on, and now I ask for the church to begin to stand with me to stop this type vicious attack dead in it's tracks.

8 comments:

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

Good post, and good luck Darrell....

If more people would preach and teach on the destructive power of the tongue and it's gossipy ways...we would all be alot better off.

Praying that God will seriously DISTURB your "troublemakers."

Sylvia said...

I think God is moveing in our church and Satan does not like it.That is why you are being attacked.Not everyone feels you are bad for the church.I know my family and I are not going anywhere.My mom always said that the truth can hurt some times.Maybe that is why people have left.They heard you preach the truth and it did hurt.They need to get over it.

Amy said...

pastor , I was there last night and I didnt recall one thing that you said to be rude, what you said about the children convicted me because i know that sometimes my children can be ones running and not being approprate . (there will be changes made!!!!), and the message you shared was where im at i struggle with fear and am scared to""step out"" and be bold in my calling, (i need to speak with you about that also)i feel you are a awesome pastor and I like that you are bold enough to say what GOD has you to say even though you may step on some toes!!( i need my toes to be stepped on from time to time!!!!). if more pastors were like that mabey the church would be in better shape than it is!!!. The ""church "" needs to grow up and deal with Godly disapline rather than focus on offences .praying here for our church and for other churches and pastors!!! GBU and libby (& kids)

Neil said...

Hey Pastor! Nothing like standing naked in the street and calling for change! I know this is difficult and when you speak out boldly it always attracts nay-nayers, complainers and critics. You are going up a mountain, you are going to worship...remember this: When Abraham took Isaac to the mountain he left some of those that traveled with him to tend the donkeys...there will always be donkey keepers...and then there will always be donkeys too! Hang in there and speak the word!

Neil

ruthrap said...

I didn't know that there were such people that "don't belong in Church" Haven't we all sinned and fell short of God's grace. I think the devil is lying to someone and unfortunately they are believing him. Stay true to what you believe, Pastor. As a church we need to support our shepard and that means defend him from those who would put him down or gossip about him. If anyone feels that strongly about the church or anyone who goes there or you, its not like there is a shortage of churches in this town! They have my blessing to chose anyone of them they feel has more to offer. But as for me I've found your church has sufficiently met my needs and I wish I could spend more time there!

Deborha's Palm Tree said...

OIY! OIY! OIY!

I am reminded of the verse, "Touch not God's annointed." I believe God brought you to this city for a reason pastor...keep strong, we don't need our flesh patted ...we need the conviction of God on our lives.

I believe God is about to move mightily...the winds of change are about to blow and if some "stuff" blows over to the neighbors yard ...leave it there! God has his eye on the "stuff". He will deal with it!

We need the solid, true word of God..not mamby, pamby, wishy, washy, watered down, pat my flesh, mushy wushy, humanistic RELIGION!
Pastor be true to yourself and God and be that leader he has called you to be. I love it when God ruffles feathers because revival isn't too far behind...

God bless you and yours....

David Reish said...

I guess those I preached to the other Sunday night were just in my imagination, huh? Maybe I missed something, but I saw a church that wants to move forward with you as the Pastor. I don't give the writers of the letter much validity either. Stay right where you are Pastor, preach the Word (which I know you do) and do EXACTLY what God has called you to do; you are after all the Pastor of the house. Maybe the writer of the letter just can't handle that reality and longs to be something they are not called to be! You have a great church!

Barbara said...

People who are uncomfortable with the truth are probably the ones sending the unsigned letters. Keep preaching the truth, and GOD is going to reward your ministry! If you lose those that 'don't want you there', then God will fill their seats and more!

And, as ruthrap said .... 'who doesn't belong in church?' People complain about the dress (sure, sinners might not be clothed like we think they should and may not talk our talk; let God deal with their hearts. Our pastor says, if you can't get the members in to fill the seats, send in the drunks, the prostitutes, etc .... and we'll preach to them! God knows how to deal with them all! And, we've had a drunk to come into a Wednesday night service, but, praise the Lord, he left SOBER and SAVED!