I’m a Christian for a very long time but I have been to my local church for 6 plus years only. To be honest, I feel like I’m outgrowing the kind of preaching our pastor does. He’s not preaching wrong stuff, it’s just that I feel like I need more than the usual he gives the church. So, to have a hearty spiritual meal, I have to add to my menu. RZIM is one. Here’s the problem though. Since I’ve been with our pastor for 6 plus years, it’s like I already know his quirks in preaching. One prayer meeting, he said in his testimony that he and his fellow pastors met another pastor from a faraway region in our country. This newly met pastor gave them a “different” interpretation" to the Word. I don’t know the details but it seemed they had a seminar of some sort. Then my pastor’s preaching started to change. He started preaching about predestination. One of his examples is this: “I realized now that my father did not die because of a heart attack. He died because it was God’s appointed time for him.” From this very moment, I tried to give extra attention to his preaching because I have this feeling in my stomach that something is wrong but I just couldn’t put a term on it. This started 6 months ago. In my lectures, I put all his words verbatim and the verses he supported it with for me to study or verify them. Days after days that we have corporate meetings (Bible Studies, Prayer Meetings, Cottage Prayer Meetings, Sunday School and Worship Service) his “new” way of presenting the Word is somewhat transforming into Calvinism. And so I started to review the TULIP. To my surprise, last December, he completed the five points. I prayed hard to God for strength because I know deep in my heart I need to talk to him. I don’t intend to correct him but I want to let him know that I am worried about the direction he is taking. I talked to him this last Sunday after the service. I presented my arguments and told him how I think his preaching is becoming Calvinistic. But I did not say he is Calvinistic. I also told him that I did not talk to anyone because I don’t like to cause division within the church. We had a long talk. In the end, he did not back down nor tried to understand from my point of view. Instead, he told me of his disappointment that I am thinking of him as Calvinist. I told clarified to him that he is not. His preaching though is somewhat becoming Calvinistic. He defended by asking me verses (about predestination and election and some other topics) and letting me interpret it. The problem I saw with his defense is that he was asking me to interpret a single verse each time. I told him this is not viable for misinterpretation might occur due to lack of context. Example: He told in his sermon that “Christ died only for the Church.” He then asked me to interpret this verse: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28. To be honest, this verse alone can be proof that Christ died for the Church but I think he was out of context. I asked him in return to interpret John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He did not answer. He denies that he is a Calvinist, but his sermons are somehow Calvinistic. By the end of the day, we agreed to disagree and I told him that I did not talk to him to force him to change his ways because it is his responsibility as a pastor to do what he must do. I told him to think of my concern as an insight into how he should deal with the church in the future.
Now, I prayed to the Lord that I will give my pastor another 6 months. I will then decide on what will I do. To be honest, I am in dilemma. If my pastor will not change by then, I will get out of the church and go to another. But I feel responsible for my fellow Christians that did not seem to be bothered by our pastor’s preaching. In our congregation, I was the only one who noticed because our pastor told me. Either the other members did not know anything about Calvinism, or they just don’t want to bother.
If you have experienced the same issue, please share your thoughts and your actions if there is any. Thank you and God bless us all.