Congregations in Turmoil

Revivals in Recess (These people have not been allowed to partake of communion and are being charged with indefinable crimes.)

Scio, Oregon (3 years)

Macon, Mississippi (2 years)

Burns, Kansas

Uvalde, Texas

Wingo, Kentucky (Mt. Pleasant) (2 years)

Glenn, California

Abbotsford, BC

Clarksdale, MS

Lobelville, TN

Fairview, OK, recessed for the second year running

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16 Responses to Congregations in Turmoil

  1. Anyone who has information regarding the issues in these congregations is welcome to post it here. We are also looking for the number of years these congregations have been in recess, and who the ministers might be. It is so wrong for Christians to be denied the sacrament of communion. Partaking of the Lord’s Supper is commanded, and it is for our strengthening and nourishment. Jesus said “This do in remembrance of me.”
    Thankyou, Brother Hiram

  2. Brother Hiram is looking for scriptural foundation for the practice of denying congregants the sacrament of communion. Can anyone find the verses for this?

  3. lotsaquestions says:

    Don’t know if there is a scriptual foundation. Members are told sometimes at the last minute by the “staff” that they will not be having Communion. Some congregations are never told why. Members usally don’t have a voice on this issue. It causes alot of confusion. Some of the above named congregations to this day really don’t know what’s “wrong” with them. It’s the so-called Authority of the Church that makes these decisions.

  4. One would think that if Christians were being denied the sacrament of communion, that first of all, they would be shown a scripture which justified it and explained it. Second, if there are sins in the congregation, or in the ministry,these should be exposed to the people so that they know what is wrong, who is responsible, and what can be done in order for the group to make progress and strength and health to be restored. This seems like a way to deliberately hijack the trust, confidence and peace of the people, in order to create an instability that can then aid the ministers in instituting new idolatry. Very shameful. Thank you for your input, lotsaquestions. Perhaps by coming here and visiting, you can begin to find some answers for yourself and in the process help others.

    Brother Hiram

  5. Amos Bender says:

    Scripture that should be considered.

    (1 Corinthians 11:28–30, AV) “28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”

    Amos Bender

  6. Hello Amos, thanks for joining our conversation. What is your take on the verse you posted? Are you saying that if all are not ready for communion that it is a good idea to hold back? Do you feel that communion is a time when all are supposed to be perfect and it is a corporate event, or do you think it is highly personal and relevant to each person individually?

  7. My concern is that baptism and communion are being used to punish and control the people, used of men for men’s purposes, when in fact they are so very personal and should be things that draw us closer to our Lord. Communion should be a blessed time of remembering the death and resurrection, and what it means to us. How did it become a whip to hold over people’s heads, punishing and rewarding them as some men see fit? To withhold communion for years is to brutalize the flock and for sure make them weak.

    • Lavern says:

      I agree with Amos’ verse, but it doesn’t say that a honest sincere Christian should be held from going to Communion. What Hiram says about it being a reward or punishment is true. Happens all the time. And a stigma is attached to individuals that cannot partake. Heard testamonies to validate this.

      • Lavern says:

        Let me clarify. I mean that sometimes sincere, honest people are told they cannot go to Communion because the minister “feels” something in them. Or maybe the ministers think their house is out of line, or manner of dress isn’t plain enough, or some such “thing” isnt right. But when you visit with these people they have a great spirit and want to make it to heaven like we all do. But they are asked to not go along to Communion and it puts them in a spiritual whirl.

  8. The verse Amos posted says “let a man examine himself…” A man is supposed to examine himself, not be examined by another. If people who are “ready” according to the ministers’ judging are held back, waiting on others who are not, this is grossly unfair. People waiting for years to partake of the Lord’s supper? And not even knowing why? Communion should not be used to stigmatize people. Not only individuals who are held back are stigmatized, but the entire congregations are looked upon with skepticism. Have you ever heard people questioning why a certain congregation is held back? There is always a question about what might be wrong with the people there…and of course congregations that are able to move ahead are looked upon as being better. Who gives anyone the right to make these decisions for people? Jesus asked people to do this in remembrance of him. He said, take, eat, this is my body. This is my blood. We are healed, strengthened and delivered by the power in this sacrament. Shame on those who forbid it!

  9. Amos Bender says:

    Sorry I had not checked back after I posted till now. I never really thought much about this subject. Yet it likely is wrong to without communion from true believers for so long. Some more verse on the subject are below. May God have mercy on us regarding this subject as well as many others that we need to understand. But most of all may He give us of His Spirit and the love and living faith therewith.

    (Acts 20:7, AV) “7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

    (Acts 2:46, AV) “46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

    • lotsaquestions says:

      What about the “piece” one is required to say during “self” examination? Nothing about what Christ has done for us? It’s about how I feel, ( submitted )and what I want.

      • I want to thank you again for your participation in the blog that we have just launched. Feedback from concerned church members is vital to the success of what we want to do. We are not here to criticize or destroy, but to seek truth. When you speak here, you have a voice. Things that have formerly been stuffed down inside of you can now achieve a voice. Being forced to remain quiet when you have intelligent questions and realistic thoughts is extremely emotionally and spiritually destructive. Please encourage others to read and participate. Together, we can make a difference!

  10. That’s an extremely good point, lotsaquestions. First of all, there is no scripture that requires a person to say the things that a person is required to say before communion. Maybe that is not such a relevant point, but when some parts of scripture are held to so tightly, (such as “greet one another with a holy kiss”) then shouldn’t they all be? Furthermore, even if it is appropriate to be required to stand and make a speech before communion, should it not be something that truly comes from one’s heart, instead of a scripted speech? How about the verse that says “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death til he come.” (1 Cor. 11:26) In eating and drinking, a Christian remembers the Lord’s death and honors what he has done for us. By withholding from doing it we are giving dishonor to his death. We are making it a man’s thing, administered and controlled by man. This causes confusion in Christians, and a further lapse into legalism. The Bible simply does not state that everyone who is partaking has to be in complete unity and of one accord. The focus is to be more on one’s own self, not others. Naturally, Christians should always be in one accord, but to make the claim that there will be no communion until all are cleansed and pure is very presumptuous. It is impossible for a man to ever know the heart of another man, so therefore it is impossible to ever be sure that the congregation is pure. It is man’s judgment of the situation, at best. The longer that things like this go on, the more that people rely on other men to tell them when they are right with God, and the less they use their own understanding and their reliance on The holy Spirit. This is a very serious matter. There is also the matter of taking communion with anyone other than the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. There is something wrong when partaking of the Lord’s Supper is considered to be a “death sin” and a reason for excommunication. Have you ever considered the strangeness of this thought? I’d like some input on these thoughts, please.

  11. ~Set Free says:

    I have thought of this also lately and the thought has crossed my mind that the so called “sacraments” Are Not at all what Christ was talking about ? But rather are we making “Him” a part of us ? Eat His flesh, drink His blood…lets ponder this thought a minute ? As with all sacraments (could be wrong on that I’m just thinking out loud here and open to other thoughts), Sacraments are merely symbols of what should be or already has taken place. Water baptism, “symbolizes” The baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, Feet washing, “symbolizes” humility, Communion should be symbolical of “communing” with Christ…should it not ? So if that is the case if congregations are denied communion and feet washing there must be some pride (in the ministry perchance (?) that is keeping the congregation from humbly coming together in communion. Now I know that “pride” is one of the pet subjects and possibly for the reason that beings it isn’t so clearly defined in the minds of some they are either easilly controlled by pride or else they are easilly controlled by the threat of excommunication “because of pride” A pride that is usually unnamed because if you label something and it’s complied with you lose a certain amount of “control”. True pride can be hard to define at times…or is it ? Isn’t pride really the lying of someone to gain control over someone else ? Think back to the garden of Eden…the Bible is clear that Satan was cast out of heaven for pride isn’t it ? (someone help me out with a scripture and verse if one exists (I think it does if I haven’t been deceived) my mind is blank at the moment). That “pride” in my mind was the trying to usurp authority. Perhaps it would be good to have a clear definition of the word usurp ?
    USURP’, v.t. s as z. [L. usurpo.]
    To seize and hold in possession by force or without right; as, to usurp a throne; to usurp the prerogatives of the crown; to usurp power. To usurp the right of a patron, is to oust or dispossess him.
    Vice sometimes usurps the place of virtue.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but for myself I eat on a fairly regular basis or I start losing weight…which wouldn’t be such a bad idea either 8^>…Is the lack of communion then a sign of a bloated church government that is so overweight it’s on or needs to be on a diet so to speak ? Look how much could be saved by cutting back on the committees and letting a congregation take care of it’s own affairs. It’s a known fact that in most organizations “large controling committees” tend to stifle free thought and often due to that, the corporation becomes stale and dies for lack of fresh input. I personally do not see any difference between a lot of “organized” church functions and a large corporation that is out to make a profit and I don’t think we necessarilly should either…so long as “the profit” is the winning of souls. And the “church corporation as such” does not become stale and / or bloated with excesses that don’t help people know the truth but rather tend to cloud the vision by distracting people with business. Does this verse strike a cord ? (Luke 10:41 KJV) And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
    If so doesn’t this one suggest the remedy ? (Luke 10:42 KJV) But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

    People need rest. Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of health problems both in North America as well as “the church”. Christ came to give us that rest. (Matthew 11:28 KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Does this not also strike a cord ? (Matthew 23:4 KJV) For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
    Have you ever considered how ridiculous it is to make a trip to town and spend hard earned money “not for spreading the gospel but” to turn the whitewalls around or change the pickup wheels “to come into line” with idiocy ? I worked at a tire store at one time and while they were glad to take the money for ignorance they scoffed long and hard at the incongruity between “black sidewall tires” as being modesty, simplicity and economy as compared to the “loaded to the gills” vehicle they were rotating the tires on. Furthermore at the time I was working at the tire store you couldn’t even “buy” a whitewall tire in a “top of the line” tire. only the modestly, economically priced tires came with a white sidewall. Then it was the wheel instead of dog dish hubcaps…where is it now ? I wonder what that would cost if you could even find them ? To my, granted according to some, feeble way of thinking it’s far more modest and economical to buy what you can afford or what serves your purpose and who cares “what” it looks like if it does the job ? Ever seen a half rusted out vehicle ?? How much more “two-tone” can you get ? To me these “things” are the heighth of folly and stupidity because I have a hard time believing someone could actually be that ignorant ?? Even “the world” knows better than a lot of what is done in the name of “modesty, simplicity and economy.” But of course they’ve went to high school or college so we should expect someone that has more education to be more intelligent which makes them proud ?? Highly educated people are often among the most humble people I know…because the more you learn the more you realize how very much you don’t know ? True there are a lot of “college educated idiots” for the simple fact they may have had everything handed to them on a silver spoon and never learned any common sense. Another of the “perils of wealth. Is it just me or are there any valid parallels here ? I’d like some more input if anyone would care to ? Seems I’m baffled by (pardon me) BS. as I haven’t been dazzled by any brilliance in these areas. Please pardon me for my lack of propriety in some of these areas. It is not my intent to offend but to open minds to the incongruity of some of these things that have been done in the past and are going on even today only they have to keep changing “the things” to keep up with the times. Perhaps we need to know what some of these terms mean ?
    INCONGRU’ITY, n. [in and congruity.]
    1. Want of congruity; impropriety; inconsistency; absurdity; unsuitableness of one thing to another. The levity of youth in a grave divine, is deemed an incongruity between manners and profession.
    2. Disagreement of parts; want of symmetry.
    CONGRUITY, n.
    1. Suitableness; the relation of agreement between things.
    There is no congruity between a mean subject and a lofty style; but an obvious congruity between an elevated station and dignified deportment.
    2. Fitness, pertinence.
    A whole sentence may fail of its congruity by wanting a particle.
    3. Reason; consistency; propriety.
    4. In school divinity, the good actions which are supposed to render it meet and equitable that God should confer grace on those who perform them. The merit of congruity is a sort of imperfect qualification for the gift and reception of Gods grace.
    5. In geometry, figures or lines, which when laid over one another, exactly correspond, are in congruity.

    May we be ~Set Free to understand the deeper things of God, and His balance in life.

  12. justwonderin says:

    Lobelville recessed again. 3 years now since communion if I’m not mistaken ?

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