I was given 2 options.
1. "Repent of this critical attitude that is leading to divisiveness, could lead to divisiveness, and come join with us, be supportive of the leadership and Steve, grow with us, and help us further God's kingdom"
2. Or, we'd like you to go to another church, a place that you can worship and be happy.
And I was generously given 2 weeks to reply.
I questioned if they were asking or telling me to leave. I was given the following analogy:
Elder T: "You're a teacher, if you have a disruptive student in your class my hunch is that you tell this student, 'Here's the expectations for you to stay in this class. If you don't fill those expectations, I'm going to send you to the Principal's office"
I asked for the specific expectations, because I did not want to go to the Principal's office!
1. Stop the critical attitude of Steve's preaching, to him and to other people. That you try to join us in fellowship, and that you be involved in the work of the kingdom here. That critical attitude could lead to division and that is the big concern.
I then asked, "So if I don't agree with something that has been said, then I don't have the right to talk about it, is that what you are saying? Because that is all that I have done. I found out that the problem was that I was talking to others in the congregation and not keeping it within Elder T., Elder G and the pastor. But they knew there were concerns and questions, and they never sat down to discuss them. They would say that we did, because we did meet, but every time it was a meeting to do damage control. So discussing theology is out-of-bounds, unless done in their presence and only their presence. They say that their desire is to protect the flock. But if that is true, then why did some of the elders compliment my teaching at the Journeymen meeting? Why, after all the discussions have they not come up to me and told me where my toughts are unbiblical? Why, at our breakfast meeting did Elder S state, "I can't argue with your thoughts, but this is not good for the church." Really? So now being a wolf is not a matter of false teaching, it is just a matter of any teaching that we don't want to listen to? I recall my mentioning the name of Francis Chan at one of the meetings with the pastor. His response was, "He's always capping on the church." So because Chan finds some inconsistencies in the church, we should discount what he says? And they look at me as arrogant, but they refuse to see anything they do as being able to be scrutinized.
As I continue to rehash this episode, it makes me sad. I feel that I need to express myself somewhere, and if others read it, so be it. I can back up what I say, they can't because much of it is made up. Where is the alleged response from the pastor to everyone of my questions and concerns? He said the pastor sent an e-mail to me and he received a copy. I would love to see it. But again, that goes to the whole idea that the brute squad did not confront me on Biblical terms, allowing me to talk to any who heard what I said, and not allowing me to invite others to the meeting who were there and could tell what they heard. But rules don't matter if they don't work in your favor. This is their idea of unity?