I had quite the experience today. As my regular readers know, my family has moved just recently to central Kansas in a town called Hillsboro. As this is quite a drive from where we were living in western Kansas, we are looking for a new church home.
It's our desire that we find a good church that is Elder led and expositional in it's teaching style. Today was the first Sunday since we moved here that we have had the chance to look for a church, we chose a Bible Church to visit in a near by town and decided to check it out.
We went, of course, and the service was alright. All traditional hymns, which is ok although I perfer a mix of modern worship and hymns both, but not a big deal really. The pastor had a decent sermon and all that, and several people we talked to were very welcoming and friendly. By the end of the service I was pretty well decided that I'd be willing to visit again and we'd see if it was a fit for us as time went on.
However, that's when something changed my mind. An older gentlemen in the church came over to me and in no so subtle of a style he proceeded to tell my wife and I that there are "other" Bible churches that we shoould check out. I found this kind of odd that someone would tell us that when we were visiting their church. But as the conversation continued it became obvious that he was telling us that we wern't welcome their and should look elsewhere. To be honest I was speechless. (A first time I assure you)
I was so taken back that someone would be so forward as to tell us that. I'm not even entirely sure why, but I can only assume it is because I have earrings. Nevermind the fact that I was wearing a suit and tie. I was, and am, pretty upset by this. I don't think He represents the church as a whole, but I also don't think that my wife and I will be going back there and I intend on letting the Pastor know why tomorrow when I give him a call.
I share this mainly to vent, but also to ask, what should be the grounds for one believer (Supposedly anyway) telling another believer that they cannot fellowship in the same building with them? I guaruntee you, it's not a guy having earrings. Only unrepentant sin is a disqualification for fellowship and that is after a series of church discipline (1 Cor. 5; Mt. 18:15-17).
People such as this are what you might call "cancer" to what appeared to be an otherwise healthy church. And in my opinion this is a great example of why church discipline is necessary, because people like this gentleman are destructive to the body of Christ.