Triggered at Church

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Dinah-sore

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Triggered at Church
« on: August 02, 2018, 07:03:29 PM »
I was at church last night and I was singing a song, and I noticed that the lyrics were so triggering to me. There was a lot of "I am nothing" and "I lay down my rights." and I had to stop singing, because I felt like I couldn't sing them without betraying myself a bit.

I prayed and asked God if I am being in rebellion to Him, by having a problem with the words. I have no problem with the idea of praising Him for how wonderful He is!!! Or singing about my sin and need for forgiveness and grace. But there was also a line that was "I must be less, you must be more" and I know it is a reference to John the Baptist telling his disciples to follow Christ instead of him. He was saying my ministry must decrease and His ministry must increase. But how the worship song was going, it was basically saying we must wallow in some self-deprecating insecurity and sing "I am nothing."

As I prayed I kept thinking of all the verses that talk about who we are in Christ. We are adopted as God's children, we are co-heirs with Christ, we are elect, we are saints, we are given authority to represent Him on earth.

Why would we sing about being "less" when in Him we are more?

Then the pastor started teaching and he was talking about how we should never make plans (james) because we don't know when we are going to die, and our plans are probably wrong, and it isn't about being happy, but being obedient to God. And if he had chosen being happy, he wouldn't be the pastor of the church. And we need to not make our own choices.

I get that God directs us, but what is this emphasis on suffering. As if it is wrong to choose to be happy. He wasn't even talking about sin. He was talking about making choices that make you happy as if it is selfish. As if God wants you to not be happy. Almost like we need to choose to be Job, not just fall into seasons of suffering, but choose them.

Am I off base here?

I wonder sometimes if I am changing too much, that my faith will shatter. It hasn't. I still believe. I just see now, so much in the church (that I love) that triggers me. I feel like those sentiments imprisoned me and brainwashed me for so long. Yes, I sin. But I am not worthless. Jesus thought I had worth when I was still a sinner and He died for me. Right? I don't like singing that I am worthless. It feels abusive.
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 03:47:03 AM »
Dinah, in a nutshell, I believe you are right and the song and the preacher were off base.

I found your descriptions quite triggering too.

In terms of making plans: My understanding is that sometimes God makes our paths very clear by closing doors and opening them.  At other times he leaves the choices up to us.  As  long as we make our plans seeking  his guidance and blessings and remain open to His "no" if that's what happens on our way.

He gives us choice - who we marry, what profession to pursue, what we eat etc..

In terms of the words of the songs: This is one of the reasons I don't like a lot of the modern worship songs.

If scripture is quoted, it is quoted out of context. And repeated ad nauseum.

We are nothing when placed beside the sinless perfection of God. We are sinners and God cannot be in the presence of sin.

But He sent His son, who went willingly to the cross for us. Jesus' blood is our cloak of righteousness that enables God to be in our presence, and vice versa.

We are His because of what He did for us. What an unfathomable, glorious fact!

Keep praising God and seeking Him as you are doing.

I'm sorry that the church service was triggering for you. I hope it was a one off and that future services are more accurate and uplifting.

AOD

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AmericanWoman

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 02:19:36 PM »

To me, this is why churches are falling behind on attendance.

The Christian church is the bride of Christ, and she doesn’t wear the pants in the family!!!

Good call Dinah-sore seems the Holy Spirit touched your heart as to what you were hearing. 

Personally if the pastor isn’t preaching with a Bible in his hand and preaching OUT OF THE BIBLE and not using the pulpit as his personal opinion voice I’d be out of there.

One, I always remember just whom Jesus surrounded himself with.  The sinners, fishermen, hookers and they all gave Him their heart.  He loved not lectured.

Two, I believe in tithing and if I’m not receiving GODS WORD then they are not getting my money. 

I wish you the best

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biggerfish

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 05:10:03 PM »
Hi Dinah-sore. I was ready to reply before even finishing reading your post. My plan was to tell you that your pastor's sermon sounds like brainwashing. And then I saw that you used the word "brainwashing" yourself. I am a church going Christian and have been inside toxic churches in the past. But no more. My current pastor would never give a sermon like that. If you love your church and want to stay, maybe you can become okay with ignoring certain things. Even in my church now, I ignore some things. For example, when the congregation is reciting the prayer of confession, I am saying this prayer, "Dear God, I am already doing my best. Thank you that my best is enough." Nobody even knows I'm muttering that.  ;D

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practical

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2018, 10:02:13 AM »
For example, when the congregation is reciting the prayer of confession, I am saying this prayer, "Dear God, I am already doing my best. Thank you that my best is enough." Nobody even knows I'm muttering that.  ;D
I love this!

Then the pastor started teaching and he was talking about how we should never make plans (james) because we don't know when we are going to die, and our plans are probably wrong, and it isn't about being happy, but being obedient to God. And if he had chosen being happy, he wouldn't be the pastor of the church. And we need to not make our own choices.
Sounds to me like he is preaching to justify his bad choice, justifying his unhappiness as martyrdom and while doing so spreads his unhappiness over the whole congregation. Not that different from non-religious situations, if you have a coworker, a boss who hates his job, it usually effects everybody around them. I somehow thing this is his monkeys and circus.

I like the suggestion of finding another church/pastor.
“If I’m not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when I’m only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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SonofThunder

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 12:19:22 AM »
There are plenty of OT/NT Biblical examples of humans who chose for themselves not to be abused, injured, tortured, killed, overrun, enslaved and other terrible outcomes.   There are also plenty of OT/NT Biblical examples of Gods protection of humans from and removal from these terrible outcomes.  Jesus though, as very God, walked directly into it all , experienced it all (even though he could have altered it), defeated it all and arose victorious.   That is proof of, and reason for our worship of him and acceptance of his gift that ONLY he can provide.  If we could do what he did, we wouldnt need him or worship him.  Imo he doesn't ask us to try to be him, but rather trust in and have relationship with him, allowing ourselves to let him work in and through us. 

Also in my opinion, protection from and/or removal from abuse is not what i would call ‘choosing happiness’.  More happiness/less anguish may though, be a result of those self protecting decisions to protect/remove ourselves from abuse.  In fact, our very difficult decisions and hard work to protect ourselves/loved ones from abuse may be the very decisions that God wants us to take (leaning on Him in that hardship) and he will use these hardships to purify us and possibly the abuser as well.  Purification of most things requires the heat of hardship and it seems to be Gods method to do so. 

I encourage you to continue seeking truth directly from the Bible and if your pastor doesnt line up with the Bible, then let it slide in one ear and out the other.  Imo, we dont need humans to teach us when God has given us the Bible and direct access to him in prayer, word and through the spirit’s working.   A human can surely assist us by expanding our thoughts in our own personal quest for Biblical understanding and learning but imo, all human opinion must be run up against what the Bible teaches, both directly and indirectly through the lives of those contained in its pages.   

I believe, from what you wrote, that your pastor was misleading to feed some other motive. 

SoT.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 12:28:12 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 02:09:25 AM »
Thank you all for your beautiful and wise responses. <3
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Julian R

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 06:38:59 AM »
Hi Dinah-sore

I too am sorry that you were triggered by what happened at church. I also agree with the helpfulness of the above comments.

I would like to tentatively suggest that a different approach could be taken.  I wonder if you would feel comfortable about expressing your reservations to your pastor.  It is just possible that what you think he meant was not actually what he wanted to mean, and maybe he has just not considered how necessary it is to think through the potential impact of some of the things that are sung or taught.  He might find it helpful to hear from someone like yourself and this may help him to think through some issues he has previously overlooked and become a better pastor and teacher

Of course having such a conversation with your pastor may be risky.  I don't know him, nor whether you have a relationship of trust and confidence with him.  I would hope that he would be humble enough to listen and to think through what you have to say - but maybe you think it might go badly and just trigger more problems.  I can only leave you to judge what is best to do.

I am involved in teaching the Bible - and I sometimes get feedback from people and just recently had a case where someone had understood what I had said in a different way from what I wanted to convey.  I sought to listen and tried to understand the thoughts and emotions of what the other person was saying.  I tried to reassure them. It also means I need to think through how better to communicate what I want to say.  Hopefully your pastor will be as understanding - but sadly I cannot guarantee that.

The Bible has a lot to say about joy and happiness - how we naturally seek it often in unhelpful or unhealthy ways - and how best we can find it in relationship with Christ. Often in the Bible we find the words joy and suffering in the same sentence and this can strike us as odd.  For us on OOTFOG, our suffering all to often comes from the PD people in our lives.  These people/experiences are not and cannot be our source of happiness, but in our suffering God is with us, he has given us so much in Christ and it is in our relationship with Christ that we will find joy/happiness even in the midst of our daily struggles with PD people.

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SonofThunder

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 10:17:03 AM »
Hi Dinah-sore

I too am sorry that you were triggered by what happened at church. I also agree with the helpfulness of the above comments.

I would like to tentatively suggest that a different approach could be taken.  I wonder if you would feel comfortable about expressing your reservations to your pastor.  It is just possible that what you think he meant was not actually what he wanted to mean, and maybe he has just not considered how necessary it is to think through the potential impact of some of the things that are sung or taught.  He might find it helpful to hear from someone like yourself and this may help him to think through some issues he has previously overlooked and become a better pastor and teacher

Of course having such a conversation with your pastor may be risky.  I don't know him, nor whether you have a relationship of trust and confidence with him.  I would hope that he would be humble enough to listen and to think through what you have to say - but maybe you think it might go badly and just trigger more problems.  I can only leave you to judge what is best to do.

I am involved in teaching the Bible - and I sometimes get feedback from people and just recently had a case where someone had understood what I had said in a different way from what I wanted to convey.  I sought to listen and tried to understand the thoughts and emotions of what the other person was saying.  I tried to reassure them. It also means I need to think through how better to communicate what I want to say.  Hopefully your pastor will be as understanding - but sadly I cannot guarantee that.

The Bible has a lot to say about joy and happiness - how we naturally seek it often in unhelpful or unhealthy ways - and how best we can find it in relationship with Christ. Often in the Bible we find the words joy and suffering in the same sentence and this can strike us as odd.  For us on OOTFOG, our suffering all to often comes from the PD people in our lives.  These people/experiences are not and cannot be our source of happiness, but in our suffering God is with us, he has given us so much in Christ and it is in our relationship with Christ that we will find joy/happiness even in the midst of our daily struggles with PD people.

Julian this is great additional information and leans on kindness and possible misunderstanding. Your own story of openness and caring was a great example and serves to remind me well also that all pastors are human like myself and even though they may be well educated are subject to humanness, error, miscommunication and misunderstanding. 

I have had a few pastors who, like you, are open to discussion, but I have had a couple who were not and it is a good suggestive step by you for Dinah to find out that information from him about his sermon, but also about his heart for teaching, correction and care of those he has been assigned to lead.  If I find myself in this situation, I will remember your suggestion and heed your advice as well as search the subject matter in the Bible.

If the pastor is receptive to her being open to questioning his teaching/her understanding, there may very well be some clarity provided and therefore a reconciliation of the heart for Dinah about the pastor, her church in general and the Bible’s teaching on the subject.  Excellent and wise suggestion and hopefully the pastor is open to lay folk questioning his teaching. 

SoT.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 10:28:37 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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bgirl12

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Re: Triggered at Church
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 01:00:03 AM »
Dear friend, you have a sensitive heart. You are using reason and your mind along with God's word and this is what we are supposed to do. You are allowed to think. You should. The pastor is allowed to preach to our liking, standards, or perhaps not at times. You are allowed to make your own conclusions based upon what you hear against the Word of God. It's your walk ultimately.
We have to make decisions in life and we have to think about our desires because we have free will. So we have a God that loves us so much he doesn't force us to worship or read His word or do anything, really. It's up to us. So how to we pick careers, decide to move, or what movie to watch? We do the best we can because we are walking with Him. To respond to his calling on our lives is to acknowledge him in our ways. It means we consider him and include him. Maybe we think about what the word says before we make a major choice. If we are doing right by the lord, ourselves and others, it could be a great choice. If we are doing right by ourselves and our spouse is hurting, we are responding to our own selfish needs instead of putting them first, then that's not the plan we want to make.
Humans make a lot of schemes- to get rich, fall in love, to do what we want and try not to suffer consequences....it's complicated. The message you heard is a lifelong lesson and something we do daily. When we die to ourselves, we think of God first. We think of his calling for us. It's like thinking of things above first. The things on Earth are super distracting and don't always reflect what is the truth. My first tendency is to not want to go to church because I am so tired from working six days a week. But I know if I feel well enough to go, it fuels me, it helps me grow, and I pray. It's up to us to decide how to live. if I have a decision to make, I pray. I get quiet and wait for the soft voice of the Holy Spirit. If I can wait a few days or weeks, I wait and see how things transpire and I pray in the meantime and ask for clarity. I have to choose, so I choose and I ask God if it's his will, level my path as he promises. If it's not his will, give me a brick wall. We can sometimes be in God's will and not feel so good. We can be in the center of God's will and be in prison for our faith, or have to walk away from something we loved and thought would be there forever. it's hard to tell the outcome of our plans, and we can't go back and do them over. You've read, Father, not my will but thine. Christ did not want to die. Who would? But his will was in line with God's will every day of his life and that's incredible. We have his power in us. That makes a difference in our life choices.
God gives us a ton of info in the Bible about this sermon, your concerns , and the Holy Spirit is here to help you. Thank goodness we have not just pastors, although they are also here to help us. I know you are in good hands and are victorious. I am sorry you were so upset. I do understand. Ask God to show you what he wants you to know about that sermon and how it relates to the two of you. You're his. He loves you so much. Ask him to show you how much he loves you and how close he is to help you. Much love to you.