Since last year I have been hearing from church members who are being mistreated by their pastors because they don’t agree with what Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, California, (home of West Coast Baptist College) is doing in regard to the adaptation of contemporary worship music.
This week I have received two more examples of this.
In one case, the pastor has taken to “blasting” me from the pulpit because he has a family who is resisting the church’s contemporary direction in music. This family has refused to sing contemporary worship songs by Getty/Townend and others. They have done this quietly without talking around to try to cause trouble among the members, but they cannot in good conscience sing these songs. They told the music director personally, and that was all. The husband said, “I told my wife that, since I did not want to cause divisions, we would not talk to anyone about the reasons for my decision, and we didn't.”
Even so, the pastor has made this godly family feel very uncomfortable by saying that questioning the pastor is evidence of a critical spirit and that being concerned about things such as “beat anticipation” is to “waste time about minor things while souls are dying and going to hell.”
Last year this pastor had seemed to agree with my warnings, but after he attended a conference at Lancaster he developed a bad attitude toward me personally and toward my ministry and toward those who listen to me. He is now treating me as an enemy of good churches and an underminer of pastoral authority.
Recently the pastor preached a sermon that was obviously directed toward that family. The husband testified as follows of how he felt when his own pastor treated him like some sort of enemy of the truth:
“I don't think I have ever felt so despised and worthless as I did at the end of that sermon. Just as he never mentioned your name when blasting away at you, he never mentioned my name when blasting away at me. But it was obvious to everyone involved in the music ministry, and perhaps to some others as well, EXACTLY who he was talking about. He stood up there and mocked me for ‘taking a stand’ on such a supposedly trivial issue. He accused me of being more loyal to an ‘Internet pastor’ than to himself. He accused me of being unsubmissive to pastoral authority and causing divisions. He accused me of thinking that I'm ‘more spiritual’ than everyone else. He even implied that my actions were somehow preventing people from being saved.”
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