Something I thought of just now. It has been about 35 years ago I attended a very small (50 adults and handful of kids) United Church. They did something that I don’t think would happen with certain unhealthy churches. There was another Methodist church just starting up. I think it was in our town, another part of town. Our pastor sent a few people over there to help them get going. There is so much jealousy amongst the unhealthy churches that I don’t think they would do this until less it was some distance away in another town or another part of the state. They want all the attendance they can get in their town. They want to be the only church of that denomination/belief there is in their town.
Not long before I left my church, I discovered there had been another church of the same denomination, just a few blocks from my church. Best kept secret. I did go to help another person who was wanting to be in church but had left the one we were going to. My pastor asked me “Are you leaving too?” I told him no – little did I know…… But you see how paranoid they are. Now that little church had about 5 members including adults, the pastor, his wife and their two nephews. My friend took her kids and they doubled the size of that church. That pastor was really interested I tell you. But she decided to not continue going.
I don’t know why they could not have combined churches but no, they had to keep separate. The other pastor probably should have gone to another part of town……but here again, there can only be One True Church in a town. Our town/city is about 125,000 – 130,000 so is not huge but should be able to support several churches. In fact it does but while they hold the same oneness Apostolic beliefs and may even be different denominations (and that is probably one of the problems) only one of the churches says they are the only one with All the Truth and the others (especially one) is stealing the One Church’s sheep – but the sheep leave on their own and want somewhere to go. Some of the sheep left town, actually moved when they found another church, some just dropped out altogether and were considered to have left God (because apparently God only can live in one church here).
So why can we not all get along?