Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

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HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

Hello, fellow believers,

I am here today with a heavy heart, concerned about an issue we can no longer ignore. I'm talking about the current state of our churches in Sheffield, where I, along with many others, have experienced something that feels like a cold shoulder instead of a warm welcome.

Let me paint a picture for you: I have walked through the doors of multiple churches across Sheffield over the years, hoping each time to find a community that embodies the teachings of Christ. Instead, I've been met with cliques and exclusion, a coldness that is far from our calling to "be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).

And it's not just me. I've heard read stories from others on online reviews, like me, are searching for a spiritual home but left standing on the outskirts, feeling shunned and ignored. These experiences are heartbreaking and damaging.

Unfortunately, this behaviour is tarnishing the image of Christianity in the modern world. We ask ourselves, "Is this the love that Christ calls us to show toward one another?" The Apostle John tells us, "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen" (1 John 4:20).

Sad to say, this is a trend that needs to be reversed if we are to keep our faith alive and thriving. We need to remember that the church is a body, and "if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26).

My friends, it is time for us to come together as a community, to share our experiences, to ask questions, and to support and advise one another. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, showing kindness, compassion, and love to one another. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).

I encourage you to share your experiences, asking questions, and offering advice. Let's work together to bring about positive change in our churches. Remember, we are stronger together 💪🙏.

I'll leave you with this: "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12).
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Re: Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

If you find yourself visiting a church in Sheffield and are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, please know that this is not what God wants church to be like.

The Bible is full to the brim of examples of God's profound love for all His creation, His call for us to love one another, and His understanding of our struggles including our loneliness. Each book, from Genesis to Revelation, contains lessons and illustrations that teach us to be kind, loving, and accepting of others.

In the book of Genesis, we encounter Joseph, who was isolated and sold into slavery by his brothers. Yet, Genesis 50:20 reads, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good," showing us that God understands our struggles, even in our loneliness, and can turn them around for our good.

The Gospel of Matthew enlightens us with the Sermon on the Mount, wherein Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). Here, Jesus is making it clear that everyone, irrespective of their social status or wealth, is welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven.

In the Epistles, the Apostle Paul reminds the Romans that "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). This verse encourages us to remember that everyone is worthy of love and acceptance, no matter their past mistakes or current circumstances.

In the final book, Revelation, John comforts us with the vision of God saying, "Behold, I am making all things new" (Revelation 21:5). This reinforces God's loving promise to renew and restore us no matter the depths of our despair or loneliness.

Let us, therefore, strive to embody these biblical teachings in our churches, creating communities of love, acceptance, and mutual support. Let's remember that our Lord Jesus Christ reached out to the least, the last, and the lost, and has called us to do the same. Even in our struggles and feelings of loneliness, God is with us. He understands our pain and offers comfort, solace and solutions.

Let us pray: "Dear Lord, thank you for reminding us that you are a God of love, mercy, and inclusivity. We pray that our churches will reflect your heart, becoming places of love, acceptance, and support. Help us to be more like you every day, reaching out to those who feel isolated and judged. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. Amen."

Dear reader, we would love to hear from you. Do you have any questions, experiences, or advice that you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below. Let us keep the conversation going, and together, continue on our journey of faith.
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Re: Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

Churches in Sheffield (especially in Fulwood) are resembling chimpanzee pens rather than places of worship!

Certain men, seeking companionship or perhaps driven by desperation, have turned our sacred spaces into hunting grounds. Instead of focusing on the Word of God and the gifts of the Spirit, they prey on the women of our church. This, my brethren, is not the will of our God.

This brings to mind the words of James 4:1-3, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

God did not ordain His Church to be a battleground of jealousy, envy, and ill-intent. God created His Church to be a sanctuary of love, peace, and fellowship. To these men, I say, your actions are in direct opposition to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And to the women, who may knowingly or unknowingly lead these men on, using their attention for a fleeting confidence boost, I also say, this too is not the will of God. Proverbs 14:1 warns us, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." We are called to be builders of God's kingdom, not its destroyers.

Our churches are not exclusive clubs for petty rivalries and jealousy. They are the body of Christ, meant to foster unity, love, and godliness. We must not allow our sanctuaries to devolve into toxic environments, polluted by such ungodly behavior.

For we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for God's temple is sacred, and you together are that temple."

So, my brothers and sisters, we must all examine our hearts. Our actions within the Church should reflect God's love, not our own selfish desires. We must seek to create an environment that honours God, and fosters true and holy fellowship. For those who choose to ignore this call to righteousness, remember the words of Hebrews 10:30, "For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' and again, 'The Lord will judge his people.'"

Let us strive to be the Church God intended us to be, a beacon of His love in this world.
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Re: Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

Church is meant to be a place meant to uplift and nurture our souls, and yet, too often, we see the very antithesis of Christ’s teachings: cliques. Yes, those harmful, exclusive groups that tear our church apart and drive people away. This behavior is not just wrong; it is downright un-Christian.

We all have done it. We've formed cliques and excluded others, behaving like the Pharisees Jesus chastised. This behavior is antithetical to the love and fellowship Christ calls us to. Our Lord said in John 13:34-35 (NIV): "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." When we form cliques, we reject this command, pushing away those who might come to church seeking hope and love.

Picture this: a newcomer walks into our church, seeking comfort, perhaps battling depression or loneliness. They look around, hoping for a warm welcome. Instead, they see groups of people huddled together, closed off, and unwelcoming. They feel rejected and think, "Is this what Christianity is about?" Friends, this is soul-crushing and could very well turn someone away from Christ forever. 😔

Now, for those who come to church merely to climb the social ladder, forming cliques to boost their own status, hear this: your actions are not just damaging others; they are condemning your own soul. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV): "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Hell is a real place, a place of eternal torment and separation from God. By ignoring and rejecting others, you are rejecting God's command to love. This lack of genuine love and fruit in your life could be evidence that you are not saved. Hell awaits those who reject God’s truth and live in disobedience. Repent now, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

Consider the profound impact our behavior has. When we form cliques and ignore others, we create barriers, fostering an environment where only a select few feel welcome. This stands in direct opposition to Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV), which urges us to "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

We do not know what burdens others carry. Someone might be silently struggling with depression, heartache, or loss, desperately needing a friend. As Christians, our calling is to be that friend, to show unconditional love and compassion. By breaking down cliques and welcoming everyone with open arms, we embody Christ’s love and create a church that truly reflects His kingdom.

In conclusion, let’s shun cliquey behavior and embrace a spirit of love and unity. Let’s be the church that welcomes everyone, showing the world that we are Christ’s disciples through our love for one another. We must repent from the sin of exclusion and strive to be the loving, inclusive body of Christ that God calls us to be.
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Re: Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

I met a woman at church who seemed genuinely interested in me. We had what I thought was a real connection, only for her to drop me like a hat once she got bored. She now blatantly ignores me, having moved on to flirt with other guys. This isn't the first time this has happened to me, and it seems there's a pattern among some women at church. They lure you in, only to stomp all over your heart for an ego boost, making themselves feel superior by attracting attention from multiple men, regardless of the emotional damage they cause.

These actions are far from Christian. The Bible teaches us in Ephesians 4:32 (NIV), "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Yet, kindness and compassion seem to be lacking in these interactions. Instead, what we see is cruelty and a disregard for the feelings of others.

It’s not just the women; some men, too, exhibit un-Christian behavior. They clique up, refuse to talk to outsiders, and act as though the church is a social club rather than a place of worship. I know I shouldn't judge, but it's hard not to feel hurt and isolated when you're excluded and ignored. The worst part is seeing these same individuals engage in meaningless conversations that have no place in a church setting. I once overheard a conversation about wanting to punch someone, which is shocking and entirely against our Christian values. Matthew 5:44 (NIV) says, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Where is the love and prayer in such talk?

These experiences make it incredibly challenging to remain faithful and hopeful. As a single person, it’s disheartening to think I might never marry because of these toxic behaviors. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV), "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." But how can we find such love when our church is filled with individuals who are self-seeking and dishonorable?

We must all strive to be better Christians. It's not just about attending church; it's about embodying Christian values in every aspect of our lives. We need to stop these ego-trips and focus on building genuine, loving relationships. Let’s commit to being kind, compassionate, and respectful, truly reflecting Christ’s love in our actions. 🙏

Remember, we are all part of the Body of Christ, and it is our duty to support and uplift one another, not tear each other down for selfish reasons. Let’s make our church a true sanctuary of love, respect, and spiritual growth.
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Solution: Be the Change!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

To those who feel lonely, downtrodden, and ignored at church, I want to reassure you: you're not alone. God is with you, even in your darkest moments, and He sees your pain. He spoke of these trials in Revelations, reminding us that we are not forgotten. Our churches are meant to be sanctuaries of love and unity, not middle-class clubs for the elite. Unfortunately, I have witnessed the cliquishness in church communities, and it breaks my heart. But take heart, my friends, for we can be the change we wish to see.

Many of us have experienced the cold shoulder at church, feeling like outsiders in a place where we should feel most at home. It's disheartening to see the church behaving more like an exclusive social club than the loving body of Christ. The cliques, the judgment, the lack of outreach—these are not reflective of God's kingdom.

While we cannot change others, we can change ourselves. Instead of succumbing to the coldness, let us be the warmth. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out to those who are alone, just as He reached out to the marginalized in His time.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

This verse reminds us of our duty to uplift and support one another. Encouragement is a powerful tool that can transform lives. When we see someone new or someone sitting alone, let us push ourselves to befriend them. Even if our efforts are not reciprocated, we must persist. Our actions speak louder than words, and our love will shine through.

God allows us to face these trials to strengthen our character and build empathy. By experiencing rejection, we learn the importance of being welcoming and loving to others.

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." – John 13:35 (ESV)

This verse emphasizes that our love for one another is the defining mark of a true disciple of Christ. Let us seize this opportunity to practice love and inclusivity in our churches. Yes, rejection may come, but it is a reflection of others, not of us. Our persistence in love and kindness will set us apart and inspire change.

Let's pray:
Heavenly Father, we come before You with heavy hearts, feeling the sting of rejection and loneliness in our church communities. We ask for Your strength to rise above this pain and be vessels of Your love. Help us to encourage and build up our brothers and sisters in Christ, just as You have commanded. Give us the courage to reach out to those who are alone and to persist in love, even when it is not returned. May our actions reflect Your love and draw others closer to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Friends, if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences or advice, please comment below. Your stories and insights are valuable and can help inspire others to be the change in their church communities.
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

Re: Sheffield Churches: The harsh cliquey reality!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

In the Church of England, some ministers seem to be more interested in wielding authority than in serving God or their congregation. Instead of spreading the Gospel and offering support, they are consumed by the power their position grants them. This attitude drives people away from the church rather than drawing them closer to Christ.

Consider my experience: I sought a new church home after feeling unwelcome at my previous church. Instead of receiving care and understanding, I was met with suspicion and accusations. A curate—not even a senior minister—interrogated me as if I were on trial. Accusations flew that perhaps I had been expelled from my former church and was under discipline there. This behaviour, akin to a schoolteacher admonishing a child, is not what Christ intended His shepherds to be like.

Let us turn to the Word of God for guidance. In 1 Peter 5:2-3, the Apostle Peter advises, "shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock."

This verse serves as a powerful reminder that church leaders should lead by example, with a willing heart, not out of a desire for power. Authentic leadership is rooted in humility and service, not in dominance and control.

Reflecting on this scripture, it is clear that the behaviour of some ministers starkly contrasts with Peter's instructions. They have become stumbling blocks to faith, driving away those seeking solace and community. However, not all ministers are this way; many truly embody Christ's teaching and lead with genuine love and humility. We must discern and support those who faithfully serve God's purpose.

In my own life, I have found great comfort in Peter’s words. They remind me that true leadership in the church comes from a place of love and humility, not from a desire for control. This insight has strengthened my resolve to seek out congregations that embody these values.

Dear Lord, we pray for our church leaders. Grant them humility and a servant's heart. Let them lead with compassion and integrity, reflecting Your love to all they encounter. Help us support and uplift those who truly serve You, and guide us away from those who misuse their authority. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Have you experienced similar challenges within your church community? How have you navigated these situations? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below. Let us support one another in seeking a church that truly reflects Christ's love and humility.
HowNowBrownCow
Posts: 17
Joined: April 11th, 2023

A church in Fulwood full of creeps!

Post by HowNowBrownCow »

I remember the days I spent at a particular church in Fulwood. I won't name this church because it wouldn't be fair. But let me tell you, what I saw there was nothing short of appalling. Many of the men who attended seemed to have one thing on their minds, and it certainly wasn't Jesus. They treated the church like a hunting ground, preying on women rather than seeking spiritual growth. This behavior is disgraceful and tarnishes the image of what a church should be.

Take, for example, a certain ginger, weasel-looking guy who was nothing but a desperate creep. He would hover around any girl he could get close to, constantly bugging them and trying it on with as many as possible. It was sickening to watch. One new girl who started attending was particularly targeted by this pest. He would sit next to her, linger around her, and even from a distance you could see she was visibly uncomfortable. Eventually, she stopped coming to church, driven away by this pathetic excuse for a man. Did he care? Not one bit. He just moved on to the next new girl, continuing his disgraceful behavior.

These men are not just a nuisance; they are a cancer within the church. They shun and clique out other guys who they see as threats to their womanizing ways. It's pathetic. They turn the church into a weird hunting ground for single, desperate nerds to pester women. And because of them, the rest of us decent guys get a bad reputation. Women start thinking we're all like that, when we're not.

The problem here is clear: these men are using the church as a playground for their depraved pursuits, instead of a place for worship and community. This behavior drives away women and undermines the very foundation of the church. It's time to call it out for what it is—disgusting, predatory behavior that has no place in any house of worship.

The solution is equally clear: we need to reclaim our church. We need to create an environment where women feel safe and respected. We need to stand up against these predators and show them that their actions are not welcome. As it says in the Bible, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7). These men will face the consequences of their actions, but it's up to us to make sure they don't ruin our church in the meantime.

Confronting this issue head-on will not be easy, but it's necessary for the health and sanctity of our community. By addressing this problem, we can create a more welcoming and respectful environment for everyone. We can restore the church to its rightful place as a sanctuary for worship, not a hunting ground for predatory behavior.

Let's take a stand and show these pathetic pests that their actions will not be tolerated. It's time to reclaim our church and restore its true purpose. 💪🙏

#ChurchReform #RespectInWorship #StopPredatoryBehavior
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