People may say, "there are believers in every denomination". Yes, the Holy Spirit of God is no respecter of persons. He has touched the hearts of Catholics, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Dutch Reformed, etc. God loves them just as much as the Pentecostals."
Truly, I say God loves His children and He is no respecter of persons. But, I do say that Jesus Christ has something to say about staying in churches whose doctrines do not align with His Word. He has something very much to say about His children being in churches whose doctrines are outright idolatrous.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, and be ye separate, saith the Lord and touch
not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor.6:1418)
Some people have told me, "I don't have any churches in my area that are truly teaching holiness, so I stay with what I have even though it's not the best." Others have said, "Every church has something wrong with it. There's always some disagreement even in the Pentecostal churches." To this I would answer, get together with those who are seeking a deeper walk in holiness, desiring the separation from the world. Those who are willing to live in Christ's desires above all else should pray together. The best churches start with but a few members who are earnest about serving the Lord. You can meet for Bible studies and prayer meetings right in someone's home. Prayer meetings and Bible studies can be the beginning of a church group. Then pray for God to raise up a pastor.
Behind the iron curtain in China, the true church is underground. The public churches are run as the puppets of the state. Someday, America may see the hardest of times. Restrictions are already seen in giving out the gospel of Jesus Christ. The name of Jesus cannot be heard in schools, malls, and what once were public places, without threats of arrest. This has changed much from only a few years back. I grew up having the Word of God read at every assembly in a public school. We started each day with the Our Father and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
One must be led by a pastor that will teach you how to go through in self denial, separation from the world, and carrying the cross of Jesus Christ that will prepare you far greater than staying in some church that gives religious practices with little or no training in the Word. Large church bodies are not necessarily led by the Holy Spirit.
Many large churches gather the crowds because they don't expect much of the people in the way of personal change. A prosperity gospel having a focus on getting instead of giving, or giving with the hope of getting will draw big crowds even in the Pentecostal churches. Pastors driving in Jaguars show the world how easy it is to be a Christian. Such delusion, and bad witness! The world looks at socalled Christian TV and says, "Look at all that makeup. She doesn't look like a Christian. And look at those rings and expensive watches and tailored suits. They are always asking for money to put in their empire of buildings." Though the world looks for excuses for their sins, truly, the world sees THE WORLD in our churches today. God's people are praising, lifting hands, praying in tongues and they still don't know the inner court of God's holiness. Some would say, "Your holiness means legalism." Legalism must be challenged by the Word of God. Does it say it in the Word? Then do it! "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Again Jesus points out "It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD." (Luke 4:4)
"God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)
The Holy Spirit of the Lord should lead the services. Pastors must yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all areas in the church. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life." (John 6:63) What is happening in many of the Christian churches today? "And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things entering in, choke the Word and it becometh unfruitful." (Mark 4:18-19) Note, in Mark the parable of the sower shows us the falling away of many. Only one fourth, a remnant remains... "And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty and some an hundred." (Mark 4:20)
People must not choose a church because of friends, or locality, or size but because God is leading them to a deeper walk with Him. If you are not growing in the church you are in, GOD MAY WANT YOU TO GET OUT OF IT! If the church cannot give out specifics in areas of change, GOD MAY WANT YOU TO GET OUT OF IT! If the pastor or elders do not know you and your situations, giving you no time for Holy Spirit counsel, GOD MAY SAY LEAVE!
If you fear being controlled, examine yourself in the light of the Holy Spirit. Read what the Bible tells you about pastors in Hebrews 13:17. "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves for they watch for your souls, as they must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief for that is unprofitable for you." That shows the responsibility on the part of pastors for counsel in the Word. The proud of heart will not be able to submit to change. "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish." (Prov.12:1) The humble of heart will receive and be broken before God and receive His holiness, His glory. "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Prov.9:89) Pastors that cannot live the Word in faithful abiding, generous giving, truthfulness, showing the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:2223 should be prayed for. But do not submit to them. Speak to the pastor before leaving the church, share your heart as God leads you to pray and make sure God is moving you out to another church.