Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jesus... No Matter the Cost... We Will Follow You

John 15:18-19  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Tonight, I'm broken. I have watched my husband faithfully love and serve at a church that has rejected him- just as the world rejected Christ.  My husband is not perfect, but he loved the church we were called to serve and still does.  I have watched him be verbally abused and falsely accused, and I have wept for hours over the sin of those who feel they righteously crucified him.  My toddler still has nightmares from what she saw.  After much prayer, much struggling, and much wise counsel from pastors around us, Bryan resigned from being the pastor of Cambridge Baptist Church tonight.  I was so proud of him.  He kept his integrity to the end.  Here's his resignation that he read to the church tonight.

To the Body of Cambridge Baptist Church:

I, Bryan Cirlot, hereby regretfully submit notice of my resignation, effective March 8th, 2011.  It is my hope that God will be glorified and His Word reverberated from the ministry He has allowed me to have at Cambridge for the last three years.  It is not my aim to harm or defame anyone during this time of transition. 

There are two types of education that all ministers need to receive.  The first is academic.  This education requires time and money.  It requires reading and study.  It requires writing and disciplines.  The second type of education is gained in quite a different manner.  It cannot be achieved through study or reading, or any of the disciplines of the academic world.  It comes from only one source—experience.  I would like to thank this body for being my other seminary—for being the place where I could receive three years worth of the second type of training.  You have taught me well, and though I still have much to learn, I know that my ministry at Cambridge has produced much fruit in my own life.  For this I am grateful. 

As with all learning, education and experience gives one focus.  My time at Cambridge has proved to focus my thoughts and ideas about what ministry and church should look like.  It has forced me to dig deeper and deeper in the Word to unearth my own understanding of the Church and its mission.  It is at this point where my path and the path of Cambridge Baptist Church has begun to take slightly different courses.  And, as with all small changes in direction, the further we each move down our own paths, the farther apart they will become.

In this way, my leadership and the leadership of the church at large have reached a point of tension in the direction the church should follow, as well as with the means and methods of pointing the path of the church in that direction.  The differences are more than personal preference.  They are differences of principle, and in this area, I am unwilling to walk in a direction not in keeping with convictions my study of God’s Word has inspired.    

So, with much heartache, hours of prayer, and mounds of wise counsel, Anna and I have decided it is best to separate from this ministry to begin looking for something more fitting for the gifts and talents that God has given to us.  I am deeply grateful that you took a chance on an inexperienced, twenty-four year old, first-time preacher.  You will always have a place in my heart. 

In His name,
Bryan Cirlot 

Please pray for our family now as we heal and seek God's direction for our lives.  We have no Plan B.  We haven't given out resumes.  We simply prayed that God would change hearts, and it turns out His plan is different than ours.  Pray that God meets our needs.  Pray that God saves the lost.  Pray that He heals what is broken.  Pray that our suffering will not be in vain.  We love Jesus.  We have given everything for Him as of tonight.

"Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest. I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water. " - Old Puritan Prayer

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