One Ex-SGMer’s Question…

February 4, 2010 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

One sad fact about Sovereign Grace Ministries is that it has split families.

It may not split all families, or even most, but I hear from many, many people who have been systematically cut out of their relatives’ lives once those relatives joined a Sovereign Grace church.  And it wasn’t because the non-SGMers weren’t Christians, either – most of the folks who have written to me have been careful to share that they are believers in Jesus, fully cognizant of the gospel, and active in their own (non-SGM but nonetheless Bible-believing, gospel-proclaiming) churches.  When they’ve broached the subject with their SGM relatives, the non-SGMers have typically been told that the SGM member is merely making a priority of relationships with those in their “local” church.  “No offense intended,” they’ll say, even as they gradually avoid more and more family get-togethers and quit having Grandma babysit their children.

On the other side of the SGM journey are those who have left the organization.  I hear from those people, too.  Many of them write to me in dismay, describing lives that have been turned upside-down after leaving their SGM churches.  Sadly, they also find themselves cut off from their still-in-SGM relatives.  Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins no longer are as welcoming or accepting.  Frequently, the ex-SGMers will tell of outright rejection of them as fellow believers, where parents will cast doubt on the salvation of their ex-SGM children, even though the ex-SGMers will establish that they’ve been vigilant about quickly finding new church homes and getting connected with other non-SGM Christians.  They discover that formerly easy-going relationships with parents and grandparents still in the SGM organization have turned into tense situations, where every conversation is a minefield of topics to carefully avoid.

One such ex-SGMer posted the following question in the comments of the previous post:

Today I am extremely sad and frustrated.  I have a totally random, off-topic question to ask:

HOW do you handle the increasingly tenuous relationships with family who remains in SGM once you have left?

It is getting worse with each passing day. And I am desperate for help.


I thought this question would make for interesting discussion and perhaps would also help our readers out there who are facing these situations.

© 2010, Kris. All rights reserved.