Often someone who leaves our church is characterized as a “God hater”. Suppose a good friend has decided to leave Calvary Temple for a personal reason. Maybe they don’t really give an explanation and you are curious as to their reasons why. Maybe you hope to maintain your relationship with this friend, seeing no reason not to. Talking to them is discouraged or even forbidden. You will hear from the pulpit “why would you want to hang out with someone that hates your God?” Even if you know that they are serving God, you will be criticized and probably find yourself in a meeting being told this person is off limits. Usually, leadership will say that they have information we do not, and that they don’t want to gossip. It is a convenient way to slander someone without any proof.
But God says, “For he that is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40). “If someone says ‘I love God’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar, for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 John 4:20). “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28).
And finally, we must be very careful to not bear false witness against a brother or sister. Do they really hate God? Or just believe God is leading them elsewhere.