Just What Is The Church?

An Open Letter to Tim Stafford

In the current issue of Christianity Today, author Tim Stafford in an article entitled The Church—Why Bother, states, “There is no healthy relationship with Jesus without a relationship to the church.” Here is my response to that article.

Dear Tim,

Could I invite you to take a walk with me? There are some people I’d like you to meet that might help you rethink your recent article. And you can pick the destination, because just about anywhere you want to go I could find some brothers and sisters your article adresses. I could introduce you to Kevin and Val in Australia, John and Mary in New Zealand, Paul and Kim in Portland, David and Nina in Ireland, Stan and Mavis in England, Jack and Nancy in Maine, David and Rachel in California and hundreds more I know around the globe.

If you’d take a moment to sit down with them you’ll discover they’re part of this 23 million people who claim to know Jesus but do not attend a Sunday morning service. I have no doubt you would have the time of your life fellowshipping with them. Their faith is powerful and real. They are experiencing a transformation in God’s grace that they never found in an institution and they demonstrate a passionate commitment to the church of Jesus Christ that any Sunday service couldn’t begin to let them express.

At one time these were all full-time pastors or leaders, developing successful congregations in any outward sense you’d care to measure. But in time they grew unsettled with lack of spiritual growth and healthy relationships that congregational life produced. Attempts at renewal either fell on deaf ears or never fulfilled the passion on their heart. They began to wonder if the institutional dynamics and cumbersome ritual wasn’t undermining that passion. They all left it years ago after decades of trying to make it better, and they have never looked back.

All of them lost confidence in the congregational system to bring people into the fullness of what it means to love God and live in supportive relationships with other believers. None of them left it easily and they hold no ill will toward those who still find help and comfort in those institutions you recognize as church. They affirm the body of Christ in whatever expression he chooses to make himself known, whether it is a service in a building or an informal group gathered in a home. And if you want to add to them former elders, Sunday school teachers, deacons and committed parishioners the number would swell well into the thousands. And that’s just the people I know.

Not all who have forsaken their connections with the institutional church have done it out of laziness, selfishness or independence. These didn’t leave in abandonment of their faith, but as the only thing they could see to do to continue living the reality of their faith. In all my years in institutional congregations I’ve never seen people more active in spiritual growth, more willing to lay down their lives to serve others and more free to live as the body of Christ all week long rather than confining it to a meeting or two each week.

What many of us have found on the outside offers more connection, more transformation, more opportunities for ministry than we ever found inside. Does it ever bother you that if Jesus wanted us to be part of these institutions with morning services, he did nothing in the Gospels to prepare his disciples for it? On the contrary his example and words were far more de-centralized than that. Love each other as you’ve been loved. Where two or three of you get together I’ll be there with you. He didn’t envision church as a building, an institution or a service. He viewed it as a company of people following him, sharing his life with each other and serving the world with compassion and humility. For the first 300 years in the life of the church believers met in homes and would never have conceived of the Lord’s Supper being served any where other than the family table?

I know our Christian institutions are fading and the last thing they want anyone to believe is that we can flourish in the life of Jesus and in real connections with other believers outside its influence. But I’m afraid the tide has turned. People are beginning to awaken to a reality of God’s life together that cannot be contained by any institution. Those who claim otherwise sound like bankers in the 1920s trying to assure people their money was safe inside so they won’t all try to withdraw it and find out otherwise.

In the end we would all agree with you that growth in Christ and mission to the world are greatly stilted without vital connections to the church of Jesus Christ. We would just define the term ‘church’ differently. We’ve found that connection to be far more real and effective in ever-deepening relationships with fellow believers than in sitting in a pew, contributing time and money to a program that less and less reflects the kingdom realities that Jesus taught.

And we would take exception to your conclusion that, “A living, breathing congregation is the only place to live in a healthy relationship to God. That is because it is the only place on earth where Jesus has chosen to dwell.” We have found that he does not dwell in buildings made with hands, but lives first and foremost in the human heart at every moment and in every corner of our lives. Our relationships with other believers isn’t a substitute or that presence, only a fuller expression of it.

Your brother and fellow-pilgrim,

Wayne

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34 Comments
  1. maryann January 21, 2005 at 5:22 pm

    wayne…You are the MAN! I will also humbly submit my little voice of opinion to Mr. Stafford and his piece. I am embracing the FULLNESS of my faith now…sadly, I could not do that before. there were too many rules and fears…now there is FAITH.

  2. maryann January 21, 2005 at 8:22 pm

    wayne…You are the MAN! I will also humbly submit my little voice of opinion to Mr. Stafford and his piece. I am embracing the FULLNESS of my faith now…sadly, I could not do that before. there were too many rules and fears…now there is FAITH.

  3. steve January 21, 2005 at 8:23 pm

    Wayne,

    Just added my two cents worth although I could never do as well as you. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. steve January 21, 2005 at 11:23 pm

    Wayne,

    Just added my two cents worth although I could never do as well as you. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Donna W. January 22, 2005 at 6:35 am

    Hi Wayne,

    I added my 2 cents worth and I hope many others do as well.

    Blessings

    Donna W.

  6. george January 22, 2005 at 9:22 am

    Hi Wayne,

    We too have responed to them

    Thanks Bro!

    Peace

  7. Donna W. January 22, 2005 at 9:35 am

    Hi Wayne,

    I added my 2 cents worth and I hope many others do as well.

    Blessings

    Donna W.

  8. glennfrank@earthlink.net January 22, 2005 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for doing that wayne. I had seen that article but had not written to them about it. Your blog gave me the motivation to send a letter to the editor too!

    Glenn F.

  9. george January 22, 2005 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Wayne,

    We too have responed to them

    Thanks Bro!

    Peace

  10. glennfrank@earthlink.net January 22, 2005 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for doing that wayne. I had seen that article but had not written to them about it. Your blog gave me the motivation to send a letter to the editor too!

    Glenn F.

  11. Kent Burgess January 23, 2005 at 2:44 pm

    I am going to do the same when I finish this post. I hope I don’t ever wear this response out. It comes from my lips continually these days. I am AWED!!!! Father’s hand moving through his people, who are outside, throughout all the world is simply amazing.

    Kent

  12. Kent Burgess January 23, 2005 at 5:05 pm

    I tried to send this response to your email but it was too big so I will post it here for all to see.

    Tim, I don’t know quite how start this response to your article. I guess I will start by saying this, apparently you have only had contact with those outside the traditional institutional structure who are loners unattached to a body. I have been one of the 23 million you alluded to for 15 years now and my experience could not be any more opposite from what you described. I’m not alone on this journey at all. I have never felt like I have left the church. I just found a different expression of it. The freedom I have found I do not have time to go into here. Nor do I have time to go into the incredible bodylife I have experienced. I cannot begin to tell you here of the sufferings of Christ that have also been a part of this journey outside of the institution you alluded to one must be a part of to take part in. I tend to think you speak of something going on in the Body of Christ, outside the institution you are a part of, that you really don’t know about. I don’t mean that to sound harsh and I hope it is not. I just find all your statements about those not attending an institutional church as being off the mark and far from the truth. Your remarks certainly don’t describe those believers in the circles I have had the privilege of coming to know. I have now for many years been privileged to see the awesome church Jesus is building and he is doing a wonderful job. I didn’t see that until my idea of his church changed from only being the institution I had grown up in, to the body he is building together through relationships with other believers all over the world. Yes, some of those relationships are long distant and they also are very valuable. But the body I speak of as being my local church is local and face to face. I think you might be amazed if you would take the time to meet some of us outside. I will end with this. I, too, would have not given someone like me or the other 23 million much time 15 years ago. But I will never cease in my thanks to God for tugging on my heart that one sunday morning so he could show me His church. It was very different than I could have ever imagined.

    Thanks for listening,

    In Him,

    Kent Burgess

    St. Louis, MO

  13. Kent Burgess January 23, 2005 at 5:44 pm

    I am going to do the same when I finish this post. I hope I don’t ever wear this response out. It comes from my lips continually these days. I am AWED!!!! Father’s hand moving through his people, who are outside, throughout all the world is simply amazing.

    Kent

  14. Kent Burgess January 23, 2005 at 8:05 pm

    I tried to send this response to your email but it was too big so I will post it here for all to see.

    Tim, I don’t know quite how start this response to your article. I guess I will start by saying this, apparently you have only had contact with those outside the traditional institutional structure who are loners unattached to a body. I have been one of the 23 million you alluded to for 15 years now and my experience could not be any more opposite from what you described. I’m not alone on this journey at all. I have never felt like I have left the church. I just found a different expression of it. The freedom I have found I do not have time to go into here. Nor do I have time to go into the incredible bodylife I have experienced. I cannot begin to tell you here of the sufferings of Christ that have also been a part of this journey outside of the institution you alluded to one must be a part of to take part in. I tend to think you speak of something going on in the Body of Christ, outside the institution you are a part of, that you really don’t know about. I don’t mean that to sound harsh and I hope it is not. I just find all your statements about those not attending an institutional church as being off the mark and far from the truth. Your remarks certainly don’t describe those believers in the circles I have had the privilege of coming to know. I have now for many years been privileged to see the awesome church Jesus is building and he is doing a wonderful job. I didn’t see that until my idea of his church changed from only being the institution I had grown up in, to the body he is building together through relationships with other believers all over the world. Yes, some of those relationships are long distant and they also are very valuable. But the body I speak of as being my local church is local and face to face. I think you might be amazed if you would take the time to meet some of us outside. I will end with this. I, too, would have not given someone like me or the other 23 million much time 15 years ago. But I will never cease in my thanks to God for tugging on my heart that one sunday morning so he could show me His church. It was very different than I could have ever imagined.

    Thanks for listening,

    In Him,

    Kent Burgess

    St. Louis, MO

  15. J January 23, 2005 at 10:04 pm

    Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!

    Such a rediculous article I sent two seperate responses. We all should pray for this brother and his limited and confined view.

    May God continue to show us all what His Church really is.

    PS—Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!

  16. J January 24, 2005 at 1:04 am

    Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!

    Such a rediculous article I sent two seperate responses. We all should pray for this brother and his limited and confined view.

    May God continue to show us all what His Church really is.

    PS—Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!

  17. Dave January 24, 2005 at 6:26 pm

    I don’t dare write to that guy. After reading his article I don’t think I’d be a very gracious respondent. I second the "Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!"

  18. Dave January 24, 2005 at 9:26 pm

    I don’t dare write to that guy. After reading his article I don’t think I’d be a very gracious respondent. I second the "Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!"

  19. Andy January 25, 2005 at 6:31 am

    I was really impressed by the quality of the comments in the forum at Christianity Today. Most of the people who have taken the time to write have done a great job of graciously offering a counter point from personal experience. I put in my 2 cents while I was there. Thanks for the tip.

  20. Wayne Jacobsen January 25, 2005 at 8:21 am

    Why all the Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhing?!?!?! Do we have pirates on this list?

    Really, how does Mr. Stafford’s ignorance about the breadth of the body of Christ negatively impact you? I know there is a place in detoxing from religious thinking where the disapproval of others is a real stab in the heart. It’s easy to get angry at those who don’t get it. But didn’t most of us use to believe what Mr. Stafford believes? I know I did. The only people I knew outside the system were apathetic and independent. But partly that was because I wouldn’t allow myself to see (or admit) otherwise. I have compassion for folks who really hunger for God and are stuck with definitions of church that keep themselves captive as much as anyone else. I should think he’d merit our prayers and love and a demonstration of such, rather than make him the focus of our frustration or anger. I’m hoping people post to Christianity Today with a lot of ‘gentleness and respect’, as I Peter 3 reminds is the most effective way to help people see what they don’t see…

  21. Andy January 25, 2005 at 9:31 am

    I was really impressed by the quality of the comments in the forum at Christianity Today. Most of the people who have taken the time to write have done a great job of graciously offering a counter point from personal experience. I put in my 2 cents while I was there. Thanks for the tip.

  22. Wayne Jacobsen January 25, 2005 at 11:21 am

    Why all the Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhing?!?!?! Do we have pirates on this list?

    Really, how does Mr. Stafford’s ignorance about the breadth of the body of Christ negatively impact you? I know there is a place in detoxing from religious thinking where the disapproval of others is a real stab in the heart. It’s easy to get angry at those who don’t get it. But didn’t most of us use to believe what Mr. Stafford believes? I know I did. The only people I knew outside the system were apathetic and independent. But partly that was because I wouldn’t allow myself to see (or admit) otherwise. I have compassion for folks who really hunger for God and are stuck with definitions of church that keep themselves captive as much as anyone else. I should think he’d merit our prayers and love and a demonstration of such, rather than make him the focus of our frustration or anger. I’m hoping people post to Christianity Today with a lot of ‘gentleness and respect’, as I Peter 3 reminds is the most effective way to help people see what they don’t see…

  23. Matthew Bowman January 25, 2005 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve added my voice. I’m only a year into this journey, but already I’ve found that deep, honest life in God is possible when we realize we ARE the church. Thanks for the head’s up, Wayne–I’ll post a link to this post on my blog as well.

  24. Matthew Bowman January 25, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve added my voice. I’m only a year into this journey, but already I’ve found that deep, honest life in God is possible when we realize we ARE the church. Thanks for the head’s up, Wayne–I’ll post a link to this post on my blog as well.

  25. Tom January 27, 2005 at 11:40 am

    Hello Wayne. Thanks for the heads-up to this article. I’m tempted to make a theological respnse, but I think I’ll just make a simple plea, as many of the previous respondents have mentioned doing, to reconsider. Still working on it. I think that our loving responses may make a difference. After all, loving responses will probably be full of reminders of that which is truly the power for salvation. Thanks again.

  26. Tom January 27, 2005 at 2:40 pm

    Hello Wayne. Thanks for the heads-up to this article. I’m tempted to make a theological respnse, but I think I’ll just make a simple plea, as many of the previous respondents have mentioned doing, to reconsider. Still working on it. I think that our loving responses may make a difference. After all, loving responses will probably be full of reminders of that which is truly the power for salvation. Thanks again.

  27. Mike January 28, 2005 at 9:07 am

    Regarding the phrase from CT’s article, "“A living, breathing congregation is the only place to live in a healthy relationship to God. That is because it is the only place on earth where Jesus has chosen to dwell.”

    Stafford wasn’t talking about a church building. I think the rest of the article makes that clear.

  28. Mike January 28, 2005 at 12:07 pm

    Regarding the phrase from CT’s article, "“A living, breathing congregation is the only place to live in a healthy relationship to God. That is because it is the only place on earth where Jesus has chosen to dwell.”

    Stafford wasn’t talking about a church building. I think the rest of the article makes that clear.

  29. Andrew Delic January 29, 2005 at 9:34 am

    I think Wayne hit the nail on the head with the information in his response to the article. I just don’t like the "p.s." where he says "wouldn’t it be fun if Christianity Today heard from believers all over the world….". This sounds to me like an invitation to harass the magazine for their article and calls it "fun". It doesn’t have a good ring to it in my heart.

    If we want to move in the direction of the Kingdom, we (I) need to quit picking on others and just live out the life of freedom that Jesus has called us into. In doing so, our hearts will eventually become transformed to not only truly love those who are "doing it wrong" (according to us), but also to possibly attract others into this Kingdom movement.

    This is a letter I could have written myself (and probably would have if I had the chance), but I am trying to crucify that part of me which is constantly seeking justification from man. Like I said, it’s well written, it has great facts in it, and I learned from it. It’s just that it’s written in a way to justify how Wayne is doing "church" (or being church), and I don’t think he needs to do that if God has already justified and blessed it. If we keep living out this life of freedom and transforming the world through it, others will see the "glory of God" through this movement and that will become our justification – not the words we use or letters we type.

    No doubt, the institutional church is going to have its troubles in keeping membership active, and more people are moving toward a more relational house church movement. In a way, this is a little sad because what I would hate to see is for this to become just another "popular Christian trend" which will get diluted with misuse and abuse — because man is man, after all.

    Whatever happens, I know where I’m being called, you know where you’re being called, and we just need to march closer to the Father’s heart – to think like He thinks, move like He moves, speak like He speaks and love like He loves.

    yours in Christ,

    Andrew

  30. Andrew Delic January 29, 2005 at 12:34 pm

    I think Wayne hit the nail on the head with the information in his response to the article. I just don’t like the "p.s." where he says "wouldn’t it be fun if Christianity Today heard from believers all over the world….". This sounds to me like an invitation to harass the magazine for their article and calls it "fun". It doesn’t have a good ring to it in my heart.

    If we want to move in the direction of the Kingdom, we (I) need to quit picking on others and just live out the life of freedom that Jesus has called us into. In doing so, our hearts will eventually become transformed to not only truly love those who are "doing it wrong" (according to us), but also to possibly attract others into this Kingdom movement.

    This is a letter I could have written myself (and probably would have if I had the chance), but I am trying to crucify that part of me which is constantly seeking justification from man. Like I said, it’s well written, it has great facts in it, and I learned from it. It’s just that it’s written in a way to justify how Wayne is doing "church" (or being church), and I don’t think he needs to do that if God has already justified and blessed it. If we keep living out this life of freedom and transforming the world through it, others will see the "glory of God" through this movement and that will become our justification – not the words we use or letters we type.

    No doubt, the institutional church is going to have its troubles in keeping membership active, and more people are moving toward a more relational house church movement. In a way, this is a little sad because what I would hate to see is for this to become just another "popular Christian trend" which will get diluted with misuse and abuse — because man is man, after all.

    Whatever happens, I know where I’m being called, you know where you’re being called, and we just need to march closer to the Father’s heart – to think like He thinks, move like He moves, speak like He speaks and love like He loves.

    yours in Christ,

    Andrew

  31. Richard January 29, 2005 at 4:41 pm

    I really wonder if Paul was ignorant of being politically correct.

    Of not being ‘more tolerant’ with those that co-mingled the gospel?

    Dear Paul:

    We recently received a copy of your letter to the Galatians. The committee has directed me to inform you of a number of things which deeply concern us.

    First, we find your language to be somewhat intemperate. In your letter, after a brief greeting to the Galatians, you immediately attack your opponents by claiming they want to “pervert the gospel of Christ.” You then say that such men should be regarded as “accursed”; and, in another place, you make reference to “false brethren.” Wouldn’t it be more charitable to give them the benefit of the doubt—at least until the general assembly has investigated and adjudicated the matter? To make the situation worse, you later say, “I could wish those who trouble you would even cut themselves off.” Is such a statement really fitting for a Christian minister? The remark seems quite harsh and unloving.

    Paul, we really feel the need to caution you about the tone of your Epistles. You come across in an abrasive manner to many people. In some of your letters you’ve even mentioned names; and this practise has, no doubt, upset the friends of Hymenaeus, Alexander, and others. After all, many persons were first introduced to the Christian faith under the ministry of these men. Although some of our missionaries have manifested regrettable shortcomings, nevertheless, it can only stir up bad feelings when you speak of these men in a derogatory manner.

    In other words, Paul, I believe you should strive for a more moderate posture in your ministry. Shouldn’t you try to win those who are in error by displaying a sweeter spirit? By now, you’ve probably alienated the Judaizers to the point that they will no longer listen to you.

    By your outspokenness, you have also diminished your opportunities for future influences throughout the church as a whole. Rather, if you had worked more quietly, you might have been asked to serve on a presbytery committee appointed to study the issue. You then have contributed your insights by helping to draft a good committee paper on the theological position of the Judaizers, without having to drag personalities into the dispute.

    Besides, Paul, we need to maintain unity among those who profess a belief in Christ.

    The Judaizers at least stand with us as we confront the surrounding paganism and humanism which prevail within the culture of the contemporary Roman Empire. The Judaizers are our allies in our struggles against abortion, homosexuality, government tyranny, etc. We cannot afford to allow differences over doctrinal minutiae to obscure this important fact.

    I also must mention that questions have been raised about the contents of your letter, as well as your style. The committee questions the propriety of the doctrinaire structure of your letter. Is it wise to plague your Christians, like the Galatians, with such heavy theological issues? For example, in a couple of places, you allude to the doctrine of election. You also enter into a lengthy discussion of the law.

    Perhaps you could have proved your case in some other ways, without mentioning these complex and controverted points of Christianity. Your letter is so doctrinaire, it will probably serve only to polarize the differing factions within the churches. Again, we need to stress unity, instead of broaching issues which will accent divisions among us.

    In one place, you wrote, “Indeed I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” Paul, you have a tendency to describe things strictly in black and white terms, as if there are no grey areas. You need to temper your expressions, lest you become too exclusive. Otherwise, your outlook will drive away many people, and make visitors feel unwelcome. Church growth is not promoted by taking such a hard line and remaining inflexible.

    Remember, Paul, there is no such thing as a perfect church. We have to tolerate many imperfections in the church, since we cannot expect to have everything at once. If you will simply think back over your own experience, you will recall how you formerly harassed the church in your times of ignorance. By reflecting on your own past, you might acquire a more sympathetic attitude toward the Judaizers. Be patient, and give them some time to come around to a better understanding. In the meantime, rejoice that we all share a common profession of faith in Christ, since we have all been baptized in his name.

  32. Richard January 29, 2005 at 7:41 pm

    I really wonder if Paul was ignorant of being politically correct.

    Of not being ‘more tolerant’ with those that co-mingled the gospel?

    Dear Paul:

    We recently received a copy of your letter to the Galatians. The committee has directed me to inform you of a number of things which deeply concern us.

    First, we find your language to be somewhat intemperate. In your letter, after a brief greeting to the Galatians, you immediately attack your opponents by claiming they want to “pervert the gospel of Christ.” You then say that such men should be regarded as “accursed”; and, in another place, you make reference to “false brethren.” Wouldn’t it be more charitable to give them the benefit of the doubt—at least until the general assembly has investigated and adjudicated the matter? To make the situation worse, you later say, “I could wish those who trouble you would even cut themselves off.” Is such a statement really fitting for a Christian minister? The remark seems quite harsh and unloving.

    Paul, we really feel the need to caution you about the tone of your Epistles. You come across in an abrasive manner to many people. In some of your letters you’ve even mentioned names; and this practise has, no doubt, upset the friends of Hymenaeus, Alexander, and others. After all, many persons were first introduced to the Christian faith under the ministry of these men. Although some of our missionaries have manifested regrettable shortcomings, nevertheless, it can only stir up bad feelings when you speak of these men in a derogatory manner.

    In other words, Paul, I believe you should strive for a more moderate posture in your ministry. Shouldn’t you try to win those who are in error by displaying a sweeter spirit? By now, you’ve probably alienated the Judaizers to the point that they will no longer listen to you.

    By your outspokenness, you have also diminished your opportunities for future influences throughout the church as a whole. Rather, if you had worked more quietly, you might have been asked to serve on a presbytery committee appointed to study the issue. You then have contributed your insights by helping to draft a good committee paper on the theological position of the Judaizers, without having to drag personalities into the dispute.

    Besides, Paul, we need to maintain unity among those who profess a belief in Christ.

    The Judaizers at least stand with us as we confront the surrounding paganism and humanism which prevail within the culture of the contemporary Roman Empire. The Judaizers are our allies in our struggles against abortion, homosexuality, government tyranny, etc. We cannot afford to allow differences over doctrinal minutiae to obscure this important fact.

    I also must mention that questions have been raised about the contents of your letter, as well as your style. The committee questions the propriety of the doctrinaire structure of your letter. Is it wise to plague your Christians, like the Galatians, with such heavy theological issues? For example, in a couple of places, you allude to the doctrine of election. You also enter into a lengthy discussion of the law.

    Perhaps you could have proved your case in some other ways, without mentioning these complex and controverted points of Christianity. Your letter is so doctrinaire, it will probably serve only to polarize the differing factions within the churches. Again, we need to stress unity, instead of broaching issues which will accent divisions among us.

    In one place, you wrote, “Indeed I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” Paul, you have a tendency to describe things strictly in black and white terms, as if there are no grey areas. You need to temper your expressions, lest you become too exclusive. Otherwise, your outlook will drive away many people, and make visitors feel unwelcome. Church growth is not promoted by taking such a hard line and remaining inflexible.

    Remember, Paul, there is no such thing as a perfect church. We have to tolerate many imperfections in the church, since we cannot expect to have everything at once. If you will simply think back over your own experience, you will recall how you formerly harassed the church in your times of ignorance. By reflecting on your own past, you might acquire a more sympathetic attitude toward the Judaizers. Be patient, and give them some time to come around to a better understanding. In the meantime, rejoice that we all share a common profession of faith in Christ, since we have all been baptized in his name.

  33. Wayne January 29, 2005 at 8:46 pm

    I had only planned to leave up the invitation to write Christianity Today regarding this article for a week. It was not my purpose to pressure them with some kind of campaign, so much as it was to let them know that there are some lovely people living God’s life not included in the article. I thought it would be helpful for them to get some additional information on their radar screen. With some additional information I received earlier today and some of the above sentiments, I do think it is clear that it is time to remove that request. This blog will be around for a long time and I don’t want folks to become a bother to them and I’m not sure it is being received in the spirit it was intended. I hope that makes sense, and I do appreciate the input many have given on this topic. Blessings to you all!

    Wayne

  34. Wayne January 29, 2005 at 11:46 pm

    I had only planned to leave up the invitation to write Christianity Today regarding this article for a week. It was not my purpose to pressure them with some kind of campaign, so much as it was to let them know that there are some lovely people living God’s life not included in the article. I thought it would be helpful for them to get some additional information on their radar screen. With some additional information I received earlier today and some of the above sentiments, I do think it is clear that it is time to remove that request. This blog will be around for a long time and I don’t want folks to become a bother to them and I’m not sure it is being received in the spirit it was intended. I hope that makes sense, and I do appreciate the input many have given on this topic. Blessings to you all!

    Wayne

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