Friday, October 30, 2009


Dear Sister in Jesus, I am recently new to the Diagonal community so I am not wise in the ways of all its worshipping communities. You know you don't know me at all so perhaps I should share a little about myself. I have been a Christian since Dec. 1973. I have worshipped in homes, house churches, in believer's gatherings, and in "regular churches". I have been baptized in the Spirit, witnessed healings, and have experienced sufferings and some persecution due to my Christian beliefs. So it was with some perplexity that I read your editorial in the recent Diagonal Progress questioning our desire to fix or rebuild our worshipping church building. Because you utilized some scripture passages familiar to me, (because like you I seek to study God's word and worship Him in Spirit and Truth), I sought to search God's word for wisdom.
First: Proverbs 12:15 - The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Perhaps not really knowing us well, you are assuming that we don't listen to advice or God's counsel.
Second: Proverbs 1:20-33 - Out in the open, wisdom calls, she raises her voice in the public square- How long will you love your simple ways? Repent at my rebuke. Whoever listens to me will live in safety. While as a kingdom citizen and a sister in Christ, you offer us counsel: as the Thessalonian's church didn't presume to preach to the Phillipian's church, because their issues were all different, both believing bodies all sought to worship God as they were led by the Spirit. As you are my sister in Christ, I love you, but I don't presume to tell you how to parent your children, be a good wife, or even how or where to worship. Why because your worshipping body and biological family are personal to you even though we are all connected by the Spirit of Christ.
Mark 7:1-9- The Pharisees saw the disciples eating with unwashed hands and expressed displeasure that the disciples and Jesus weren't keeping to the traditions of the elders. Jesus responded: "You have let go of the commandments of God and are holding to human traditions. If human traditions mean worshipping in a church building, I wonder why Christ, Peter, and Paul, often worshipped in a synagogue. The reason many began to worship in house churches was due to the persecution by the Jews and the Romans of that day. You mentioned "that God isn't interested in providing a place for people to worship in their own way." You are wise. We must always worship him in spirit and in truth whether in a home or a church building.
John 4:24- God is Spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth. You are correct that God's worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth. What is perplexing to me is whether you wonder if we at United Church of Diagonal are not doing that. If I were a member of an organized church a few decades ago, I certainly would agree with you, because at times I have a questioning spirit and an abiding animosity against most system type organizations both having been a social worker for many years for the state of Iowa and involved with organized religion. However, I have been blessed through my marriage to a pastor (of many churches over the past 31 years) to have experienced the love, support, and caring of many church families which I might not have experienced if I weren't married to a church pastor. This is all the more poignant to me as I lost my parents at a young age as well a a teenage sister, if it weren't for support from church family, I am not sure I could have continued to stand. When one loses family members, one truly appreciates finding family among God's children in and out of the organized church.

However the Lord has pruned and tempered me and I recognize that I must wait and listen for His leading and not presume to judge situations with my earthly wisdom. Romans 14 1-4. Accept those whose faith is weak without quarreling over disputable matters. ..... "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master they stand or fall. And they will stand for the Lord is able to make make them stand." I believe with continued seeking of the Lord in prayer and scripture as well as godly counsel, the Lord will be able to make us stand and He himself will be the Lord of the decision about our future church building.
Thank you for being faithful to love and pray for us and we will do so for you as well.

In Christ:
Nora Giese

No comments:

Post a Comment