Question:

I don't remember the circumstances why I stumbled upon your web page. Upon reading the focus statement on your home page, I decided I would pass something by you for your consumption.

It is rather refreshing for a congregation to unabashedly profess that the true nature of Christ's Body and its purpose is to evangelize. I support your intent to set the record straight, and with Scripture. I suspect that a lot of what was going through the mind of whoever wrote the welcome remarks was that so many religious organizations have greatly distorted the function of God's church. I certainly believe that if Christ's purpose on earth was to tend to the physical needs of people, He could have spoken the word and all illnesses would have disappeared forever. The "great commission" that Christ gave to the apostles, however,said nothing about healing the sick, but was all about teaching and baptizing the world. I furthermorebelieve that a congregation sponsoring a weekly Saturday morning joint car repair get togetherand calling it a ministry is a great distortion of what ministry is all about.

Having mentioned all of that though, I must admit that I was a little bit taken aback by the lack of reference to our Christian nature to help people in whatever way we can, both spiritually and physically.If we Christians see a need to help someone change a flat tire we are going to do so if it can be safely done, and while we are changing the tirewe invite them to a Bible study. The purpose of God's church is to evangelize, but we Christians cannot help but be kind, loving and gentle as individuals. Didn't Christ do that during his time on earth?

My first impression on reading your welcome statement is that the Body that meets with you will feed the spiritual need of people andthat's good. Wouldn't it also be nice to include a reference inyour welcome statementthat you are a congregation of Christ-like individuals that willhelp whatever the need is? I know that you have a lot of kind-hearted caring Christians that worship there. I urge you to say so. The old adage that says, "it's easier to draw flies to honey than vinegar," seems applicable here.

That's just my impression as aChristian whobelieves the function of God's church is to evangelize, but also one who as a Christian, tries my best to help people wherever, whenever, while I am trying to impress upon them that their morepermanent need is to follow Christ.

Thank you for reading my attempt to help.


Answer:

Thank you for your input. The point of the opening page is to discuss the function of the church, not the duties of the Christian. Yes, the wording is a bit shocking, but it was done for that reason -- to make people sit back and think about what Christ established the church to be. Too many people see only their pre-conceived notions and it is hard at times to break them out of their rut. For precedence, I appeal to Jesus' lesson to the people following him after he feed the 5,000 in John 6:24-66 and his remarks to the woman asking for help for her daughter in Matthew 15:22-28.

All that you say about Christians and their work in the world is true. Perhaps you won't choose to word an introduction to the church in the fashion that I chose, but I did want you to know that it was done with a goal in mind. Teaching requires a variety of approaches as we learn from Christ. Or as Jude wrote, "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jude 22-23). A one size fits all approach doesn't create a distinction based on the audience being addressed.