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This Election and Emerging Churches

Seems to me that this season of cutthroat politics gives us a way of looking at how some of us are handling our opinions about “the emerging church” issue.

All too often we have seen opposing parties put the worst possible face on the other side. Over and over we have seen both sides look for any opportunity to exploit and exaggerate a weakness, misstep, or misspeak.

In the middle of this marathon political process, there are real issues. But the seriousness of the debate is not an excuse to misrepresent an opponent– if competing in an honorable way, and influencing others for the sake of the truth–and the common good–are concerns.

If we bring this over to the issue of emerging churches that we’ve been talking about over the last few days, there are also real issues that deserve careful thinking, honest conversation, and vigorous debate. Many young followers of Christ (and some older ones) are asking questions that can help all of us decide whether we believe more or less than what the Bible says on some tough subjects.

The fact is that not all of us (intent as we are in following Christ) are going to vote for the same candidate in this election. Yet, depending on where we are on the political spectrum, those of us on both sides have been known to say things like, “I don’t know how anyone can be a Christian and vote for ‘that person’.” And too many of us, have joined “our side” in describing the other candidate’s positions in ways that the other side could rightly regard as unfair, inaccurate, and even slanderous.

With all of this so fresh in our minds, this is a good opportunity to think about the way we handle differences and dangers in the church. Most of us would quickly affirm the foundational truths that are confessed in our historic creeds and by the clear teaching of the Bible: Together we confess that we are not entitled access to the Father’s house on our own name or merits. We’ve staked our life on the good news that Jesus came to reveal the Father and to offer us what we don’t deserve. We know that he alone died for our sins. There is no Savior or hope of eternal life apart from him. Salvation is by faith in him, not by our efforts or merit. He calls us to represent him, his heart, and his kingdom in this present world. These are some of the  non-negotiables of being his people.

What often happens, though, is that we are inclined to marry a lot of lesser ideas and “supposed implications” to the basics. The result is that it is easy to assume that anyone who questions i.e. the nature of hell; whether it is possible to believe in the “light” of God without hearing about Jesus; or whether Jesus came to rescue us from an angry Father; is denying a foundational truth.

Let’s let this election be a mirror and a commentary on our own human nature. Even though all of our denominational names or group labels provide the look of a competitive political process, there is, as the Apostle writes to those who are in Christ, “One body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:4-6).

Because Paul immediately precedes these words with “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”(v3), doesn’t it make sense to take a breath before repeating something that may misrepresent those who are actually trying to clarify what the Bible says?

I say all of this because I know there are those within “emerging churches” who believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father but are being accused of not believing that because they are raising questions like, “If the Messiah and his death for sin was the only way to God in Old Testament times (long before people knew about Jesus), is it important then for us to let God be God in deciding whose heart he might be drawing to himself– through Christ– even though they might be in a place where the name of Jesus has never been heard.”

Yes, we might think such a question is dangerous for any number of reasons. Or we might think it’s an important question to consider. But in any case, let’s not quickly treat such a person as an enemy, or assume that their question gives us the right to grab the opportunity to exploit and exaggerate our “opponent’s” weakness, tactical missteps, or misspeaks.

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24 Responses to “This Election and Emerging Churches”

  1. Your Love Inspires says:

    Mart, I can feel the direction you are taking us with todays post. We are being divided by strife, deception, slander, self righteous anger, and many other “tools” the enemy is succesfully utilizing to divide The Kingdom. I find the level of accepted strife absolutely frightening and this deep seeded division carries with it many dangers for us, today, tomorrow, and well into the future as it seems to solidify it’s hold on us. We as Christians should stand united as one with His Love the cement that bonds us together. Events that are unfolding should remind us of the words of Jesus as He described the house that was built upon sand.

    Father, we come to you as children who have lost their way. Please forgive us for our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We ask for Your Spirit to come down and unite us in Your purpose, firmly grounded in Your love for a lost world. Give us the strength to carry ourselves as witness through the fruits of Your Spirit to defuse the evils of this world that want to divide us.

  2. poohpity says:

    I do not believe that we have any question about salvation, I believe the question comes as to how we respond to our salvation. It seems like the problem remains on the table how do we treat others in love. Also it seems that it is difficult for some to look closely at their own behavior and check whether they reflect the love of Christ. I do not feel the emerging church has gone anyway from the bible or what it teaches but has gone from the traditions that the church has created for themselves.

    My question would be after careful and continual reflection of the bible, “What were we thinking about the established church in the US?”. How have we pushed Christ out and replaced it with business ethics which is an oxymoron in and of itself. How does a change in music , clothes, hair, skin art, piercing, and the light configuration have any reflection on the heart of a believer. We have got to take a step back and confront our own issues about legalism. The Lord did not ask us to judge another on outward appearance but to share the gospel and leave the heart change to Him because obviously we tend to mess things up with our critical spirits.

    I for one am OK with change and I feel that a change in what the church reflects now is needed as long as it shows somebody how to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and how to love others as God has loved us. That teaches one to read God’s word so we can know what He has revealed about Himself to us. One that is lead by the Holy Spirit and not the thoughts of man.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    It is very difficult for me to be in the world and not be affected by the world. It is a constant struggle for me. Because I consider myself not of the world.

    A perfectly seemingly honerable individual who makes themselves a candidate for high public office, such as the Presidency or any others, also makes themselves a target for public character assasination.

    There seems to be no lack of people who are willing to both exagerate or lie about what they know of the individual. I cannot trust what the news media tells me, as I can clearly see their prejudice.

    There are many telltale signs though that help me to decide about their character. I want to elect a person who best represents my way of thinking. So if I watch them and more importantly listen to them. I can soon get a sense of what kind of person they are. Who are their associates? What kind of public record have they created for themselves? If already a representitive of some type, how have they voted?

    Being a believer in God, being a reader of the Bible, being a Christian and follower of Jesus. This is the foundation I have for both my moral values and my measuring stick for the moral conduct of others.

    I have voted in every election since I have been of age to do so. It is my ideal wish to have a person who is of high moral character to represent me. So I try to vote acordingly.

    I know from reading, and believing, what the WORD of GOD says about a nation that turns it’s back on GOD. I know the consequence of that. So I vote to place God fearing Bible believing people in leadership of my country. I also pray.

    Ultimitly, God is in control of all matters great and small. He will place Kings or Presidents where he wants them, for his purpose. I also believe that judgement is coming. For God will not be mocked.

    No, not all spirits are the HOLY SPIRIT. Yes, there are wolves in sheep’s clothing. What does that still small voice in your heart tell you about this election?

    We, all of us must pray for our nation and vote our conscience. I will be.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Emerging churches…. I have on an earlier post made this statement, but I am going to repeat it. I have a few fundamental beliefs. they are simple and as follows;

    1. JESUS was born to the Virgin by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT
    2.JESUS is the SON of GOD.
    3.JESUS died and was resurrected by HIS own power.
    4.JESUS is the only way to salvation.
    5.Jesus is in fact GOD.

    Any church that teaches otherwise or disagrees, I have issue with.

  5. macsisson22 says:

    With regard to the way we ‘do church’ I would recommend reading the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. With regard to salvation and the fundimentals of the faith and practice, I might recommend reading the Book of Books! Mart, it seems to me that this topic has some similarities to the KJV only debate. I mean, how was God working 1611 yrs before we received that text?

  6. violet D says:

    The discussion on Emerging Churches has really sparked my interest. In my late 70s I find myself in a position where I’m questioning WHY I attend church. I’ve recently been in a position (for reasons I won’t go into) to attend the worship services of several different denominational churches in my town. I’m sad to say – without exception – none of them have shown they care about people more than their programs. I miss belonging to a ‘church family’ as I was VERY involved prior to this. I can only believe that God is using this to teach me to deal with my own legalism (which I’ve been aware of and struggled with for a long time). I totally agree with poohpity’s last paragraph. For now this blog is my encouragement. God bless you all.
    Being a Canadian I can only say I agree with SFDBWV that God is in control and HE will place leaders where HE wants them – regardless of whether we agree or not.

  7. rokdude5 says:

    I think of our Pledge of Allegiance and how we say “…one Nation under God, indivisable..” As idealistic it sounds, this country has definitely become more and more polar and quite a number dont want to recognized how we are under God and His guidance and protection.

    I will be praying for our new leaders regardless of which party theyre from. Matt 5:44

  8. Belma Connerley says:

    NUCLEUS— a word the holy spirit gave me while praying . It means BINDING ENERGY. To me it’s prayer.
    “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian Love The Fellowship of KINDRED MINDS is like to that above” Wonder if we could all pray and put God back into our schools and public places. I am one link in our chain of prayer at Church and we are seeing how God is still answering our requests.
    Mart another word or words he gave me was “Repairer of the Breach” I’m still WWW waiting watching and working for his will to be done
    Bind us together Lord
    Bind us together
    With cords that cannot be broken
    Bind us together Lord
    Bind us together Lord
    Bind us together with Love
    There is only one Lord
    There is only one King
    There is only one body
    And that is why we can sing
    Love Always

  9. sitsathisfeet says:

    One of my former pastors used to say People are like bottles of ketchup, you put the squeeze on and see what comes out! It’s funny but true. Or as in the RBC booklet When The Going Gets Tough (Joe Stowell) “When trouble hits our lives, what we are really like is quickly revealed. Trouble shows our friends, our spouses, our children, and aquaintances what we are like. … and it forces us to start seeing ourselves for what we really are.” My prayer is that I would seek the Lord daily on all matters in my life. That I would act the way he wants me to act, so that people can see what a wonderful Savior we have. We can indeed tell them of Christ, but if exemplifyed in ourselves they can see for themselves. I remember when I first became a Christian the thing other than the Lord that impressed me the most was the attitudes of the Christians I met. They had the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, which was strange to me, yet wonderful. For instance you have a problem with sin yes, yes Jesus can help, you have a problem with the world, Jesus is the answer, you have a problem with your relationships, Jesus is the Way, a problem with God, Jesus is the truth, the restorer of your problem with God. They ( the Christians) had an answer for everything. I remember expressing some of my “problems” to one, it went something like this I have no place to live (Jesus had no place to lay his head), I have no husband, ( Jesus promises to be your husband) I have no money (this world is temporary, we’re just traveling through, but Jesus will supply all your needs, if you follow him) I have enemity with my family (for Christ’s sake we will be persecuted for his sake, for following him, or even being identified as Christians) Yes, yes and Amen they said Jesus is your answer, and to this day many years later I have found them to be right. For me when no one else had the answers, Jesus was and is my all in all. That’s the one thing I can be sure of in an unsure world where all things will pass away, except his words.

  10. Dean says:

    Ro 10:17
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    All those who are asking that dangerous “important question” (what is that mysterious Q?) obviously are not reading the Bible and will certainly receive their answer some day when “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess” that Jesus Christ is Lord. On that day questions or debates will cease to exist as there will be no longer any “traditional” or “emerging” church… when the Prince of Peace Himself will establish ‘His Government- the Church’ to rule all the nations… when unity will be achieved and true peace will be restored!

  12. SFDBWV says:

    My appologies to you Mart, I’ve been very apprehensive to comment further this morning. Not knowing if the Post would change.

    Since it hasn’t, I wish to say that in studing the book of Revelation, over the years, I have read and heard varying idea’s regarding the messages to the seven churches which are in Asia.

    Some of the writings and commentaries give an overview as the church’s mentioned being church ages. From the onset of the establishment of Christian worship to the end of the age and the return of Jesus.

    Other teachings give the seven church’s a literal meaning. As to a congregation. Or to an individual believer.

    Other comments give both the literal and the “church age” explanation.

    Can you give clarity to the matter? Or what best your opinion is?

    Is the “Emerging church” issue you have brought forward, a “new” movement in America? Who are they?

    There have been challanges to the established churches as long as there has been congregational worship. The history of which already fills volumes of books.

    We were warned of false Christ’s by Jesus himself. We have what most consider cult’s in our midst today everywhere. By discernment and testing the doctrine’s of any one who comes to us in the name of Christ. False Christ’s and false doctrine can be easily exposed.

    There are people who are like reed’s in the wind who blow one way and then the other. Never realy having a solid stance on their faith nor on anything. There are also many people who because they have built their faith on sinking sand when the storms of life come they fall. these kind of people are easily decieved.

    We are also warned that when the Anti-Christ comes many will be decieved. “If possible even the elect”

    Life makes us put our faith in lots of different things. If our faith is not founded in the ROCK of AGES, then all the other little things we have to have faith in will be able to decieve us. That includes people we vote for in this election tommrow.

  13. christ4life says:

    I concur with the the sentiments of violet d and poohpity ie. I believe ‘change’is good and I also have dropped out of “going to church” for almost two years now. To be precise, the change I am referring to is one which enhances worship of Jehovah,encourages conversion and promotes spiritual growth. No ‘change’ is necessary though when it refers to God’s love for us and our allegiance, worship and love for Him…(remember our love for him means obedience in keeping His commandments which are eternally changeless).

    For several years now I had become very ‘thirsty’ for God and His Word and the traditional church I was then attending fell short (very short) of satisfying my yearnings. I then decided to drop out, and am now witnessing everywhere I go as The Master instructed us in The Christian’s Guide, The Bible. I would say without apology that the denominations are far too concerned with worship format (which is manmade)than with worship from the heart (which is from The Holy Spirit). The congregants make you feel uncomfortable if you don’t conform to their liturgical setting. They also tend to ‘bad-mouth’ other denominations, claiming that they are not worshipping correctly or that their doctrine is ‘wrong’. As far as I am concerned, if God is glorified and Jesus Christ is acknowledged as Son of God and Saviour, how can they be ‘wrong’? I quote Eph. 4:4-6 with you Matt—THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND FATHER, ONE LORD,ONE FAITH ETC.

    Why is God’s church so divided???!

  14. Mart De Haan says:

    SFDBWV, Seems to me that the seven letters of Revelation were first of all letters to real churches with messages to be taken to heart by individuals within the churches (i.e. the repeated “he that has an ear to hear, let him hear”)

    At the same time I have been impressed with the correlation between these seven churches and periods of church history. But haven’t done much with that since I’ve chosen to focus on the personal and practical implications of the messages themselves.

    As for emerging churches, there is no formal organization. But the movement is made up of many younger congregations who are trying to shed tradition and routine and to discover what it means to follow and represent Jesus in today’s world. An article in Wikipedia.com on “emerging churches” shows the breadth of the movement.

    One point I’ve been trying to make in several posts is that the validity of a church is not to be found in a lable, but in whether a church is seeking to align itself in both beliefs and attitudes with the wisdom of the Bible and the person of Christ.

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Mart, the information you provided about Wikipedia helped me a lot..

    There is a great deal of information about this “movement” to digest.

    No one should argue with the point you make whereas ” the validity of a church is not to be found in a label, but in whether a church is seeking to align itself in both beliefs and attitudes with the wisdom of the Bible and the person of Christ.”

    Here in my neck of the woods, there are many and have always been. “break away” “churches. People who for various reasons just aren’t happy with the “labeled” congregations they were attending.

    Though the number of people who attend them are very small. I find for the most part that in the basic principals they believe just like you and I. However they don’t last too long.

    I wonder though, how many organizers of such congregations break away from their old church because of pride? Some I know just think they are smarter and a better preacher. They resist falling under the authority of a Pastor.

    I also wonder about the wisdom of isolation. There is strength in numbers. If our older and traditional churches are broken, shouldn’t we try to fix them rather than abandon them?

    Because, what I am reading about this “Emerging church” that there are countless splinter groups with varying credos.It would be impossible to know what each group believes or presents. Unless you were a part of each and every group.

    There is also the huge task of world wide missionaries. These organizations need to be…well organized. Larger denominational groups of like minded Christians. With Christ led goals putting the whole body of their group into the cost and management of doing the work of Christ. For the spreading of the gospel, feeding the hungry clothing the poor. It’s done daily by “labled” organizations.

    A great deal of the New Testament is spent in outlining the way to organize “churches” Should we just ignore those books and chapters? And invent our own way of doing church?

    I am going to read further into this movement. To see if it is a returning to our first love, or just plain rebellion.

  16. daisymarygoldr says:

    Question: “Why is God’s church so divided???!”

    Answer: The Church is divided: due to our ignorance of God’s word, our failure to follow His way, our pride in our self-opinions that are passed on and taught as twisted truths and our selfish ambitions in wanting to do our own thing in our own way. In vain we do worship God, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Instead of following Christ, we are following every other human leader… and then when trouble strikes we all huddle together to raise our voices in unison, to sing the melancholy strain- “Woe is unto me…it is Dark ____ (fill in the blank yourselves)”

    God is not divided, nor is He the author of confusion. Division is the result of the curse that originated at the tower of Babel when all people were united together against God. Is Christ divided? Let us not be ignorant, for there are many members but one body, several functions yet one purpose, diversities of gifts but one Spirit, differences of administrations but one Lord, various operations but one and the same God who works all in all…there is diversity but no disunity!

    Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it…He is nourishing and providing for her, seeing her through all the growing pains, purifying her as gold tried in fire to eventually present her as His chaste bride. When He does not find fault with her why should we? If we want to quit the Church then we are outside His precious body and will be deprived of enjoying all the richness of His wonderful blessings that He has promised only for His Church!

    God has not changed, the wisdom of the Bible has not changed and yet we want to change. As succeeding generations evolve, the fashion of this world changes…with changes in our modes of communication, changes in styles of music and clothes, changes in the leadership and broadly speaking “the old order changeth yielding place to new” yet we all “speak the same thing” (I Cor 1:10 KJV)!

  17. fastgranny says:

    There are so many thoughts and questions posed in these comments. It saddens me to hear how so many have found it difficult to find a church where all ages can come at the same time and worship together. I have no problem with the emergent church but wonder why we can’t learn to put our own preferences aside and create an atmosphere that all ages would find inviting to get our questions answered and for worship. I would love to tell you of the wonderful adults who welcomed me into their church when I was a young elementary age child. I truly felt loved by them and God used them to introduce me to Christ. Almost 50 years later I still remember them with great affection and appreciation for how they loved me into the kingdom and by their lives taught me what it meant to live as a follower of Christ.

    Today we attend a church that does much the same. The adults, even our senior adults, feel that one of our most important responsibilities is to demonstrate the love of Christ to the children, teens and young adults that come our way. That means that we sometime must put aside our own “personal preferences” for worship style so we can engage our young people. After all, it isn’t the style of our worship that matters to God; it’s our hearts. We blend new and some traditional hymns and have a worship band. We also include some of our young people in leading worship because they are as much a part of the church as us older adults. We also have many caring adults who lead small groups for young people as well. This has resulted in many of them bringing their unchurched friends from school and before you know it, those young people bring their parents and siblings. As our pastor says, “we majors on the majors”, the basic truths of God’s Word that defines our faith, and “minor on the minors”, those things that are not clear doctrinal issues spelled out in scripture like music and worship styles. It is wonderful to see people of all ages engaged in worship, interacting, and caring for each other. So far God has blessed us with slow steady growth for 40 years. This all started with a couple of founding families and continues today because of their love for Christ and dedication to share the good news with all. I think they got it right and I’m truly thankful for them and the example they set for the rest of us.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    daisymarygoldr, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your last post. Very well said.

  19. Mart De Haan says:

    I find it interesting that, in Romans chapter 14–in matters not related to orthodoxy, but rather to personal preferences and opinions,– an inspired Apostle Paul teaches us to respect one another in our differences… since we all will give account of ourselves to the Lord.

  20. Gena says:

    Here’s another perspective to consider! I’am a deaf person who has attended two churches of the same denomination that have deaf ministries. I left the first church upon learning that certain members of the deaf class were taking a consensus against me to prove that certain deaf could not understand my sign language skills. The next deaf ministry, I left because a certain deaf SS member got so irate at another that that person went right up to the offensive persons face and delievered a berating that totally shocked me. The deaf christian community in my area is tightly controlled by key deaf persons. Hearing individuals try to help the deaf by providing interpreters. At both churches, hearing individuals had to step in to control the wayward situations, thus preventing deaf to play important roles within their deaf ministries. No one wants to love one another as scripture says. It’s sad that even among the handicapped there is internal strife in churches today.

  21. poohpity says:

    We fall like Peter did when we have our eyes on the water and not the Lord. So when we hold people in the place the Lord should have in our lives we fall into the pit. It may not be instantly but it will happen slowly because their foundation is on shifting sand. God’s word will always remain because it is truth and the more people that read it with the Holy Spirit as their guide they will know truth and it will set them free. It seems like because more people are reading it and understanding what it says that is what is causing the divisions. Awareness promotes change and people are beginning to question what they are being taught when comparing it to God’s word. You can not just take parts, the bible needs to be read from cover to cover to understand what God has allowed us to learn. I think this is what is causing the church to change and emerge from darkness.

  22. Geordie says:

    Mart, I appreciate your views about the “emerging church”, but because of the way we refer to almost anything new as “emerging” we need to be extremely careful neither to condone or condemn the whole of a very broad and disparate group. Certainly there are exciting things happening with new approaches to reaching out, and the thoughts of needing to be in a formal church building setting are changing. This is all great, as long as the basic Christian beliefs remain, and I’m sure this is the case in large areas of the church.

    However, we must not sweep under the carpet the fact that there are some “emerging church” leaders that hold views which do not agree with Scripture, and are basically not Christian. Some high profile “emerging church” leaders are blatantly “universalist”. Others hide behind the use of words which at face value sound to be OK, but actually reflect their sometimes heretical views. Others openly refute the truth of John 14:6 – that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. They see that you can be a “follower of Christ” but remain in another faith. In such situations it is right that we are critical – but there’s a right way to do this. False teaching (which is what a small number of them give) will only lead their congregations away from Christ. I don’t think that we can get away from our responsibility to stand up and be counted over matters of Salvation, but we should take time to understand what lies behind their views, and with patience and gentleness answer their questions by sharing the Scriptures with them. We must never jump to conclusions, and our benchmark and guide at all times must be God’s Word with us being led by His Holy Spirit.

    If you want to get a good view of the “Emerging church” and the positives and the pitfalls, I have found a number of books helpful :
    – “Why we are not emergent (by two guys who should be)” : a very balanced view of the “emerging church”
    – Faith undone (Roger Oakland) : looking at the background and beliefs of many of the leaders, and the Scripture which refutes some of their more unacceptable beliefs
    – “A time of departing” : Ray Yungen – similar to Roger Oakland’s book
    – A time of departing (Ray Jungen)

  23. onelove says:

    I agree with Geordie, I believe that the a lot of the church has bought into the worldly view of “tolerance” which is to accept the sin and the sinner alike. Christians are labeled judgemental because we stand against sin knowing its destructive power in everyone’s life. We are called not to judge any soul, however when it comes to labeling sinful behavior we absolutely have to take our stance. It is this watered down form of tolerance that is leading our church astray and creating lukewarm christians, and we all know God’s feeling on lukewarm christianity…. Churches who teach that there is more than one way to God, that homosexuality is not destructive but merely a lifestyle, and that abortion is a personal choice rather than the destruction of a soul created in God’s image are examples of watered down churches. I know some of you will read my examples and cringe, admonishing me to keep a spirit of love and acceptance and not be so darn specific, but I have seen how broken these sins leave people and can not in good conscience condone any of the above. I was once told by a fellow Christian that even Jesus did not throw a stone at the adultress so who are we to judge? My response to this is a response to the sickness within our church as a whole-Jesus did not throw the stone but he did say “go and sin no more”. He recognized she was engaging in destructive behavior and told her bluntly to stop. He didn’t say “Look I know you weren’t feeling loved by your husband and kind of fell into this.. or other words of sympathy. He simply said stop. It is this example we need to follow. As Christians it is our job to go to our church leaders if we see that their teachings have strayed from the bible in order to fill more pews. If Christians we walk closely with are destroying their lives with sin we need to be loving and honest. As a church it is important to acknowledge there are right and wrong choices and make sure our views of tolerance reflect those of our Christ. I agree that the concept of church needs tweaking, more focus on true love without expectations from others or pride, however lets be certain that in our desperate attempt to convey love we don’t sympathize with sin.

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