"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Grace under Siege 31: Occupy Grace?

     I forgot that I intended to call Lou "Pied Piper." I guess it's a little late now.
     Lou just sent out a letter to "all elders, deacons, Adult Bible Fellowship teachers/elders and everyone who has a teaching role in our children's through college ministry to make a commitment" which he assures us "has also been approved by the Executive Board of Elders."
     Well, that sets our minds at rest. 
     Jerry and I are both deacons. We must each "joyfully covenant" to do six spiritual-sounding things, all for the purpose of "relating to the leadership of the church in such a way as to demonstrate trust and to submit to the leadership with a teachable spirit. . ."
     Hmm, trust and submit to the leadership. Didn't it used to be trust and obey--Jesus Christ?
     We must sign and return this document by January 12. If we "are not able and/or willing to sign this document," the letter goes on, we are to "indicate that as well and return the document."
     This is just one more way--besides stealing our mailing list, intimidating all of us with false accusations, rage, and threats of "severe church discipline" which they are now starting to carry out--they are trying to smoke out those unwilling to be under their absolute control and rubber-stamp their agenda to remove the church from its original foundation.
     Another way: Lou has asserted the right all our senior pastors have had--but none preceding him have acted on, as a matter of propriety--to access the financial records of our church. He can monitor who is still giving money to the church and who has reduced or stopped their giving. (He does not have access, as far as I know, to the names of the many who have written Grace out of their wills since he came.)
    In all these ways, the "leadership" is tightening its grip on us as they move toward absolute power and domination over our church.
     Let's see, this document would be like Barack Obama requiring all Americans to "pledge allegiance to the President of the United States and to the Congress--"
     I don't think so.


  1. The full Covenantal Commitment made by members of the community of Grace is as follows:

    In response to God's grace, out of love for God's church, and for the glory of God's name, and with a commitment to God's mission, I joyfully covenant to: (1) nurture and sustain a close relationship with Jesus through the regular practice of reading his Word, prayer, and participation in corporate worship (Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:23-25) (2) cultivate godly relationships of mutual encouragement, love, trust, care, and accountability within the Grace community (John 13:34; Romans 12:9-21; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; Philippians 2:1-11) (3) preserve unity within God's church by following Biblical principles of conflict resolution and by submitting myself to the leadership God has chosen for his church (Hebrews 13:7,17; Ephesians 4:1-3; Matthew 5:21-26; 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-5) (4) wisely manage what God has given me(mind, body, time, gifts, money, and possessions) in order that I might reflect his generosity and participate in his mission in the world(Romans 12:1-2; Proverbs 3:9-10; Ephesians 5:8,16) (5) represent Jesus in word and deed in my home, neighborhood, and place of employment(Ephesians 5:19-6:4; Colossians 4:5-6, Matthew 5-7) (6) support the mission of Grace in our city and world through my prayers, sacrifical service, and generous financial support(Acts 1:8; 1 Timothy 5:17-18)

  2. The membership is pre-qualified of having been baptized and confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

  3. I'm sorry. I knew I should not post anything which I believed to be true but for which I had not yet found documentation. I have removed the paragraph containing the unsubstantiated claim.