Friday, February 27, 2015

Pastoral Letter

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Friends,

This may be your greatest opportunity to honor Jesus and model something/Someone better for your particular congregation, franchise, community, state, nation, and world.

In a world that bruises, beats, batters, and butchers, you have an opportunity to show how people can come together, remain together, and move into the future together unafraid in/through/for Jesus.

Our world and, sadly, so many churches of all flavors/franchises like to divide, destroy, and...

They like to fight.

Not Jesus.

Not people who love Jesus.

And you, as elders and deacons and Sunday School teachers and pastors and members, are called, depending upon His grace, to pray and labor to imitate His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and agape.

This is your kairos moment - a divinely appointed time for you to show how you are different from the world and how Jesus keeps you together.

This is no time to quit.

This is no time to give up on each other or anyone, like you, trying to love Jesus by praying and laboring to love like Jesus.

Recently, I was told of a family who attended a public event in which there were several families who used to go to the same church and how they...

You get the picture.

What a terrible, awful, unfaithful, and...witness to Jesus!

Imagine - don't "reimagine" - how people apart from Jesus are repelled from Jesus by people who say they love Jesus while hating and divorcing themselves from others while making the unconvincing claim that Jesus heals, unites, bridges, and...

You get the picture.

When I first arrived in Belvidere over ten years ago, I often said, "Please do not tell anyone that I'm your pastor; because I don't want people to think you got your irascible, irregular, and irreconcilable behaviors from me...Please do not invite them to join us for anything until you confess, repent, and start acting out your faith instead of just mouthing it like you mouth meaningless litanies in worship...If you're not going to act like Christians, don't pretend that you are...If Jesus has not changed your desire to get along with each other and others and live lives of strong calm sanity, how can you have the audacity to tell others what Jesus can do for them that He, obviously, hasn't done for you?..."

Or something like that.

While we've still got challenges on the corner of L&M, it's a heaven of a lot better than it used to be since we stopped blaming Jesus for some "Christians" who, obviously, need lots more of Him in their confession, conduct, and countenance.

Take a deep breath.

Rap yourselves around Him in a Psalm 1 kinda way.

When necessary, remember we are the people of 1 John 1:5-10.

Be willing to admit your mistakes.

Be willing to say, "If I am wrong by the example of Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense, please tell me so I may confess, repent, and our relationships may be restored."

Be eager to share/ask/invite, "I was wrong.  I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you."

If not us...

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%