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    Your heart is right on this I think. If there is a problem in the church, there is a way to deal with it. I do not often see people stand up and rebuke the body as a general rule of thumb, but I think that is what is needed sometimes. When I was talking to you about what to do with the dinner conversation, I was quite serious about confronting that which is wrong in the body. Paul has written about casting out brothers that were perverting the church, and yet I don't think he loved them any less.

    Just food for thought. I also see hypocrisy in my own life and am mindful of the 'log and the speck', but were the problem severe enough to burden my heart, I would speak. So should we all. Maybe one on one where that is appropriate, but at times, to the body as a whole.

    How did Paul write to the churches? As a whole, to be read to all. I have seen letters written as a parting shot many a time, but that is cowardly. Write it out, if you must, and send it to everyone. Stand and suffer the heat for what you say, which may not all be right by the way, but the crucible of fire that you will be putting yourself through will test it pretty well, I'd imagine.

    You were not too negative. Your tone may have been blunt, but guess what? I am usually that way myself, so I can little complain about it...

    This written forum actually is good. I have gotten a real rant going now and again and at least had the sensitivity to turn it down a notch or two at times.

    Seek wisdom and counsel before doing anything brash. If you complain here and do nothing, I'd call that whining. If you complain, fortify yourself, and take action, no matter how meager, I would be glad to endure that for your sake. I can see Jesus doing just that.

    If that last statement is too challenging, call me on it! Tell me why I should not say that! Christ is our strength and support. He is mercy served to us and righteousness clothing us. If the money changers are in God's House, how would Christ react?

    Be blameless and firm, loving and forgiving, listening and exhorting. All in Christ's name. If you cannot do it in his name, don't do it!

    Jon, I could rant with the best of them on this. The Question is: What will you do?

    Your Brother,

    2005-11-16 00:10:09 Posted by Mel ()

    This reminds me that I should more appreciate the big advantage that I have. As chairman of the board I can, and even sometimes am called on to comment on the health of the church. How frustrating it would be to feel these things and not be able to find a way to air them.

    As for what Iím doing about it, this entire year has been a process of trying to make changes. We believe that any of these changes will start with leadership and the hiring of a new pastor at our church has exposed some weaknesses. The pastor and I, and a few men we have recruited, are trying to rework things, starting with our board.

    It is not a task that I sought. I was in the chairman position when the former pastor retired and inherited the job. It has brought its share of trouble in many ways and is partly the cause of my ranting sometimes. But it has been a blessing and an education.

    I am also very concerned about the church as a whole, especially in America. The only way that I can see to change things there is on the local level, to seek Godís will for our church here and through that reach the community and grow from there, as the Holy Spirit works in other churches.

    As I said, I didnít mean to be negative. I have seen great passion and progress made.

    2005-11-16 19:29:30 Posted by Anonymous ()

    I attended my church (Calvary Chapel)for months before I was filled with the passion. It just happened one day, I began to weep. My heart was swelling with love and I knew it was the Holy Spirit... I never wanted that feeling to go away ... I didn't want the world to come in and destroy it. I knew the best thing for me to do was immerse myself in His Word. But alas, my husband is a non-believer. His critisism and skepticism are a challenge for me. Not because he can convince me of his way, but because he frequently condemns my faith. What he doesn't realize yet is that his "persecution" only brings me closer to God. I expect, because Jesus fortold me that I would be persecuted for righteousness' sake. So I can understand how one's passion cools - sometimes I have to "make" myself read the bible for 15 minutes (gee, I wouldn't want to miss my favorite t.v. program now would I?). The way I'm beginning to see it is this: God gave His life for my salvation, the least I can do is give Him 15 minutes a day! Sure enough, after my time with the Lord my passion is red hot again! Hallelujah! HE LOVES ME!

    Blessings -

    2005-11-19 14:20:46 Posted by TalkerCat (talkercatbiscuits@yahoo.com)

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