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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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I was struck during that zoning controversy how little I did to keep the church together. The ones really leading were the old ladies—molasses-sweet, blue-haired, Bible-believing old ladies who attended our Wednesday night prayer meeting.
The dispute did hurt our church. Longtime members threatened to leave, or at least resign leadership posts (which they left effectively vacant anyway). People worried openly about a church split. In one administrative board meeting I found myself with one candidate and his spouse and the campaign manager of the other and his spouse. The two men had once been close friends. Their sons still were. They'd known each other since their baptisms. Their parents still talked about how wonderful the other's grandparents were. And their dispute wasn't nearly as nasty or personal as that between their wives. But the two couples were not speaking. How were we to pass a budget together?
The most painful part was that they were all good people who still knew how to get their hands dirty and fix a motor, prepare a casserole and teach a Sunday school lesson, and in their business lives they could balance a million-dollar budget. But they could not, for the life of them (or their pastor), get along.
And precisely there is the small church's glory. You can't avoid the person you hate. You can't wiggle out of the meeting with the person you're not speaking to. And so you have a shot at being Christian.
Read it all.
Next entry (above): Grosse Pointe Michigan Episcopal Church temporarily removes rector
Previous entry (below): A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Mark
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