Why? (2)

pen sword


This question has been asked by several readers.

Sometimes with a barb.

“Was this your intent? To cause division among us? Well, you’ve won.”

I started answering the question “Why?” in the last post, but to fully answer it, I have to go back a few years.

To 2013, to be precise.

My wife and I had been members of Grandville PRC since we were married in 2001.

It was only in 2013 that we came to the conviction that something was amiss.

We had suspected for some time that there was something wrong with the preaching of Rev. Koole. However, for many years we blamed ourselves.

We were not listening hard enough. We had to take better notes.

One quote in particular from A.W. Tozer would plague my conscience. “If you will not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week.” This would ring in my ears, and I would reproach myself for not living a holy enough life during the week. Sundays were a trial because I was not faithful enough, diligent enough, spiritual enough. I was not doing enough. That law of Tozer’s lashed my conscience and left me despairing.

Finally, in 2013, I went to Rev. Koole. I told him I did not know what was wrong with the preaching, just that I knew something was wrong.

Over the course of the next year, nothing changed.

But I was busy reading everything I could get my hands on regarding preaching.

As useful as those books were, it is to my shame that I needed them in the first place.

The answer was painfully evident as to what was wrong with the preaching.

Christ was missing.

The preaching was Christless.

(There was much more that went on throughout that time that I will not detail. The lies and the duplicity of those appointed by Christ to lead me and my family. The double-minded men who would tell me one thing in private and then see to it that I received something altogether different in official correspondence from the consistory. Those books will be opened and revealed someday, and that is enough for me).

That does not mean the name “Jesus” was not said throughout a sermon. It probably was. It certainly was tacked on to the end of the sermon.

Yet Christ was absent from the preaching.

In their office of believer, a man, a woman, and even a child knows when they are being fed Christ and when they “hear his voice” (John 10:3).

And they know when they hear the voice of a stranger (John 10:5).

Finally, after vexing my soul and having the souls of my wife and children vexed for far too long, a man came to me and asked to me to consider whether it was time for me to leave Grandville. His reason was stark. Rev. Koole was not going to change, and the elders were not going to do anything about it.

So we left.

And joined Byron Center PRC.

Where we heard Christ.

It was only a few weeks in, and only a few minutes into a sermon, when I leaned over to my wife and, stifling a laugh, said to her, “He can’t get to Christ quick enough!”

Rev. Lanning knew nothing among us, except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2).

That was a joyous time for my family. We had been led out of the wasteland and to the green, verdant pastures of the riches of God’s word, as Rev. Lanning drew out of the treasure house things old and new (Matt. 13:52).

Every service, morning and evening, we were led to Jesus Christ, and how our souls sang with joy!

I truly had never experienced preaching like this.

And do you know what my denomination did to these two men?

It made the one man who refused or was unable to preach Christ a leader in the denomination. It made him a church visitor and editor of the church paper and an authority figure for the denomination to look up to.

The other man, who humbly fed his flock with Christ Sunday after Sunday, service after service, the denomination despised. It mocked him at the assemblies and made his name a byword. And then it brutally cast him out of their fellowship.

What the faithful officebearers from Wingham PRC wrote regarding the wicked treatment of Rev. Lanning and Rev. Langerak is true: “The denomination’s abuse of these men is nothing less than a rejection of Christ himself as he is revealed in the faithful office-bearer of Christ and as he speaks to and teaches his church in the gospel.”

What caused me to leave—no, what drove me to leave—was what the PRC did with Jesus Christ.

They cast him out.

I know I speak for the rest of my brothers and sisters who left Byron Center PRC when I say that we did not have a choice. We had heard the voice of Christ in the preaching, and having heard it, we would not, under any circumstances, allow ourselves to be robbed of it or allow it to be silenced.

Many of us had languished for years, if not decades, in spiritual wastelands of empty words and man-centered theology.

We were starving to death.

And now our denomination, after trumping up some charges, says that Rev. Lanning is not fit to be a preacher?


We said no.

Even if that meant the loss of our families, our friends, and our schools.


We can identify the voice of strangers. We will not follow those voices.

(Rev. Lanning certainly could not abide this unrighteous deposition. John Calvin spoke for all faithful ministers of God’s word when he said his ministry was from Christ, and therefore it must be defended “with his own blood if necessary.”)

This will probably draw the spurious charge that we are following a man. That charge is slander.

And familiar.

One of the cheapest, most superficial, evilest, but nevertheless often very effective methods to brand a movement of a reformatory character in the church as false and of the evil one, is to concentrate all one’s attention upon the leader of such a movement, vituperate his character and personality, ascribe the movement wholly to the powerful influence of that personality, and present all other participants in the movement as blindly following that strange, that ambitious, that impossible man.

This method has many advantages.

It simplifies the case immensely. Instead of collecting and carefully evaluating the historical data, the doctrinal implications, and the church-political transactions involved in the case, you can afford to limit yourself to the presentation of a simple syllogism: 1. The leader is no good; 2. The movement is wholly inspired by the evil leader; 3. The movement must be evil.

Moreover, if such a man happens to be condemned and cast out by the church, the latter, by fixing all the attention upon the impossible and evil personality of the leader, is at once justified. No matter what may be the doctrinal implications of the case, no matter whether this leader actually taught false doctrine worthy of deposition, no matter how many injustices the church may have committed in casting him out, the church is plainly justified in her act for the simple reason that the man is impossible. (Hoeksema, Vitriolic Indeed, 9/15/46, SB)

But when you consider that God is pleased to have his word preached through a man, then the faithful believer will gladly confess that they will “not easily allow themselves to be separated from any man in whom they have detected a right understanding of Christ” (Calvin).

As I have been led to see, not every man has a “right understanding of Christ.”

So you want to know why I am writing this blog.

In part—in large part—I am writing this for my brothers and sisters who themselves are bewildered and confused at the abuse they are facing. I am writing for those who I am called by God to protect and to whom I am called to minister. I am defending them. I am trying to be their voice. What have they done but follow the voice of Christ?

It is written in love for the “simple” in the PRC, who, through good words and fair speeches, have had their hearts deceived (Rom. 16:18).

It is written because it was, and continues to be, my duty as a watchman to warn God’s people of the grave danger they are in.

This blog is being written because of a love for Jesus Christ and a desire to stand up for his name and his truth in the world.

He is worth fighting for.

He is the only one worth fighting for.

I make no apology for this blog or what I have written.

If what I write is false, then prove it. If I am wrong, then show me.

And while I continually must ask God to forgive my cowardice for keeping back my pen from blood, and for so often turning back in the day of battle, and for wavering at the faces of men, I will continue to make the prayer of Psalm 144:1 my own.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”

12 thoughts on “Why? (2)

  1. I have read it and I will say this. I think you need to be far more concerned about the RPCs departures from scripture and the confessions then dwell on things that have already and continue to be resolved within the PRC.

  2. Please read Rev. Lanning’s editorial in the August issue of Sword and Shield, which details in chronological order the false doctrine of the conditional covenant in the PRC. Matt Medema

  3. I think much has been done to clear up the confusion about what is false doctrine and what is the truth of scripture. In the past few months I have listened to many lectures and sermons from the PRCA and have no doubt that we preach the truth or sovereign particular grace, salvation by grace alone, through alone. That our obediance is not conditional to our fellowship with God. But rather, our obediance flows from the fellowship we already have through the spirits work in and through us. We ought not forget that spirits work in us, that changes our hard hearts to hearts that sincerly desire God. Properly understood, it is all of God.

  4. We can agree to disagree, then.
    I believe that true repentance and sorrow over sin will manifest itself in actions. In other words, it will be evident to all that it is genuine. Yet the hypocrisy, hierarchy (in spades!), and false doctrine continue to this very day in the PRC with nary a peep of complaint. That doesn’t look much like 2 Corinthians 7:11 to me.

  5. I’m honestly surprised at your very bold assertion in your response. You make great leaps to assume things that you don’t actually know, and in fact I reject your accusations in their entirety.
    This pastor has indeed been faithful to his vows. He has indeed admonished us for our indifference to false doctrine, our luke-warmness, our apathy, and laziness in our faith and doctrine. He has indeed called us to repentance for the corporate and individual responsibility we carry for the errors that were fallen into. He also has showed us our pride, our unbelief, our sinful desire to have ownership over even the littlest part of our salvation. He has rebuked us for our lack of charity, our lack of trust in God, our hatred for the brother. Sunday after Sunday, he has warned us of the ways the particular false doctrine in question can creep into our hearts and minds. There is more than one way to “rebuke soundly” and it doesn’t always need to result in the division of the church.

    Respectfully, your accusations in both the post (the PRCA cast out Christ) and in your response (this man, and by implication, all the others are unfaithful ministers of the gospel), are false.

    I am both amazed and not surprised by how easy it was for us all to become sleepy and for the devil to sneak in false doctrine. I’m so thankful for the means God used to wake us up from our apathy and make us once again zealous for pure preaching. He certainly is continuing to sharpen the preaching and teaching in the PRC through all of this.

    I am thankful for Brent’s comment too. We sometimes see the weakness of men in the church and think God is not here, when sometimes what we must rather think is: what great goodness and mercy God has wrought that he would use such sinful and weak men to accomplish his purposes, and to choose to gather unto Himself!

    Our God is great, and so, so gracious to us his people.

  6. I have been blessed, in my short life here on this earth to have experienced the preaching, not only here in the PRC, but also that of some of the other Reformed congregations of this nation. The HRC, URC, FRC and the OPC.

    I’ve also had opportunity of attending a Baptist high school for a short time and have also sat under the preaching in a Baptist church of family.

    In my own time, I often peruse the various sermons and speakers on Sermon Audio and even the multitude of various “celebrity speakers” as I like to call them. Like John Macarthur, Joel Beeke of the HRC, Paul Washer, Paul Tripp among a few. Now there would be some on here who would call this anathema and would refer to these men as false teachers. Now would I agree with all they say? No. But God often uses means. The weak means of men.

    God often chooses to proclaim the Word through weak means of men. God even uses the weak means of men, such as Andrew Lanning to purpose His will. Did God not ordain this split, this schism to occur? Did God not ordain it for the purpose of preserving Himself a remnant to the end? Of course! Now those in the PRC and RPC might differ on what and who exactly is being preserved, but that is not the intent of this comment.

    My point is this. Having sat under the PRC preaching my whole life, I was often filled with a sense of pride in my younger days. I am PR! I have the truest manifestation of God’s Word! I am so blessed to be PR! I can’t believe I am so blessed as to be raised PR when God could have just as easily ordained me to be born in a Charismatic family or some other denomination! That is not to say that this is what we hear from the preaching, but it is an idea we get, nonetheless from our upbringing and sitting under the faithful preaching of the Word that we do. It is the pride of man that we feel this way. It is the pride of man that I felt the way I did. I didn’t know any different though. I wasn’t aware of other Reformed congregations. No one taught me of them growing up.

    But God worked in me change. A change that opened my eyes to the whole of God’s church as is found in every nation, tongue and people. God’s church, imperfect though it is, is gathered from every kind of people!

    My wife was not privileged to have been brought up in the PRC or even in the Reformed tradition. She grew up in a
    Brethren church and then a Baptist church before coming to the Reformed faith through the Free Reformed Churches. If you want to know more about the Brethren I would refer you to Rev. Angus Stewart. He has a lecture of dispensationalism that speaks a bit about the brethren. They are dispensational as well as Arminian in theology in part. The one thing shared between the PRC and the Brethren is this. The preaching of the Word takes precedence. And it shows in their preaching. The difference between Baptist and Brethren preaching is night a day, though both are similar in theology the difference between the two is stark!

    Now again my point isn’t to persuade anyone to join these churches I mentioned. But rather, to take a step back from the small bubble of the PRC/RPC world for a moment. To ponder God’s infinite wisdom and the weak means of men He so often uses. Every church on this earth is imperfect. For the insidious nature of sin would have it be this way. Men in their pride and arrogance divide the church of Christ and it will continue to be divided until that final day.

    Look now on the churches of the New Testament. None of the churches Paul addressed letters to were perfect. They all had weaknesses and errors they had to deal with. Some, like the Corinthians were divided among themselves, like as we are as PRC and RPC. Divided for reasons they ought not be divided over. Some said they were of Paul! Some of Apollos! Some said they were of Cephas! And others of Christ! They took pride in the men they followed. They attached the name of Christ and His church to men and denominations.

    But this is not so. Nor should we ever, in our weak minds, think that the church is attached to men or denominations. For Christ would have ALL men come to the knowledge of the truth. Every kinds of people of this earth to hear the preaching of Christ crucified and come to the faith. All those and those only whom He has chosen from eternity and called to be His own! God’s church is universal! This is our confession when we recite the Apostles Creed. We confess with the church “universal” We confess a Holy Catholic church! God does not only draw, by His Spirit, those who might find their membership in the PRC or RPC. But God often choses to draw those, who are His people, to Himself from every denomination in this world. Do I say we should see every church in this world that has faithful members as true churches? No. But there are other true churches.

    The PRC has it’s weaknesses. This I understand as does every member of PRC who has the Holy Spirit in their hearts. We understand that things aren’t always beautiful in the outward nature of things. Sin often rears it’s ugly head and we make mistakes, we fall into sin. That is the nature of us as Christians, as human’s who are fallen in Adam. We aren’t perfect in the outward view of things. We are weak, carnal, worldy minded, seeking self rather then God.

    But that is the wonderwork of our salvation! That God would choose to save us who are so undeserving of salvation! That Christ would shed his blood….for us, for His church! Unfathomable though it is!

    He looked upon us in His sovereign love, not because of what church we attend, or what doctrines we adhere to. We aren’t saved by our doctrine. Doctrine can often times become a religion in and of itself. We serve the logical framework of doctrine we have in our minds but we do not serve our Lord. We have that historic faith, but not a true and living faith. We aren’t saved by these things, but simply because He choose us. Before the foundations of the world He choose Himself a people. Not for anything we did or are doing. But because He loved us while we were yet sinners. Sinners undeserving of His Love! Think on that! Our Lord bore on the cross all our sins and the judgement of God that we so deserve of ourselves. He has given us the gift of faith, whereby we are justified and made right before God. Perfect in God’s sight! And so we are made partakers of Christ and the riches of His glory! We haven’t earned that, merited that, or done anything for that! We don’t establish, maintain, or preserve God’s covenant by anything that we do. But God leads us. He leads us weak sinners by His hand and leads us to life eternal. All those whom God has called, all those who confess the name of Jesus. All those who are His sheep from every place on earth will find their home in glory!

    When we as sinners take a step back from man and would ponder the riches of God’s glory and of our salvation. Then we will tremble. We will tremble before the righteous throne of God and confess with heartfelt repentance our sins of unbelief! Of trusting in the ordinances and laws of men rather then confessing our faith and trust in Christ a lone! Think on things editor of this blog. Think on these things members of the RPC, Think on these things members in the PRC.

  7. I am thankful you added, “as it stands officially” because then perhaps we can all agree that in reality, in light of the theology coming from the SB and from the pulpits in the PRC, it is as if Synod 2018 never happened.

    You write, “Other pastors faithful to the principle of grace in all aspects of salvation have not been deposed or accused of false doctrine.”

    Of course they haven’t. Because they have not been faithful to their confession of faith vow (“to reject all heresies repugnant thereto”) or their ordination vow (“refuting with the Holy Scriptures all schisms and heresies which are repugnant to the pure doctrine”) or the Formula of Subscription vow (“exert ourselves in keeping the church free from such error”).

    The PRC fell into grievous error. Instead of disciplining those who taught and defended such error, the PRC disciplined those who acted faithfully in their office. And now that error is coming out with a vengeance and everyone is silent. The officebearers in the PRC who are silent right now about the wickedness going on are “blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isa. 56:11).

    Your minister has not rebuked you or your congregation or the denomination for the error into which they fell. Or for their lukewarmness to the truth of God’s word which allowed them to be indifferent when false doctrine was preached and written. Or for their indifference when faithful men were deposed and disciplined.

    He is not faithful to the vows that he made before God.

    But your minister does know that if he just preaches “smooth words” to you, he can have a nice, long, “peaceful” and smooth ministry, followed by a life of ease paid for in full by the members that he spent his ministry not warning. Who would want to endanger that?

    So no, when a few ministers are cast out because they preach rebukes, such a denomination (or a congregation within the denomination) cannot console themselves with, well, my man is faithful, or, we have a few men who still teach the truth.

    Your man is not being faithful.

    He has not warned and rejected against the error. And not just with generalities (no one is offended if you do that), but with specifics. If he had done that, the whole denomination would have heard about it.

    The PRC needs to be rebuked soundly (Titus 1:13, 2:15).

    But that won’t happen.

    Look what happened to the last two guys who tried that.

    From here on out, it is all smooth words for the PRC.

  8. As of the writing of this comment, I am a member in good standing of the PRCA. And I appreciate all that you have written here because it has opened my eyes to many problems that I did not previously see in our church. I have just been reading, and watching, and listening; taking it all in and finally paying attention. What was invisible to me before is now something I see everywhere. It is not so much that my eyes were closed as that my vantage point was different. My perspective was not imposed upon. Your blog changed all that for me. And now as you proclaim the right and the necessity to warn the church by way of naming names, I am going to follow your lead and warn the church by way of anonymity.

    I know that I am not the only one who is grieved by the current state of matters in our church. The prayers being prayed and the tears being cried right now are innumerable. But as we gather in our homes or at events and talk of the things of God and of the church, I am seeing a pattern that largely explains the condition of the church and the situation we all now find ourselves in. Everywhere I go there seem to be ostriches. People who see the ugliness of fighting and strife and want to run away or worse, bury their heads in the sand. They want to sweep it all under the rug and go back to their lives of relative ease and comfort from before, when the battle did not seem to be right in our own backyard. They seem to want to excuse the bad by claiming that there is no perfect church. Rather than see that there are very real problems which must be dealt with, they want to blame the issues on those who have left. They want to accuse others of being the reason for the problems rather than that those others were simply in the uncomfortable position of being brave enough to point them out. They perceive the PRCA to be a place of safety where vigilant guarding is not necessary and where a person’s name is enough to ensure the rightness of the words that are spoken. But is this real spiritual security or is it an illusion?

    Despite our contention that we believe in the principle of corporate responsibility (do we, really?), everywhere I go I hear people saying how relieved they are that these problems do not exist in their local church:

    • Well, the preaching in my church is okay, so we are fine.
    • Well, the people in this particular geographical location certainly are taking this controversy personally.
    • Well, our consistories would never behave like that.
    • Well, Dewey is just lying.

    And by the means of passing the buck and turning a blind eye, they are able to continue as they always have with relatively little consequence to themselves. But is this an illusion?

    Here in this home, we are no longer at our ease. And lately we are often advised of the beauty of our balanced system of ecclesiastical adjudication in the PRC, so we decided to take our concerns to an elder in our church. The first thing he said was that we should take his advice and not get tangled up in it. He told us not to worry about it and to trust the elders and the delegates to the major assemblies to handle it. We did not need to concern ourselves. Then, a second time we attempted to discuss some concerns with our consistory at family visiting. At that time, we were told that the problem in the church is that there are too many “armchair theologians”. (Never mind God’s commendation of the Bereans. Never mind the office of all-believer. Trust us, we were told.) Still more recently, we again wished to discuss a matter with our elders involving a sermon preached over our pulpit. We tried to express to them that we are struggling and that there are issues that need to be addressed. Two of them from our consistory sat right in our living room and told us that they would rather not be involved. We were informed that they are heartily sick of the controversy and would just as soon come to church and worship in peace and hear no more about it.
    By this we can see what has become of the watchmen on the walls of our little corner of Jerusalem. Is it any wonder that so many have left? We are told that we must protest and appeal. We are told how wonderful our due process is, but what good is it with such an attitude toward the struggling flock?

    Some have written that we must promote unity. But the unity of the body of Christ is the truth. The body of Christ cannot be divided. She is joined at her Head. It is Christ. The fruits of the spirit flow out of her by means of the truth. Ye, shall know them by their fruits. When we speak of preserving the unity, what is really meant by that? Do we protect the “unity” at the expense of love and joy and all the rest? When we ignore problems within the body, is the lowest common denominator the means to the unity for which we strive? Shall we be satisfied with less of Christ because it allows us to take our ease? Are we so concerned with peace that we will ignore the cries of the struggling brother to achieve it? Is this really what we think is pleasing to the Lord? Is this the faux unity that we are called to accept? And if we don’t, if we call out for better, does this make us an enemy of our church institute? Will we then be accused of dividing Christ’s body? If so, then perhaps our church does not really believe in the promises of Christ that she claims.

    So, I ask you to post this comment anonymously. Not because I am afraid to have my name attached to it. And certainly not to protect officebearers who functionally abdicate their positions. Rather, it is to protect my brothers and sisters in the Lord from the temptation to be respecters of persons. It is to protect your readers in the PRCA from the temptation to think that the officebearers in such-and-such a church might not be doing their jobs, but those in their own church certainly are.

    Here we have recently discovered that there is a great lack in the number of watchmen on our walls. It may not look like there is. There may be many men filling the offices. They may wake up and come to church twice every week in their Sunday best. They may attend their meetings and come to your home for family visitation. They may be likeable and personable and tell you how much they love you as they shake your hand or give you a hug. But at the end of the day, they are far too busy to enter into your struggles. They cannot be bothered to defend the church. Will they be there for you if you need them in your spiritual difficulties? Or are they wishing for peace at any cost and desiring their own spiritual ease? Are they really doing the job that God has entrusted them to do, or do they have other far more important things to do so that they would rather not get involved?

    To you, Dewey, I can only say: thank you for getting involved. And be encouraged, the outcome is always and only in His hands.

  9. “What caused me to leave—no, what drove me to leave—was what the PRC did with Jesus Christ.

    They cast him out.”

    I take issue with this statement….it has not been drawn out to it’s logical conclusion. There are at least several ministers within the PRC whose preaching no one (including in the RPC, to my knowledge) have taken issue with. They have preached and continue to faithfully preach Christ and him crucified as the only cause of all our salvation. I have been blessed to know the joy of sitting under the preaching of two such ministers week after week eating rich hearty meals of gospel preaching, in which I was consistently reminded I could never do anything to earn any part of my sakvation….all of Christ. If the PRC were casting out Christ, these faithful preachers would be cast out too, would they not?
    You quote Hoeksema and compare to that time often. But the difference that is not being acknowledged is that in ’24 the CRC officially adopted and committed to false doctrine by adopting the three points of Common Grace, and not looking back. There is no such commitment or adoption of false doctrine in the PRC. Synod ’18 reiterated and committed to Biblical doctrine – with this the S&S concurs.

    So no, Christ has not been cast out. 1. Lanning was not deposed for the doctrinal content of his preaching. 2. Other pastors faithful to the principle of grace in all aspects of salvation have not been deposed or accused of false doctrine. 3. The PRC as it stands officially, holds true doctrine only.

    Incidentally, these reasons are also why so many feel that this blog is only resulting in the division of the bride of Christ.

  10. Your story is very familiar to my wife (especially) and me. Stephanie saw problems with our preaching too. And she was miserable. Sundays were bad, but Mondays were the worst, because she had a burden to tell the elders (again) that there was no true gospel being preached. And she felt guilty for not doing enough. Talk about misery! She would listen to countless sermons (at night especially when she could have time alone). Sermons by those from the past (Vos, Schipper, Hoekesma, etc.), but also sermons from a nearby minister (Rev. N. Langerak). These men preached the gospel of Christ truly and they preached the ministry of reconciliation, with a sword. They called for repentance, they brought us to cling to Christ alone (instead of what she did), and they showed us our misery without Christ’s works. Then we finally left Peace PRC and joined Crete PRC (for about 7-8 months until the suspension, at which time we left for what became 2nd RPC). What a difference! There was joy instead of misery! Our older children could really see the difference too – praise God. How beautiful are the feet of the them that bring the glad tidings of Christ alone! We will never go back to a man-centered, Christless gospel, by God’s grace.

  11. Dear Mr. Engelsma
    I am a faithful reader of the blog,and for the most part I read in awe and in respectful disagreement. I just can not relate, or believe some of the things written, except that they are written from a man scorned and maybe even rightfully so. I could relate to this last blog writing however. There was a time that I experienced preaching for many years where I felt that something is missing, something is not right, and I do not know what it is. I also blamed myself, and maybe partially rightfully so, and I tried all the more to fix it thinking it was something with me. After years of this I began to figure out that it was not just me who was struggling. Thankfully we all made it through that time and now have had wonderful faithful Christ centered preaching for many years. I can completely understand the threat of loosing such preaching once again.

    I feel like I can tell from your writings that you do this out of conviction that it has to be done, out of love for those who have similar experiences or convictions, or even those who may not understand or see the things you have seen. But I wonder, do you really think its the right thing to do? Especially since one of the big topics of controversy is , there is that which one “must” do in order to be saved, or even to experience salvation? I just wonder, respectfully, why someone would go to such extremes and talk about your “duty” and your ” calling” and how I read comments from supporters about doing what is “required”? I do see you put out there many scripture passages that support your thinking and actions and writings . But there is so much scripture about love, joy, peace long suffering, gentleness, meekness, mercy, bitterness, esteeming others better than self, unity in the body of Christ which is made up of so many different members. This is the Bride of Christ our savior!

    From my life of growing up in the PRC there have been many times I may of had disagreement, or questioned the wisdom of choices made but over time sometimes I start to see the whole picture and realize that God’s ways are not always our way. We are part of an imperfect Bride here on earth, but those imperfections do not mean someone or some people are not a part of that Bride. We have to be careful how we deal with even the questionable members in our minds for they could be the Bride of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I fear for anyone who divides that Bride.

    Due to part of my comment, it is my desire to remain anonymous. If that means this will not be on the blog, that is ok with me. But I hope you will read and consider.

    You have definitely made me think, my hope is that I can return the favor. Again, Respectfully.

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