Thank you for your letter. I wish I would have been able to meet you in Galatia on your last visit. The crowds were so large, I tried to get into one of the home churches to see if I could ask you a question, but the leaders were all around you and there was no way they would let me in. So I thought I would try to send you a letter.
We've had quite a few new home churches and congregations pop up. Our congregation continues to grow but now there is some discord and confusion. As a result of your letter, some in our number are bouncing from church to church and home to home.
Some of our members want changes in how and what we teach. They prefer the “Gospel” you are teaching. They like your style and the atmosphere you create. When you teach they cry and say things like, “I have been moved.” The level of excitement is more accustomed to the theater than a synagogue. I will concede that you have made very strong points, but the doctrine and your style depart from our tradition. Certainly, there is a way to place some priority on the traditions and precedence that we know and desire, over the Gospel. Our works must count for something. I want our flock to trust us as leaders. I want to trust you as a leader and mentor, but I am struggling. Honestly, we need more clarification. You knocked down the rules that have drawn us closer to God and to each other.
You noted the disconnect and our hesitation in your letter. But what you didn't note was the pain that goes with moving from one church to another, the hardship, the hurt and the distrust that follows; both in the congregation and amongst the church leaders.
Paul, I am dismayed. I have seen firsthand the loss of trust, the fracturing of the Body and sadly, the faithful turn away from the faith. Whether it’s due to a sense of greed, nationalism, gospel disputes or just simple disagreement, something is causing the fracture in the Body. Now I am weighing what the future looks like for me and my family. Paul, the teachers leave a wake of hurt. And as a leader, I am certain I’ve caused some pain as well. Thank you for displaying, as you called them, the Fruit of the Spirit, namely patience. I eagerly await your response. Grace and peace.
Daily Battle Order:
Kingdom Man, have you ever felt burned or hurt by your local church? Do we trust our church leaders? Do our preferences impact how we received the Gospel? How do we respond when our preference and the church seem to be in conflict? Study Galatians today. Ask God for clarity. Allow Him to search and wrestle with you. Share what is revealed with a brother.