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Taking Reproof Seriously

Nearly a week ago I wrote a piece here wrestling with some concerns I’ve had about Sunday morning worship. That post went past with relatively few comments, but this morning I had a conversation with a brother from Stonebridge who, without regard to the content of my concerns, asked why I hadn’t just come to folks at church directly with my thoughts before publishing them on my blog. Furthermore, he let me know that there were feelings hurt by what I wrote.

We had a good conversation, one with which I’ve been wrestling for the rest of the day. And while I don’t feel like this was a situation where someone had wronged me and I should’ve been following Matthew 18, in hindsight (don’t you hate that word, hindsight? just its presence indicates that something was screwed up) I can understand that there could be folks who were hurt by what came across, despite my best intentions, as public criticism of them and their service at church.

With all that in mind, I want to say just a few more things, and hope that they can settle the topic for now.

First: if my earlier post caused you hurt in any way, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

Second: I tried to say it in my earlier post, and I’ll try to say it again here and hope that it comes through clearly: none of the criticism I was bringing was directed at any person. I certainly have enough experiences doing unprofitable things in church on which I can look back regretfully. I am fortunate that I have had people who noted those, corrected me in a spirit of love, and then encouraged me to get out there again. I want the same for Stonebridge, but I obviously handled the lines of communication poorly.

Finally: I’ve only been at Stonebridge for less than a year, and have had precious little opportunity to get to know any of you, so I’ll say something that in better circumstances hopefully wouldn’t need said: the last thing I desire is to cause disunity within the Body. My only desire is that God be more glorified in each one of us, individually, and in all of us, corporately, with each passing day.

I earnestly yearn to chew on these topics with you in the days to come.

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