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CLEARLY AN OVER-SIMPLIFICATION, but I think the thoughtful reader will not miss the point.

Some preachers wonder about who is faithful to the Lord (“as I am”), while the saints in the congregation worry about meeting material obligations, a grandmother concerns herself with the drug addiction of a grandchild, a couple over here is strained in their marriage, wondering if they should keep it going since the other one is-so-at-fault; another couple nearby is considering whether they should move close to one another; a young mother is doing everything she can to still her child in worship, a father is determined to make his wife obey, and a wife is determined to refuse the overture; in the back rows are people who feel so low that surely nothing from them to the Lord will be accepted, and they hardly can raise their head to be warmly greeted because fear is so strong they will be looked-down-on; one just recently started attending because the lifestyle experienced is so weighty and guilt-feeling that something has to be done, and they know of no place to turn but a church building where, presumably, they will meet understanding hearts, people who care about the pitfall of life in one’s day-to-day struggle against the “god of this world.”

The preacher, in the meantime, wonders about whether he can support a school of preaching, an apologetic center, a university, and/or a sister congregation – he wonders if they are faithful.

There is a proper time and place to consider whether the Lord will receive certain teachings and actions – the Holy Spirit makes this abundantly clear in Jude 3. In my over-simplification of a lament, I surely do not want to minimize any application of 1 John 4:1, 6. I wonder, however, if some issues are truly errors of opinion or false teachings relating to the Bible.

On the other hand, some preachers and elders major in determining who is faithful outside their direct influence, and those who struggle within the congregation seem to get little or no care because they are Christian and should know and do better.

Can you relate? If not, you will.