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March 2, 2003

Greetings, dear Shannon,

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God Created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'" (Genesis 1: 26-28).

Then Christ came and established His Church to unite His people in worship, work, and fellowship and Satan began corrupting the churches. In 1949 I was born into a "Christian" culture but was so sickened by unhealthy churches and "Christians" that I left the Church in 1967 to become a Unitarian. I praise God that He called me back into the Church by placing me in a healthy church and surrounding me with true Christians. Just as unregenerate "Christians" are the biggest obstacle to evangelism, true Christians who witness with their lips and lives are the greatest tool of evangelism. After seven years, I am absolutely awed by the beauty of the biblical Church and how the Lord uses His Church to sanctify saints and reach the lost.

I am so sad that members of your church do not seem to share in the joy and excitement that results when we see how the Lord is using faithful Christians to rule "over all the earth" and "subdue it" in subtle and mundane ways, as they make it their "ambition to lead a quiet life" and to "warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." The eleven members of CHBC at my dinner table yesterday included a variety of Christians, such as a former atheist Chinese Communist businessman, a 73-year old British missionary, a young Ukrainian lawyer, and dear black, Asian, and white brothers and sisters who have dedicated their lives to serving God through their work in Washington, DC. In the CHBC evening service, church members were introduced to 27 visiting pastors and seminarians who came to CHBC to learn more about what the Bible says about biblical churches. We were united last night as we worshipped with hymns and songs of praise (It is so beautiful when 350 voices are united in acappella singing), a meditation on Scripture, and prayer. As part of the communion service, we read together our church covenant, which is the essence of our unity and the Bible-based standard by which we love and honor Christ and our brothers and sisters, even through church discipline since the Bible teaches that it is dishonoring to Jesus and unloving to church members to allow them to persist in unrepentant, unconfessed sin.

Shannon, is it true that Jim Roberts -- who has never been to CHBC or visited our Center for Church Reform -- condemns and rejects all of this? This grieves me, and the Lord must be grieved since we are one Body and should encourage one another. Even though our local churches differ greatly, we should encourage and support one another in our efforts to serve God.

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