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Dear Church,

I trust this letter finds you sustained by your Groom as you face bombings and threats on one side of the hemisphere, and attacks of a more offhand sort on the other. By now you have likely received word of a popular blogger confessing ...

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Jim Walton

March 12, 2014  10:35pm

Ms. Beaty, in response to your open apology to the church, I have considered the heartfelt article of your thoughts concerning your love for the church. I have similar feelings, mostly of guilt, being an ineffectual elder for a number of years in our gathering, dealing with issues in weekly meetings concerning the financial and personnel problems of the congregation instead of the spiritual well being of the flock. I’ve taught adult classes, visited hospitals and nursing homes, taken communion to shut-ins and counseled individuals who have family and personal problems. Rebuked (with love) members when sin is revealed. When the congregation gathered, I was expected to be present. You may recall the cliché, “the church is a hospital where the sick can come & be healed.” Some do not realize the healing is not forthcoming because they do not worship or pray. They become distracted for many reasons. I attend the gathering with the purpose of worship. I pray that my name is in the book.

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David Stafford

March 11, 2014  6:57pm

Mr.Dalbey, thank you, likewise. May your joy in the Lord continue.

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Rick Dalbey

March 11, 2014  6:32pm

Mr. Stafford (I love that, makes me feel like a young whippersnapper) I just simply wanted to provide a counterpoint to Katelyn's ennui brought on by church. Most of the people I know (in fact, I am forced to say, all the people) are quite excited about our church. Something is really beginning to happen in our place of worship. But, enough about that. Sorry for interpreting your humor as anger. I really don't know what to say to people like Katelyn or Don Miller (Blue Like Jazz) who are bored with church. What I want to say is find a community of people who enjoy worshipping the Lord enthusiastically. Short of that, start a home group of people who enjoy worshipping the Lord and transform the church from the inside out, from the roots up. Heal the sick, practice the gifts of the Spirit, prophesy, evangelize. Thats my 2 cents. Thanks Mr. Stafford for your generosity of spirit.

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David Stafford

March 11, 2014  5:03pm

Mr. Dalbey, my Dodge Stratus remark was taken from a Saturday Night Live skit starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (the bestiality princess) and Will Ferrell, of LEGOS fame. The rest was simply a parable intended to point out that the author of this fine article is MANAGING EDITOR OF CHRISTIANITY TODAY, and as such one can assume is exposed to religious fervor continually (the "hired help" of my parable). I have absolutely no personal disrespect for your personal interaction with your God. To one's own master, one stands or falls. I look forward to your posts and I have appreciated your kind words in times past. I fear you have interpreted what I meant for humor to be anger. Agree with your brother quickly while you are in the way with him. Please forgive me. I included personal facts because you have often included such in your posts. There's two kind favors I'll ask of you though; please address me as Mr. As I mentioned, I am ten years your senior. And, please do not be angry with me.

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Mel Evans

March 11, 2014  1:07pm

LOVED this! :)

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Phil Sabo

March 11, 2014  11:38am

Ms. Beaty, I really appreciate your openness, transparency and honesty in your "letter". All Christian can relate to losing their enthusiasm and "first love" for the Church and it's people over time. However, I must admit that I have had the wonderful privilege of never feeling so disenchanted with my local church. I have been so blessed that the Lord led me to my current local church in Pittsburgh, PA. The praise and worship are beautiful, the preaching is sound and keeps our attention every week, the people (some of whom I would not have chose naturally) are a beautiful and holy people. Also, I can attest that the presence of God is there and it is real. It is so amazing. I have been a member of this church for 36 years and I love it more today than before. I would gladly invite you and all other readers to look us up and come worship with us and hear the Word of God preached. Our church: Lakeview Christian Life Church. One Lakeview Place, Bridgeville, PA 15017. 10:00 meeting

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Robert Yount

March 11, 2014  10:22am

Thank You from a local pastor who shares your apology

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Rick Dalbey

March 11, 2014  10:16am

David, why are you angry at me? I am excited about God.

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David Stafford

March 11, 2014  2:02am

Also, seeing as how you brought it up, I have taught on the faculty of three Christian colleges, two state university's, am a top expert in classical guitar and a highly desired performer, which means pretty good, and I've got you by ten years. Am I better than anyone? No, in no way, for I am sold under sin just as Jesus was.

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David Stafford

March 11, 2014  1:30am

Sorry Mr. Dalbey, very impressive, but I know someone who drives a Dodge Stratos. I'm afraid that, in this particular case, your testimony sounds to me like a person who every week has a one pounder at Fuddruckers and exclaims happily to the hired help, "How could you not be hungry?!".

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Rick Dalbey

March 10, 2014  11:25pm

Most weeks I can hardly wait for Sunday mornings. My hands are raised high, I sing at the top of my voice, often I have to stop singing because I am weeping. I feel caught up, and most of the congregation feels caught up, in the real presence of the Lord. This week we were studying Ezekiel. I love the word of God. At the close of the service I rush forward and join a team of 4-6 people who are available to pray with folks. The needs range from assisting someone in meeting Jesus for the first time. Wow! Ever been there at an actual child birth? Or it might be prayer for healing from cancer, or arthritis. When God suddenly answers THAT kind of prayer it will wreck you for weeks! Or it could be praying for a wayward son, or a job for someone facing unemployment. And afterward the conversation is rich in the coffee/fellowship room. I love church gatherings! How could you not? I am a rational, degreed, 63 year old man and business owner.

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David Stafford

March 10, 2014  1:01am

Katelyn Beaty, I, David Stafford, apologize to you for not being more immediately sympathetic to your wonderfully written article. Being Managing Editor of CT would certainly be a good ingredient in a recipe for religious burnout, one could imagine.

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Gregg Love

March 09, 2014  9:35pm

Who is the un-named blogger?

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David Stafford

March 09, 2014  5:39pm

Why does this article seem hollow and unconvincing. Perhaps because it espouses eating completely by logic, not because one is hungry. Don't get me wrong, I truly rejoice in the happiness people find while in the midst of their chosen hells, it's a blessing from God, but none for me, thanks. I'll eat when I'm hungry.

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William Goldman

March 08, 2014  3:12pm

Yes, I avoided reading this article for a few days, until it suddenly struck me that it might actually have something to say to me. Which it did, of course. Thank you, Katelyn (if I may).

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Denny Jacob Benjamin

March 08, 2014  10:45am

I second David Thomas.

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Phil Sabo

March 08, 2014  9:12am

Ms. Beaty, I really appreciate your openness, transparency and honesty in your "letter". All Christian can relate to losing their enthusiasm and "first love" for the Church and it's people over time. However, I must admit that I have had the wonderful privilege of never feeling so disenchanted with my local church. I have been so blessed that the Lord led me to my current local church in Pittsburgh, PA. The praise and worship are beautiful, the preaching is sound and keeps our attention every week, the people (some of whom I would not have chose naturally) are a beautiful and holy people. Also, I can attest that the presence of God is there and it is real. It is so amazing. I have been a member of this church for 36 years and I love it more today than before. I would gladly invite you and all other readers to look us up and come worship with us and hear the Word of God preached. Our church: Lakeview Christian Life Church. One Lakeview Place, Bridgeville, PA 15017. 10:00 mtg.

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Margi McCombs

March 08, 2014  8:09am

I winced, then I smiled. Thanks for saying what is often in my heart!

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Charles Williams

March 08, 2014  7:05am

Ms. Beaty - This is so reminiscent of Paul's struggle as described in Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do"; and, an inspiring reminder to all Christians that not only are we are not alone as we struggle against the flesh, but have an Advocate with the Father.

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REV DOUG HERBERT

March 07, 2014  5:13pm

Wow, well stated, Ms. Beatty! You've given your readers a lot to ponder. Thank you.

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