A NAME IS NO GUARANTEE
Thank you for the insight-inspiring article "The Spirit Hasn't Left the Mainline" [Aug. 11]. This subject has particular bearing on our family as we search for a new home church after our recent move from California. My husband comes from a Reformed church, my chosen denomination is Missouri-Synod Lutheran; but we have worshiped the last 12 1/2 years at a Disciples of Christ Church led by a Baptist-trained minister.

An analogy came to mind: Christianity is like bread, available in many renditions from bleached white to whole wheat to seven-grain. But it is a staple of life, no matter its iteration, and one is fed, no matter the brand. As far as switching brands, or denominations, Paul had this to say (paraphrased): We are not to swear our allegiance to any man or manmade institution, but to Christ alone (1 Cor. 1:10-17). We really couldn't care less what denomination our new church is so long as the pastor teaches straight from the Bible, the congregants love, worship, and faithfully serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit has filled the congregation with his presence. End of story.

Joanne Hagemeyer
Severna Park, Md.

* As one who directed the Biblical Witness Fellowship, the largest evangelical renewal group in the United Church of Christ, I read the article with interest. I had hoped to find some real rays of promise, but other than the recognition that God is sovereign and does work miracles, I found little hope.

But the article does not express the reality of the situation as I experienced it. First, I believe the evangelical witness in the mainline churches has already been marginalized at two levels. Those openly critical and sometime confrontational voices are politically excluded ...

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