Letters, April-May 2010

A very timely article on church; one that will encourage and challenge. Beaut job! Thanks again.

RB, Australia

I could go to any number of churches and have all kinds of supportive small group meetings, like choir practice, praise team, in-home Bible studies, prayer meetings or even women’s clubs. But it’s not "home."

I think of my local congregation like I do my family. I have a history with them, and I am concerned that if I don’t stay (for them), that they will have a harder time in their walk with God. I have a role with them, even though I don’t heal them or cure their problems. Sometimes all I can do is cry with them.

I can’t see that happening anywhere else. Each week is like a new family reunion with this family of God that I love so much and whom God loves and is leading to grow together in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

LF, email

Nice Bible study. I also like the other articles. Kudos to Christian Odyssey. More and more, I find the magazine really worthy and enlightening.

NB, email

We were having an email discussion about the use of capital letters for pronouns that refer to God. Christian Odyssey uses lower case, and there must be a good reason why. Could you enlighten us?

HJ, South Africa

It is a matter of current prevailing grammatical style — it has nothing to do with respect or reverence or righteousness. Greek and Hebrew did not make any typographic distinction between divine pronouns and other pronouns.

Your magazine is like a fresh breeze of spiritual peace every issue. (I read it on your Internet site.) Thank you for being there.

AN, Scotland

Thanks for the articles in Odyssey. You seem to have a knack of bringing principles to the fore in easy-to-understand everyday language.

I am trying to find a "church home." Four years ago I started attending a large church that I felt seemed to have a good mix of Christian teaching, outreach, friendliness, etc. My problem is that I have not really connected with anyone even though everyone is very friendly and the messages are very thought provoking. I feel alone in a sea of 300/400 people.

Now, I have some friends who I do connect with who go to another church. I have attended that church a few times and enjoy the fellowship BUT I find the sermons a bit dry. The message is fine, it’s just the delivery.

So I have a conundrum (at least I think I have). I was toying with the idea of going to one church for the sermons, then leaving and going to the other for the fellowship. I am not particularly keen on the idea but I am going to a church just for the messages with no close bonds to the people. At the same time going to church just for the people doesn’t seem quite right either.

It probably sounds like I am trying to be a buffet Christian and going to where "I" feel best and it’s all about me.

I am not asking for you to tell me what to do, just some thoughts would be great. I am sure I missed something!

PM, email

There is nothing wrong about attending two churches, but you also say you are trying to find a "church home." In that case, although congenial people and inspiring sermons are certainly factors, let’s stir another ingredient into the mix. A church home is a place where you can be served, but also where you can serve. So you might ask yourself, "Where am I needed? Where can I use my abilities and expend my energy most effectively in serving others?" As you say, it is not "all about you." Perhaps the "right" church is not one that you need so much as one that needs you.

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