Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From Christoph Blumhardt's Letters to His Son-In-Law, Missionary in China

The following is taken from "The Hidden Christ," a collection of letters sent in the early 20th century from Christoph Blumhardt, a German pastor, to his son-in-law, who was a missionary in China. These letters are a remarkable witness to the true gospel of God, which is free from the dictates of Church and State.

"God's love tears down old divisions. No longer religion against religion, Christians against non-Christians, but justice against sin, life against death. His love embraces everyone. Therefore, every person you encounter should be your concern. Do not settle for less. The whole world must see the glory of God. I long to see you free to share in the gifts God gives the Chinese. This is our hope, but its fulfillment will have to be fought for.

"God protects the oppressed. He will see to it that they receive his blessing. Today his spirit moves the upright hearts everywhere, without asking what kind of religion they cling to. Our task is to spread the gospel of Christ, not the gospel of Christians. Christ does not want separation. This is difficult for us to keep in mind. It is not easy to interact with sinners without yielding to the pressure of either compromising or distancing oneself. I hope, however, that we - you in China and I in Europe - will experience the all-embracing, creative power of Christ.

"This is why I choose to stand on the side of the humble, the working class. Tragically, the church has abandoned them to darkness. Yet this same church lives with this darkness, and in so doing absorbs the very same sinful principles that rule the world. Christians should serve, not rule. Their acts of violence make them worse than the so-called heathen.

"The chief thing is to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, not an apostle of the European Christian world. Have patience, and whatever you do, stay clear of forming a party. Your work must embrace the whole, then your integrity will win you everyone's trust.

-reprinted from Copyright 2002 by the Bruderhof Foundation, Inc. Used with permission

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