This is a letter that I wrote to a friend back in AZ who had written me a long letter expressing his concern. I am sharing it, because I believe there are others who might have questions.
My dear brother!
I am so sorry you are going through these struggles. My heart ached for you when I read what you are going through. Father is so very faithful & will meet you in the midst of this.
All day my mind raced here & there as to what I wanted to share with you. First, I want you to know brother that I have read & have been “influenced” by many people including several “no names” in the body of Christ. The list of authors are as follows: Gene Edwards, Frank Viola, George Barna, T. Austin Sparks, Tony & Felicity Dale, Neil Cole, Jon Zens, Wolfgang Simpson, Floyd McClung, Robert Fritts, Watchman Nee (I may have forgotten a couple). So you see ____, this is not just something that just “happened”. As I said in my post, it actually started 26 years ago.
So ____, I don’t see myself as “part of a movement”, but rather a life….HIS. I have a deep longing to experience “living stones” being built by HIM into a house for HIM!!! For years (unknowingly for a long time) I’ve craved the body life He speaks of in His word. I desire to see “God get what He wants: a Bride, a body, a building and a family – a corporate expression of His glorious Son.” This is not just positionally it’s a reality NOW that was born in the heart of God from before time.
(btw…in ALL of the authors/speakers mentioned above I have not read/heard any of them attack the body. As a matter of fact they all – especially Viola – constantly encourage those already involved in organic fellowships, to NOT discuss or make it all about “those institutional churches”. They are encouraged to keep their focus on JESUS….period)
I love the body deeply & really desire to be a part of that “corporate expression” of Jesus. To watch the body’s members EACH functioning as God intended, with Jesus as the ONLY head; to truly experience the “priesthood of the believers” (which we say we believe) in action each week. Meeting for one purpose….Jesus; to discover & display Him in real life; not sitting there week after week watching just a few people exercise their gifts & then each “living stone” going back to their individual lives; separate from the other “living stones”.
____, I think I do understand what’s going on inside you right now, but brother please understand I deeply love the “brethren”, but I am appalled at the manmade system they find themselves caught in.
I was thinking of you today in regard to this all, and realized that this is nothing more than experiencing REAL intimacy in the ecclesia; the very thing I believe your soul longs for. I love you brother & appreciate your honesty and desire for truth.
“To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through THE CHURCH [ecclesia] to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” - Ephesians 3:8-10
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” - Col. 1:17-18
Resting In Him,