Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Come visit some Sunday

Here's a response to a blogger who has his doubts about St. John's in Atlanta. See his post at


I would like to invite you to come visit St. John's, my home church. It's only a 4 hour drive from Ashville to Atlanta. You can see for yourself what is going on.

For me, it's a beautiful congregation, wonderful fellowship with lively and sincere worship. Pastor Brad is a truly gifted minister. He's excellent in preaching (which is always Bible-based), working with children and youth and providing attentive pastoral care. This is a place where God is transforming lives, drawing us into grace, wholeness, and discipleship.

It's growth, by the way, has been predominantly among families with young children. We certainly welcome gay folk, but the vast majority of our membership is straight. We're not looking for a place where "we can just go on sinning and it's all ok." No, we do not justify sin. Rather, in hope, we look to Christ to justify us sinners, to bring us into right relation with God and each other.

To be clear, it's about Christ justifying sinners, not justifying our sin or justifying ourselves. A gay person could live his entire life completely celibate, but that would add nothing his salvation. You and I can spend our whole lives living up to Biblical standards, but it adds nothing to the righteousness we find in Christ. Worse yet in trying to make ourselves righteous, we only become self-righteous which means we do not really have any faith at all. We are all sinners, whatever our sins may be, but the best we can do is trust Christ's righteousness and allow the Holy Spirit make us whole.

Well, I could go on preaching at you. But really I just want to let you know that we welcome you. You can be a conservative among us and you won't be the only one. You can be whoever you are and grow in Christ with us.

Don't believe me? Put us to the test, come visit some Sunday.

Peace, James

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