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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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December 1998 Letters: Sic transit authority

'People choose churches like they choose shoes at KMart'

I read with interest the articles you published on the authority of the church (October, pages 8-15). These articles spoke of a waning influence of the church on a society where people choose congregations that please them, much like they choose shoes at Kmart. While the articles' points about the church in relation to community, reinforcing the authority of the Bible and living according to God's promises are well-taken, they missed a vital point. As Christians we believe there is a God and have chosen to follow him like Jesus did. What is right and what is sin does not depend on our opinions. God's opinion matters. Our churches (as organizations) must dedicate themselves to learning what God wants a church to be and to becoming that. We must also learn what God's ideas of sin and righteousness are and teach that.


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