Letter to David Goldstone, son of D. Krupa Rao,
I am happy to hear from you, about your work and your family. Give my greetings to all.
The basic bible teaching program developed in India, now organized as the Institute of Biblical Studies, is proving very useful to build up people's faith and to motivate them to do the Lord's work. I would be glad if you would investigate using a similar teaching program in your work. Please visit our website, www.ibsresources.org, where you can download the teaching material we make freely available to all who wish to use it.
The gospel is meant to spread from person to person, and the power of the gospel is centered in the daily lives of Christians who love God and each other.
The kingdom of God has been sidetracked for many centuries by those who see Christianity as a formal institution that must be used to control people, to keep them in slavery to men's laws and men's power. To some extent, the "legalistic patternists" within the Church of Christ fellowship have fallen into the same way of doing things, with all of their laws based on endless speculation about the role of silence in the scriptures.
Please join with us in teaching people the freedom that we have in Christ to do all good things, all the things that edify and build up God's people. Silence is silence, and does not exclude or include anything. The scriptures clearly teach us all things that are necessary for life and godliness. That life is centered in Jesus Christ, and in our following him in our daily lives, in our daily associations with each other.
There is nothing in the scriptures that teaches that the New Covenant is to focus on Sunday assembly, and keeping certain rules in that assembly. The new covenant is not like the old covenant, a set of laws written in stone. The new covenant of life in Jesus Christ is centered in the being of Jesus Christ, with God's people being the body of Christ, showing Christ to the world in our daily lives.
The church should not come together in order to worship in some set way by law, but we should come together as a family reunion, as a time of rejoicing, to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus by sharing together in taking the Lord's supper, and by encouraging each other.
The "Check List" Christians who come together to do five things, thinking that is worship, and that they are earning God's favor, are completely missing the truth of life in Jesus Christ.
Life in Jesus is powerful, led by the Holy Spirit, and relying upon the power of God to work in us beyond our imagination. I hope that you will escape from the wrong focus of Sunday assembly as the heart of Christianity, and that you will move boldly forward with the power of God working in your life to demonstrate the life of Jesus to all who know you.
Worship is our life dedicated to Christ, to loving God and doing what is edifying for each other. When we come together as Christians, on Sunday or any day, it is to continue to worship God, exalting Him together, and building each other up in the Holy Faith.
There is no worship hour or worship place in the new covenant. There is the gathering together of the saints at an announced time at an announced place to celebrate the life we have in Jesus, and to encourage each other. All things that edify and build up the church are appropriate at that time, observing the common rules of any assembly, so as to avoid confusion.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. It is not good for free people to enslave themselves to manmade rules and endless speculation about what is lawful. All things are lawful that conform to the principles of righteousness clearly revealed by the Holy Spirit.
I would be glad to discuss these things with you.
God bless your ministry. Send pictures of your family by email.