Addressed to two sister workers: I know that this letter will likely come as a surprise to you. But, in order to be honest and forthright before all, I need to set some things forward.
For some years now, both Sandy and I have been backing away from the teaching that our fellowship represents to “only way” on the earth, and that others outside our fellowship are not saved.
Please understand that this is not because we do not value the teachings of Jesus regarding the manner of life the apostles were to practice, nor is it because we do not value and appreciate meeting in the home in the way the apostles practiced. We do value what the fellowship is striving for in those areas.
However, we no longer use those two concepts as a basis for presuming on someone’s status in the eyes of God. Further, we do not put our hope of salvation in those things.
We do not believe that we are saved and others are unsaved on the basis of methodology. Please understand that by saying this we are not saying that methodology is unimportant or that it is value-neutral. Rather, we cannot use it to presume on someone’s status in the eyes of God.
Our current understanding prevents us from having fellowship around those two concepts as necessary for salvation. We cannot condemn others who do not see these concepts as necessary. We cannot deny the work of God in the lives of others we know outside this fellowship.
We have said very little about this to others. However, we can no longer do violence to our conscience in this. We know that this may disturb others, and that is why I am bringing this to your attention.
Yours in Christ,
March 23, 2005