The Liberty Connection

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Jacobsen, Connie (Kamp)

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December, 1991

Our Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

When we pause and consider the mighty work God has wrought in our life during this last year, we are awestruck! We find ourselves desiring to share with all of you the great joy and peace beyond expression that we are experiencing these days. We are delighting in the fresh illuminating of the Scriptures and in our deepened understanding of God's plan and purpose for our lives. Our prayers that have been answered and God's promises that have been realized in our life have surely increased our faith.

I know that many of you have been saddened, bewildered and probably even angered at the choice I made last January to quit going to the meetings. I feel moved to share some thoughts about events which led up to my decision and about my current understanding of God's truth for my life. I realize this is a lot to read and I apologize for it's length. I've tried to condense as much as I could. As I said, I just feel moved to share my experience with any of you who care to read about it.

Though I personally have chosen to separate from The Way, please understand that my decision is not an attack or a judgement against the people in The Truth. I know I established my own relationship with God while in The Way; I believe most of the people in The Way are sincere, God-fearing people; and, I appreciate the sincere willingness of honest Workers to give their lives to bring others to Christ. I recognize how individual our service to Him is and what follows is about my own relationship with God; not some generalized statement of the "RIGHT" way for ALL men to worship.

Recently Brian has called to my attention the many exhortations in the scripture of the importance and benefit of searching and knowing the truth of the scriptures; such as: --Matt 22--"Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures"; --Acts 17--"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."; --I Thess. 5--"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.";--I Tim 4--"Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine . . . . Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them"; --II Tim 2--"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."; --I John 4--"try the spirits whether they are of God."

While in The Way, I often saw the attitude upheld that a person with questions is a contentious person; as though by simply seeking to understand the scriptures, we are questioning God's plan and His wisdom. When I read those verses mentioned above and others like them, I have to believe that God welcomes our questions. He understands, as any good teacher does, that the more reading and studying a student does, and the more questions a student asks, the more he can learn and grow. If we are sincerely asking God to teach us His truth and are honestly responsive to His direction, we can trust his guidance and his keeping power. As Paul said, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels . . . nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God."

This subject is as important as it can get; salvation and our eternal relationship with God - I haven't lost sight of that. I don't look on any of this lightly. My decision has not been a turning away from the Lord or a cessation of believing in the Bible. I continue to read and pray and teach the children. I love God and desire above all else that He could continue to guide in every part of my life and that our kids would learn to know and come to love God for themselves. Because of what I have been taught since I was a little child, and because of my belief in that over the years, this has been the most difficult decision of my life and one that I have prayed more fervently about than any other decision I have ever made.

I never pretended to go along with some of the things others upheld in The Way to be "God's truth" because they didn't match my own prayer-guided understandings. Most of you would know this because I have often spoken of my concerns. When I was feeling stirred up about these things (because I care so much that my service before God is according to His will and will bring Him joy) I would read and pray. I would receive fresh answers from God that confirmed my understanding and brought me peace again. Then, repeatedly, I would find myself losing that peace and getting all stirred up again as I sat in a meeting and was called a fake (or a similar thought expressed in other ways) because I wasn't living as someone else thought I should be; or as I "enjoyed" fellowship with others and would hear how my "lack of understanding" was due to unwillingness and a lack of self-denial.

The judgement of people's heart condition before God by their outward service and appearance has been so instilled in us, that even though I've made no secret that I don't believe that was God's purpose, I have in the past found myself looking on others and judging them in this same way. When I realized what I was doing, it put a real fear in my heart.

It is human nature for us to want signs; to want to measure another's faith and connectedness with God. When Jesus told Peter what he wanted him to do, Peter's response was, " . . . and what shall this man do?" Jesus answered, " . . . what is that to thee? Follow thou me." No one else knows how God has dealt with my heart. Only God and I can truly see into my heart and know my heart condition. (As God told Samuel, "The Lord seeth not as man seeth.") My personal connection with God was not a pretense while I was "professing". It was real and alive. He knows, and I know, it is every bit as alive today.

About three years ago as I realized the desperate situation I was in - caught in between my own godly conviction and the conviction of others, I finally came to the place where I began to pray earnestly to God, in almost every silent prayer, that He would show me His truth; separate from my own ideas, separate from other men's ideas, separate from empty traditions and separate from Satan's promptings. I honestly believe God has answered my prayers in a way I never would have believed.

As I prayed this prayer I still felt assured, as I had always been taught, that this was "God's Only Way". I didn't know how God would answer my prayer, but I didn't for a moment imagine it would take me out of The Way. I continued to encourage others to keep on going in The Way. I continued to try to overlook the "imperfection of men" and not fret about "those things I couldn't understand." I still recognize that man is imperfect and there will always be some things we don't understand, but I also believe there are some things we can know and cannot overlook. What I have come to realize is that some of the doctrine upheld in The Truth is not of God, it is not scriptural, yet appears, for some, to be the very basis of The Way.

I don't know if you are familiar with the book The Secret Sect. When I first heard about it several years ago, I heard it was an angry attack on The Truth and I chose not to read it. More recently I heard a faithful, sincere and continuing Worker refer to the book as a factual recorded history of The Truth. I feel I can speak with some authority about this since, in addition to reading the book, I have also seen and read many of the actual newspaper articles published in Ireland early in the century about this "new way".

The Workers who brought The Way to our parents and grandparents led them to believe This Way was from the beginning and was unchanging. Actually The Way had an earthly founder just as all other "Christian" churches have. William Irvine started it in about 1897, while preaching for the Faith Missions. Much of the form of the modern day conventions has been fashioned after the famous Keswick Conventions which were held in England in the early 1900's.

For several years I've been aware that The Way made what I believed to be a "rebirth" at the turn of the century and I've accepted it. I always chose to picture in my mind a remnant of His people scattered, each serving Him according to His will, but having no knowledge that there was anyone else walking The Way. Then I saw God moving on the heart of some humble, godly men and sending them out according to Jesus' instructions in Matthew 10. However, as I've read the actual account of The Truth's development, the involvement of man and his ideas has become apparent. Even with this beginning, if I really felt The Truth was God's Only Way to salvation, I would embrace it fully. From my continued studying of His word, though, I find nothing to support the idea of God's planning all men to follow this one METHOD of service.

It's very possible, that most of the Workers who carried the gospel to us really believed This Way was from Christ's day, because, after the fledgling church had suffered some problems with some of it's early leaders, all the Workers of that day were pledged to silence about the history of the church under threat of excommunication if they talked about it. Yes, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, but The Way has not been. Yes, God's truth is unchanging, but The Truth has seen many changes. (And it still continues to evolve. I have seen many changes even in my lifetime.)

A while back we heard about the Restoration Movement which began in the early 19th century. By that time is was true that the organized religions in the world had become very corrupted by man's ideas and traditions. They had incorporated many creeds and doctrines Jesus and the apostles knew nothing about and had drifted quite far from the teaching in God's word. Because of this, around 1830 a group of men, unbeknownst to one another, broke away from the churches they were connected with and made an attempt to go back to the Bible. They desired to break away from the denominations of the day and wear no name but "Christian". They wanted to uphold the teachings of the Bible and be silent where the Bible was silent. William Irvine came along some years later apparently following this trend. He saw the corruption in the churches of the day and chose to speak out against it. Of course, not all of these new teachers "got it right", either!

I would like to include a quote here about our "heritage"; how even though in many ways it can benefit us greatly, in other ways it can actually hinder our understanding of God's word. (Again, I am not making any judgements about anyone else's salvation - living or no longer with us. Thanks be for the mercy of our Heavenly Father, even though we may not have perfect understanding of His will and way, He has even so provided for our salvation.) This quote meant much to me because it expressed so well what I have begun to experience as I've learned to let go of my own traditions and my own understanding and let God show me His truth.

Jesus himself expressed an idea similar to this quote in Matthew 23:13 and Luke 11:52. (In our NIV study bible the explanation of this verse says, "the very persons who should have opened the people's minds concerning the law, obscured their understanding by faulty interpretation and an erroneous system of theology.") I think we sometimes tend to look with disdain on the Pharisees and their unbelief and lack of understanding. It has been good for me to remember that these people were the chosen people of God. They thought they were following His commands and doing His will. Jesus rebuked them because they were teaching for doctrine the traditions of men. Their worship had become what was seen of men - their methods and their traditions; they were washing the outside of the cup while neglecting their heart condition and their relationship with God. It is sometimes easier to see these things as pertaining to others rather than to us, but part of remaining teachable before Him is realizing that what others needed to guard against, we also need to guard against.

And, now, here's the quote from Beyond the Battle for the Bible by J. I. Packer: " . . . there is a second point at which obstacles to understanding arise, no matter how diligently we follow the rules. This has to do with the blinders we wear . . . You and I, like everyone else, are children of traditions, and hence are both their beneficiaries and their victims. They have opened our eyes to some things, and closed them to others. . . Again: we are children, and therefore victims, of reaction---negative stances of recoil blinding us to value in the things we reject. Man's reaction never results in God's righteousness; it is not discerning enough. . . I am talking about what sociologists call 'cultural prejudice'. I am saying that we all suffer from it, most of all those of us who think we don't, and that as a result we are constantly missing things that are there for us in the Bible. We are ourselves part of the problem of understanding because of the way that tradition and reaction have conditioned us. When, therefore, we ask God to give us understanding we should be asking him to keep us not only from mistakes about the meaning of texts but also from culturally determined blind spots. . . ."

I feel that I can really identify with that. Because I didn't go along with all that others profess to believe, I considered myself to be unhindered by man's ideas. One thing I have discovered in this experience is how much I was hindering the work of God in my life by my own ideas and my own traditions. God can only work in me and teach me as much as I open up to Him and let Him in. Until I was willing to let go of my own thinking, I hindered God's ability to reveal Himself to me. I have been amazed to see, now, things that I never saw before because I thought we already had and knew God's answers.

As I've said, even though I didn't go along with everything that some others upheld as part of God's truth, I had no doubt that The Way was our only hope of salvation. As God made it increasingly clear to me that he had other plans and another place for me, I was gripped by fear. This Way was all I knew about serving God. I began to pray, "Lord, if what I have been striving to fulfill all my 23 "professing" years is not your will for my life, . . . then what AM I supposed to do?!!"

It was recently brought out that it is God's character and His truth that is unchanging. His methods are continuously changing. God told the children of Israel they would do to Ai as they had done to Jericho. What would have happened if they had started marching around Ai as they had marched around Jericho? Have you ever wondered why God's instructions to the children of Israel changed from battle to battle: Keep the plunder; destroy all the spoil. Capture the women, children, cattle and goods; leave no survivors and destroy everything, etc.? God's instructions changed according to the situation, the enemy, the lesson He wanted the people to get in and through the experience; God's direction changed to accomplish the job at hand according to HIS will. God didn't ask the children of Israel to search history for guidance; rather, they were to ask God and obey His direction for that day and in that experience.

We have come to understand that there is no single way - no one "religious method" (except Christ the Way) to receive salvation. Salvation is a gift from God. All that is required of us to receive that gift is that we repent, believe in Christ and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior. That is scriptural. Our good works follow out of our love for God and what He has done for us . . . according to our own God-given gifts and according to the dealing of the Holy Spirit; not according to one set of rules cast in iron put down by other men for every person to fit in with.

Consider the blind men whom Jesus healed. Imagine them getting together later discussing the "One Way" Jesus heals blindness. There could have been at least 4 denominations started up right there . . . the "Spit"-ites, the "Mud"-ites, the "Touch"-ites and the "Speak"-ites! Jesus commanded us to follow Him, but it's been real to me lately that His example wasn't a method, but rather it was in His character and His truth. What was Jesus like? What did He teach? - compassion (Matt 9:36), love (John 15:13), humility (Phil 2:7), prayer (Mark 1:35), obedience (Heb 5:8), forgiveness (Luke 23:34), servanthood (Matt 20:28) and purity (I Pet 2:22).

Each of us alone can know the reality and the depth of our own connectedness with our Heavenly Father. That's why Paul reminded the Romans (14:12) "everyone of us shall give account of himself to God." and encouraged others to examine themselves to see if they were in the faith. We have no guarantees about the heart condition of the people walking with us - we have certainly seen that proven many times even within the framework of The Way! (I refer not just to people who have chosen to leave The Way - we may not know their reasons or their heart condition before God - but even Elders and Workers who were looked up to by others, yet the light of truth has shown that they were leading false lives.)

"Sacrifice" and "self-denial" are self-diagnostic terms. No one can look at someone else and determine the depth of their sacrifice - or even if they are sacrificing at all. I've enjoyed thinking about Cain and Abel again in this light. The contrast between these two brothers' offerings was not between plant life and animal life, but between a careless, thoughtless offering and a choice, generous offering. It was Abel's faith - his motivation and heart attitude - that caused God to look with approval on his sacrifice. It's possible that Cain's sacrifice appeared perfectly acceptable to Adam, Eve and Abel, but God was looking on his heart and found no joy in the offering.

I still firmly believe in the importance of, and enjoy, fellowship with others who have a true love of God and His plan for their lives. When I made the decision to quit going to the meetings I felt a need for godly fellowship. We began attending a non-denominational church in our area. Since we were babies we've been taught a lot of frightening things about "organized religion". It was a pretty big step to walk through those doors . . . for me, a step in faith. Since God has given us the power to discern which messages are of God and which are of man in conventions and fellowship meetings, I went there trusting He would not forsake me in my sincere desire to live for Him just because I was walking into a church building. If He didn't want me to be there, He would show me that; not just desert me.

We've been taught much about the showiness and emptiness of church services and the people there and that the pastors are all false prophets -wolves in sheep's clothing- waiting to lead us down a wrong path and devour us. I had to go with a really open mind; giving the pastor the same respect and opportunity to speak that we would give Workers and Friends in The Way. There are things in the form of it all that have taken some getting used to, but right from the beginning, when the pastor began to speak the pure gospel story, I have been fed. Some of the actual messages are (in light of all we've been taught about church services) unbelievably the same as what we hear in The Way. I don't doubt that there are dishonest ministers and people whose service is only a surface thing (just as we've seen in The Way), but that's why God gives us the power of discernment and encourages us to use it. Yes, I believe this pastor, and many others like him, have dedicated their lives to teaching the gospel story, winning lost souls to God and shepherding the sheep of the fold.

I've always learned people in "the world" only go to church as a form. I have been absolutely amazed to see the great love for God and the zeal to serve that these people seem to have. I have been impressed with their joy in the good news of Jesus Christ that they have found, their desire to spread the gospel story to others who don't yet know Christ, and the expression of their dedication to separate from the things of this world and live for Him. Yes, we have also always learned that organized Christian religions are worldly and to be avoided. Actually, this church recognizes the danger and emptiness of the world and teaches, just as we've learned in The Way, the need for us to remain separated from the world. (The "world" that Jesus warned us about was the self-serving, self-sufficient element that failed to acknowledge Him as their King and Savior.)

This church does not uphold any "Do it your way; anything is okay with us" attitude. They uphold the Bible teachings even when it is hard for people to hear it and even though it might cause some 'monied' people with different persuasions to turn and walk out the door. Yes, a Collection Plate is one of the big "evils" we've heard about all our lives and had to deal with here. This church keeps no record of who gives or how much they give. They don't tell people their salvation depends on how much they give or even on giving at all. People who do give can indicate where they want their money to go, if they choose - charity, overseas missions, the building fund, etc. Giving, according to how God has prospered us, is scriptural (I Cor 16:2).

The Workers in The Way are also dependent on people giving. Even though a collection plate isn't passed, The Friends are all aware of the need to give that the ministry could continue. An interesting "statistic" along these lines is that on average in ALL churches 20% of the people provide 80% of the funds, 30% of the people provide the additional 20% and 50% of the people don't give at all. These statistics exist across the board regardless of what kind of a record keeping system a church has - whether they keep no record at all like Overlake, (might the statistics look the same in The Way?!) or have a very elaborate computerized system of tracking. Our pastor uses the phrase, "Tell the people and trust God." He openly presents the need for funds to aid in the discipiling of the world (as it happens, the church we are attending is one of the largest contributors to world missions in the nation) and the maturing of the saints. What we choose to do with that knowledge is between God and us. There is no DEMAND to pay; rather, people give as they are moved of God and as they respond to His leading.

This church offers communion at least weekly. It is open to all believers in Christ. They do not support sprinkling babies as baptism, but believe in baptism by immersion in obedience to the command of Christ (Mark 16:16) and as an open demonstration of our faith. This church has no written creed other than the Bible. They believe, as in The Way, that anything less would not say enough and anything more would say too much.

Perhaps my greatest joy right now is that since we have started attending this church, Brian's interest in the things of God has been renewed. He, also, has begun to read the Bible with new understanding. He has begun to see as never before the awesome greatness of God and the privilege that is ours of giving Him the first place in our lives and living for His good pleasure. As Brian has become fully involved in our family's spiritual growth, I am rejoicing for answered prayers. After over 7 years of walking the Christian life alone and being the only one involved in directing our three children to a knowledge and love for God, only someone who has been down that path themselves can fully understand the depth of joy in my heart to be able to share these things in my own home, with my own husband, again.

If any of you would be interested in listening to one of the messages from the church to know what we're hearing, we could send you a tape. We are bubbling over with what we have found and can not keep silent about it. We are experiencing a new peace and joy; a new liberty in Christ and a new closeness with God, as He opens up the scriptures to us in a fresh way.

We have often heard people say that the presence of God is not in a church building. I believe many people have put God in a box and limited His power. As believers, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. If we don't feel His presence at any given time, maybe - because of our own ideas and beliefs? - we are quenching the Spirit. Something I recently heard and have come to believe wholly: "The presence of God is here if you will just put up your antenna and receive it." There is no limit to where and how God can reach open hearts and seeking people! We rejoice in the wonderful fellowship we are sharing with these people who also love God as we do. We delight in every opportunity to meet together in order to praise God and be fed again on His word.

I do not write this as an endorsement of ALL churches. I recognize that there are definitely churches, even entire religious organizations, which do not uphold Christ and do not teach God's truth. Again, that's why we need to search the scriptures for ourselves and try the spirits it see if they are of God.

God never gave us a guarantee of perfect unity amongst His people. Perfect unity does not exist in The Way and it doesn't exist in any other church, either. We only need to read the New Testament to see there were continual struggles going on even in Christ's day and amongst the early church. We are all to strive for unity (by seeking to be at one with Christ) but as long as we battle with our human nature, none of us will attain that perfect unity. For each of us, our responsibility is to God: To accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and to follow his guidance in our life. We've often had visiting pastors - from other churches throughout the U.S. and even from other countries - speak in our Sunday evening services. (We've also been listening to Christian radio and reading a lot of Christian literature.) It has been a joy to us to see the unity of thought and understanding that does exist from Christian to Christian, from church to church and from pastor to pastor.

One thing we have learned is a real danger flag in "religious methods" is ANY group that claims to be God's ONLY Way (and there are many of them that do). Even if there are some in such a way who can focus on Christ and place their trust in him, the very emphasis on the method places a stumbling block before others. If one method above all others is upheld as RIGHT; then it leaves the opportunity for some "weaker" brethren to place their trust in the form of worship and never get to a true knowledge of God or a personal relationship with him.

I am certainly not arguing with the fact that there can be rich, wonderful fellowship in The Way. As long as I was "professing" and was wholly in The Way (and, again, my profession was never a pretense) I loved The Way. I loved the fellowship; I loved the meetings; and, I still love and respect the honest sincere people in The Way. In my experience, though, that rich fellowship was repeatedly hindered by the judgement of men about my service before God. I believe that judgement by others not only hindered the fellowship, it also actually hindered God's ability to build in my life.

In fact, I have a real concern in that I have seen a destructive quality in the manner that some people have used, or misused, the doctrine of The Way. When things are upheld by some as doctrine that cannot be backed up by scripture, those things place a stumbling block in the way. I have known many sincere people in my years connected with The Way who, rather than being drawn to a greater knowledge of God and His truth, actually have been turned away from God and the Bible by the harsh judgement of people who believe they can see the heart as God can. Some of these people have gone away with an aching heart, misunderstood and confused; but have simply been written off by some in The Way as bitter, contentious, unwilling . . . etc.

In the past, I believed completely in the need for a way with no church building and the homeless, unpaid ministry. I "knew" these things were scriptural. Allowing God to lead me beyond my own understanding brought me finally to the point of examining these scriptures again. (It is important for us to read the Bible with an understanding of the time and the culture it was written in and about, also.)

I could address the issue of women having long hair. Paul said, "If a woman has long hair it is a glory to her." In that day, long hair was a woman's glory and it was disgraceful for a woman to have short hair. In that time and culture all women wore their hair long and wore a covering over their hair in public. If a woman was guilty of some shameful act or of refusing to submit to her husband as the head in the marriage, her head was shaved. If a woman had short hair or appeared in public with her hair uncovered, it was a sign of immorality or lack of submission to her husband. In our day and in our culture, we don't have the same set of rules. When you pass a woman on the street with short hair or without a head covering, can you judge her - on that basis - to be immoral or lacking in submission to her husband? The issue Paul was actually addressing in his writing to the Corinthians was submission not hair length!

What about meetings in the home? It was necessary in that day for privacy and safety from those that were even stoning and crucifying the followers of Christ; much the same as the need that has existed even in our day in Cuba and other communist-controlled areas. When Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was risen, he found them assembled with the door locked "for fear of the Jews". With the persecution going on at that time, even if there were enough of them in one area to require a larger meeting place than one or two homes and even if they could have come up with that kind of money, it would have been impossible for Christ's disciples first to erect and then to worship in a "public" building.

It has been said that there were no church buildings in Jesus' day. In truth, public places of worship were already in existence as part of God's plan under the old law. Jesus himself honored the temple as the house of God (Matt 21:13) and his Father's house (John 2:16). Jesus chose to move from place to place; and, in fact, had to keep moving to avoid those seeking to kill him before it was God's time.

If meeting in the home is a "fundamental truth" of the way of God, wouldn't God have made sure that it was written in no uncertain terms? Isn't the very purpose of the record of God's words to teach us His way? If it was a matter of utmost importance, would God have left it unclear? I know that the attitude in The Way is that it is very clear. I know the home was one place where we have record of Jesus' followers meeting together, but there are many different places recorded in the history of the early church - the home, the mountain, the garden, the beach - where the disciples, with Jesus and/or after his ascension, had fellowship together. I just can't find the scripture to support the thought that meeting in the home is the only possible way of fellowship. The church we have been attending recognizes that fellowship in the home was a part of the early New Testament church. They have many "open" homes where people come together for home fellowship meetings. The pastor encourages everyone to get involved in one of these home fellowship groups.

And, what about the homeless, unpaid ministry? Jesus said, "The labourer is worthy of his hire." He praised that little widow woman for casting in "of her want" at the temple treasury. The religious leaders of the day hunted for things to criticize Jesus about; but we have no record that they ever criticized Him for failing to tithe nor did Jesus ever criticize the tithe - in fact, He told the Pharisees (Luke 11:42) they ought to have given a tenth of their spices to God while not neglecting the justice and the love of God.

The scripture tells us that Peter had a home and family responsibilities. Philip had a home and family. It tells us that John took Jesus' mother into his own home. It speaks of the disciples going to their home after they visited the empty tomb. Jesus gave the apostles special instructions in Matthew 10. He told them to go without purse. He also told them at that time to go only to the Jews and to go healing the sick and raising the dead. What was the message Jesus sent them with at that time? "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." - is it possible they were sent out to continue to spread John the Baptist's message; to prepare the way? Could they have been sent out with the gospel story? Since Christ had not yet died and been raised to new life, the gospel story was not yet complete. Christ was teaching the complete message, but the disciples didn't understand what he was telling them. They didn't yet understand what was going to come to pass and what it would mean for them and all mankind.

Later, in Luke 22, we have record of Jesus revising the instructions he first gave. We have record of another time when Jesus appeared to the apostles after his resurrection and they were out fishing. It doesn't tell us why. Maybe it was just for recreation, but it was their former livelihood. Had they returned to it to support themselves while they carried the gospel forth (as Paul did at times later on)? Jesus didn't rebuke them when he appeared to them; in fact, he caused them to prosper in their work.

Again, I realize that some of these things are considered unclear, but if the homeless, unpaid ministry is a "fundamental truth" of God's way, would God have left it unclear in the record of His word preserved for our knowing? I don't mean to insinuate that going out homeless and unpaid is WRONG, but I do believe it is unbiblical to uphold it as the ONLY way.

In conclusion, though I understand that my thinking may seem very foreign to you, I remain confident in my God-directed choice. Thanks be to God, I can still come boldly unto the throne of grace. I hear the Shepherd's voice, He knows me and I follow Him. I know that some, who choose to do so, may use either my silence or my words against me as evidence of my "bitterness", my "bad spirit", my "blindness", or whatever other excuse or accusation they want to use. I am choosing to speak of my experience and my new joy, even while recognizing how it may be used by some.

With love and prayers

Connie (Kamp) Jacobsen
Snoqualmie, Washington USA
December, 1991