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Letter to/from Sydney Holt by Paul Abenroth

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Paul Abenroth (ex worker) wrote a letter to Sydney Holt (Overseer of Washington State USA)
Following is his letter and Sydney Holt's reply.


September 24, 2001

Dear Sydney,

Possibly you are aware of the existence of several internet bulletin boards and email lists through which communication has been growing between and among current and former friends and workers.

A professing Seattle area resident participates frequently on one of these forums, using the name "Big Brother". He has issued the following challenge to some of us who were at one time friends or workers.

He stated, "I think the best way that you or anyone else can help the fellowship improve, is by you coming to the fellowship, and live amongst all of us friends and workers, and let your Christian light so shine around us so that we can learn from all of you, by your lives, not just by your words posted on this bulletin board. Now, that would make a big difference. Are any of you willing to do this? "

I have responded to him offering to attend fellowship meetings and take part, though I know he has no authority to rule on my offer.

My offer finds basis in several principles which I hold:

First, I accept the friends and workers as my brothers and sisters in Christ, just as I accept Christians and pastors in other churches as my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Second, I believe in the deity of Christ and in the historicity of His incarnation, death and resurrection.

Third, I see value in promoting acceptance and fellowship among Christians across denominational lines.

I would not presume to participate in a meeting without being invited to do so by an elder or worker, but if I were invited to do so I would be unequivocal in expressing the three principles I mentioned above. Various friends and even a couple workers I know have, in the spirit of friendship and fellowship in Christ, expressed their support of these three principles. Some of us are hearing claims that this is a growing trend among some friends and workers, although I am unsure if reports of such a trend are fully true.

If you give me permission to do so I am happy to attend some meetings and express my support of such a trend and of the above principles.

Sincerely,

Paul Abenroth


 

Following is Sydney's reply.

October 4, 2001

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your recent letter regarding what "Big Brother" put on the internet. I had never even heard of him/her until this week when Dennis Jacobsen wrote me a 12 page letter which he put on the internet after writing me. I have no idea who "Big Brother" is!

Regarding your attending the home meetings: You are always welcome to come and listen & sing, but we can't leave the door open for you to take part in the meetings as it would cause offence and a great difference in what we understand God's way for mankind is. We do not (the word "not" is underlined) accept those of different denominations as one in spirit or belief with our fellowship.

I'm sure you have had some lonely weeks since Diane passed away and please accept my sympathy.

Sincerely,

Sydney