Dear fellow travelers of Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,
This letter comes with much love, which is not just a bunch of words, but demonstrated in my pursuit of interest and time with you all. Though my time with you was never as much as I wanted, none the less my love has been demonstrated since the early days of the "10 days of waiting" to the formation of "the lion in rome".
I have counted my time with you all a blessing, and I have been so glad that Homewood Ev. Free Church has been a place for you to grow together both musically and spiritually. However, the Church has never really understood you or what you are about, and thus there has been an us vs. them attitude – which has been on both sides. I feel I have failed you all and felt that we have failed the Church in many ways:
- We have never put together a missional statement and core values of our faith in how God is using the Lion in Rome to impact God's Kingdom.
- We have not demonstrated our love to the Homewood Family in any way as we have not shared our talents/gifts to encourage the body over the past few years.
- We have not taken to heart the request to keep our stuff organized and clean in the shared storage closet.
- We have not taken I John to heart, for if we would have, we would NOT speak of us vs. them any longer! If we fail in unity and fellowship, we are in darkness as John presents throughout I John.
- I John
i. 1:7 – do we love our habits/sins over people?
ii. 2:5-6 – do we understand the new commandment in the sense of the way Jesus loved us – surrendering His life for us…
iii. 2:9-10 - do we hate the Church, then we would also hate God.
iv. 3:15 – if we hate someone then it is the same as murder.
v. 3:18 – it is not in the words, but in the action, that we show love.
vi. 4:16 – if you live in love, you will live in God.
- John 13:34-35
Have we left the "Mark of Jesus" within this season of life upon the Church and Community? Have we demonstrated that "Mark" through "costly Christian love" which is represented by (1) Reconciliation; (2) Hospitality; (3) Humility.
Please know that I have taken time to write this with much love and respect for each one of you: Luke – a man of influence that can bring people to faith that no one else could ever; Ian – a man of depth and sincerity, who takes to heart all that people share with him, especially His Lord Jesus; Seth – a man who desires to see Jesus in real and relevant ways; Adam – a man who desires to have God over all. and Lee – a man who lives authentically to all around.
I would love to meet with any or all of you to grow into a place that may help leave "a Mark of Jesus" upon this generation, however until we have met together over time, I have to ask you to turn in your key and remove your equipment from Homewood Ev. Free Church. I hate to even ask you to do this, but I know that until we do the things we described above, we will never grow together, but only further apart. I hope that our relationship with grow together and not apart through this time. Your brother in Christ forever and ever, Tim Buhler