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Largo letters: Church can lead, but who will follow

Re: Churches face ministry beyond walls | Diane Steinle column, March 19

Church can lead, but who will follow

You are correct that the gospel preached by Jesus was not to be limited to the walls of the church and those who already believe and practice its precepts. Jesus never addressed a spiritual need until he first met the physical need in a person's life. As Christians can be defined as "Little Christs," it seems his example is a good one to follow.

You are correct with your question regarding the church involvement in "lifting of the downtrodden" and such. Further you ask the key question, "If churches don't do these things, who will? Who will?"

So why do they not? I assume you want to do more than announce the problem, so this is the question that must be addressed before things will change.

I believe it begins with the "morass" you say the church should eagerly wade into instead of staying within the walls. Your answer lies in how the morass came to be in the first place. Track society's decline and then compare it to the escalating attack on prayer, the militant reduction of church influence in schools and in public areas, and the overall tainting of church by the media and the society you say the church should save. You ask the church to fulfill the Great Commission and follow the Ten Commandments in a populous that has been indoctrinated and inundated with the notion that the church in 2008 is irrelevant.

You ask why the church will not step up to the plate when it is often pictured as a nuisance and an antiquated form of devotion with rigid standards. Yet we as a society continue to pour dollar after dollar into social programs and building parks and programs. How much money has been poured into the North Greenwood area of Clearwater? Yet the problem comes right back to the volunteer-driven and volunteer-financed doorsteps of the local church.

If you want the church to make a difference, you must make church a different thing in your life. You must support the church in a more positive way.

What would happen if the money we put into the social programs went instead to the church to hire staff and create programs and facilities geared to meet these needs based on the biblical model? What would the response of the St. Petersburg Times be? Would it make the front page? What would you write about a publicly financed, government-backed, Bible-based reaction to the morass? I think it might make a page a bit closer to the front of the particular edition at least.

The responsibility does indeed lie with the church. It must also be said that the church does indeed have the answers to the problems. Further, the church has a biblical mandate to maintain relevance within the community.

Perhaps the reason that the churches hesitate to be more involved is that we have been relegated to the role of a haven for those who are weary of the morass you mention. Church is the last bastion of common sense and moralistic teaching, and it should be the first place we turn. The fortress mentality is not what the Lord intended for his church, but it is a natural reaction to the attacks that seem to come from every corner.

My question to you is this: What will you do to support the church in this work? How far will you go in using your influence and your public voice in promoting what you ask the churches to do?

If you don't do these things, who will? Who will?

Dr. Kenneth C. Link, senior pastor, Lakeview Baptist Church, Clearwater

Re: Churches face ministry beyond walls | Diane Steinle column, March 19

Know your Bible before you quote it

I am getting tired of someone using or quoting the Bible and that person hasn't a clue what they just quoted. She may or may not know where the Bible's directives are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take in the poor, unyoke the oppressed, heal the sick and visit the prisoners, but it's found in Matthew 25:34-46. Christ said it before any church was established. Christ was talking to Steinle, me, the people of North Greenwood, the city of Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida — one and all who want to follow Christ, not just a church.

Should it be part of a church's mission to do the above? Of course. However, it comes down to each Christian on his or her own to do something to help.

George Bush is great at quoting things from the Bible and not having a clue what it means. His favorite line is, "The Almighty wants every man free." I would like for him to tell us where that is found before he starts another war with another country.

While we are using the word oppressed, let's ask why it costs $5,456 to get on the ballot to run for a Pinellas County office. Good old Abe Lincoln, who freed people from being oppressed, wouldn't be able to run for office. This is why the rich and powerful will remain rich and powerful in this county, state and country.

Robert Blake, Clearwater

Re: Park will link Pinellas County's past, present | story, March 4

Protect wildlife during park work

I certainly hope the construction at Eagle Lake Park has environmental rules mapped out in advance. This is important to protect the wildlife there, with special protection for the eagles and gopher tortoises.

Joann Neely, Largo

Re: Insurer's tree rule seems unfair policy | letter, March 16

Invading tree roots don't follow the law

I have two maple trees 4 feet from my mobile home, with the roots going under my porch and driveway and pulling my porch away from the house and cracking my driveway. Soon, I expect I'll be living in a tree house. Is there a law on that?

Theodore J. Ostrowski, Largo

>>your voice counts

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Largo letters: Church can lead, but who will follow 03/22/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 24, 2008 1:33pm]

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