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What would Jesus say to church in Norwich?

ChurchUnityAs part of the Transforming Norwich AGM earlier in June, participants talked and prayed about what they thought Jesus would want to say to the church in Norwich today and a Revelation-style letter was the result.
 
Based on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, participants at the Transforming Norwich AGM came up numerous suggestions on this theme. These were written up on large graffiti boards.
 
these have since been distilled into the following summary by John Betts, chair of Transforming Norwich, who is now inviting church leaders and members to ‘test’ the letter against their experiences.
 

A letter to the church in Norwich

 
To the Angel of the church of Greater Norwich:
 
These are the words of Him who holds the keys to the Kingdom. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.
 
I know your works. See I have set before you an open door that no one can shut. You have a great history of prayer and compassion for the poor as shown by the depth of your involvement in social action amongst the needy.
 
But I have this against you. Your congregations and denominations separate you from one another and you love to have it so! Independency has become a stronghold which keeps you from one another and prevents My Kingdom purpose from being achieved through you.
 
Change your way of thinking and act differently. Put my kingdom purposes for the city first, humble yourselves, outdo one another in showing love and work together as one body.
 
If you hear my voice I will make Norwich a beacon to the nation and I will corporately bless you.
 
He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the church.
 
 
The Transforming Norwich executive team now want to hear what you think about this letter and whether you agree or disagree with its contents.
 
Do you think that the church in Norwich is making good headway in the social action field and in prayer or not? Do you think that denominations separate us from each other in an unhelpful way?
 
 

Feedback:
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XXX (Guest) 11/11/2008 23:42
Dear Rose No intention to bring this fellowship down to any level.
Only provoke to up the level of fellowship.
Which apparently because of the questions you pose is happening. Praise the Lord.!
Practical oneness, wow what a question.
Your next statement concerning the Christians craving the oneness of the faith and the one new man. Amen.
Your prayer Amen.
However before I answer your questions and others posed by Tim.
Please let me ask you and the silent watchers some questions.
Will the Lord gain the practical oneness?
How could the believers have the practical oneness.?
Will the Lord accomplish this among all his believers or will it be a few?
Is it possible in this age or will we have to wait until the next.?
Would you be willing to pay the price for the oneness?
Whatever that may mean or be?
Timothy V Reeves (Guest) 19/11/2008 23:08
Mr Smith says:

"Moreover I am simply one with all the believers, I receive any one that the Lord receives. They are my brothers."

...then I really have no core disagreement with you Mr. Smith.
xxx (Guest) 19/11/2008 23:15
Amen Brother Timothy. Praise the Lord Jesus.
Lord bring us into the genuine practice of the oneness of your body.
Shame your enemy. Amen
xxx (Guest) 03/02/2009 13:08
Jeremiah 23
The Righteous Branch
1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD. 3 "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.
bobby b (Guest) 03/02/2009 20:51
Jeremish 23 IS CLEARLY TALKING ABOUT THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND NOT THE CHURCH ( AND YES WE CAN GO OVERBOARD ON TYPES )
Alan P (Guest) 03/02/2009 20:54
So where do you fellowship xxx ?
xxx (Guest) 03/02/2009 23:42
Bobby B. Thanks for that, I'm not deaf no need to shout!
Yes but do you not agree that Christ and the church are the reality of the types and shadows of the old testament God and the children of Israel? .
What are the boundaries of interpretation? how far is overboard.?
Of course we can be guilty of not understanding clearly, we can go too far and we can not go far enough.
So that leaves the question related to the church as a type of Israel. Are we the new testament believers not the real Hebrews? Haven't we crossed over? from darkness to light from the old to the new creation?
xxx (Guest) 03/02/2009 23:48
Correction.
So that leaves the question related to the church as the reality of a type, Israel. Are we, the new testament believers not the real Hebrews? Haven't we crossed over? from darkness to light, from Egypt to Cannan, from the old to the new creation?
xxx (Guest) 03/02/2009 23:59
Dear Alan.P. That is the very point I am getting at.
You could just as well asked this question. My awnswer is the same. I Amen the word.
Jonn 4
19The woman says to him, Sir, I see that thou art a prophet.

20Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where one must worship.

21Jesus says to her, Woman, believe me, [the] hour is coming when ye shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father.

22Ye worship ye know not what; we worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jews.

23But [the] hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for also the Father seeks such as his worshippers.

24God [is] a spirit; and they who worship him must worship [him] in spirit and truth.
xxx (Guest) 04/02/2009 15:41
Sorry Alan, my reply appears pedantic, But it answers the question that unsettles most sensitive believers "where do you worship" but you asked "where do you fellowship", The question should have been with whom do you fellowship. The answer is 2Tim 2:22 (b) that (I) pursue righteousness, (AZ)faith, love and peace, with those who (BA)call on the Lord (BB)from a pure heart.
Just as you Dear brother Alan I am sure aspire also to do.
I will meet and fellowship with all that the Lord receives. The trouble is that not many practice the same principle and therefore isolate and denominate them selves through practice, preference and insistence causing division. The reason for division is that those that take or assume the Lead are not clear concerning what the church is or its standing, practice, and purpose before the Lord.
And lets face it would take a real man of God who takes the lead among a sect of Gods people to have this realisation and have the strength of character to admit he is not really clear about God's purpose for the church and how to have the practical way to accomplish that purpose. He would also have to resign any assumed position and simply be another member who functions according to his measure. A difficult thing to do if they were really to see this and give up their paid position and get a real job.
What a position, Obey the revelation or keep a paid position. Well, we all have to give an account before the Lord but it seems that there is a particularly heavy penalty for those that have frustrated the Lord from shepherding the Lord's people unto maturity. Just as there is a blessing from him who when he returns finds the shepherds feeding the sheep.
The shallow view that we are here to just be good Christians and that one day we will go to heaven as a reward is far too low and not even correct.
While most Christians believe that at the Resurrection or the Lords return, we they will all be caught up to heaven to spend eternity in heaven they would be very surprised to see that as they are ascending they will see the Lord descending with the overcoming saints to make war with Satan and his followers.
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