Earlier this week, Jenny and I had a conversation with an editor of a faith-based magazine. Part of the conversation had to do with an article that Jenny wrote about our fight with infertility the last seven years. The other part of the conversation had to do with including other faiths in the magazine.
Here’s some context: inside the magazine there’s a page dedicated to a list of churches for people to attend. A couple days before our conversation, someone who is part of the Jehovah Witnesses organization requested that her church be added to the list. Her reasoning to be added to the list was using Jesus’ prayer in John 17 (which was part of our reading this week). In verses 20-21, Jesus prayed that His followers would be united, which gave compelling reason for the request to add this church to the list. So that’s what lead up to our conversation, where the editor asked me for advice on what to do with adding the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses to the list of churches.
It’s annoying for people seeking advice because I usually ask questions to help me better understand the situation before giving advice. So I asked the editor a couple clarifying questions. Do you have a statement of faith in the magazine? If so, what is it? What do Jehovah Witnesses believe? What does the woman requesting this believe that her organization believes? What do you believe Jesus is praying?
Well…as we unpacked these questions we discovered that the magazine’s statement of faith, which centers on the Bible’s description of Jesus, differs from the Jehovah Witnesses’ organization teaching on Jesus. With all of this information, the advice that I gave to the editor was that it would be inconsistent to have this organization listed with the churches that agree with the magazine’s statement of faith. I added that Jesus’ prayer was for those who believe in the Bible’s description of Him.
As we read through Jesus’ prayer, it’s important to be united with others who believe in the same Jesus we do. In case you were wondering this was the statement of faith in the magazine: Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory, and will return again someday to earth, to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
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