Email Follow-up

I have had several churches ask me recently about how we handle questions we get through email each week. The main question we get asked is about how we choose to respond or not respond to each email we receive.

We try to respond to all genuine questions we receive in 24 to 48 hours. We usually do not answer attacking emails from people that do not attend our church or from people that have their minds made up and are trying to pick a fight. We will answer a question if it is genuine, even if it is somewhat critical. We will always answer an email if they come from someone that attends our church or has genuine concern. Many times the reason an email can be critical is because the person had a misconception about something that was done or said, and clarifying the truth to them in a loving way will solve the misconception. Occasionally the most proper response to anonymous, antagonistic emails is no response at all.

Here is an email that we received several weeks ago after someone attended our church. The questions were somewhat critical, but they were genuine…and by choosing to answer the email we were able to correct the misconceptions the person had. Here are the questions they asked.

1. It comes across to me that you disapprove of and batter other denominations—do you think you are better than them?

We have never attacked a specific denomination at our church. We do not believe that we are better than anyone else, we just have a different style than some churches. We believe that God desires unity and love between Chistians…even believers that do not believe everything we do. I believe that it is ok to disagree on the non-essentials, as long as we are in aggrement that Jesus is God and the only way to Heaven. Unity does not mean we agree on everything, it means we agree on the main thing, and have respect and understanding where their might be minior differences in doctrine. We are all on the same team. The only time we would say something against a certian belief/doctrine is if it is clear that the particular belief goes against the truth of scripture. We have many times spoken from stage against practices in some churches that are unbiblical or are done just for the sake of tradition/religion. This is not meant to attack anyone but to teach our church body clearly what scripture says about certain issues. Please let me know if there is a specific instance that you heard where we have attacked another denomination/church.

(This person was unable to come up with any specifics for their claim. There is often a difference in what is said and what someone else hears. They took a piece of something that Perry said and made some wrong assumptions. We have never attacked another church or denomination here. We do frequently show people what scripture says and shine truth on many things done in churches only for the sake of tradition).

2. You made a comment about children and youth being more engaged by the contemporary music NewSpring uses than by traditional Hymns. Is it not okay to teach young people to respect Hymns and instill traditional values in our children today?

I think the issue of traditional values and hymns are separate. If by traditional values, you mean Biblical values, then I agree that they are extremely important to pass on to the next generation. We are dedicated to preserving traditional values, but that does not mean we have to use the same style of music as was used a long time ago. I have great appreciation for hymns from being raised in a traditional church. However, I rarely as a child understood the message they were trying to communicate and when I started attending a church with praise and worship music and practical teaching while in high school(even though still a very traditional church)I learned to appreciate worshiping God through song in a new and profound way and grew in my faith immensely. We have no problem with hymns. We do have a problem with people not being willing to listen to the message of Christ because the style it is presented in is irrelevant to them. Perry’s point is that some parents are forcing their children to attend a church that does not relate well to them and to sit in services that they perceive as boring and irrelevant and the trend we are seeing in our society is that many of this generation are growing up thinking church/Christianity is irrelevant and leave the church as soon as they leave home.

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