Philip McPherson Rudisill
215 Piedmont Avenue, No. 304
Atlanta, GA 30308 USA
Tels. 404/351-9794 (Day) and 404/523-0970 (Evening); Fax 404/351-1491
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To: Editor, Wesleyan Christian Advocate, via Fax 770/465-0685
I respectfully submit the following letter for your Letters section of the Advocate. It is an attempt to find a means of reconciling those United Methodists who accept no law other than the Golden Rule, the so-called Gentile Methodists, and those who subscribe to additional laws, i.e., the Jewish Christians. This is basically a paraphase of the 14th Chapter of Romans and suitable for the present split among United Methodists. The letter now follows:
I am a Christian who is "strong in faith", i.e., a person depending upon Christ alone and accepting no law apart the Golden Rule [Romans 14 and Romans 13:8-10]. As a Wesleyan I do, of course, eagerly expect the day when action in accordance with the Golden Rule will become a second, imposed nature for me, a free gift of the Holy Spirit, and I have actually seen evidence of the coming of that glorious day.
I recognize that there are Christians here and there who are "weak in faith," namely: they depend upon Christ, but not upon him alone; for in addition to wanting sincerely to conform to the Golden Rule in imitation of Christ, these beloved bothers and sisters also think it necessary to undertake certain, otherwise arbitrary actions in order to be pleasing to God. I accept them on this basis: equal brothers and sisters in and through the love of Christ, and who are somewhat fearful of acting in one of these forbidden ways.
I will endeavor to withhold from the eyes of all persons, and especially from those of the weak in faith, that which is offensive to them. If they are offended by long hair on men, I will try to hide my long hair when in their presence. I will certainly not seek to entice anyone to do anything that violates his or her conscience, for what anyone does apart from faith is sin. Instead I will earnestly strive to promote peace, justice and love in all conditions, and trust entirely in God for His providence in the life of the Community of the Way.
It is my prayer that my brothers and sisters who are weak in faith will not impede my approach to the common table of the Lord, for we all seek a sinless life, and each of us shall stand before the Master, for he is able to make us stand, each and everyone.