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By Dana - 5 Feb 2017

Hi all - I have read, with interest, the replies to this request. The question 'what is a church?', is a starting point. If we want it to be loosy-goosy, anything goes in terms of doctrine - then I do not believe that that is a church. It is a coffee cliche, a support group. 

A church, a christian church, is one in which believers do indeed, have a statement of faith and supporting doctrinal points. Thriving churches, at least the ones that I have observed as thriving, are ones that follow and believe in the living Christ and the Bible, base these beliefs on definitive doctrine, and intentionally work their faith out in word and deed in the community. When people veer from the essence of Christianity - a belief in Jesus Christ as Son of God, then there is no basis for a vibrant church community. 

I submit that the lack of interest/response in forming a church here is because there is not definitive doctrine for followers of this site. While I read the comments and occasionally glean encouragement and support from various posts, I do not lean into or count on it for my spiritual growth. With one exception - I would like to add here that every sermon I have read from Pastor Frank is supported by Scripture. I also have received personal Biblical input from him that has enabled and empowered me in my faith walk, and witnessing to others. I have often wondered - how about if he formed a church body? He tries to model the love of Jesus definitively in what he says and does. :)

Back to this community. I appreciate and respect that there are various points of view here. I also see that when there is no belief in, nor acceptance of the deity of Christ Jesus (who He was/is and what He did on this earth), and acquiescence to Biblical principles - then we become and stay a loosely formed, online support group. This is not a bad thing, it is just a reality that must be recognized. 

Finally, I believe that while it is normal to long for the support of a church community with like-minded individuals re: our dietary choices, I think that there is a very real need for us to stay in diverse communities where vegetarian/veganism is either unheard of, not regarded and/or even mocked. My lifestyle was influenced by the power of one person who quietly lived out her conviction in front of me. It awakened something in my heart and mind that had laid dormant my whole life. Once awakened, and then worked out in my own life, I can see how I have subsequently influenced others by being obedient to my God-given conviction to not eat meat. Based on what I see is God's original and perfect plan, therefore being obedient to Biblical principles, I can see how He has used my lifestyle to awaken the minds of others. In a sense, we are missionaries to fellow believers around us. :) We bear witness to God's best and ideal intent for His creation. The Holy Spirit is free to work and move in others via an obedient heart. It's a beautiful thing!

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday. :)


Go on to comments: By Janine - 5 Feb 2017
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