To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Dear Anonymous……..

Thanks for your recent letter which you sent to our church building. Thanks for taking time to raise certain issues with me. I am left, though, wondering how to respond to your letter. One piece of advice I remember hearing is that if someone is not brave enough to put their name to a letter then it should be ignored. This seems to be sound advice.

However, I am also of the persuasion that we should always be learning and when observations/criticisms come from someone then they should be considered. In fact as a general principle, I conclude, that there is nothing to lose from having people make representations about my character, “walk” and service. If having considered the observations, I conclude that they are correct, then my life should be changed and enhanced. If I conclude that they are not correct, then I have lost nothing from the self-examination.

I also would note that there does not seem to be any precedent for anonymous letters in the Scriptures. The household of Chloe were happy to put their name to observations they had about the church at Corinth for example. (see 1 Cor. 1:11).

But returning to your letter. There are matters that you raise in the letter that leave me wanting to talk to you as regards to what you mean. As they stand written before me I am not sure what you are getting at with one or two of your comments. So if you did really want to help me I would love the opportunity to talk them through. Alas your anonymity prevents this.

One comment you make is that my reading of the Scriptures has proved a hindrance. This perplexes me because I do not recollect having ever read the scriptures publicly in your church because others have always read the passage I have preached from. Perhaps you have heard me read them at Feltham. Again it would be most helpful to talk this out with you.

One thing I would say to you is that you need to be careful regarding writing these letters. You write “overall keep on and keep at it”. Notwithstanding your desire, in many ways, your letter was a discouragement to my keeping at it.

Perhaps now I have processed things a bit, I will move on, a little bit shaken and stirred, but seeking to look to the Lord.

So anonymous, I don’t know who you are. I have pondered upon who you might be, but reached no conclusion. If you do see this and would deign to have the courtesy of revealing yourself then that would be appreciated. In the meantime I seek to move on in the grace of the Lord.

Yours because of Jesus’ love.

Philip

 

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