Donation link here.
A church building should never function like a retirement home for God’s people. It should never be a country club or a member’s only community center for people leading comfortable lives. A church building and sanctuary should be a point of heavenly attack in the world, a place where God’s people are cleaned and fed and strengthened before flooding out into the world like the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision.
For more than forty years, our congregation in Moscow, Idaho has been dependent on the generous hospitality of various community members and organizations to host our worship. We have gathered to worship God in auto body shops and parks, high school lunch rooms and auditoriums, old theaters and nightclubs. More recently, when local and state authorities tried to forbid gathering, we worshiped outdoors at a crop duster air strip before moving into a pasture, before defiantly returning to our most frequent home in recent years—a high school gym.
From all of these locations, Christ Church has been determined to engage the culture around us, to feed and strengthen God’s people before unleashing them on the world. And we are grateful to God for how much He has blessed our efforts, multiplying our numbers and our gains in the culture on local, national, and global levels—in business and ministry, podcasts and publishing, education and media.
After decades in the wilderness, the time has finally come for us to build a permanent home, a base of operations for our ministries that is not borrowed.
We want to honor God’s artistry in the world with the beauty of this new building, but far more importantly, we want to honor God with the faithfulness of the worship inside this sanctuary. We do not want this to be a memorial to our past efforts, a tombstone set over the grave of a once faithful generation. No, we want this to be a launching point for more faithful engagement with the world than we could possibly imagine. We want to build a beautiful gate house between heaven and earth, a temple, as it were, of the new covenant, where a river will flow out from beneath the threshold, joining in the flood that will cover the entire world.
To all of you watching this, hold us accountable. Do not let us retire. Do not let us grow comfortable. Do not let us lay our swords and shovels down until we ourselves are laid down. There is a world still to conquer and a harvest to gather before the Man comes around.
If you want to help us in this task, your gifts are, of course, much appreciated. But faithful brothers and sisters in arms are far more desirable than donations. Give if you feel called. But wherever you are and wherever we are—in a gym, in a body shop, in a field or in a sanctuary—stand shoulder to shoulder with us, laboring to fulfill the gospel mission given to us all so long ago.
We wanted to raise most of the money for this sanctuary locally, before embarking on a national campaign. And that is now the case. Our local congregation has already raised in cash and pledges 77% of the funds needed to green light this sanctuary project. That number will only be going up, and so we are now in a position to invite support from you, our brothers and sisters in arms on a national and international level—perhaps even intergalactic.
If you do decide to give to our sanctuary building project, we have a thank you gift that we would like to send your way in return. Let the Stones Cry Out is a book I have written about all of this, a series of exhortations and sermons that I gave to the congregation at Christ Church.
From one part of the body to another, God bless you and keep you and yours as we all labor together.
To which high school does the gym belong?
Ron, that would be the gym for Logos School.
My wife and I long to move up there and join you, in person. We are taking the first steps to make that happen and trying so very hard not to look back with the wrong sort of longing. There are bridges to cross that we shouldn’t burn because they lead back to family and joint-heirs in Christ. But the more I am made to endure the ungodly rat-race of Corporate America, and the more I drive the 45 miles to the nearest faithful church, the more I long to roll up my sleeves with you, join this healthy community,… Read more »
This isn’t the way to do things.
You are seeking comfort in “Christian Ville” instead of in the Lord.
Good job Jesus and Paul didn’t think this way — swapping tough for cozy places.
Your integrity is at stake here.
Brendan of Ireland
Moscow doesn’t sound very cozy for Christians these days. With kids getting arrested for being Christians and all… maybe Malachi just wants to be around fellow disciples on a daily life level? It’s probably an easy mistake to make, but sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish cozy people from joyful people. Peter probably seemed pretty cozy while singing psalms, until you saw the chains on his hands and feet.
It’s pretty cozy if you can persecute the civil authorities
Brendan of Ireland
That comment is a bit hard to work out. In what way are they “persecuting” the civil authorities? By engaging in lawful conduct that the civil authorities are using unlawful means to suppress? By using legal means to defend themselves when charged by those authorities? And what does the word “can” mean in this context? It certainly doesn’t mean “can without repercussions.”
Let’s just say that the freedom Christ Church has to vilify the civil authorities would not have been possible in Soviet era Moscow, Russia…
The three individuals facing a court appearance will not be fined or spend any time behind bars.
The danger here is of developing a persecution complex…
These things exist on a continuum, not as binary. The options are not only “complete totalitarian repression” and “nothing to see here.” People being arrested and manhandled by the authorities in violation of constitutional principles and the existing statutes because of the ideological motivations of their behavior is persecution, full stop. It’s just not “as bad as persecution might me.” Developing a persecution complex is a danger, but it is not a necessary product of recognizing that low level persecution is a reality. Perhaps others besides yourself are able to view things in a proper perspective and you need not… Read more »
We have yet to hear the case against the three individuals…then one can decide whether justice or not has been meted out.
The “ideological motivations” of the police arresting psalm singers who wouldn’t obey social distance rules was concern for the health and safety of the community, including members of Christ Church.
To suggest some darker, satanic motive, is truly to enter the realm of the fabulous.
I’m not going to their motive, I’m going to their behavior. I didn’t say the police had ideological motivations, I said those who were arrested were arrested for *their* ideological motivations, in the absence of any crime, or in contrast to people committing the same behavior with different motivations not being bothered. “Health and safety” is not a license to treat people as criminals where no actual laws exist restricting their behavior. Why do you think the cases were dropped against the people arrested at the psalm sing? Might it have had something to do with the fact that no… Read more »
I deliberately put “ideological motivations” in quotation to refer to the police’s reasons for arresting the psalm singers, to remind that we all have notions that govern our behaviour. The truth will out in court, I believe. Let’s wait and hear what the cops have to say in their own defence. I am certain they don’t have it in for Christ Church. Had any other group of football fans or rock addicts gathered in a similar fashion in downtown Moscow, they would have received exactly the same treatment. To suggest otherwise would indeed be fabulist. Even from three thousand miles… Read more »
I’ve had COVID and it wasn’t nearly as bad as a few seasonal viruses I’ve had in the past…and no one suggested locking down the community for our “safety” when I had them. Things were much saner back then. I realize I’m just an N=1 case, but I know dozens, probably hundreds more with my experience. A pediatric nurse I know has seen almost 1,000 COVID patients and a whopping one got hospitalized. I’m not buying the sanctimonious “but it’s for your health and you should be thankful!” re: mask-wearing/social-distancing…especially outdoors. If you do, you should read your Bible and… Read more »
Last I checked, rolling up one’s sleeves and taking up sword and shovel to labor is the polar opposite of cozy.
Must be one of those times where the U.K. definition of a word is completely different.
Pass me the biscuits!
The UK? It’s not the 1910s any more!
To be fair, Brendan didn’t say which Ireland.
Republic of Ireland
Cozy compared to the real persecuted church in places like China and the Middle East
Brendan of Ireland
So then, you’ll soon be swapping the comparatively cozy Republic of Ireland for a tough place, such as China or the Middle East, right?
After all, gotta be a good example of integrity to those lesser Christians.
My point was simply that Moscow, Idaho (or Dublin, Ireland), is a cozy place for Christians compared to places like China or the Middle East.
It’s not as cozy as it was a few decades ago. And places like Canada are growing more totalitarian and hostile to Christianity daily.
So is standing up for your Constitutional rights and letting others know about troubling issues a “persecution complex”? That’s certainly what our enemies would like us to think. It’s actually more cozy to use Rom. 13 as a blank check to put up with anything the government does. We’ve sure seen that with COVID.
It’s also more cozy for the same people who invoke Rom. 13 in support of draconian COVID measures to completely disregard it in a pathetic attempt to excuse anything Black Lies Matter/Antifa does.
Absolutely. Russell Moore is a great example. He said it wasn’t a violation of religious liberty to shut down churches over COVID. But during the BLM riots, he whined about police using rubber bullets and tear gas. Then in a very cozy change of opinion (that allowed him to keep writing for the NY Times), he used the strongest possible condemnation about any alleged Trump supporters who fought with cops. Mind you, no policeman was shot (like David Dorn and other cops/security guards during the summer riots). And the family of the one policeman who died in D.C. said it… Read more »
Why make an irrelevant point? Malachi never said anything about escaping persecution. If anything, your point was to call Malachi’s character into question because he was considering making a move of which you don’t approve.
You’re arguing from a lot of unfounded assumptions. Perhaps it’s your character we should be calling into question.
Brendan, I am sure this is not what you are saying, so I’m asking in order to give you a chance to clarify, but the logical succession of your comments seems to imply that it is unrighteous and a violation of someone’s integrity to seek to improve his and his family’s condition by moving in order to pursue life in the kingdom elsewhere, unless it is to a place of “real persecution” defined as extreme, constant, life-threatening persecution. You cannot actually be suggesting that families cannot with integrity relocate in order to pursue a better spiritual atmosphere unless it is… Read more »
You’re right, I’m not saying those things, no… Reading Malachi’s post I just felt he was being a bit naive. I had no sense from what he said that God was in this. And I expect that others might feel the same. As a brother in Christ I would like Malachi to discover all the fulness and richness that God has in store for him, even where he currently lives.
It might be wise not to attempt to judge whether “God is in something” from a few words posted in a comments section describing a thought process that you are not privy to and the writer has not chosen to share in any detail. That’s definitely not a biblical approach to discernment or godly counsel.
Brendan, in our experience as we welcome folks here, the desire for “cozy” is relatively rare. Many of these people want to take a stand somewhere, but in order to have that you need leadership that is willing to fight. So in some respects it is less like R&R and more like going to the front.
Thanks for this Doug–you have a point. I’m not referring to Malachi in this instance because I don’t know the Lord’s purpose for him and I suppose it isn’t really my business; but you will also know how tempting it would be for many to want to come to Moscow knowing that there’s a great church there, great speakers, leaders, fellowship, great resources, top Christian education available, etc.,–who wouldn’t want to come? Yes I appreciate you have a fight on as Christians in America (as I do in my war against liberal theology this side of the pond); but you’re… Read more »
By leadership, do mean sending others get arrested while you hang back?
Wrong answer, Clay!
Yes, reading my post to you again you are right. I apologise to Malachi for how it might have come across… I didn’t mean, “I’m in the know ” about where God is calling Malachi–I certainly never meant that.
Brendan, I’ll bet you appreciated Jane’s charitable treatment of you, didn’t you?
Think Malachi would have appreciated the same from you?
I didn’t mean to be uncharitable to Malachi–I hope that came across in my final sentence.
Malachi, It’s okay to come here, but you have to be sure it is the Lord’s will in your life. Just because you want to do something doesn’t necessarily make it so. This might seem like “Christian-ville” from afar, but it is really not so much so, as it might seem. There is a good church here and church community, in a secular college town, without much of a job market. And the “rat race” of the world is still much of a reality for most engaged in fighting the fight of an ordinary Christian life on earth. Rent has… Read more »
I hope you’ve done your research on the local job market.
Be careful what you wish for. In the words of the sage, Erma Bombeck, “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”
As the others pointed out, there can be difficulties moving to Moscow. There are problems moving anywhere though. I hope you find a job and make it here. Moscow is loads of fun, Christ Church is wonderful and if you all visit or move here, I’ll be happy to break bread at a meal or coffee.
I agree with Dave, because he leaves all the pious stuff off__! Thanks Dave!!
Hey Doug, FIFY:
A man’s heart should be a point of heavenly attack in the world, a place where God’s people are cleaned and fed and strengthened before flooding out into the world like the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision.
Trey, I feel a film title coming on…” STARBUCKS”