Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We understand that you are contemplating a move to the Moscow area. This letter comes to you from the elders of Christ Church, together with a packet of information which should help you in your decision-making process.
If the Lord leads you to come, we want to welcome you to our community, and encourage you in every way that we can. But at the same time, there are several issues we want to urge you to think through before you move.
First, we strongly encourage you to have solid prospects for work lined up. Please keep in mind the fact that we live in a small town, and have a somewhat rural economy. In asking you to consider this, we do not mean that you must have a job, but we do believe that a man has a duty to provide for his household, and this duty is not altered by the difficulties associated with a move. In our church we want to watch out for one another, but believe the primary duty in this regard remains within the household. Please be prudent and wise with regard to these responsibilities as you consider a move.
Secondly, and this is very important, we want you to realize that no one out here walks on water. For many of you, your knowledge of our area has been gleaned from our publications, and under such circumstances it is sometimes possible to find yourself with a set of unrealistic expectations. Moscow may seem better in print than it actually is. While we believe that God is blessing our community of believers, we do not want any of you to uproot your families and arrive here, only to discover, to your chagrin, that we are a bunch of schmoes.
Related to this, we want to ask you to do everything in your power to leave your current situation peaceably. Some move here because of difficult church situations, etc. We realize that you cannot change other people, but we can encourage you to exhibit the wisdom that comes from above. Please be peaceable, loving, kind, free from bitterness. No matter what has happened to you “there,” if you are bent out of shape over it, that is something you will bring with you. Please remember, wherever you go, there you are.
Third, we do believe that we are living in unsettled times culturally, economically, politically, and so forth. In such unsettled times, men and women are often motivated to act impulsively. Because of this, and because we live in northern Idaho where many of the discontented of Judah have already begun to gather, and because of increasing concerns over various cultural and political issues, we have an additional responsibility to state our convictions on this general subject. Allow us to quote from a resolution adopted by our elders in session, so that you know whether you agree with our general approach to the distress of the times.
We reject “any form of racism when biblically defined, conspiracy theories which assume that God is not the sovereign of all history, any unscriptural taking up arms against the authorities which God has established, or any incitement to do so, any refusal to pay taxes based upon legal or historical quibblings, and so forth. Many of these positions which we have in mind may contain a measure of the truth, which we acknowledge, contrary to the established wisdom. But our concern is that these truths are maintained in an unbiblical context and applied in an unbiblical manner. The duty of Christians today is to recover a thorough understanding of the gospel, repent of their sins, gather in churches, hear the Word preached, take the Lord’s Supper, and cry out for deliverance.”
We know that God may in fact be leading you here. Many others have already come, and have been a wonderful addition to our community. If that comes about, we will rejoice to get to know you as well. And if this letter helps to spare you a costly mistake, we are glad for that also.
Cordially in Christ,
The Elder Session of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho