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Friday, January 3, 2014

Wounded by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz

Matthew 25:40
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

I have agreed to write this unbiased review of Anne Graham Lotz's book entitled "Wounded by God's People" for for no other remuneration than the free copy of this book.  The opinions contained in this review are mine as they coincide with scripture as I understand it.
Wounded people wound people, while this statement is true, it isn't a reality that one would desire to find in Christ's church where the ailing and burdened are beckoned to come.  "Wounded by God's People" by Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, is written with an eye to the wounded and the wounders.  Lotz's book, published by Zondervan is well-written and she uses many personal stories to illustrate the truth that she is expressing.
Lotz shares an account of a young investigative journalist, who as a Christian, had become disenchanted by the hypocrisy of the organized church that he had eventually walked away from God.  Having an opportunity to speak with this man, she relates her conversation with him, "I told William I was so sorry for the way we--God's people-- had behaved.  I apologized to him for the very real hurt Christians had inflicted on him. . .I told him that while we had had similar experiences, we had come to dramatically different conclusions.  Rather than drive me away from God the hypocrisy. . .had caused me to run to God" (Lotz 2013, 166).  Much of the church has become like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, mixing their own customs and notions with God's Word to the degree that it drives men to their knees with its weight.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 
Lotz illuminates the plight of the church and those wounded by it well in this book.  Coming from the family of Billy Graham she has certainly seen both sides of this issue and is able to identify it.  Honesty, with ourselves as well as God, the strength to go against the status quo and integrity as Christians and as human beings is what is necessary for this tragic maleficence to cease.  Certainly it is the responsibility of Christian leadership to not allow these actions to persist.  When the dictates of popular opinion, favoritism and self preservation intervene, leaders must stand strong in the commission they have been given.  We all must stand before the same God and give account of our actions, in that mind-set what is more important than preserving God's Word and dividing it correctly to His people in the spirit of love.
Lord, in Jesus' name, I pray for the people who have been wounded by the church and have broken relationships with You as a result.  I pray that You draw them to Yourself and heal the rift that has been carved in their spirits.  I also pray for the wounders, that they recognize their sin and lay it at Your feet in repentance.  Lord, the time is short and I pray that Your church, Your remnant rise up and accept the charge that You have given them.  I thank You and praise You for Your great love for us.  Amen 
Rev. Patricia Paige Harrison

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