Welcome! If you received this letter from me, I am so very interested to hear your comments and questions of why I eventually will sending it out into every Church in the nation as I did yours. The realities of Christian life in America are noted through out the articles many of you have written and Sermons you have preached. Unless we as Christ’s servants continually and humbly re-evaluate our own behaviors based upon the truthful teachings in our Holy Bible will our personal faith and Christ’s Churches throughout our nation will continue to become less and less influential in our culture.

This is not a denominational issue, but a  foundational Christian issue!

Luke 6:48-49 Jesus taught us
48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” 

I do have such great hope in our Lord! Once we take a prolonged look in the mirror and ask for the Holy Spirit to “Create in us a clean heart Oh God” and we institute the correct structure of a plurality of blameless and tested Pastors, Elders and Deacons in each of Christ’s Holy Church on Earth as taught to us in the pastoral letters and elsewhere in Scripture will we then put our Churches back onto the narrow path that leads to Salvation!

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The Letter is below:

To My Fellow Disciple in Christ,

Serving in The Church Polity for 15 years and as an Elder for 6 years I understand the triumphs…and the difficulties we experience in servitude to our Holy Christian Church.

I wonder after each day has ended how we could be more effective in our service. The only answer is we must continually go to the foundation of truth and that is to Holy Scripture!

Psalm 119:125  I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!

We must all take a moment to step back, pause and pray fully re-evaluate how the servants in Christ’s Church are chosen. How capable are they to teach and protect their flock. The purpose of this letter with great humility is to remind us all of the important qualifications and necessary roles of overseer (elder) and deacons in Christ’s Church in which was given to us in clear and precise terms in the following passages.

1 Tim 3:1-13

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

8  Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11  Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:5-95  This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6  if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

The scriptural words above teach us more about the roles of men as elders and deacons then any other servant description in Christ’s New Testament Church! Do we even have elders or deacons serving in our congregations and if we do have we followed these guidelines to the letter. Are they tested before accepted?

Since these roles are so well documented in Scripture we cannot ignore their importance. Look how often Paul had to rebuke his disciples to keep them pure in their beliefs and faith and this was only after a few years in the early Church. He assigned a plurality of elders in each of the first Churches. Then like now the world around us can have over time a subtle but brutal affect on our effectiveness as witnesses to the redeeming Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it will be to him personally we will have to make an account!

The Bible tells us in at least five places do not add or subtract to his word. I pray that we must continually re-examination ourselves in the Light of Scripture. I believe we must first and foremost hold the highest standards and disciplines to our scriptural beliefs before we can point our fingers at the world around us. The word disciple means disciplined and we need to hold ourselves first to the fire of purification before we can teach and edify our fellow Christians.

I know personally of these things as I resigned my position on a Board of Elders due to my own self-examination which found many failings and deficiencies compared to the guidelines set forth above. I can only blame myself for accepting the position as an Elder, but when I was asked to serve I was neither questioned nor tested before being accepted.

I know I can serve our Lord in many other ways and I pray this is one of them.

God’s Peace and Understanding to you all,
Bill Graff

John 14:6
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.