Letter to a Doubter, presumably from the early 1990s
I think it’s better, if I first write you a letter. Then you’ll have time yourself to take the Bible and verify what I’m writing, and to think about what Jesus says.
A life with God is, indeed, [based] on the foundation of the Bible. The path to God goes through Jesus, who says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, nobody comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
And he says “ … If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For … ” Matthew 16:24-28
He offers His yoke to everyone who is burdened – it’s light, because He wants to carry it with us. Matthew 11:28-30
We should always live for God. Everything that we do, we do with an eye to God. Colossians 3:23
No one day should be more significant than another. The “worship service” appointed for Sunday was appointed by a nonbeliever (Constantine). The Christians were together daily, not on one particular day. In the Bible, serving God is described differently, too. Romans 12:1-2
In the so-called worship services, people meet only once a week and listen to the sermon – in a community it is never that way, that one person speaks and the others listen, but rather everyone plays a part. And after 90 minutes, they all go home again – that can’t be in God’s intent.
In the Bible, it’s written how the Christians lived together, as they heard about Jesus and converted. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 And this love leads to people seeing each other as often as possible. The first Christians got together daily, too, and praised God, broke bread (the Lord’s Supper), because they had one way [of doing things]. And certainly the people back then had to work much more than today. For this reason, it is also possible today for those people for whom God is the most important [thing]. But [we do] not [meet] in order for us to understand each other humanly [speaking], rather “lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12
For this reason, we should daily admonish and encourage each other, so that nobody strays from the path. We must all struggle against sin, against our becoming, or anything at all becoming, more important than God. “For one cannot serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24 And we invite every person, too, into this.
Many people hardly ever read the Bible for themselves, but rather let themselves be told about only a few verses, and think that God is already leading them. But God has given us free will, so that we always decide for ourselves what we should do. Only the path through Jesus leads to God, in discipleship.
We should love every person as [we love] ourselves. The best thing for any person is life with God. Therefore, I want that for my neighbor, too. But whether he wants to give up worldly things, is his decision. I would like to offer this to everyone. Because that person will find true life.
As it is written in Romans 12:2, e.g., it is important not to bring oneself into line with the world. That means, to judge exactly what is correct in God’s sight. Whether other [people] really live with God and are ready to give everything. And that expresses itself in love for the brothers. Because “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 19:13 [John 15:13 is probably intended] That means that others are more important than I am. And if I see that something else is more important for another person, then I must point it our to him. We may not coexist with falsehood, but rather we should separate ourselves from falsehood, so that we ourselves do not sin, and above all as a sign for others. II Corinthians 6:13-18
If that person shows a readiness to get rid of everything that’s wrong, if he wants to struggle, then I must help him, but if he doesn’t want to give it up, he must see that community cannot be possible then. In this way he has all the more opportunity to repent. Christians should be witnesses, proclaim and speak about Jesus, [and] show the truth.
What kind of love is it, if another person is living in falsehood and I let him [remain] in it? Love doesn’t rejoice at injustice, but rather points out that a life without God, a life not in the truth, leads to death. Everyone will give an account some day about how he has lived here.
Community is a body, no limb can persist on its own. Jesus asks that they should be one, because He is in them and God is in Him. John 177:20-26 [John 17:20-26 is probably intended]
Unity with those who do God’s will. Matthew 12:46-50
I would like to share my life with people. I can encourage them and admonish them, and they see [things] God’s way, in order to judge me and admonish me, on those points where I am not yet in truth and am not properly thankful.
They all have great love and thankfulness for God, for His creation, and for His offer to live with us, if we let loose of other things, to allow ourselves to be made free. I’d like to live with the people who are open to Jesus. The foundation is God’s Word, because we can recognize His will in it. We shouldn’t obey human beings, but rather God. For this reason, if you are open to God, examine the Bible. You can recognize the truth in it.
We can believe [based] on its foundation. And if we are ready to follow Jesus entirely and to proclaim Him, we can have fellowship among each other. Otherwise fellowship is not possible. I John 1:1-3
I would like to have fellowship with everyone on this foundation.
There is unity inside the community – I only would like for you to know that life with God means living with other Christians in community, if possible. I don’t know why, when Julia and I were there, you spoke so [much] against the Bible and what is written in it – in any case, I think no differently than Julia about Christianity. Our measuring standard is Jesus, that step-by-step we ever more allow ourselves to be purified to [be of] good use.