As most of you know by now, the judge tossed the case out of her courtroom yesterday. The official/legal language was, “Dismissed with prejudice.” That is a strong statement in the legal world and a huge victory for the church.
On the day after, I simply wanted to say a few words that I have been communicating to the church at every turn along this journey. If you are a newhoper, or you are just interested in knowing my heart and the heart of this church, I hope you will read on.
The heartbeat of this church has never been anything other than love for our neighbors, both near and far away. Love is the very reason we started this church 12 years ago. Love is the very reason we have gone to extensive efforts to be good neighbors, including but not limited to hosting many meetings at the church to work towards resolution, spending resources on sound attenuation, adjusting our worship and rehearsal schedules, and taking detailed audio recordings and video recordings every time any music is played at our church, both on the inside of our Worship Center and at the property line to ensure that we are fully compliant with the Durham County noise ordinance.
Yes, the church has experienced two major victories in the last few months. (i.e. The denial of the neighbors request for a Temporary Restraining Order against the church and the criminal case against me thrown out yesterday) Yes, we praise God for these victories but we must also remember, every step of the way, that we do not gloat or ever allow our hearts to grow hard or mean-spirited towards our neighbor. As I have reminded us every step of the way, let us remember these key passages of Scripture:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. (Psalm 71:1)
As a church family, let us stay incredibly humble and desperate before Almighty God. At the end of the day, we still want to do two very important things. First, we want to fulfill the vision God has given for how we Worship Jesus as a church! Secondly, we want to continue to love our neighbors every step of the way!
Peace and much love…
Because of Jesus,