Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, December 02, 2004

As I get ready for this Sunday's 75th anniversary celebration, I've been struck by how often in Highland's history the church has been tested and tried by people who thought it had gone TOO FAR. (In fact, there is a whole chapter on this in the book on Highland's history, From Roots to Wings.) There was a storm of criticism over the launching of Herald of Truth in the early 1950s. I remember being told by my preacher growing up that this ministry was liberal. (That didn't keep my Grandpa Cope from watching Batsell Barrett Baxter regularly, however!) That criticism was widespread. Some people left the church because of the criticism they heard from friends and family members. But the members stayed the course. There was a huge tempest in the 1970s over the work of the Holy Spirit when Highland leaders began teaching that the Spirit indwells Christians (rather than just working through scripture alone). It was a tough time. Several families left, starting the church at 5th and Grape. Again, it was hard for the members who stayed who faced criticism from people they love in other places. But God has been faithful. Godly men and women held to their convictions even when it wasn't easy. They watched long-time fellow-members leave for other churches. And yet God continued blessing the church and using it for his purposes. Once again, we feel some pressure from others who don't understand some things we've done (or who understand and don't agree). AND YET, God will continue to do his mighty work among us. Our hope is in him, not in our ability to get everything right! One thing has been consistent through these years: godly leaders have devoted themselves to prayer, to scripture, and to God's leading and have been willing to follow that, even when it meant it wouldn't be popular.


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