Mailbag: A love of God will keep churches thriving

April 19, 2012

Re. David Hansen's column, "Churches try to save themselves," April 13:

While it is true that over the past 10 years attendance has dropped 10% to 20% in mainline denominations, Mr. Hansen fails to mention that other expressions of Christ's church are growing and even exploding in attendance.

Many Independent, Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are seeing numbers increase, certainly here in America, but even more so in other nations, particularly Africa where revival is sweeping many countries.


While appreciating Hansen's analysis of denominational problems, I would respectfully disagree that changing church structure, synchronizing faiths, along with social and cultural adaptation will save Christian churches from dying.

It is not new programs, methods, restructuring, reorganizing or adapting to our culture that breathes "life" into churches. It is a deep commitment and devotion to Christ, a real and heartfelt love for God and others, passionate worship and believing the revealed truths of Scripture that are at the center of growing churches.

This is not an issue of outward change, but inward transformation.

Jay Grant

Laguna Beach

The writer is the pastor at Little Church by the Sea.


Be aware of Lyme disease

"Got Lyme?" reads the staff shirts at a popular Martha's Vineyard Mexican restaurant — a reference to not only the island's best margaritas but also to the proliferation of Lyme disease-infested ticks that reside in the beautiful woods there.

As an annual summer visitor, the shirts always bothered me. Now they bother me more: One of my closest family members contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite here in California last April.

I'm not alone in my recent induction into the Lyme community. Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States.

Lyme is a scary entity. It often comes accompanied by vicious and difficult-to-detect co-infections (some such co-infections resemble malaria, i.e. babesia). It mimics many other conditions and is hard to diagnose, and there is no standard protocol for how to treat it. The CDC and "Lyme literate" medical communities remain at great odds on this issue.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I encourage you to take the time to check for ticks when you've been outdoors — and most importantly, check your children. Children are the most susceptible to Lyme.

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