In my recent post, "Calling Out To ALL COGIC Bishops" I challenged the Bishops of The Church Of God In Christ, Inc. Mem. TN. to take courage and stand up in effort to renew the church and the rich heritage that has made our communities better and souls and families enriched over the years. Thankfully, I am not alone in my call and prayer for this great organization.
To my complete and utter joy, I received a copy of a letter recently sent to the Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake. This letter was approximately 27 pages in length and was sent from a veteran and well seasoned Bishop of the church. His name is Bishop Samuel P. Nesbitt, Pastor of Church Of God In Christ Temple in Jacksonville, FL. Bishop Nesbitt is an 87 years young son of COGIC pioneers Bishop & Mrs. W.R. Nesbitt Sr. He has served the church in administrative capacities since 1945 and endured the administrative transition of 1968 when power was taken from the Late Bishop O.T. Jones sole authority and given to a Presiding Bishop and General Board. Bishop Nesbitt is currently the retiring Chief Justice of the Church Of God In Christ Judiciary Board, which is one of the administrative arms of the Church Of God in Christ Inc.
In a missive that touched on most all administrative subjects from how different the post 1968 Church Of God in Christ has become, to how clergy must live the truth that they preach so that members will not be abused and misused, instead of preaching what men want to hear; Bishop Nesbitt, called upon his life's experience and observation as a son of COGIC to encourage the Presiding Bishop to action and open dialogue on issues concerning the life, health and vitality of the Church Of God In Christ.
I'll share various facets of that letter over time, but one particular area feeds into my recent two posts, Falling Towers Coming Down Pt. 1 and Falling Towers Coming Down Pt. 2 on the "church".
A Plan To Support Education & Missions Outreach
In his letter Bishop Nesbitt outlined a plan centered around raising the necessary funds to support the work of education and missions which is essential to the gospel call, vital to organizational expansion and necessary for the equipping of church leadership. Currently the best plan is simply to solicit money from membership. Bishop Nesbitt challenges the church to make better use of what it already has in an effort to do what it seemingly cannot do.
Give up the Gold for the cause of the organism of the church and souls. What do you think about this?
"MONEY FOR EDUCATION AND MISSIONS - IT'S IN THE GOLD CHAINS, THE GOLD CROSSES AND GOLD RINGS
As we approach the EASTER SEASON, we should call to remembrance Calvary, and the empty tomb before we rejoice at EASTER. Jesus laid down His life on the cross and was buried in a tomb (borrowed) so that GOD could raise HIM from the dead on EASTER. He had to lay down His life FIRST before God could raise Him from the dead. Because of His great sacrifice for us, we are who we are today. What are we willing to give to make life better for others?
We have more than 250 Bishops in the Church, and each one wears a GOLD cross, a GOLD chain and a GOLD ring. We are Church of God in Christ BISHOPS, which suggests that we wear the best quality of GOLD. When our Bishops assemble, it is reasonable to conclude that, on today's market, they should be wearing gold that is valued at approximately 1 MILLION dollars. Because we love GOD, who is LOVE, and we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, we are willing to give OURSELVES and all that we have to the cause of the saving of souls.
Based on what we preach and proclaim to others, I am sure that we, the CONSECRATED BISHOPS OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, INC., will gladly give our GOLD for the purpose of financing EDUCATION AND MISSIONS. Jesus gave His life for EDUCATION AND MISSIONS so that we may be empowered to go and teach all nations. He gave us an example of what LOVE will do, and every BISHOP of the Church who understands the power of the Love of God, and who preaches Christ and Him crucified, will rise to the occasion and follow the PRESIDING BISHOP and GENERAL BOARD as theyall join in giving their CONSECRATED GOLD to the cause of EDUCATION AND MISSIONS. When Bishops die, they remove the chain, the cross, and the ring from their dead bodies, so why not give it to Education and Missions while you live. Your gift will help the Church, which you love, to carry out its mission.
When this sacrificial gift is made we will all be able to join with the PRESIDING BISHOP and say:“I SEE YOU IN THE FUTURE AND YOU LOOK BETTER THAN YOU DO NOW.”SUGGESTED CEREMONY FOR GIVING OF GOLD
This ceremony should be conducted in the presence of the GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Led by the Presiding Bishop and General Board, they will all march forward and place their GOLD in a LARGE RECEPTACLE which has been prepared for them. The Presiding Bishop will pray over the gifts and then ask the congregation to stand and join in the singing of “PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW.”
This one act of LOVE will cause REVIVALto break out in the CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST. INSTEAD OF SENDING OUT BAD NEWS, LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT WE ARE WORSHIPING GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. WHAT IF THE BISHOPS DON'T DESIRE TO GIVE UP THE GOLD?
THE POETIC ANSWER FOR THE BISHOPS The breath that you breathe didn't cost you a dime, and the Sun gives you light and heat each day for free; the time that you call yours, is in My power to give, and it's by My grace and mercy that I allow you to live. I allowed you to use My GOLD, because I thought you loved Me; and I expected you to share it, and help to make others free. But I'm disappointed and grieved at how little you care for Me; for when youwithheld your GOLD from others, you withheld it from Me.When viewed from your vestments, Bishops you appear to be; but, that was determined by only what the eyes could see; but, I'm God, the Creator who looks at the Heart, and when you come to Me for help, I’ll say to you depart. In just a few days you, the Leader of the great people of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., will meet with the saints in our Annual General Assembly in Memphis, Tennessee. Our Church has undergone multiple experiences that have challenged our very souls; but, God is still in control. When you stand to address the General Assembly, and look out over the thousands who will be gathered to hear you, if you will just be quiet and listen, you will hearthem ask: “Is there any word from the Lord?” What will your answer be?
As I have been inspired to write the above, I trust that something contained therein will help with your answer. Get some rest, kiss Mae, and be ready to meet and greet the saints." ~ Bishop NesbittWell, what will the church do to meet the need? Are the crosses and chains worn on the outside greater than the cost of the cross and the yoke forged on the inside by the work of Jesus in the heart? Let's see if we hear of this idea again.