Man shall revile you
Before long enquiries came in from the synodal council. Extraordinary things had come to their ears. I was questioned. ‘Is it true what we hear? It is reported that you extinguish the light after your Bible readings, release a dove in the room and say, ‘can you hear the Holy Ghost?’ Is that true?’ The question was asked seriously and searchingly.
I was stunned. Could slander go so far? Could people really believe such thing?
‘No it is not true. It’s a lie!’ I burst out. But a gentle voice within me chided me for getting angry.
‘Please forgive my rash words,’ I said quietly. ‘May I describe our Bible readings?’
Gladly I proceeded to tell of the times which had been such a blessing to us:
‘We meet each Friday. Not the whole congregation, for many (including some of the faithful church goers) oppose these meetings. We sing a hymn together, pray and then study a portion of God’s word. Only the pastor speaks. Once more we pray. Again this is done only by the pastor. We sing the closing hymn and part; each one goes home. We use paraffin lamps there being no electricity on hand. I myself extinguish the lamps after everyone has left.’
‘And what about the dove?’ asked one of the leaders.
‘I don’t know anything of that, nor can I imagine where such an absurd story comes from.’
‘Trustworthy men, members of the church, told us,’ interrupted another. ‘Yes, I know,’ I replied, ‘but there’s a big difference between trustworthy men and those who in truth follow the Lord in newness of life.’
With that we were again faced with the word which our Lord Himself spoke to Nicodemus in that quiet night hour. Newness of life requires a new birth.