: Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
November 23 2004 by

: Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
Sad to learn of Hershel and Elizabeth Johnson's involuntary retirement

According to Matthew 28:19-20, when our Lord sent forth His disciples, He told them to "make disciples of all notions, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." There is no hidden footnote demanding that they sign a creed. All that was required was competent, Spirit-led discipleship.

How sad to read about Hershel and Elizabeth Johnson's involuntary retirement because of the demand that they sign a creed.

I knew them in Japan 1991-95. Once a month my wife and I attended worship in the Futsukaichi church on the Sunday when Hershel preached in English. It was the first of three missions Hershel and Elizabeth helped to start.

Our lives were blest by that church and its ministry. When we were leaving Japan in 1995, the second mission was about to begin. But now the third has been postponed because of their departure. Hershel and I also met regularly in on ecumenical study group where we discussed religious and cultural issues.

Faithful followers of Jesus seek fellowship with one another, not unanimity. In mission they work and pray for disciples, not clones. They trust the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), not creeds, to be the reliable guide to truth. I pray that North Carolina Baptists will continue to support the Johnsons' mission in Fukuoka, Japan, even after their return to the States. Because they have planted much good seed, it is a fruitful field ready for harvest.

William Naumann

Pleasant Hill, Tenn.

11/23/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments

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