My absolutely final word on "In Christ"

From: Martin Jackson (
Date: Thu Apr 25 1996 - 21:56:11 EDT

I had decided to stay out of the "In Christ" business, but since Carl Conrad had some
really intriguing points, I am going to respond to them at least in part, since I am
the only person living who can say why I signed off with that expression. Basically,
it was a mistake. I had sent out virtually the same message to a number of people I
knew were Christians. I really didn't give a second thought to the closing when I
posted to B-HEBREW and later B-GREEK.

Carl's points are well taken, and I can understand why a non-Christian might be miffed
at being addressed "In Christ." While this is hardly the Athanasian Creed (Quicunque
for you purists :-}), it is still a sort of confession of faith. It is easy to be in
the majority, but as a historically persecuted minority, one's perspective could be a
lot different. When Mr. Berkowitz replied to my message, I apologized immediately. I
simply did not realize that what I had said would offend anybody. When Mr.
CoumontBeisig sent his first message, I also apologized to him. I also posted a
public apology to the list. I thought that would settle the matter, but as you know
it did not.

Now could we all let it rest in peace? I appreciate the words of encouragement I've
heard from various people (and you all know who you are), we should all learn an
important lesson from this: be careful in what you write! Even if the hearer's
offense is completely unfounded (and I am not suggesting that is the case here), it
serves no purpose to offend someone over something as trivial as a letter closing.
The fact that I was confessing Christ is an important, indeed vital matter to me, but
there is an appropriate time and place to do so. Something I read in Ecclesiastes a
while back...

Martin Jackson:
Seminarian and Seminary Librarian
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary (ELS)
447 N. Division St.
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 386-5360
Official BibleWorks (3.x) for Windows (3.x) Beta Tester

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