This notice is to clarify a few rumors about me and my family.
In May the Jacobys placed membership in the North River Church of Christ. Just as Athens formally and amicably separated from Atlanta in 2003, so the Atlanta church is separating this month into five interdependent congregations, of which ours, meeting in Marietta, is one. What is the nature of my relationship to Marietta, and why am I now worshipping there? People are speculating and there have been a lot of rumors flying around, so I thought that in this update it might be good to answer them. Let me address the rumors, some of which are pretty wild!
First of all, it isn't true that we have moved to Marietta. This may be a possibility in a year's time, but we are still living in our home between Athens and Atlanta.
It is not true that Sam Laing, preacher in the Athens church, and I had a big fight. In fact, we didn't even have a little fight! We are still partners in AIM. We are now, and always will be, good friends. The truth is, I have been teaching and preaching in Marietta since last summer, with the full blessing of Sam Laing and the Athens leadership group.
Nor does the transition to Atlanta spell "the end of AIM"! The sessions of AIM do meet in Athens, and most of the board members live in the Athens area, but our shift to Atlanta has no immediate impact. It may even strengthen the program, since we're bound to benefit from the wisdom and perspective of the Marietta group, many of whom are very mature Christians.
It isn't true that my leaving the Athens church means I am taking something away from the church. AIM never was a program of the Athens Church. There is no official connection
AIM is independent of the Athens Church of Christ. As such, it could theoretically meet anywhere.
It is not true that I wrote "a book against discipleship," as a result of which I was "fired." I was not an employee of the Athens church anyway. When our funding ran out in 2003, we had a decision to make: aim to work for the church, or go in a more independent direction. Even then, we were not fired. After we moved to the United States (Cincinnati, Mary 2003), I opted not to work full time for the church. At any rate, you can't be fired if the guy isn't your boss!
To keep the whole family together, we feel it is best for us to drive to Atlanta for Sundays and midweeks. (Just as the entire Athens church did for many years in the past, when they first became part of the Atlanta Church!) The extra time on the road is good family time.
It is true, however, that a lot of people apparently have a lot of time on their hands. Time to gossip, spread negative feeling, and embellish the truth. As the Proverbs say, "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends" (16:28). See also Proverbs 18:8, 20:19, and 26:20. If you hear rumors or gossip, please urge the one spreading it to follow biblical counsel. Speak to the person you need to speak to, not about him. Give the benefit of the doubt. Remember that there are two sides to every story (Proverbs 18:17).
That's the truth. Feel free to spread it!