Mr. Camdey, after many sessions of him dictating and me recording, dutifully sat down one day and asked if I had any questions about what we had discussed so far. He waited patiently while I gathered my thoughts. Finally, I spoke. “Mr. Camdey, there is one topic of which I am unsure.”
“Would you care to elaborate?” He raised one eyebrow in a mock severe manner.
“Why do we need Christ, and how do the members of the Church relate to each other?”
“For one, it’s a question of unity. The fact that we are all sons of God, and therefore brothers, holds us together. Without Christ acting as our mediator to God and allowing us to commune with Him, that union would fall to pieces and the Church would be no more.” He paused, then continued. “For another, Christ is the head of the Church. What fellowship is without a leader? And what church without a pastor? In the same way, Christ guides and leads us.”
I noted that he had gradually begun to include me the “us” when he talked. I had formerly doubted Mr. Camdey’s claims about Christianity, but his patient, well-organized sessions had begun to convince me of the truth of his words. I was no long an atheist. I was an agnostic —that is, one who is not sure about the existence of God. And I had to admit, I was rather proud of not being an atheist anymore.
I noticed Mr. Camdey was still speaking. “As for the Church itself, I must tell you that within the Church there are many different kinds of people with their own gifts. The Church needs all of these people to function properly. Each brother of the Church has a part to play.”
“So what exactly do you do at a church service?” I asked curiously. I had attended several as a child, but I couldn’t remember them very well. It had been at least twenty years since I had last stepped into a church.
“Well, we worship our Lord, of course. At least, that is how it should be. A lot of modern Churches simply go through the motions. Sadly, in many cultures —and families, church is a matter of tradition, not love.”
“What else?” I prompted, seeing him falter in sadness.
“Well, we encourage each other and share our troubles. Additionally, in private meetings, it is a time for the brothers and sisters of the church to confide about personal, business, or spiritual troubles. We build each other up and advise. And, of course, we study the Word together. There are many mysteries in the Bible and it’s an exciting adventure to solve them with the help of the Holy Spirit—at least to the best of our abilities. ”
I glanced at the clock. The time read 11 p.m. It was an hour’s drive back to my house, and I sighed, realizing I wouldn’t make it home until midnight. Mr. Camdey followed my glance and laughed. “John, you’re welcome to stay here at the house tonight. I should think it’s too late for you to head home now.”
I nodded gratefully, thankful that he had seen my annoyance and stepped in smoothly—then started in surprise as I realized that he had used my first name for the first time.