November 9, 2002
"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Luke 12:48
Dear Brother George,
It has been a whirlwind of activity in the work in San Luis Obispo. I think it is important to lay out what is currently taking place by beginning with a letter that Kirk and Lynda distributed to all of the saints in fellowship, a 5 page single spaced letter communicating his views in light of this ministry and most specifically David. Many saints have been taken aback by this letter and it has caused a tremendous amount of discussion and confusion among the saints who have remained.
The way we have handled it was at the prayer meeting where we read from Matthew 18:15-18. We chose this to begin with because it was the main passage that Kirk used. We showed that the whole end of this passage is forgiveness. As well David shared what the Lord had given him and thanked the saints for standing with him. At the end of the prayer meeting we invited anybody to come and ask any questions for David or any of the brothers, we met in a separate room and had individuals come in one by one, I think 4 people came with questions. It was a profitable time and each person was thankful for the opportunity. The saints in general were encouraged with this meeting, but some were confused with what David shared, he was not clear and really could have used that time to humble himself or to show that he has accepted what has happened in his life as from the Lord. All in all though many saints were encouraged at his willingness to be approached and we are looking at this as large step in the right direction. This has helped many saints to lay to rest some of their questions about things they feel are in the dark up here, they have clearly seen that we are all approachable and accessible...
Before this meeting on Tuesday night a few other items are important to discuss as well. Kirk delivered the letter on the previous Thursday. I was up in Arcata at the time I got a call and was not home until Sunday night. The letter is very damaging at face value and almost all of the saints had read it, so on Sunday morning Jeff and Ray asked David if he could just hold off on preaching that week while we sorted things out with the saints and helped them through their questions. David did not let them even finish their statement and reacted with a lot accusations directed toward the brothers. I was aware of this request to David and in agreement with it. In hind sight we should have paid a visit to him in Morrow Bay to let him know of our request, but at the same time he had been out off and on for several weeks, we thought if he didn’t come he didn’t need to even know about the letter. This would give us time to work with the troubled saints.
David made accusations of this sort: he said that we are not standing with him but are distancing ourselves from him. On the contrary we knew this would happen if we allowed him to preach in the first place and sure enough we have been bombarded continually since David was allowed to preach again. We were in no way saying this was something that was going to be extended, but a very short time while we worked with the saints. He said again that we are responsible for all of the people that have left, and that many people are trying to get him to leave the gathering because of the way we are treating him, and that we are trying to preserve our testimony and that we are ashamed of him.
I bring this up because this is how David looks at the Work in San Luis Obispo. He continues to see that his example played no part in the present struggles, yes he admits that he is a sinner like everybody else, but that his example and family troubles had nothing to do with the present condition of this Assembly. When I brought a couple of these recent accusations directed towards the Leading Brothers up to him he immediately put the onus on Jeff, because he said that Jeff wasn’t clear when Jeff and Ray asked him not to preach that Sunday. Later, after Roberto and I explained the situation, he said he understood why we made our decision, but never apologized for the accusations. He won’t even admit that he said any of them. This is something we are planning to address with him in light of our recent appeal that he would be entreatable.
I think that David does not understand that his example played a big part of what has happened--not only his example, but the way he handled the Lord’s people. He was sent up here as a full time Worker to be an example, to lead, teach and shepherd this little flock. He needs to understand that much is required. The people that remain can truly identify with some of Kirk's accusations, and are asking very pointed and thought-out questions. It is one thing to be persecuted for righteousness, but another when we bring it on ourselves. The list of people that we are telling the saints to avoid is growing. Yet if we think about it, we have brought much of this on ourselves, we are reaping what we have sown and are experiencing God’s judgment in His house. We are pointing out all of our accusers arguments and how un-biblical they are being yet not really coming clean ourselves...
The way I see it is the following: First of all, I am fine with how things are at this stage. I am not stumbled by what is occurring, and have been pointing all that ask about these things to the Lord, and I've been calling them on and calling them up. I have been preaching the vision of what God is doing in Christ and have not slacked in any of my responsibilities. I am not taking sides and have remained a peace maker throughout. I do have some observations that I need to say as I am in this place as a servant of the Lord.
I have been helping in the work here for 1 years and have been in the fire with David continually. I have gone out to him, Kimber has done favors for him and all in all we have been consistent in doing so. Not all of the Lord’s people here are doing this, but many of them make efforts to do what they can. The saints are praying for David’s situation with his family weekly and they are standing with him in view of the way he has conducted himself of late. David is at the point now where he is able to preach first or second and share about 20 minutes. This is what all of the brothers have peace about at this time. If David is to be given more responsibilities in the Assembly or added back to the Work I think there are a few things for you to be aware of.
This is very difficult to write, but after seeing the effects of what has taken place up here I believe that I need to give an accurate and faithful description of what some of the struggles are. I don’t know what the answer in the long run is, but I believe that true repentance is needed for further restoration and recovery. I am fine with managing the way it is now as long as David is not given any additional privileges or responsibilities. To be used for itinerant ministry or in any other capacity in this ministry without a true clearing would be tragic. Of course if he would clear himself and demonstrate humility the sky is the limit...
My take on what may have happened is this. David has always challenged standards and rules. He had liberty that many did not and in a sense he flaunted that liberty and it caused many to stumble. He truly had the liberty before the Lord, but did not take into consideration others (Romans 14 and I Cor 8). As time went on the liberty turned into carelessness, being out of control and unaccountable. When the brothers tried to hold him accountable he viewed himself as above them and deserving respect, not entreaty. As the brothers raised the flags for some reason they were un-heeded.
In Saint Louis when we asked the brothers to write a letter of contrition for their past behavior and their commitment to the new thing that God was doing, it was a great encouragement to the saints and the start of drastic changes. I remember that it was easier in Saint Louis to get people off of the subject of needed change because I could point to real evidence of change and the Leading Brothers' letter of repentance. It became clear with those who left that they could not forgive. This is not the case, we cannot point to any verifiable clearing because there has been none...
Brother George, I want you to be assured that I am standing strong for what the Lord is doing in this ministry. I have been consistently preaching the need for love and forgiveness, helping the saints in whatever way I can and the Leading Brothers to work together and among the saints in new ways. Our love for David has not lessened at all and nobody in this fellowship that has remained is allowing any root bitterness. A dear brother just wrote us this week that what happened in the past he is forgiving from his heart and is standing with us. Many saints during this week have expressed similar sentiments. It is great to hear. Both campuses are going strong, we have been seeing a renewed burden for evangelism and two new students came out this past Sunday. The brothers do not even know that I am writing these things to you. I am desiring to be truthful with you and by God’s grace have been learning to keep the issues regarding David’s situation and the advance of this ministry and fellowship separated.
In His Grace and Mercy,