"For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death." (2 Cor 7:10 NASB)
This letter is intended to put into writing the thoughts that we tried to communicate with you personally. We want to reinforce our continued desire to see the Lord's complete work in your life and in your present situation. The circumstances forced us to raise issues that we sincerely wish were not necessary to raise. However, in faithfulness to the Lord we believe these things needed to be addressed to ensure that we proceed in a Christ honoring way.
While you have assured us that you are not involved with pornography or "excessive" drinking, we still feel that there are serious inconsistencies in your behavior and testimony. Inconsistencies that cannot be considered simply quirks of personality or personal preference. Reports that you are requesting that people buy you wine, your admission that you drink what is equivalent to the better part of one bottle a day, reports that you have been smoking regularly and your propensity to outbursts of anger and combative or derisive language have us concerned. It is also deeply distressing that you continue to harbor resentment against your father and make accusations concerning his integrity and behavior that cannot be substantiated apart from your impression of what happened many years ago.
It saddens our heart to find you in a state which we see as one of spiritual decline. We have no doubt that the trial of your wife's leaving as well as your health may be contributing to this, however it is still our responsibility to address these things and entreat you to real humility in light. There is a provision in the work of Christ for you to live a life of moral purity and spiritual vitality.
In view of these things we believe that it is appropriate for you to take a leave of absence from the Work until the issues of your own life and the situation with your wife is resolved. This should be viewed, as has been stated, as a leave -- not expulsion from the Work. We acknowledge and appreciate your years of service in many places. It is because of this that we view this as a leave of absence. We believe the Lord can restore you to full usefulness if there is sincere humbling and repentance.
In light of this, the Work will not be responsible for your support in the future. We know that a transition period is necessary for you to obtain a job to meet your needs and to find a new place to live if you cannot afford to live where you are. As we tried to communicate to you, we are willing to help you during that transition time -- both with temporary support from the Work and the help of the brethren to move, and in helping though counsel and suggestion on the various issues that you will be facing.
We understand that you have a number of cars and a large quantity of parts that will need to be dealt with. Again you can depend upon help for assistance in moving them to storage, help you sell them or dispose of them in the manner you choose. As we mentioned in our meeting, we feel that you need to communicate with Judy about the cars that are in her name. If you bought them as a gift for her, as you stated to us, and they are in her name, she should be the one that decides what to do with them. We are recommending that you not go forward with plans to restore the GTO, as this is one of the cars in her name. We are also strongly suggesting that the insurance money be put to use in light of your present need for an economical, mechanical sound vehicle.
We have also suggested to you that you need to seek advice about how to use the money you have invested to meet your needs until you can secure another source of income. We strongly believe that you need to be in contact with Judy about this and not hide your intentions from her. Legal counsel will probably be needed to avoid misunderstanding or confusion.
As we stated, the Work will undertake for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. We still have several concerns about your current steroid-based therapy. As we said in our time together our concern revolves around the fact that you are exhibiting many of the characteristics attending steroid abuse. These include: "wide mood swings ranging from periods of violent episodes to bouts of depression", "users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment", cholesterol changes, hypertension, muscle and joint pain, restlessness, fatigue and insomnia. This therapy also does not seem to have prevented you from getting sick. You have had several bouts with pneumonia over the last year that the therapy does not seem to have helped prevent. We are concerned that negative side effects are beginning to surface. We strongly believe you need to get a second opinion about this therapy. We are concerned about the health risk that you are running by continuing with what appears to be a self-regulated steroid therapy.
With regard to your spiritual condition and your estrangement from your wife, we are encouraging you to get whatever counseling you feel will help this situation. Regarding your spiritual condition, we highly recommend that you renew your appointment to see Chuck Solomon. Having had personal experience with him, we are confident that he can help you in many ways. (As this is a personal situation, and because you have the means to do it, you will need to bear the expense of seeing him. If he can be of help it will be money well spent.) We also would encourage that you explore whatever means possible to be reconciled to your wife. We are willing to help in any way possible, but due to Judy's current attitude toward us, we feel we would be an impediment to your reconciliation. If you need help finding a resource for counseling we will assist you in any way we can. We trust that you will be directed toward a spirit-filled believer who can help you find the Lord's way in this.
Again we want to express our willingness to support you in this present trial. We have been friends and companions for many years. We have shared many good times and endured many sorrowful times together. Our homes are open to you, our hearts go out to you and we are willing to do whatever is necessary to see the Lord get the victory in your life and in your marriage. We hold a confident hope that what is impossible for men is possible with God. However, dear David, it will be necessary for you to have a change of mind about many things for that victory to be realized. We entreat you that you humble yourself and receive what the Lord would say to you through others.
Though sorrowing over this situation, we remain your companions in the heavenly calling,
"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (Rom 2:4 NASB)
"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." (Heb 10:36 NASB)