Letter to George Expressing Disappointment, Jan 6 2003
I Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:7, I Timothy 5:1,17-22, I Peter 5:1-5
Dear brother George:
To begin with, we must express our disappointment in the way our meeting with you began on Saturday, January 4. We had intended to meet with you simply as leading brothers in Fullerton to discuss issues that had recently come to our attention. For you to have contacted select men and agreed to have them attend, and then to have those men admit to us that they knew we did not know they were coming, did not give the appearance of good will or walking in light. While we agreed to their presence, it was apparent from some of their comments that they were under the impression that this was a disciplinary meeting that specifically affected the work. We clearly indicated, in the 8 points we gave you, that we considered this a local issue. From this perspective their attendance was distinctly inappropriate.
Even under these conditions we tried to proceed in good will and did in fact take into account your comments regarding our letter. We accept your statement that you did not intentionally lie about the events recounted in our letters and that you did not willfully seek to deceive us or the Workers with your statements. However, the fact that you repeatedly used inaccurate statements in the Workers meetings, discussions surrounding the events and situations with David and our letter, has brought into question the credibility of what you say to us.
Having said this, the primary issues that must be addressed are your unfaithfulness, pride, partiality and a lack of entreatability. These issues need to be resolved in a meaningful way for there to be real clearing of you with the saints in Fullerton and the Workers at large.
In regard to the local ramifications of these issues, I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7 indicate that an elder must be blameless, not self-willed but gentle. It is clear to us, and many others, that with regard to David's abusive behavior toward Judy and Rachel and his inappropriate and ungodly behavior over many years in San Luis Obispo, your negligence to deal with the situation opened a door of reproach that touches you, the work and the testimony in Fullerton. Your continued unwillingness to deal with David, even in the face of repeated entreaties from brethren over the years, has breached a sacred trust with God's people. Your actions were not those of a faithful shepherd. To the contrary, your example in this issue has been one of pride, partiality, self-will and a repeated propensity to put your interests above those of the Lord's people. These attitudes have been witnessed for some time by brethren in various meetings and generally by the saints in fellowship.
Dear brother, in meeting after meeting you have been entreated by responsible men to make a clear acknowledgement of your sin and in real humility and contrition to take the low place of the truly penitent. We must sadly affirm that in our meetings, and most evidently Saturday, we have seen little evidence that you are willing to take the responsibility for what happened in San Luis Obispo with David or that you are truly repentant for what must still be considered a grievous sin. We have not and still do not accept that this was a sin of ignorance. Your refusal to admit your sin has compounded the problems that have arisen in the assembly since the public presentation of these issues. Saints are continuing to be stumbled and are leaving fellowship because of your lack of genuine humility. They also have the perception that we are unwilling to deal with you and your sin. While we may not be able to repair the damage that has been done, we are determined, by the grace of God, not to allow this to continue.
Having said this, we are constrained to once again remind you that we are not now, nor have we ever been, trying to take over your ministry or remove you from the Work. And to even suggest that we ever entertained forbidding you to partake of the Lord's Supper was a gross disservice to men who have nothing but love and concern in their hearts for you. It is in love for you that we must confront these issues and seek restoration and healing in your life and in the lives of many. We are speaking the truth in love and endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. If we do not address what we see to be serious sin, we would be unfaithful to you, the saints and the Lord.
It is unfortunate that we are being compelled to take increasingly serious action because of your unwillingness to humble yourself. But take action we must for your sake and the sake of the flock in Fullerton. As such:
- We are extending an opportunity to you to write a letter of repentance and humility to be read to the saints, at the Prayer meeting, with your letter of resignation as an elder.
- We will be writing a letter to the saints in Fullerton, to be read with your letter(s), regarding action to be taken by us.
- We are asking you not to preach in Fullerton until these issues are cleared to our satisfaction.
- We expect you to take active and meaningful steps to contact Judy and your grandchildren for the purpose of apology and reconciliation.
- We expect you to take active and meaningful steps to seek reconciliation with those you have stumbled here and in other places.
- We are encouraging you to write a letter of clarification to all the Workers indicating that you were not receptive to the entreaty of your brethren regarding seriously dealing with the issue of David's sin and unfaithfulness.
It is with a heavy heart that we bring these things to you again. But we believe with all our hearts that if there is genuine repentance there will be healing and the release of blessing in your life and revival in the assembly in Fullerton. We earnestly appeal to you to take our entreaty in this matter seriously before the Lord.
We remain your brothers and fellow-servants in Christ.