Heide Johnson's Email to the SLO Leadership
September 17, 2000
Dear Kirk, Jeff, Roberto and Ray,
I am writing this to let you know that I will no longer be involved with this gathering based on the fact that you have been covering up wife abuse for 17 years. I have tried to justify your position with scripture but honestly have concluded that wife abuse is sin. I cannot find any scripture that states if your wife does not submit to you the way you want her to you as the husband can beat, hit, bruise, push, strangle or intimidate her. What I do find is this:
1 Tim 3: 1-3, "The word is faithful: if anyone who desires to exercise oversight, he desires a good work. The overseer (or bishop) then must be irreproachable, husband of one wife, sober, discreet, decorous, hospitable, apt to teach; not given to excesses of wine, not a striker, but mild..." So already I see that he who is an elder is not to be a striker. I also see in Galatians 5 that one of the fruits of the spirit is self-control.
Ephesians 5 speaks of the relationship between Christ & the church and husband & wife. I have heard it taught in this gathering that the wife submits herself totally to her husband regardless if he is right or wrong, he is the example of Christ. Mark 10: 42-44 says that Christ came to serve. He is the servant leader. He led by being a servant. Back to Ephesians, the woman voluntarily submits herself to her husband, she is not beaten to submit. The Bible says in this passage that the husband loves his wife as he loves his own flesh. He isn't mutilating his own body. The husband is not self-inflicting bruises or cuts to his own self, which would be masochistic. So why is it tolerated that he can do so to his wife? Verse 29 says that no man ever hated his own body but nourishes it and cherishes it. Which part of cherishing is hitting? God gave Eve to Adam as a gift, not as his own personal punching bag.
The Bible says the woman is co-heir, she is not below or above the man, she is equal. She is not personal property to abuse. She is the wife that God gave you, a gift to be treasured. Scripture tells us that the husband is to make his wife radiant. Can she be radiant with a black eye? We have been called out from among the world, if the worldviews wife abuse as wrong and shameful, a dirty secret, how can we as Christians accept it?
This act which has been covered up is sin. You have covered the sin, covered the person who has committed the sin, let the wife bear the sin and basically ignored the whole problem. There was no shepherd who cared. No one who was willing to stand, say something, or get involved. You fed the sheep to the beasts of the field (Ezek. 34) and this sin has grown and crept into every crevice of this gathering. "A little leaven..."
I will not stand with you on this issue. My father taught me that only a coward hits a woman, and I agree. Those of you who have known about this sin for the last 17 years need to repent and make it right with those that you have hurt. Those that left this woman in this predicament for 17 years while others who found out and tried to help were discouraged, shame on you! I will not stand with unrepentant men. You are lucky she wasn't killed. But what will you do on Judgment Day, how will you give an account for your actions? How will you stand before God and justify what you didn't do?
I know that Kirk, Jeff, David, Mark Miller, Dan Notti and Betty Geftakys knew what was going on. I challenge you to repent and make it right. And for the rest of you reading this I challenge you to read your Bibles and know what the word of God says.