An Outsider's Perspective
As I write this, I must say that I believe critical mass has finally been reached. In the past, these same issues came up, and people left. George had been told of David's behavior all the way back in the 1970's. The money was secret then, and it remains so to this day. None of this is new. What is new, is that now people know about it, and many are outraged. It seems that real change is going to take place. In fact, real change has taken place. The real question we must now ask is, "Has genuine repentance taken place?"
Let me say that I believe it has, in certain individuals. I will cite two. Dan Notti, a person of Assembly renown, has voluntarily stepped out of leadership, because of his role in all of this. While I know that he doesn't see everything clearly, (how can he?) he does see enough to do the right thing. Dan, if you are reading this, I want to say, "Way to go! May you be refreshed with God's presence and grace!"
There is also another leader who seems to be on the right track, but I decline to mention his name at present.
With regard to our topic, repentance, what needs to take place? I would like to offer some suggestions and guidance. This is not meant to be anything more than just that, suggestions and guidance. This is taken from something I sent to Danny Edwards in 2001. The first thing that must be done is to listen!
What must be done to rectify the situation was discussed. We clearly communicated that it is our desire to see true repentance and restoration. We clearly communicated that it is not our desire to see the demise of the ministry as opposed to repentance. We see that the following conditions must be met in order to biblically make these issues right.
Support Judy financially, as she would be to this day had she not spoken up and told the truth.
Admit all abuse, by all parties involved. Vague references are not acceptable; details must be brought to light. I.E. Spousal abuse, immoral behavior, deceit etc. The reputations of those truth-tellers who have been tarnished need to be restored, by name, on a person-by-person basis.
Name the false teaching that was inculcated for many years and expose it as false. Replace this insidious error with biblical teaching. Getting help in this area from local Christian leaders would be a wise move. All the local leaders are well aware of what has gone on, and have been concerned for years. Involving them would serve to demonstrate healing of the isolation that was a result of false teaching. These leaders have genuine goodwill and would love to help restoration take place.
Leaders who demonstrated darkness, partiality and blindness need to step down from decision making roles until such a time as it is clear that they have repented and have gained the ability to discern gross, blatant sin, and the fortitude to deal with it in a Biblical manner.
Publicly apologize to anyone who was hurt or damaged by the heavy- handed leadership style over the years. This should be done in a group setting, with anyone who wants to attend welcome to come.
Determine to end the un-biblical practices that allowed all of this to happen.
I really don't think I need to go into anymore detail than what is listed above. I would like to see this website used as a vehicle to express repentance, more than as a vehicle to expose sin and darkness. How about it? Why not post admissions, confessions and details here on the web? I will post them, if need be, but wouldn't it be better to do so voluntarily?
Why not name the false teaching, so we don't repeat the same errors? Why not finally enjoy help and fellowship from "other" Christians?
Of course, it goes without saying that several leaders need to step down. What are they waiting for?
Public apologies are easy with the website. Write a letter of apology and put an email address so people can contact you. What could be easier? Remember, all of this darkness and sin, decades of it, was done in public. Oh, yes, there were plenty of secret workers' and brother's meetings, but the people who were hurt and slandered were abused in public, in view of their friends. Also, the lies and false teaching was done in public. Public apology, and public exoneration is imperative.
I have heard about all of the prayer meetings, every day this week. It's good to pray, I agree. But there comes a time to act. As an outsider, who was once an insider, I remember praying a lot. We prayed for hundreds to get saved, for people to come into fellowship, and for marriages to be restored. It never happened. Why? Because there was no power. The church was compromised. The Testimony was tarnished, big time.
What needs to happen is deeds, not words. Deeds of repentance speak far more loudly than prayers. Isaiah 1:10-20