Rumors, Musings and Encouragement
Recent developments, although still somewhat fluid, seem to be shaping up in the following manner. After getting the "inside scoop," from three people who were there, we can conclude the following:
George has been disciplined to some extent for his complicity in hiding David's abuse. He is not allowed to preach for the time being, and does not seem to be going on the "Asian Journey."
Many people are very upset about this, for a large variety of reasons, ranging from the ludicrous to the logical.
This process is not done, it is only beginning.
With regard to the first point, as far as can be told George is not to preach in Fullerton. It is not known if he will partake or not, this needs to be made clear. The idea of him going to the meetings and fellowshipping the Lord's supper, in light of recent developments, is simply unacceptable. There is also some murmuring on the part of some, who wish to discover whether or not David Geftakys has been supported with "God's money," all along, in spite of the fact that George has stated that he has not. (David has not worked a single day in his life since the 1970's. When he is asked by people as to how he obtains his money, he answers, "God provides.")
The most disturbing aspect of the "firm discipline," handed out by the likes of Timothy Geftakys and Mark Miller, who are both as guilty as George for the exact same reasons, is that George and Betty will continue to receive financial support, "because of their age." Here, I must either use some sarcasm, or break something valuable nearby.
So, let's look at this, George and Betty are in their mid to late seventies. In spite of what they have done, their age means that they should be supported? My in-laws are the same age, and they haven't done what George and Betty have, neither have their kids. Can I count on "The Work," supporting them? Their age is the same, and my in-laws have done far less harm to the flock. How do I funnel cash their way?
Also, the question must be asked, "Do George and Betty need financial support?" Good question, I'll answer that, "NO! THEY MOST DEFINITELY DO NOT!!" Your tithes and offerings, along with the money you inherited and gave to them was used to pay for their house, in Sunny Hills, CA. Fair market value for this house is around eight hundred thousand dollars. George and Betty own it free and clear. A reverse mortgage, along with Social Security, should put them in fine style for quite some time, especially if they can still weasel some gifts out of people. WHY IN GOD'S NAME WOULD ANYONE GIVE THEM ONE MORE DIME FROM THE LORD'S TREASURY? My in-laws live on what is called a "fixed income." Why not George and Betty do the same?
Point number two: this goes without saying. Some people are upset because they didn't know about this at all. Others are upset because, although they knew, they were given false information about how it was to be handled. For example, many of the workers were surprised to find out that dozens of people have left the Assembly over this matter. For some reason, this was kept quiet. (The count of leavers is over sixty and climbing in SLO alone.) There are also those who think that this is simply an attack from the enemy, and that the brethren need to stand against this and support the Geftakys family. They don't mean Judy. Still yet, there are others who think that this is nothing more than damage control, and that real repentance is not occurring, at least for the time being.
People seem to be unanimous on the third point. This is not over. In fact, I predict it is just beginning.
There are two points I think need to be made:
First, let us not allow a double standard to be employed. If George is being disciplined for lying and pride, does this standard not apply to the rest of us as well? Are these sins that only George can commit? What of Betty? She knew and lied as much as anyone did. What about Tim, Mark, Dan, Mike Zach, Jeff Lehmkuhl? Are we going to show partiality? God is no respecter of persons, and He certainly doesn't hold a double standard.
The second thing to consider is the herd mentality. On the one hand you have George, and possibly Betty and David. On the other, you have all of the men who have served and coddled them for decades. Many of these men are complicit in the matter. Assuming they are aware of this, how can they discipline George and overlook themselves, if indeed this is what is happening? Rom 2:21-24 Do these men have the character to disqualify themselves and step down voluntarily? This remains to be seen.
Finally, when I weigh everything all together, I must say that I am encouraged. Please, before you accuse me of buckling, or "going all soft," understand that I am under no illusion that this process is complete. However, it is unprecedented. I know, for a fact that there are at least two men of conscience who are standing for the truth in this mess. There may be many more that I am not aware of. The recent movement is tantamount to a large ship changing course. It takes time to turn, and we aren't yet sure that the new course will be the right one, but we were sure that the previous one was wrong! I remain hopeful that this might just be the beginning of repentance, and will act accordingly.
However, I would remind everyone of John the Baptist's words: Mat 3:7-8, But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of viper! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance."
January 13th, 2003