This was first posted on the Assembly bulletin board on January 20, 2003
I am so sorry and grieved to hear about what has happened in the past few weeks and days. My heart goes out to all of you who must be so disappointed and ashamed.
When I left almost 13 years ago, I heard how shocked some of you were by my leaving, how betrayed some of you felt by me, and how angry some of you were with me. It was hard then with me, and is hard now to accept that George Geftakys, the very person who spoke the Word of God to you, whom you respected and looked up to, should turn out to be so despicable. You have gone through so much and put up with so much.
Those of you whom I publicly embarrassed and demeaned, please forgive me. Those of you whom I failed to come to your defense when you so desperately needed me to do so, please forgive me. And, yes, those of you who say even now that I was George's "chief enabler", please forgive me.
A few years ago when all my sins (from my youth up) were weighing heavily upon me, the Lord gave me this reading from the Heidelberg Catechism:
"Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God's commandments... and even though I am still inclined toward all evil -- nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is to accept the gift of God with a believing heart."
My prayer was then and still is today that God would give me faith to accept God's crediting to me "the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ".
"Thy grace alone, O God, to me can pardon speak; Thy power alone, O Son of God, Can this sore bondage break. No other work save Thine, no other blood will do. No strength save that which is divine can bear me safely through."
About a year later Steve was confronted by someone on the bulletin board with using Scripture to enforce racism in the Assembly. This was his reply:
I want to apologize to you for using that verse from Acts about "God fixing the appointed bounds of each nation" to not allow mixed marriages in the Assembly. Although this is not an excuse, you do know that I was parroting George. Today I see how totally ludicrous it was for me to use that verse against mixed marriages. It makes absolutely no sense when you think (as you pointed out to me back then) about the fact that other people in the assembly were allowed to marry people who came from different nations. If I could take back what I said, I would do so, but obviously the damage is done. Please accept my sincerest apology. Please do not conclude from what I said to you back then that I personally was prejudiced towards you, although it certainly looks like it on the face of it. I always liked you as a person and looked upon you as a beloved brother in Christ. I hope you can believe me.