This post is of a man who was kicked out of a church, of which he was not a member, and of his attempted reconciliation with that church.
The church laid out a “Restoration Plan” which had some unusual elements to say the least, and the further the process went along the more unusual things became. Eventually the man reached out and said this was not appropriate and that he’d like to talk with them about their behavior. They responded that essentially they were not interested in hearing his concerns about their behavior but said they would be willing to meet to discuss this man’s own changes. He said he’d be happy to meet and waited about 5 weeks for them to set that meeting up.
After waiting about 5 weeks - and they had not set up the meeting which they said they would set up - the man sent two letters of concern to the church: one letter to a pastor directly and one letter meant for the elders.
The individual pastor never responded to the letter sent directly to him, but the elders did respond to their letter and they said that because this man was under church discipline, they would not answer the questions raised in the letter.
Perhaps in future posts we can examine the issues raised by this man in his letter to the elders, and possibly the letter to the individual pastor, and we could biblically examine the elders’ refusal to answer questions about their practices and behaviors.
For now, the redacted letter to the elders is posted below.
Elders of ABC CHURCH,
As I have already mentioned in a separate email, I believe that I have been mistreated by the leadership at ABC CHURCH. While I have not broadcast my concerns, I have shared my experience with others who have confirmed for me that what I perceived to be mistakes / transgressions against me – do truly appear to be wrong. It does not seem to be just my own opinion, but the opinion of others as well.
The purpose of coming to you directly with this document is for a chance for me to cleanly and carefully lay out my concerns so they can be addressed. Inasmuch as the word of God provides for a healing of personal trespasses (Matthew 18) it is not a rebellious thing of me to do.
If a man is under church discipline elders do not have latitude to treat him any way they please. There is no loss of value or rights. I have been excommunicated from your church but have found a place of happy fellowship in another.
My desire is for the breach to be healed with your church even though I don’t plan on returning. I ask many questions below, and express concerns, and my desire is for a written response to the questions. It’s possible that as you read my questions you come to realize you transgressed against me. If so, please just acknowledge that and work to fix it. If your answers to my questions show that I myself have a wrong understanding of the situation or Scripture, then by God’s grace I will have find no need to pursue it further.
It’s Not Wrong to Address Elders
Uncomfortable, but Not Wrong
No doubt it is very uncomfortable to be addressed for possible wrongdoing as an elder, but it is by no means unscriptural. As I outlined in my Step 7 document (regarding the Instagram situation) it is fully biblical to evaluate leaders and their teachings and their practices. God does NOT restrict us from evaluating and addressing elders or the practices of churches – and in fact, God provides some direction for how it should be done.
Jesus Confronted Religious Leaders in His Day
It is well known that Jesus confronted the religious leaders of his day. He confronted them not just in their -
1. treatment of him,
2. but also for their teachings, and
3. for their hypocrisy.
It is remarkable that Jesus confronted them directly as well as in their absence when he was talking about them with his disciples. We get used to reading those condemnations and they perhaps lose their edge and we lose the context of what exactly Jesus was doing, but he absolutely eviscerated them. I am not trying to quite do that, but it does show precedent. He recognized that the Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat and thus were due the respect that went with that, but he also shredded them to their face and behind their back. Today in our culture, we would perhaps feel this was inappropriate, but as Jesus did it, we must realize there is something very appropriate here. We also see that John the Baptist spoke in equally condemning ways of the current religious leaders (Matthew 3:7).
Christian History is Replete with Examples of It
Throughout the history of the church , there are many, many examples of elders / churches being confronted about what they have done or allowed – and the church (universal) is better for it!
Luther posted the 95 theses on the front door of the church; in history we read that and admire it – but in his day that was considered scandalous, with the Pope threatening to excommunicate him unless he recanted. (I am not, not, not equating ABC CHURCH with the Catholic church.) And it should be noted that Luther confronted and rebuked the church in a public manner. I am starting with by coming to you privately.
Scripture Provides the Roadmap
In 1 Timothy 5:1 we are told to not rebuke an elder but to entreat them as fathers. It should be noted that the word “sharply” is used in the Darby Translation and NIV, whereas KJV and ESV only say to not rebuke an elder. As no Scripture is of any private interpretation, considering the teaching overall of the New Testament, I think we can safely say that it’s OK to rebuke an elder, but just to not do it harshly. In other words, if we were to never rebuke an elder that would not seem consistent with Jesus confronting the Pharisees, the Apostle Paul rebuking the Apostle Peter (Peter was an elder), etc.
I trust that the tone of this letter is an entreaty and not a harsh rebuke. I trust that if I were to receive a letter with this tone from one of my grown children that I would consider them well within their rights as to how they talk to me as their father.
You do not have to answer me at all, but I think it would be a grave error for a number of reasons, and I believe Christ would be honored by a healed relationship. Our love is our testimony to the world and right now the testimony of ABC CHURCH and my marriage are at a grave risk. If there is no response I would be forced to proceed.
I have sought to number each alleged mistreatment or unusual position that you have taken. My desire is to have you answer each question on its own. I suppose there are three possible responses:
One: MAN1 is wrong. If you read over a question / concern below and think that I am misapplying a Scripture or have my facts wrong, please just tell me. Please keep in mind I will not be blindly accepting your answers but will hold them to the light of the Word of God. Without prejudice, I encourage you to consider the primary teaching of Scriptures.
Two: ABC CHURCH is wrong. If you prayerfully consider a question I raise and believe you have erred, I would appreciate an apology. I am not looking for self-flagellation, etc. – but a simple apology along with a promise to make things right, and even better (consistent with the adding of the fifth part as taught by your counseling office).
Three: You have no idea what I’m even talking about. It’s also possible that my bullet point doesn’t make sense or never happened, so please just tell me and I can try to clarify or find the specific email / letter that has the source of my concern.
Finally, the appropriate response will not include any concerns about me. These are concerns that I am coming to you about and the response should not be “Yes, but MAN1 you are guilty of…”. In counseling one of the most important lessons I learned was that we are all responsible for our own decisions and sins. Without prejudice, no one makes us sin or makes us make bad decisions.
If I and my counselors / advisors believe your response is insufficient or inaccurate, I will treat the question as unanswered and will keep it in the document as it progresses through the iterations outlined in Matthew 18. Please answer each questions / bullet point specifically and as a standalone answer.
This Does Not Mean That I Am Not Repentant
Coming to you with concerns about how I was treated does not mean I am not repentant. The man who was excommunicated as a result of 1 Corinthians was not treated right by the elders of Corinth and he obviously complained about it and his complaint made it to the Apostle’s ear – and so the Apostle then wrote 2 Corinthians admonishing the elders for their overreach in their treatment of him.
The Apostle didn’t say
· “Oh well – elders are always right.”
· “I can’t believe that fornicator is complaining. He must not be repentant.”
No, but he actually intervened on behalf of the man because elders are NOT allowed to treat people, even those excommunicated, just any way they want. Additionally, the fact that the man was complaining about his treatment did not mean he was not repentant.
It would be extremely abusive and coercive to suggest that a man needs to submit to any treatment at all by the elders in order to prove his repentance. It was not true in the heady days of the early church (otherwise the Apostle would not have admonished the Corinthian elders) and it is not true today. Just because I fell into sin does not mean you can treat me any way you want or issue a long list of demands in order for me to be considered repentant and worthy of attending ABC CHURCH. Please excuse me saying that so directly - but it’s true.
TWO BUCKETS OF CONCERN
· Bucket One: Actions and expectations that are not scriptural or are supra-scriptural
· Bucket Two: Direct wrongs against me
While items in this bucket are not sins against me directly, they are matters of concern because they give the appearance that the Word of God is not being followed or is not the guide for the elders / church themselves - which would make me lose confidence in the process at ABC CHURCH.
Within this Bucket One, one of the overarching verses that I will be approaching you elders on is this:
The elders which are among you I exhort…neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:1,3
The teaching being twofold:
· No lording
· Being an example
But instead of elders having special abilities to mistreat people, they are instead called to be examples. So elders can never justify a behavior by saying “We can do this, but you can’t because we are elders” but rather God commands them to be examples.
So as I bring things before you below, I am expecting that any time you allow yourselves a certain questionable practice – then that same practice should be available to everyone in your congregation.
So for example, if you tell me that you are not required to tell me my sin (see questions below) then that must mean everyone in the congregation can hold grudges against others and not tell them – they can essentially make everyone else guess what their sins are without having to go tell them themselves.
The concerns that would fit into Bucket Two would involve unjustifiable offenses directly against me. I trust we can all agree these need to be addressed.
So having set the table, let’s proceed with the substance of my concerns:
THINGS FOR ABC CHURCH TO CONSIDER
If you recall, you kicked me out of ABC CHURCH via a certified letter without a single elder meeting with me or warning me that I was on a path to church excommunication. Our current government allows the accused to stand and explain his case, and even the wicked Roman government gave Jesus an opportunity to face his accusers.
In my case, no one told me (not even PASTOR1 and PASTOR3) that I was getting kicked out – I came home to a certified letter. Treating a man this way might fit your protocols but from the outside it has the appearance of a lack of true pastoral care and instead a case of “I gotcha”.
1. Why wasn’t I given a chance to meet with the elders to discuss my progress / lack of progress?
2. Why was I kicked out via a certified letter instead of after a kind meeting with the elders?
3. Why was I kicked out of counseling and the church instead of the counseling department saying “MAN1 you are not doing as well as we wished so we are going to have you start meeting with the elders to see if they can reach your conscience. We want you to be concerned about where you are at.”
In the letter kicking me out I was accused of dishonesty. After I received that letter, I emailed PASTOR1 and PASTOR3 asking them to tell me when I was dishonest. They never answered me.
4. Is it fair to throw accusations against a man and then when he asks you for specifics to stonewall him and not answer him? Is that the spirit and attitude of Christ towards his own? (I later remembered one time when I was misleading to them in counseling, and I later remembered that and told PASTOR1 and PASTOR3 that via email – but being dishonest one time certainly does not fit a pattern of dishonesty. I’m not justifying it, I apologized once I remembered it – but accusing a man of being dishonest because of one time is not fair or right.)
5. When Jesus was smitten by an officer during his “trial”, Jesus said “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” John 18:23. Elsewhere it says of Jesus “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” 1 Peter 2:23. So if Jesus can ask for proof, and yet be considered to having patiently suffered, can’t I do the same? Can’t I ask for proof?
In your letter kicking me out, you indicate the way back is through the counseling office. As a reminder, I was kicked out of counseling when I didn’t want to get kicked out and as I admitted that I had more to work on.
6. It does seem merely abusive to kick a man out of counseling who wants to stay in counseling, then kick him out of the church and tell him the way back to the church is through the counseling office that you just kicked him out of.
As mentioned above no one told me I was getting kicked out of the church – I found out through a certified letter. However, it has come to my attention that PASTOR1, PASTOR3 and WIFES COUNSELOR met with my wife and family to tell them I was getting kicked out of the church.
7. Why would the pastors and counselors meet with my wife and kids but not with me? I can assure you that men in Christendom would find great fault with this.
8. Why couldn’t I just be the one to communicate with my own family? I’m sure men in the congregation would be quite upset to think that the pastors and counselors think they have direct access to other men’s wives and kids in such a manner – that your pastors don’t consider it necessary to talk with the head of house and let him communicate, but can communicate directly to the man’s family apart from him.
9. You accuse me of being a “hero” of taking things into my own hands in my own strength. Seems like you are doing something similar in ensuring YOUR message is heard in YOUR way. With all due respect, it remains my family, not yours.
ELDER ONE in your letter you indicate that I coursed through counseling in an “off and on” modality.
10. At the time you wrote that letter, are you aware the only reason why I quit counseling for a while was because PASTOR1 lied to me about what he communicated to my kids? That was stumbling to me and so I left the counseling program (which I admitted later that I should not have done [leave], and for which PASTOR1 apologized for).
11. Do you realize that once I came back, I was commended for my faithful attendance in counseling? I don’t think I missed one session even when PASTOR1 and PASTOR3 would miss due to traveling, etc.
12. Do you consider your description of my counseling attendance faithful and accurate?
As part of the Restoration Plan you wanted me to tithe. I said I was tithing. You then demanded bank records and receipts to prove I was tithing. I complied and provided that. Once you saw how I gave, that I don’t give all of my tithe to the / a church you said you viewed this type of giving as philanthropy and it is further proof that the authority of the church isn’t high for me. I am not a member of ABC CHURCH and never made a commitment that I would tithe.
13. What right do you have to demand that I tithe?
14. What right do you have to demand to see my bank records and receipts of who I give money to? Jesus said we should not let the right hand know what the left hand is doing. What right do you have to supersede his teaching?
15. What right do you have to question who I give the money to?
16. How is this important when what is at questions is the restoration of a marriage and a family? Romans 14 makes it clear that we are to have grace with one another in non-essential Christian beliefs, of which tithing would definitely be one of.
17. Please document the authority you think you have over people who attend your church but are not members. I am not a member and never was.
Suggesting the Church has Precedence in a Marriage
In Step 3 of your Restoration Plan communication you said:
“To recognize that the restoration of your marriage is secondary to your own personal holiness, repentance, and transformation. This process has nothing to do with the restoration of your marriage any time soon. Rather, it would focus on a personal recognition of your own sinfulness (1 Timothy 1:15) and making that the primary focus of this process.”
18. By saying “To recognize that the restoration of your marriage is secondary to your own personal holiness, repentance, and transformation.” you are explicitly indicting that the covenant of marriage is to be honored only after personal holiness, etc. That is wrong teaching because otherwise saved spouses would have no obligation in their marriage to an unsaved spouse. I had long ago repented of my harsh treatment of WIFE, though there was more to learn for sure, and PASTOR1 said in early December 2018 that it was time to get the marriage back together. WIFE would be safe to be with me. The layering on requirements of holiness, etc. – those are things God does not require for his covenant to be honored. And inasmuch as, presumably, you brothers were to be the judge of my holiness this effectively puts the covenant of marriage in the hands of mere men. I’m confident God does not approve.
19. By saying “This process has nothing to do with the restoration of your marriage any time soon.” You are indicating the restoration of the marriage comes after the church and it indicates you brothers would be the ones to be involved in the restoration of my marriage. That is lording over God’s heritage in taking a role God had no intention of elders taking in overseeing another man’s covenantal marriage.
The Manila Folder
When WIFE left me, she gave a manila folder full of printouts condemning me. I do not know all that is in there, and I have never been offered a chance to review that manila folder on my own, to see its contents and to apologize to WIFE for what she is presenting.
The information was given straight to the counseling department without giving me a chance to review it first. Of course the material may have originated with me in the form of mean texts, etc. so in that sense I would have seen the material at some point.
During counseling PASTOR1 wanted to review the contents of that folder without ever offering me a chance to first review it privately and apologize on my own. I refused to do that. As part of the restoration plan the elders said they wanted to review the contents of that manila folders with me and you tied it to recognizing elder authority and proactively seeking accountability. Even though I had no idea what that meant I agreed to do it in an effort to get back into the church and save my marriage. After I agreed, the elders changed the requirement to a review of the contents with my younger brother, WIFE’s older brother, and a close friend of mine who was going to be my accountability partner. I agreed to do this as well but ABC CHURCH never offered a date to arrange this.
20. Is it fair to make a man review things which he is no doubt ashamed of without first giving him the chance to review it on his own in the presence of the Lord and weigh his response that way?
21. Wouldn’t the fair approach be for me to review the contents and then I could apologize to WIFE for those items directly? And then if there were things in the folder that I did NOT think were wrong, then those items could become items to discuss in counseling or with elders?
22. What does it mean to recognize the elders’ authority by exposing my sins to them? This seems to smack a bit of popery.
23. How is it proactively seeking authority when I am forced to expose my sins to others against my will?
24. Was that fair to try and force me to review detailed sins with my friend and close family? This seems abusive and using the principle of shame. As we shall see later in the Instagram situation, ABC CHURCH was deeply offended when I came DIRECTLY to PASTOR1 about his sins and made no threat to tell others.
25. I am OK with broad “faults” being discussed in terms of accountability – but detailed sins, one at a time, makes it seem the goal is to shame me and embarrass me - not to heal me. Do you agree?
26. Whereas ungodly men glory in their shame and sin, it is the stance of repentant men to hate their sin and having it brought before them is deeply distressing. The repentant David said to God “Hide thy face from my sins” (Psalm 51:9). If that was David’s stance with God what right do elders and pastors have to push a man’s face in his sins – especially when he has not had a chance to see the documents himself first?
27. Do you suppose this would aid and abet the devil in his efforts as the accuser of the brethren?
28. I put together a contemplation letter that PASTOR1 said was one of the best PASTOR1 had ever seen. What changed since then? Why is it now necessary to go back even further?
The Instagram Situation
Around April 2019 I became aware that PASTOR1 was following sexually inappropriate accounts on Instagram. PASTOR1’s settings were such that anyone who followed PASTOR1 on Instagram could see all of the accounts that PASTOR1 followed. I put together a document outlining maybe 7 to 10 accounts and I included images from those accounts that would not be appropriate for a man in his position (or really any man) to consume.
I went directly to PASTOR1 about it and I made no threats to disclose to anyone else. At the time, PASTOR1 thanked me and admitted his shortcomings, admitted that those accounts were followed on purpose, admitted they contain sexually inappropriate content (but that he chose to “ignore” the content”). PASTOR1 also admitted he followed a certain YouTube sailing channel for a few years and that’s why he decided to follow some of the Instagram accounts.
As documented in the “Step 7” document, and as proven by email, I made no threats to expose PASTOR1 – I went directly to him via email and the email record will prove it. As part of the restoration plan the elders asked me four questions. Two of the questions are quite unusual, and one of the questions is concerning. The question of greatest concern is question number three:
“3. Putting yourself in the shoes of Pastor PASTOR1, what do you think his experience was regarding the document that you created?”
29. Why are you concerned about PASTOR1’s experience being caught? In counseling we reviewed Saul’s lack of obedience in refusing to smite the Amalekites. When he was confronted by Samuel, Saul became concerned about his own reputation in front of everyone and wanted his reputation kept up. We were taught in counseling that this was wrong – true repentance is humble and doesn’t worry about our reputation. Why is it different when one of your pastors is caught sinning?
30. When PASTOR1 got a manila folder of my sins from WIFE, did PASTOR1 ask WIFE to put herself in MAN1’s shoes and consider MAN1’s experience in having his sins brought to light? If PASTOR1 did not, why not?
31. What do you think the opinion of surrounding churches and Christian men would be when they realize admonishing a leader at ABC CHURCH makes THAT MAN a target from leadership? Don’t you think this will create an environment of “ruling” that is forbidden by God.
On May 15, 2019 date PASTOR1 sent a letter to MAN1 and said the following:
“I joyfully submit to their wisdom, oversight and protection which has proven to be extremely valuable given your recent accusations against me. Biblically speaking, you are a dangerous man for me to counsel.”
In that email PASTOR1 cc’d two other members of MAN1 life group at the time.
32. Is it appropriate for elders to protect a pastor caught in sin?
33. How do the elders think men would feel who have been disciplined for involvement in smut when they find out PASTOR1 was “protected” by the elders with no apparent change in job duties or public rebuke?
34. How do the elders think men would feel whose wives and daughters attend ABC CHURCH counseling and they find out the lead counselor (who has access to all files, including those of wives and daughters) is involved in smut and that the elders did nothing but protect him?
35. Does ABC CHURCH think they missed an opportunity to take a public stand against smut by not doing more publicly against PASTOR1? What about those others who also knew about the accounts PASTOR1 followed – do you think they have been stumbled into thinking that since PASTOR1 consumed a little smut it is OK for them to as well? Remember – PASTOR1’s settings were such that his accounts were fairly public.
Another question you had regarding the Instagram situation and the associated document was “4..List all the sins that were exposed in you through the creation of the document. What have
you done in response to your actions?”
36. Another who is familiar with your question called it “gaslighting” – making me question myself as though I did something wrong which has no appearance of wrong. You are assuming it was sinful for me to create that document and yet you refuse to tell me what my sin is. This feels like mental coercion.
37. Even if it was sinful, as elders you have no right to demand confession of individual sins or the revealing of sins to you. That is the job of the Spirit of God to bring to conviction of sin, and it is the role of Jesus as our Advocate before the Father to present us faultless before him. You, as mere men wanting to know about specific sins being revealed to me is outside the scope of your role as elders.
Also with regards to the Instagram situation, you asked me the following question: “2. How does the action of creating the document fit into the theme that Pastor PASTOR3 has confronted you on from the beginning of counseling, namely that you are the hero?”
38. Is it appropriate to accuse me of being a hero because I put together a document showing a man his public sins? Was Jesus a “hero” for publicly confronting the Pharisees in their hypocrisy? Was Paul a “hero” for publicly confronting Peter in his hypocrisy? I went to PASTOR1 privately.
39. Accusing me of me making myself a “hero” because I confront a man in his sin could be construed as an effort to silence all criticism. That could be a way to avoid a source of correction for the church or counseling office. How do you brothers feel this could be interpreted by others?
Again, I simply went to PASTOR1 about his PUBLIC actions and I should not be punished for going straight to PASTOR1 about PASTOR1’s sins. I cannot emphasize enough that as people learn about this – it is bewildering to think ABC CHURCH got mad at me and ALSO “protected” PASTOR1. It would seem ABC CHURCH lost a real opportunity here.
This would be a good time to step back and remember something: The only reason why this is even being talked about is because the elders made this Instagram situation part of my Restoration Plan and inasmuch as I failed in the Restoration plan I now tell people about my experience and that includes the Instagram situation – and that is why this information is now circling. I am not a gossip; I trust by God’s grace. In fact, I went on an overnight fishing trip with FRIEND1 after this Instagram situation and I did not tell him about it at all – the only thing I said was “I have a document that can do more harm than good.” Or something like that. FRIEND1 did not know what the document contained, and he did not know it involved PASTOR1. I trust by God’s grace I am not a gossip and seek to be careful in personal matters – however I do not feel churches and Christian leaders require the same level of discretion. Jesus openly rebuked the Pharisees, etc. So, while I have no immediate plans to disseminate this information, by no means do I feel compelled to hide it or protect it. The man who was mistreated in 2 Corinthians apparently was telling others about it (and thus the Apostle Paul found out about it) and the Apostle made to condemnation of the man at all for discussing how he was being treated.
In an email to me, PASTOR2 said that I explained the Instagram situation and left no room to be told otherwise.
However, the written record shows otherwise.
· In an email to PASTOR1 I said explicitly “If I have done anything wrong please tell me”
· Additionally in an email to elders, I said much the same
· Further, in my Step 7 document I closed by saying the following:
“As I mentioned to PASTOR1 in a previous email, if I have sinned in any way against him in how I handled it I would like to know.
I can tell this is a rather sensitive issue for you brothers, and I trust this puts you at ease. If it does not, please tell me and I will reach out to a wider circle of pastors to get insights to see what I did wrong. I am about 1 degree of separation from quite a few pastors in the Eastside but due to the delicate nature of this situation I would prefer to not use them for advice. However, as I indicated in earlier communications, this separation has been a deep, deep trial and (with the Lord’s help) I want to get the full blessing from it. The cost has been too steep to not get all the blessing possible.”
40. Inasmuch as I have said on 3 separate occasions that I wanted to be told if I sinned, is it honest to say what you said PASTOR2? The written record reflects I asked three times.
41. Further, the Word of God says in Matthew 18 that if someone sins against you it is your responsibility to go tell them their fault alone. Why are you not following this Scripture and telling me my fault?
42. In SENIOR PASTOR talk on forgiveness he said, “the one who knows goes”. In other words if you know of a sin you are the one to go. Why do you preach one thing on the pulpit but then practice something different?
Refusing to Offer Counseling
In an email from PASTOR2 he said that because of the Instagram situation and my unwillingness to apologize (which seems inaccurate), that the relationship was broken and thus you would not be able to offer counsel.
While I am happy to get counsel elsewhere, taking this position will likely make people wonder the basis upon which you offer counsel.
43. I was not antagonistic -- – I offered three times to be told what I did wrong. Why would you not take the pastoral posture of patiently correcting with gentleness [Gal. 6:1;2 Tim 2:25] – even if I was antagonistic.
44. Where would we be if God waited to help us until we satisfied His standard of “relationship”? While we were yet enemies Christ died for the ungodly.
The goals of coming to you and seeking resolution on these items are as follows:
1. I want to be treated fairly with realistic expectations of Christian behavior. I know that holy living is always the goal, but we will never be sin free.
2. I want to be treated without partiality. While you protect sin in your pastors you seem to be virtually combing through my life looking for sin (“List all the sins that were exposed in you….”). That seems prejudicial and out of balance --- James admonishes that we should be impartial in our judgments.
3. I don’t want to be “lorded” over. I am XX years old and have never had trouble with a church or been accused of not respecting church authority before being at ABC CHURCH. I have attached a document that outlines my understanding of church authority, and it has been reviewed by others and will continue to be reviewed. You do not have the right to administer or comb through my life or my marriage.
4. I desire apologies and the healing of wounds where they exist, or a clearing of my misunderstandings of behavior where those exist.
Again, if I and my counselors / advisors believe your response is insufficient or inaccurate, I will treat the question as unanswered and will keep it in the document as it progresses through the iterations outlined in Matthew 18. Please answer each questions / bullet point specifically and as a standalone answer.
I hope this document serves a great purpose of bringing about a good result. However, if I don’t receive a full written response after 7 days, or if the written responses I receive are unacceptable, I will proceed with 2 or 3 other brothers, etc.
– END OF DOCUMENT –