As a reminder, there were three letters sent to this church: two to a pastor and one to the elders. The letters will be released first section by section so that historical background and biblical analysis can be done on each section. Later the letters will be released in their (redacted) entirety so they can be read straight through.
Finally, all three letters will be released unredacted.
If you have not already done so, read the Home Page, Introduction and Overview to have a firm understanding of what this website is currently about.
Home Page - www.thechurchdoor.com
Introduction - www.thechurchdoor.com/intro
Overview - www.thechurchdoor.com/overview
SECTION ONE FROM LETTER ONE, WRITTEN TO PASTOR1
Telling My Kids to Leave Me
As has been discussed many times, I disagree with you telling my kids to leave me. Though I was not present, based on conversations with those that were there, including you, you gave my kids (including 2 minors at the time) “wisdom points” to leave me because of “sin patterns” I had. You did not tell the kids to leave me because they were unsafe with me, etc. – but rather you were using them as a tool to discipline me. It turns out you were dishonest with me about this, i.e. not forthcoming that you were the one to essentially suggesting that my kids leave me. Once I found out you lied to me, I decided to quit taking your counsel. I later realized I needed to accept your apology and I returned to counseling at Canyon Hills.
Maybe a month after the original day of separation, you did reach out to the kids and tell them they could / should be in contact; and then several months after that I believe you did the same thing again. However, to this day – about a year and a half later - I am still not in contact with two of my kids, and one of my kids I only text once per day. The damage has been astronomical, and the consequences could be lifelong for my children and my family.
I am not aware of any Scripture where God condones children being used to “teach” their dad a lesson, but in contrast the first commandment with promise is to honor your father and mother. You have misled my children into misunderstanding what honoring their father means, and this could have grave consequences in their own lives as they ignore the commandment of God. It is not honoring your father to cut him off because of sins. The lesson of Noah teaches us, does it not? Considering that Ham “only” told others of Noah’s sins – and God came down hard on him – can you imagine how distasteful it would have been had Ham actually tried to teach Noah a lesson by cutting him off?
The relationship of children to their parents is one that is closely guarded by Scripture, even being one of the 10 commandments, and for you to interfere in that is a grave sin against me, my family, and God himself who is the originator of the family unit. In Isaiah 45:10 it says, “Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou?” That seems like a pretty calm thing to say to us, but to God it was a woeful statement for a child to confront his father like that. How much more for a child to cut his father off in order to teach him a lesson?
Your actions are widely condemned, as they should be, by Christian men and I believe that for the health of my family, yourself, your family, Canyon Hills and the counseling department you need to
1. Apologize to me, in writing, for ever having done that.
2. Apologize to my children, in writing, telling them you were wrong. Please send me the letter first for review.
3. Do everything in your power,every day, to right the wrong until I am in full contact with all of my kids.
I cannot overstate how distasteful what you did is to myself, and other Christian men. I suspect that Satan was happy to see a Christian family torn apart – especially at the hands of a man who has the title of pastor.
The AGGRIEVED was not good to his wife (nothing physical), who was a gift from God. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22
PASTOR1 told the wife to leave him without first attempting to structure any sort of reconciliation efforts between the two. This happened in the middle of an ordinary workday without the husband having any notice at all. Additionally, PASTOR1 told the man’s 4 children (at the time their ages were 20, 18, 17 and 15) to leave the AGGRIEVED as well. As we will learn later, this was apparently done in order to teach the dad a lesson and PASTOR1 did this by giving the kids “wisdom points” to consider in leaving their dad.
So….one day the dad went to work in the morning having a wife and 4 kids living at home and during that day the wife and 4 kids all left without saying even “Goodbye” or providing any sort of notice. The pain of this moment will live in infamy for this man.
For the record: the 4 children were safe, and while the AGGRIEVED was an imperfect father he was generally known to be a good, devoted father and his children were all socially well balanced, seeking after the Lord and leading “successful” lives. They were not being mistreated or in any sort of danger. In fact, the two adult children who were attending college were still living at home! (Which is very rare for college aged children and serves as sufficient proof that homelife was good enough).
Make no mistake: the children were doing well (overall) but PASTOR1 decided to use them as a tool against their father. (It’s one thing for ungodly courts and the like to do this – but a Christian “pastor”?)
The AGGRIEVED was absolutely distraught when he found out that not only had his wife left him with no warning or goodbye, but that the four children had also moved out, en masse, in one day. (Don’t you say goodbye to a grocery store clerk that you have “known” for 2 minutes? How about your father? What evil advice. “Beware of evil workers.” Philippians 3:2)
No goodbye, or warning, or a chance for the AGGRIEVED to counteract the poison of PASTOR1. All done in the middle of the day when the father was not around. Just like the verse developed in the attached blog post - https://www.thechurchdoor.com/post/wolves-and-predators - this man set aside the authority of the father so that he could enter the household structure and subjugate the woman and children to his wishes (more on that later). What cowardice for a man to give himself such access by virtue of having a job as a “pastor”, but years later when letters are written by the AGGRIEVED this man hides behind the elders and refuses questions. Going after women and children is easy; answering to a man is not.
In fact, not only did the wife and kids leave with no warning – they cut off all communication with their husband and father. The AGGRIEVED was now persona non grata, due to the “wisdom points” of this man. (Now some may be critical of the wife, but AGGRIEVED is not – he places the blame squarely on this insidious and predatory man.)
Picking the story line back up, as we mentioned the AGGRIEVED was distraught at losing his precious family and PASTOR1 never really told AGGRIEVED why the kids were not talking with him. It turns out that PASTOR1 was dishonest with AGGRIEVED about why the kids were not in contact with him, and here’s how that surfaced.
About 4 weeks after AGGRIEVED agreed to take counseling from PASTOR1, the pastor told the kids they could / should be in contact with their dad. (What insidiousness for a man to give himself such a lording position over another man’s family. As we will see in the next blog post on this site, this pastor did a similar thing towards the wife.)
AGGRIEVED was so excited to potentially be back in contact with his precious kids and was eventually able to schedule a telephone with his oldest son. What a joy for this man! On the day of the first scheduled phone call with the eldest son AGGRIEVED mentioned to PASTOR1 that he was going to be in contact with his son. At that point PASTOR1 said something along the lines of “I have something to tell you and it might sound a little ominous” and AGGRIEVED said that was fine to go ahead and tell him.
It was only then, about 4 weeks after the kids’ departure, that PASTOR1 admitted to the AGGRIEVED that he, the pastor, was the one to tell the kids to not be in contact with him (well….gave them “wisdom points” to consider)! As a reminder, up to this point, AGGRIEVED did not know why the kids were not in contact with him. So in other words, as soon as PASTOR1 knew that his evil act would be known - because AGGRIEVED would be in contact with his son for the first time in 4 weeks - then the pastor knew he could no longer hide his dishonesty and so admitted that he was the one to tell the kids to consider not being in contact, via his “wisdom points”. (Calling these “wisdom points” is intussusception of God’s definition of wisdom. If this PASTOR1 is so wise, why doesn’t he answer questions of the AGGRIEVED?)
And, sure enough, that night on the phone the eldest son confirmed that PASTOR1 had given the kids “wisdom points” about being in contact with their dad.
When AGGRIEVED processed that new information he then decided that he was not interested in receiving counseling from this pastor and so he quit taking counseling for a while in order to know what steps to take next. After PASTOR1 heard that AGGRIEVED was skipping some counseling sessions the pastor wrote an email to the AGGRIEVED which contained the following, verbatim:
On 9/13/2018 PASTOR1 wrote:
“Finally, I do have to say that it does not look good that you have cancelled for today and did not do the homework. We relaxed the no contact for the kids, which is something that you have been asking for, and the very next week you cancel counseling. While I cannot conclude with 100% certainty, it is easy to come to the conclusion that you have gotten what you have wanted and now are not as willing to do what is asked of you. Scripture calls me to believe the best about my brother and at the same time be wise as a serpent…..”
Let those words sink in: “We relaxed the no contact for the kids”. This pastor was now openly admitting, in writing, his role in lording over the kids in controlling whether they are in contact with their father!
But this also establishes another very important point: this proves that the kids were not in a no-contact state because the father was abusive; it also shows that the no-contact was not being lifted because the father had finished some grand counseling sessions or reached a certain spiritual maturity; no, they “relaxed” the no-contact order FOR NO OTHER REASON OTHER THAN THEIR LEVERAGE HAD WORKED TO GET THE FATHER TO ATTEND COUNSELING.
Eventually the AGGRIEVED confronted PASTOR1 about the pastor’s dishonesty, and the pastor apologized. AGGRIEVED did indeed leave counseling from PASTOR1, but came back several months later as he realized he needed to forgive and move on.
Perhaps there is no clearer example of a spiritual wolf than this man, and no truer fulfillment of this verse:
“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Acts 20:29
If you have not already done so please read the blog post on this website about spiritual wolves.
The sin of this pastor is so extreme that it hardly needs analyzing. However, this rough start to the counseling and church process truly exposed the launching point from which these men operate. It, unfortunately, showed how these men view themselves and their authority and how they hold the truths of God.
THIS WAS A SIN AGAINST GOD
First and foremost, all sin is against God. David could say in Psalm 51 “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.” and the first place we must look to truly understand our sin is to understand how it has been a sin against God.
God established marriage and the family unit and therefore it must adhere to the structure HE established, whether the father / husband wants to take counseling from a given pastor or not.
When you are kids and you “play house” you have every right to set the rules and decide who is dad, who is mom, who the kids are, etc. You get to decide the bedtimes for the kids, and you are free to reshape the order of the “family” as you see fit. (“OK, now I’m the mommy!”) You are playing house. It’s a house you created and therefore have free rein.
However, real families are not so. Real families are created by God himself. (This is something progressive governments know keenly, and is why they seek to remove God from the conversation – because they are seeking to become the “god” and thus in control of what defines a family…but I digress.) God is the one who joins a man and wife in marriage (“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:9), and that union is the basis for creating children. Families, ultimately, belong to God and are to be an honor to him.
So what type of haughtiness and self-importance does it take for a man, with the title of pastor, to think he knows more than God himself and haughtily take it upon himself to separate a family?
Remember, this separation of the kids was not done for their safety but rather because this man, in his “wisdom points”, thought God was shortsighted and needed to be overruled. This man usurped God by destroying a family God had created.
A SIN AGAINST THE FATHER
Next, this is a serious sin against the AGGRIEVED. The parent-child relationship is a special relationship that is to be tightly guarded – so important in fact that one of God’s 10 commandments is about this relationship! Remember that. Of all the millions of things God could have made rules about, he chose one of his 10 commandments to be for children to honor their father and mother! And yet this man, with the title of pastor, overrode God’s commandments so this PASTOR1 could get his way in leveraging the AGGRIEVED into counseling.
What overreach to create a wedge between a father and child….and then think that he - as a mere man - has the right to “relax” a no-contact order (which he created!) because apparently now, the AGGRIEVED, is following HIS commands.
Tragically, it has been over two years and two of the 4 children are still not in contact with their father, much to his heartache and continuous devastation! No household is perfect and no father is perfect and it is the position of love to cover a multitude of sins, and it is the path of obedience to honor your father and mother BECAUSE it is hard. (If it was easy, if parents were easy to honor, why would God make a commandment out of it?) And so it’s easy for a pastor or others to find a wedge, a problem in the parent-child relationship, and use that as a means for separation and dishonor. But that is not God’s way; that is not honoring your parents. Inasmuch as parents and children are both fallen humans, there will always be fissures available to be exploited. It is God’s desire for those fissures to be healed and addressed between the parent and child – not exploited and not used as tools of leverage against a parent.
But, again, this separation of the kids was not done for their safety but rather because this man, in his “wisdom points”, thought God was shortsighted and needed to be overruled. This man usurped God by destroying a family God had created.
A SIN AGAINST THE CHILDREN
And finally, not least, this is a grave sin against the children.
As has already been expressed these children were well balanced, seeking Christ in their lives, and were not in danger.
Children need their father and their father certainly needs them! What a disservice to these precious souls to treat them as mere chattel – mere pawns in the hands of an insidious man.
What solemn, sinful “leadership” to lead others into sin by breaking one of God’s 10 commandments! Is God confused by this man’s overreach and sin? Of course not. His rules and his consequences still stand.
As we all know, an “offense”, in the New Testament language, is not hurting people’s feelings but rather stumbling them into sin. Consider what Jesus taught:
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:1 – 2
Unfortunately, leading younger ones in the faith into sin does not absolve them of the consequences of their actions – and no doubt that is why it is better for this offensive man to be ‘cast into the sea’. Not only does the offensive man misrepresent God, but he brings serious consequences into their life such that it were better these young in the faith never knew he, the pastor, lived.
Men, ask yourself this question: Would you want to attend a church like this? A church where a pastor thinks he can give himself access to your wife (keep reading this website) and your children, and tell your children to leave you? This is shocking behavior for any man taking on the name of Christ, but especially a pastor. This is a sinful act, on its own. But then for him to refuse to apologize, and for the elders to refuse to apologize, and then for the elders to not only let him keep his job but then protect him in it and tell the pastor to not answer the letters? Is that not even greater sin?
What possible rationale can there be for not responding to the questions above? Is it possible that they don’t see this as unacceptable behavior? In Jeremiah it says just as the leopard cannot change its spots, so those who are accustomed to evil cannot do good. (Jeremiah 13:23). A leopard makes no apologies for its spots….because it is a leopard. Is it possible these men see this behavior and are unable to see how evil it is, because just as leopards can’t change their spots so wolves can’t stop their ravening? You can only rightly apologize for your behavior if you see it as wrong.
Or, if they do in fact think it was wrong – why don’t they apologize? Why do they preach from the pulpit a humility they won’t show themselves? Why do they have exacting standards of others (keep reading on this website) but yet refuse to acknowledge their trespassing of one of God’s 10 commandments?
By telling this pastor to not answer grievances, have these elders by their tradition made the word of God of none effect?
Is this church even attempting to follow Christ if it costs them something, like humility?
It is our biblical duty to watch out for evil men. Apparently the Apostle Paul repeated this so often he almost seemed apologetic for mentioning it again:
“To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware….of evil workers.” Phillipians 3:1-2
Return to Letter One main overview page: www.thechurchdoor.com/letter-one