Letter to Josh from Danny (December 24, 2014)

Hey Josh,

     I haven't written you on here in a while, so I thought I would remedy that today. I know that I already texted you on Monday to tell you that I went skiing with your Dad, but I wanted to share a post that I wrote for my personal blog about the experience. I always remember how when we were younger you would talk about skiing with your family, and I was always jealous of it. I was never able to join you guys because of how much it cost, but I always wanted to go. I so wish that you had been there on Sunday to help your Dad teach me how to ski. Even though I probably would have gotten mad at you for not being patient with my learner status, I still would have appreciated having you help me learn something that was a part of your life. I pray for you whenever I think of you and hope that one day we can be friends again. If you are interested in reading about my experience, here is the link: http://mostboringpersonatthetable.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/shouldnt-we-start-on-the-bunny-hill/

Danny

Letter to All the Christians, In and Out of Calvary Temple

     I never knew that Christians would despise victims ("you were deceived and trusted a person who was not what they pretend to be").  I knew a few Christians who despised bad Christians, those overtaken in sin....the older brother looking down on the younger foolish brother type. We have experienced both.  I have cried so many tears at the Christians who blame me for being duped by a pastor professing godliness.  And I have been frustrated by Christians who despise my husband for doing what he did in obedience to the pastors orders. Neither action is Christlike. Jesus trusted his disciples, including Judas, he loved and spent time with all sorts of people. He came to those who had sinned, offering hope. He never abandoned any of his faithless, foolish, harsh followers. He rebuked them, He did not shun them. He let them argue with him, He was loving and patient, and truthful.
     I always thought He was our example in this world. I have not seen much of it among the many believers I know. It has been a sad testimony of the love of God in his people. Christians have forgotten they are sinners saved by Christ....not saved by their own works of righteousness. There is none righteous, no not one...all have sinned and fallen short of the goodness of God. The majority of victims are children, and then the elderly, and then women.....it is because they are more vulnerable, therefore prone to exploitation. Paul warned the church of Christ to beware of those who would exploit for their own gain.....he does not blame the church for being exploited, but does warn those who know about it, and do nothing to warn, help, save, protect the church. If there is evil in the church it is not that the devil is trying to hurt us, we know he hates Christians and is trying to destroy us. If there is evil in the church, it is when those called on to protect us, actually protect and facilitate the abusers of Gods people....all in Gods name. Lending confusion and injustice to the pain and fear already at hand. The best story describing this, is the one Jesus told of the Good Samaritan. A man is overcome by thieves, men pass by him alternately blaming or ignoring him for his plight. The true neighbor did one thing only, he restored the man who was nearly destroyed by bad men. He enabled him to live again. He used his own resources (time, vehicle, provisions, medicine, money, connections). He did not sermonize him into living, or reprove him for traveling alone or on that road. He did not ask anything in return....gratitude, recompense, commitment, relationship. He just saved the man from probable death.
     Jesus likened this man to how we as his followers, are to behave. I cannot do much anymore, it is a fraction of what I used to do in fact. But with the little strength which remains this is what I try to do for those who have been destroyed by this church and the men who run it. And if they are ever in need, I will try to give as much succor to them, as the others who have come. And they do come. Wondering if a good God doesn't want them, wondering if Christians are supposed to devour their families, wondering if Gods word is true, even when used by really sneaky men to take what does not belong to them. Wondering if God is true, why He allowed His Word to be used by bad men to deceive, wondering why God didn't or doesn't stop it.
     And, with sadness and compassion, telling them yes, God is true. God hates what is being done to them, in his name to destroy and devour and confuse.  And God will judge it one day soon.  And yes, you are valuable and wanted and loved by God....always. And that is why He will not give up on us until the very end. He will pour in the oil and the wine, the kind that restores my soul....He found us bleeding and dying on the Jericho road, and He pours in the oil and the wine.  Jesus is a victims only hope, and He is the only hope for the perpetrators as well. Loving in person, hugging, listening, buying a special gift, a card, a walk, memory of good things, crying when they cry, being pleased to be in their presence, not ashamed of them, not embarrassed by them, not hiding from them, avoiding being with them. Going to them when they stop going out, reaching in. Certainly not covering sin- being honest, truthful, longsuffering. Using my diminished resources to give them strength for one more day to know Gods love and mercy, whether for the first time, or renewed like Peter. Their lives and our lives are all precious. God is not willing that any should perish.

So why are you?