Mea Culpa

A brother writes that I “have gotten out of hand” and bids me “delete some of my fleshly responses.” I have gone through the site and tried to cull out the flesh where I could spot it, but this still does not change my basic response to the CBs.

I received an email from a brother who took me to task on my notes here on one publication in the Lord’s recovery. Of course, each person is entitled to his or her view on any matter, so I do not deny him the right to take issue with me. He has given me permission to reproduce the first paragraph of his email to me. He has not given me express permission to use his name, so I won’t reproduce that. However, let’s all agree that he is not anonymous and that I have simply chosen not to give his name. Fair enough. Here is his first paragraph:

I’ve read all your materials on and you really have gotten out of hand. Please look your material over and delete some of your fleshly responses to these brothers who are trying to understand what is going on. I can’t spend a lot of time telling you who I am here at work but you need to know that I have been in the Lord’s recovery under Brother Lee’s ministry since 1979. I’ve gone thru a lot of storms myself, and this one is absolutely the worst. Please don’t sit in CA pretending to understand all that is going on by a few notes from these CBs.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I have gone through my notes here and tried to expunge the flesh. (That will account for any minor changes you may find in the postings since you last read them.) But, to be honest, I am not sure I am qualified to self-expunge. I try my best not to be in the flesh, especially in matters as grave as this, but I cannot say that I am altogether unbiased in self-judgment. Who is? At any rate, I have made an attempt at it, as I told the brother I would.

In his email the brother further mentions some abuses by some who agree with one publication in the Lord’s recovery. It would not be proper for me to reproduce his claims here because they are indirect and should be made by the persons directly involved. But in principle, such abuses, if true, are wrong regardless of the stand one takes on publications among us. As a whole, the local churches do not exclude others from their fellowship based on the matter of publications. If individuals among us, on either side of the controversy, do this, that is lamentable, but we need not latch on to the faults of some in order to impugn the virtues of most.

I close with my reply to my brother critic, which I expect he will not deny me the right to reproduce here. Again, I withhold his name.

Dear […],

Thanks for you email. I will consider my responses and see where they need toning down.

My firm conviction is that no one should be excluded from fellowship among the churches over the issue of one publication. I feel that that sort of thing is wrong. This is also stated clearly in the co-workers’ statement "Publication Work in the Lord’s Recovery." I expect that you would agree with this:

"The one publication should not become the basis of our accepting or rejecting any persons in the communion of faith or in the fellowship of the churches; it should not be insisted on as an item of the faith. If any are not inclined to be restricted in one publication, these ones are still our brothers; they are still in the genuine local churches."

If anyone is doing that, they need to be helped to see that this is improper and to quit causing problems in the churches this way. I believe there is a clear way for this to be handled according to 1 Timothy 5:19, if this brother is an elder. But this is not something that I have the standing or function to attend to. Of course, if he is not an elder, the matter is completely different, as you will realize.

But I also feel that differing ministry publications are wrong, and there have been similar problems because some would not agree with these differing publications. There seems to be excesses by some on both sides of the matter. But the excesses are not the norm, and they do not characterize the great majority of saints in the Lord’s recovery. Further, the excesses do not annul the general principles that should be respected.

I will gladly take your admonition, […], and look more closely at my site.


Your brother,