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Questions to ask...

This is part of an email sent on 19 December to the new church secretary....

....I ask you to reflect on this....


In the Spring, failure to observe Matt 18:15 together with, I grant, poorly chosen words on my part in an address led to unwarranted concerns about my beliefs. You were asked to lead a discussion with me on May 30th: you did so with the careful preparation and fair-mindedness that I’ve come to expect from you in the 30 years ... I have known you, and concluded there was no problem with my beliefs that would preclude my full participation in the meeting. After learning of your conclusion, the Secretary concealed the information from the EMM, so securing endorsement for a ban on my service.


I shall be asking the ecclesia to consider whether that was an honest, fair and Christlike thing to do.

In good faith I spent many hours in discussion and eventually, in October, most of the ABs agreed that I should resume duties, I having recognised a need to be more sensitive about others’ beliefs, and others having learned why the Master’s command in Matthew 18:15 is so important. You expected the ABs’ recommendation to be endorsed at the Nov 4 EMM. So did I. In the event, the vote was split. The reason? Because the Secretary abandoned the recommendation of his own colleagues; three days before an EMM when he knew I wouldn’t be present to defend myself, circulated a seven page tirade attacking me and containing grossly misleading information; then made a lengthy speech against me just before people voted.


I shall be asking the ecclesia to consider whether that was an honest, fair and Christlike thing to do.

After the tied vote, you said we couldn’t ask the meeting to vote again. Yet five weeks later the ABs made a new recommendation diametrically opposed to the previous one - and called a vote! Can you wonder why this lacks credibility? Moreover, the committee failed to talk to me, pray with me, seek a solution we could all accept – which would have been the right way to act after the tie; failed to give me a chance to put my case, only handing me the papers after they’d been posted; misused the Sunday platform to campaign for a vote in their favour; and resorted to an old and underhand political trick of sandwiching a small contentious item between larger amounts of text with which no-one could reasonably disagree.


I shall be asking the ecclesia to consider whether those were honest, fair and Christlike things to do.

....., the right thing to do now is to go back to what we agreed in October as a basis for reconciliation. I came to ....... house yesterday to seek and offer reconciliation, not least with those who have wrecked much of my and my family’s life for the past nine months. I did that not because it’s easy but because it’s an obligation to Christ. It was thrown back in my face. You may say ‘the latest vote is binding: we can’t go and ask the meeting to vote again’. Sorry, but that’s exactly what you’ve just done between Nov 4 and last week.

..............

I make no claim to be blameless, but over recent months if there’s been one individual stirring up most discord among brothers over my alleged beliefs, it isn’t me. You and ....... said the ecclesia, not I, was your priority. Agreed. If you have affection for the ecclesia and the Christadelphian brotherhood at their best, and I know you do – as do I – then please, face up to the real problem. Do not allow more names to be added to that list above. Let’s achieve reconciliation as John 17 requires of us; tolerate one another; and leave the judging to the one who is best qualified of all to exercise it.


Love in Him


David

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