Rejected, Yet Rejoicing Vol 5 – Intemperate, Jealous, and Controlling
These ideas that I was intemperate, jealous, and controlling would be brought forth in the accusation meeting which made me of no reputation with the men of the fellowship. This meeting was held without an invitation to me as they explained their Titus 3 rebuke and rejection from the previous Thursday, June 11, 2015. If you recall, I had declined a nomination to eldership because I didn’t believe I was as moderate[temperate] with my natural and church family at that time as I should have been. I am a very direct and forthright person, who doesn’t usually mince words. I recognize this sometimes hurts peoples feelings, or causes offense. At the times that I have done these things, if I thought it were sin, I would confess them and ask for forgiveness. If a brother would approach me in a Matt 18 manner on something, if I were at fault I would confess, ask forgiveness, and repent of that. On the times that I approached brothers, about issues they were always worked out with the mercy Christ requires.
They mentioned that I was jealous of Tracy and didn’t respect his office as an elder. The elders stated this was a primary example of my ‘intemperance’. They referred to a time that they believed I was out of order in a particular meeting where I was questioning Tracy’s assertions he could give correction and counsel to young women and/or children in our fellowship by himself as long as he was visible to someone who could see what was happening. He even went so far as to say, that it’s possible that it may be that he would have to do it privately. I strongly objected to this as you will see in the following video from time 57:50 to : 1:11:11
Note at 59:20 he mentions a young woman, counseling her alone, as long as someone can see them..get some sisters…maybe the parents…if it’s a wife, maybe go to her husband…(he mentioned our 19 year old daughter Jenna multiple times) At 1:06:45 he mentions he can do it privately though it may give an appearance of evil because he can’t allow the sun to go down on this issue and he can’t guarantee every situation. He asserts, “…maybe parents…maybe husband…”, both my wife and I were astounded to say the least. The video speaks volumes and is a witness or record in and of itself of how I acted toward them at times.
About an hour after this meeting, Kevin called me over to Kerrigan’s home to meet with the elders. They admonished me about being ‘out of order’ in regards to Tracy and the teaching. Initially, I was not agreeing with them, but then realized in my spirit maybe some of the younger members may have seen our discussion as me being disrespectful toward Tracy and his position as an elder. I told them I wanted to apologize to the fellowship, which I did. Why would it be divisive to humble myself, even if it wasn’t clearly sin to them or me, and then apologize for this appearance?
I bring up this detail because during the accusation meeting against me as they pointed to this event as a primary example of my divisiveness. But, should we be bringing up past ‘transgressions’ as evidence of present or future sin? Should we do this, when the person isn’t there to answer for himself? This kind of fruit is exactly why their views of Matt 18 are tenuous at best and schismatic at worst. I was very firm on a godly position about our children which made Tracy and Kevin uncomfortable in the way I addressed it and them during Tracy’s teaching.
A second charge brought about my divisiveness arose from a wedding planning meeting. Previously, Joshua and Jenna planned that Kerrigan and Kevin would do the wedding ceremony to which we were agreeable. Then Joshua arranged another planning meeting which was attended by Kevin, Josh Lovell, me, and my wife. It was during that meeting that the idea that Tracy would be part of the wedding ceremony officiating in some capacity was proposed by Kevin. We objected as we thought it was unnecessary and the young couple had already planned who they wanted. Kevin’s response was, “What would it look like if Tracy wasn’t part of the ceremony? What would people say, wouldn’t they have questions?” We objected to that as well as not being a good reason to include him. Appearances are not a prerequisite for determining how we should proceed in a matter. Kevin then brought up that this was really an overseer/elder decision to which we objected as well. I blurted out that I had refused to be an elder. Admittedly, I definitely could have said this in a more tactful manner. Kevin and I went outside to which he admonished me about that. I still was not changing my mind about the issue of Tracy doing the ceremony. After all that stumbling around we did on this issue, Kevin himself, declined to be a part of the officiating of the ceremony even though Joshua and Jenna had originally planned it to be so, I’ve wondered why…
Another charge during the accusation meeting levied against me by the elders and quickly agreed by the men is how controlling and overbearing I can be. The elders went from their complaints and accusations against me concerning spiritual things and then enjoined the men about things which happened in the fellowship naturally. The men were regularly approached by me to oversee the children on this issue or that. Now, with over two dozen children/youth running around there are relationship, safety, and boundary concerns going on. It became so concerning that I approached the elders regularly on differing issues, even making different announcements concerning what we [as a fellowship] could and couldn’t do in our home. I was even compelled to have the families sign a release of liability forms for their families in case of accidents or deaths on our property. Now, the elders brought to the men’s remembrance of my ‘controlling’ them naturally in the fellowship and and then made a category error by comparing the two situations which were completely different. This was very effectual in getting the men to nod off on what they were saying about me and what they asserted they needed to do in my case of rejecting me as a divisive man.
In hindsight, one thing was clear, after eight years of hosting the fellowship I had become burdened naturally and spiritually with the fellowship meetings.
See Volume VI, Answering Accusations HERE.