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February 9, 2003

Greetings, dear Shannon,

I love the Lord, I love you, and I pray that the Lord will direct my heart, mind, and hands as I try to express in letters to you things that are pleasing to Him. These short weekly letters may reflect my ignorance, may be misinterpreted, or may otherwise become the basis of condemnation by you, other parents, and even the Lord Himself if I've failed to discern His will in this situation. Surely He will use this situation to chastise and sanctify both you and me as we try to walk with Him. I pray for you often, and each time the Lord gives me the desire (Psalm 37:4) to reach out to you through letters, the parents' group and website, and whatever other ways He makes possible. I am convinced that my desire is from the Lord and not Satan based on many passages of Scripture, such as Scripture about:

FAMILIES: 1 Timothy 3:4-5; 1 Timothy 5: 3-16; Titus 2; Proverbs 31 (and much more!)
HONORING PARENTS: Mark 7:9-13; Matthew 15:3-6; Ephesians 6:1-3; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 1:30; Colossians 3:20 (Acts 5:29); 2 Timothy 3:2

Do you think Jesus cut off communication with His mother after Mark 3:21-34 and ceased to show her love, honor, and obedience in matters other than in the one area in which she wanted Him to put "the world" above God? The rest of the Bible, and especially John 19:27-28, makes me think otherwise. God knows I'm not trying to keep you from following Christ, remove you from your church, or force on you an un-biblical lifestyle. However, the biblical model of churches is one in which local churches are planted within communities of Christians living with their extended families and sending missionaries to plant other local churches. Satan is using the Jim Roberts model to eliminate local churches and destroy families. As a Christian, I am negligent if I don't cry out as Paul did, "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?" when I see my children or fellow Christians basing their lives on twisted Scripture or otherwise dishonoring God. There is no perfect church in this age since sin still dwells within all Christians. Yet there are good churches, and all churches (including yours and mine) can become better. We should love and value even those outside the church.

Enclosed is a copy of the section of the parents' website dealing with the Scripture that members of your church use to recruit members into the Roberts Group, as opposed to the Church. I love these passages and other similar passages (such as Luke 12:52-53, Luke 21:16, Matthew 10:21) that command us to place God and our relationship to Him above EVERYTHING else in life, but I grieve that Jim Roberts uses these and other verses outside of the context of the rest of the Bible (see above) to justify isolation from families who support the missionary calling of their children, to separate you from me. I love you, Shannon

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