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February 23, 2003

Greetings, dear Shannon,

I love you and miss you so much. I pray that God will re-unite us in a way that will serve and glorify Him. Oh, Shannon, when you read the Bible, don't you understand that our separation must grieve God? You were only 19 when we last spoke in May of 1998, almost five years ago. As I write these words now, I realize that I open myself to your condemnation and rejection, but I would rather that you reject me because of the specific things I think and do today rather than simply because Jim Roberts has issued a blanket condemnation of flesh parents. All humans "have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" -- I just pray that you will someday explain to me what grievous sin I've committed that is the basis of your rejection of me. In the meantime, please join me in praying for my own sanctification and understand that I am reaching out to you in love because "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." I just thank God that He is a just and merciful God who knows our hearts and will judge us one day, as stated in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw his work will be shown for what it is because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

I see much good in your church, but someday Jim Roberts "will suffer loss" for claiming the role of elder and then ignoring so much of the Old Testament and New Testament Scripture. I think the "Roberts Group Profile" is sadly accurate because Jim Roberts has created a situation in which his church condemns parents and other churches by distorting Scripture and under the guise of being "led by the Spirit" -- the Spirit does not lead churches into unbiblical practices and policies. In choosing to destroy families by keeping sons and daughters isolated from their parents and others of the faith simply by declaring us "adversaries," Jim Roberts has deliberately departed from Scripture and the kind of ministry modeled by Paul and the other apostles who planted local churches, established a network of churches, and ministered to families. My observations of your church and the refusal of Jim Roberts to communicate with others lead to the inevitable conclusion that he condemns and rejects parents and others out of fear and/or ignorance rather than on biblical principles. He doesn't seem to be accountable to his congregation (1 Timothy 5: 19-21) and doesn't even meet the qualifications of an elder as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7:

"Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

I actually pray that you will show me I am wrong and that you will participate with me in making our churches to be the attractive and blameless bride of Christ that He has bought her and made her to be.

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