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Old 09-19-2008, 01:14 AM   #11
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 646
Default An Attempt to Attend a Meeting This Week

On Sunday this week, I tried to attend a meeting in the church in Bellevue. Of course they told me in Feb of 2000 that I am not welcome there. Nevertheless, my desire was to attend and enjoy fellowship with the brothers and sisters. I went in on a break, and people were milling around talking. I sat in an empty back row, intent on making myself at home. A brother walked by and I invited him to sit with me.

Ten minutes later, they arrived, asking me softly to come with them. On the way out I greeted a brother and waved and then greeted a sister surprised to see me. Both were warm toward me. And I went outside with the two elders and another brother, and we had a talk. See link below.

Before coming in, I was standing outside the fence watching the saints. Once in a while I do that. It tends to stir my spirit, one way or the other. To my surprise, a sister (who I didn’t know) called out to me and asked if she could help me. What am I supposed to say? She later asked why I didn’t come in when it became obvious to her that I had local church life experience. What little I said in answer to her presented a negative picture, and she passed it on to the elders. The elders later approached the brother who they know has stood by my side from the beginning and told him that a pattern seems to be forming of Steve speaking negatively to sisters, which will be explained.

Here is an email I wrote subsequently to a seeking responsible brother on the East Coast, who contacted me initially in 2005 in great conflict of heart over development in the churches over the years. He has been a reader on the forum(s) for longer than I have, and remains quiet and torn. A link to a letter I wrote to the elders this week follows my email to this brother.

Hello _____,

I think it may be of the Lord that you have contacted me this week. I had an experience Sunday that I want to relate to you. I tried to attend a meeting in the church in Bellevue. I went in between meetings during their break time and was sitting having good fellowship with a brother for about 10-15 minutes, when brothers asked me to come with them. They escorted me out and one of the three said, "you know, Steve, you know". I said, "I know that you brothers don't know my situation and haven't responded to my requests for fellowship. I asked you, Jim, to meet with me ongoing for prayer and fellowship and you would not; I sent a letter to you, Mark, but you did not respond. None of you three brothers have shown a bit of concern for me over the last seven years and do not know my situation. I am open to you and receive you. But you will not receive me. Can you tell me, Jim, why you are removing me from a church meeting? Can you tell me the reason I cannot be in the church life?

Jim replied, "no and we don't have to know".

The main elder wasn't there, Sherman Robertson, the one responsible for my being cut off from the church life.

Brother ____, it bothers me greatly that these brothers remain with concepts formed by their one-sided information source, brother Sherman, whose own understanding is limited and skewed. Brothers pick up the negative information they learned from Sherman and report that much to others when occasions arise to speak about me. The whole story concerning me is not told and I am looking like the person described to you by Dexter Smith. Not the person that I actually am in the Lord and in the Body.

I have felt that seven years is long enough. The only person in the church in Bellevue who has stood with me during this time has been quite reluctant to speak on my behalf. But once when he did, he gave one elder Bill Mallon's letter and JIngalls' book, and the elder became subdued, saying I know longer have a problem with Steve. But that elder remains quiet with the other elders.

And, the progress basically stopped. I have asked _____ to help me, and help these brothers improve their understanding that I am not an opposer; rather I am a proposer, proposing that we examine ourselves and our honest history of division.

Dexter is a brother that I sent a letter to hoping he could learn more about me, but the letter was returned to me, marked "return to sender". Later, while staying with you on business on the East Coast, he remarked to the Iranian couple in your home that I am an opposer. I haven't heard from Iranian sister since, for almost two years, and the Farsi translation work we were doing stopped.

For many years the brothers have gotten away with taking the liberty to speak as they do. Of course, those who could speak on my behalf do not do so out of fear of being cut off.

I told a brother last night that I wanted to contact you and now you have written to me. Would you want to speak a word to Dexter, ______, if you have not already?

Of course, it is not just me that I'm caring about, but also that brothers could gain the knowledge of our actual history. There is a time to be frank and real and care for the truth, not a make-believe history that results in perpetual bearing of false witness from the mouths of many a dear uninformed brother.

Yours in the Beloved One,

Steve I.

Read my letter to the elders written this week.

I speak again from an appreciative perspective and will do so as long as that sense is still within me. But that experience on Sunday also awakened me a little more to the value of the most extreme voices on the forum, who though show little or no appreciation for local church members, they do SPEAK THE TRUTH!!!!
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