Hi Michael! Great to hear from you, always. GBY! ILY! My honest opinion on the letter you included below from P & L? See following... There are a few things that I feel right away, and I will keep them short, and hopefully, “sweet”. I will certainly not “argue doctrine” nor “fight scripture with scripture” – (anyone who does has missed their point!). Sadly, I think that this is what dear P & L themselves have done though. In “straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel” they have “thrown the baby out with the bath water”. Of course, I have no idea what their personal circumstances have been, what brought them to the place they are at right now. They don’t talk about that, neither do they explain what they are doing now (except that they seem to have said that they are no longer members themselves), so I can’t see any “fruit” in order to “know them”. However, experience has taught me that there is always something that causes folks to become bitter, and I have to say that this is the tone or spirit that comes across in their letter. This is the first, and very apparent, thing I notice. I cannot, and will not, judge them for this, because I don’t know them, but I know the Lord and His Spirit well enough to know that “something doesn’t seem right”, and I will trust in Him and rely on that. “I know Whom I have believed.......etc, etc” You won’t find me “following in their footsteps” I’m afraid, no matter how well-meaning their motives and intentions may seem to be in what they have written. A real “give away” is their very obvious mis-representation (misinterpretation) of the scriptures pertaining to Salvation, of all things – the most important message of the whole Bible, which they say that they believe in! As David Brandt Berg taught us, and this is totally scriptural “once saved, always saved”! However, here we find P & L doing exactly what Dad warned us about, explaining “this obnoxious mixture of law and grace that so insensed Paul that he had to write epistle after epistle about it”! (The Bible also tells of those who “wrest the scriptures to their own destruction”). For reasons I can only assume, it seems that poor P & L have “returned to the weak and beggarly elements”, misinterpreting and misrepresenting scriptures that DBB explained were referring to our rewards, not salvation! Frankly, it all sounds very Catholic and “churchy” to me – very much “law” oriented! To put it even more bluntly – back-sliding, although you can actually only really “back-slide” if you have actually been moving forward in the first place! My feeling is that poor P & L must have balked (stopped) at some of the points or topics that DBB taught and explained for some reason, and instead of “wrapping those things up in a bundle of faith”, as he advised us at these times (until the Lord shows us Himself in some way), instead they have actually rejected them! Well, even DBB told us that we, his own “followers” and actual members of The Family, didn’t even
have to believe everything He said, and he taught us to base everything on God’s Own already recorded written Word, The Bible, right? And how much more so since TFI has re-booted!? So, what was P & L’s point in telling us things we already know I wonder? Hmmmm! It seems clear to me, as I have witnessed countless times when things like this have come up, that folks like these have their own agenda, and the primary purpose and objective is to draw others away, to their own beliefs and ways of thinking and doing.
“Hast thou faith, have it to thyself”. This does not mean that we should not witness of course, but it does mean that we should not stumble others by causing doubt, and thus division – these are other scriptures that have been left out of their treatise it seems to me. As has been stated very clearly in TFI Statements of Faith, for all to see, even and especially the general public, we are all free to serve the Lord as we personally see fit. This is not even a question, so I do not see the relevance or importance of P & L’s letter at all I’m afraid. If those of us who have been long-standing and long-serving TFI members should choose to continue to still believe in all we have been taught, (in fact, we are actually responsible to do so) then I will take issue with any who would try to tell me that I “got it wrong” all these years! I am not stupid, and I do not “swallow everything I am told”, by anybody! However, if my spirit “bears witness” as the scripture says, with something (anything) that rings true to me, and it is also backed up by scripture, as Dad also taught us, then I will not be persuaded, by anybody, to go backwards from all this hard-earned forward movement in faith that cost me my life to live it, and I am actually particularly offended at any who seem to think that they have a right to suggest this to me! Okay Michael, well, that’s all I have to say on this I’m afraid. Hope it helps!? (Matthew 9:29) Feel free to share these sentiments with anyone you think it might help. Love always, David