I have been hurt as many of you have by what you call fundamentalism. But  I am working through it. I guess you could say I am recovering. For a long time it festered in me and caused bitterness.  I won’t lie… there still some healing to be done in me. But I took a big step when the LORD spoke in my heart recently. I was going thru some embarrassment and such and I was angry about it… and He said to me, “You’re welcome to be angry but know that whatever humiliation your feeling… you only deserve to feel more… if you are feeling dishonor Joe…  just know that if things were right… it would only be increased exponentially.” What response could I have for such words? While I stood observing this truth… He said further, “This “humiliation”, which is deserved mind you,  doesn’t near compare to My undeserved humiliation.

I realize now… if I am hurt, I deserve more. If I am dishonored… its not nearly enough… if I am embarrassed and humiliated… it’s only a granule compared to the Everest that should be given me. And now I also realize that what has had the greatest healing effect against this inflicted hurt has not been the correction of my persecutor. No, m the greatest healing for this hurt in me has been the realization that my persecutor has not hurt me as fully as I deserve. The greatest healing has come from me being corrected.

I am here today to say that I have also been hurt by your movement. I have seen and heard enough from your podcast and one of your followers to get my feelings hurt again. Over and over again it has caused anger in me. I have wanted to respond… to defend myself and what-not. But those words keep rolling back into my heart. They instantly recover me from the damage incurred. I really hate that so there is so much hurt going around. It’s real… all of it. Yours… theirs… and mine. Why are we killing each other? Why are we so emboldened to judge our brother? We all deserve humiliation before His throne and then… a horrid eternal end. But it will never come… because He was humiliated for us… He went to the end for us.

I came to ask one thing of you. Can we not be one as we are meant to be? We might not have the same preferences and convictions. But we have the same Savior. He powerful enough to span the gap between God and man. Surely He can span the gap between man and man. Can we forgive each other and focus on the mission at hand… the mission given is by the One with holes in His hands? I really hope for it.

There is only one way you can truly accomplish your mission… “We exist to help and encourage those whose lives have been negatively affected by fundamentalist legalism in the church and to challenge those who promote tradition over Scripture.” It will be by making that hurt one realize what I have come to realize… how rich in grace and forgiveness I really am. I can afford to forgive anyone. If you want to challenge that injurious fundamentalist… teach your followers to love him. He needs to be recovered.

I originally wrote this with the intention of asking you to change your mission. But I realize helping and encouraging those who are hurt is a good thing. I don’t think you should encourage them to continue the cycle of hurt. If we continue this cycle we cannot continue in our main mission… leading the lost to Christ. The LORD declares one of the greatest witnesses of His trueness… it is our oneness before this world.

John 17:20-23
[20] Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; [21] That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. [22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: [23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

He prayed for it. What we really need to recover my friends… my brothers… is our oneness… we can’t truly witness without oneness. I plead with you because of the souls that hang in the balance… let us lay down our hurts. Let us lay down our arms. Let us lay down our lives and let us be one.

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