Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So, you want to stir the pot?

I've been a part of a great, local bible study. It has a national office in the mid-west and the bible study serves the US and a few other countries. This study has been so enjoyable because women from all different kinds of denominations participate and there are different levels of biblical knowledge--of course I always LOVE the new believers, they are so refreshing.

It seems that the local leadership team ran into some lying from another bible study leader in our area. This leader was 'cold busted' through an email and from anothers word. It is too long of a story, but the woman who supervises this area was called in from the nat'l office and decided against the process of Matt 18. Our local leadership team, was aghast and dismayed. The final and last word came in September that the team would need to "submit to the authority" of the national office without question. There would be no further discussion period. No mention of Matthew 18.

Of course, being the godly women that they are, they said that if they cannot live by the Word of God and use it to resolve conflicts, there would be no agreement to these conditions.

That was the end of the local chapter of this bible study.

The deeper issues seem to be petty jealousy, gossip and arrogance. My husband and I have been through this ourselves before and it was extremely painful. To see these bible study leaders so hurt-I mean, being a part of the bible study for 10, 20,even 30 years-is so sad. (Some women did write letters to the national leadership to no avail.)

Well, we all figured that 'these things happen, lets see what God has next for each of us'. As sad as it has been, 300+ women moved on.

Fast forward to yesterday. I get a letter from the national office. It is written by the bible study's Board of Trustee's chairman. (they were asked to get involved at one point and refused). The letter was FULL of misinformation and purposeful deception. Ugh.

One of the bible study leaders here sent out a letter to our area. It was addressed to this Board of Trustee chairman and explained that Matthew 18 was NOT followed and that he has only heard one side of the story and has NEVER even ask the leadership team here to find out their side.

I had to write the guy myself. (the names are changed to protect the guilty) Here 'tis:

Dear Mr Smith,

I see that your letter was meant to stir the pot again. That is okay because now I have to write!

Under your weak leadership and lack of living out-and gaining guidance from- the Word of God, this Bible Study chapter has closed. You have allowed Susy to become the untouchable 'sacred cow'. God is not a respecter of persons. This means that when we do wrong, we ALL must make things right again. She and women she supervises have become lying bullies. This, brother, ought not to be. The neat thing about this though is that she can humble herself and follow through with Matthew 18.

I am not sure why following Matthew 18 has become such a sticking point, but I will enlist your help and ask you to make sure that Susy and the women she oversees take care of business. Until this is done I will let my friends know that Bible Study has lost its way.

Also, it would be great if you and your staff wouldn't treat people that go to Bible Study with such condescension. Some of the things that have been done and said, well, it seems that you must think we are novices. It certainly hasn't endeared you to many folks.

It is a shame the way our quality, servant team members have been treated. The sisters here are wonderful and godly women. They are truly out to serve in excellence and are above reproach in their character. It has been heartbreaking to see the pain your staff members have caused. I truly hope you and your ungodly leaders repent. You have all sinned against the whole Sacramento Bible Study chapter.

Until you follow through with the Matthew 18 process, I ask you to remove my name from your mailing list. I would find it too unbearable to read any other mail from you, especially when it ignores such a glaring problem and has swept this kind of ugliness under the rug.



PS I am not so naive as to believe that this letter would elicit any kind of change, yet I had to be one more reminder that you have gone wrong...

Well, as you can see I was fired up while writing this.

Proverb of the day-Don't make the sistahs mad!


  1. Oy!
    What is it with "leaders" not being willing to follow the Word of God??
    Read and do leaders...just read and do.

    How do I become a follower so that I know each time you update your blog?

  2. I have chills right now as I read this... how hugely obvious it is getting that there is spiritual warfare, and how even the Saints are being deceived and blinded. The Enemy used to be rather sneaky about his attacks, but now he is right up there and in our face, not caring that some can recognize him, because so many are blinded. I am sorry for the loss of a great bible study and group of women, but I am so hugely blessed to know you as my friend and a woman of God who will stand up for what is right and true, and not be afraid to speak it out! Yeah Marita! God is using you again, and your experiences are being used by God to shed a little light on a blinded world.

  3. Thanks, Julie.
    I sent both the Trustee and Susy the letter. I sent Susies a day apart because I'm hoping that getting both letters on two different days will keep this fiasco in front of their eyes longer. On Susy's I wrote: "Dear Susy, the Sacramento women are ready to forgive and move on. Don't miss this opportunity!"

    My experience tells me that a big 'zero' will come of this...

    It is too bad because after a conflict like this people can actually move closer to God and each other.