Today we write this letter which we never imagined we would be writing. We are broken hearted, not bitter. We are burdened, not unwilling or “lacking faith”. On the contrary, we have never been so connected to our Heavenly Father, and our faith in Jesus’ truth and life has never meant so much to us.
Although we continue to process the shock of abuse, allegations, corruption and cover-ups within the ministry and fellowship, we also understand these horrific revelations are the symptoms of a much deeper, rooted and doctrinal belief of exclusivity, of the “One True Way” and “One True Ministry”, (in order to have salvation). We wholeheartedly believed and expected God’s servants to hold a higher standard than “the world”, just as we are taught as fellow believers. We also expected our children to be safely cared for in this fellowship versus anywhere else. Unfortunately as we write today, this fellowship has become a safe haven for predators and pedophiles, as well as men and women in positions to groom and hold power over others. The secrecy of this crisis has awakened us and shook us to the core.
The comfort that we have found in Jesus’ familiar words, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6), has brought great peace to our hearts. We now realize for us to call anything other than Jesus “The Way” or “The Truth”, would be us living a double standard.
We feel deeply saddened, betrayed and disturbed as evidence of further abuse and years of cover-ups continually come to light within this fellowship. The desperation in our hearts to search the scriptures deeper, to truly become childlike and learn of God’s truth, has led us to feel immense hope in our faith through Jesus. Not faith in man’s wisdom and rules, but faith in the One who is unmoved and unchanging. Paul writes, “For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We will forever treasure our friendships as fellow Christian’s, and we fully understand each one is on a very personal journey with God through this unhealthy time. We will continue our journey of spiritual growth by stepping back from meetings, however, we are not turning our back on God. We are opening our hearts and lives to Him, and will continue to serve God faithfully and follow Jesus wholeheartedly. We will also continue to have open, honest and at times difficult conversations about topics we would never have had in the past.
Our hearts go out to each and every victim whose life has been so deeply affected. We are here for you and may you truly find peace in your relationship with God, a Father of Grace, Love and Mercy.
Dallas & Deena James
November 1, 2023