To our family and friends,
After much prayer, meditation and searching the scripture we have decided that we will no longer be attending meetings. Please know that we do not consider ourselves to have ‘lost out’ or lost our faith. We firmly believe in God, in the Holy Spirit, and in Jesus and that as he said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
We have come to realize that policies regarding perpetrators in meeting will never be written and enforced. We do not believe that known CSA/SA perpetrators should be in our meetings. We are appalled at the lack of moral standards, care, and love by some in the ministry. By some counts, there are over 700 perpetrators. And it is a known fact that perpetrators tend to have multiple victims. 40% of perpetrators with credible allegations may be workers or former workers. The damage to the victim survivors can’t even be measured yet somehow the perpetrators are being protected and even being allowed back in meetings.
We feel that the cover ups over the years are related to the false belief that our fellowship is exclusive and that it is ‘the one true way’. Many CSA/SA instances were swept under the rug in order to not taint the fellowship. Workers have been moved to other states/countries thinking that the problems would go away.
In our opinion, the workers have assumed too much power over people, and we cannot support a ministry like this. The gospel of Jesus has been too often misconstrued by this ministry to fit the narrative of a fellowship started by a man in the late 1890’s. Jesus did not intend this. Jesus came and fulfilled the law as our great high priest. His work is finished, he has given us the gift of salvation.
In 1 Corinthians 12, it says “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” We wish to worship with all believers who call on Jesus as their Lord and Savior as we are all the body of Christ.
We love every one of you that we have met with. We are not bitter towards any of you, and we welcome any discussions. We are not trying to draw any of you out of this fellowship. We consider you to be our friends and hope that you would feel the same about us.
Dave & Kristi (Enge) Garner
December 25, 2023