Chuck is a United States Army Chaplain in the 25th Infantry Division. I don’t post this letter because of the personal encouragement it contains but for the insight it demonstrates.
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 10:02 PM
To: Brent Detwille
Subject: New Message from Chuck Williams
Thank you for your gracious reply Brent. Please use all or part of my letter, and I'm not concerned if you use my name either. Grace and Peace Brother, Chuck
I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Chuck Williams. My bride Celia used to attend MLC in Florida until we were asked to leave in 1998 after we privately took issue with Danny over many of the abuses we saw at MLC that mirrored CJ’s, and through which your ‘Documents’ have now bore out as true. I guess you can say we violated Cardinal Rule #1 [see August 16 post].
I have kept my distance from the current fray in SGM. First, because the Lord has us in a different place of ministry that we so enjoy. And second, because I guess you can say “we no longer have a dog in that fight.” Nonetheless, we still have many friends, godly men and women, who have recently left MLC over the very same things we faced 13 years ago. And some of them are still reeling from the hurt. My passion for them pains me to take a limited interest in what is happening, and to provide help and counsel to them as they are now experiencing the very same confusion, disappointment, betrayal and anger that we did. Although I am not bitter, I am sad. Sad for what is happening in SGM as a whole. Sad for the unnecessary hurt in the lives of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. And sad for the loss of a once cherished hope and call for ministry in SGM.
My purpose to write to you is principally to thank you for the courage and boldness to speak out, both before privately with CJ, and now and unfortunately publicly, to expose the long standing sins of CJ, et al, and your confession for not having done more earlier. As you know in counseling, it is crucial to acknowledge and authenticate the genuine hurts of others. I believe you have served so many of our hurting brothers and sisters in Christ by acknowledging to them that what they were seeing, experiencing and receiving over the years was genuine and profound sinfulness in their leaders toward them. And that they themselves were not being, unteachable, prideful, unsubmissive, unaccountable and slanderous; as so many of us were labeled behind our back to our friends by the very leaders our Lord called to serve us.
And second, to support you in letting you know that many of us are here to support you as you, Jenny and your family prevail against the sins of men our Lord has permitted to be expressed and exposed, all for purity of His Church. As a military man I know what it means to be at the point of the spear against the enemy, I've literally been there. In that position you carry the chief burden of the battle and the direction of the fight. It is an honored position and one reserved for the most trusted Soldier in the eyes of the commander. And it is also the one requiring the most support. Brent, know that I have been praying for you, and will continue to pray for you as you endeavor to fight against the forces of evil made manifest in the attitudes and actions of those you once called brothers. Truth is at stake, the purity of the Church is at stake, and the acclaim and glory of our Lord is at stake.
Brent, in your view there may be many in SGM and even some major evangelical leaders who are friends of CJ who have mistakenly and ignorantly bowed their knee to him. But just as God had 7,000 in reserve who did not bow their knee for Elijah, so God has thousands for you!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Your Fellow and Faithful Servant in the Cause of Christ,
P.S. Please feel free to use this personal letter to you for anyone else to whom you think would need the same encouragement.
Post Script from A Former Sr. Pastors (Oct 17, 6:09PM) - Used with Permission
Gentlemen [SGM Board, AoR, CLC pastors]
This sounds exactly why I was asked to resign from the church I loved and adored, at least from my point of view. I spoke up for years about the same kind of thing with my SGM apostolic overseer, and he ultimately asked me to resign. When I challenged him on the biblicat basis for such a dismissal, in the end he told me, "You just don't understand apostolic authority." From his point of view, I was no longer sufficiently gifted to lead the church. Brothers. please seriously consider these two ungodly themes that are woven together by so many men who have been terminated, and then left to struggle and survive. Every charge brought to you varies, but one thing is a constant, unbiblical and overbearing authority. Not just an "oops" kind of mistake, but a serious sin issue permeating the entire fabric of SGM that has wrecked lives. Not to mention the countless good members of SGM churches that have received the same kind of treatment. And, how can so many smart guys make so many errors in judgement by ordaining men to particular ministry functions? Then, come to the realization, in some cases 20 years later, that they were no longer sufficiently gifted? Another disturbing theme. This seemed to be the default mode if there was not a character disqualifying issue from someone you wanted to terminate. Many times these men were faithfully trying to appeal to you concerning these issues that are now being brought out into the light. It didn't have to be this way! Finally, please do not conduct whatever it is that you men have deemed as just and fair at the conference, and then state publicly that you tried to provide an opportunity, but most of the grieved parties didn't attend and thus move on. Also, please do not portray us as bitter and angry, not trusting in the Sovereignty of God to put a favorable spin on things. I for one need to be convinced that the process is not like what I have experienced in the past. It was the same thing Brent experienced, "A kangaroo court." I believe I speak for the majority of the brothers who want to help you in saying that we do want to assist you, but in a context where we believe there will be objectivity and justice. The party being accused NEVER sets up and conducts their own trial. They never set the judge and jury, except in countries where there is a dictatorship. Please, please, please, give an opportunity that is considered just and fair to those of us who want to help you. I still love you men very much, and my heart and motivation is for SGM not only to survive this crisis, but to flourish in the future!
Still Your Friend,