Sun. May 15th, 2022

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” – Philippians 2:3-5

“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:9

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:” – 1 Peter 2:22

Love.

Love constrains me from speaking publicly about my personal relationships, especially my family.

I have five daughters, my wife, my mother-in-law, my brother and sister, nieces and nephew – and my darling grandchildren and friends that are like brothers. They do not want me to address this issue publicly.

To speak on intimate, private family matters in public, affects all of them. Their privacy is important to me. More than that, the pain caused by exposing their family life to public scrutiny is a consequence that I do not take lightly – because I love them – I love them all.

Think on any complex family disagreement in your life. Try to think of a way to fully vindicate someone, or yourself – someone who is being accused of something. Just how would you do that without telling every detail of what every person involved did and said? And think about how that would play out – then everyone else in the family has to “give their side.” You’ve had similar circumstances. How could I do that to everyone involved in this question? And how absurd and narcissistic for me to do so publicly.

I have received letters from people who don’t know me and don’t read WND. They are hurtful. They accuse me of “boycotting” my daughter’s wedding. There is lots of name-calling and shaming – I don’t know these people, and I am not driven by the opinions of strangers. I am accountable to my Savior, my God, to my family and my brothers and sisters in Jesus.

So, I am not going to respond to these random, baseless, ignorant accusations that have been sent to me. I don’t believe any of them have been from my beloved readers – those people who have followed my writing and work for decades. My readers know me well.

But I am going to say just a few simple things because I am put in the unenviable situation of having to “defend” myself, at least my character.

As I understand my Lord’s teachings on related matters:

I am not to defend myself for the sake of saving face. I won’t.

I am to walk in the Spirit of God, not in the flesh. Flesh checked. Spirit engaged.

I am bound to forgive because He forgave me. I am to love my wife, my children and all men and do unto them as I would have them do unto me.

I know that my brothers and sisters in Jesus Messiah are to assume the best of their brothers unless there is good reason to believe otherwise. And I have faith that they will believe that my character is not such that I would do the things being said of me.

I am reminded of that well-known passage of Scripture in Matthew 18 where our Lord teaches us how to deal with real or perceived offenses or sins. We all know that it begins with a private conversation addressing the problem. Publicly shaming a brother or sister is not part of the Lord’s plan.

Matthew 18:15: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”

As my daughters have asked me to limit my response, I am going to respect their wishes.

But I guess you deserve to know, seeing as you’ve read this far.

Why didn’t we go to the wedding? A father dreams of going to his daughter’s wedding. WE WEREN’T INVITED!

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