A brief post thanking Archie Griffin for the fellowship, dinner and time that was spent in Old Town Alexandria tonight. Archie thanks for the friendship and giving me a second chance after my faith crisis. I love you brother!
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
“It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Proverbs 17:17 NLT
I wanted to pen this to you before I go to bed. It was great to re-connect with you and catch up at Red Rocks Pizza in Old Town Alexandria. As you can see the Washington, D.C. area has changed quite a but since you moved to Atlanta. In talking with you we talked about almost everything I think we could discuss in over two hours. We talked about international affairs, your family, how you children are growing, work, the campaign and politics (which I won’t discuss online as I told you) and life. What we didn’t talk about which I would love to get your thoughts on is the situation with Wells Fargo and the illegal checking accounts that they opened to inflate their sales numbers. Let’s discuss that sometime ok? I do need to connect with Rob over in Annapolis sometime. He was one of the people I reconciled with and we exchanged some texts and a couple of messages. I am open to watching some Ohio State football sometime with him. I could drive out to Maryland and chill with him one afternoon. One additional point I need to make is that I apologize that I am sick. I have been battling a sinus infection and am being pumped with antibiotics. Its amazing I haven’t been quarantined by the National Institutes of Health! 😛
I enjoyed hearing about your family and how quickly your kids are growing. It must be hard to be away from your kids. I hope when you go back that you can give your wife some time to rest and recuperate from all this work. But parenthood is a labor of love and you are fortunate to have the family and kids that you do. You are blessed Archie and I know you know that! 🙂 You know and I don’t know if this is a crime, for Rob it probably is but I think this is the first conversation I held with you where Ohio State wasn’t mentioned! I also don’t recall hearing any disparaging remarks about Michigan! Isn’t an Ohio State fan supposed to wish every kind of malice and ill will on the land of Michigan? Especially when you have classics such as “We Don’t Give a Damn for the Whole State of Michigan” being sung by a two year old! I know I am sick but I hope you aren’t feeling under the weather bro!
I want to say thanks for the fellowship and thanks for the time I spent with you tonight. Archie you were the most difficult reconciliation that was done back in 2013. I wrote about the depth and length of our relationship and how I fractured it in this open letter to you. I want to say thanks for giving me another chance. Thanks for being open to speak with Gil, and thanks for willing to speak with me. Archie I don’t take you or the others I have reconciled with for granted. Every text message, voicemail, or conversation I have with you I treasure and I thank you for it. You have no ideas how much it means to me that there is peace in this area of my life. That there is peace, healing and wholeness with you. I think we are learning something that very few Christians know about or have learned. When two Christians reconcile, find peace, and practice forgiveness there can be a much deeper, and satisfying friendship or relationship. That I think is what we have…that is what has happened with a few other relationships also. And its what I prayed for in regards to Andrew White.
The situation with Andrew isn’t over as I told you. I’m stuck and I still can’t figure this out. Last Monday I watched the presidential debate with a friend who knew both me and Andrew, and he told me again that he is shocked that Andrew gave birth to a false accusation that threatened my name, ability to earn income and more. We’ll see what happens in the course of time, I think the issue will re-surface for this one reason. People can’t run from their mistakes, in the course of time their past always catches up. That is just a fact of life. But can I ask you and your wife to pray that Andrew and I could have a series of talks and discuss everything and work it all out?
As for this blog I think I told you everything that you asked. Just to recap when you were talking about the Matt Chandler scandal, I wrote about that in the following post called, ““The Explicit Gospel” at Matt Chandler’s “The Village” Includes Child Pornography, Church Discipline and Membership Covenants.” The person in the center of the story, the one who annulled her marriage to a child pornography addict and faced church discipline likes to read me. Dee Parsons told me that and encouraged me to keep writing. I’ve also written and am still writing about a difficult situation in an Acts 29 church called Fellowship Memphis. You can read the post I wrote about the scandal in the following article. “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” That story deals with allegations of voyeurism, alleged underage females being secretly recorded in a church restroom and allegations of some child pornography being made, especially as two of the females allegedly recorded in the restroom were underage at the time. Its hard to write about all this but it must be written about. This blog also writes quite a bit about atheism, secularism and doubt. I do that because of the faith crisis I had. So far I have written 88 articles, and there is a lot more to write about. Finally this blog is also going to become a resource for the Evangelical Free Church of America. Its one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States today. Its not as big as the Southern Baptist Convention or the Assembly of God, but it has a strong presence in all 50 states. I am writing about issues, calculating the growth of Neo-Calvinism/Reformed theology and writing about difficult stories such as this one in Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia. “Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania: A Painful Story of Domestic Abuse, Inappropriate Church Discipline, and Failed EFCA Polity.”
This blog has become like a full time job. I spend a lot of time emailing people, and there are people who want to speak with me. Plus I also have to do research and write about the results and do analysis. But its having an effect. The other day I had heard that people are leaving Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. I also know there are people inside the Evangelical Free Church of America praying for me, and read this blog. I honestly appreciate their prayers quite a bit. And I do that in between my own social life, going to church and more. The bottom line is that I don’t want to see people get hurt in a church. What a member from Eric Simmons and Jordan’s Kauflin’s former Sovereign Grace church did to me was so painful, so psychologically traumatic and harmful that I don’t want others to go through that experience. I have also had people who have contacted me and thanked me for the articles I have written. I have kept people out of some of these places as well. My life can be a testimony to the damage and harm of false religious movements, cults and sects, and more. Many people have likened Sovereign Grace to a cult or cult like institution. I stayed out of it but the price was high and my soul is in so much pain. I don’t think Christianity is supposed to be like that. After all didn’t Jesus warn about the wolves?
I wanted to write this letter as a way to says thanks for tonight. Thanks for the fellowship, the grace, the love, and the warm conversation over a pizza in Old Town Alexandria. Thanks for giving me a second chance Archie. I love you brother! I will always be your friend, and loyal to you in the difficult seasons of life. Thanks for giving me that second chance. I say that from the depths of my heart. Since you like Journey I will close out with an old classic they did. Please take care and know that I love you Archie,