An Open Letter to Andrew White

An open letter to “Andrew White. ” This is about a painful situation from Eric Simmons, Jordan Kauflin’s and Jon Smith’s Redeemer Arlington. This is a letter to an Air Force Captain who was evangelizing me, who triggered a false accusation and claimed I was a threat to his family. This false accusation happened after he invited me into his home and asked me to change the password to his computer. This letter deals with what I wanted, what needed to be done, and how Redeemer Arlington punted the situation. I am always open to resolving this issue. This is a letter I have been meaning to do, but have been figuring out what to say. I hope this mess will be resolved in my lifetime one day so I can have peace.

“When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself.”

Isaac Bashevis Singer

“One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though … betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope.

Steven Deitz

“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”

Suzanne Collins

“What a glorious ‘Hound of Heaven’ that pursues his wretched children. Oh David how timely is this? God is at work my friend. He is meeting – no pursuing – you right where you are”

Note from Redeemer Arlington’s Andrew White when he was evangelizing me, and before he turned around and claimed I was a threat to his family and betrayed me.

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Luke 22:48 NIV

 

andrew

 

 

Note to readers: “Andrew White” is an Air Force Captain who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2005. His home is in Colorado Springs. His Navigators Director married him and his wife Jillian in 2005. Andrew has been stationed at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Joint Base Maguire-Dix, Joint Base Anacostia Bolling, and Peterson Air Force Base. Andrew helped save a 10 year old young girls life in Portland, Oregon who suffered from Leukemia by being a bone marrow donor. In 2012 he organized a bone marrow drive at Joint Base Anacostia Bolling and was written up in the Defense Video Imagery Distribution Service. Andrew was deeply involved in Sovereign Grace and he was trying to get my involved. He gave birth to a false accusation that sent me into the darkest season of my life. It was never resolved. I am approaching my 500th post and its time to do this letter.

 

Dear Andrew-

Andrew, do you remember when you left that note on my desk at work? The previous night you had texted me quite a bit and you challenged me to read my Bible. After a brief exchange you told me to select a book and to read it. So this disciple of Christopher Hitchens sat down at his dining room table and started reading. I remember thinking to myself, “Why the fuck am I reading Habakkuk? The Bible is bullshit and a waste of time!” Yet I read through Habakkuk, you asked me to read the Bible 5 times. So I took a photocopy of my old Bible and left that on your desk. You were elated. You wrote a personal note in response and later put it on my desk at work. What I have above is what you wrote me. I have a small pile of notes and other material you gave me. You were evangelizing me Andrew.

Andrew…how did it go from getting notes like the one leading this post to being spoken to by a supervisor about stalking? Especially after shortly beforehand you asked me to stay at your place and invited me into your home? Who invites a stalker over into their house? Who makes a ham and grilled cheese sandwich for a stalker? Who asks a stalker to change the pass word to their computer? Do you have any idea the pain you put me through? This is not easy to write Andrew. Its hard and I have been putting this off for a while. I want you to know that I had the situation vetted by an attorney and he believed I had a defamation of character lawsuit against you. Here is why such a lawsuit existed. In addition to doing something that affected my name there was a witness who could have been subpoenaed to testify on my behalf. It is my supervisor that you went to speak with. As he explained to me, a number of false accusations are a “he said/she said.” But that was not the case with this one. Having said all that even the attorney was amazed as to what I did with the people I approached in working things out, and he suggested I approach Redeemer Arlington first in trying to resolve this issue. I myself Andrew did not want a legal situation. I did not want your wife Jillian and your daughter to be hurt by such action. All I wanted was to sit down and talk everything over and to resolve this situation.  

 

How the False Accusation Affected Me

In the false accusation you gave birth to I learned why rape and sexual assault are a problem in the United States military. Today I am still in shock and now I know why rape is a problem in the military. I didn’t think rape was a problem in the military.  As a military officer you have a lot of power and you used it. The false accusation was terrifying and I can’t tell you how much I cried. I developed almost a PTSD situation where when I heard the word “stalk” I shook, cried all while asking myself, “Dave what is happening to me…?” The false accusation affected so many parts of my life. It affected the relationship between an employee and a supervisor. It affected the office we were in. It affected many other relationships. Remember Gary who we used to have lunch with a couple of times? It destroyed that friendship as well. It affected performance and work, suddenly things changed as did my image. To try and bounce back I also pursued weight loss surgery Andrew. I was at the end of my rope.

When Jordan Kauflin let you off the hook and claimed you were sorry with this false accusation still in effect, I took a rotation to get out of my office.  Since Redeemer Arlington punted and refused to resolve this it left me in a difficult situation.  I realized the only way out was to get another job which is what I have been trying to do. But then there was the federal freeze and bad news that came with that mess. All you had to do at the time is make a phone call and say to the supervisor in question the following. “There was a misunderstanding. This has gone in a direction it never should have. I never said Dave stalked me.” In a phone conversation between myself, you and Jordan Kauflin on May 18, 2015 you said that stalking was never an issue. You stated that I respected your boundaries. And when I asked you why didn’t you speak to me directly as compared to what you triggered, you said you should have. None of this makes sense. I had hopes when we talked that this situation would be resolved. But then you broke off the discussions, Jordan Kauflin excused your behavior and I was left with a false accusation still in place.  

 

What I Wanted

Andrew this is what I wanted. You know I am honestly surprised that during the discussions with Redeemer Arlington Jordan Kauflin never asked what I wanted? Or what my goals were. That is not good negotiating skills.

  1. I wanted you to understand what you did in the false accusation at work. I wanted you to comprehend, empathize and realize what took place. In maybe two or three conversations I wanted you to understand what you gave birth to. After all that happened I wanted you to learn how to empathize.
  2. I wanted you to approach me by yourself and take some initiative. If you took initiative then that would signal that you are serious. I thought we started to talk with that conservation on May 18, 2015, then you broke off the discussions with the false accusation in effect and Jordan Kauflin let you off the hook. But when it comes to repentance and owning a mistake this is something you need to do. How you approach and engage will reveal if you are serious or not.
  3. Personally I wanted you to grieve over what you did. I wanted you to feel the pain you caused and to know what this did to me in my personal life and amongst my family. Do you know when I was being a care giver to my Mom in the hospital my Mom asked how my efforts at finding a new job were? This all ties into what you did Andrew, and I wanted you to mourn what you did.
  4. I wanted you to repent in what you did and to learn from all this Andrew. I was never out to get you. I wanted you to do all this so that you could grow, mature, and learn. If you did that you could be a better father, husband, Air Force Officer, member of the church and more. People make mistakes, how they react or respond to them is telling. For all the talk you had about how mature your faith is and how healthy your church was, your behavior revealed the opposite in the end. You wasted an incredible opportunity.

 

I Will Forgive You if You Ask….

Andrew if you approach me and ask for forgiveness I would grant if to you. Like I said above I wanted you to understand all that took place. I would release you if you just knew and understood what you did to me. That is all I ask and all I wanted. It doesn’t have to be like this at all. It doesn’t have to remain like this. The fact that this has dragged out, and continued for so long is unthinkable. For me its a new normal…a life of pain, trauma, and hardship that came from you. None of this has to happen at all. You could end all of it if you approach me and say, “Dave I was wrong…can we talk everything through and will you forgive me?” If you realize what you did and ask for me to release you Andrew, then yes I will do that in the course of time. But if you approach me and ask for forgiveness without dealing with what you have done, then no. That is questionable and manipulative.

 

What to Expect if You Approach Me

If you approach me this is what to expect. You will find a guy who is eager to talk, and eager to resolve this conflict. You will find a guy willing to talk everything through. You do not need to worry about me being angry, vengeful or wanting to extract revenge. You will find someone who wants to resolve this conflict so that his life “won’t feel stuck.” I feel stuck now Andrew, its part of the reason why I am seeking a new job. That would help to give me a fresh start and put this behind me. But if you approached me there is nothing for you to fear at all. And if you wanted to have someone that we mutually know from work help out I would be willing to that. Do you remember Tony from our office? You went biking with him and Eric Simmons. He knows of this situation and knew that there was a massive falling out. If you want to have someone like him involved in discussing then I will be happy to reach out and ask. But again I will not be angry and upset about anything if you approach me. I just want to get this resolved so I can live. I just want peace Andrew.

 

What are You Afraid Of?

When you broke off discussions you left me with one question that has been haunting me that I would really like to know the answer to. I have a lot of questions to ask you, but this is the biggest. When it comes to David Bonner, what are you afraid of? Why are you afraid of me? I have a pile of notes you gave me when evangelizing me. Why are you so afraid? Were all those lunches, emails, texts, and instant messenger at work all done with alternative motives? You can’t run from your problems Andrew any more than I can run from mine. No one can run from their problems…that is just not feasible. But I don’t understand why are you afraid of me? You know what would have likely happened if we worked things out? We may have grown apart and gone our different ways. That I am okay with as that can happen normally. It was the way in which things were handled that was horrific and emotionally violent that still has me reeling. But can I ask you what are you afraid of? I still do not get this at all.

 

I Hope I Will Hear From You Sometime During My Life

Andrew starting right before Christmas my Mother went into the hospital dealing with a multitude of illnesses that have been compounded. I’ve written about that here and here. Being a reverse care-giver to my Mom has helped put my life in perspective and its helped me realize how stupid this entire situation is. It puts a whole different perspective on life when you are combing your mother’s hair, helping to feed her, speak with the doctors and hear their thoughts on the situations and press forward. You know there were times when I was in the hospital room at 11:00 or so in the evening and my Mom was cold and she asked to hold my hand as she drifted off to sleep? And like a good son, I just tried to comfort my Mom in this season of duress and pain. But watching my parents age and deal with health resulted issues has put much of my life in perspective. And while I am back in D.C. I will be heading back next month to help out. Its with that in mind that I have to say the following. This never should have happened. Not once, and if you think that this is normal or how a Christian should act then that is quite disturbing. People make mistakes and I think that includes people like you and I. You made a mistake I get that…but it doesn’t have to go on like this.

I hope I will hear from you one day in my life. Hopefully before my death. I have never felt torn apart like I have with this situation Andrew. I will also say this, I don’t enjoy writing these posts, instead I am trying to get this out of my system. But I will lay this out on the table. This marks the 95th post I have written about Redeemer Arlington. If you approach me and work everything out, then I will stop writing about Redeemer. Plus I would also be willing to take down a number of articles about Redeemer. Its your call. Its your choice. This rests with you Andrew.

I do want you to know that I love and care for you. I pray for you from time to time. As an attorney once told me I had a defamation of character lawsuit against you but all I wanted was for your to approach me and say, “Dave I’m sorry, let’s work this out and will you forgive me.”  I don’t wish you malice or harm. I could never wish that upon anyone. That is not who I am.  So as I close out this letter I hope I will hear from you at some point in my life. I welcome any communications from you to resolve this mess. And like I said above you have nothing to fear if you contact me. Zip, nada, nothing…it is in our interest to resolve this. If you own your mistake and clean this mess up then I would become your greatest advocate for you being in ministry.  Because then I believe you have a lot to teach, and I would like to have people like you in ministry. But this situation rests with you Andrew. This post has been emailed to Jordan Kauflin of Redeemer Arlington.

Very Respectfully,

David Bonner

8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Andrew White

  1. Good luck getting that resolved, David.

    I write a lot below, but it’s basically to give us all some “food for thought”:

    If it is something I’ve had to realize with regards to my own situation with my old church, it’s that the leadership may never truly hear me out. In all the wrestling, I’ve had to realize that people see conflicts differently. If I expect to be heard, I must listen. Even then, I cannot assume that folks will ever hear me out.

    When the conflict involves two parties of Christians, what I have found is that the end result may ultimately boil down to different theological views — even if the issue is distorted thinking from a controversial doctrine or church practice. As I read the Scriptures, it seems to me that while reconciliation is would be great, when the issue comes down to differences over doctrine, the differences might need to be clarified further to verify that the issue isn’t a disagreement over a false doctrine. Adherence to false doctrines can preclude reconciliation, particularly when it is a major doctrine, and the proponent refuses to repent when confronted.

    I would say one thing, though, David: if I were you, I would forgive him — understanding that forgiveness, reconciliation and truthfulness about a situation are different things.

    In my own case, some people at my college church hurt me. What they did to me was wrong, and it adversely affected my physical and mental health; my relationships with God, the Church, church leaders, family, work colleagues, friends, etc.; my ability to earn an income; and some other factors that crop up from time to time. I live with these long-term consequences and do my best to trust God to take care of me, even though I live with the fear in the back of my mind that God might put me through similar hell again. But while that could happen, I must do my best to trust God as best I can. As for those who hurt me, I forgive them. But don’t worry: it’s not a contrived / forced fake instant “forgiveness” reconciliation. I forgive them, but I’m not reconciled to them at this point.

    The difficulty with reconciliation is that it takes both parties mutually working things out, taking a healthy amount of time to rebuild broken trust. The awesome thing about forgiveness, though, is that that’s something we can do without the cooperation of the other party. That doesn’t mean I’m going to quit advocating for reforms. No. People matter to God, and I love the Church — particularly my old denomination — enough not to be okay with her hurting people. But as for the ones who hurt me, meh, I don’t need them to do anything for me. No, I cannot always trust them, because their behavior has not always been trustworthy; but I love them and forgive them, and that’s good enough for me. Besides, they can repent in time, just as I can of my own sins. I trust that in time, God will work things out. I trust that He will do that in your case and mine, David. Even if we have to wait a long while, I figure it will work out in the end. 🙂

    I get the work issue, David. May the Lord provide you with appropriate work soon enough. And may the Lord help you and Andrew White to work things out as well. 🙂

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  2. my prayers are with you, i understand the hurt of betrayal, but for me, i had to forgive even if no one else cares, i must forgive to move on. may our Lord give you peace , also strength as you care for your mother, blessings
    ‘recovering church leader’

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  3. I feel deeply for you, Eagle, and can relate to much of what you have said.

    Thank you for your encouragement to me over the past year.
    You have a heart of gold.

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