An Open Letter to
the AOG National Executive

Following a defamatory attack on the writer by three prominent
Assemblies of God “ministers” and “brothers-in-Christ”.

The AOG hierarchy’s response to my Open Letter to the Churches is cheap, inaccurate and slanderous—a “quick-fix” counter blast designed to blacken my name and remove the focus of the debate from the biblical questions that have been raised.

If I were to follow the AOG National Executive’s example, I could take Andrew Evans, Freddie Evans and Ron Hunt—my “brothers-in-Christ” —to court over the written and oral statements made concerning me at the Queensland AOG State Conference in early October 1996.

Cowardice
In a cowardly attempt to justify their actions and to bolster their credibility (their fame), members of the AOG National Executive have—true to form— attacked the messenger, rather than deal honestly with the message.

These men have found it easy to strike at the vulnerable, the defenceless widow and the fatherless. They have demeaned themselves by resorting to a personal attack on one who raised genuine questions and issues according to Scripture.

And they have attacked me while hiding behind the nobility of my dear, blind, ninety-five year old father.

Muckraking
Time and time again, the AOG National Executive has been approached by people, in accordance with the principle of Matthew 18, but the AOG National Executive has steadfastly refused to listen to them.
- We have taken witnesses.
- We have presented the evidence.
- We have challenged them from Scripture.

And how have we been answered?

We have been answered by scurrilous, undignified, unprofessional muckraking. (Which, had it at least been accurate, might not have been so bad.) But the impression they have sought to give, that I am unstable and approving of fornication, is false and defamatory.

Defamation
The irony of this situation would be laughable, if it were not so serious.

I went to the church (according to Matthew 18) regarding the actions of some of the AOG National Executive members in taking a Christian brother to court (over a trifling case of “defamation”).

They have responded by defaming me!

In a further irony, the court action for “defamation” was a result of the AOG National Executive’s failure to deal honourably with the issues raised in the book The Evidence.

What price ‘reputation’?
We read in Philippians 2 that Jesus Christ emptied Himself and made Himself of no reputation. He was betrayed and defamed.

By his example, Jesus showed us that “credibility” and “reputation” are this world’s prize and glory. They should not be sought after by His disciples in courtroom battles!

Didn’t Jesus teach us, in His Model Prayer, to pray: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us?

That is why all true Christians need to walk in daily repentance and brokenness: an attitude that flies in the face of any pursuit of “credibility” or “reputation”.

We have absolutely no credit with God. The Bible teaches that our righteousness is “as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). We are only secure because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.

Our concern should be to please God (not men) and to regard Jesus’ opinion of us as the most valuable treasure.

Evil institutionalised
I am greatly disturbed by this development of taking a brother in Christ to court, simply to protect the reputation and ego of temporarily elected church officials.

If this behaviour is not checked, the evil will become institutionalised. It will have the effect of gagging the sheep—those whom the Scriptures exhort to both judge the message taught by the shepherds and to expose anything wrong in their teaching or practice.

And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them (Ephesians 5:11, NASB).

We are…no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming… (Ephesians 4:14, NASB).

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good
(1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Contrary to 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, certain members of the AOG National Executive are introducing a new methodology into the church which will affect us all. They are trying to silence Henry Sheppard by taking him to the civil courts because he exposed wrongs. If they can do that to Henry Sheppard (using church funds), they can do it to the rest of us.

It is never easy for Christians to defend the truth in the church. But a work for the Lord or a ministry that does not demand a price from us is worth nothing. The cost always involves suffering.

Wasn’t it so with Jesus? He began His ministry “in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). But as soon as He identified Himself as Truth and began to serve in His capacity as The Truth, the attitude of the people began to change and He ceased to be in favour (Luke 4:29).

Pilate, echoing the philosophers down the ages, wanted to know “What is Truth?” (John 18:38). He rejected the One who is the very embodiment of truth, because of the cost involved—not considering the ultimate price he would pay in losing his own soul.

There is certainly a fearful ultimate cost in knowingly compromising the Word of God. That is why it is imperative for true Christians to stand up and be counted for the truth that sets us free.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke).

ISBN 1 876126 05 1


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Postal Address:
Evie Glasgow
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AUSTRALIA

Telephone:
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Last update: 28 May 1997
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Copyright (c) Evelyn D. Glasgow 1996
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