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Final Entreaty: "I Fear for Your Souls"

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Jonathan Smith, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, entreats the powers that be at 3ABN one last time regarding the lawsuit.

Jonathan Smith's Final Entreaty

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Jonathan E. Smith
Organization:  Management Studies, UWI Mona
To:  Mollie Steenson, Walt Thompson
CC:  Pastor John Lomacang
Subject:  Re: 3abn and Lawsuits – I fear for your souls
Date:  Mon, 16 Jul 2007 11:32:29 -0500

Dear Folks,

Let me say that I do love 3ABN and would like to see us all in heaven. Again, I must stress I am not addressing your rights in seeking redress – I am unqualified to deal with the merits of your case.

Yet in reviewing Scripture and the writings of Ellen White, I am convinced that under no condition whatsoever should a believer sue another. To do so would imperil your souls!! Are you willing to take that chance? By the way, I am not accusing you of being evil, my choice of word would be misguided – and dangerously so. I sure hope you have not been cajoled or railroaded into making a decision that would banish you from heaven.

Consider these written words from Scripture and the SOP:

  • Matthew 18:21-35:   Forgiving plentifully and endlessly.
  • But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Luke 6:27-29.
  • Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. Mark 15:32.
  • For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:20-24.
  • Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 1 Cor 6:1. [Note the word DARE – would you challenge God?]
  • Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 1 Cor. 6:7. [The word UTTERLY – holoshol'-ocecompletely, that is, altogether; (by analogy) everywhere; (negative) not by any means: – at all, commonly, utterly. Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.] This word leaves no room for an excuse for anyone who initiates a lawsuit. Such a person is already found guilty.

Christ forgave His enemies on the cross and did not seek to exact revenge or even shut them up. He was confident that He had done righteously, so then His Father would be the true Judge and His exceedingly great reward. Christ is our example, and we MUST follow in His steps. As many as are led by the Spirit of God – these are the children of God. If you are confident that you have done righteously, why do you not bear the accusations? Why do you seek to shut up these pesky little trouble makers? How will that commend you to God? How can they destroy 3ABN when their objective is to save 3ABN? Did God not intervene many times to save His institutions when they were under attack? You are altogether wrong to retaliate with a lawsuit.

Christianity is not a business mixed with spiritual matters. Christianity is a WAY of life. It means forgetting the ways of the world. Christ said in Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." We need to deny the lusts of our selfish souls; crucify them instead. When Jesus said, "Come, follow Me," He also said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11:29. He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Can we not follow Him? Can you follow Jesus without being yoked to/with Him? I fear that you have been influenced by the ways of this world far too much. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Thus the command is, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.

To be children of God we must learn from Christ. We will suffer persecution if we desire to live godly (2 Tim. 3:12); we are to be a peculiar people (Deut. 14:2; 26:18; Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9).

It seems like you ought to drop the lawyers off your payroll, except for those needed to do battle with the state and other secular matters. You certainly do not have a Christian right of using the heathen to judge your brothers.

Prayerfully consider these SOP words:

Counsel to a Believer Threatening Lawsuits

When you engaged in that lawsuit against R, I said if S has gone so far as to enter into that business, it will be a blot upon his life. I have sorrowed because of your course in this; I know that it is not right, and will not in the least relieve the situation for you in any way. It is only a manifestation of that wisdom which is not from above. {3SM 301.2}

I was informed that you intended to institute a suit against me, on the ground that you had been wronged by the testimonies given in your case. A letter came to me, threatening that if I did not acknowledge that I had wronged you, the suit would be entered upon. Now, I could hardly believe that you had gone so decidedly on the enemy's ground, knowing my lifework as well as you do. {3SM 301.3}

All that I have written to you, every word of it, was the truth. I have no retractions to make. I have done only that which I know to be my duty to do. My only motive in publishing the matter was the hope of saving you. I had no thought but of sincere pity and love for your soul. You yourself know that I have great interest for your soul. . . . {3SM 301.4}

If anyone shall seek to hinder me in this work by appealing to the law, I shall not abate one jot of the testimonies given. The work in which I am engaged is not my work. It is the work of God, which He has given me to do. I did not believe that you would do so terrible a thing as to lift your finite hand against the God of heaven. Whoever shall do this work, let it not be you. . . . {3SM 301.5}

I want to say to you. Do not extort money from anyone because of words spoken against you or yours. You harm yourself by so doing. If we are looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, we shall be able to pray, "Lord, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Jesus did not appeal to the law for redress when He was unjustly accused. When He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He was threatened, He did not retaliate.—Letter 38, 1891. {3SM 302.1}

The Very Thing God Told Them Not to Do.—I have written largely in regard to Christians who believe the truth placing their cases in courts of law to obtain redress. In doing this, they are biting and devouring one another in every sense of the word, "to be consumed one of another." They cast aside the inspired counsel God has given, and in the face of the message He gives they do the very thing He has told them not to do. Such men may as well stop praying to God, for He will not hear their prayers. They insult Jehovah, and He will leave them to become the subjects of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sins. . . . {3SM 302.2}

What Appeals to the Courts Reveal.—The world and unconverted church members are in sympathy. Some when God reproves them for wanting their own way, make the world their confidence, and bring church matters before the world for decision. Then there is collision and strife, and Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Those church members who appeal to the courts of the world show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and their names are registered in heaven as one with unbelievers. How eagerly the world seizes the statements of those who betray sacred trusts! {3SM 302.3}

This action, of appealing to human courts, never before entered into by Seventh-day Adventists, has now been done. God has permitted this that you who have been deceived may understand what power is controlling those who have had entrusted to them great responsibilities. Where are God's sentinels? Where are the men who will stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, with the truth, present truth for this time, in possession of the heart?—Manuscript 64, 1898. {3SM 303.1}

The Saints to Judge the World

The saints are to judge the world. Then are they to depend upon the world, and upon the world's lawyers to settle their difficulties? God does not want them to take their troubles to the subjects of the enemy for decision. Let us have confidence in one another.—Manuscript 71, 1903. {3SM 303.2}

Lawyers and Laodiceans

To lean upon the arm of the law is a disgrace to Christians; yet this evil has been brought in and cherished among the Lord's chosen people. Worldly principles have been stealthily introduced, until in practice many of our workers are becoming like the Laodiceans—half-hearted, because so much dependence is placed on lawyers and legal documents and agreements. Such a condition of things is abhorrent to God.—Manuscript 128, 1903. {3SM 303.3}

Jonathan E. Smith

Walt Thompson's Reply to Jonathan Smith

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Walt Thompson
To:  Jonathan E. Smith
Subject:  Re: 3abn and Lawsuits – I fear for your souls
Date:  Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:50 AM

Dear Johathan,

I have not been ignoring you.

Yes, I am ready to stand trial before my God for the decisions we have made. I know my God, and I believe I know my heart. I am fully aware of the cost of going against the Word of God. I am also aware of the cost of going against one's convictions and the evidence of His leading in the life. There are many times in life where one must make difficult judgment calls based upon not just one set of admonitions, but upon the whole of inspired counsel. I happen to believe Ellen White to be a prophet of God. I also believe her writings must be read incontext of the whole of inspired writing. I do not fault you for believing other wise, but I must do what I believe to be right. Nor have I twisted the decisions of my fellow board members who have joined me in this decision. Likewise, if by your prayers of intercession for us, God provides convincing indications that we have acted wrongly, I can assure you that I will fight for the right as vigorously then as now.

God bless you Johnathan. You are appreciated.

Sincerely in Jesus' love,

Walter Thompson MD

Jonathan Smith's Thoughts on Walt Thompson's Reply

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Jonathan E. Smith
Organization:  Management Studies, UWI Mona
To:  ******, ******
Subject:  Fw: 3abn and Lawsuits – I fear for your souls
Date:  Thu, 19 Jul 2007 11:35:23 -0500

Hi ****** and ******,

This is Walt's latest response. It is incredible. I am 100% sure that with this counsel if they continue with their lawsuit they will imperil their souls. There is no wiggle room or intercession possible.

It seems like they believe that prayer and providence can overrule the word of God – which He has magnified above His name. Those who do not have a love for the truth will receive strong delusion so that they will believe the lie ....

And yes, when using my name, you may say I am a lecturer ... at the University.

Jonathan E. Smith ...

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