Graham Thompson letter
4 November 2011
Around convention time in New Zealand last year, serious moves were afoot to cast me out of the Ministry. It was to this end that Alan Richardson requested Graham Snow come from the other side of the world to support him in the action that he had in mind. In the event the intention was not carried through, though Graham Snow did come from Europe for the purpose. This was all planned and carried out (as far as it was) in secret, with absolutely no communication on the subject with me before or since. Rather astoundingly, there was also no discussion of this possibility with my co-worker either.
This will not happen again.
Seeing that the overseers are relying on their own private counsel, it seems evident that they are reacting to my position regarding the errors in their administration system; otherwise they would have discussed the case with my co-worker who would surely be the one most able to furnish comment on other matters, such as difficulties of doctrine, companionship, or field matters (etc). Nothing new at all had been raised in the year prior, however, that could have precipitated such a reaction - they have been made fully aware of my concerns for several years now and chosen to ignore them.
In July 2004, as a result of abuses within the eldership which I could see were working to the detriment of the Fellowship, I was compelled to write to Alan Richardson and Ray Corbett to appeal that something be done about these abuses. I knew that in doing so I was putting my future on the line, but believed that among the overseers there would be some, at least, who would be ready to take a stand for Truth. Sadly, to this day I have found not one. It has been demonstrated that the priority is to save their own skin and uphold their own standing - individually and collectively - and there is scant regard for the principles of Truth or for the welfare of the Fellowship. As a result of experiences, and of long reflection on the Scriptures and the teachings and examples contained therein, I have for some years now had a very strong conviction that the structure of the eldership system in the Ministry, the way it operates, and the attitudes concerning it, are not in line with Christ. These concerns have been communicated very openly to the overseers of the Ministry in New Zealand, Australia, and some in Europe and elsewhere, with observations always accompanied by explanations, evidence, and Scripture as appropriate, but they have mostly met with no response and generally not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement. In my letter to Alan and Ray it was specifically noted that if things were allowed to remain as they were and nothing was done about the situation, the end result would have to be that it become an open matter before the Church. It is now more than 7 years since that warning was first sounded and it has been repeated a number of times - there has been ample warning and opportunity to act in a timely and appropriate manner.
In 2007 the following written statement was forwarded to the overseers in New Zealand;
I believe that we have received the Word of Truth, and through it we have Life. I believe that the Gospel we have is true. I believe that the Ministry of which I am a part is the true Ministry, and I believe that the fruit of that ministry in the Word of Truth is the true church.
But I do not believe in the administration manifested presently in the eldership system. I do not believe it is part of the Kingdom, nor part of the Gospel. I do not believe it has any foundation in Scripture � not in the word of the Lord nor in any parallel or precedent that can be found in the Apostles� traditions. I have no confidence in the uprightness of any of the decisions that are being made. I believe the current administration is nothing more than a hierarchical body which pursues a very dubious agenda and it does so by political processes and without the will to do what pleases God alone.
I have come to the place where I have no allegiance or loyalty to, nor any trust in nor respect for the administration system. In fact, I feel that the only way I can preach the Gospel without making a hypocrite of myself is to denounce the eldership system completely. This is because not only does it not fit in to the standard of Truth in Jesus; it is in fact at enmity with it.
This is a true and fair summary of my position on the matter since that time, and it was not only conveyed in writing to the NZ overseers but reaffirmed in person with them.
In early 2008 the following statement was written to the overseers of the Ministry in the Australian states and New Zealand;
I believe that the sickness in the eldership is the most serious factor affecting the health of the Fellowship today, and that it is also the greatest threat to the future of the Fellowship. In your pride, and blindness of self-delusion, you have given yourselves such a place that you obviously feel you can act with wanton disregard for the Word of God, the principles of sound judgment, and the spirit of the brotherhood. This place which you claim for yourselves is one which our Lord Jesus never took Himself � and straitly commanded His disciples never to take. You have set yourselves on a throne upon which God alone should be seated, and � not content only to rule over the Lord�s heritage � you even desire and demand that you be worshipped.
The most recent communication to the New Zealand overseer on the matter carries the observation that "Your administration system (note that I write not in reference to the true Ministry of Jesus Christ, but to you who separate yourselves and make yourselves an upper echelon above the servants of God) exhibits very strong elements of cultism, and many of the characteristics of false religion."
My conviction on these matters stands unshakeable, and I am ready to be held accountable for what has been said and written. Accordingly, by this letter I submit these matters, and also my own self, to judgment. But this judgment will not be carried out behind closed doors by the overseers, for they may not sit in judgment on matters that relate to themselves and, besides, I have proved them to be habitually dishonest. Nor will it be before the Ministry only, for by the very nature of the problem the Ministry as a body tends to be too much beholden to the views of the eldership. Judgment will not be in secret, but open before the eyes and ears of the Church. As Paul said, "For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them". If it is thought better that I no longer have a part in this Ministry then it is only needed to tell me: there is no need for a cloak-and-dagger operation to be mounted with secret scheming and special people being flown around the world.
My concerns are not at all in any personal consequences of the experiences of the years, but that these experiences have revealed that there are men in the Ministry who feel that they by Divine appointment have a place, and the right to behave in ways, that the Son of God Himself did not allow; and that these men would have themselves lifted up in the Church among those who know that our Lord Jesus Christ only is the One worthy of all honour and glory and praise and dominion. In the former they show themselves to be in error, and in the latter they would bring the whole Church into error.
A brother and servant,
Graham ThompsonSee also Graham Thompson
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Paul Abenroth's Letter
Sydney Holt's Letter
Letter to Willis
Letter to Fay Sheeley
Letter to Mrs Dilla Sheeley
Graham Thompson Letter
Dales Letter to Lyle
Letter to Berglinds
Rays CSA Letter
Letter to Bob & Minnie Skerritt
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Dale Letter Immorality
Dale Shultz Letter
Willie Jamieson Letter
Willie Jamiesons Letter CC
Clyde Mackay's Letter
Ted and Kay Arvig
Letter by Malcom
|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|