-------- Original Message --------
||Jonathan E. Smith
||Management Studies, UWI Mona
||Re: 3abn and Lawsuits
||Wed, 11 Jul 2007 14:03:15 -0500
Dear Dr. Thompson and Mrs. Steenson,
I have received and read your response carefully.
First let me say that I came into the SDA church partly through
3ABN in 2000 and am very concerned for its survival. It has
done a wonderful job for the Lord. Through 3ABN I have learned
a lot about the history of the church and its reasons for existence.
The various ministries that are featured on 3ABN have also provided
a great source of inspiration. There is absolutely no wish or
desire on my part to see 3ABN diminished in any way. In fact,
I am anxious to see all the world reached.
Secondly, I have read of various allegations made about personnel
presently or formerly with 3ABN. It has been my considered opinion
that if I cannot prove or disprove these allegations, I will
not accept or repeat them to others (i.e., I do not declare either
guilt or innocence). This includes the allegations of adultery
on the part of Linda leading to her subsequent termination from
3ABN. I do not wish to get into those details either since the
issue at hand is about the lawsuits.
Concerning Your Justification
Certainly, if a person believes s/he has been hurt by others,
the person hurt has right to seek redress through lawful channels.
That is a necessary right of a civilized society. I do not
seek to take away your right at all. Nevertheless, these you
- Joy and Pickle are Seventh-day Adventists, so are you (Thompson),
the Sheltons (Danny, Linda), the Steensons and others. That
makes you brothers and sisters in Christ in the remnant church.
- As members of the church we are ONE body.
- When parts of the body fight against other parts, there
is cause for concern about the survival of the body or some of
the parts. As a medical doctor, Dr. Thomson knows about that more than all the other parties.
- The Seventh-day Adventist church is generally hated and
despised for being so different from the rest of society. 3ABN,
with a mandate for "counteracting the counterfeit," will be especially hated.
- The letter in 1 Corinthians 6 is very clear about the horror
and repugnance that God has for members of the same body using
the heathen to settle internal disputes (the body is naturally
designed to be self healing - if it has a normal functioning immune system).
- Paul's appeal to Caesar resulted after HE was drawn into
courts, by members NOT of the body he was now part of, but by
men who hated the body. Thus in this case, Joy and Pickle would
fit the role of Paul - for it is they who are being accused IN COURT of wrongdoing.
- I am NOT addressing the question of if Joy and Pickle are right or wrong.
Given the above-mentioned points, the church IS the means
for settling the disputes. If the parties could not agree on
an independent group, then shame must be placed on all persons
involved. Only unreasonable positions can stymie such a process.
Why did you all not agree on ASI? What other group is there?
How about the lawyers employed by the GC or NAD?
If the purpose of the lawsuit is to only force a retraction
of alleged false statements and cessation of alleged harmful
practices, then your intentions are honorable but the medium
is wrong. If the purposes of the lawsuit includes financial
payments to 3ABN and/or inflicting severe financial hardship
on Joy and Pickle, your lawsuit is demonic. Please bear that in mind.
- 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 Corinthians 6:7.
When you suffer rightly, God will be your reward, God will
vindicate you. Your appeal to the cases of Paul and Elijah fail
on the account that Paul and Elijah were in the minority, oppressed
by much more powerful human forces and the contexts were different.
3ABN would more likely fit the role of Ahab et. al. since it is
the organization with many friends and backers going after two
fairly poor, insignificant men. 3ABN does not compare with Paul
and Elijah in this case.
Let me repeat that I am not casting judgement on who is right
or wrong in the issues of the lawsuit. My problem is with the
lawsuit itself. If you do not cease and desist and seek an internal
- 3ABN will have all its linen exposed to the public. The
allegations about Danny, Tommy, Melody, Linda and all others
will become fodder for gossip-hungry people. You will not be
able to stop more professional investigators from digging and digging and leaking and leaking.
- 3ABN will be portrayed as a bully.
- 3ABN will likely be forced (in the long run) to have a different
set of people altogether at the leadership level as members of the church who understand 1 Cor. 6 react.
A graceful and honorable withdrawal of the lawsuit under
terms of seeking arbitration within the church is your best course
of action. A lawsuit to shut up your accusers is likely to be
seen as an attempt to silence the critics. Critics cannot be
silenced by force, unless you exterminate them all. They are
best silenced by FRUIT. A good tree is known by its good fruit.
Bitter water and sweet water cannot come from the same spring
at the same time.
Make sure that all your actions are honourable, moral and
godly. You are a public organization with many eyes on you.
As a Ten Commandment supporting institution, you are expected
to keep the moral law in spirit. As Christians, we may be ashamed
of our past but once in Christ we must produce good works.
All the evidence may not be revealed on earth. I surely do
believe in a real heaven where we can all go. We have to make
our calling and election sure. 3ABN will not answer to God,
but Shelton, Thompson, Steenson, Joy, Pickle and Smith must.
What can be hidden from men is all plain to God. Do not travel
so far on the narrow road and jump off now. Stay on it, suffer
loss, suffer ridicule, do what is right, abhor the way of the
world and God will be your exceeding and great reward.
I sincerely wish 3ABN all the best and that it prospers abundantly.
Jonathan E. Smith