UPDATE ( 11/5/08 ) : I have received a response to the email I wrote a while back. I post it here for a few reasons. The first is that it’s a piece of relevant news in my life. The second is that I think it presents some interesting points for dialogue and growth. This acts as a preface to explain why I did not post it. I did not post it so that people can chose a side and then ridicule, judge, bash, demean, or non-constructively criticize viewpoints that they do not side with or understand. To the degree that you are willing to engage in a discussion for the unity of the church I would love to hear your comments and responses. If this is not your intention than reading this and responding is not requested. I am still very much in process about this but my letter of response is true and expresses my true heart for the issue.
Response to my letter ( 11/4/08 )
My response Back ( 11/4/08 )
I just sent this email to (EDIT: Name and position removed). Seems like kind of a long shot but it’s pretty relieving knowing that I don’t really have anything to prove. For those of you who do not know, TCL stands for Training in Christian Living and is a 4 week program at Lakeside Bible Camp that was very formative for me in my high school years. The camp is historically fairly conservative so I figure the only chance I have is for God to bend some branches because for some reason conservative crowds don’t really consider me to be so…even though all of my liberal friends would probably consider me the most conservative person they know.
(EDIT: Links removed)
I saw your recent posting on Facebook. I’m praying for you and your family during this difficult time and hope that you will soon be able to overcome this problem through Christ and His power in you. I encourage you to be careful with the “higher power” leanings that these programs espouse as they usually do not lead to Christianity but more of a self awareness type of gospel which is not really a gospel at all (Galatians 1). You can overcome this through Christ and the Spirit.
Thanks for your interest in working with the TCL here at Lakeside but I must decline. As you have mentioned to me you seek to live your Christian life outside of the standard “box” of the church; Lakeside is a fairly conservative ministry and our philosophy is different than where you seem to be at in this point in your life. In addition your current situation with treatment for the sex addiction would prevent involvement with youth at the camp.
During this time I encourage you to focus on the rich blessings we have in Christ, many of which are mentioned in Ephesians 1. I like to point out that not only do we have tremendous blessings here but also the rich way that they are lavished upon us as new creatures in Christ – every spiritual blessing vs. 3; adoption as sons vs. 5; grace freely bestowed vs. 6; the kind intention of His will vs. 9. Our God is very generous with His children.
Sincerely in Christ,
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’m assuming it would have been much easier not to. I appreciate your honesty, openness, and encouragement.
I totally respect and understand your need to decline my offer at this time. Do you view this as a permanent decision or is it based on variables that you think may change over time? If it is something that you think may change, I have two questions that will help me to understand where you are coming from and how I can serve Lakeside in the future.
What are the main “philosophical differences” as you see them? Which of these will prevent me from serving or leading at camp?
Will my involvement in a Sexaholics group always disqualify me from working with the youth at camp or is there a point where this can be a possibility? What is that point?
Lakeside has been such a blessing to me and my family and I would love to serve the ministry and the people there. It is a constant goal for me to be dealing with and growing through issues that prevent me from doing this. Thanks for engaging in this discussion.