Dear WCIU Colleagues and Friends!
Each Friday at 1:30 PST we have a one hour WCIU Staff prayer time. That includes as many as 10-12 in face to face attendance, and Skyping in others, and of course there are others globally who pray where and when they can.
This week I sent out to many of our Friday Prayer friends a long message about some recent controversies and how I am handling them. Since the message mentions an attachment, I will add that too.
My main intention is not so much to answer the questions raised in the controversies we face, but to share with you a perspective I have on how to go about it in a wise, honoring, and honest way.
WCIU focuses on development, on the transformation of societies in the light of the Kingdom. Surely that will include transformation of the way in which controversial issues are addressed in the public arenas of the world! I am trying to apply His wisdom as best I can to a different way of disagreeing.
Here is the message:
I know that some of you, but not all, are aware of several recent articles about WCIU and FV and the potential of a sale of some portion of the properties here. In most cases I have passed along links to the actual articles and made a few comments, and corrections where needed. I don't think any of the reporters intentionally get details incorrect, but it has seemed helpful to correct various points.
The most recent article to come out was published in World Magazine. This has actually been several weeks in the making, including multiple interviews with myself, and I know they also reached out to various FV and WCIU staff as well. They also discussed the questions and issues with Save the Campus and others.
As always, I will make sure you have access to the full article in World Magazine.
I have been asked a few times why I go to the extent of making sure to include access to the articles, even more critical ones like World.
First, I sincerely believe that whenever there is conflict and disagreement, I need to be sure I am really seeking to listen. And I want to encourage others to do so as well. Some arguments seem to have a very clear right or wrong side (some actually do, of course). And I know some on both "sides" have felt that way about the property controversy: some feeling that there is no way WCIU/FV's decision can possibly be correct, and some feeling the same about the position of our critics. But it is very, very rare that there is a clear 100% right or wrong controversy. So, I prefer to pass along the other perspectives when I share my own, and let people make up their own minds.
Second, by doing this I make sure that those who disagree can be heard in their own words, instead of my interpretations of their words. This is really important.
Finally, I believe that in this process God can speak, grant wisdom, and I am also convinced that all of His people have God given discernment to assess and weigh and come to conclusions.
Now, because this was a more extensive and lengthy article than prior pieces, I and a small team (which included 3 WCIU Board members and some FV leadership) spent more time than usual in preparing some responses. And because the response turned out longer than planned, I have added it as an attachment, rather than inserting it, here.
A final word of perspective. We have been returning a lot to Colossians recently, and my own translation of 4:2 ff would include some of these renderings of key phrases....
"In thanksgiving be devoted and alert to prayer...."
"In wisdom walk towards those outside of your community..."
"In grace respond and answer..."
The three "in" statements all provide, for me, the atmosphere, the world, the envelope, the skin in which I am to pray, move towards those outside, and respond to questions....
So I want to pray, wearing thanksgiving as a skin, and to walk, wearing wisdom as a skin, and to respond, wearing grace as a skin...
Here is the attachment:
Bless you, and see many of you this week!