The DOOR Magazine - November/December 1989
Permission granted to PeaceMakers.net, Inc.

Call 1.800.597.DOOR (3667) for authenticated reprints

WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

PeaceMakers

  [The portions in BLACK are the original text. RED texts are current clarifications and additions]


 WE continue to pray and seek God's peace with Dr. James Dobson and Focus On The Family, praying for their repentance and return to Christ Jesus...they continue to reject God's Biblical process...

2001--In his Nationally syndicated Column Date Janurary 7, 2001  [pmi-note that:

1. Dr. Dobson never quotes God's Word on the subject of tough love through confrontation.

2. Secondly, he promotes a secular process/organization.

3. Thirdly, the tough love confrontation that is Biblical-though not identified as Godly, and the nature of the problem-denial, that Dr. Dobson does mention are the same Biblical steps that he has so stubbornly rejected towards himself, for many years.

4. Fourth he suggests children can go for help without their parents knowing--isn't this the same principle he opposes about teens getting abortions without their parents knowlege?

5. Dr. Dobson send people needing help to this secular organization and not to God's body where they can get everlasting help and life.

God says leave this man alone and stop supporting him until he falls and repents...just like Dr. Dobson says should be done to alcoholics. Everyone who supports Dr. Dobson and Focus On The Family with money, gifts, verbal and non-verbal support contribute to his willfull sinning and the destruction of those who do not know better...May God have mercy on their souls...
ALCOHOLIC MUST BE CONFRONTED IN SPIRIT OF TOUGH LOVE, Dr. Dobson writes:

"Q. My husband drinks excessively.  Aside from getting help for my family, what should I do specifically for him?  How on earth am I going to get him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous or some similar treatment program?  He is deep in denial, and I'm not even sure he's thinking right now.  He couldn't make a rational decision to save his life.  How am I going to get him to cooperate?"

A: You’re right about the difficulties you face. Begging won't accomplish anything, r husband could be dead before he admits he has a problem. Indeed, thousands die each year while denying that alcoholics.

That’s why Al?Anon teaches family members to confront with love. They learn how to remove the support systems that prop up the disease and permit it to thrive.  They are shown how and when to impose ultimatums that force the alcoholic to admit his or her need for help. And sometimes they recommend separation until the victim is so miserable that his or her denial will no longer hold up. In essence, Al?Anon teaches its own version of the love?must be?tough philosophy to family members who must implement it.

I asked Bob, a recovered alcoholic, if he was forced to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, the program that put him on the road to recovery. He said:

    "Let me put it this way. No one goes to AA  just because nothing better to do that evening. Everyone there has been forced to attend initially.  You just don’t say “On Monday night we watched a football game and on Tuesday we went to the movies. So what will we do on Wednesday? How about going over to an AA meeting?' It doesn't work that way. Yes, I was forced ? forced by my own misery. Pauline allowed me to be miserable for my own good. It was loving duress that moved me to attend."

Though it may sound easy to achieve, the loving confrontation that brought Bob to his senses was a delicate maneuver. I must re?emphasize that families should not attempt to implement it on their own initiative. Without the training and assistance of professional support groups, the encounter could degenerate into a hateful, vindictive, name-calling battle that would serve only to solidify the drinker's position.

Al-Anon Family Groups and Alcoholics Anonymous are both listed in local phone books.  Also to be found there is a number of the Council on Alcoholism, which can provide further guidance. For teen?agers of an alcoholic parent there is Alateen. Teens can go there and share without their parents' permission or knowledge, and its free.



2000

"Dr. James Dobson is NOT a member of a local congregation but attends several churches when in town" ConfirmedFocus On The Family spokespersons at 9:52 AM, October 12, 1999 and again at 10:00 AM October 13, 1999. When asked for their names for attribution, John ? [10/12] and Ann ? [10/13] I was told the staff are not allowed to give out their lastnames...therefore there are no steward of Christ's authority (local Church Elders) to which Dobson is in Biblical submission according to Matthew 18 and Hebrews 13. It appears Dobson has removed himself from from God's Body, and must be treated as a non-believer. -END- PMI 10/13/99

AS of August 1, 2000 (Chuck who sought the information from FOTF executives) is saying that "Dr. Dobson IS a member of a local Nazarene church but is not allowed to give out the name"--which functionally means there is still no biblical recourse to address using Matthew 18 and Luke 17. Dr. Dobson's shameful behavior continues and now includes his so called church since they do not hold Dr. Dobson accountable for his actions.

August 1, 2000: 11:18am CDT, upon calling many Nazarene Churches in Colorado Springs I found Rev. Zell Woodworth is Dr. Dobson's pastor at the Nazarene Church Eastborough 4123 E Pikes Peak Ave COLORADO - SPRINGS, CO 80909 719-596-1929 I will attempt to bring these issues to Eastborough ruling Elders for the continuing of Matthew 18-Third Step of "Telling it to the Church". http://www.eastborough.org and Pastor Zell's email is PastorZell@eastborough.org

August 1, 2000:2:28pm CDT Rev. Zell Woodworth wrote back saying,

"Dear Sir, Eastborough, nor it's Church Board, are interested in hearing about your dispute with Dr. Dobson.

His, Pastor Woodworth" Enough said to now treat them as a non-church...Lord, Lord Lord...

The DOOR Magazine - November/December 1989
Permission granted to PeaceMakers.net, Inc.

Call 1.800.597.DOOR (3667) for authenticated reprints


WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

PeaceMakers

"PeaceMakers.net." Sounds innocuous enough, doesn't it? That's what we figured when we sat down to talk with PeaceMakers, otherwise known as Bill FIELDS—counselor, Wheaton College graduate, and veteran of several Christian organizations, most recently Youth For Christ. Fields was recommended to us as someone who could provide a fresh perspective on the Dobson - Moegerle battle. Sounded good to us—anyone who founds an organization called "PeaceMakers" should have some good Christian-counselor, 700 Club-type insights. And their purpose statement sounded innocent enough: "Creating a dynamic witness for Jesus Christ that builds the body of Christ, attracting the attention of a lost world through biblical counseling, instruction, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. Reconciling man to God, man to himself, and man to others." Neat and evangelical, right?

Wrong—as Fields has discovered in his journey to understand and apply biblical reconciliation and authentic Christian brotherhood in his own life and into the lives of those he works, fellowships, and struggles with. As we plunged into an intense, exhilarating and sometimes terrifying discussion, we began to see why Fields could be called the Clint Eastwood of the brotherhood business.

Joining us in Fields' Wheaton, IL office was Russ KNIGHT and Peter SJOBLOM, board members of PeaceMakers, fellow ex-Metro Chicago YFC staff, and Bill's brothers in Christ. And when you finish this interview, you'll know why we no longer use those last words lightly.
 
 

DOOR: When did the breakdown between Dobson and the AlexanderMoegerles start?

FIELDS: The day Jim Dobson and Gil Moegerle became Christians in a system that teaches people how to be Pharisees.

DOOR: Could you get to the point?

FIELDS: When we become Christians, we learn a system. We're taught that we can become special. We're taught that righteousness is about doing good Christian things. We now have generations of people who have learned how to do godly things but have no understanding of who God is.

DOOR: Yeah, it's tough when guys like Dobson are so screwed up that—

FIELDS: Time out. I am Jim Dobson. I am Gil Moegerle. We've all embraced the system, and we've all been victimized by the system.

DOOR: Uhh . . . right, Bill. We sure are. That old system, it sure is a stinker—

FIELDS: Are we brothers in this room? If we are, then you're not just an interviewer for The DOOR. There's something more important than an interview happening here.

DOOR: Hmmm . . . brothers . . . do you have any relatives with names like "Mussolini?"

FIELDS: If all this interview does is give information, it's a waste. In fact, you guys should print a disclaimer at the beginning: "The DOOR has not always practiced the principles that you'll read here. We are publishing this interview in the hope that you can address these issues in your life, and we will continue to address them in ours." [ED: You saw it here first.] Let's make a statement to all the former employees of The DOOR who got shafted.

DOOR: Us? Shaft? Say, have you been talking to—

FIELDS: When you put more than two Christians in a room together, someone usually gets hurt.

DOOR: You guys sure give a whole new meaning to the word "fellowship."

FIELDS: My fear in talking with you at all is that people will read this interview and use the principles they'll read about to destroy others. There's a pastor in the local area who I've sat down with many times. He listens, he learns the techniques, and then he goes back and kills hundreds of people. I will not return his phone calls. I will not teach him one single solitary thing again until I know that his heart is right.

DOOR: Bill, feel free to express yourself. You don't need to hold back.

FIELDS: What?

DOOR: We could use a little clarification. What is this system that breeds Pharisees? And how does it contrast with what you teach through PeaceMakers?

KNIGHT: The system teaches us that no matter what spiritual condition we're in, we're justified when we do God's work—that God's happiness with us is tied into what we do. We get brownie points because we're saving souls, preaching the Word, whatever. It's unthinkable that God could call us to stop "doing" to get our lives in order, to reconcile a broken relationship. Whatever we might say with our mouths, when it comes right down to it, very few of us would practice that.

SJOBLOM: Our ministries are so incredibly important and crucial that they can't be sacrificed for something as minor as a broken relationship. In fact, we've convinced ourselves that the sin would be to stop doing our so-called righteous work.

KNIGHT: We've conned ourselves into believing that God somehow accepts our offerings regardless of the state of our heart. Jesus says clearly in Matthew 5 that He doesn't.

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Amen, I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

[Matthew 5:23-26]
 
 

FIELDS: Just because results take place doesn't mean that God is validating the minister. He's validating Himself. But we tend to look at what someone does and figure they've gotta be OK because hundreds are coming to the Lord through their ministry.

DOOR: It sounds like a person could be out of the ministry business for a long time if they took you up on this.

FIELDS: My former pastor told me that we couldn't explore reconciliation in our church because it would take two years to repair all the broken relationships. Well, what's the church supposed to be about? What is the ministry anyway, for crying out loud?

DOOR: Yeah—right! Uh . . . what is it?

SJOBLOM: To glorify God by being in relationship with Him. To enjoy Him, to be in His presence, to desirenHim, to hunger for Him. To be His ambassadors, reaching into the lives of those who are in bondage to Satan and trying to bring them out.

DOOR: Sounds like all those doers out there could agree with that statement.

FIELDS: So let's talk about priorities. Our first priority is to love God with all our being. To surrender to Him with our heart, soul, and mind. Priorities number two through 5,000 never add up to one. Never. If we don't take care of number one, it don't matter. And what's #1A? Love your neighbor as yourself. What's supposed to attract the lost world to Christians? John 13:34—the love between the body. So if the love between the body ain't there, what do we have? Nothing.

KNIGHT: It's not a case of sacrificing our ministries. It's a case of turning from our false idols to what ministry really is.

DOOR: That's a great ideal . . . but how do you square it with reality? After all, it's a fallen world. There s always going to be sin.

KNIGHT: It's in our struggling with conflict and trying to make things right in a fallen world that we make the biggest statement for who God is and what His kingdom is about. That is what gives God the most glory. We'll always have conflict. That is a part of life. The point is how we treat each other within our conflict. We can't prejudge the outcome of the reconciliation process. The goal for Dobson and the Alexander-Moegerle isn't necessarily that everyone come together again. The goal is that reconciliation be made the chief priority, and that the process is done righteously.

SJOBLOM: We can't predetermine the time frame either. Reconciliation takes time. In fact, the worst thing we can do is to set arbitrary limits on the process.

DOOR: On the one hand, what you're saying sounds simple, clear, and refreshing. On the other hand, it sounds completely crazy. How did you guys get here from there?

FIELDS: Oh boy, this is where we get to confess our sin. We three were experts at hurting people. But we did it in the name of the Lord.

KNIGHT: And we did the Lord's work well.

SJOBLOM: In Metro Chicago Youth for Christ, we were leading a person to the Lord for $300. The national average at the time was over $1,600. We actually kept statistics like that.

KNIGHT: We were doing great things for the Kingdom, but we were growing more and more dissatisfied. For all our good works, we were mistreating each other. Relationships were not a priority.

FIELDS: We were doing all these fantastic things and we didn't even know each other. We started asking each other, who are you? That's when the fun started. Russ and Peter started telling me who they thought I was. It was not what I wanted to hear.

KNIGHT: As we started to share who we were with each other, we realized that we had one thing in common: All the information we had about one another had come from one person, our executive director.

DOOR: Why do we feel like it wasn't all hearts and flowers?

FIELDS: The executive director had taken me aside and told me, "Bill, Russ has been with the organization for a long time, but basically he's a little slow. We need to keep him on staff . . . after all, he's a minority . . . so you just have to understand these things." I'm thinking that I've gotta help poor Russ, but Russ thought he was a man. Russ thought he had capabilities. It blew me away when I came to help Russ and he said, "Why are you here?" What we discovered is that our executive director kept us divided to maintain his control over us.

DOOR: Why would you guys put up with that? Didn't you realize what was going on?

KNIGHT: We all wanted to be close to power.

FIELDS: I was looking for somebody to approve of me, to see me as special. When the executive director told me I was a good guy, it made me feel good. I was willing to do whatever it took to protect that bond. And I felt I was as close to the executive director as anyone could get. He certainly made me feel that way by how he gossiped and slandered about the other guys on the team.

SJOBLOM: We had all been conned into liking power. We had allowed ourselves to be seduced into a system where we considered lust for power, manipulation, and back-door politics as legitimate components of Christian ministry. We accepted that as the norm.

DOOR: So when you finally started getting to know each other and tried to change how you worked as a team, what happened?

FIELDS: I was invited to find another ministry.

KNIGHT: We began the process of trying to practice Matthew 18 in Metro Chicago Youth For Christ—

SJOBLOM:—and that was our downfall.

FIELDS: I believed the power of God resided in the process, rather than in God Himself. I assumed that if we did the process correctly and as cleanly as we could, then God's will would be accomplished. And I assumed I knew God's will. To make a long story short, I was identified as the troublemaker.

SJOBLOM: About a month after Bill was fired, the Board started doing their own homework and eventually forced the executive director to resign. (added Wheaton Evangelical Free Church and And Bill Fields at http://www.peacemakers.net/peace/wefc.htm)

KNIGHT: Which just compounded the error. They kept thinking if they could just find and eliminate the bad apple, the problems would go away. They didn't want to face the fact that the system was dysfunctional.

FIELDS: But I still wanted reconciliation with my executive director. He and I went to the same church, so I went to the elder board and said, "I need your help. I want to be reconciled with this man." I still felt a tremendous bond with this guy, a tremendous need for his love and approval. The church winds up hiring him as an assistant pastor and a year and a half later I'm thrown out of the church.

KNIGHT: He wouldn't let it go. He kept pushing this reconciliation mess. (Laughter)

FIELDS: I kept reading the Bible and saying, what does Matthew 18 mean? Why can't we do this? All the while, I'm thinking I must be crazy. I don't understand this. I'm studying the Greek. I'm studying the Hebrew. I'm studying the Vulgate. I'm studying the Septuagint. With all that study I'm still odd man out. I must be crazy. Then, little by little, we began to find other people who were struggling with the same questions we were. We started to say, "Maybe we're not crazy after all." So in 1984, we started PeaceMakers.

DOOR: Alright . . . now we get to ask the $64,000 question: What exactly do you guys . . . dare I say it . . . do?

FIELDS: We're getting in touch with believers around the country who are starting to put the principles of being a Christian, rather than "doing Christianity," into practice. When we find people like that, we encourage them. We do what we can to support them, to teach them, to train them.

DOOR: How do you train someone to "be" Christian?

FIELDS: We share our own struggles—where we screw up, the fears we have, the weaknesses we battle. We're not the teachers. The Holy Spirit has been trying to teach us all along. All we can do is confess our own sins and share where God has brought us.

DOOR: How about when you're called in to work with a dispute? Dream for a minute and imagine that you've been called in to work with Dobson and the Alexander-Moegerles before any lawsuit business.

FIELDS: Let's get one thing straight. We're not consultants. We're brothers. What does a brother look like versus a consultant? A consultant comes in and says, "I know what you need to do. We're all going to be very sophisticated. We're going to do all kinds of interviews." Why don't we do that? Because people aren't honest. The system doesn't account for sin. A brother comes in and says, "We're going to start by confessing our sin and dishonesty—mine included. We're going to talk about how painful it is to be honest. And then we're going to get right with God. As we get right with God, we'll begin getting right with one another. We're going to stare into each other's faces and experience real, live restoration. We're going to forgive one another. We're going to begin to reconcile.''

DOOR: That sounds nice and terrifying. You mean we gotta reveal ourselves to each other?

FIELDS: One of the principles that Peacemakers works on is biblical confidentiality. What does that mean? When it's necessary, we break secrecy. When people come here, we don't promise them that everything will be absolutely confidential because that's not biblical.

DOOR: You tell them that up front?

FIELDS: Yes.

DOOR: Before they start.

KNIGHT: Confidentiality not guaranteed.

DOOR: And people stay?

SJOBLOM: We bolt the door from the outside. (Laughter)

FIELDS: Take this interview. If during this taping, you confess some sin, my responsibility isn't to The DOOR. [ED: Sez who?] It's to care for you. I say to you, who are your two closest brothers? I need to talk with them. Why do I do that? Because I want to get your butt in trouble? No. Because I'm concerned about you as a person. Now how can you differentiate a busybody from a brother?

DOOR: Particularly because you don't know me yet. How can you be concerned about me? We've known each other an hour and a half.

FIELDS: Now you understand the difference between the kind of isolationist autonomy we call the ''Church" versus the brotherhood of Christians. The way things are, just because I call myself a Christian doesn't mean anything. In fact, you probably instinctively distrust me. What we're trying to learn and teach at PeaceMakers is that when we call ourselves brothers—Christians— that is what we really are.

DOOR: Which means you accept a tremendous amount of responsibility.

FIELDS: Ain't that what it means to be a Christian?

DOOR: Why the name PeaceMakers?

FIELDS: PeaceMakers was a name that I chose because I liked it. I really didn't know what I was saying, because I hadn't yet grasped the centrality of brotherhood. Peaceaking cannot happen where there is no brotherhood.

DOOR: So what kind of response have you been getting to this laid-back, non-threatening line of reasoning?

FIELDS: I'm rejected more than accepted. People slander me, they gossip about me. They call me crazy, a jerk, a frustrated old troublemaker.

DOOR: It's nice to see how God is blessing your efforts.

FIELDS: Why do people go after me? I'll tell you why I used to do it to others. If I could kill the other guy, it gave me permission to live my fantasy. They have to kill me because then they can kill the truth about who they really are and go on believing the fantasy.

DOOR: Back to our friends, Jim, Gil and Carolyn. Have you spoken with Dobson or the AlexanderMoegerles?

FIELDS: I have spoken with Gil and Carolyn. I hurt with them as their brother in Christ. I encourage them to have right attitudes. I call them to their own personal repentance. And I grieve with them that the Church is in such disrepair that they must now go to the civil courts for any sense of justice. When Gil and Jim can go to Matthew 18, read the story of the guy who was forgiven of his debt and then went on the street and reamed the guy who owed him a nickel, and recognize that they're both the first guy, when they can start confessing their sin to each other, they'll experience forgiveness. Because they're both part of the system, and they're both victims of the system.

DOOR: What about Dr D. ? Have you spoken with him?

FIELDS: I've got his home phone number. I had a chat with him one Sunday morning a few years ago. You know how the call started? ''Bill, why are you persecuting me? Why are you after me?" "Jim, the reason I'm calling you is because in this dispute between Bill Bright and Tony Campolo, a letter was sent out from your organization. Gil Moegerle signed the letter. The letter said, in essence, that Campolo was less than clean. That letter is now being circulated around the country by somebody who does not like Campolo. Your letter prejudged Tony and has done him harm. If I understand the scriptures correctly, you need to stand up either in print or on your radio program and confess that you were less than righteous in writing that letter.'' "Well, Gil wrote the letter." "Jim, it's your organization. You're the head of the organization. There's something about the organization that gave Gil permission to do that. Take responsibility. The purpose of confessing as an elder before the people is to say, 'Don't fall into the same trap I fell into.' It's not to embarrass you." "Well, I'm not an elder.'' "What do you mean you're not an elder?" "Those scriptures don't apply to me." "Why don't they apply to you?" ''We're not a church." "What do you mean you're not a church?" ''We're a parachurch organization. Those scriptures apply to the church. I'm not an elder, we're not a church. Why do you keep chasing me?"

End of conversation. Now one of his right-hand men has gone through a divorce and a remarriage. I'll bet you 10 to one he's seen himself as an elder in that situation.

DOOR: Well, whatever the roles, possessing contrite hearts doesn't appear to be part of the package.

FIELDS: If both of them had contrite hearts they wouldn't need anyone's help. You know what we'd have to do? We'd have to keep them both from giving away the country store. That brings up a key question: What do the brethren do with members of the body who refuse to reconcile? First, we recognize that some members of the body are not getting along. Second, we note that they are dealing with their dispute in unbiblical ways. Third, we refuse to endorse them until they get their act together.

DOOR: You mean treat them like unbelievers?

FIELDS: Don't forget an important step in the process—the role of witnesses. In the case of Dobson and the Alexander-Moegerles, Sam Ericsson of the Christian Legal Society offered to take the Alexander-Moegerles to Jim Dobson. He figured that when the Alexander-Moegerles bared their souls in front of Jim, Jim would finally see his error, and things would work out. That's not what the scripture calls for us to do. Let's go back to Matthew 18. Sam Ericsson should have been the witness of the confrontation between Jim, Gil and Carolyn. If they remained unreconciled, Ericsson's responsibility would have been to go to the whole body and say, "Brothers and sisters, we have these brethren in dispute. These are the issues. Help us achieve resolution."

KNIGHT: The witness can't keep his mouth shut. He's under biblical obligation to make it known that the brethren are still unreconciled. Only if they're reconciled is he to be silent

FIELDS: And how many witnesses art there supposed to be? At least two, preferably three. The purpose of the witnesses is to testify to the issues of unreconciliation. They're not to be the judges. The reason the issues are to be identified is so that the body can instruct the people who are unreconciled in the truth of God's word concerning the issues under dispute.

DOOR: Can we get back to the "treating them as unbelievers" part? Isn't that kind of brutal?

FIELDS: We are not to judge and condemn. We don't know peoples' hearts. The assessment we make is that as far as we can determine, the elements of reconciliation are not present; thus, the people involved are to be treated as unbelievers. It doesn't mean that they are unbelievers, they're just to be treated as such.

SJOBLOM: And how are we supposed to treat unbelievers? We're to love them, serve them, woo them toward the Kingdom. We don't think it means to toss them aside.

KNIGHT: We share the faith. We remind them of what it means to be in a relationship with the Lord.

DOOR: Rats—I mean, good. I thought you were talking about a lot of shunning-type stuff.

FIELDS: The shunning happens before that. The purpose for shunning is to say, "Brothers, do you understand what's at stake here?" That's all that shunning is supposed to accomplish. It's not to be done in anger, or as punishment or retribution. But I wouldn't treat those people as confidants. I would not embrace them any more than I would any unbeliever.

DOOR: We keep hearing this little voice in our heads going, "But where does the authority come from to take these steps, especially in parachurch or business situations?''

FIELDS: Isn't that convenient? With the beauty of Protestantism and a little money, we can fly in any expert we need who will support our position. Don't you think God knew that this was going to happen? So He says, "I've figured out a system that will transcend all others. Are you brothers?"

SJOBLOM: Our authority comes out of the grief we feel when two people who claim to be Christians are broken down. We treat that so lightly. We don't mourn; we're not sorrowful. Insofar as we take it lightly, there is a major question in my mind as to whether or not the Holy Spirit resides in the people.

FIELDS: The current evangelical mindset sees authority as an elected or appointed office. That's not biblical. What's biblical authority? I don't possess authority. Who possesses authority? There's only one person, Jesus Christ. Our problem is that we don't know how to make Him head of anything. We think He appoints us head and then we run our ministries through our gifts and abilities. What we're called to do is to learn His. We're to be accountable to His. As we are accountable, we walk in His light. I'm not the light. When I step out of the light I no longer have authority. Let's quit using "have" as though I possess. I don't possess authority.

DOOR: I'm getting dizzy. Do you have examples of where this kind of reconciliation process has worked?

KNIGHT: We're not high on positive examples. We're very high on negative examples. That's what we keep seeing.

SJOBLOM: Do you know why? Because every time we go in to try bring reconciliation, them that's in power do all they can to crush it. Only the victims believe in reconciliation.

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." [Matthew 18:17] FIELDS: I would like to defend all the pastors and all the Dobsons.

DOOR: Why?

FIELDS: Because they are victims too. They're just the most powerful victims. They honestly believe that they need somebody's donations to be in the ministry.

DOOR: If I were you guys, I'd be ready to turn in my Bible Quiz Merit Badges. What keeps you Christians?

SIOBLOM: Each other. We wouldn't make it without each other. And in almost every situation we've gone into, we've found a remnant of believers within the system who are trying to "be" Christians, which really helps.

KNIGHT: But the key is each other right here in this room. We're willing to die for each other. Literally. We've reached that level of depth in our brotherhood. We're not always all willing to die for each other at the same time, but by God's grace, there's always one of us with the commitment to keep it together. We are accountable to each other.

DOOR: How do you maintain that kind of accountability?

FIELDS: Let's start confessing. We don't have it today. And I'll tell you why we don't have it. We haven't been spending time together. These guys have been out there doing stuff with other people and have left me stranded.

SJOBLOM: And so has Fields.

FIELDS: Don't they love me? Aren't they on my board? Well what did they do? Well lo and behold they did the same thing Dobson does, they got involved in the ministry. There's more people out there than we can ever hope to help. We've got this constant pull away from brotherhood.

DOOR: What you're saying is compelling. But I can hear every sincere, dedicated person in all these various ministries saying, "The kind of process they're talking about would create utter chaos. Our ministries would fall apart."

ALL: Yes! ! !

FIELDS: We can then put away all this dysfunction and let the power of Go be seen and His ministry triple and quadruple. The power of God is already present. We don't need one more person out there reading from the Bible. Be we can use a lot of people living according to it. We're not doing away with the ministry. We're finally letting the ministry happen.

SJOBLOM: As long as we stop equating ministry with the little fiefdoms we set up.

DOOR: If we can't let that go, it won' happen, will it? We have to get to where we feel we have nothing to lose.

FIELDS: We discovered we were sacrificing our eternity. And we ain't going to do that any more. We may be incompetent, but we ain't throwin' out heaven.

"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. `Be patient with me,' he begged, `and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. `Pay back what you owe me! he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, `Be patient with me, and I will pay you back. But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. `You wicked servant,' he said, `I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." [Matthew 18:35] SJOBLOM: Because the question ultimately is: Are we willing to do whatever it takes to make it right? No matter what? Even if it means losing our personal kingdom?

KNIGHT: As long as we stop short of that point, we're really not ready to make it right.

FIELDS: The way most disputes are "settled'' has nothing to do with reconciliation and everything to do with saving the organization. What does Jim Dobson need to be willing to do? Lay the organization down. "But you can't be serious. We've got a worldwide ministry, 600 employees, a radio program on over 1,300 stations, millions of books in print. God would never want us to put that down." Right. You're corrupt.

KNIGHT: You said that right. We just can't put it down.

DOOR: That's what we each have to do, isn't it? We've gotta lay it down . . .

SJOBLOM:. what we think we're doing for God. 'Cause we ain't doing nothing. The kingdom's gonna go on.

KNIGHT: Forget the statistics. Forget what everybody else is saying about you. Forget all the accolades. You ain't doing nothing. Put it down.

SJOBLOM: And as long as there are unrestored relationships, we ain't doing worse than nothing.

FIELDS: Because we are all corrupt. I've got my little organization. I can create my little fiefdom. I can abuse people. I can go on a power trip. How do I help another organization out of their dysfunction? I start by facing my own disease. Because I am Jim Dobson. He just happens to be more successful at it.

Thou Shalt NOT Bare False Witness Against Thy Neighbor
Dobson In Danger As Non-Christian
The DOOR: Fracas In The Family - Part One
Interview: James Dobson's War On America
More Witnesses Dobson refuses Biblical reconciliaton

Soon after this article appeared, Russ Knight and Pete Sjbloom left PeaceMakers...
 

steward@peacemakers.net