We haven't even launched yet, but after my conversation with Pete two days ago, I'm sure the leadership knows something is coming their way. How about a preemptive "don't listen to negativity" sermon? That's what was on offer today at the CFCMI Headquarters in Norfolk.
Of course, there has also been discussion now about a "campaign of hate" as well. Those with a web presence that are willing to openly discuss CFCMI's past and, more boldly, question the current leadership, are not only branded as "arrogant" but also as haters of the church and it's members. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. This, again, is simple damage control in an effort to discredit our honest, persistent, straightforward attempts to help those damage by CFCMI's abuses...if we hated the members, we wouldn't be putting ourselves "out there" to try to help them.
Here is my favorite quote from Ed Thomas' message (for the full text, link here):
"If someone complains to you, then you either open the doors of your heart or you shut the doors. You lock your houses and cars against those with negative intents; why not guard your heart likewise? If someone comes to you with negativity, lock the doors of your heart." (Quote courtesy www.pillars.net)
Intended message: Don't listen to anyone who complains (i.e., about the ministry or it's leadership).
Unintended message (but clear to the parishioners): Note to self: Don't come to the pastor with complaints...he'll shut me out.
I don't think I could have said it better myself.