July 8, 2008
This will probably be my last letter on the topic of the 1995 breakup of the Worldwide Church of God. I read my first letter before writing this, and have very mixed feelings about its comments. I know I really felt betrayed by the ministry on all sides of the argument, but after experiencing several more years of misdirection by WCG ministers, and by giving myself some time off away from the fray, I come to several years beyond and just wish I had never written some of the things I wrote. I now live the life of a Sabbath keeper and Holy Day Feaster among others who believe the same, and I cringe to think of any reading those comments. At the same time, I consider it dishonest to remove the letter and pretend it was never written. Also, there remains a plea in that letter that should never be forgotten by anybody, and I must leave it up for that reason, if for no other.
I have witnessed the complete spiraling downward of our western society's morals and ethics, not that I ever used these behaviors to gauge the status of Christianity, but our moral decay has been shockingly fast in this last 40+ years I have had the privilege to observe. Morals come from all over the place and are not necessarily a reflection of faith in Jesus, but, whatever the range of sources, when society starts thinking of nothing but self, society decays.
The brethren of the Churches of God need to truly be aware of this. It should be noticed on the road, in the stores, in restaurants and in the park. It should be blatantly obvious in all avenues of entertainment. I'm not trying to sound like a curmudgeon, or some intolerant self-righteous hypocrite. I'm just saying, you need to realize this and make sure it is not taking bits and pieces of your life of faith away from you. Are you depressed and can't figure out why? Do you get angry easier? How many activities do you now enter where you weigh the good against the bad and decide there's enough good in it to discount the bad? Don't let this en masse corruption of the human spirit in our society do the same to yours, for what will the Holy Spirit be able to witness to if the human spirit is beyond repair?
My friends. I will never give up, God willing, on believing we can get past the idiosyncrasies that separate us from being a united force for the Gospel of Jesus our Christ, the Gospel of Truth. This world needs to know, and it needs to know it decisively. This world needs to hear it from those full of humility and faith. It is not our job to convert others, but it is our job to show them the way, and it is our job to be the hands that baptize and pray when God does bring them into the flock.
Setting aside how well, or not, western society does economically, for we have seen good and bad in this last decade, fleeing the moral decay, let us hold fast to truth with faith, being honest, patient, and OPEN with one another. Being willing to step out in kindness toward one another without any concern for the response. Our kingdom is God's and nothing here should matter more than that. Please be gentle and forgiving. If ministers or members have hurt you in times past, and it will happen again because we are human, ask God to help you forgive. Reconciliation may not come in this life, but God can give us the ability to truly forgive any hurt. I believe it is something beyond just letting go or putting on a shelf. I believe it is something more than just trying to forget the whole mess. I believe God's forgiveness can be deeper and stronger than this, and I pray we can all covet this ability by the power of God's Holy Spirit.
For any of my comments that have unfairly offended, I beg of your forgiveness and reconciliation. My intent in all of this was to never separate but to bring together. We are admonished to think on the holy and the good, not on the bad, and I am very sorry I focused on bad things and that may not have even applied to the reader.
My wish is that we come together as a holy nation set apart by God to preach the good news to all nations of the earth. We must be united in our resolve. We must get past personality recognition and fine tuned distinctives to the heart of the matter and show the unbelievers of this world what Jesus has already done, and what Jesus is doing (let them see His light in us), and what Jesus WILL do for all mankind in his wondrous, all inclusive plan for every man, woman, and child who has EVER been.
May God grant that the last words of Malachi be for our days. May there be someone out there that will bring us all back together again before that dreadful day when Jesus comes to restore order in the lives of mankind:
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Your Brother in Christ Jesus,
Kelly M. Irvin
My God in heaven, let not the strains of this present generation cause our hearts to grow weary. Put in us the vision of the future that no man or demon can obscure. Let us show strength and courage by the unquenchable power of your very own Holy Spirit. Give us the words and give us the ways that make us instruments of your Holiness. Amen.