That’s what I call the letter my parents sent out to everyone. I’ve been wanting to do a breakdown of it for a while. Besides that, it helps me to dissect it. And if anyone thinks it’s “disrespectful” or whatever, well, stuff it. Call this the “other side”.
For those of you unlucky enough to NOT get this gem sent to you…here’s the version with…shall we say, bonus features.
It is with great sadness, terrible heartache and trembling fear [fear? ookay...] we regret to inform you [why does this sound like "I really hate to tell you this, but so-and-so had a *gasp* baby out of wedlock *gasp*!!!"? Lol. I know that's not the tone it was meant, but still] that our daughter Anne has rejected God into whom she was once baptized [because I left four walls and a roof? who knew], and us her family [hey, I wasn't the one who made up the rule that if I left, I would get cut off] in exchange for a man [the horror! Hey, I thought that's what marriage was anyway, finding the guy you would leave your family for?], a bartender [*gasp*!], in Tulsa, OK [worse and worse! Hey, at least he's not French, dad] she has never met face to face. [except thru Skype webcam, on the phone, email, text, pretty much any form of communication you can think of BESIDES being able to touch. And the sad fact is, despite not having met "face to face", he knew me better than you did, dad, because he knew ME...not his projection/perception of me. He didn't let himself get in the way of knowing me.]
We forbade this relationship some time ago [more accurately, he told me not to talk to guys online], but Anne rebelled against us [I was 20 or 21. You decide if it was rebellious.] and surreptitiously pursued this relationship [He's just mad I outsmarted him] for her own selfish desires [Not sure what he means there by that. It was true tho that when he told me to stop talking to guys, I couldn't because I was too close to Scottie. Oh, and dad knew that I still talked to other guys, he just had a problem with Scottie. "Selfish" was also his favorite word to describe me.]. Eight weeks ago Anne admitted her very soul was in crisis of being lost because of this [Eight weeks before was when everything "blew up" and they kicked Joe out and stuff. And it wasn't really me deciding to stay, either...it was more of the stuck feeling stuff, plus some "signs" I thought I saw, because I couldn't make a decision on my own. Now tell me, is that healthy for an adult?], today she doesn’t care. [Damn straight. I was nearly suicidal. I did not care at that point if leaving was the "right" thing or not. I didn't care if it was "biblical". It was going to save my life. But they didn't know that.]
For 23 years Ruth and I have loved her, cared for her, sacrificed for her, trained her in what is right to make her a woman for God. [That makes me feel like a dog. lol I'm also not sure where the whole get-off-the-coattails thing came in, either...because he was still "training" me in my adult years? While always saying he didn't want his kids to sit on his coattails, especially because it was "easy"? Hmm. I also see "woman for God" instead of "woman of God"...not sure if that is a typo or not, but they mean two completely different things.] Today, we will not support her in her sin [the sin of moving out, I guess...must be the eleventh commandment, "thou shalt not move out of they parents' house"], and a great sin it is to rebel against God and God instituted authority. ["You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Talking about "rebel" and "authority" and "God instituted authority". To rebel is literally to defy government/the person in authority. I didn't defy him, I left. And quietly.] We will not enable her to “have it allâ€ [I think that means "we will not enable her to have her family and her man" or something] but rather gave her an ultimatum. [See? I wasn't the one who cut them off. I wasn't the one that made that rule, they did. It's called bounded choice.] She didn’t choose God or us. Despite this, we still love her [yup, feelin' the love here...], but we have to commend her to God to discipline her and bring her to repentance. [finally? It kind of sounds like a curse though. Like how they said people saying "just wait until YOU have teenagers" was like a curse to them. Like they're HOPING God will discipline me (oh, and bring me to repentance).]
Ruth and I still have 10 remaining children at home God has given us the responsibility to train and nurture and raise in the instruction of Christ. Because of those 10, we can no longer have any contact with Anne lest our efforts to forestall such a happenstance in our remaining children be for naught. [In other words, "We can't have anything to do with Anne in case the other kids figure out they can leave too.] Like the prodigal, if she returns, it will be in repentanceâ€¦ and alone. [Unlike the prodigal's father, they will not accept me with open arms and throw a party. Oh, and I didn't get any kind of inheritance when I left, soo...I think neither of us resembles that story.]
Please don’t ask us as to Anne’s welfareâ€¦ because we don’t and won’t know. [Well, except for when we spy on what she says thru mutual friends' facebooks, and harass said friends as to if they are "encouraging" her.] Don’t notify us as to her welfare if you choose to support her in sin and have contact with her [veiled threat here...in other words "if you contact Anne you are sinning!"], because she has cut herself off from us. [Wait...what about "we gave her an ultimatum"??] Anne understands very well this is her choice, not ours. [Lol. Makes me sound like a naughty child.]
Some of you may have a hard time understanding why we are taking this stand. [More like NOBODY understands.] Our perspective is biblical, not cultural. [Cuz "culture" is the worst thing EVAR. Well, except "biblical culture", as in, the culture of the Israelites/Jews/etc.]
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:14 [This must have to do with the "hard time understanding" and "biblical, not cultural" because it has nothing to do with the subject of me leaving. Defensive, much?]
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 2 Peter 3: 10-12 [...wow, that had...nothing...to do with anything previously said...]
If you are interested, here are a few portions from the Word of God as to where our perspective comes from: [I added the verses when they appear]
Ephesians 6:1-3, 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2 “Honor your father and mother”â€”which is the first commandment with a promiseâ€”3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
[I'm sure the emphasis is on the first verse. It does say "children", however. He says you never stop being your parents' child, but HE doesn't practice what he preaches and obey HIS parents, so I don't get how he thinks I should do everything he says. Oh, and he forgot verse #4. And he thinks it's terrible when people don't get the full context. I get more in-depth on these verse and his reasoning over here.]
1 Samuel 2:12 to 1 Samuel 3:14, [That one is a long one so you can go read it there. Basically, this is one of the passages his "adult sons and daughters must obey their parents" belief hinges on...because it says "never restrained them" (or in this version, "failed to restrain"). Using this as a father-son relationship guide is silly, however, because as the high priest, Eli should have "fired" them, and that would have in effect "restrained" them, but as an adult, in a business sense, rather than a naughty child sense.]
1 Corinthians 7:25-38, [Hm, yes, I see how this appliesâ€¦Paul has no commands regarding virginsâ€¦if a virgin marries she has not sinnedâ€¦and a man may marry an old virgin if he wants. Huh.]
Numbers 16:1-40, [Another one of his favorite passages. What has it to do with this situation? nothing, except it's his second-favorite passage in the Bible (the one in Samuel is his first) so of course it needs to be here!]
Jude 4-16, 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwellingâ€”these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
[...I think he just dissed me. haha Did I creep in unnoticed? Oh I see, I'm sexually immoral and going after strange flesh because I...married against my father's wish? And was a virgin? And have only ever had sex with my husband?]
2 Peter 2:1-22, [...I think he's referring to himself here...??]
1 Corinthians 5:9-13, 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral peopleâ€”10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sistert but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
[...wait...he's "expelling" (or as his version says, "put away") me because I'm sexually immoral, greedy, idolatrous, a slanderer, a drunkard, and a swindler? wtf?]
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
[Soo...why didn't they stone me anyway? oh, lemme remember what he saidâ€¦â€I'm too cultural for that.â€ Lol. So I wonder why he quotes that law, but doesn't believe in doing the rest? Cherrypicking, perhaps? Come on, if you're gonna make a doctrine with a couple verses of the law, logically, you should use the whole thing.]
There are a great many scriptures that have to do with training and raising our children that I haven’t covered here. [I'm surprised. That he didn't list them all, I mean. His favorite replies to people when they ask questions is to give lists of Bible verses that don't make sense to the topic.] These that are listed are appropriate to the current situation. [Well, except the ones that...weren't...wait...does this mean it all WASN'T about training me and stuff?? Huh.]
Please pray with us, because we will be praying. [Praying for what? Scottie's death? Even before I was married they said he had to be dead before I could come back.] It is our hope and prayer that Anne would repent [...repent of leaving their house...?], turn from her wickedness [...the wickedness of leaving their house...?] and be restored. ["restored" is a nice word, but it implies happiness and starting clean and nice things like that. Going back would not equal nice things.]
Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. (and gets all over everybody around you) [...that was random.]
With great sadness, [funnyâ€¦the last emotion I felt from them was angerâ€¦somehow I doubt the prodigal son's father was angry when he leftâ€¦just truly sad.]
Dennis and Ruth
I’ve tried to guess at the reason they sent this letter out. It seems childish, to me. Kind of an “I publicly wash my hands of you” type of thing. Or was it because if they didn’t, they might change their minds later and want me back? Mm…don’t think so. It’s kind of like they had to warn other people about me. (Such a criminal!) I really don’t get it…
And yes, doing this HELPS me. Any time I can unravel my dad’s twisted interpretations and stuff, especially by myself, I gain confidence. Sometimes I actually wish he would send me a nasty email so I could dissect it and point out the flaws. Yeah, I’m weird. It’s kind of a challenge though. It makes me feel more like I’m on equal footing with him as a person, instead of as the ground beneath his feet.
To read about my story, and how I met and married Scottie, go here.