October 7, 2011

Brannon explains why he removed Ingrid's posts

Ok so in light of the Wretched announcement about parting ways with Brannon, people were ripping Wretched up one side and down another for their betrayal of a friend.  I made several comments to the effect that Brannon is not innocent of the same charge and asked people to try and figure out where Ingrid Schlueter's articles went.  It seems he's gotten some emails because yesterday he posted this:
‎"Several weeks ago,Worldview Weekend quietly pulled the articles of a long-standing columnist. We did so for a few reasons that include our objection to how this individual was publicly handling a private dispute with another Christian. No one asked us or pressured us to pull this individual's columns. We desired to keep this issue private in order to preserve this individual's testimony for future ministry. However, this individual and a couple of their friends have taken this issue public because they disagree with our decision. Some of the friends of this individual have now gone to facebook pages stating that someone pressured us to pull this columnist and making other comments that fall into the category of bearing false witness. We have asked them to stop bearing false witness but it still continues. Due to several e-mails about this from different individuals it has forced us to put out this statement . Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We need your prayers more than ever as it seems that a day does not go by without a spiritual attack." ~Brannon Howse
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Ok, point by point:
"We did so for a few reasons that include our objection to how this individual was publicly handling a private dispute with another Christian."


Now, Ingrid has been living with and dealing with Vic (her father, with whom she has the private dispute) on a day to day basis for over 40 years.  She has never badmouthed him except in the last what, less than a year.  I remember commending her father to her, for standing for the truth, and receiving nothing in response. I chalked it up to she just overlooked that part of my emails.  When I signed up to support Crosstalk she did not badmouth the ministry.  She just didn't say anything.  I thought it was odd but dismissed it.  That was the extent of her badmouthing.  I received something from someone last night (without any prompting) that said she did the exact same thing to her regarding their own positive statements about her father.

If that's badmouthing well, no one can win then.  Brannon is far guiltier than she is by that standard.

Ingrid has been trying to get away from Vic for a while and finally she made the decision to resign from Crosstalk. I knew at this point something bad was going on, because she had mentioned Vic's behavior being a problem.  It was in pretty muted tones that she said this.  She blamed his cancer treatment for making it worse lately. I suppose that is a possibility.

I remember several times getting email bounces from her email and then they would work again, and then they would bounce again.

Eventually I find out that she had resigned from Crosstalk quietly and deactivated her email addresses, but Vic had them reactivated to monitor what was coming in to her.  So because of that she had to finally make a public announcement not to write to her at those emails because she no longer had access to them, and people who would write to her telling them their personal information were actually writing to Vic.  She had to get intervention to get her email addresses (hers and Toms) shut down again.

While a company or ministry does have control of email that was sent to you or by you while you are there, I can't imagine they have the legal right to keep your address and spy on whoever you corresponded with after you are gone.  I would say that amounts to impersonation, essentially.  Though I never received any email from Vic pretending to be Ingrid, that I know of.

She only went public to protect the public.  One would think Brannon understands about protecting the public by giving them the inconvenient truth.

"No one asked us or pressured us to pull this individual's columns."

Ok well, I don't know about that.  That was actually my BEST construction hypothesis.  It makes sense that he would want to maintain ties with Vic since that's the only place he airs now that AFA has given him the boot.  But if he was not pressured, which I said was my BEST construction on the situation, then frankly Brannon looks even more childish and petty. I'm ok with that if he apparently is.  In emails he has claimed that Ingrid was upset with him because "he did not do what she wanted regarding a family situation" - but that is not true.  She confided in him regarding this family situation, and Brannon sang like a canary to Vic who 'makes his knees shake.'  After this betrayal, Ingrid was understandably upset, and told him so.  I read the exchange.  It was not unduly harsh at all -- unless you have baby soft sensitive skin I suppose.

"We desired to keep this issue private in order to preserve this individual's testimony for future ministry." 

Now, this one makes absolutely no sense at all whatsoever when:
1. Ingrid is the one who is upset by the removal of her articles.
2. Ingrid was not informed of this removal and indeed could not even get an answer from him for several days after someone asked her why they were gone.
3. She was not given a copy of her articles to keep.
4. Even the google cached copies were scrubbed. (Except the printer versions, which my husband voluntarily pulled down and saved for her, so at least all that work is not lost.)

I am at a loss as to how he can be doing anything other than lying through his teeth to cover his vengeful blunder here.  How does this at all preserve anyone's reputation (either Vic or Ingrid's) for future ministry?  Wouldn't it have been wiser to just leave it and stop talking to her if he really had a problem with her?  There was nothing in the articles that he disagreed with as far as anyone knows.  He certainly hasn't given that as a reason in this statement.

"However, this individual and a couple of their friends have taken this issue public because they disagree with our decision."

No, what we disagree with is a ministry that lies to get ahead or maintain their (ahem) GOOD reputation, and mistreats its friends, on a personal or professional level.  I seriously had been thinking about supporting Brannon because of the stories he has been telling about suffering for the truth.  Well, saved myself some money.

"Some of the friends of this individual have now gone to facebook pages stating that someone pressured us to pull this columnist and making other comments that fall into the category of bearing false witness."

I suppose that's possible he wasn't pressured by Vic, but as I said that only makes him look more petty when you consider the whole story.  Tell me, where is the proof that the AFA actually pressured Brannon because of his stance on the NAR?   He very well could be making it all up too because he has as of yet not named them nor published their threat in their own words.  I am pretty sure Todd Friel has also spoken out about Bickle and the NAR and the Response.   I remember listening to it.  They didn't get a threat about that as far as we know.  They only got a threat about supporting Brannon.  And frankly I'm beginning to see there might be more of a reason to depart from Brannon Howse than doctrinal issues.

I am going to be dubious about any flak Brannon is getting from now on.  Maybe the AFA just doesn't like how Brannon treats his friends.  Or maybe they've been treated the same way as Brannon is treating his long time friend Ingrid.  We never saw a statement from them one way or the other.

"We have asked them to stop bearing false witness but it still continues."

He asked one person to stop, and he did.  He didn't only ask him to stop, he threatened him with a slander/libel lawsuit.  But Brannon knows that he would lose there.  Christians also are commanded not to sue one another.  And slander/libel has to be untrue.  Bluffing and threatening is no way to build a ministry.  From the sound of it, he and Vic deserve one another.

"Due to several e-mails about this from different individuals it has forced us to put out this statement."

Oh man!!! Now HE's taking a private issue public!  Will the craziness never stop!  And he wasn't even abused for years before he was forced to take it public. Tsk.

This is a very strange picture he is painting. Considering all the facts, it sure seem like now that she's 'just' a stay at home mom, Ingrid is of no professional 'use' to him anymore so he can treat her however he wishes. What a man of integrity and Biblical friendship, just like Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

"Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We need your prayers more than ever as it seems that a day does not go by without a spiritual attack." ~Brannon Howse

As I am sure you pray for his own ministry, he ought to be reminded of some Scripture:

"If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened." Ps 66:18