October 7, 2011

Ingrid responds to Brannon's statement

Ingrid has withdrawn the post out of discouragement at being ignored in her call to repentance from Brannon and Vic. I can hardly blame her.  Being let down and lied about by people who are very important in your life can really feel like a kick in the teeth.  I felt it was important for those seeking the truth to know the dynamics of what was going on so it is remaining up here, since Brannon is now claiming that people are posting 'lies' about him, when actually he is the one lying.

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*Note 10/9/11: This post was put up in direct response to Brannon's Facebook statement and the confusion generated by what he is telling others in private emails when questioned about the disappearance of my work from his website. I am publicly calling on Brannon to resolve this matter in a way that would set an example for other believers who are witnessing a total disinterest in reconciliation on the part of believers they once admired. My request for a resolution of this matter in Christian love was discarded two weeks ago, but I repeat my offer to talk with Brannon, involving pastoral help if needed to fix this. What we say about God when we refuse reconciliation is that He is impotent and that His Word is a lie.*

The Truth Matters, Brannon

Brannon Howse posted the following on his Facebook page today.
Several weeks ago,Worldview Weekend quiety pulled the articles of a long-standing columnist. We did so for a few reasons that include our objection to how this individual was publically handling aprivate dispute with another Christian. No one asked us or pressured us to pull this individual'scolumns. 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 baring false witness. We have asked them to stop baring 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.
After nearly 2 decades of working with Brannon Howse, his "quietly" pulling several years of my work from his site was a stunner. It was done, in fact, so quietly that he never bothered to inform me, the author, that he was doing it or why. Additionally, Mr. Howse ignored 2 emails in the following days politely asking where the work went. I asked where the articles went, "as your sister in Christ." I received no reply. After two decades of Christian friendship, I wasn't even worth an email of explanation.

Mr. Howse left several very crucial facts out of his Facebook statement. These are the facts:

1. That "other Christian" to whom he refers regarding a "private dispute" is my own father who gives Mr. Howse free air time daily for his live talk show.

2. Howse further ignores in his statement that my father is engaged in a systematic slander attempt to destroy my work, name and reputation with colleagues I have worked with for many years in the Christian broadcast field. That is because my husband and I had the temerity to leave his ministry after a combined 45 years of work there due to unresolved family issues.

3. Mr. Howse also left out of his statement his clearly expressed interest to me in taking over VCY America when my father dies, or "helping our family out" as he repeatedly put it. He reportedly has told Vic that I offered him the job, which is laughable. I had no authority to offer anyone anything and Brannon wouldn't have been the one if I had had such authority. The lies are flying so thick and fast that they are starting to clash with each other.

4. Mr. Howse also left out of his statement the fact that I sent him an email asking for Christian reconciliation two weeks ago. His vicious response was that neither he nor his pastor wanted anything to do with me and that I should get my "groupies" off his back. Not readers, not listeners, groupies. Brannon and I, in all the years of working together, had never had an argument or cross word. Additionally, I lost numerous online friends over the years for defending Brannon and promoting his work on Slice of Laodicea. Suddenly, those who missed my work and who felt an explanation was in order were "groupies" worthy of legal threats. That kind of disrespect is breathtaking.

Since February of this year, the lives of me and my immediate family have been upended completely. Underlying Eliason family issues long unresolved, reached a point where my husband wisely said, "we're leaving. This is an ungodly, unsolvable mess."

Had I chosen to do so, since February, I could have turned my personal blog into a never ending no-holds-barred barrage of attacks on my father, exposing clearly what has gone on in our family almost from the beginning. Day after day after day, I could have live blogged the nightmare, and named names of those at VCY who betrayed us and looked the other way as we lost our livelihoods, health insurance and reputations. A board member resigned (the only one who tried to help us) because the situation was unsolvable. Yet I did not name names and tell the entire story. A search of the posts on my Hope Blog during that window of time will reveal much pain, but never did I use the Hope Blog as a platform for destruction for others.

I could have turned my Facebook page into a further platform to tell the truth about what was being done to Tom and me and how it was affecting our children at a deep level. (Your parents don't lose their income and you don't lose your grandparents as a child without an emotional impact.) I did not, and in the midst of the incredible personal attacks coming from my father, I even frequently deleted the little that had been said.

But Brannon didn't approve even of my muted response to what had been done to us. (How many times did I delete a comment or post in the interest of not pouring fuel on the fire?) He felt he had the right to wade into a family matter and disapprove of how I handled things, deleting my work and conveniently listening to the slanderer who provides his free radio largesse. His disapproval is remarkably coincidental given the supplier of his air time.

After 23 years of watching the internal rot among ministries, I am deeply grateful to God for removing Tom and me from the scene completely. I could fill pages with the names of people who used me for access to air time and then stabbed me in the back, those who betrayed me after I dared to trust someone and share what was really going on in my life over the years, bloggers who kicked me to the curb because I didn't write on this topic or that as they thought I should, the gossip, the slander, the back-stabbing, the lack of conscience, the merciless, ruthless opportunists, and the liars who will turn on a dime and twist something you said because it serves their purpose to make you look bad.

The mafia crime families have nothing on "Christian ministry." Nothing. I have watched it since I was a little girl sitting at the dinner table, listening to the latest about the church split that was underway and who had said what about whom, who had a recording of this or that person saying this, what pastor had a secret gambling problem or which one got caught with a porn stash in his study or who got caught with one of the Christian school teachers in a clinch.

It is a sad world of moral pygmies, pharisees, sycophants, pietistic enablers and hangers-on, cowards and ambitious opportunists, all bent on being somebody in the ghetto of  fundamentalist ministry. This is a world where self-made insecure narcissists portray a face of deep piety to the world, while cannibalizing the weaker individuals foolish enough to be used to build their kingdom.  It is a foretaste of hell.

It is a world where the powerful and those with influence can do anything they want and yet expect complete public silence from the victims (while the perpetrator privately labels the individual "mentally unstable", "out of control" and a host of other things to excuse what they did.) It's a world where those who have very little can be spiritually assaulted and destroyed and yet are expected to keep it a "private matter." This is the darkness where Satan lives.

No, Brannon, it isn't a private matter. I have a voice. I am a human being who has a heart and a soul, and who deserves to be treated with decency and human dignity like anyone else. All my life I have stifled that and bowed and scraped to some warped view of Christianity where the powerful are allowed to crush the weak with impunity because the "cause of Christ" was so important. I'm here to tell you that the weak are the cause of Christ.

Mercy, honesty, compassion and kindness are not optional traits for Christian leaders, I don't care what "false teaching" you're so bent on exposing. I'm glad God was merciful enough to show me that and shut down my part in it. If you can't get that right, you need to close up shop right now and get on your face before God. Because some day, every lie and every act of aggression against those who could not defend themselves will be laid bare.

Something to remember. The Lord Jesus Christ in His Sermon on the Mount told us that only the "pure in heart" will see God. We will know we are "pure in heart" when we seek and actively pursue reconciliation with others (even if they insult you by return email.) If we don't want that, and instead want revenge, we aren't pure in heart. Something worthy of contemplating today. God is cleaning up His own house because that is where judgment begins. Let Him start here.