July 8, 2005
Mr. Frank Chesser
Church of Christ
444 South Panama Street
Montgomery, AL 36107
“With brotherly love and concern,” you closed your letter. Wow! I would hate to think of what you would have written if you hated me and were unconcerned. I know that you are very deeply emotionally involved in all of the problems involving Apologetics Press. I am also confident that you are physically and emotionally exhausted from the events surrounding these matters the last few weeks. I can therefore excuse your bitter and intemperate letter on those grounds to some degree. However, having said that, I am still having difficulty accepting the fact that you wrote such a letter. I would not have thought you capable of such. We all have our burdens, stresses, and challenges, but we must do our best to act and react maturely, nonetheless.
You thrust the sword of the Spirit at me repeatedly, but you seem to have forgotten that the Spirit’s sword is a double-edged blade, no, even keener than that (Heb. 4:12). The very passages you threw so freely at me apply to what you did by means of your letter. You made numerous unwarranted assumptions (e.g., that I “broadcast” my brief “Summation,” which is absolutely untrue). At the time you wrote your letter I had sent it to fewer than two dozen people, asking the majority of them not to distribute it, and asking the other few intimates to do so only with their discretion, which I trusted completely. You have exacerbated the very problem you sought to solve by your malicious letter. I am already hearing from brethren who have no idea what e-mail I have supposedly sent to “hundreds” and about which you are so exercised. When they read what I wrote and compared it with your letter they have wondered—as have I—if you really read what I wrote. You have thus advertised the very thing you find so abhorrent.
I have never read a letter so full of motive judgments as yours is, at least not from a brother in Christ. One would think you must be omniscient and know all of my thoughts, aims, and emotions. You have no idea how many times I have prayed for Bert, Rhonda, and their boys. However, if you had read my “Summation” with any care, you would have seen me stating that I have been doing such. (I have even been praying for you since I got your letter, for our Lord taught us bless those who curse us and pray for those who despitefully use us [Luke 6:28]). You judged me as unconcerned because of our phone conversation. What you did not know is that you called when I had just pulled my boots off and was stepping into a medical lab for an MRI. With an MRI tech waiting for my return, my conversation may have been somewhat constrained, but for you to read into that a lack of compassion and concern is truly amazing. It was really a low blow to be accused of seeking “every lurid and salacious detail of Bert’s sin.” You have a vivid imagination to accuse me of such, and you know it is not true. All that I sought to do is just what I told you—to separate fact from fiction, which it would seem would be of interest to all connected with AP.
It is beyond ironic that you will apparently listen to no charges against Dave Miller, though they are documented and I know that many persons have begged you (as they did Bert) to do so, but you have drawn and quartered me based on nothing more than your own subjective judgments about me. It appears that you almost count my writing a simple “Summation” concerning AP and sending it to a handful of brethren worse than Bert’s sinful behavior or Dave Miller’s doctrinal errors. As I stated in my “Summation,” I am not an enemy of AP. It is a vital work. I genuinely desire to be able to support it and endorse it. I have in no way set out on a campaign to harm it. I am not your enemy (though you obviously consider yourself mine). I am not brother Miller’s enemy. I simply believe he should not be given a free pass on his errors, any more than any other brother should. I believe that sooner or later AP will have to deal with this issue.
One would think from reading your letter that the items I included in my “Summation” were all mere figments of an imagination out of control—“lies” and “misrepresentations,” the whole lot. Instead of shaming me, you should be ashamed of yourself for such an assertion. I have learned of one correction I need to make, which I am quite willing to do. In discussing these matters further with Marvin Weir very recently, he pointed out that he did not learn from you that Rhonda has sued Bert for divorce, as I stated on page 5 of my “Summation.” I simply misunderstood that part of our discussion, for which I apologize. The statement concerning the divorce was factual; I simply mistook the attribution. For whatever it is worth, Marvin did not break any of your confidences in the things he said to me about your conversation with him, so please do not send him a hate letter. I do not recall any discussion with you of confidentiality, even if you had told me anything others had not already told me.
I am serious when I suggest that you consider seeking some anger management treatment—you were obviously beside yourself when you wrote. You likely have seen the article in the latest Christian Chronicle. What I wrote was extremely mild and innocent by comparison, and the last time I checked, its circulation was well over 100,000, compared with the puny two dozen or so of my “treatise.” Are you going to vent your wrath against them as you did against me?
Frank, I seek only your good and that of Bert, Rhonda, and the Thompson boys. I will continue to pray for you and them. I seek your good, not your ill. I hope you will one day be able to admit what a severe over-reaction your letter was. It was nothing short of slander.
908 Imperial Drive
Denton, TX 76209