They Found Dave Dead
They found Dave dead, duct tape covering his mouth and nose, killed by theology. The story will make the paper, so I betray no one’s confidence.
Dave is the son of a friend of my own son, Kevin, hence our intimate knowledge. Married with four small children, Dave walked away from his job as an electrical engineer. Divorce was pending. His church and pastor came down hard. They did not listen; they judged, passed rules, and offered [pat answers]. Dave was on a depression med known to induce suicidal impulses; he knew he was sick, but they would not listen.
On Wednesday a failed suicide attempt left him in a homeless shelter. Friday morning Dave disappeared. His father sent Kevin the suicide email. Saturday, I read and reread the words Dave addressed to his wife and pastor, praying Dave might be found alive so we could invite him to our home for healing. Then, with heavy heart, Kevin brought the sad news.
Here are a few of the thousand last words Dave wrote:
I hope, for the sake of the next struggling soul, that you will consider all aspects of the human condition. Sola Scriptura sounds so good to the intellectually brilliant, but it misses the mark. No slight on God or the Bible—both are indeed sufficient. But [Christians] try to make tough situations into easy-to-solve riddles to appease their conscience...never admitting that life is just plain messy and difficult. I hope you won’t just brush aside my demise... but that you will all search your hearts and step outside of your fortresses a bit. The hope behind [this final] message is that the next individual in my situation will not be pegged to the board, and pounded [with pat answers]. You have no idea what it’s like to walk in these shoes.
As you approach Christmas, may you be given the gift of time—and the free conscience to use it—to give real answers to people like Dave and so many others who are filled with gloom in the midst of a season that should be filled with joy. You never know...two extra minutes with a person might make all the difference in the world.
The New Evangelicals (Eerdmans, 2011)
|To give you more time, I won’t leave you with a lot. I’ll just remind you of three 2012 events in which you, as a rescue mission CEO, will definitely want to participate:
March 19–21: D.C. Enclave – Public policy sessions (with special guests from the political world) for CEOs held on Capitol Hill, accompanied by numerous private meeting with lawmaker and committees
May 20–24: The AGRM 99th Annual Convention – This is the event of the year for top and down-line leaders at North America’s rescue missions. Choose from among nearly 100 seminars, and be wonderfully inspired by general sessions. Come a couple of days early (or stay afterward) and enjoy Orlando.
September 25–27: CEO Summit (combined with Movement Day) – With big-topic discussions just for mission presidents/executive directors, this event is held in Manhattan, New York City. On day three we’ll join 1,000 other leaders of national and local ministries making a difference in North America.
Please have your assistant put these on your calendar ASAP.
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions l www.agrm.org
This issue of Executive Session is sponsored by City Vision College.
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