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Part 3 - Concluding Remarks

Part 3 - Concluding Remarks

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01/15/2013

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Around this same time, Paul contacted us. He wanted to clear his conscience and
acknowledge his part in dealing with the Tomcaks. He should commended by you if
you ever make a confession.

From: Paul Palmer
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 12:18 PM
To: C.J. Mahaney
Subject: Forgiveness

Dear CJ,

Over the last several months now I have been in prayer and communion with
God in a posture of circumspection (Eph. 5:15-16) so as not to remain

376 That is, asked their forgiveness for blackmail, etc.
377 They had offense with you for legitimate reasons. The same was true of you. There were things Larry
and Doris needed to acknowledge for reconciliation to occur.
378 This never happen which was contrary to your promise. Finally, 13 years later, you just met with the
child this past December.

169

foolish…that which I am very capable of being! My specific purpose and plea
in sanctification could be summed up in Psalm 139:1-6. The NIV footnotes are
as follows:

―God, you know me perfectly, far beyond my knowledge of myself; my every
action, my every undertaking, and the manner of which I pursue it; even my
thoughts - my words - all fully under your scrutiny - so that I do not escape
you. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…to lofty for me to attain.‖

Through this self-examination motivated and sustained by the grace of the
Holy Spirit and His wonderful work, I have received conviction and need to

confess sin related to my participation and role in the Tomczak‘s situation.379

The sins that I have been convicted of and now confess to you are as follows:

1. Sinfully self-righteous towards the Tomczaks and their situation.
2. I lacked the spiritual maturity and wisdom to effectively serve the
Tomczaks. This is something I should have admitted to the team.
3. I did not express concerns that God laid on my mind and heart regarding
the process out of false humility and the fear of man.380
4. I also believe that some of my conversations regarding their situation were
biblically unethical.381

Knowing the sinfulness of my heart, there are probably other sins which I
committed during this time. However, these are the ones that the Holy Spirit
has primarily impressed on my heart.

Consequently, I am compelled to ask you and the team‘s forgiveness of these

sins. I also need to convey my Godly sorrow and grievous sins to the Tomczaks
and ask their forgiveness.382

379 Paul‘s sins were small in comparison to you and Steve. As Steve pointed out to Paul, ―Relatively, your
involvement was minor, compared to the ongoing conversations that the local team had as well as myself
and CJ (I believe as many as 10 at one point), and thus your perspective was somewhat limited. So, your
negative effect on Larry, whatever you feel that might have been would have been small.‖ Yet, Paul was
the only one willing to confess. He should have been honored for his humility. You should have
followed his example.
380 Primarily Paul had in mind the threats made by you and Steve. Paul did not speak out against them
even though he felt they were wrong. He felt your and Steve‘s handling of the process was unethical.
381 Paul participated in the phone call Steve had with the Tomczaks on October 7. During this call, Steve
refused to back away from the threat you made four days earlier. While Paul did not support Steve‘s
actions, he failed to speak up against them which implied his agreement. To have differed with, or
corrected you and Steve at the time would have been costly – understandably that presented a great
temptation.
382 Which he did and was reconciled to them in friendship.

170

Please feel free to share this with the other team members who were involved
in the situation related to the Tomczak.

In closing, as I read Psa. 103: 8-9, my heart is filled with a deep desire for the
grace to love Him more. May He in His kindness grant this desire.

Sincerely,
Paul Palmer

Here is Steve‘s response to Paul.

From: Steve Shank
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 10:11 AM
To: Paul Palmer
Subject: Re: Forgiveness

Greetings Paul,

Thank you for your recent e mail to the team. It was good to hear from you!

In response to your e mail, may I offer a few thoughts?

1. Thank you for writing us to convey what the Lord has been showing you
about your heart as you participated in the necessary discipline of Larry.
Only the Lord knows where your heart was at towards him during that
season. I commend you for your desire to confess your sin regarding this
episode and to seek forgiveness.

2. Regarding the observations you now have of your participation, one of the
benefits of team ministry is the safety it affords. Larry was not the object of
your assessment singularly, but the care of a team of local and extra local
men who loved him and painstakingly served him through months of
counsel and help. If you feel you were harboring sinful dispositions in
your heart towards him of self-righteousness, or lacked the spiritual
maturity to really serve Larry with your observations, at least we can be
sure that overall, by the local and extra local team of men, there were
checks and balances to one another, and Larry was extended the grace and
care that the situation warranted.383 However, if you feel your contribution

383 We did extend grace and care to Larry but the ―checks and balances‖ were not sufficient when it came

to the issue of threatening on Oct 3, 1997 and the demeaning of Larry at CLC soon after. I should have
spoken up more strongly about these matters.

171

was sinfully motivated, you should seek whatever means of
acknowledgment you feel the Lord is leading you to.

3. Regarding your false humility and fear of man (as well as the other things
sited), I think you can also be confident that the apostolic team would have
brought those things to you at that time if they were detected as you
participated with helping Larry through his transition from leading the
Atlanta church to, for a season, focusing on the leadership of his home.

As to the process, another safeguard Larry benefited from was the checks
and balances of both the local team as well as the a-team. If you feel your
contribution to the process was sinful or wrong, then I commend you for
responding to that conviction. Another thought here that might assure you.
Relatively, your involvement was minor, compared to the ongoing
conversations that the local team had as well as myself and CJ (I believe as
many as 10 at one point), and thus your perspective was somewhat limited.
So, your negative effect on Larry, whatever you feel that might have been
would have been small. At the moment, as well as during our review
shortly after the incidents with Larry, all of those who were primarily
involved, felt much mercy was extended to Larry, given the sins that were
exposed. However, please know we forgive you for not expressing your
concerns out of false humility and the fear of man. If you have concerns
about the overall process in general, please let me know what those
concerns might be.

4. Since I do not know what you mean by ―your conversations regarding the
situation were biblically unethical,‖ it is hard for me to comment. If you
care to elaborate, I‘d be glad to try and pen a response.

If you choose to speak with Larry, obviously it seems your comments need to
be confined to your heart specifically. If you have ―concerns‖ about the process
in general, or reference the process critically, then to use your phrase, biblical
ethics would direct you to convey those to us first, so we might evaluate our
hearts, the process from your new perspective and so on.384 Please know we
welcome your thoughts, if they reflect on us.

I pray for and think of you often, and hope you are experiencing God‘s grace in

health, family and church.

Your friends

384 This was Steve‘s real concern. Paul agreed with Larry that you had blackmailed him.

172

Steve on behalf of the team

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