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Laird Bean, member since 1974

An open letter to whomsoever it may apply, re:GGWO & Pastor Carl Stevens;

I am writing this letter today with the hope that I may be able to provide a little more balance to the very biased and erroneous blogs being published consistently by various web-sites on the internet regarding GGWO and Pastor Stevens.

First, let me say that I am greatly honored to have been a part of Pastor Stevens ministry since 1974. I consider him to be one of the great Bible teachers of our time and a very dear friend, who has also been my pastor for all these years. This man has served God faithfully and sacrificially for over 50 years despite numerous public attacks against him and his ministry. Unfortunately, most of these attacks have been from within the Christian realm, not as much from without. My defense of Pastor Stevens and GGWO is primarily directed toward those who should know better, ie: the Church. As such, this is a Biblical defense which doctrinally applies to any and all believers, small or great, in any church anywhere in the world. Indeed, Pastor Stevens is one of many Christian leaders who are the target of slander and lies, as a result of their laid down lives for Christ.

In Mt.7:16 the Word of God says," By their fruit you shall know them." And in vs.18, "an evil tree cannot bear good fruit." GGWO under Pastor Stevens, and now under Pastor Tom Schaller has been used by God to win a multitude of souls to Jesus Christ, transformed hearts and lives, brought about reconciliation in marriages, and healings through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. All of this is good fruit in anyone's book, and is well documented. Accusations to the opposite are idle accusations with little or no evidence or corroboration. Hearsay and innuendo that can not bear objective scrutiny.We are allowed to examine fruit, but are we allowed to examine the sins and failures of others and present them publically? Is there ever any scriptural justification for doing this? The answer to both questions is an emphatic no. (Mt.7:1, Rom.2:1)

This leads to the question of the scriptural legitimacy of organizations like C.R.I. (The Christian Research Institute), Factnet, and other similar groups. They present a Christian facade while engaging in absolutely non-Christian, un-Biblical, negative attacks on believers in Christ. Their handling of fruit-bearing believers is quite similar to the tactics of the liberal media and supermarket tabloids. Their content bears the same comparison.They are outlets for disgruntled ex-members who have a vindictive agenda to destroy other believers whom they disagree with.Despite whatever disagreements anyone may have with Pastor Stevens, there can be no disputing his clear adherence to the cardinal doctrines of the faith. This makes him a brother in Christ. On that basis and on the basis of fruit, the Bible is very clear that you do not engage in gossip and evil speaking against a brother in Christ or his ministry. (1Pet.2:1 , Eph.4:31 , James 4:11 , Tit.3:2). My challenge to anyone reading this letter to try to Biblically justify the actions of these organizations or their participants.

Let me expand on this subject a little more. In Prov 6:16-19 we see in black and white the things that God has listed in His Word that He specifically hates. And for added emphasis He calls them abominations to Him. Yet these 7 things that God hates and calls abominations are precisely what groups like C.R.I., Factnet, and others engage in with impunity. Please follow this line of reasoning: As believers in Christ we have been declared innocent through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ. And in conjunction with 1John 3:15 ( ..whosoever hates his brother is a murderer.), can there be any doubt as to the meaning of "...hands that are swift to shed innocent blood."? Yet this is the operational function of these groups and the individuals who participate with them. This is a very serious issue in God's eyes. Read 1Jn.3 & 4 and tell me that this is not accurate and pertinent to this subject of gossip and evil speaking!

Finally, there are some that say that this type of defense is meant to insulate or sheild Pastor Stevens and other GGWO leaders from criticism regarding past wrongs and abuses. It is not! There are scriptural avenues that are given to us in the Word of God when a brother sins, such as Gal.6:1, going alone with a heart attitude of love and restoration. Not of vindictiveness and judgement. What I am outlining in this letter is normal, mainstream theology. Unfortunately it is neglected by too many believers and churches. This ought not to be and needs to be strongly addressed! Rom.14:4 - "Who art thou who judges another man's servant, to his own master he stands or falls.Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." This needs to be heeded by all of the self-appointed judges, sitting upon their little pharasaical thrones, in front of their computer keyboards spewing out their venom on the internet. God says, "Who are you...?!!!"

In conclusion, I feel that I should make note of the fact that I am writing and publishing this letter without the knowledge or endorsement of Pastor Stevens or the leadership of GGWO. I've done this entirely on my own and take complete responsibility for it's content. I've grown weary of all the evil-speaking against my pastor and my church. Especially after all these years of seeing Christ revealed, love manifested, souls saved, and lives transformed. Of course mistakes have been made along the way. As apparent as they may be to many, the real truth is that God has dismissed all of them. The same is true for all of us. Thank God for our Saviour and His finished work!

In Christ,
Laird Bean