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Letter to Mr. Salyer from Jules Dervaes

Copyright © Jules Dervaes

July 7, 1986

Dear Mr. Salyer,

Now that two weeks have passed since the conference I had with you, I thought it would be appropriate to present to you my impressions and concerns regarding that meeting. This is important to me because, as you correctly stated, the issues remained unresolved.

The concluding remarks made at that time were that I was in danger, because I was at the “edge of the cliff.” Maybe you won’t understand my boldness in saying this; but, if searching for the truth means my being on the edge of the cliff, then I want, with God’s help, to take on the cliff. With my salvation at stake, I don’t need to be cowering in the corner, walled in by error.

Another observation made was that I was “straining at a gnat.” If, as I believe, this “gnat” is sin, then most certainly I want to be more and more straining to not tolerate sin. I hope that you were not advocating a lukewarm, don’t-get-involved approach; for I thought that we were supposed to guard against spiritual apathy.

From the comments made about the lack of unity that I exhibited, I sense there exists here a false sense of unity. For, the Bible talks about the unity of doctrine and of faith (Eph. 4). That was the reason that I came: to clarify the confusion of conflicting beliefs taught by different ministers. Yet, in the end, I don’t believe those areas were ever fully and conclusively addressed. Instead, the main focus became me and how I was being “passively resistant.” Yes, I will admit that I do try to resist false interpretations and opinions. After all, that is my Christian duty.

Furthermore, there arose the charge that what I was doing was in the line of “intellectual vanity.” The facts of this case that can be verified will show that only as a result of a direct attempt to separate me from the Church did I respond to the request for the paper that I typed. This presentation came, therefore, from a defensive position. (I already informed you that it was my wife who did most, if not all, of the research. And these were NOT even our ideas but those of the ministers of this Church.) Yet, even if you can assume a false motive of a man, how does that ever cancel out the true nature of a message? The two are not even remotely related in any way, or shape, or form.

This leads me to the question why a distinction is made regarding who has the truth. The ONLY concern should be: What is the truth! Even if four, or four hundred, ministers all agreed on what to say, that does not produce truth.

Of course, there is only one source of truth-—John 17:17—but it is not the exclusive domain of any one person or any one group. (Mr. Herbert Armstrong recognized this.) God, after all, is not a respecter of persons.

Now, to address the question that Mr. Horchak brought up would take another conference. I have thought about his comment, as I said I would. There is, of course, no denying that selfishness is sin.

But, are you the ministry going to legislate what selfishness entails? Are you, as in the example referred to, going to regulate the number of times a man can have sex with his wife? Are you saying that having sex five times a week makes you a sinner? (Having sex zero times a week, does that imply that you are a saint?) What, then, is the number that the Church has fixed as the correct quota per week for the man? I am being facetious because I don’t think the Church belongs in the numbers-game, which the Pharisees played so well.

Therefore, please refer to what Mr. Armstrong said in The GOOD NEWS, July ’78:

We can judge a person’s actions as being either in conformity or not with God’s law. But can we judge the heart? No. What happens if a minister judges the intent, thoughts, and beliefs of a brother? God’s answer—Deuteronomy 19:16-20.

I am truly sorry that the conference did not proceed to a resolution. But I feel that you clouded some issues and skirted others. And I still know that the ministry has spoken differently on these issues. It is very evident that you are not all speaking the same thing.

When you informed me that I had taken up one working day of the ministry’s time (you spelled it out: Two hours times four ministers equals eight hours), I thought that this was uncalled for and that it was an improper approach to my concerns. In fact, that one comment revealed a lot to me.

I do appreciate what time you did give me; I do realize that you have other business to attend to. Yet, I am also responsible to God for what I know and what I can and should do. For this reason I will press on.

I hope you will convey to Mr. Tkach my continuing concern. I have still more things to discuss but I will cover them at a later date.

Thank you again for your assistance in this matter.

Jules Dervaes

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