Dear Pastor Ron Barnett:
I would like to apologize on behalf of those “Christians” that gave you such a warm welcome. Is it any wonder that people who truly need God witness such behavior and question the veracity of the Christian faith? No doubt you were hurt by the behavior, which speaks volumes. Words cannot communicate more loudly than bad behavior. Obviously, the individuals you encountered have set out to interpret the Bible in any fashion they choose, regardless of how close they may think they are to the truth in God’s Word. I think you would agree that humility and self-control were clearly absent in this paltry attempt at Christian unity. If this is true (Galatians 6:22-24), then what you experienced fell very short of God’s expectations. Peace and kindness, being two attributes of the Holy Spirit one would expect from ministers, seem to have taken a hiatus given your experience. Do not let your heart be troubled. You know your own acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior. Our responsibility is to him alone. Be of good cheer, there are pastors in Ottumwa that know what is appropriate in Christian fellowship.