Sunday, September 22, 2013
Are They Really Christians?
Soon after Dwight’s administrative leave began, we received a phone call from a friend informing us that he heard that the Mayor and Assistant City Manager were asking questions about Dwight and I around town. This was being discussed at the business breakfast he had attended that day. It was disturbing not only to us, but to our friend and those attending the breakfast that morning as well. All thought the nature of the questions most offensive, especially when being asked “Are they really Christians?”
And days before in the Mayor’s meeting with us, he accused Dwight of instructing his staff to lie for him. He was referring to Code Enforcement complaint calls and emails made to the Help Center that were worked by the staff. It is standard protocol for anonymity for those placing complaints. This is to protect people from discordant retaliation. Dwight told him he had never told them to lie and that protocol was in place when he went to work for the City over ten years ago. It had also been protocol for all the years (almost 30 years) Dwight worked at the City of Garland for departments receiving complaints. The Mayor said that the City Manager agreed that telling anyone that complaints were anonymous was not standard protocol and not acceptable and this protocol would be changing and there would be no more lying to citizens. ** Dwight attempted to tell him that this was standard protocol for all cities, not just those using the Government Outreach Program. The Mayor continually interrupted telling Dwight his behavior was not acceptable and even asked him “You call yourself a Christian?”
In the last couple of days, this same line of questioning came up among friends questioning the “Christianity” of an individual in our community that really shook me. It stirred the pain within me that I felt when I heard that our own faith was being questioned by the Mayor. I also thought of an email I received several months ago by someone else in Wylie saying that the Mayor had done the same line of questioning with her friends about her faith as he had done to us.
I am of the opinion that asking such deliberately damning questions about anyone (when done in this manner) is the lowest form of character assassination anyone could levy against another. To question someone’s faith, relationship and their following of Christ is the most intrusive of all character inquiries. This is nothing more than a subtle form of public religious persecution. On a KCBI radio segment of Minirth-Meier they likened this manner of talk and questioning to discredit or to bring disgrace upon another is considered "psychological rape”. For a fellow Christian or a Pastor to go around town doing this to others within the Body of Christ is the height of hypocrisy. If the Mayor truly doubts our faith and the salvation of our souls, then he should be praying for us as we have been praying for him and those that deliberately caused such harm to us.
We know that we fail each and every day and fall short of what we aspire to do for Him. We know that we are forgiven and thankful that He continues to use us in our failures and brokenness. Thank goodness the Bible is full of broken people that we all can relate to! We could think that Abraham was too old, David was an adulterer and murderer, the Disciples fell asleep while praying, Elijah was suicidal, Gideon was afraid, Isaac was a daydreamer, Isaiah preached naked, Jacob was a liar, Jeremiah was too young, Job went bankrupt, John the Baptist ate bugs, Jonah ran from God, Joseph was abused, Lazarus was dead, they said Leah was ugly, Martha worried about everything, Mary Magdalene was demon possessed, Moses could not speak well, Naomi was a widow, Noah was a drunk, Paul was too religious, Peter denied Christ, Rahab was a prostitute, the Samaritan Woman was divorced and more than once, Samson had long hair and was a womanizer, Timothy was too young and had an ulcer, and Zaccheus was too small. Praise the Lord that with all our (Dwight and Terry) imperfections we fit right in!
**We have been told that the City of Wylie (7+ months later) is still using the protocol for anonymity that was in force for years and during many Building Official tenures before Dwight’s. For the use of this protocol he was charged with Abuse of Power and Violation of the Code of Conduct for his “alleged wrongdoing”.
Terry’s Note to Self—Do a Bible Study on Abuse of Power, Breach of the Chain of Command, Insubordination, and Violation of the Code of Conduct.
To be continued……….