I wrote this article last year in response to a letter we received from close family relatives. We’ve received a new one this year. Back then, I was frustrated and sad at their turning away from truth. Now, I have a different perspective and although I’m no psychoanalyst, I’m going to analyze their new letter and try to figure out why there has been such a change in perspective from their “lifelong” pursuit of Christ. Integrated in my thoughts will be ideas behind Pastorship verses Eldership and the authority found in each.
This year, their letter is on the same letterhead, a typical holiday border with holly and bows and bells. The thing is, if this was actual letterhead, I’d be more forgiving, but it’s printed, along with the letter. If they still had a lot of letterhead they needed to use up, I could see their choice in using this. But couldn’t they have found some letterhead that was a bit more generic, say in a UFO style? Anyway, no big whoop. Just trying to lay the groundwork for choices.
Their letter starts out in this way:
Season’s Greetings to all!!!
It’s that time of year to sum up the activity at our home for 2017! It’s been a busy year as it started off with teaching an 11 week course on the Billy Meier Story which focuses on the deliverance of the Laws and Recommendations for all mankind to live by and to convey the false teachings of religions.
Still the holiday greeting yet with a de-emphasis of why they are writing; it’s simply a summing up of their year. (Punctuation is recreated as closely as possible.) I’ve got to say though, their commitment to this deception is garnering steam that I felt was going to go away with time and analysis, but they seem all the more committed, literally. They’ve also gone away with the “you have your beliefs and we have ours” with that last statement. They are now teaching, and telling us the fact, that religions are false.
I, myself, felt that any response to last year’s letter would be counterproductive, because I couldn’t get behind the idea of respecting what they had to say. But I do know people who did, in a very loving way. I feel that somehow any challenge to their new-found beliefs would only serve to strengthen them, and that is my ultimate goal in this writing that I’ll eventually get to, but let’s get on with more of the content.
The success of this class led us to teach the class again this fall. The information that *** taught from Billy Meier and the Plejaren people was educational, provable, inspirational and life transforming… a true blessing in everyday life!!!
This goes on with more about the “Laws and Recommendations of Creation” and other “Scriptural” texts, and a renewed recommendation for visiting theyfly.com, which is a ridiculous site that proves nothing. (The exclamation points are so extraneous, it makes the regular body of the letter unimportant.)
They go on to talk about that their teachings have a 1.5 hour instruction on how to contact “UFO.” Let me point out at this point that every reference to “UFO” is just that. Not “UFOs,” but always the singular. I don’t know if this is on purpose or just an error on their part, but it detracts from the idea of the whole thing.
On that same note, we have had 61 times that UFO have flashed back a “hello” to us, one flyover, two flashback responses by verbally requesting a validation of their presence, and 16 visual sightings of UFO hovering.
I’m left wondering by these things at their hopes. Do they stand around, perform some sort of ceremony or ritual, hoping to see proof? They say at points in this letter how pleased they are at the interest people show in all their teachings, and to me it seems obvious that people would be more curious. What do they have to do to see a UFO at least 5 times a month? And what’s the deal with “verbally requesting a validation of their presence”? They see these things 61 times and “two flashback responses” confirm something deeper to them? Again, it makes me curious in their hopes.
A greater surprise awaited us after the second meeting when the campground owner asked us to come back the summer of 2018 and present the 11 week course on the Billy Meier Story as well as the 1.5 hour course on how to contact UFO!!!!
This was said after telling us about their camping story where they shared the Billy Meier story. This is the crux, the turning point, the axis if you will of their story. This is their hope and desire: that people will want to listen to them. And it is all the more important, I believe, that the stranger the things they want to share the better it is that people will still listen.
I remember back, late at night, in my home in Utah, when they were living with us for a time, him speaking to me about his father. The lights were all turned off, I was ready for bed, and he caught me in the kitchen. I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation, but I do remember his tears. He cried about the relationship between him and his father. We had a disagreement with them regarding the fact that Stacey would not call him father and to our children he could simply be “papa ***,” and not Grandfather or other honorary term. The respect he didn’t receive from his father was not being replaced by his own children, and now us. I truly felt he was trying to manipulate me into feeling that he deserved the respect he always wanted. This came across in the fact that many churches wouldn’t accept his leadership because he was divorced; he was very bitter. I saw that any disagreement with him was in fact, a deeply rooted idea that you didn’t respect him.
Now, with this UFO thing, how can you disagree with him? He doesn’t even give you the opportunity! He wouldn’t hear of it.
Lately, in our own studies at our church, we have studied the idea of leadership and authority in a pastor led church verses and elder led one. Don’t get me wrong, there are probably many healthy pastor led churches; ones in where a pastor doesn’t get caught up in their own authority. I haven’t thought much about it before, but an elder led church has less, I say less, propensity to move towards error. Elders need to give each other to their fellow elder under the headship of Christ. Decisions regarding theology, direction, counsel and prayer need to be discussed and dealt with among a plurality of elders. Again, I’m not necessarily against a pastor led church, but it seems that a lot of the churches that have gone off the deep end, have a singular authority.
I see this in ***’s desire for people to be interested in his teaching. “These people respect me,” I see him saying in argument against our challenges. If they take it all in, then finally reject what they’re teaching, their loss… It’s no longer what he is teaching, but to him, it is their rejection of “UFO.” This was something he couldn’t see in his weak teaching of Christ. I say weak, because I know. He sent us a book he wrote, back when he still called himself a Christian, about forgiveness. The arguments were weak and had no value holding onto the authority of Christ, but only the authority of others in your life, probably a father or pastor.
He has found his muse, or mantra, whatever you want to call it. And the more he is challenged by his authority in those who rejected him, the more power it gives him in his embracing something that is just crazy enough he can only blame your weak faith. I can speak to this because I lived it for a time. I came to a point some years ago, that I saw my driving away people, as a way to blame them for their intolerance of me. I knew that eventually people wouldn’t care for me so I drove them away in my obnoxiousness in order for me to say that they couldn’t handle the truth of who I was. But it was a lie I formed around myself. Much like *** has found a belief to surround himself with in order to not have to blame himself for his shortcomings but he can now blame others for their lack. Knowing this brings me no comfort in his decision for him and his wife, but I can understand it a little more. I could be wrong, but I think that I’m not. It rings of truth in the history of knowing him the way that only I observed.
I feel sorry for him and his wife that they can easily deny what they claimed for a lifetime. Their/His hope is now in beliefs that he claims are “provable,” but even a soft examination of this… stuff, proves how much faith you have to make within in order to believe it.
I end this article in the same way I did last year: a prayer for them. Lord, I don’t fully know the way to reach people, especially these people. They were very close to us for a time until they rejected us. I don’t care anymore about their rejection of us, because I understand now how easily it is to forget and/or reject those we love. I recall so many times I’ve rebelled and in a way rejected you. Yet you’ve always been faithful, bringing me back growing in faith, knowing that you’re always there. Thank you for being real. Make yourself real to them, in the way you would only know. Please let it never be a point where you give them over. Let this be a time of testing for them and for me, knowing I will grow and knowing that they would see the fault of the worldview they’ve adopted. However, You are sovereign! You are God and I will ever praise you in whatever circumstances I find myself in.