4th April 2003
Thank you for sending me,
unsolicited, a parcel of booklets relative to the ministry of Midnight
Ministries. I apologise for having to reply to you via the address of
Midnight Ministries, but as the note you enclosed with the booklets
contained no contact details, I assume this address is the one to use.
I am not impressed with the
booklets you sent, and have therefore sent them all to the recycling
bin. This is not because I am not a Christian, but because they are
distinctly lacking in any grace, and are quite rude and offensive. I
follow Jesus Christ, whom Scripture tells us was full of grace and
truth. Your booklets might well be full of truth (and even that is
questionable), but they are certainly not full of grace. They do not,
therefore, ring true of Jesus, and that, for my money, is the ultimate
I am particularly offended
by the broad claims in the booklets that your movement is right, and the
Church is wrong. Whilst the Church is indeed wrong in many ways, the
hallmark of a cult is always to believe itself right, and others wrong
[which is what he is doing – Editor], and I can but warn you against
such assumptions. This complete lack of humility is most unattractive,
and does not incline me to Midnight Ministries in any way at all. I
should, therefore, be grateful not to receive any further correspondence
For my part, and with a
clean conscience [Oh yes? The heart is deceitful above all things - Jer
17:9.], I shall continue to go along to church on Sundays. Likewise, I
shall continue to observe both Easter and Christmas. If, on this basis,
you still wish to regard yourself my ‘sister in Christ’ then that is
entirely up to you. From the tone of your booklets, though, I shouldn’t
have thought you would want anything much to do with someone you
patently regard as an idolater (which, for the record, I am not).
I thoroughly dislike having
to write to you so strongly, but the nature of your booklets, which
carry a strong sense of judgementalism, leaves me with little choice.
We have received your letter
of 4th April, to Julia. She is a supporter of Midnight Ministries and a
close friend, but since your letter takes exception to publications
which I have authored, and you seem to have a ‘bone to pick’ with me, we
thought it best if I replied.
Before doing so, I took a
look today at your article Growing Pains! in the Plain Truth.
I had not read it previously. I don’t normally read the Plain Truth
because it is too shallow and often amounts to window dressing for
In your letter I notice
various hostile, belligerent and intolerant statements which belie what
you have written in your article, where you write:
“The bottom line is that we
human beings don’t always enjoy being told what to do, or how to
behave.... We need to learn from Jesus, whose example of obedience,
humility and grace-under-fire is par excellence. ...I would
suggest that not only Christian children, but Christian adults too,
should follow the pattern set by Jesus Christ, who ‘grew in wisdom and
stature’, and encourages us to do likewise.”
No one who knows the Truth
can fault your words there. But words can be cheap. Actions speak much
louder. Your article was an exhortation to accept correction, to move on
in the faith, and mature spiritually.
That was the purpose of
those booklets coming to you. But, like a child throwing a temper
tantrum, you say you have “sent them all to the recycling bin.” It’s a
pity you didn’t read them first and, since you take great exception to
what is written therein, show me where the errors are in what I have
written. That is the correct biblical pattern (Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19,20).
However, you say what was
sent to you was “distinctly lacking in any grace”. Clearly you didn’t
read far. Since your prejudice or some other demonic root got the better
of you, let me give you a few tasters about God’s grace expounded in one
of those publications, A Message To Worldwiders:
1. Pg 18: “Those who
continue to be led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God (Rom 8:14).”
2. Pg 19: “About a year
after our expulsion from the church, God led us into a fuller
understanding of these gifts of the Holy Spirit, and He has blessed our
family with various spiritual gifts. I mention a little more about this
on page 25.”
3. Pg 19: “Why are spiritual
gifts evidenced in predominantly Sunday-observing churches?”
4. Pg 20: The story of
Haralan Popov, the Baptist pastor who was tortured for 13 years in
Communist prisons, and how God’s grace sustained him with angelic
5. Pg 22: “Knowing Jesus is
the most important factor for us as Christians. Otherwise He will disown
us at His coming.”
There are many other
statements of the wonder and beauty of God’s grace in what you received.
But, you also read of
unsavoury statements about WCG hypocrisy and slander against me, which
clouded your appraisal. Those are all you remember, and you took
offence. (Correct me if I am wrong, but that’s how it appears that you
reacted.) And, because you thought I was coming against the WCG
(Worldwide Church of God) in a hostile vein (which I was not – I was
simply pointing out errors in their approach and teaching), you reacted
towards what I have written with hostility also.
Let me tell you something. I
have loved those people in that church more than you can understand. And
that love has been demonstrated in every way it could be. I gave all my
money, and even my life to help deliver those people from spiritual
kindergarten, but they have refused to grow up. They want to stay in
kindergarten. They want to play childish games, get upset like children,
and carry on behaving immaturely.
That’s their choice, of
course, as it is yours. I’m surprised that you should respond so
You say: “I am particularly
offended by the broad claims in the booklets that your movement is
right, and the Church is wrong.” (What Church? You do not clarify
whether you are referring to the Church Universal or whether you mean
the WCG, or the Salvation Army.) Then you contradict your objection by
admitting “Whilst the Church is indeed wrong in many ways....” Then why
get offended when such errors are pointed out? Why accuse me of being
arrogant? (Was Jesus arrogant because He rebuked the religious leaders
in His time? See Matt 23.) And why claim that just because we point out
the truth we know, and claim to have some of that truth, that we
are a cult? Such an asinine assumption betrays your unwillingness to
learn and be corrected by someone else (who may have more truth,
and may have learned it from Jesus).
If Jesus brings you more
truth, how does He do it? Does it not often occur by what you learn from
others? And if someone else does have more truth from Him, WHICH
HE HAS GIVEN THEM, when you reject them and reject that truth they
bring, whom are you rejecting? Them, or the One who moved them? The
answer is in Matthew 10:39-41.
You claim the booklets were
rude and offensive, which is untrue. Those with a child-like attitude
that you were encouraging in your article, are not offended by them.
It’s only the high and mighty, the arrogant, the proud, the elevated,
the pompous, who get offended by some things there.
The fact that you were
unwilling to respond to show me where what is written is in error is an
admission that you cannot, which is why you prefer to destroy what
presents too much of a challenge. In fact, by your own words, you admit
you cannot fault the publications on the basis of the truth they
contain: “Your booklets might well be full of truth...” But, because you
don’t know very much biblical truth, you cannot make an accurate
judgement on that.
“...but they are certainly
not full of grace.” That statement is highly presumptuous. I have
already shown you its inaccuracy. You just didn’t care to find the grace
of God in them, because you took offence at the exposure of error
through the preaching of truth. The very fact that the booklets contain
much truth (by your own admission, also), is an evidence that they are
from the Source of grace. For, Jesus came to bring grace AND truth. You
can’t have one without the other. Truth exposes the need for grace, when
the humble realise they have missed the mark of God’s standards of
righteousness. And grace raises the tempo for the entrance of truth.
You completely misunderstand
and misconstrue my motives. But it would seem that you WANT to
misconstrue, which raises the question whether you do actually
misunderstand. As Peter said of the wicked before: “they wilfully
forget” (2 Pet 3:5).
“For my part, and with a
clean conscience, I shall continue to go along to church on Sundays...
observe both Easter and Christmas...” Good, do that. I won’t stop you.
But whether that will save you, is another more serious matter that you
There were many
stiff-necked, arrogant and self-righteous religious leaders in Jesus’
time who subscribed to “the error of the wicked” (2 Pet 3:17). Their
empty, self-glorifying religion didn’t save them, and nor will the
hollow hypocrisy you peddle.... unless, of course, you turn, which I
would hope you will.
I wish you well.
Sincerely, in His love,
Malcolm B Heap