Dear ex-co-workers of KSB,
For years I have had no contact with many of you, especially those who left recently. Years that have often been hard on Estelle and myself for we walked a lonely path in a world that did not make sense to us. We suffered because family and friends whom we treasured dearly turned their backs on us and ignored us as if we had the Corona-virus. Then some 4 years ago, small signs of civility and restoring friendships came our way. You all know what happened since a year ago. And now we are experimenting that our God is restoring family-bonds and friendships.
About a month ago, I had a small issue with my heart causing me to “retreat” a bit and rethink my life and the way forward from here on. I am okay and so blessed to have my wife and all my children, children-in-law and the grandchildren supporting and caring for us. But the most important realization to me was that God is so good to restore old bonds. I am so blessed that children and grandchildren of ex-members of KSB from all over the world are reaching out to us for advice.
But here is the point why I am writing to you. Many of you will experience hurts because of the brokenness and hypocrisy of the system we all adhered to and supported with all our hearts. On top of it, you might see that your own congregations or even your children turn their backs on you and go off to other churches. Even worse, they turn their back on Christ and there is all that anger, bitterness and accusations. Friends, the truth is that Christianity is built on trust. You as a leader or co-worker have to be clothed first of all with the truth (Eph. 6) in order to fight Satan. If we lose truth, we lose trust. We were deceived and we believed a lie and we followed hypocrites blindly thus becoming the “blind leading the blind.” Now the truth is being revealed and the horrible lies of the leaders of KSB are being exposed and this leaves us deceived and often despondent. But during the time of our own deception we also deceived others!
And this is exactly the problem why your congregations or even your own children are turning their backs on you now. Truth is destroyed and trust is broken. They do not trust you and even if they are too decent to say it in your faces; this is the harsh reality that we all have to face here and we must face it now.
Today it is quite common to see a political leader when making statements having a group of researchers or experts who help him/her with the issue at hand standing on stage behind the leader. We all stood with Erlo on the stage of life. We backed him up and we put ourselves forward for we believed in his honesty and sincerity. Now we are shocked and shaken to our cores by his lies and deceptions. We cannot just skulk away and make as if we had never been there or never part of it. We are known and our integrity is at stake. We must either confess the truth openly, honestly and humbly or we will lose integrity and trust. Have no doubt about this.
Looking at the Bible we find good confirmation for the importance of trust. Just think of the passage in Acts 3 especially verses 3 and 4. Peter said to that broken man to look at them. When he did it, his expectation arouse. This means in simple theological terms that the man looked at them and saw them to be trustworthy. He was open to the command of Peter and responded in faith. Look, trust, expectancy, faith. In order for people to have faith, they must trust the Bible as the true word of God, they must trust that the message of salvation is true and applies to them also and they must trust the messenger. Trust is in all cases the foundation.
You might ask how we can restore this broken trust? If you turn with me to 1 Sam 25 to the well-known story of David, Nabal and Abigail, you will find the answer to this hurt and confusion we are facing now. Nabal was a fool, stubborn and proud. Because of his actions a disaster was heading his way that would have destroyed his family. The only way out was the way of Abigail. She did not point fingers; she did not recuse herself. She spoke the truth as it is and called out her husband the exact fool that he was. But she also took responsibility, humbled herself and through honesty and truth saved the situation.
We need to all acknowledge that we too have sinned. We believed the lies of the leaders at KSB. We were zealots in enacting their view and interpretations of reality which was not Biblical-based. We promoted and established a horrible cult and, in this process, we lead innocent persons astray and we hurt and manipulated little ones. We all need to acknowledge it openly and truly. It is the only way how we can re-establish trust. We must speak the truth and live the truth in all humility and meekness.
(From my own life I openly confess that I believed the lies Erlo told me about Kobus du Preez and I propagated that falsehood far and wide. I never spoke to Kobus about it. I never listened to his side of the story. Only years later did I do this and we were reconciled but I did so much damage by being part of the “zealots” persecuting Kobus.)
I urge you to think about this deeply. I plead with you to do something urgently and honestly.
Please feel free to contact me and may God bless us as we walk into the future together.