My Detailed Resignation from Life FM

 

Wendy’s chat is in the blue and my responses are in the grey. This is all very sad but here it is laid bare because I have nothing to hide. .

 

Hello Tony [Tony] Hi Wendy,

Thanks for your email. How did you go with Mark Elmendorp? Did you manage to get together with him to discuss the issues you raised in your email to Paradise? You will recall in our last discussion that I was keen for this to happen and keen for steps to be taken to restore that relationship. [Tony] Firstly may I thank you for your courteous reply, I far more appreciate the use of, "firstly", "secondly" etc. than the bulleted format of your last email. Frankly I don't know how to feel about your silence over these many months except to say that I am not at all impressed by it. I don't mean to be rude but I will be forthright. I don't have a crystal ball to know your motives, purposes or expectations of me with regard to this ludicrous situation and I pray you have not made this time to be a Gideon's fleece for that would have been a sheer insult to the Father. (Mathew 12:39) There is no easy way to deliver what I must, however I shall strive to be polite in its delivery. I pray the Father will reveal to you the motives of my heart as you read what you will herein and not what you have previously and incorrectly perceived those motives to be.

Let me begin by sincerely apologising if this email to you appears personally curt, and plead it is my prayer that you will not be personally offended by it - such is not my intention! But I DO pray you are challenged by it. Frankly Wendy, I am somewhat uncomfortable discussing this particular issue with you as I am still of the firm conviction that my communication with PCC (Mark Elmendorp in particular) was a private matter not for the inclusion of others, and certainly not persons connected with Life FM as I was not at any time speaking representatively - your concerns and opinions in this regard not withstanding. However since you are already involved, I reluctantly offer you the following insisting that you hear what I have to say confidentially, objectively and without prejudice.

Frankly I find it hard to believe that you have not touched base with Mark nor he with you, however for the sake of the exercise this is a summation of what transpired during our communication. I phoned Mark the day after our discussion as I had committed to do. My first question to him was "How do we resolve this thing?" I was stunned by his reply. "I don't think it can be resolved" he said, "because you obviously feel very strongly about this issue." Sadly this set the tone for the rest of the conversation. The clear insinuation was that only if I recanted and towed the "party" line could there be any hope of reconciliation, which was an indicted presumption that I was indeed in error, something which has yet to be established, making the insinuation arrogant at best. To this day I am willing to entertain the possibility of being in error on the issue if and only if such an error can be clearly shown from the Father's Word. So far that has not even been remotely attempted. Mark seemed quite reluctant to want to discuss the issues (including the third party observations I raised) from a Scriptural point of view preferring rather to lean on a traditional stand with comments such as, "We've always done it that way."

Despite being personally, professionally and more importantly spiritually insulted by having my concerns labelled mere, "negative stuff" and subsequently, unequivocally dismissed; Despite having a personal apology to him flatly ignored; Despite his declining to respond to the same invitation I have extended to you on two separate occasions to show me from the Father's Word where my supposed error lies (for I am not interested in pulpit politics or secular sensibilities but rather the truth of the only ultimate authority which is God's Word); And despite still waiting for him to respond to a second invitation to meet with me face to face to discuss the issue, I have remained polite though very frustrated and quite heavy hearted. I have not heard a peep from him nor you since mid December last year and I struggle for a word to better describe that than just plain . . . rude!

I will say this to you as I will to Mark if and when we ever catch up . . . I was more than a little concerned with the assertion that because the issues I raised were (from his perspective at least) a "minority view" they were therefore somehow invalid. I will respond to that with the words of the American defender of religious liberty William Penn who once wrote, "Right is right even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it." Further, I pose these questions to all interested parties . . . Since when in God's economy does might equal right? Since when has the Father ever used a majority to assert His point? Since when has the Father ever relied on an opinion poll to validate His truth? I thunder this for all who have ears to hear: It is as true of individual believers as it is of whole denominations that those who consider themselves the most safe are in the most danger!

Dr. John MacArthur wrote in his recently released book "Hard To Believe", (which I emphatically recommend you Wendy, and the collective board of directors read - for desperate perspective sake), "The Kingdom of God does not advance by human cleverness. It does not advance because we have gained positions of power and influence in the culture. It does not advance thanks to media popularity or opinion polls. It does not advance on the back of public favour. The kingdom of God advances by the power of God alone, in spite of public hostility." (pg 22) Note the words, "public hostility." This is something the Bride of Christ should EXPECT not shy from through compromising ecumenical diplomacy. It is an inevitable consequence of her Gospel proclamation as well as a glorious verifier that she is faithfully fulfilling her commission. I don't see any public hostility being extended toward the PCC which should disturb them for it surely does me! Jesus Himself said, "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you . . . " (Luke 6:26)

So that's where I am with Mark unfortunately and with the PCC as a whole it would seem. Mark has, by his own admission chosen to restrict Pastor Ashley's access to my correspondence having deemed it (as I mentioned previously) "mere negative stuff". So, I will pursue him no further. I have offered a genuine hand of reconciliation in good faith and it would appear to have been rejected. And I'll say this for what it's worth . . . Though it may well have not been the implicit intention, the manner with which I have been treated (namely much like a naughty little school boy made to stand in a corner) by both yourself and other involved parties is extremely demeaning, especially given that folk occupying such positions should treat a fellow brother in Christ with such careless and reckless abandon, and not only so but amazingly with a seemingly clear conscience so as to make the action categorically unconscionable.

At the end of the day we shall all ultimately answer to the Father, standing accountable to Him alone for how we each have executed the calling(s) He has placed upon our individual lives. In the interim of course we have secondary authorities to whom we must give account and I will address that shortly. I understand the formidable opposition I face in the light of what I said - I understood that before I said it. However I am more properly constrained to be obedient to the Father's call in priority than to the machinations of men. And I have to say that I am amazed by the apparent, "we can do no wrong, now get out of our sight" attitude which seems to have permeated the ethos of those who do not share my point of view. By all means disagree, that is a right afforded by divine grace, but such a right demands verification from the very Word that affords that grace. To that end there has been no willingness of discussion or conciliation nor debate, just a verbatim denial. So be it! We stand opposed.

I empathise with the Prophets and the protestant reformers of old who were also called to say unpopular things to a comfortable and compromising generation - and yes, this IS a comfortable and compromising generation! For my part I sounded the shofar (as was my responsibility according to my calling), metaphorically speaking the blood is therefore not on my hands - the warning has been delivered. (Ezekiel 33:3-9). I understand the political sensitivities involved, I am not a naive man, however a higher law rightly assumes precedence and that is the seeking first of His Kingdom and His Righteousness before the day to day needs and expectations of either myself or others. Respectfully, you would do well to bear that in mind.

I realise this is all coming across rather bluntly and I certainly pray you do not perceive me as being rude, but I would rather speak my heart honestly and frankly than flatter you with pleasant sounding platitudes. The truth is I am upset yes, with both you and Mark on a human level because I have been treated unfairly. It has been something I have had to deal with every meditated moment of every day since our collective phone calls of mid December. This places those involved (as my detractors?) in critical view of Matthew 5:23,24. If I am indeed in error Scripturally then there are obligations according to Galatians 6:1 which have not yet been implimented though we each claim to be serving His best interests. As I previously stated I am upset on a personal level for having been treated with such disdain, but also (and more importantly) on a ministerial level where what I firmly believe the Father had me say has been treated with little more than contempt. Let me affirm here that I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ both on and off air and will ever continue to be.

I have seen over 10 years of service to the Father silenced by what can only logically be described as a knee jerk over-reaction to a privately expressed opinion upheld by a Biblical base. Supporters of the program are emailing me wanting to know what's going on, most less than impressed by the substitution (no disrespect to Doug intended). Following is one typical of what I have been receiving and I include the writer's email address for your reply for I have yet to do so . . .

Hello Tony!

How are you? We really miss your programs on Sunday mornings. Wondering what happened? The new ones are rather watery and shallow and lack the Truth!

God bless and hope to hear from you soon.

In Christ,

Alin and Stanca

Before I can make a decision in regard to you coming back on air, I will need to know where you're at with Mark/Paradise. [Tony] Now you do.

Secondly, I will have to ask you for a reference from your Pastor. I need to be sure that you are in regular church fellowship and that your church leader(s) support your involvement at Life FM. Either a written reference, or a name and phone number will do. (We consistently monitor all staff in this regard - so please don't feel we're singling you out.) [Tony] Since the whole Australian Idol fiasco (which I note Life FM is now supporting via the website - shame on you!!! - shame on you!).  I no longer attend the PCC. I have long been speaking to my Pastor about this issue. I am being singled out Wendy and you know it, for I am fully persuaded that this audit was brought about by my audacity in challenging the PCC. That is not mere conjecture; Mark indicated such during our phone conversation. I am well aware of station policy in this regard but may I stress that pertaining to the issue at hand, though a necessary check, this is a secondary issue. The point of the validity or invalidity of my statements according to Scripture has not at all been satisfactorily addressed. It is simply unacceptable to conclude that, "We do not agree with you on the basis that we do not agree with you therefore you are silenced". Until such a time that you are able to show me from the Word of God where I am in error with regard to the items I have raised, the issue will remain unresolved and the involved parties will be forever subject to Matthew 5:23 - 25.

Thirdly, you will need to agree that the content of the Sounds of Sunday is subject to Life FM management's oversight. [Tony] A rose by any other name is still a rose . . . and "oversight" always equates to "censorship" in one form or another. With all due respect I have always submitted to oversight Wendy - long before you joined the ranks. To suggest that I consider myself above scrutiny is an absolute insult! I worked harmoniously with previous managements for the same objective - previous managements however were less willing to compromise foundational truths for the sake of "ecumenical unity."

Let's be honest with one another here Wendy shall we? It is not SOS content you have a problem with because SOS content has never been an issue! It is my private comments to PCC and moreover my apparent underlying attitude which you (without qualification) presume to be error some, and your subsequent fear that what I might say in future discourses may compromise financial relationships between sponsors and a very cash strapped Life FM. You are therefore (in this context) requiring me to agree to something I find categorically abhorrent. I will not sell out my Father's truth for mere pieces of silver. May I remind you again that seeking first the Father's kingdom and His righteousness brings the financial security the station so desperately needs, not appeasing the cultural sensibilities of those who appear to be pulling the temporal purse strings.

It is important that any views expressed on air by announcers are generally consistent with Life FM's vision and its position on the issues presented. [Tony] Agreed, absolutely agreed! However it is infinitely more important that any views expressed on air by announcers are consistent with the Father's Word, His vision and His position on issues presented pertaining to the mission of His Body on Earth: the Church.

Wendy, Life FM's vision is to present the relevance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have NEVER detracted from that vision - EVER. Do you suppose that my office (or anyone's there frankly) is simply that of an announcer given the outreach of the station, the ministry to which we have all been called and the days in which we live? I am nothing in or of myself please hear that well, but my calling is that of a minister to the Body of Christ ordained by the Father. I take my ministry VERY seriously as I ought. I have always spoken consistently within the plain teaching of the Word and I challenge you to demonstrate to me that I have ever done otherwise.

With all due respect (and I do mean that), you and others may take issue with my private comments to the PCC but I maintain they are Scripturally faithful, and until such time as they are Scripturally repudiated I will hold firm to them. If Life FM management expects me to compromise the truth of the Father's Word by diluting it, ignoring it, re-inventing it to make it culturally acceptable or worse - in any sense holding it back for the sake of political expedience or ecumenical unity, then Life FM management should expect a fervent, vitriolic and thunderous protest whether or not I am in their employ. I am prepared to die proclaiming His truth, do not think for a moment I would ever be content with biting my lip.

We don't wish to water down or censor anything which you believe God has laid on your heart to share, however it would be helpful to discuss anything which has the potential for conflict. We can then look at how best to communicate the message. [Tony] Again with respect, this is the cry of compromisers the world over! I hear what you're saying Wendy and what is underlying your sentiment. The "potential for conflict" you mentioned is inevitable when sharing anything of God, particularly in these last days as the church marches ignorantly into apostasy (2 Timothy 4:3).

Sadly it comes as quite a surprise to many that the Father does not call His people to be diplomats earnestly seeking "unity" at all costs. Try passing your "living peaceably with all men by all means" philosophy by Martin Luther, John Calvin and the like. History tells you there comes a point when that is not possible without truth first being sacrificed. Unity at all costs is Satan's credo Wendy, the very same he has been using throughout the centuries to build his end time whore. The fact that he is presently using women in diverse roles of illegitimate hierarchical leadership through all manner of faiths and philosophical convictions to facilitate that end has not escaped my attention nor those who likewise sound the Shofar.

The Heavenly Father calls His people to earnestly "contend for the faith", and in context that refers to both identifying and standing against (not so much the enemy) but the apostasy in the Body of Christ which the evil one inspires. (Jude 1:3); To have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather rebuke them, again in context that means public denunciation. (Ephesians 5:11) Here you may have a point with regard to PCC for I chose to address the issue at hand privately rather than on air. He does not call His people to "trim their ways" in order to be popular in the sight of man nor to gain their approval or favour (Jeremiah 2:33 KJV) but to come out and be separate. (2 Corinthians 6:17) Jesus declared that He had not come to bring peace but a sword, that His truth would indeed bring division, setting father against son and mother against daughter, and that a man's enemies would be members of his own house. (Matthew 10:34). Martin Luther once said, "If our gospel were received in peace, it would not be a true gospel".

Bishop J C Ryle once said, "Let us resist false doctrine and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us not be ashamed of showing our colours and standing out for New Testament truth. Let us not be stopped by the cuckoo cry of "controversy". The thief likes dogs that do not bark, and watchmen who give no alarm. The devil is a thief and a robber. If we hold our peace and do not resist false doctrine, we please him and displease God."

As I have already mentioned, there are often times in a fallen world such as the one in which we live when "unity" (no matter how honourably desired) will not at all be possible without truth being first sacrificed on the altar of expedience. Many mainstream "Christian" denominations have already crossed over and according to the Word of God many more will do so. Jesus said this must happen before His return, so we should expect it. Never should we become so free in "grace" that we forget that the uncomfortable truths of God are not negotiable nor are they politically appeased. Eve first fell for the same lie and her generations continue to do so.

You can only have one or the other Wendy: a radio station that appeals to all (the world included), safe and smooth sailing, or a radio station that preaches the unadulterated truth and as a consequence is tossed on the same waves upon which He continues to walk with His own - you CAN'T have both! You either trust Him or you trust YOU - I choose Him!

Fourthly, we would also ask you to be mindful that any correspondence from you which alludes to your position with Life FM has the potential to create a perception that the views you express are also held by Life FM's management. So anything which you send in your capacity as a Life FM announcer needs to be approved by the CEO.

[Tony] Previous CEO's (who assumed a lesser distinction) have not have had a problem with what I have had to share Wendy, they rightly trusted my proven integrity. That said, I have always made it a practice when sharing personal opinions to include a general disclaimer even though what I shared was already filtered through a Scriptural perspective. Check the records for yourself with regard to disputation. We have a fundamental problem Wendy when we are unable to agree on what the Bible clearly forbids. Pertaining to the issue at hand, I stated privately (and I again emphasise privately) that the PCC was "dancing" with idolatry, not engaging in it perse' though skirting around the edge is as equally perilous. Idolatry is a serious offence in the eyes of a Holy God, akin to the worship of the enemy of our souls, how more serious an offence is it when participants of idolatry, though perhaps claiming a faith in Christ, train others to engage in behaviour which so denies Him. (Titus 1:16)

As a dear friend recently shared with me, "Scripture is as I read it, not how I interpret it.". Timely advice for us all.

Once I'm satisfied with your responses on all of the above - I will be happy to re-consider our position, in consultation with the Chairman. [Tony] I understand Peter, a member of PCC I believe? was quote, "ropeable" with me regarding my correspondence with Mark Elmendorp - they were Mark's words incidentally. I am sorry Peter felt he could not approach me personally concerning his rope-ability. I invite anyone who has taken issue with my stand regarding Australian Idol to discuss the matter with me personally according to Matthew 18:15.

Still we have a situation, one sadly that must see us part company - a decision I should have made months ago. You need to see that I do not have a problem with surrendering to authority (contrary to the opinion of those who may incorrectly assume I do), however the only authority I will submit to can only be a biblically ordained one.

When you started at Life FM I was troubled with regard to your occupying the position you do. There is no getting around the immutable fact that according to the Word of God women are forbidden to occupy positions of authority over men in the home, in federal governance and especially in matters of the church. (Genesis 3:16, Isaiah 3:12, 1 Timothy 2:12) I am not interested in the political correctness of this terminally compromised age (a compromise which has filtered its way into the Church), I am only interested in what the Word instructs.

Not only did you assume such a position but in its capacity you silenced a ministry to the Body of Christ for the sake of political expedience. Worse still is the reality that you were elected into that office by a board of directors who appear to have defied the Bible's implicit commands issued to the Prophets by the Holy Spirit. Ordinarily I would take you each to task on this but realising that would be a futile exercise the only course of action I can take is to invoke Mark 6:11 against you and against those who support your decision. I therefore shake the dust off my feet as a testimony against you and separate myself from Life FM's present management and those board members who support your decision. This is not an insignificant charge, rather one I make solemnly understanding its consequence.

Please be advised that it is my intention to pursue this matter further with higher authorities and to also issue an open letter to the church regarding this matter pending legal advice. Wendy, this is an issue that is in your best interests to resolve at your earliest convenience.

In closing I must say two final things. Firstly, that my heart is very heavy over this matter. Your initial decision Wendy was in my opinion - reactionary, ill advised, heavy handed and biblically indefensible. You acted impulsively to silence a ministry that was having a profound and positive effect in the lives of many thousands of people for the glory of God, with little regard for those people but rather demonstrating partiality to the financial benefactors of the station which released it. Not only so, but you did it in a capacity which you have no biblical right to occupy.

And secondly, to quote an old colloquialism, "You can take the dog out of the fight but you can't take the fight out of the dog". Metaphorically speaking there are two kinds of believers who step up to the chopping block for having served Christ. Those who negotiate for a sharper blade so as to get it over and done with quickly and painlessly, and those who stand face to face with the axe man, smack him squarely in the mouth and say, "Bring it on".

I'm the latter Wendy, just so you know when you're wondering where all the barking is coming from!

I have sent you a cd which I pray you will take the time to listen to and as you do that the Father would open the eyes of your understanding as to the difference between His will and the world's way.

 

With Respect,

In His Everlasting Embrace

Tony Dean

 

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