I hope, Pastor, that you will not feel that I am being disrespectful by sending you this note. The truth is, if I didn’t have confidence and trust in your life and ministry, I wouldn’t bother to say anything. But because I do trust you, and because the Bible makes it plain that I need a pastor, I feel compelled to write.
My family is my dearest possession. Regardless of what I might accomplish with my life, if I fail to help them develop a strong bond with the God who made them, I’d consider myself a failure. Placing them in your spiritual care is not something that I’ve done without great thought and much prayer.
While I have confidence in your ministry, I’ve also had confidence in other ministers that I now see embracing behaviors that they once said were wrong. I’m not talking about a little adjustment here and there, but radical lifestyle changes.
So, I want, as a dad, to talk to you from my heart. I may be misunderstood or you may even get angry with me, but that’s okay. I’ve just got one shot with my family, so I’ll take that risk. I could chose from several examples, but I’ll use just one.
Remember when my daughters were little? Do you recall how everyone thought they were so cute with those long, thick curls that their momma always fixed so pretty? What people never saw or heard were the almost nightly struggles my wife had trying to wash and brush all that hair while her little girls cried because of the discomfort and pain. But I heard it. You have no idea how many times I asked God to show me a scripture that would exempt us from what you said was God’s plan – that I Corinthians eleven taught that a lady shouldn’t cut her hair. The more I read it and the more I listened to you teach, the more convinced I was that you were leading us right. Sometimes it was quite a struggle, but we kept on doing what you taught us all those years.
Now, my girls are grown. To this day, their hair has never been cut. We made it through those difficult times and now they’ve chosen to continue to live like you taught us.
So, please understand that if someday you decide that it is okay for ladies to cut their hair, I am going to be carefully listening for an explanation. Please don’t tell me that you’ve prayed and gotten a greater understanding of the scriptures, or that you’ve become better educated. Why didn’t you pray more, why didn’t you study more before you made all those demands of my wife and daughters? Why did you wait so long to get serious about finding an answer? I really don’t think God was hiding the truth from you.
I sure hope you don’t say something about never really believing it, but you went along to get along. I hope you wouldn’t be so self-centered that you would insist that my children embrace a lifestyle that caused them discomfort and ridicule for years just so you could feel good around your preacher buddies, and maybe not have to get a real job.
If you do join the ranks of those who’ve chosen this path, you will understand why my family and I will find another place to worship. Your advice and counsel would be no better than what I could get at the local beauty shop. How can I be sure that you got it right this time? Or what new thing are you going to discover next? How can you expect anyone to have confidence in what you preach? If you become one of them, you should at least add a disclaimer to your sermons and Bible lessons that says everything is subject to change without notice.
While I will continue to trust your leadership until your actions prove I shouldn’t, I felt I should tell you all this now – just in case you should ever decide you no longer believe what you’ve always told us you did. That way, you won’t be surprised when you look around and we aren’t there. I love you and appreciate everything you have done for us, but this isn’t about you and your friends and your fellowship and your money. This is about my family and heaven and hell.
I just felt like I needed to tell you that.