July 2, 2015
The short answer is: Yes.
However, we doubt there continues to be a reason to meet.
Diaspora had hoped from the beginning to meet with GFA leadership to address the concerns voiced in our first letter. As we moved forward through this process, we even chose a date with KP for such a meeting (October 2, 2014 and then October 13, 2014), but GFA’s leadership never followed through in actually sitting down to meet. Instead, we were told that Gayle Erwin was heading an investigation into our concerns and, as such, it was now out of KP’s hands and up to the board as to what to do next.
Please see the Communications History for the emails and phone calls between JD and KP concerning setting up a meeting.
Several months passed until Gayle Erwin sent his final report in March stating that our claims were dismissed and that they would no longer be communicating with us. We took that to mean an end of any opportunity for a meeting to take place.
Our original purpose for meeting was to clearly define our concerns and plead for repentance. We desired to see GFA leadership make changes reflective of a rejection of their false teachings on authority, a renewed respect of staff’s personal lives, and full transparency to donors of the nature of Believer’s Church. Our primary concern was not for individual personal hurts to be reconciled (most of us had already forgiven GFA for those things); but those personal incidents simply reflected the larger problems within the culture of GFA.
Because GFA leadership never admitted to the validity of our concerns in the March 26, 2015 Board Response, we progressively widened the circle of our communications from just the leadership and board initially, to the staff and finally to supporters, both current and potential (see June 1, 2015 post).
We broadened the audience carefully and progressively for two reasons: First, for the sake of GFA to give them a progressive chance to repent (per Matthew 18), and, second, for the sake of the donors who need such information to make informed stewardship choices.
Now that all our information is public, the original reason for meeting with GFA’s leadership seems to be nullified. They have not responded to our calls for repentance thus far, and now the current staff, the public itself and possibly the law continues the call to repentance and change. We’re not sure what a meeting would accomplish, unless the purpose of a meeting is to ask our advice in how to make changes. However, from GFA’s responses to us thus far, we doubt they would desire our help.
We have been told that GFA is telling supporters that the only reason the meeting has not happened is because “Diaspora would not meet without it being videotaped” and GFA has been counseled against doing so by the ECFA. Therefore, they have accused us of not being willing to meet.
We think this is disingenuous, as it gives the impression that GFA did all they could to arrange a meeting and the only thing that led to failed negotiations was our demand that it be videotaped (see Aug 22, 2014). This is simply false. Again, see our Communications History for the whole truth.
The only meeting negotiations between GFA and ourselves were the emails and calls between JD and KP. If one reads, s/he will find that JD asked one time about it being videotaped and KP never even responded to that. Then KP announced the investigation. After that, the negotiations about meeting times simply stopped and KP never spoke directly to JD after that. We would not call that a failure on our part.
Since then there has been one person—a brother named Greg—who has tried to negotiate his own meeting between Diaspora and GFA (see April 16, 2015). Our communications with him can also be seen in the Communications History. We were unable to work with him because we had no indication from GFA or its board that Greg had any authority to carry out such negotiations. GFA’s board has never retracted their statement that they are finished communicating with us (see March 26, 2015), so until the GFA board or leaders acknowledge directly to us that they would like to resume communications, we don’t see any point in working with a third party, like Greg.
In conclusion, we invite all to review our Communications History to decide personally the whole truth of our attempts and willingness to meet with GFA. Because of the lack of response from GFA over the process, we have incrementally broadened the audience to voice our concerns; thus, at this point in time, a meeting may no longer be appropriate. Nonetheless, we remain open should it be requested.