Over a year ago, we had spoken to our pastor regarding some questions we had about some things he had said in some messages. We met face to face in his office. Although the meeting seemed to start off on a defensive note, by the end of the meeting we left feeling positive, with an assurance that he would prayerfully consider our concerns and we would meet again.
About a week or so later, we received a letter from the pastor. Here is the beginning, my comments are bolded...
University Christian Church
Where Christ is the Master and People Matter
Dear Don and Paula,
I had promised to get back with you after reading your comments and praying about your concerns, (Yes, you did. This was both our understanding as we left the meeting.) and I thought a letter might be simpler than trying to schedule another meeting (although I am not opposed to meeting again with you if you still want to do so after reading this). (Reading between the lines, I am sending a letter because I really don't want to give you an opportunity to talk with me. My hope is that after reading this, you will not return.)
Let me begin by thanking you for having the integrity and courage to share your concerns directly with me, rather than going to a third party. (because that would require much more damage control.) That is the Biblical approach, (So what part of the Biblical approach involves sending a letter instead of dealing with someone face-to-face?) but so often not what people choose to do. (Like your choices and the choices of the eldership, for example?) It was difficult and painful for me to hear and read your perception of my preaching, but it also challenged me to scrutinize myself even more than usual. Such an exercise can be quite healthy from time to time. (Personal scrutiny is your answer to this? "Let me see if I am okay, yup, I'm fine.")
There you have the first 2 paragraphs. There is more to come.