All in all, if you just read through his letter, it is amazingly well crafted. He gets his point across without saying anything that would likely get him into trouble on its face value. He "thought a letter might be simpler than trying to schedule another meeting." How considerate on its face value. Thanking us for our integrity and courage. Sharing his pain. It almost seems as if he has had a change of heart. But then the stonewall defense. My friends stand behind me, you misinterpreted or misheard my message, that wasn't what I intended to stay...and then the wall goes up. "I do not intend to give a rebuttal..." Can't lose a game if you won't get on the court!
Then more defenses, but not of his message, just of himself. I spend time and effort preparing, researching, crafting my sermons. I have my message vetted by the same people who always vet them, the have doctorates, I take far more precaution than the average preacher, etc. All in defense of him and his integrity, nothing about the message because that would not be "a helpful process."
So an analogy. I go to a doctor, who diagnosis a problem, say cancer. I go for a second opinion, and this doctor says it is not cancer, but a lesser, easier treatable disease. I go back to my doctor to discuss the other diagnosis. Instead of considering the possibility or even hearing the other doctors reasons, he simply says that he will not give rebuttal to that doctor, to do so would not be helpful. He warns me that the potential of quarreling with him could have life-threatening consequences! He then goes on to tell me that he takes his job seriously, reads medical journals, discusses his cases with other, even more qualified doctors than himself. He talks about how long I have been his patient, and doesn't that count for something? But he never reexamines me or listens to the reasons for the other doctor's diagnosis. I am supposed to have total trust in him because he says he cares for me. But his actions say that he cares for himself, and that he is hurt and angry about my checking with another doctor. So what do I do? Do I trust him or the other doctor? In reality, I probably do neither. Instead, I start researching some for myself, and probably even get a third or fourth opinion. My health is too important for me to lay at the feet of some quack who, though knowledgeable of some things, clearly does not have my best interests at heart.
So is my spiritual health. So, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck...you know the rest. Quack!