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The Boldness of Faith, the Vanity of Bluffing

From: Rick
To: The Path of Truth
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 9:49 AM
Subject: Are you ready? 

Hello Paul, 

If you want to continue to send me your email blurb about your religious beliefs, then you must then be ready to meet.  

You obviously are passionate about something, although for the life of me, I don’t know what that is…yet.  

So come and look me in the eye and tell me. 

You seem fearless in your writing and your advertising.  

Are you fearless in real life? 

Meet me. 

Name the place and time. 

I have previous commitments already set this week so suggest a week or two from now.  

Say, Monday morning the 13th of June or the afternoon of Tuesday the 14th

Let me know, and I’ll meet with you. 

If you aren’t up to it, then take me off your email list. 

Simple. 

Clean. 

Obvious. 

With great respect, I remain, 

 

Rick

[Afterwards, Paul Cohen wrote to Rick:]

Hi Rick, 

We have no problem meeting with you face to face. However, I live in Helena, and am also quite busy, as is Victor in Canada. How about we meet at Victor’s farm, in Lethbridge? The first weekend of July would work well for us, Saturday the 2nd, sometime in the early afternoon, would be optimal. How would that work for you? Let me know and I will confirm with all there and get back to you. If another time around that weekend is better, we will see what we can do. If you wish to bring others with you, friends, family, consultants, ministers, whomever, we would be glad to share the good news of the work of God in Christ for our salvation with those as well.  

I look forward to hearing back from you, 

Paul 

P.S. There is more material on our web page about us, and what we believe. You can check it out at: www.thepathoftruth.com.  A good place to start would be “Our Testimonies.”   

[Victor Hafichuk later wrote to Rick:]

Hi Rick, 

Perhaps you are a busy man; perhaps you have not received our acceptance of your proposition to meet, and the offer to meet at our farm near Lethbridge. It so happens that recent developments have occurred to tentatively bring Paul to Lethbridge from the 24th to the 26th of this month. Are you able to pay us a visit on any of those days (perhaps even on the eve of the 23rd, if necessary), granting us the opportunity to “look you in the eye”? 

For your own reassurance, bring your bodyguards, the police, an army, if you will, or at least all your associates and friends. They are all welcome; I mean it. You will know that we have nothing to fear whatsoever, that we are as “brave” as we appear on the net. “Brave” is not the word we would use (just so you know and understand) but we do have the faith and conviction of that which we preach. We are neither reticent nor ashamed, I can assure you. On the contrary, we are eager and zealous for any opportunity.  

In heart, you truly do not believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He IS. We know. We are not playing games, religious or otherwise, as you seem to suppose, and as many are. Furthermore, for your encouragement, you have nothing to fear but yourself. We await your reply and hope you will accept our invitation. If nothing else, we show you that we are not huffing, puffing, or bluffing. 

We know the truth, are thankful for it, boldly proclaim it, without charge, having the true and sure foundations and essence of all life, earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints millennia ago,  

A true, though unworthy servant of the Lord Jesus, King of kings, Sovereign God, 

Victor 

[Not hearing back from Rick, Victor Hafichuk wrote to him again:]

From: Victor Hafichuk
To: Rick
Cc: Paul Cohen
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2005 12:37 PM 
Subject: Your Proposal to Meet Personally 

Rick, in your last letter to us, you said, “Meet me. Name the place and time.”

We have agreed to meet, and named the place and time. Paul replied with consent. Not soon hearing from you, I replied on our behalf, and our acceptance of your offer to meet still stands, as I outline in the letter above, to which you have not responded.  

You write, If you aren’t up to it, then take me off your email list.” Proving to you that we are up to it, we have not taken you off our email list. You say, “Simple. Clean. Obvious.” Will we have it that way? You sign off, “With great respect, I remain,” I hope those words are not a simple formality but substantial. I will assume you either did not receive our letters or for some good reason, you have not been able to respond, allowing us to accept your offer of commitment. 

Understandably, we offend people with our forthrightness and unabashed declaration of the truth. The world is full of religious crap, of every nature and description, and it is time someone spoke what is true. You appear offended. Perhaps you have taken action against us. We have been shut down by our ISP, because someone has made a case against us, and we have been forced to find another server if we are to continue our work.  

If our work is of God, no man can stop it. Truly, any man who tries will end up shut down himself. He will not prevail against God. If this work is our own, then there is no doubt of the possibility that men could prevail against us. We are nothing special at all, nothing in this world, in and of ourselves. I hope it was not you who lodged the complaint against us. Would you admit it if you did? We would gladly unsubscribe you if only you request it. We do not badger, solicit, or sell. 

We hope to hear from you, and look forward to meeting you. Are YOU up to it? 

Victor Hafichuk 

From: Rick
To: Victor Hafichuk
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 5:02 PM
Subject: Your not in Calgary. 

My understanding was that you were in Calgary.  

I am a busy servant, and steward of the gifts and talents given and by no means have any intentions of traveling to meet you. 

If you were locally based it would be reasonable to me that I would meet with you where we are. 

However, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, give me a call. 

Since we are not going to be able to meet (since I must stay and be available here) please respect my request to take me off your email list. 

Unless of course you get a kick out of being irresponsible and harassing people with your own message – which is not in your new spiritual nature, right? 

Speaking of messages, if you ever hear from God and actually have something new to add to the universe, call me. XXX-XXX-XXXX

Otherwise, really, I mean, what’s the point? I’ve been hearing the rehash of the same-old, same-old, for 2000 years and quite frankly, it’s boring. 

Tell me what’s going on in your life, stop regurgitating the old hash. Give me something real. Something that has the ring of true authenticity. 

At best you are spewing the tired hag of the Catholic church.  

Thanks for reading this far. 

Let me know if you ever get a personal authentic true thought of your own. 

Respectfully, 

Rick

[Victor replied to Rick:]

Greetings in Christ Jesus, Rick, 

Allow me to respond within your letter (which is still in blue) statement by statement. 

My understanding was that you were in Calgary.  

I can understand you supposing we were in Calgary. Wondering how, it occurred that I had mentioned picking up one of your brochures in the city. Either that, or you simply assumed you were a renegade Torontonion. 

I am a busy servant, and steward of the gifts and talents given and by no means have any intentions of traveling to meet you. 

You use Biblically sourced terms and expression here, but it does not fool us. The Bible clearly teaches that if you were His true servant, you would love His brethren, which we are. If your expressions toward us, in spite of what we have already written to you, are those of love, then we need to find another God, quickly. John writes:

He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no offense in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:9-11 MKJV) 

You may deny hating us, but you know it can’t be love, Rick. It is one or the other. 

If you were locally based it would be reasonable to me that I would meet with you where we are. 

However, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, give me a call. 

Since we are not going to be able to meet (since I must stay and be available here) please respect my request to take me off your email list. 

If you were of God, you would recognize the value of our words. As John testifies, by the Spirit of God, in the Word of God:

We are of God. He who knows God hears us. The one who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6 MKJV)  

Tauntingly (one of your gifts and talents?), you write:

Unless of course you get a kick out of being irresponsible and harassing people with your own message – which is not in your new spiritual nature, right? 

Thankfully, we can forthrightly and solemnly declare to you that we do indeed have a new spiritual nature, one you would recognize if you were, as you claim, a steward of God with gifts and talents granted of Him (though you can’t bring yourself to mentioning Him). With that nature, we do not get pleasure from said offenses as you surmise and bring up as if to shame us into your will. We need no shaming to refrain from evil, Rick. That is because it truly is not in our new spiritual nature in Christ to do those things, which you do not recognize or appreciate, because you are not His. But one day you will be.

Speaking of messages, if you ever hear from God and actually have something new to add to the universe, call me. XXX-XXX-XXXX  

Otherwise, really, I mean, what’s the point? I’ve been hearing the rehash of the same-old, same-old, for 2000 years and quite frankly, it’s boring. 

You have yet to comprehend the simplest and most oft-repeated messages from God. Your grave state prevents you from doing so. Therefore have we spoken to bring life. As it says:

For everyone, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:13-15 MKJV)

Norman Vincent Peale? Zig? You may possess some intellectual expressions and superficial beliefs, but you are yet dead in your sins, accusing and fighting those that are truly the Lord’s, as we are, and digging your grave that much deeper. We are real, not merely religious. 

Tell me what’s going on in your life, stop regurgitating the old hash. Give me something real. Something that has the ring of true authenticity. 

I will give you something real. Our Testimonies is a good place to start. Tell me what you find. See if you are so prepared to be real.

You are as one whom Peale and Ziglar would try to correct, one who is proud, hard, blind, negative, cynical, and really quite foolish, incapable of seeing and hearing that which is in his face and in his ear. Yet you refer to them as though you are of like mind, and enriched by them. Not that we agree with all that they say. These letters of yours belie your site and claims to help others in the way you propose, do they not, Rick? Of course, they do! 

At best you are spewing the tired hag of the Catholic church.  

There is nothing further from the truth, Rick. How mistaken and undiscerning you are! I think you need to read, The True Marks of a Cult, Love, Hate; And Where Is “John Paul II”?, and Is the Roman Catholic Church the Bride of Christ?

If that is not enough to convince you, try reading A Protestant Minister Converts to Catholicism. If God gives you a heart to understand, you will find that what may at first appear to be the common iron pyrite may turn out to be genuine gold! I can declare it to be gold all I wish, and you will not believe me. You will accuse me of being arrogant and presumptuous until God opens your heart. I know what I know, and you, my friend, are sitting on a gold mine, and you do not know it. You have never seen nor heard that which we know and teach, I solemnly and humbly assure you. 

Nevertheless, Rick, are you sure you can pick up on that which is “real,” and has the “ring of true authenticity”? If so, why do you not have it? As for me, that which I have, I cannot claim to originate with me, but it is real, and directly from God. When you repent of your pride, wisdom and assumed virtue, you will know that what I say to you is true. Reading the things I have sent you, and giving them sincere attention, you will know.

Thanks for reading this far. 

You are welcome, Rick, whether you are sincere or not. I am sincere. 

Let me know if you ever get a personal authentic true thought of your own. 

Respectfully, 

Rick

How respectfully, I am not sure; not nearly enough, I would wager. However, it does not matter. I am not seeking respect for myself, nor is it necessary, though it is nice to have. I would far sooner serve the Lord, in spirit and in truth, and have your contempt, than to please you and have His contempt.

We have removed you from “The Issues of Life” mailing list, as requested.

In the genuine faith, the greatest and rarest treasure of God on earth,

Victor 

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