2. The decision from court. It has been significantly delayed.
3. Improved financial health for the family.
4. An attorney. The reality is that after all the more gracious attempts to give Tom Patton the opportunity to do the biblical and Christian thing, II Corinthians 13:11 - "Aim for restoration" and enter biblical conciliation, he refused. And the thing his, he spread lies and false accusations that have caused real damages, not only emotionally but also financially with regard to my reputation and my relationships in the community at large. So I have chosen to do the next most gracious thing I can do which in this case is to pursue legal action in order to seek the justice I deserve and to hold him accountable for his lies. According to the scripture, Mr. Patton no longer even qualifies to be in the position of a pastor because he is no longer "above reproach." I have already submitted a complaint to higher authority and am anxiously awaiting the time they address it and hopefully form whatever investigative committees are necessary in order to either seek the whole truth about he and Oak Mountain put me in some stupid box and broke all the biblical rules to create and break their own rules from there, and most importantly, to deal with his lies because he either lied to me, my mom, the person who can verify that he had no justification to break his promise or compromise regarding Facebook, the advocate, and the therapist I no longer have and cannot replace due to the severe lack of services for adults with autism who were not already established clients with the people who provide the therapy I need OR he lied to the guy who was trying to get him to do the right thing to enter biblical conciliation. Either way, he lied. What he told me and everyone else is that his job was threatened just for being my friend just because as he had admitted the church was wrong in how it handled things with regard to me and as a result I asked the higher authority for help because it was clear that yet again the church leadership was going to fail to do what it should have done to start with.
The people who are in some more expert positions and know more about the workings of the PCA and how it should work have had issues with the way Oak Mountain leadership have been treating me. And to be honest, it is outright abusive, evidences bullying, disregards scripture and the Book of Church Order, and needs to be brought to the attention of the public. Their leadership has been corrupted and it is corrupting the entire church. Their leadership is abusing people who are different, treating people with special needs as though their conditions are a sin (by the way, remember how Jesus explained to the disciples that the blind man was not blind because of sins committed, but Oak Mountain treats people with autism as though the autism itself is a sin which if autism is a sin, then according to Oak Mountain, God is a sinner which cannot be, but that's how they are acting). Look aroun on a given Sunday morning. Do you see anyone, other than people with physical handicaps, who have mental challenges, Down syndrome, autism, Tourette's, ADHD, etc. If not, then you need to ask yourself why and ask them why. And push for the truth. And then see what they do. The thing is Oak Mountain leadership does not like the truth. Truth to them is apparently like kryptonite to Superman. It is scary. Yet church is supposed to be safe and honest. Yeah. I see one of my friends points: Oak Mountain puts its politics over people's hearts and forgot how to truly minister to them. And that's sad. But also true.
The good shepherd will leave the 99 to go after the 1 who is lost or hurt. Yet the shepherds at Oak Mountain will actually abandon any who are lost or hurt and stay with the ones who are not. Yes, I just used Mr. Patton's excuse to abandon the friendship instead of doing the right thing and entering conflict resolution in accordance with Matthew 18 against him. I'm not sorry for doing that either because it further evidences that he is in direct violation of scriptures. Matthew 25, Jesus separates them into sheep and goats, if you hurt the least of these, you hurt Him. That passage makes me afraid for the people at Oak Mountain because of how the leadership has treated me and the others my mom has met who have also been hurt by them for similar situations as my own.
I make a promise to whoever reads this though and I would ask that this be put forth by them:
IF, and ONLY if, Mr. Patton will agree to talk with me and to me directly and IF, and ONLY if, the church leadership will agree to ONE meeting with me, and BOTH conditions MUST be met and the meetings or conversations do not have to be before Christmas but must have been scheduled for immediately after the holidays by Christmas, THEN I will not pursue legal action against Mr. Patton or anyone else from the church. If not, then I will continue to seek justice. At this point though, I cannot nor will I retract any complaints to higher authority UNLESS Mr. Patton talks with me directly before Christmas and tells me the truth and either enters restoration or gives me true closure.
Here's the catch that could get Oak Mountain in trouble: The leadership NEVER enacted church discipline with me. Then it did some document that stated that if I didn't sign, I agreed to be limited to Sunday morning worship and missions conference only. Then it said in the same document that Mr. Patton swore neither of us were subject to if I terminated my membership this allowing him to be friends with me which he evidenced wanting more than me but in hindsight he could be cited for abuse by certain outside parties based on certain things he did, but I never thought him to be abusive except in one area and I viewed him more like a father figure (which I need back at least on Facebook) than a friend), but that same document which THEY signed stated that if I was out of bounds that the church session must and will engage in official church discipline.
We have requested any minutes regarding any action against me for the record. They have not provided them. We will try again with the notation that it is because complaint was filed with a higher court.
My concern is that the membership, not the leadership, is correct. Church discipline has not been done because I have not done anything to warrant or justify it. If that's true, them the church leadership is wrong and has done things inappropriately and need to be brought under disciplinethemselves. If that's not true, then the church leadership must engage in proper church discipline in accordance with Matthew 18 and the Book of Church Order. If it begins the process before January, then I can withdraw the complaint. If not, the complaint remains.
If church discipline is done correctly, then it is a very redemptive process. If it is not done correctly or not done at all, then it is destructive, not only to the hearts of the victims of the abuse, but to those around them.
That grace that Oak Mountain seems so find of? Where is it now? Because grace would dictate that Mr. Patton and I talk and that Oak Mountain leaders do the correct thing and meet with me. Period. As things stand now, there is no grace at Oak Mountain, never has been, and never will be. And Mr. Patton and its leaders are the worst offenders.
But wait, I am requesting, again, a meeting with at least him and am offering, again, to void pursuit of action if he does talk to me. Wait a minute. Isn't that GRACE? Because TRUE grace dictates that I at least offer the opportunity for the offender to correct himself with regard to the offense against me.
Ultimately, this wish is not so much for an attorney which is more of a need, but for restoration. Biblical restoration of a valuable relationship, at least on Facebook.
I should be getting ready for church now, but wait, I can't. Because Oak Mountain leaders are corrupt and abusive and bullied me and incorrectly punished me over a misunderstanding that they refuses to resolve and failure to properly execute scriptural mandates and said I could never come back because they didn't want to handle things according to scripture but instead broke their own contracts and rules that said I could attend. And because of Mr. Patton and because of the corrupt leadership, I no longer have the desire to try anymore church anywhere because I'm too afraid that I'll get hurt again just because I have autism and am different. And because as it turns out, apparently Oak Mountain is NOT a true church since it blatantly disregards truth and blatantly violates scripture. And I dare Mr. Patton and the leadership to prove me wrong by scheduling a meeting with me. Seriously. I dare them to prove me wrong. Because based on my experience, I am correct. And I am disheartened by their abuses.
5. For oppression of the least of these, including me, to stop. For more churches to accept people with special needs, including adults like me. Period. And if the existing churches won't do it, then for church plants to do it. Because in Birmingham area alone, we need that. We aren't being ministered to or with. We're being hurt and abused and bullied. And I'm tired of it. And so is everyone else. Because we're all seeking, but not finding.
That's it. And I know number 4 is confusing because I am hurt and confused. And I need answers. Honest answers. And Mr. Patton is the only one who can give them to me. And he knows that.