"With the negative media publicity we've been facing in different areas of the world lately, and a few very determined detractors doing their best to stop our work for the Lord, some of you have written me, asking, "Is this really persecution for righteousness' sake?"
OK, let's go over the basics: Just WHAT is TFI being persecuted for? First and foremost, it's "negative media publicity" associated with the murder/suicide of you son, Rick Rodriguez. Second, is it the disciples of The Family International who are being criticized by this negative coverage, or you and your PR fronts like Clare Borowik?
I'd put myself in the category of being a "somewhat" determined detractor. I have no interest in stopping TFI's work for the Lord. Ordinary disciples and WS staff can keep right on doing whatever it is that they think makes Jesus happy. I would, however, like to see you and a few other TFI leaders prosecuted under RICO laws for child abuse, charity fraud, documents fraud, and kidnapping.
"Or is this something that we could have avoided somehow if we had been wiser, remained more mainstream in our doctrines, or just avoided certain topics in our message?"
Yes, you might very well have avoided Rick's murder/suicide if you hadn't decided that the Law of Love included pedophilia.
"Could we still have done just as effective a job for Jesus if we had stayed away from our controversial doctrines, which have gotten us so much negative attention?"
Why do you assume that TFI has done an "effective job for Jesus"--? Family witnessing statistics are bogus, as anyone who does this activity will tell you. If Family apologists like Chancellor had the true convictions of evangelical Christians, they'd expose TFI's easy believism for what it is: heretical.
"Consider the words of Gamaliel in reverse. He said that if the work of the apostles was of men, it would fail, but if it were of God, it would continue no matter what was done against them (Acts 5:34-39)."
By what measure do you see TFI as a success? At the rate it's losing membership, TFI will reach the end of its adult manpower in five to ten years. If you think TFI is "of God" and will continue no matter what, why are you always coming up with this or that revolution to fix problems that never seem to get solved? Why are so many of the disciples just plain tired of all the busy-ness?
"...If your persecutions were just perpetrated by people with genuine grievances because they'd been wronged by someone, then with My help and a large measure of love, wisdom, humility, prayer and communication, you'd eventually be able to reconcile."
Interesting observation coming from someone who's never seriously considered a sustained "revolution" of love, wisdom, humility, prayer and communication aimed at reconciliation with TFI's victims.
"But since these persecutions are ultimately because the Devil hates Me and hates My work and thus hates you--you're never going to be fully rid of them, because he doesn't reconcile or stop."
This statement shows a major thinking error with attribution of cause and effect. How do you know this bad publicity is ultimately because the Devil hates Jesus and his work? What proof do you have that this is the real cause of your problems? It is much more logical to conclude that your son's murder/suicide is what has caused the bad publicity, which isn't even necessarily persecution. Have any Family homes shut down as a result of bad publicity? OK, DC Media Home. Awww, can't Clare & Marc take the heat any more for Mama?