I met Ricky Rodriguez twice when living in Russia as a missionary for the Family International back in the Autumn of 1995. Ricky was then 20 years old. The first time I happened to run into him at the airport in Khabarovsk, and the second time he visited my mission home in St. Petersburg with two other fellow Family International members. I found him a very sensible young man, warm, friendly and easy to talk to. He seemed to have everything going for him - good looking, strong, muscular and intelligent. Above all he had a very sweet spirit. I did not feel that he was the slightest bit bitter about the past. I did not feel any bitterness from him toward his upbringing, or toward his mother, or toward David Berg, his foster father. He humbly shared his lessons about his previous battles with pride and spiritual lethargy and lack of desire to read the Word of God. He told me and my fellow missionaries that he learned through experience that the Word of God is his spiritual strength and salvation in daily living.
Ricky later joined a Family International missionary Home in Odessa Ukraine. I knew most of the missionary members of that Home. They were good and dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ. He seemed to do well there.
I was therefore greatly dismayed to hear of his apostasy several years later, that he denied his faith after he left the Family International fellowship to pursue secular interests, and that he threatened to harm his own mother and others in the fellowship!
The statement I wish to make is this: I am fully convinced that Ricky was led astray by people who hate Jesus Christ, the Truth and Jesus' Words of Love and Life. Those who justified his attitude then and his resultant actions are in my opinion guilty of the same sin as his! The Bible clearly says in 1 John 3:15 that "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." I believe that those who fueled his hate are guilty of murder in the Eyes of God!
I believe this conviction is based on the Word of God from the Holy Scriptures. Though I fully agree with what Peter has to say in his statement on this matter, this web posting is fully mine. This is my opinion from the beginning when I first heard of the tragic events of January 8. I am not an official representative of the Family International. I am not within the circle of Family International leadership. I have posted this page of my own volition without being asked by anyone.
Can two people look at the very same thing and have two totally opposite viewpoints of it based on their paradigm or mindset? They sure can! Christians know Jesus as the Savior and Son of God come in the flesh to save us from hell because of our sins. Others have said of Him, "He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?" - John 10:20 and "Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." - Matthew 11:19.
I suggest that Ricky Rodriguez's attitude and actions were the result of a changed mindset or paradigm shift after being fed lies and distortions from ungodly people. If you do not view it based on the mindset of faith in the Word of God as a child of God, of course you are bound to have a different viewpoint!
In closing I would like to leave a final statement from the Word of God:Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!- Isaiah 5:20
May God bless those of you who believe that violence based on hatred, revenge and bitterness is never justified under any circumstances!See also: