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Leave the Warts in

October 14, 2004

One of England’s kings was having his portrait painted and because he had an unsightly wart on his face, the artist painted it via the ancient “airbrush” technique…he ignored the blemish. The king, looking at it later, was said to remark: “Leave the warts in”.

In this culture, it does more damage to try and cover up our failures than to make it look like we don’t have them. But sometimes you see something you wish could have been covered up for the sake of God and the church. Reading one of my favorite web sites this afternoon, I was appalled to read this:


In August, The Washington Post profiled a staunch pillar of the community of Kalispell, Mont., Richard A. Dasen Sr., who is widely respected for the many good things he has done for the town and its citizens over the last 40 years. However, according to recent revelations, his beneficence is marred by one eccentricity (which has resulted in a criminal charge): In the course of counseling the many local women who have come to him for help, he has spent well over a million dollars (at $1,000 to $6,000 per episode) in gifts to some of the women in exchange for sex (including, allegedly, one who was underage).

I already knew about this situation very well, but what shocked me was that the Washington Post picked up the story. I know Dick very well. He is a respected leader in his church (not the one I pastored, but a very good church) and he was on the board of the private Christian school my children attended. His two grown children attended our church. He was a Christian financial counselor and I regularly sent people to Dick to have him help with setting up budgets and planning for the future.

Now the whole world knows that this prominent Christian businessman was involved in some very shady business. In fact, Dick has done some things that would be hard to find among the unbelieving population at large. In all likelihood, he will go to jail and bring shame on his kids, grandkids, church, school and business.

I would like as much input from the readers of this column as to this question: “Have Dick’s actions harmed the work of the Kingdom of God in that region of our country?”

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