News Commentary: Frankn Vennes Jr. Wolf in sheeps clothing! Commentary no longer misguided.

     According an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, one of the members involved in the Thomas Petters fraud is Frank Vennes Jr.  This is a man who professed turning to Christianity through the outreach of Charis Prison Ministries.   Mr. Vennes through his charity and by way of his testimony found himself to have been invited to serve on the Boards of Northwestern College and Minnesota Teen Challenge.  For Minnesota Teen Challenge, he particularly was the board member responsible for finances.  Mr. Vennes job with the Petters Group was apparently to line up investors.  As such, clearly it is through Mr. Vennes that Minnesota Teen Challenge became so heavily vested with Thomas Petters. 

      So the question is how does someone professing to be a man of God end up in the middle of such a scheme.  The question I have is did Mr. Vennes ever truly convert or did he just learn what to say and buy influence through his apparent charity?  Now I do not know the man and have no real capacity to give sound discernment and only God truly knows his heart. Yet, there are things that can be examined.

      According to the newspaper article, it appears the Mr. Vennes has never really been repentant of his initial crimes.  He still calls himself a victim and apparently even sued the government claiming to be set up and coerced into committing crimes.  If a man truely turned his life over to Jesus would that truly be where is heart is at, protesting victimization. It doesn’t sound right to me.  Mr. Vendes even recently had asked Representative Bachmann (whose campaigns he donated to heavily) to petition President Bush for a pardon related to his past crimes.  This just does not strike the heart of someone whose heart was repentant.

     The other thing of concern is that Mr Vennes clearly seemed to be focused on collecting wealth and perhaps even influence.  He owned several properties.  He engaged in a conflict with a former partner, Mr Kuhn, about some properties and threatened exposure of finances ultimately resulting in getting the properties he wanted.  In my mind these are not actions of a man surrendered to Jesus and seeking to enlarge the kingdom of God through bringing others to Jesus.  Mr Vennes along with Mr. Petters and other associates clearly look to be people caught in the web of mammon.  The love of money and disregard for others is clear in the alleged fraud. 

     Only God truly knows a man’s heart but our behaviors often give way to the truth.  Sure there can be behaviors that look good, especially one of charity.  However, what is far worse is that charity led to influence and having an important ministry to drug addicts put in jeopardy because ministry funds are invested in the fraudulent scheme.  This example clearly is an alarm being soundly loudly that greater discernment is needed in the church as a whole.  The incident is a reminder that we can all be easily deceived and the cost of deception is often high.  Praise God that the fraud and corruption has been exposed before even greater damage could be done.  God will be the one to judge Mr. Vennes and no man is beyond true repentance unless they have hardened their hearts against the truth.  God knows Mr. Vennes heart. And ultimately Mr. Vennes is not all that different the rest of us.  We all easily pursue are own idols and can easily seek after expanding our own kingdom.  We all can prefer the broad and easy way that leads to destruction over the narrow and true path. We are all prone to wander.  So while assessing Mr. Vennes to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it is in recognition that I need to daily surrender because my sins and my heart is prone to as great an evil in my own selfishness.


For all who have who have read this article. I have issued an apology here:

 I let anger get in the way of points I felt important to make and wrongly got accusatory with Mr. Vennes Jr. Please read the comments for further details.


It turns out the initial take was appropriate, the apology for the response may have been appropriate but it turns out Frank Vennes Jr. was in fact involved and duplicitious in the matter as the article comments on.

36 Responses

  1. It seems as though you “The Writer” have pass judgement and condemed this person without having complete facts about the history of Mr. Vennes or even having the opportunity to know him .
    So as you say Only God truly knows a man’s heart
    then let him be the judge and keep a tight grip on your gossip.

  2. My intent is not to “pass judgment” or condemn. Mr. Vennes will stand before the court of law first and then ultimately before God. It is not gossip to express concern over what is publicly recorded. I don’t have a relationship with the man to know. The man may well have been equally deceived. However, the pursuit of wealth and the exhibited claims of “victimization” are troubling. Only Mr. Verdes and God know for truth whether he is a deceiver or deceived.

    I ask you this, why the strong reaction to the comments about Mr. Vennes connection with Tom Petters and the related fraud? Any anger at all related to Christian ministries such as MN Teen Challenge being led into investing in a Ponzi scheme?

    I write my thoughts, do so openly. I pray for all involved in this to be brought to true repentence.

  3. Peacebringer, if you remember the house of God was vitimized and what did Christ do? As far as a pursuit for wealth I quote Mr. Vennes as saying ” God has Blessed me so that I can be a vessel to Bless others” maybe that would explain a bit where his heart is. And yes I do have a relationship with Mr. Vennes,and as I read the many blogs relating to this it really troubles me “not anger” but dissapointment in peoples actions/reactions. I strongly encourage you to pray for all the people involved and organizations that can and will be affected, it goes much deeper than many people realize.

  4. I thought the writer was as kind and gentle as could be considering all that is public record in this case i.e Mr.Vennes admitting knowledge of the scheme on an FBI recording,admitting 90% of His income since 1995 came from the Petters company under investigation(including 28 million last year)These are hard facts,not pleasant to bring up but you cant ignore them and make them go away.I know how much Petters/Vennes mean to minnesota teen challenge(30%-40%of the annual budget)Should MNTC drop all claims to the 5.8 million they say they ar owed? whether or not Mr Vennes knew the money was tainted makes no difference,the fact remains it is dirty. Would God condone the use of ill gotten gains to further His work at teen challenge,or should They stand up up in faith and wash their hands of it,again these are hard questions but the narrow road is hard and few will take it.

  5. I can understand this. And while my intent was not to judge, the title headline probably is a bit too provacative.

    I know I don’t know Mr. Vennes, the reactions are to what is made public and how things appear.

    If you read my article, it points more toward the apparent problems and need for discernment.

    As far as I know, Mr. Vennes could be the confident informant that brought Mr. Petters to justice.

    In terms of what Jesus did was chase out the money changers from the temple. There is a lot of deception out there. In looking at the news and reacting to articles I look for a variety of things, but ways beleivers are or can be deceived and how sin creeps into the church is big.

    Now perhaps, Mr. Vennes has truely followed God’s direction in the accumulation of wealth and is serving the kingdom of God, however, what is reported and documented on the internet suggests perhaps not. In general all of us need to examine where we are seeking after self or seeking that which God sets before us.

    As to the comment about repentance from what I have read, it is hard to see the repentence when what is documented suggests otherwise, so it is a concern. When we are truely repentent we do not seek to cast blame or call on being victimized. We let go and forgive.

    I would have no problem adddressing these issues with Mr. Vennes if I knew the man. The church is ripe with people who say one thing and do another. The church is ripe with people chasing after many falsehoods and false peace. The biggest thing is the damage it does to not just people but the Gospel as a whole. I have chosen to follow and comment on the Petters fraud because it clearly runs deep. My comments are to challenge each of us to examine self. I know there are areas of my life that if reported without full context could result in someone blogging concerns. I made it my intent to indicate I really don’t know the man or his Heart. All I know is what is reported. And prayer should be engaged around this situation and the people involved. This is something that could lead many to destruction if they turn there focus off of the truth.

  6. I actually did not go back and review the affividate to see what it says about Mr. Vennes. I did try and find the Charis newsletter testimony but didn’t see any trace of it with what is on the Charis website. I changed headline to potential wolf to more reflect my mindset.

  7. Read the indictment, in vennes’s own words-we
    are a paper mill–we will go down together etc etc
    these are from phone taps and wire taps
    he will only get off if they need an e-con to
    collaberate, which i Doubt

    feel sorry for the people that lost 3 billion
    not the 9-11 that bilked them.

  8. Yes, it is looking more and more that the assessment of wolf in sheeps clothing is accurate. Mr. Vennes was not the whistle blower. He has yet to be charged specifically but all the other accomplices to Mr. Petters fraud have pled guilty.

  9. This is maybe the largest fraud case in United States history. Petters is the most comped visitor at Bellagios in Las Vegas and has outstanding debts there of 10 million. It was not possible to be as intwined with him as Vennes was without knowing what was going on. It is a mystery how one can either compartmentalize one’s life to the point where this is justified or simply lead a double/false life. One of the two is accurate. It is incredibly sad – the old argument of Paul and James – ‘faith vs works’. But I guess it goes beyond that when we start talking about something this criminal.

  10. I expect the “most comped” visitor at Bellagios might be an exaggeration, it could be true. At any rate, related to Mr. Vendes, the statement that you cannot serve two masters is true. And sure, he apparently talked and showed well related to generosity, but was the talk and appearance simply “reaction formation” when at the heart he knew he was steering people into a con. The very fact that he steered MN Teen Challenge to investing to me is most troubling.

  11. “In my mind these are not actions of a man surrendered to Jesus and seeking to enlarge the kingdom of God through bringing others to Jesus.”

    Have you ever met frank vennes? Have you ever talked with frank? Ever look him in the eyes? Broke break with Him? I have. I’ve know frank for 19 years. You condemn and judge him. You question who he is in Christ “in your mind” “Sowing discord among the brothers” It would be one thing to do so in the privacy of your own room, but you have to do it out here as if some how God made you the judge of all. And call yourself, peacebringer? Shame on you! Reminds me of something Jesus said. “You who are without sin, cast the first stone” I’ve a hunch you’d have thrown a stone any way.

    Frank may not be a saint, he’d even tell you that, but I’ve never heard him say a bad word about any one in all the time I have known him. And I’d bet if he knew what you said about him, he’d pray for you.

  12. No, I don’t personally know Mr. Vennes. I am glad you know him. If you read the Full context of what I said. I expressed concern about reported behavior that appears not to be walking in surrended to Jesus. I also stated that I don’t know his heart and acknowledged we are all prone to wander. I even stated ultimately he is not really any different then the rest of us.

    The fact is according to the evidence Mr. Vennes willingly committed fraud and help get ministries like MN Teen Challenge to invest.

    So sir, given you have known Mr. Vennes for 19 years, what are your thoughts about his involvement in this major fraud?

    Also please explain to me how my commenting on these events and even stating what we all need to learn from this is sewing discord?

  13. Oh, and let me add that anytime a reported believer has been found to rip off others in the church in particular, it does bring up a particular level of anger. The reason for this is because such actions do bring a disservice to the Gospel. Any who may have been pointed to the Gospel by Mr. Vennes are bound to question the truth. Others who have lost all there money in the scheme in turn will question everything. The path of destruction of such things is huge.

    So I ask those of you who personally know Mr. Vennes have you talked to him personally about his involvement in the fruad? Have you held him into account at all for his actions? If not why not? As I have already said, If I knew Mr. Vennes I certainly would discuss these things with him face to face.

  14. Oh my Dear peacebringer it seems as though many like to continue to blog on Mr. Vennes and like to search the web on his past and present and many people seem to draw conclusions on a his relationship with Christ I think that is left up to him and Christ. Also some questions to ponder why has he not been charged yet? Why is there been a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than one hundred individuals, including area pastors, schools, and founders and supporters of charitable and non-profit organizations and not Mr.Vennes or any of his companies? And lastly you stated “However, the pursuit of wealth and the exhibited claims of “victimization” are troubling” well is it troubling that pastors, founders and supporters of charitable and non-profit organizations have filed a class action lawsuit against PCI because is it not our responsibility to bring light into a dark world or situation and make things right and to be a Testimony and rise up against darkness and evil through and with the power of Christ. Please keep in mind everything is said in Christ’s love and not meant to offend but to encourage, and also to convict. A mans reputation is on the line here. For those who would like to read the complaint that was filed today the web site is:

  15. Again, please take into account the full context of what I said. From what I read, what I commented on I found troubling.

    I will always find it troubling when someone claims repentance yet continues to display blame shifting and goes to the point of trying to finagle a pardon. Now it could be only part of the picture, but it is concerning. I would say such a thing to him face to face.

    I also am trouble by what I read about the pursuit of wealth and the dealings with a Mr. Kuhn. It has the appearance of building a kingdom of self. It is possible it is only appearance, this is why I went at great lengths to point out I don’t know his heart and we all stumble and seek after self in many ways. Each of us can well have areas in our life that we are not submitted to the King of Kings. I said, ultimately it calls for greater discernment.

    I see 2 possible things going on related to Mr. Vennes. One is he knowingly deceived others into buying into the con. Others have suggested he was aware of the con. I don’t know the truth on that account.

    The other he was conned himself and got caught up in the apparent easy money. He certainly was a main conduit for MN Teen challenge and others in the Christian community getting hooked. If you read my article and look at it as simply blasting Mr. Vennes, you don’t get the heart of what I am saying.

    It is our responsibility to shed light in darkness. This is my whole point of even commenting on such story. There is far too much deception out there in the church.

    And it is not Mr. Vennes that has the money, he was the conduit, either knowingly or he was conned himself.

  16. In reading the complaint, it appears that Mr. Vennes was one that was used. Again this points to the need for greater discernment. Apparently the temptation for apparently easy money was so huge that resulted in huge deception. It is unfortunate that any get caught up in such a web.

  17. As a child of God and a follower of Jesus there are very clear directions as to what I should do if I have a problem with a brother. First we go to him one on one, if he will not hear you then take a witness, if not then take him in front of the church. To simply read what others have said about him in any form and then put your opinion out here in an open forum as if it were gospel is not only sowing discord among the brothers, it is completely irresponsible at the very least.

    It makes no difference that you prefaced it with, “I don’t know his heart” or any of the other excuses you used to continue to offer your opinion with out ever having spoken to the man. We have the perfect an example of such things in God’s word. Jesus stood before his accusers who offered up what they had heard too. The results were, he was crucified! And what you wrote about him has the power to crucify him in the public’s eye.

    You set yourself up to be judge and jury as to his conduct and his character. Having never met or spoken with the man. That’s not reporting, that’s gossip plan and simple, and we are warned about that in God’s word too. But I have a suggestion as to how you can work your way around all of that. Just go into your bible with a pair of scissors and cut out all of God’s word your not willing to follow.

    It might surprise you to know that I agree with you when you say,” it is our responsibility to shed light in darkness”. But that would mean we are responsible enough to know facts for facts, and responsible enough to report just those facts, and not what we think we know because of what we read or hear. And without having ever spoken to frank to ask him what happened, all you did was report……what you thought. And your thoughts might have and could have played a part in destroying this man. So I say to you….. “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”
    “And be not deceived, whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap.” If you sow discord and offences don’t be surprised when they come you way.

  18. First of all, I am not a reporter. The purpose of this blog is to engage in commentary on life, the culture, and the church. Mr. Vennes example as reported fit into what I feel led to comment on in this blog.

    When I find a news item about anyone or anything to comment on I will express my thoughts. It is limited to behavior in the article.

    I would have loved and would love to have individual access to Mr. Vennes. I certainly would say the same things to him. I would certainly be open to a discourse at anytime, if those of you who know him steer him my way.

    I am sorry if my commentary comes off to you as gossip or setting myself up as judge and jury. The behaviors I commented on were ones I felt led to comment on. More so because they point to ways and areas we can all fall short. When we say we have turned a leaf yet fail to take responsibility for our actions and blame shift, we are not at a point of repentence.

    When we clam to follow God but yet seek strongly after building our own kingdom in whatever the way we do so.

    Are these not things to be concerned about, not worth commenting on and bringing it to a point that shines on all of us. Perhaps I could have gone about it in a different way, but the points made were what I felt needed commenting on. I certainly will learn from this exchange and consider it in future commentaries.

    The ultimate point of the commentary was yes, there are these things reported about Mr. Vennes that are concering, yet none of us are perfect. We all need to be careful of deception. We all need to evaluate ourselves. So regardless of Mr. Vennes choices, there is application to all of us. Now, I have not been writing this for a long time, I have no one editing what I write, so the only way I can learn, is when I get responses to cause me to re-evaluate. So, I ask myself here, was the comments on this to simply draw people to this blog, or was it about speaking truth. Am I simply working for my own self or to shed God’s light.

    The other question is if I am shedding God light, am I doing so in an honorable and truthful way.

    I am sorry to hear that it is perceived that the words here were such that he could “destroy a man.” If anyone reads and takes what I read as reason to “destory” or if Mr. Vennes is at such a point that reading such a commentary on his actions as reported then I do apologize, because not ever my intent. The heart of what I report is to drive each of us to self-examination. To point each of us to realize we need Jesus because we all fail.

  19. I have no knowledge of Frank Vennes’ guilt or innocence in the Petters matter. As one who had a personal relationship with him from 1992-1998, however, I can speak to several other matters mentioned in the original post.

    First, Frank has most certainly repented of his original crimes. Repentance to God for wrongdoing, however, is not synonymous with the admission of guilt for crimes committed under U.S. law. A reading of U.S. Court documents detailing Frank’s case (readily available on line) makes it clear that at least one Circuit Court judge believes Mr. Vennes was entrapped by Federal law enforcement agents and that his conviction should have been overturned. An appeal to Rep. Bachman for a Presidential pardon was, and is, the only means available to Frank to clear his name of criminal charges stemming from a sting operation that was, at the very least, questionable.

    Second, while I claim no knowledge of the “fine details”, a casual perusal of online news stories related to Frank’s legal issues with Mr. Kuhn make it manifestly clear that Mr. Kuhn is a litigious and somewhat shady character. That he so quickly settled with Frank, and to Frank’s benefit, more than suggests he was in the wrong. Should Frank have been in business with Mr. Kuhn in the first place? Probably not. Poor judgment in a business partnership, however, is not necessarily indicative of a failure in moral or spiritual character.

    I hear where you’re coming from, Peacebringer, and have a measure of empathy for your intent. I would strongly encourage you, however, to more adequately research your blog topics, especially when they concern a real live human being; in this case, a man who professes to be your brother in Christ.

    Grace and peace to you all!

  20. I do not pretend to know whether Frank Vennes is guilty or innocent of criminal activity in conjunction with the ongoing Petters affair. As one who had a personal relationship with Frank from 1992-1998, however, I can speak to one matter in the original post.

    Mr. Vennes was most certainly repentant for behaviors that led to his arrest and conviction in the late 1980s. Nevertheless, repentance before God for sin is not synonymous with an admission of guilt for having broken U.S. law. In court documents of Frank’s case before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (readily available on line for anyone taking the time to look it up), at least one Circuit Court judge agreed with Frank that he was the victim of a gross and over reaching scheme of entrapment perpetrated by Federal law enforcement agents. By sinful behavior, Frank put himself in a bad spot, to say the least. For that he has repented. Having put himself in that bad spot, it his contention, however, that he was then coerced by threats and lies to engage in criminal behavior or face the prospect of seeing his family injured or killed. Remember, Frank was not a believer at the time. I wonder what any of us would do if we believed someone was going to kill our wife and children if we didn’t go along? Frank’s appeal to Rep. Bachman for a Presidential pardon was, and is, his only hope of clearing his record of a crime that he contends was committed only under great fear and duress created by the false statements of those supposedly seeking to uphold the law.

    In the matter of Mr. Kuhn, while I claim no knowledge of the “fine details”, I have taken time to read the news stories freely available on the web. It’s clear to me Mr. Kuhn is a litigious and somewhat shady character. That he settled his lawsuit against Frank so quickly, and to Frank’s advantage, suggests to me he really had no substantive issue with Frank. Should Frank have been in business with Mr. Kuhn in the firstplace? Probably not. Poor judgment in business relationships, however, is not sin, nor is it necessarily indicative of a failure in moral or spiritual character.

    I hear where you’re coming from, Peacebringer, and I have a measure of sympathy. I would suggest, however, that you take a bit more time researching your blog material, especially when it concerns a living, breathing human being. People are more than examples or case studies by which we proceed to make our point. In this instance, Mr. Vennes is a person who professes to be your brother in Christ.

  21. […] serving on the Board of Directors for the notable Christian; Northwestern Bible College, seems to have served as a lure for Tom Petters. Whether he knew he was being scammed by Petters or […]

  22. I have a problem with these people. You can
    devise a system from the bible if you want to
    approach people like this, but anybody telling someone else to invest with so and so better
    know so and so’s honesty level. It would be like telling someone to invest with the mafia. In fact that is what what Vennes did, he told religious organizations to invest in organized crime. He needs to give up his money to those he advised to get right.

  23. “As far as (I) know, Mr. Vennes could be the confident informant that brought Mr. Petters to justice.”

    “Mr. Vennes was not the whistle blower.”

    “The other question is if (I) am shedding God light, am (I) doing so in an honorable and truthful way.”

    “Perhaps (I) could have gone about it in a different way, but the points made were what (I) felt needed commenting on.”

    “When (I) find a news item about anyone or anything to comment on (I) will express my thoughts.”

    I put parentheses around what I found most interesting, and most disturbing, in what you write. One sentence you have frank as a possible informant, and in the next you state he was not the whistle blower. Setting a side that your first statement that he might have been, was wrong by your own admission. Have you any idea how dangerous it was for you to have said such a thing? Men have been killed for such statements. I will say that again because of the seriousness of that issue….men have been killed for such statements!

    I suggest sir that you are not doing it in an honorable or truthful way. And that the only light shed here was your own personal thoughts and not God’s at all. God was not glorified here sir. Your thoughts and your opinions seem to be all over the place. And God is not the author of confusion!

    I don’t believe you did this deliberately. I think you did feel the need to comment on what you read about in this whole thing because of how it moved you. I would offer you only a few suggestion. Stop being led by what you think,and pray about whatever you decide to comment on long and hard before doing so. Stop being led by all your (I)’s, and start being led by the Holy Spirit. Are these things important to comment on? For you maybe. But I can think of a few others that are much more important.

    “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
    He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
    He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

    “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

    “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

    “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”


  24. tinman,

    A least you quote the bible.

    The main question here is whether Mr. Vennes is
    morally responsible for “unknowingly” being an agent of organized crime. He convinced religious people and religious organizations to invest in a ponzi scheme.

    It’s not about technicalities in a blog. But it is
    about not being a sheep. Sheep get fleeced. Shepards need to teach people not to be sheep.
    $28 million in one year for helping to fleece the sheep. Well that will keep the sheep down.

  25. In response to “Tinman.”

    Sir, it is very clear that my thoughts and posts have angered you. This is what I get from you latest post, a lot of anger.

    You take a lot of comments out of context and use it to point out the use of “I”. This is done without any attention to the fact that as the posts and comments go on, there is processing and self-examination going on. This leads to the feeling of being “all over the map.”

    Yes, my thoughts get mixed up in this. I never once proclaimed any of what I said to “words of God.” Yet, I know that the things I was concerned about are important.

    You accuse me of being dishonorable and dishonest. I have been quite straight forward about my thoughts. I have admitted that how I chose to write about the concerns was not the best way to go about it, and if I had it to do again, I would do so differently.

    Fact is, the thoughts I put on paper are not isolated, the only difference is I wrote them down.

    In terms of the jist of what I said there are 3 main points.

    One point is that if we proclaim repentance and yet still are focused on past wrongs, real or perceived, have we truely moved in repentance?

    Second point it that we need to constantly be evaluating ourselves and examine if we are seeking to expand our own kingdom or God’s kingdom. The responses to this commentary have me in deep self-reflection for myself on this. I am not perfect. I will make mistakes, but I always will learn and grow from them. Mistakes were made in the article and subsequent responses. So I am examining myself on the point of needing to be surrender to the King of Kings. The concern this whole incident does bring up is people pursuing the expansion of wealth and their own kingdom. This is an important point, did I make it in the wisest of ways, clearly no. Yet, the point still remains.

    The third point and most important is the lack of and need for greater discernment. The fact that so many were brought into this deal shows not a how lot of discerning went on, the bait was floated and many got hooked. And there should have been red lights. As I stated in another commentary, the fact the Mr. Petters became wealth essentially selling junky and inferior merchandise to me was always a head scratcher.

    Now, sir, you took great pain to point out the “I”s in sentences to point out I was speaking my thoughts. Did you count the “I”s in your own response where you called me dishonorable and untruthful?

    Now, sir, I forgive you. I angered you and you want to strike back. I apologize for making the points in an unwise fashion and I will learn and grow from this. I apologize for making an unwise speculation about whether Mr. Vennes was the CI in my responses.

  26. […] Comments peacebringer on News Commentary: The Petters f…peacedude on News Commentary: The Petters f…tinman on News Commentary: The Petters […]

  27. […] apology, Frank Vennes JR, peace, reconciliation, repentance, Tom Petters fraud | In a previous commentary, this writer referred to Mr. Frank Vennes Jr. as a potential wolf in sheep’s clothing.  I […]

  28. I wasn’t angry. I am sorry if it came off that way. I was Shocked yes. Bewildered of course. And hurt that some one I know well and love was being what I felt was,attacked and judged. As you might well have felt if some one you know and love, was being labeled some of the things Frank was. Seemingly with out what we pride ourselves here with, and especially if we call ourselves Christians…. justice, fair play, innocent until proven guilty. And more so if I didn’t know, or have any real first hand knowledge of who your friend really was. I hope you can see that.

    I know a lot about Frank. He has his faults as we all do, but what I know most about him is this…. he is a sinner…..saved by grace. In truth if I had not known Frank and read only what has been said of him in the papers and other places I might have thought some of the things. But then most of us never have our pasts blasted on the front pages of a newspaper. I’m sure most of us would not fair well.

    “One point is that if we proclaim repentance and yet still are focused on past wrongs, real or perceived, have we truly moved in repentance?”

    A very good question. King David committed adultery, and then had the husband deliberately put into a position where he was killed. Was David really a man after God’s own heart then? You might feel at ease to comment on such things. I am not. When I read the faith chapter in Hebrews almost every one of them mentioned failed God in absolutely horrible ways. And yet there they are…. justified in and by their faith. A case could be made that they hadn’t really repented due to what we read of them. And I’m sure today’s current newspapers would have had a field day with them. But it’s a case I wouldn’t want to make.

    You have no argument with me over you second point. I agree 100% And if this whole thing causes you, I, and others to reflect on who and where they are in relation to being completely sold out to God? Well that is what we are called to do. I commend you, admire and understand you.

    And I agree with most of your third point. But in truth I don’t know Mr. Petters. Never met or spoken with him. He will have his day in court. I will reserve any comments directly about him until he has had that day. There are great lessons to be learned in all of this. For the Church as well as each of us individually. But until Mr. Petters has his day, if I talk about any of this it will be about the situation and not the man.
    did count all my I’s, and almost set parentheses around each of them ,as I did yours. But I knew that was something you would not over look and bring to my attention. Fair enough.

    You owe me no apologies. And I see you gave Frank yours. I accept your forgiveness and I hope you will accept mine. We both learned. And what more can we ask for. My real concern in all of this was do you, or I, have the right to say whatever we want to about any one else? In any way we might want to? Our words have the power to hurt and heal. Uplift, as well as destroy. And we should all choose them……….very carefully. For we will all one day have to give an account to every word we have uttered. I can’t take that lightly.

    In Jesus,

  29. Peacebringer do you think now would be the time to remove this from your site? It appears it has cause some discord among brothers and I hope that is not your intent, so please I ask you remove it.

  30. Child of Christ, well obviously I did not think so or I would have removed it instead of posting the apology and linking it.

    I in general am not fond of simply deleting posts, even posts done in error. Yes, this post brought confrontation and conflict, but it results in peaceful reconciliation. Sure, many things were said in ways that are regretful but not sure what the value is in simply deleting post. The reading and observation of working things through I think would be valuable. I will pray over the matter, but right now I don’t sense a need to just flat out remove the posts.

    As tinman said, we all will have to take account for every word said. I cannot undo the way I said things. For me, having the perspective that when I post something, it is as if I posted it in print. It will remain, gives me reason to be cautious in how I write and what I publish. Simply deleting these posts doesn’t remove them from the internet or existence. I will however, at this point delete all tags.

  31. I agree about not just deleting these. There were many emotions expressed here, but in the end there was a coming together. Resolution. The church and the body of Christ should, and will disagree, but at the end of all things, come together as one. Should because sometimes that is the only way to grow. And will because we our at best….still human, at least until that trumpet sounds! I’d rather disagree, find a place of resolution, and come together, than never be challanged to think and be moved, and grow.



  32. Is Mr. Vennes going to pay back the $38M commissions back to their rightful owners? If he does this, then he is a class-act and has a real testimony and platform.

  33. After reading this I applaud you for your contriteness and humbleness that caused you to write an apology. But, I can see no need for the apology that you issued. Clearly the wiretap of Mr. Vennes was proof enough for anyone seeking the truth, that Vennes knew he was scammer.

    Christians do not need a court to decide truth or fiction, righteousness or unrighteousness. Courts allow the guilty to go free daily, and besides that the Christian standard is much higher than any human court’s.

    Those who posted here and criticized you were holding Vennes to some low human standard and not the standard that scripture holds us to, “Be holy as He is holy.” While we must be careful to not condemn, we must also be wise and have our eyes open. (as you did when you wrote this post.)

    I wonder if some of those who posted here will show that same contriteness and humility?

  34. All I know is it was what felt led to at the time. It was over two years ago know. Looking back now, your statement is right, the apology was unnneeded, which really I think is in part the tone of this article. Mr. Vennes is a crook and con and the experience of friends did not stand for truth. We are all in a process of learning. In it, I think God in essence has helped me to slow down in my reactions, be more deliberate, and that is the needed change which I hope has been evident.

  35. In other, words, with being more deliberate, it is a matter of being discerning wisely. And at the same time now, evidence of not being swayed easily by the purported ‘experience of others” as “experience” can be “deceptive.”

    On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 9:26 AM, Timothy Blake wrote:

    > All I know is it was what felt led to at the time. It was over two years > ago know. Looking back now, your statement is right, the apology was > unnneeded, which really I think is in part the tone of this article. Mr. > Vennes is a crook and con and the experience of friends did not stand for > truth. We are all in a process of learning. In it, I think God in essence > has helped me to slow down in my reactions, be more deliberate, and that is > the needed change which I hope has been evident. > >

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