Pastor Ed's Medical Debt
$41,268 of $30,000 goal
Ed Komoszewski is, like David, a man after God’s heart. His name may be at best only vaguely familiar to you, yet if you’re a Christian you should know him—and pray for him. He became known to a wider audience in Christian circles following the publication of Reinventing Jesus in 2006 (which he co-authored with two others), and Putting Jesus in His Place in 2007 (co-authored with Rob Bowman). These books have ministered deeply and redemptively to countless folks. Putting Jesus in His Place is a popular introduction to the New Testament’s affirmation of Christ’s deity. Popular—but backed by serious scholarship. I consider it the most accessible defense of the Lord’s divinity ever written. Really.
And Reinventing Jesus has brought legions of people back from the abyss—from abandoning the Christian faith, by answering in plain English questions about the historical accuracy of the Gospels, the textual reliability of the New Testament text, the appropriateness of the ancient church’s decisions about the canon, along with several other hot-button topics that are troublesome to today’s believers. Full disclosure: Along with Jim Sawyer, I co-authored Reinventing Jesus with Ed. What is not known is that Ed had to drag me into the work. He showed me how to write for a lay audience—and why I should. His demand for the best scholarship backing up our statements, coupled with elegant, thought-provoking prose, have dramatically changed my ministry. I was content to write textbooks for seminary students and articles in scholarly journals. Ed urged me to consider having a wider ministry. And that book has not only changed my ministry, it has also changed me. Although nearly eighteen years my junior, Ed has quietly, humbly, and pointedly mentored me in more ways than any other person I’ve ever known. I owe a lot to this man whom I consider my best friend.
These revelations may come as a surprise to you. More surprising is this: Ed’s health has been in the toilet for many, many years. He was my intern at Dallas Seminary more than fifteen years ago. I was in the thick of encephalitis when he asked to be my intern. I could offer nothing to him for the internship year, and I simply had to be on the receiving end of his hundreds of unselfish acts. I’ve learned about loving the Lord in ways that I never even explored before; I’ve learned how to strategize in ministry, maximizing the time I have in this life to serve the Lord. Ed has been my tutor. I’ve never known anyone alive today who is more like the apostle Paul than Ed Komoszewski. He breathes Christ. And he’s in trouble now; so I am writing to the body of Christ worldwide, asking you to help out.
Ed’s health problems got exacerbated while he was in seminary. Ever since then, I’ve seen him decline in unimaginable ways. From back problems to heart problems, from neurological issues to kidney failure, the litany of the trials Ed has faced would make Job blush! I have wept and cried out to God to have mercy on this choice servant of the Lord. And on top of his health problems are all the medical bills that are mounting. In spite of living an incredibly frugal life, Ed and his family have come to the end of the line. They can’t pay their medical bills, which are at least in the tens of thousands of dollars.
That is why I am writing this plea for a man whose funeral’s eulogy I have been preparing for several years. His health problems have grown more numerous and serious with each passing year! I have over a thousand emails from him about what he’s going through. He keeps most of this to himself; I have been privileged to know of his struggles in the details that he has refused to share with others, because he is not looking for sympathy. And just when I think it can’t possibly get any worse, he plummets once again. A year and a half ago his kidneys were cannibalizing his muscles. Ed was taken by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN, where he was completely bedridden for a week as a team of specialists worked to save his organs. Not even a year later, he was hospitalized again—this time with pancreas and liver problems. In addition to these bouts, Ed received multiple blood transfusions to counteract extreme, chronic internal bleeding. And even as I write this, he is recovering from shoulder surgery and weighing his options for imminent back surgery. I won’t go into more details about what he’s gone through. I just ask you to consider helping out a brother in Christ who has, in countless and mostly unknown ways, helped you in your faith. Please pass this on to your church, your friends, your godly acquaintances. Share Ed’s need with others. And please consider helping him out generously, even sacrificially, as my wife and I will be doing. It is the privilege of the body of Christ to come to the aid of those in need, just as it is a test of our mutual love to do so.
Ed would be the first to say that no one owes him a thing except a swift kick in the derriere! I think the truth is closer to what Winston Churchill famously declared about the brave air crews who fought the Nazi war machine in the Battle of Britain, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Our Lord taught us that “In this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another” (John 13.35). That love is expressed in many ways, but one that we don’t like to talk about is giving materially to those in need. But as the Lord’s own brother said, “If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and be filled,’ but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it?” (Jas 2.15–16).
Despite the challenges mentioned by Dan above, Ed has worked hard for most of the past 15 years. When I first met him, he was working hard full-time as the director of research for an apologetics ministry. After being in that position for four years, his health regressed to the point that he couldn’t keep pace with the volume of academic reading and writing required on a daily basis. He then served for two years with another organization, where less academic writing and more speaking allowed Ed to keep pace for two years. When 40+ hour work weeks were no longer possible, Ed began writing books—a task that allowed him to work when his body cooperated. Over the next few years, Ed coauthored two critically-acclaimed books defending the Bible’s teaching about Jesus Christ. As Ed began to envision and design subsequent book ideas, a group of 80 or so people urged Ed to plant a church that would take its members deeper into Scripture and equip them to answer skillfully questions asked by skeptics of the Christian faith. Ed agreed and began teaching twice per week (once in a formal worship setting and once in a classroom setting) for a total of eight times per month. Eventually, he dropped to teaching six times per month. Then four. Then two. In May of 2014, the elders of Sojourners Church unanimously voted for Ed to take a one-year sabbatical from all ministry responsibilities and to focus on his health. As his sabbatical year comes to a close, Ed’s health has declined still further in significant ways. Apart from a miracle, he will not be able to return to a regular teaching ministry in the church. Ed has revealed a pattern over the years of doing all that his body would allow in service to the body of Christ, even as he has progressively lost the ability to handle normal workloads. He is now more limited than he has ever been, meaning that his earning potential has plummeted while his medical bills have multiplied.
Through all of these trials, Ed has remained unwavering in his commitment to the Lord Jesus as the focus of his life and in his confidence in God’s loving care. His faith in the fire of the worst that life in this age has thrown at him has been deeply moving and inspiring to me as it has been to many others. Now he needs our inspiration and help.
By the end of this year, Ed and his family will have accrued more than $30,000 in medically related expenses. Our hope and prayer is that God’s people will respond generously to meet this need. Please join me in contributing to this fund to cover this growing threat to the family’s financial health even as they watch Ed’s physical health decline. And please spread the word to all of your friends through social media and any other way you can. Thank you!
Sincerely in Christ’s service,
Robert M. Bowman Jr., Ph.D.
Institute for Religious Research
I am going to close the fund at the end of next week. If you have not yet made a contribution and wish to do so, there is still time. Thanks again!
As was explained when we started this, Ed's medical bills were set to reach at least $30,000. He keeps getting new bills and the amount is already quite a bit over $30,000. That is why I am so pleased that gifts have continued to come into the fund even after that goal was met. The additional money will enable Ed to pay all of his medical bills up to this point even after Go Fund Me takes the 8 percent it requires for its administrative and web expenses. So if you haven't yet given, or you think you'd like to give a little more (as a few people have told me), it's not too late, and it will definitely help Ed keep his family from being in debt because of his extreme medical situation.
Please check for Lyme disease as all your symptoms scream out lyme disease. Please test with ice next as all other labs are not accurate. God bless you and God is in control and he can see our pain