Don Shoemaker and Greg Howell’s Gospel assaulting/compromising example will be the Ichabod written over the FGBC if the pattern continues.The FGBC will drive out trouble making Gospel preachers and defenders. The FGBC will not attract them in the first place. The FGBC will become the good-old-boy club of Gospel compromisers and moral relativists; no salt, no light, just glad handing and back slapping until Jesus comes with eyes like a flame of fire.
2 Thess 1:8-12 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark 8:34-38 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
In closing, Greg Howell and the Ethics Committee had three action points for me that I need to address:
1. Apologize to the men of district ministerium
-I cannot apologize for defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ and exhorting you to do the same. Such an apology would be to the peril of my soul and would mean the certain loss of the commendation of Christ. It is Greg Howell that owes the Lord Jesus an apology for his unwillingness to defend the Gospel, for his compromise of unholy union with enemies of the Gospel, and for his disciplinary action of a pastor defending his church and a man defending his family. In place of an apology I add this rebuke:
Gal 1:6-10 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
2. Withdraw the lawsuit
The lawsuit is concluded. There is nothing to withdraw. Our intentions were honorable and our consciences are clear regarding the legal defense of our families and our church. John Calvin has a rebuke for your wooden interpretation and absolute, universal application of 1 Cor. 6 to our circumstances; “As for those who strictly condemn all legal contentions, let them realize that they therewith repudiate God's holy ordinance… But the usual objection -- that Paul has condemned lawsuits altogether -- is also false [1 Corinthians 6:5-8].” BGBC fired a man four years ago. He and his friends tried (and are trying) to destroy me and BGBC through false accusations of child abuse designed to send me to prison, my adult son to prison, and to take my minor children from our home and their mother. They have taken their accusations person to person, house to house, church to church, and to the world on the internet. You cannot imagine the damage they have done to my family, other families, and BGBC as a whole. In condemning me for taking legal action to protect our families and stop the historic and ongoing assault of criminal accusations regarding the abuse of children, you also condemn Matthew Henry, Albert Barnes, and John Calvin.
*MATTHEW HENRY (CHARLES SPURGEON'S FAVORITE BIBLE COMMENTATOR) COMMENTS ON 1 COR. 6:
“Here is at least an intimation that they went to law for trivial matters, things of little value; for the apostle blames them that they did not suffer wrong rather than go to law (v. 7), which must be understood of matters not very important. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves. We are not bound to sit down and suffer the injury tamely, without stirring for our own relief; but, in matters of small consequence, it is better to put up with the wrong. Christians should be of a forgiving temper. And it is more for their ease and honour to suffer small injuries and inconveniences than seem to be contentious.” (from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
-After three and a half years of suffering a great many injuries tamely, without stirring for our own relief, we used lawful means to attempt to right the ministry of the Gospel at BGBC and to protect our families. WE MAKE NO APOLOGY!
*ALBERT BARNES COMMENTS ON 1 COR. 6:
Where a Christian is INJURED in his person, character, or property, he has a right to seek redress. Courts, are instituted for the protection and defense of the innocent and the peaceable against the fraudulent, the wicked, and the violent. And a Christian owes it to his country, to his family, and to himself, that the man who has injured him should receive the proper punishment. The peace and welfare of the community demand it. If a man murders my wife or child, I owe it to the laws and to my country, to justice and to God, to endeavor to have the law enforced. So if a man robs my property, or injures my character, I may owe it to OTHERS as well as to myself that the law in such a case should be executed, and the rights of others also be secured. But in all these cases, a Christian should engage in such prosecutions not with a desire of revenge, not with the love of litigation, but with the love of justice, and of God, and with a mild, tender, candid and forgiving temper, with a real desire that the opponent may be benefited, and that all HIS rights also should be secured; (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
*JOHN CALVIN, INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, IV, XX, 18-19 & 21 SPEAKS TO THE ISSUE OF LAWSUITS:
18. THE CHRISTIAN'S MOTIVES IN LITIGATION
Such men should therefore understand that lawsuits are permissible if rightly used. There is right use, both for the plaintiff in suing and for the accused in defending himself, if the defendant presents himself on the appointed day and with such exception, as he can, defends himself without bitterness, but only with this intent, to defend what is his by right, and if on the other hand, the plaintiff, undeservedly oppressed either in his person or in his property, puts himself in the care of the magistrate, makes his complaint, and seeks what is fair and good.
19. AGAINST THE REJECTION OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS
As for those who strictly condemn all legal contentions, let them realize that they therewith repudiate God's holy ordinance, and one of the class of gifts that can be clean to the clean [Titus 1:15], unless, perchance, they wish to accuse Paul of a shameful act, since he both repelled the slanders of his accusers, exposing at the same time their craft and malice [Acts 24:12 ff.], and in court claimed for himself the privilege of Roman citizenship [Acts 16:37; 22:1, 25], and, when there was need, appealed from the unjust judge to the judgment seat of Caesar [Acts 25:10-11]. This does not contradict the fact that all Christians are forbidden to desire revenge, which we banish far away from Christian courts [Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:39; Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19]. For if it is a civil case, a man does not take the right path unless he commits his cause, with innocent simplicity, to the judge as public protector; and he should think not at all of returning evil for evil [Romans 12: 17], which is the passion for revenge. If, however, the action is brought for some capital or serious offense, we require that the accuser be one who comes into court without a burning desire for revenge or resentment over private injury, but having in mind only to prevent the efforts of a destructive man from doing harm to society. For if you remove a vengeful mind, that command which forbids revenge to Christians is not broken.
21. PAUL CONDEMNS A LITIGIOUS SPIRIT, BUT NOT ALL LITIGATION
But the usual objection -- that Paul has condemned lawsuits altogether -- is also false [1 Corinthians 6:5-8]. It can easily be understood from his words that there was an immoderate rage for litigation in the church of the Corinthians -- even to the point that they exposed to the scoffing and evil speaking of the impious the gospel of Christ and the whole religion they professed. Paul first criticized them for disgracing the gospel among believers by the in-temperateness of their quarrels. Secondly, he rebuked them also for contending in this way among themselves, brethren with brethren. For they were so far from bearing wrongs that they greedily panted after one another's possessions, and without cause assailed and inflicted loss upon one another. Therefore, Paul inveighs against that mad lust to go to law, not simply against all controversies.
3. Re-apply for licensure
-Repent of your compromise of the Gospel in the ecumenical Goldendale ministerium and in your handling of Don Shoemaker’s heresy. Give evidence of a genuine love of Christ through the DEFENSE of His Gospel. Cease your censure of a pastor defending the Gospel from the likes of Shoemaker, and defending his family, defending other families, and defending the ministry of BGBC from those who are vindictively using the police, DHS (child protection), and internet slander as weapons of their revenge.
Stripping me of ministerial credentials three days before Christmas is not to my shame, but to yours.
I commend you for maintaining a firm stand for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord gave us Holy Scripture so we can know Him- follow Him-obey Him. It is NOT a book of guidelines or suggestions, but commands. These men of the Grace Brethren fellowship are seriously compromising the narrow path of Christ and SHOULD be exposed for it. Far too many churches in our day just want to push the "easy button" so they will be popular with everyone... How sad! I will be praying for their repentance. I am truly blessed to be a part of ONE church that refuses to compromise - and honored to have a Pastor with the courage and backbone to stand firmly in God's Truth and call heresy for what it is!! Thank you, Pastor Chuck