Dear Ones in Christ;
This material is being sent to you by some of your brethren who, in years gone by, have greatly benefited from fellowshipping with many of those with whom you are now meeting. Almost all of you that we have come in contact with in the past several years, were in the dark as to what caused the disruption of this fellowship in the mid-eighties. We hope that the following information will enlighten or re-enlighten you to the facts that have faded with time.
WHY WERE WE MARKED?
In the mid-eighties a harsh, abrasive attitude on the part of your leadership arose towards anyone questioning their activities. So zealously did they defend their partiality and the "rightness" of their unbiblical procedures and judgments, that anyone raising questions about them or speaking against their injustices was dis-fellowshipped as "leaven in the assembly." All who did not stand in the marking were also dis-fellowshipped, along with anyone keeping company with such a one. Twisted presentations of 2 Thess. 3:6-14, Matt. 10:34 and related verses became the basis for these unfounded attacks. Wholesale markings followed. The "leaven" hunt was on. Here is the dark and tragic backdrop of the division that exists between us today.
Most of us were put out of the assemblies without just cause, or we left in protest because of the way others were being un-biblically treated. Thankfully time heals, but it can also fade the facts of years gone by. We doubt that any of you can tell us why we were marked, or give Scripture to support the markings. Efforts to find out from your leaders have been ignored. That should tell you something.
FAMILY SEPARATIONS:Because of wholesale markings brought on by your leaders, many of you have been torn from family members now meeting with us, and grandparents among us are forbidden by your leadership to see their grandchildren, though it violates the law of the land. This is a serious breach of God's command -to "submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake." I Peter 2:13; See also Rom. 13:1.
ACCUSED!Incredible as it may seem, we have not only been accused by your leaders of being unsaved because we left your assemblies, but some off us have been accused of leaving the body of Christ, the one, true church which Christ is building. Does this mean that you are now being taught that your assemblies make up the entire body of Christ and anyone marked by you is cut off from Christ?
Your leaders should know by now that (1) No Christian has the power to undo, reverse or nullify the work of the Holy Spirit Who has baptized every true believer into the body of Christ. 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27; etc. (2) Your leadership should also know that the body of Christ is not confined to one tiny band of Christians. Every member of the body of Christ throughout the world is a part of that church which Christ is building. Additionally, (3) every member, however weak, contributes something to the welfare of the whole, for "every joint supplieth." Eph. 4:16. Finally, (4) each of us who are saved will remain in that body, the family of God, throughout eternity!
John 17:12. "For I aim persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39.
CONFUSION: We're told that "God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." Some of the events that have led to the breaking up of Christian families have created great confusion, which, in some cases, continues to this day -- another reason why we can not believe that the wholesale markings of approx. 10 years ago were of God, but rather of Satan.
Your leadership claimed that they were driving the leaven out of the. assemblies. We are told in James 3:17 that "the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (contrary to the behavior of your leaders) full of mercy and good fruits, WITHOUT PARTIALITY, AND WITHOUT HYPOCRISY."
Matt. 16:6. We believe that those in leadership 10 years ago were tainted with the leaven our Lord commanded his disciples to beware of: (Matt. 16:6) "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven [hypocrisy] of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Matt. 7:5, "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
The obvious hypocrisy of your leadership caused many brethren, who were not merely blind followers, to speak up and individually question the leaders' activities and judgments. Not surprisingly, the lives of min leadership ran the gamut from immorality to problems with headship in the home. All this resulted in a total loss of confidence in your leadership which remains to this present day.
In a broadcast, dated 1-22-95, Jim Maurer spoke on "The Prodigal Son" and entreated those of us who had left your assemblies, or had been marked, to "come home," thus indicating that he considers us prodigal sons, wasting our spiritual substance on riotous living and eating of the spiritual husks that the swine of this world partake of. He lamented the fact that no Christian who has left the assembly in the past 10 years has come back.
Since godly discipline brings about healing and restoration, and since that has not been the case, isn't it time for you brethren to examine yourselves, and your ministers, to see where you were totally out of the will of God in indulging in wholesale markings approximately 10 years ago?
Jim asks us to "come home." Since this world is not our home but heaven is, and since no one group of Christians anywhere can constitute the Christian's "home," we can not answer Jim's call. But we do desire to fellowship with any and all Christians who will meet in the blame, sufficiency and completeness of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
There are a number of reasons why we cannot in good conscience return, reasons we would like to share with you. To begin with, here are two: 1. We have been told that we must confess to the sin of causing division in the body of Christ before your leaders will even consider discussing the concerns of the past. Correction: we did not create the division, your leaders did. 2. We have yet to find Scripture in this age of grace that authorizes anyone to hold out for a. public confession before a brother or sister can be restored and have their questions addressed. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). These are two very serious errors into which your leadership has fallen and we urge you to think about them.
JACK LANGFORD(Before he was disqualified from the ministry.]
A . While traveling for several years to different areas and assemblies dis-fellowshipping various saints, Jack's own home was in chaos, in direct violation of 1 Tim. 3:5, which requires a leader's home to be in order before he can rule in the church of God.
B . For years Jack unmercifully divided Christian families, with Robert's help, encouragement and blessings. Hundreds can testify to this!
C . Strange that Jack could travel all the way to Peru and Africa to promote the truth while first
hand information from immediate neighbors of Jack (while he was living on Norwood in Hurst for many years) revealed that they had absolutely no idea he was a Christian, much less a minister!
D. The recordings we have of the evening meeting Jack had with Bill Langston and his son Skipper in Ft. Worth repeatedly show Jack's flagrant dishonesty. Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1.
E. Jack repeatedly used, radio time in California to discuss the church split, airing family problems before a Christ-hating world. Thanks to Jack's example, Jim Maurer continues to advertise the sorry news of the family divisions he helped to create: e.g. his recent broadcast on "The Prodigal Son," given Sunday, January 22, 1995.
"An ungodly man diggeth up evil; and in his lips there is a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife:: and a whisperer separateth chief friends." Proverbs 16:27.
"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." Prov. 17:9.
G. In January, 1980, Jack Langford confessed before the assembly in Ft. Worth that "for the past five years I have been a failure as a Father, Husband and Minister." Yet the markings and judgments Jack engaged in during that period have not been questioned. Why?
QUESTIONS FOR JACK LANGFORD
1. Don Stevens said in the last men's meeting of October of `85, that he believed Jack Langford had caused more havoc in the body of Christ than any other man he had ever known, (dividing brethren and tearing family circles apart). What drove you, Jack, to so unmercifully purge the assemblies of what you perceived to be "leaven," from Texas to California? Were you desperately trying to compensate for the lack of leadership in your home? "For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?" I Tim. 3:5.
2. What Biblical right did you have to mark Buddy Inman for not attending a men's meeting ? Even under the Mosaic law, Nicodemus, a Pharisee of the Jews, asked: "Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" John 7:51. But Buddy was written off before that privilege was granted him. With what Scripture do you justify this rash and unfeeling behavior towards Buddy, Jack?
3. Jack, when you marked Dana Gilbert in the presence of Jim Beitzel, Jim Maurer and Art Werner, you repeatedly stated that you were "purging" the church. When questioned, you said you were removing anyone from the fellowship that "disagreed" with you. You also stated that you could used any Scripture to apply in any mariner you chose. Does this sound like the words of a humble, responsible, doctrinally sound minister of Jesus Christ?
QUESTIONS FOR ROBERT GROVE:
1. Robert, you gave your permission for marked family members to visit a certain family member who was dying of cancer. When the possibility of a recovery was seen, visitation rights were called off. What Scripture do you have to support this arbitrary behavior?
2. Do you still talk about sex in your sermons as much as you did a few years ago?
3. Why do you say a bishop needs to know intimately the lives and characters of those he is serving? Robert, how many married couples, as they look back now, are happy with the counseling you gave them the night before they were married?
4. Robert, we have a chart that you sometimes use in ministering to others. It shows a circle within a circle, within a circle. According to this chart, the only viable, functioning, Spirit-led Christians in the world today are in your little group. Is there any discernable difference between this concept of the. true, functioning church Christ is building and the cults started by Joseph Smith, Sun Young Moon and Ellen G. White?
Robert, you are old enough to know that according to I Cor. 12; Romans 12 and Eph. 4, there is no such thing as a "non-functioning" Christian. "The eye can not say to the hand, I have no need of thee." God says," EVERY JOINT SUPPLIETH." Eph., 4:16 You either believe that, Robert, or you don't!!
Be Bereans, brethren, and check up on this man Robert, and anyone else who claims to be your spiritual guide. Make them all as accountable to the Word of God as they expect of you to be.
5. In a home meeting attended by Robert approx. seven years ago, Don Stevens expressed the freedom he felt as he walked out of that last men's meeting held on his behalf three years earlier. Your response was that homosexual priests and lesbian nuns feel the same type of freedom when they come out of the closet. Robert, do you make it a habit of comparing your fellow members in the body of Christ to people with sexual perversions? Christ said, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Matthew 12:34.
6. Robert, do you consider it your calling to interpret the Scriptures for the church? Is there any Scripture to support that concept?
"I AM OF CHRIST!" Robert Grove and other leaders rightfully point to 1 Cor 1:12 and 3:1-3 to illustrate the sectarian spirit. Some saints said, "I am of Paul," others, "I am of Apollos," still others, "I am of Cephas." But one group, probably more arrogant than the rest, said, "I am of Christ." Of the four groups, who were the most subtle, the most misleading -- and the most dangerous?
Brethren, you should take a long, hard look at yourselves to be absolutely sure you are not the ones who are saying, "I am of Christ." If you are not but are tempted at times to feel that way, remember that the plainest, lowliest, most unlettered saint in the body is "of Christ." "Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary… [for] every joint supplies." - in spite of Robert Grove's false teaching to the contrary, !!! 1 Cor. 12:22; Eph. 4:16. Preach the truth on this, Robert!
1. In 1986, Fred Grant, Jr., Rocky Sherer, Bob Marsolais, and Eric Anderson spoke with John Morey regarding their growing concerns relative to things being preached from the pulpit. John asked each one to put their concerns in writing. These brethren did so, believing that John would answer each one.
Did John keep his word? No! Neither did he speak with any of these four brethren! Instead, he stapled the letters together with his own cover letter, marking them as unruly trouble makers. He read the marking letter at the Sunday morning meeting in Alhambra following the July, 1986, camp at Tulare.
Fred Grant Sr. and Dave Bowin spoke up at the Sunday meeting with the suggestion that John hold off reading the marking letter. John refused. (Who was the Diotrephes in this case?) He said it would be an easy matter for Grant Jr., Sherer, Marsolais and Anderson to confess if their hearts were right with the Lord. Where was John's father heart? He did not even have the decency to send the four young men a copy of the marking letter, though he was asked to do so on at least two occasions.
A FEW QUESTIONS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO READ THIS PAPER
A. How many of you do not agree with what is going on in your assemblies but remain silent for fear of being excommunicated, and as a consequence be cut off from relatives and loved ones if you openly express your concerns? If you are in this class, you are in serious bondage for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty: liberty to express your true feelings, liberty to prove all things for yourself and liberty, yea, a godly obligation, to hold men accountable to the Word of God they preach.
B. When Betty Gloria, an elderly saint, needed help due to illness, why was she marked to be avoided when she allowed her son, Jim, to look after her welfare? But God says, "The wisdom that is from above is...FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUIT, without partiality and without hypocrisy." James 3:17.
C. Could it be that we are labeled by your leaders as lepers to keep you from reaching out to us?
D. Have you ever had the feeling that your life is being controlled by those to whom you look for spiritual guidance? All such leadership is basically cultic.
E. In a recent letter from your leadership to two of our brethren, these brethren were accused of sinning by leaving your meetings. Brethren, has your leadership forgotten how many they put out of your assemblies because they considered them leaven, leprous, heretical? Must we now confess to the sin of a division that they themselves created before they (or you) will have anything to do with us? Do they have the. godly humility to confess to this unspeakable division brought on by them?
Do you not see in your assemblies an authoritarian, pharisaical, legalistic attitude that appears to regard any feeling of love or compassion for a dis-fellowshipped brother as a sign of weakness or mere sentimentality? Brethren, this is one of the marks of cultic behavior:
JUDGMENT IS COMING! Brethren, we urge you to study, think, and consider spiritual issues for yourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you by His Word. Hab. 2:4, "The just shall live by his faith," This means you are not to live by the faith of "the leadership or anyone else but by your own personal faith and understanding of the Word. The reason is simple: the leadership can not believe for you nor will they be allowed to answer for you at the, judgment seat of Christ.
DIOTREPHES Your leaders place inordinate emphasis on submitting to their authority, forgetting that the only authority they have that God can bless is the authority of a godly example and "sound speech that can not be condemned," not the arbitrary preachments of a few self-appointed leaders. Note in the following how the attitude of Diotrephes' in 3 John 9-10 parallels that of your leadership today:
a. Diotrephes wanted to control the church.
b. He excommunicated those who opposed his leadership.
c. He wanted and acquired preeminence in the church.
d. Those who questioned his authority became targets of his "malicious words." He undoubtedly charged them with not standing with the brethren, of sowing discord, being independent and causing division in the body of Christ.
Had the brethren under his ministry "searched the Scriptures" more diligently and checked up on Diotrephes, we have no doubt that Diotrephes would not have had the opportunity to become the tyrant that he did.
In conclusion: this letter is not an attempt to proselyte anyone but to bring your attention that as Christians we have a duty to our Lord, and to you, to be faithful. Prov. 27:6. We urge you to be faithful to us. Let's communicate to the end that we may walk in unity. We love all of you in Christ, and want a Christ-centered, Spirit-led reunion.
If we do not hear from you, would it not indicate that you have no interest in our working together towards renewed fellowship based on the Word of God?
To contact us, write P.O. Box _______ , California ( )
This letter is from some of your Christian brothers in California,
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