49. Beware attempts to side-track from the main point
David Williams : Since Peter has chosen to make his statement, are there actually any people who do object to this method of using five minutes per person? Are there any objections? Yeah, I thought there would be!
Richard Lewis: I don't - [interrupted from floor] - well it's very difficult as you can understand. We either have an open meeting that goes on unlimitedly, or [interruption from someone speaking from floor].
David Williams : What I would say on that - it is obviously impractical, also, from the point of view of - one witness may have a lot more evidence to give than another and therefore five minutes - limiting one witness - is obviously unbalanced. But what I would like to make clear - what I would like to clarify again, the opening statement I made: in what way are you going to limit what I talk about?
Richard Lewis: Well - let me put it like this - I would prefer you not to speak about the challenge of heresy. Because I believe that the deacons that the church have appointed [note: he didn't correct himself and say 'God has appointed' this time] have dealt with that issue.
David Williams : Well, since I wasn't aware of that - obviously that changes the whole framework of everything. Because, unless you told me that in advance, it means we're coming here . . . .
Richard Lewis: Have you got a copy of the letter from the . . . .
David Williams: Yes, obviously I had a copy of the letter - but that doesn't say in any way: 'respond to this letter' - does it? I mean, really, if it had said: 'If you don't respond to this letter' - then that means that a large part of what the original letter was about is nullified. It changes everything - doesn't it?
(Richard Lewis stopped the meeting while the letter was produced and read from the floor by Peter King)
David Williams : We were all obviously expecting it to be dealt with at this meeting!
Richard Lewis: Well, if that is the wish of the church then we will deal with it, OK. And I don't have a problem. . .[further shouted comments from the floor] OK.
[Richard Lewis was clearly not telling the truth when he claimed he didn't 'have a problem. . .' with this request!]
David Williams : OK - I'd like to make this opening statement [interrupted by Richard Lewis: 'Hang on, hang on . . .']
[More calling out from the floor!]
Richard Lewis: Yes, I did! Yes, if that is the wish of the church, you can have a vote. I did suggest to you that if you wished to discuss the matter of heresy then it was for you to decide to do that. And your only way you can do that is to show me - by waving your hands up in the air, I suppose. I don't want to have a secret ballot on such an issue as this, so let's put it to you: 'do you wish to debate the whole content of - because we can take it that way - of the letter, sent by David and Zoë Williams? Yes, or no?' Yes?
[more muffled discussion from floor]
Richard Lewis: 'Yes!' Well, I'm asking you if you want to . . . . the question is: 'Do you wish to debate the whole content of the letter which David and Zoë have sent? Yes, put your hands up; No, don't put your hands up? OK? If you wish to debate the whole letter put your hands up.
David Williams : We have to say that the letter from the deacons actually says that's what we were going to do. If so, then this is quite ridiculous - honestly!
[hands are raised and counted]
Richard Lewis: Those against? [The vote is unanimous in favour of discussing whole content of letter!] In that case [subdued] - it is open to discussion. The church meeting has spoken.
David Williams : Are you going to limit the time each witness is allowed to speak at the microphone? It is an illogical ruling and would not be tolerated in a court of law - and these are the minimum standards I expected this meeting to be run under. Could we have a decision on this?
[The church tape was here judiciously edited to avoid the embarrassing climb-down over the un-Scriptural, illogical and illegal limitation of five minutes speaking time per person, and it also deleted my opening statement so I will fill these in from my notes.]
50. Beware - make judgements based solely on the whole canon of Scripture
David Williams : What are the qualities expected of elders/pastors/bishops/overseers (the interchangeable words used in the New Testament to describe Christian leaders)? Who are we to imitate - men or God? And where does our leading come from? Scripture tells us:
1 Corinthians 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness? I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.
[Notice how, throughout the meeting, those who spoke of love failed to notice that Paul gave the choice - 'a rod OR with love and a spirit of gentleness? I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.' Is it possible to show love while applying a rod of discipline to a church? Scripture says 'Yes'! More stunningly, for this divided, factionalised leadership and church, the Apostle Paul not only offers 'a rod' but calls those who use only words with no power, as Calvary Baptist Church did, 'arrogant'!]
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
[You can read Roger's examples of 'filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting.' But there were even more in private, especially when he was alone with women!]
1 Thess. 1:5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
1 Thess. 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,
Hebrews 6:12 that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
So who are we to compare ourselves with? The apostles & the Lord Jesus Christ! Not with how we were last year or last anything - as we kept hearing from Roger! We are to imitate Christ and the apostles NOT the behaviour of Roger, a man who claims to be pastor/elder/teacher - but, of course, he recently changed this to evangelist and yet failed utterly when he had the opportunity to evangelise!
Roger has been shown by the examples given to have his own version of what the truth is, and this is in fact a very large part of the definition of 'heresy' and 'sect.' In the light of his swinging from an attack on the Law to proclaiming the Law instead of Christ crucified in one month, what effect do you think this will have on the ignorant, unstable and undiscerning? The Antinomian principle comes out in Roger's attitude to the Christian life - and certainly doesn't encourage holy living? When it comes to preaching, Scripture asks us this question: Is it a Clear and Powerful Gospel? And Paul made it very clear: 'The gospel ... is the power of God unto salvation' (Romans 1:16). Did Roger preach a clear and powerful gospel? No! He preached 'ear-tickling' sermons that were attractive to the ignorant and unstable.
Roger Wheelhouse's Sermons did not bring the unsaved flocking into the church, and on the occasion when he had the opportunity to preach to local people about the power of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ he preached a sermon that would make them think they had to keep all the commandments in Pharisaical fashion to be a disciple of Christ - and there was no mention of 'being saved,' or being 'born again' or even of a 'heavenly hope!'
What are the qualities of an elder (cf. Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28)
1 Timothy 3:1ff; 1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 5:1 : 1 Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers
[As I pointed out earlier, Roger had ignored this Scripture whilst loudly, rudely, and publicly abusing a former elder]
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, 'YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,' and 'The laborer is worthy of his wages.' 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning. 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. 22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
[We will see that many of the congregation of Calvary Baptist Church wanted this 'rebuking in the presence of all' to be passed over for Roger Wheelhouse (e.g. Denis Gardner's speech, later) although there is no Scriptural warrant for doing so.]
Titus 1:5. For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.
[Wheelhouse clearly fits most of these 'No's' for eldership - as defined earlier and as the later evidence reveals!]
2 Timothy 2: 14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.' 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 3v1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Tit. 3 : 9 But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 Reject a factious (HERETICAL from HAIRETIKOS ("\D,J46`H), primarily denotes causing division by a party spirit, factious) man after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
[Wheelhouse was clearly factious/heretical as the later evidence proved.]
51. Beware those who refuse to accept expert definitions but follow cultic methods in using their own definitions!
This is the definition of heretic, heresy, and sect, as given by Greek expert, W.E. Vine in his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:
[I read out the high-lighted sections so that the meeting would have the true definition clear in their minds as they considered the facts. We will see by the end of the meeting that not one Christian at Calvary Baptist Church used anything like this definition in their speech or interpretation!]
HAIRESIS ("\D,F4H) denotes (a) a choosing, choice (from haireomai to choose) ; then; that which is chosen, and hence, an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects, Galatians. 5 : 20 (marg., 'parties') ; such erroneous opinions are frequently the outcome of personal preference or the prospect of advantage ; see 2 Peter. 2 : 1, where 'destructive' (R.V.) signifies leading to ruin ; some assign even this to (b) ; in the papyri the prevalent meaning is 'choice' (Moulton and Milligan. Vocab.) ; (b) a sect ; this secondary meaning, resulting from (a), is the dominating significance in the N.T.; Acts 5 : 17 ; 15 : 5 ; 24:5, 14 ; 26 : 5 ; 28:22; 'heresies' in 1 Cor. 11 : 19 (see marg.). See SECT.HERETICAL
HAIRETIKOS ("\D,J46`H), akin to the above, primarily denotes capable of choosing (haireomai) ; hence, causing division by a party spirit, factious Tit. 3 : 10, R.V., 'heretical'.SECT
HAIRESIS ("\D,F4H), a choosing, is translated 'sect' throughout the Acts except in 24 : 14; A.V. 'heresy' (R.V., 'sect') ; it properly denotes a predilection either for a particular truth, or for a perversion of one, generally with the expectation of personal advantage ; hence, a division and the formation of a party or sect in contrast to the uniting power of 'the truth,' held in toto ; a sect is a division developed and brought to an issue ; the order 'divisions, heresies' (marg. 'parties') in the works of the flesh' in Galatians. 5 : 19-21 is suggestive of this. See HERESY.
[If you consider the English definitions of 'factious' and 'faction' you will find that Wheelhouse fits them perfectly and that he had formed a 'faction', or cult, within the church:
The following are the quoted Scriptures concerning these 'factions' or 'party spirits' :
Galatians. 5 : 20 - 'parties' - such erroneous opinions are frequently the outcome of personal preference or the prospect of advantage: (NASB) 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality (lewdness), 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger (angers), disputes (rivalries), dissensions (divisions), factions (sects from HAIRESIS ("\DXF,4H) and heresies from HAIRESIS ("\D,F4H)), 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
2 Peter 2 : 1, where 'destructive' (R.V.) signifies leading to ruin: 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
(b) a sect ; this secondary meaning, resulting from (a), is the dominating significance in the N.T.; Acts 5 : 17 ; 15 : 5 ; 24 : 5, 14 ; 26 : 5 ; 28 : 22 ; 'heresies' in 1 Corinthians. 11 : 19 (see marg.). See SECT.
Acts 5 : 17 ; 15 : 5 (the Sadducees & Pharisees sects); 24 : 5, 14 (Nazarene sect); 26 : 5 (Pharisee sect); 28 : 22 (Christians called a sect);
1 Corinthians. 11 : 18 - For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part, I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions (heresies from HAIRESIS ("\DXF,4H) among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you.]
David Williams: If a new Christian acted as Roger Wheelhouse has - we might say he is immature or lacking in sanctification and discipline him - but we would certainly never appoint him as a deacon or elder! In fact if anyone acted like this in a secular working environment we would report that person to the management and the Unions! We would also repeat the words we shared with the deacons on the 22nd December: 'Only God knows whether more hurt was caused by the letter than would have been caused by leaving the situation to fester - for we personally know of at least four families who were so hurt that they were about to leave.'