52. Beware deacons who act as leaders - yet cannot even define 'heretic' or 'heresy'!
Roy James (former elder) : [this opening statement regards the question he wanted to put to the deacons and was, again, badly edited by Calvary Baptist Church!] That they [the deacons] are saying that, 'Yes, they do believe that there's heresy, but was unintentional'. Now, that puts a completely different tone on the opening statement from Richard. And I would like a response - there are other things which I would need to be saying. But that response from them. Are the deacons saying: 'That there is heresy, but it's unintentional. Or there is no heresy?' I've got my view on it - and I've shared it with Roger on another occasion.
Richard Lewis: Howard - let Howard respond to that - and other deacons may do so. And if you're going to speak could you come to the microphone.
Howard Bowen: When the letter was put together - the deacons had met with David and Zoë that evening, having met with Roger the night before. And we stayed here 'til quarter to twelve to try and come to a statement that we felt was reflecting everybody's point of view (which is difficult to do with 8 people). And we felt - I was asked to put - that the 'deacons did not think that Roger deliberately preached heresy.' The interpretation of heresy means different things to different people and I know that my conception of heresy perhaps is different to others. I know when I'm uncomfortable - if Roger's said something that I don't agree with. And would discuss not only - not only Roger - but with a minister. But the sentence reflects, I think, what the deacons were trying to say. We were mindful that members should have opportunity to respond to the whole letter and we didn't want to block that in any way. And that is why it was put in that way.
[This was indicative of the definition of heresy that was to be used on this night - everyone was going to come to the microphone and use their own definition. This is what the cults do - Mormons will come to your door and talk about Jesus and Salvation, and you may think you agree with them - but their Jesus and path of Salvation are not Scriptural definitions, but come out of 'doctrines of demons' 1 Timothy 4:1-3. By redefining the meaning of words the Mormons can never identify the truth - and this is what Calvary Baptist Church did on this night. But Howard confirms that Lewis' attempt to hijack the discussion of 'heresy' was bogus!]
Peter Smith : When I first received the letter and read it through very carefully as I said, and I felt that as a diaconate we had to get behind Roger urgently. I believe we let you down, very badly, Roger [addressing Roger Wheelhouse]. I believe we let you, as a church, down, very badly. And so, as far as in concerned, that was on a Wednesday, and I said, Howard - and I harangued him - something has to be done. Something has to be said. And it came to a point where one man had to stand up [in the next church service - Mike Nelmes] and it was quite embarrassing for him here, at the end of a service to actually ask 'what's going on?' I found that incredibly embarrassing - and so I stand here saying 'from the word go, I support my minister'. I do not believe he is a heretic. And I certainly do not believe that he is doing Satan's work. And I stand firmly here now - and another thing I will say is - because of this letter - is now being discussed, I am seriously considering whether I continue on the diaconate. Because this is not Scriptural.
[Again, Peter pins all his hopes on Matthew 18:15-17! We will see later whether he is telling the truth about the way he considers his future on the diaconate]
Derek Evans: Replying first to Peter's last few phrases concerning the lack of action from the deacons. Howard and I met with Roger on the Friday prior to Mike [Nelmes] making the statement on the Sunday - and it was Roger's direct and implicit request that the announcement is not made to members. I personally said to Howard: 'Why can't we make a statement?' It was said 'people would be mystified and not understand what was going on.' I said 'Those who received the letter would understand and those who were in ignorance could, unfortunately, remain in ignorance. So the reasons the deacons didn't make a statement that Sunday was that we were directly instructed not to. Secondly - going back to what Roy asked us - it was the - well, I'll speak for myself - it's not our belief that Roger intentionally preached heresy. The . . . [emotional] . . . the way it is portrayed, or the way he has spoken in sermons sometimes comes out the wrong way, I believe. It's not the intention to preach heresy, but sometimes it comes out that way, I believe. Heresy, in my belief, is not the old 16th or 15th century situation with the ducking the witches, or the burning stake, or even the Bishop of Durham type statements. It is a slight misrepresentation and that is my personal view and, I believe, that is what the tone of the deacons' letter was meant to convey. But, more importantly, this meeting, I believe, is to discuss the other implications of the letter - what you might call a second half.
[The power to make decisions was clearly in the hands of Roger Wheelhouse - as this makes clear. It is un-Scriptural to have a single pastor/elder holding the reins of a fellowship, for the Body Ministry described in Ephesians 4, Romans 8, and 1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear, by analogy to the human body - TWO hands, TWO feet, etc. that one man should not stand alone. The dangers are perfectly exemplified by this man! Derek's definition of heresy is, again, his own - the Bishop of Durham comes closest to describing a real heretic. But Derek is one of the deacons who had suffered the most abuse at Roger's hands, as he made clear in our meeting with the deacons, yet he never once mentioned it to the whole church. Again, un-Scriptural. If you don't deal with it directly with the man responsible, how can you mention it elsewhere without being accused of gossip?]
Richard Lewis: David, do you want to - no more deacons wish to make statements?
[Now was not yet the time to speak, as few witnesses had told even a part of the truth of the filth that had been exhibited by Roger Wheelhouse]
Unknown speaker : My understanding is that this church has quite a long history of power struggles with the deacons of the church. And I would just mention one of the other verses from 1 Corinthians: 'brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly - mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready for it. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men'.
[Who was this passage of 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 addressed to - the whole church? A typical quotation of a Scripture without the maturity to address it to anything and which subsequently becomes a fence-sitting statement. There is no 'history' of this church having 'power struggles with the deacons' and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. If you are coming as a witness bring evidence, not speculation]
Richard Lewis : Roy, do you wish to come back?
53. Beware excusing heretical behaviour for 'confusion'
Roy James (former elder) : Just to make a brief statement concerning the heresy issue. As I read it, and as I read the chapter and verse as recorded in the letter, as from tape. Reading it, certainly as far as I'm concerned, comes of heresy. What I wrote in the early part of my letter: 'Surely Roger didn't mean this?' And so I'm qualifying what I'm saying - I am not accusing Roger Wheelhouse of being a heretic. I am saying this: that, at the very worst, that's what it appears to be, in the letter, because anyone who is apparently preaching anything other than salvation by grace and by the blood of Jesus alone, and preaching any other doctrine, by Law, intentionally or unintentionally, is heretical. That is heresy. If I am proclaiming that a man can be saved by works, by obeying the commandments and so on - then that is heresy. So I'm qualifying. I think that, at the very worst, it is that. But I think, at the very best, that he's been mixed up and misguided, and, to some extent, teaching on Law and Grace - confused. That is where I come from in my picture of what's being said in the letter. And, certainly, there have been misleading things concerning that particular topic. A topic which is very close, in fact, to my heart. The full question of Grace and, even, Utter Grace. And so that's all I want to say concerning that issue. But, heresy? Let's not be putting it into a definition that isn't there. Hear what heresy is! If anyone doesn't know what heresy is - if the deacons don't know what heresy is - heresy is someone proclaiming anything contrary to the Scripture and, specifically in this issue, contrary to being saved other than by grace. And that's what appears to be being done and that's why I say 'mixed up?' Probably, unintentionally so. But there needs to be probably, hopefully, from Roger, when his statement comes, a response to that concerning 'Yes' or 'No.'
[Roy at least addresses the issue, even if he is foolishly willing to allow that the 'heresy' may have been 'unintentional.' He does not go far enough in his definition of heresy, for it is possible to be heretical even while declaring a large portion of Bible truth and being 'orthodox' in most of your teaching. But the heretic cannot ever be 100% true to Scripture for he is bound to trample on some texts as he abuses his power and tramples on the body of Christ, as he did in this fellowship. We will emphasise this later. Again, the age old question of how you prove whether some action is intentional or unintentional is proven by a persons wilful choice of action, which is part of the definition of heresy! When the deceiver ignores Luke 17:3-4 ('So watch yourselves. 'If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.. If he sins against you seven times in a day, AND seven times COMES BACK TO YOU and says, `I repent,' forgive him.'') and does not come to you to apologise after repeating his sinful action then you know that their repentance was false!]
54. Beware attempts to 'gag' witnesses
Elaine Smith [wife of Peter Smith, deacon] : I come as a church member, not as a deacon's wife. I have my own opinions and my husband obviously does. As a church member, I have an opinion to bring. I found the letter from the deacons to be somewhat wishy-washy, because it didn't give us a clear guideline as a church. It said: 'did not deliberately preach heresy.' And that leaves me wondering where the diaconate stands on this? Because if they are saying 'Yes, he is preaching heresy,' Why didn't they stop him preaching? Why didn't they approach Roger and say, 'Excuse me Roger, your teaching's a little dodgy; let's sit down together and talk about this.' And I have had grievances with Roger. I have no grievance to bring tonight. Why? Because I went to Roger and we talked them through. And we got them sorted. And I would urgently encourage any of you who have come here tonight with your grievances, who have not followed that Scripture, to hold your tongue tonight. Because that's not Scriptural. But I still pose the question: 'If the deacons thought he was preaching heresy, whether deliberate or not deliberate, why did they not stop him preaching until they got it sorted?'
[Elaine is correct about the 'wishy-washy' statement - Zoë had already used it to describe the deacons before our first meeting with them! But Derek has already made it clear that it was deliberately so, thus confirming their inability to make a decision and therefore the fact that they were not, in any way, a Scriptural leadership. Deacons are not described as leaders in the New Testament - this is the job of pastors/elders/overseers/bishops (interchangeable titles describing the same position although the role may differ) - ref. 1 Corinthians 12). Almost ten years previously the church had foolishly changed the church rules to insist that an elder who had been nominated for the position needed to receive at least 70% of the church vote in order to be installed into the position. I pointed out very clearly at the time that this was both un-Scriptural and dangerously illogical for, if there ever came a time when the church was divided, we would never be able to vote in new elders and would be left with an ineffective and weakened leadership! Surprise, surprise - it happened! This was how we finished up with the single elder, Roy James, who was quickly removed by the factious (antagonistic, un-cooperative, contradictory and divisive) 'pastor' Roger Wheelhouse. Following the conclusion to this debacle you will see what happened to the current 'leadership.' If you listen carefully to the jargon of the Wheelhouse's you will hear that Elaine Smith was so indoctrinated by them that she uses the same 'sorted' jargon as Sue Wheelhouse! This was not in vogue amongst other members of the church outside of the Wheelhouse faction! I suppose 'confession of sin' would be too Scriptural for them to use? For her to attempt to gag abused and vilified witnesses to Wheelhouse's behaviour, by applying Matthew 18:15-17 alone, is an illustration of Pharisaical application of the 'letter' while omitting the Spirit of the Law (Romans 2:29; 7:6). No orthodox Christian would allow this to happen and we will soon see what God allowed on this evening]
55. Beware deacons ('leaders') who allow themselves to be insulted and 'gagged'
Derek Evans (deacon) : I speak as an individual deacon but, no doubt, I believe I represent a number of people on the diaconate. The question was asked, 'Why didn't the deacons restrict, or ask Roger to stop?' We have, or had been, in recent deacons' meetings, instructed not, as deacons, to 'pick about' Roger's sermons. If we have a problem with the sermons, if we have a problem with his sermons, en carte, we are to go to him individually. That's why the deacons, as a group, I believe, did not act. As to your accusation that it is wishy-washy, I believe that Roy's statement, concerning the heresy, sums up my feeling on it. And I know it sums up Marilyn's [his wife - also a deacon].
[So, the factious heretic Wheelhouse had effectively gagged the diaconate, so that his own 'self-willed opinion' was 'substituted for submission to the power of truth' leading to 'division and the formation of factions (sects). By dividing the deacons he could bully and manipulate them individually, which is how Nesta Bowen came to be attacked in a 'sermon' of Wheelhouse where he used a 'modern parable' to obliquely insult her (see Page 10 - Section 64). It also parallels the behaviour of Tugwell, in Case History I. Again, this defines Wheelhouse as a heretic and a man to be avoided! Derek and his wife, Marilyn, like Roy James, naïvely believe that this is accidental].
56. Beware the factious heretic
Alison Heron: And I'm coming to you like Elaine. As just a normal member, and a Mum. All I can say is when Roger was OK'd - we loved you. I don't think I've prayed more for a situation, for my own personal situation and for the people here whom I love. You're my family. And for Roger and Sue. And we were so thrilled when you came. You were so charismatic, everything about you. I always, always, held the opinion that if you've got a problem with the leadership then you are a stumbling block to them. Move out. And that has always been my belief. And then as time went on and I started getting involved with the Green Room [the room which held discarded materials for re-circulation within and without the fellowship]. And then, as you know, we opened up the kitchen [to feed the 'down and outs' in Cardiff]. And then lots of little things began to bother me. And I suppose the first time that I realised, for me. I can only speak for me. That I was concerned - was when I happened to pop into the church one day, and I was going down to the Green Room, and Bonnie [wife of deacon John Jones] called me in. I have to say, I used to have a problem with Bonnie, she won't mind me saying that. I found her intimidating. I didn't know her. I don't find her particularly approachable. So when Bonnie asked me to go into the office to say, 'Can you help,' I thought, 'My, my - I've arrived.' And I say that with a lot of love. And so I sat in, and Bonnie was called into Roger's office, and I was just doing my little job, whatever it was. And I heard you, Roger, talk to Bonnie in a way particularly, through the walls. And when Bonnie came back I thought to myself, 'How can you stick this?' Because - and I'm not easily intimidated. . . .[voice trailed off]
And then, as time went on, Margaret Hooper invited a number of us to Harne Hill Christian Centre, and it was a time of gentle Christian fellowship. We went along. Prior to that we'd had a fairly boisterous church meeting. And I couldn't believe what was going on in this meeting. And, Roger, forgive me, but you were very rude about an elder's wife. And Derek stood up and said, 'Excuse me, I'm not very happy about that.' I can't remember the words - but my eyes were out, I couldn't think. That following Saturday, which is two days later, we went to Harne Hill. It was lunch time, we all met together, and then Roger said, 'You know, I had a telephone call from Marilyn to say that Derek had had a suspected heart attack.' And, you may not remember this, Roger, you turned to me and said: 'That'll teach him for standing up to me at a church meeting.' And I was shocked! And the last thing I have to say, which I have to say, which was fairly recently. I mean, all this is new to me. You can't make this sort of thing up. And the last time was fairly recently. As you know I used to help out in the kitchen, and then for various reasons I had to call it a day. So I prayed about it and was sorry to have to leave and, I won't say the reasons why I was leaving, that'll come out in a minute. But the long and the short of it is: there are a couple of members I know - that you have said that I had lost my vision. And that I wasn't interested in helping out any more. Can you remember the reason why I left?
Sorry - I'm asking a question Roger?
Richard Lewis : We've asked him not to respond.
Alison Heron: Oh, I'm sorry! Well, the reason I actually left was purely personal. I was helping out with an elderly gentleman of a Christian family - and his daughter was desperate for a break - ands so it was my concern for them that I should look after him to give her a break. And that involved the third thing - and that was the reason. And when I discovered that behind my back, other people were told it was because I'd lost it - and lost the vision. I was hurt. But I was more concerned about Derek's hurt over the situation - over the situation of the suspected heart attack. And I can only say - you know I love you lot - and I'm just so sorry that this meeting had to happen - that the letter had to be written. But I'm just an ordinary member.
[Alison could have shared how horrified she was when the Wheelhouse's attempted to coerce her into marriage with a member of the church who was sadly divorced from his Christian wife who had left him to follow a (formerly shared) vision. The Wheelhouse's insisted to her that this former deacon 'had needs too', while ignoring the adultery they were encouraging! They should also have been aware that Alison was separated from her non-Christian husband on strictly Biblical grounds - he had divorced her and re-married because he could not accept her Christianity, but she remains single (bringing up her only child alone) waiting faithfully for the Lord to bring them back together (her husband is now going through a painful divorce and her faithfulness could yet be rewarded!). In a denomination and church claiming to base all creeds and rules on the Bible we should be astonished to find the Scriptural instruction of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul being ignored (1 Corinthians 7:10-17):
10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away. 12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? 17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And thus I direct in all the churches.
Sadly, Roger Wheelhouse's attitude to many important issues, such as marriage and homosexuality, reflect the liberal and heretical view more often associated with Anglican bishops. Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude to marriage in Calvary Baptist Church before Wheelhouse's arrival was also closer to current Anglican than Scriptural and this type of error prepared fallow ground for this heretic to work in!
The church's mission to the homeless was well down Roger's list of priorities, as he clearly had a problem giving up very much of his time to the work, but this did not stop him occasionally regaling these people with his extra-Biblical revelations such as the astonishing claim that 'Mary Magdalene probably fancied Jesus' which was witnessed by Alison. When there have been so many attempts in recent years by perverted film directors to make their own versions of Biblical history, such as 'The Last Temptation of Christ', the last thing we need in the church is so-called leaders, who support God dishonouring speculations, damaging our protests against this kind of deception.
Alison, who spent more time working near the Wheelhouse's in the early days of their ministry in Cardiff, also privately declared that the Wheelhouse's would constantly bring up the issue of past problems in the church to excuse their errors and to cast the blame onto others. This is also consistent with our 'Check List for the Pseudo-Messiah' on Page 5 - Section 8.
Regarding Wheelhouse's view of God, I quote A. W. Tozer:
Without doubt the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God....That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance....A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well. It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God....
The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these...cannot concern him for very long; but...the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation...to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably....
Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry....The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him....The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him - and of her.
A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy]