68. Beware those who claim: 'Do as I say - not as I do'!
Val James (Roy's wife): I'm not a leader. I don't hold any office. But I'm not an ordinary member. Because I don't believe that anyone in the sight of God tonight is an ordinary member. We are all born again of the Lord Jesus Christ and we're here as a body, as a family of loving people. I'm also concerned for the fellowship in that respect - we've always been known and we have been truly a loving fellowship in Calvary. And the witness from Calvary has been loving and caring. What has concerned me as a member, not an ordinary member, is that we have heard constantly about, 'Not looking back, we must look forward, and we must be different and new.' But I have been concerned that old things have gone - but what new things have gone in its place? I'm concerned about the witness to the streets outside. I'm concerned about the visitations to the elderly and to the sick. I'm concerned about the attitude of one to another in this place. And also I'm concerned this night about the preaching of God's word in Calvary. We're told to 'hold fast to the Word of God' - and I believe we are living in the last days when God is sifting His people. We've heard it said tonight, about, 'What if - Roger went?' I don't think we have to think like that. What we have to think of is the cleansing of this place; the cleansing of God's people here. And of its leaders and whoever the minister might be - this place needs cleansing. And we all have to face that. We all have to face that consequence: 'Well, what am I going to do about it? Am I prepared to stand up and speak when it's necessary?' And I think we've all been guilty - that we've heard things, and we've experienced things, and we have not spoken. I've had personal hurts, but I've gone to Roger and I have told him when I have not agreed with something. And I have been hurt about it. And I do believe that is the first essential - we should be open enough with each other to go, as we are Scripturally commanded, to that brother or sister and try to reason it out. And, of course, if that fails then we have to go to the leaders. I know that the leaders have said that they feel bad in their hearts that they have not led us as they should. I, personally, have been disappointed in the strength of the leadership. But we can all look at each other and say that: 'I'm disappointed in this one, or that one.' But I feel, as Roy has said, that the final concern on my heart is this: we've gone back to the core here. We were years without a leader, without a shepherd. And we were of one heart and mind - that we needed desperately 'a man with a pastor's heart.' That was top of the list - and there were many who came to the church and many were reviewed and many were prayed with. And there was a oneness of the leadership and the whole fellowship on every occasion - and which was remarkable, and praise God for that. That we were in tune with God enough - that God was leading. There was never any disagreement on any of those others [sic]. But I'm concerned that, when we made that call, we called a man believing that we were calling a man with a pastor's heart. And now Roger tells us he's been called to be an evangelist. That does concern me greatly. Because Calvary did not call an evangelist. I'm, I'm going to finish now.
[This is more of the same with a play of honesty. Again, the prideful emphasis on the church being loving and caring while the truth was often otherwise. If the church really loved the whole body they would never have allowed the 'weaker' members to have been trampled on, and we waited well over a year for the diaconate to take action before exposing Wheelhouse's doctrines which were perfectly exemplified in his behaviour. Val attempted to distance herself from our letter in public (while privately stating that God may have 'raised us up' to do it) by stating the essentials of Matthew 18:15-17, and inferring that is the way she has done it ('I've had personal hurts, but I've gone to Roger and I have told him when I have not agreed with something'). Sadly, after receiving our letter, Val revealed many of the points brought out above, but in private. She also complained that the James' family were dreadfully hurt when they made the mistake of allowing their daughter to receive 'pastoral ministry' from Roger. Roger had proclaimed that 'there would be a price to pay' for her lifestyle. The James' took strong exception to this statement - but if they examined the Word more carefully they would find it is possible for this to be true. The old saying declares that 'you cannot go into the coal-shed without getting dirty'. There are Scriptural examples of 'the innocent' suffering because of past sins committed by others, such as the epilogue to 2 Samuel, chapters 21-24, which summarises some of the events and lessons which king David experienced through his 40-year reign. Here we read the account of the Gibeonites whom Saul had attacked, contrary to the covenant which Joshua had made with them when he first had conquered the land. The result of Saul's breech of faith was a continuing famine in that section of the country which could not be ended until expiation was made by handing over to the Gibeonites seven of Saul's sons or grandsons. We have no evidence that any of these chosen to make expiation for the sins of Saul were guilty of any sins bearing on this incident, yet the lesson is that the past must be dealt with and the sins of our forefathers can, indeed, strike at the "innocent" in generations to come. If there are things in our past which can still be corrected, we have a responsibility before God to go back and set these things straight. Thus, in this account of David and the Gibeonites, a correction was made of something which occurred under King Saul and, as Saul's heir to the throne, David still had to set it straight. What a great pity that the church does not believe this apart from ecumenical clowns who apologise to Rome for daring to allow the blood of Protestant martyrs to have been shed! Instead, they should be apologising to God for compromising the gospel in a mealy-mouthed alliance with Papal anti-Christs et al.
If Val really had dealt with these hurts why did she speak to us about them in private? We never asked people to do anything but speak up publically for the damage they had witnessed, and which we knew they had not dealt with as Matthew 18:15-17 instructs. Val also did not tell us of her track record of writing poison pen letters to the previous pastor, a genuine man of God. And what was the result? As the wife of an elder was she disciplined? Did her husband resign from the eldership because he was failing to control his family? What was the result of this abuse of God's Word? Either Calvary Baptist Church called - or God sent - a man carved in the image of king Saul - a factious, self-centred, antagonistic, contradictory, and divisive man. Was this the result of 'a oneness of the leadership and the whole fellowship on every occasion . . . that we were in tune with God enough - that God was leading . . . . there was never any disagreement'? If genuine repentance had followed, why did God send Wheelhouse? Or was he really a man who was going to be the pastor the church had prayed for? Val states that: 'We're told to 'hold fast to the Word of God', and, in the next breadth, agreed that Wheelhouse's claim to be an evangelist concerns her too, so we have to ask why the church cannot see that they called a deceiver? Val had already revealed to us many other examples of Wheelhouse's factious nature, yet still she is blinded to the obvious. What are the characteristics of a pastor? (See Page 5--Section 7)]
69. Beware the weak and un-Scriptural Baptist Union man
Richard Lewis : Denis - do you want to come? As Denis comes, er, it's 25 to ten - I did ask that we could conclude by half past. For obvious reasons I've let it run. But I'm conscious that Roger needs an opportunity to speak to you. And I would ask - can I just ask: does anyone here have anything different to say? OK - Roger, can I ask you a question? Would you prefer David to respond and then you respond? I did promise David that he would have the right to pick one or two bits up. [muffled response from Roger]. And then you come OK. So from Denis, David - it will be your opportunity to pick things up again - and then we'll allow Roger -
[Was Richard's initial plan to allow speakers 5 minutes to speak inspired by God? He was forced to climb down: 'For obvious reasons I've let it run'! This summarises the Baptist Union's ability to make it up as they go along. Ecumenism? Ally ourselves to Rome? No problem - we will just adjust the Scriptures that declare their 'gospel' of salvation by sacramental works, praying to the dead and the idolatry of Mary, to be a curse (Galatians 1:6-10):
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Sadly, the pleasing of men and the protection of each others' ministries far outstrips adherence to the Word]
70. Beware those who try and sweep deception under the carpet
Denis Gardner: This is not the summary - this is just me, for now. I came to this church nine years ago from another church. I had fundamental disagreements with the minister. I felt he was called by the church to be the minister - I was not! I felt I ought to go - not him. I wrote a letter to the deacons and said 'if you think Roger's preaching heresy, sack him!' If you don't think he's preaching heresy censure David and Zoë. And deal with it in love as a pastoral thing. I feel sorry that there's been - what worries me in years to come Roger will be gone, a lot of us will be gone, this ministry will exist and this fellowship will still exist and we should be together in that ministry. Bringing personal issues like this to a meeting, an open forum - to me is a disaster. I know this should be done in love, but I think it's absolutely awful, because some people will be too shy, shocked. The vocal ones will do it. There's an awful lot, I think, that's probably unsaid. David alluded to things that should be brought out into the open - and other people, and I think that shouldn't have been said. If people have evidence they give it directly not third-hand. And the other thing I think is - my friends who are deacons, I think if they're restricted from dealing with personal issues at deacons meetings it's no wonder it's come here. But I think it's wrong that it's come here - if you think the minister is restricting you - you say, no, we will deal with it privately. You can't deal with personal issues in an open forum like this. And one other thing, when David said, ' I chose the method I did of distributing the letter because Roger disregarded Scripture' - is no reason for you to do it, and . . .
[I interrupted here because this is not what I said. I told Denis what I actually said, for I had chosen my words very carefully when I said: 'I could have said that I wrote the letter because why should I bother to do things Scripturally when Roger didn't!' As I mentioned earlier, I had no intention of dealing with the Matthew 18:15-17 issue at that point and added, to make the point that I was not relying on that defence: 'But I wouldn't be that facetious!' Notice that nobody ever dealt with the issue of Wheelhouse's handling of Scripture - yet they were quite willing to hang us for it.]
Denis Gardner (continuing): . . . . OK, I mean, it would be nice to have an acknowledgment that the whole method was wrong, even if, and I do believe you probably did it out of the best interests, even if I fundamentally disagree with all you say, I'm sure your heart is where - is right. But I really would like you to honour us and say what you did was the wrong method. And then - move on. But I think the deacons - the life of the church will be reflected from the leaders. Whoever the minister, whoever the deacons are, if there is an apparent rift between them, nothing else will happen lower down. Because we follow, we respect, we love we support leaders. If it's evident that a disagreement - and it so obviously is evident - then the rest of us, because we fellowship with house group, and in other things with them, we will pick up on things. So, until minister and deacons hold hands, and hold hearts, then the rest of us are in danger of also falling apart. And, I'm sorry folks, but you've got to do it first.
[Again we have the strange idea that when you have disagreements with 'the minister' you should leave the church for this reason: 'I had fundamental disagreements with the minister. I felt he was called by the church to be the minister - I was not! I felt I ought to go - not him'. Denis never revealed what those disagreements were but, if they were doctrinal, why should any Christian leave a church unless the whole body refuses to listen to your Scripturally supported and demonstrated reasons for objecting? There does come a point when you vote with your feet and leave because the church has taken on board aberrant doctrine or behaviour. When they refuse to listen or even converse with you so there is no apparent future for orthodox Christian fellowship and damage is being caused to individual Christians, as well as a poor witness to your friends and family, then this is the time when you can leave. You make your case from Scripture and fact to the point where the fellowship makes it clear that they reject the word you bring and God will make it clear that it is time to leave. Having listened to Denis in house-group meetings for some years it would surprise me if he had a sound doctrinal reason for any such decision. This is supported by his statements here where, first, he relies on feelings without giving any support from Scripture, and then states: 'I wrote a letter to the deacons and said 'if you think Roger's preaching heresy, sack him!' If you don't think he's preaching heresy censure David and Zoë'. He is also ignorant of the fact that 1 Timothy 5:19-20 tells us to rebuke elders in front of all!
To state that: 'Bringing personal issues like this to a meeting, an open forum - to me is a disaster. I know this should be done in love, but I think it's absolutely awful, because some people will be too shy, shocked. The vocal ones will do it' is to ignore the right of individuals who attend the fellowship to question doctrine in a Scriptural manner. When you have open meetings where anyone can come in off the street, it is perfectly correct for them to be able to question the content of your doctrinal teaching. If they do not understand what is being said (1 Corinthians 14) or are confused in any way, you may have damaged your witness, and perhaps their eternal future (Matthew 18:6; 1 Corinthians 8:12-13). I have lost count of the number of people in cults who testified that they left because the leader(s) couldn't answer their questions, or the pastor/vicar said: "I'm in charge here - what I say goes, and don't you dare question it!" This is not only a major factor in Church members (but not necessarily born again Christians!) joining the cults, but is a factor in Roman Catholics moving the other way, from darkness to light, when they come to the truth after careful study of the Scriptures and investigating the truth concerning Roman Catholic history and doctrines.
Sometimes you wonder where people put there brains when they become Christians. Proverbs 26:4-5 has this advice;
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
This statement was made by Denis: "There's an awful lot, I think, that's probably unsaid. David alluded to things that should be brought out into the open - and other people, and I think that shouldn't have been said. If people have evidence they give it directly not third-hand." The facts show that these people were given the opportunity to speak but still kept their silence. If this meeting had been run Scripturally, and as the best courts of law have always allowed, those who had privately told the truth would have been cross-examined and the truth obtained from them. He is right that we alluded to things that should have been brought out in the open, but we did not give any of the evidence for that in our letter and therefore none of it was obtained "third-hand." The few witnesses who spoke up in this meeting gave their evidence first-hand yet still people like Denis would rather it was not heard in public! Who thinks sleaze is just in politics and not in today's church?
In the next breath, Denis proves his previous words to be nonsensical contradiction by stating: "And the other thing I think is - my friends who are deacons, I think if they're restricted from dealing with personal issues at deacons meetings it's no wonder it's come here. But I think it's wrong that it's come here - if you think the minister is restricting you - you say, no, we will deal with it privately. You can't deal with personal issues in an open forum like this." He has heard a mountain of testimony, particularly from the deacons, showing clearly that this evil manipulator Wheelhouse had bullied and coerced the deacons and other church members at every turn. Two of the deacons admitted to us, in the private meeting we had with them, that he threatened them personally in private with "disciplinary action" if they didn't toe his line and this is why it would never be dealt with in private!!! At this stage I hear a thousand Homer Simpson's shouting: "Doh!" Why did Denis think I "alluded to" other matters? Because I knew that this was going on and mentioned it to encourage those who had been trampled on to come out and tell the truth. But it was obviously up to those people to deal with the sins against them in private FIRST, as Matthew 18:15-17 emphasises, and proceed from there. There was ample time (FIVE WEEKS!) for this to have been done before this meeting was called, so they would not be accused of un-Scriptural behaviour. Because they didn't deal with these matters Scripturally, every single person who testified at this meeting while ignoring Matthew 18:15-17, in relation to their personal grievances caused by his sin against them, was guilty of un-Scriptural behaviour! At least three former elders, Roy James (who did not tell the truth about his personal "walk" with Roger!), John James, and Eddie Webb complained in private that they had been abused by Wheelhouse in different ways. But they never dealt with the matter as Matthew 18:15-17 prescribes, although privately they complained, and none of them were asked to apologise by the church members or disciplined in any way. This also means that deacons such as Neil Jones and church members like Alison Heron should have been threatened with disciplinary action and asked to apologize to the church - if they were really interested in seeing this Scripture adhered to. Did this happen? Read on!
Roger Wheelhouse had already overstepped the boundaries of Scripture in every way in his handling of the body of Christ in the church. What grounds does anyone have for believing that Wheelhouse was approachable and sincere in his dealings with other witnesses? As I mentioned earlier both Wheelhouse and those like Peter and Elaine Smith, who claimed to have gone to him Scripturally, were un-Scriptural in not following up the commandments from Jesus in Luke 17:3:
3 "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."
When did Wheelhouse go to a brother or sister in Christ and say: "I'm sorry. I've committed that sin against you again." Unfortunately, the personal sin against another member of the body was not what we were largely complaining about, as I will explain later.
71. Beware those who make doctrinal decisions based on one portion of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-17)
Denis stated that: "it would be nice to have an acknowledgment that the whole method was wrong . . . I really would like you to honour us and say what you did was the wrong method." Again, Proverbs 17:27-28 makes it clear that there is a time to speak and a time to keep quiet:
27 He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is counted prudent.
Since this was the last statement made in this meeting concerning the issues of Matthew 18:15-17, I will give the answer to the accusations made by various members of the church. Remember, these statements were made:
Peter Smith: "And yet the way in which the letter was sent out to members does not follow God's direct teaching. [Matthew 18] Verse 15: 'If any brother sins against you go to him privately, and confront him with his fault."
First, 'deacon' Smith never deals with the matter of a letter of this kind being sent to warn a fellowship. Just like the full diaconate, he never addresses any of the Scriptures I brought to them at the private meeting with them. He hinges his whole case on Matthew 18:15-17 yet, as shown here, he hits upon a main point when he quotes: 'If any brother sins against you go to him privately, and confront him with his fault." Remember this - 'If any brother sins against you!!!
Peter concluded his speech: "So we must decide - do we accept the letter with all its implications or do we reject the letter and discuss the grievances of those who have followed our Lord's teaching."
His wife, Elaine Smith, took a similar stance: "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."
Is it really Scriptural to tell people to keep quiet when they have evidence concerning the nature of offences against the Word of God and the abuse of the body of Christ? The evidence clearly shows that it was the abusive and factious behaviour of the pastor which prevented these matters being dealt with in private, or even within deacons meetings!
Ruth Nelmes stated: "It was purely un-Scripturally written and I do feel that, at the very least, we could have been given an apology by David tonight. For the fact that he could acknowledge that he'd gone about this in a very un-Scriptural way . . ."
Proverbs 26:4 shows us clearly when to answer:
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Again, just like the deacons and the Smith's, there was no attempt to answer the Scriptures which deal with this matter of the factious heretic. I wonder if Ruth really understands what the word "purely" means, for there is no way that Matthew 18:15-17 deals "purely" with this kind of deception - and it is always dangerous to take one Scripture on its own!
Most people fail to realise that Matthew 18:15-17 clearly deals with private (not public) sin committed by one brother or sister in the Body against another. We read: "Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee..." (KJV). All translations agree that the subject is sin or trespass, not false teaching. Although a few do not specifically state in verse 15 that this is a trespass by one Christian against another, the context makes this clear in all translations. Look for example at verse 21, where Peter, in response to the Words of the Lord, asks Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?" (KJV). Note, other translations render these words as: "how often shall my brother sin against me" (RSV); "how many times can my brother wrong me" (Phillips); "how often shall my brother sin against me" (NASB), etc.
The entire context clearly has to do with a strictly personal problem between two Christians, where one has wronged the other, and is therefore to be kept private unless it cannnot be resolved in that manner. In contrast, many other Scriptures make it very clear that sin which is known publicly is an offense to the entire Body and must be dealt with publicly: "Them that sin rebuke before all that others also may fear" (1 Timothy 5:20, KJV). This is both for the benefit of the body of Christ and also to let the world know that the church does not tolerate sin. Although, today, we know that it does! False doctrine is not the subject of Matthew 18:15-17 but something else entirely, and does not come under the instructions Christ gives in that passage.
It is impossible for erroneous teaching that is presented publicly ever to be considered a private trespass of one person against another which must therefore be dealt with privately between the two.
Check out our letter in which I wrote:
'I recently promised that I would let you know the Scriptural objections that I had to any teachings you brought through your ministry. I have therefore carefully detailed some of the messages that you have recently brought to Calvary Baptist Church and brought them to logical and Scriptural conclusions. Obviously I write out of a deep concern for the well-being of Calvary Baptist Church as represented by my brothers and sisters in Christ - but I also write because I am most seriously concerned for you and Sue & your family, as well as others who may have come under your ministry in the past, or who may come under your influence at any time in the future. The transcript I have typed contains the essential points from your work and I have not removed any material that radically alters the thrust of your message in any way whatsoever. Of course, if anyone wishes to question the truth of this statement they can easily obtain the taped messages which are readily available via the tape ministry and verify these facts for themselves.'
The remainder of the letter dealt with prophecy/word of knowledge concerning the Wheelhouse ministry. There is a clear Scriptural example of a prophet writing to an offender to warn him of his appalling behavior, in verse 12 of 2 Chronicles 21:
1 Then Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place. 2 And he had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 And their father gave them many gifts of silver, gold and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the first-born. 4 Now when Jehoram had taken over the kingdom of his father and made himself secure, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and some of the rulers of Israel also. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab's daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. 7 Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever. 8 In his days Edom revolted against the rule of Judah, and set up a king over themselves. 9 Then Jehoram crossed over with his commanders and all his chariots with him. And it came about that he arose by night and struck down the Edomites who were surrounding him and the commanders of the chariots. 10 So Edom revolted against Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time against his rule, because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers. 11 Moreover, he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray. 12 Then a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet saying, "Thus says the LORD God of your father David, 'Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father and the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot as the house of Ahab played the harlot, and you have also killed your brothers, your own family, who were better than you, 14 behold, the LORD is going to strike your people, your sons, your wives, and all your possessions with a great calamity; 15 and you will suffer severe sickness, a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the sickness, day by day.'" 16 Then the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs who bordered the Ethiopians; 17 and they came against Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions found in the king's house together with his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18 So after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable sickness. 19 Now it came about in the course of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels came out because of his sickness and he died in great pain. And his people made no fire for him like the fire for his fathers. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years; and he departed with no one's regret, and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
Our letter dealt entirely with Wheelhouse's doctrine directly, then with the 'word from the Lord' and, finally, with the outworking of this doctrinal aberration. As stated earlier, it is no coincidence that there is about twice as much Scripture in the New Testament dealing with doctrine as with right conduct. This is because it would be impossible to know what right conduct is unless it was clearly enunciated in our doctrine! We will see this more clearly later when we look at the history of Antinomianism. Having repeatedly challenged the Baptist Union and Calvary Baptist Church to prove this to be wrong, resulting in no meaningful response from them, we have no doubt that this action was fully Scriptural and challenge anyone to prove otherwise.