133. The Final Nail!
There is a sad conclusion to this exemplary tale of abuse and deception in the church. A mature female member of Wheelhouse's flock, Frances Corney, wrote to the Reverend Malcolm N. Goodspeed, Head of Ministry Department of the Baptist Union to try and get them to take this Antinomian heresy seriously and eventually received this letter in reply:
20 January 2000
Dear Miss Corney,
I have carefully read and sought to respond in conversation with others to the letters that you have sent to me. We recognise that your experience has been stressful for you and that it has involved sometimes the lives of others in an unfortunate way. You've clearly understood Roger Wheelhouse's preaching in a particular way that you have found difficult to accept. Others have not found the same suggestion of heresy in his teaching and have been able to see what he offers as a valid contribution to Christian mission. I do not think that we are going to come to a common mind but hope that we can respect these differences. My personal understanding of Roger's ministry is that he does not teach antinomianism and would indeed be distressed if he thought it had been interpreted in that way.
I nevertheless understand your position and hope that, with the move that you are now making, you will find yourself in a fellowship of God's people with whom you can feel at one and where your faith will be nurtured in a way that will bring you joy and fulfilment. The fact that it gives closer links with your immediate family will also be so helpful and that will be a bonus to you as you make a change from a Baptist network into the Presbyterian Church. May you know God's peace in your life now and in the future.
The Revd Malcolm N Goodspeed
Head of Ministry Department
Frances eventually gave up trying to get the Baptist Union to take her complaints against Wheelhouse's heresy seriously. But there was an equally serious matter which she had been unable to confront before. In January, 2001, she informed me that she had been to the South Wales Police to complain of 'covert verbal sexual abuse' she had suffered at the hands of Roger Wheelhouse on 14th September, 1998. In private he insulted and abused her with a humiliating and provocative cross examination of a sexual nature which would have done justice to the worst excesses of the Roman Catholic priesthood. Part of the pattern of his conversation in private was to infer that he was 'available' while discussing sexual matters with her, and stating deliberately that there were 'times when he wished he were not married.' No doubt women who have been abused by men recognise this pattern of behaviour which is so difficult to prove in the absence of witnesses. As with so much abuse only electronic surveillance equipment can garner the evidence to deal with such people in civil courts. In our churches the Holy Spirit can warn the 'body ministry', but if we choose to ignore Him we will make Satan's work too easy.
The Scriptural definition of the true pastor was given earlier (Section 7). He is modelled on Christ and his behaviour reflects this strongly, speaking of a life of continuing sanctification. On the other hand the traits of the hireling are equally clear and speak of a self-centred life in which Mammon-worship is to the fore - as exemplified by Wheelhouse's grasping at a monetary pay-off as he fled the flock he was supposed to love 'as Christ loved the church' (Ephesians 5:25) This makes him everything we claimed Scripture, and revelation from God, showed him to be! As my old Maths master used to say: QED! (Quod Erat Demonstrandum - 'Which was the thing to be proved'). Again, I thank those witnesses who told the truth as far as they were able, or knew, and will continue to pray for the unstable, ignorant and misguided who kept quiet or defended the heretic Wheelhouse - their testimony will be: "Some times the greatest lies are told in silence!"
(Proverbs 29:24) He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He hears the oath but tells nothing.
(Leviticus 5:1) 'Now if a person sins, after he hears a public adjuration to testify, when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt.
I called on these witnesses to testify to the matters they had freely gossiped about - but they chose not to be witnesses. Although I was always utterly confident that God's Word would expose Wheelhouse, I thought it extremely unlikely that he would be brought to the point of repentance by today's corrupt church, although the evidence pointed, overwhelmingly, to the un-Scriptural behaviour of this factious heretic.
The actions of many Calvary Baptist Church members reminded me of the account of the men of Ephraim (Judges 12:1-7) who showed their despicable attitude by contending with Jephthah that he neglected calling them to the battle in which he had so convincingly defeated the Ammonites. They had earlier resented the same action on the part of Gideon (Chapter 8). It seems obvious in the text that they were not really interested in fighting on the side of a losing cause, and only after the victories did they show regret, in that they were not part of the victory celebration. They assembled together and crossed the Jordan, going toward Zaphon (northward). In a hostile spirit they demanded that Jephthah make condolence to them. They threatened to 'burn him with fire', placing their actions on the same satanic level as the Philistine threat against Samson's in-laws in chapter 14. Jephthah made it clear that he had called them, and they had failed to respond to his call. With the same logic that he had confronted the Ammonites, he now refuted the Ephraimites, reminding them that (v3) 'I put my life in my hands'. In other words, he had risked his life to save the Israelites; and now these ungrateful Ephraimite-Israelites were complaining about it, forgetting to recognize that the Lord had delivered the enemy into his hand.
Sadly, the heresies and rank liberalism that abound in British churches today make it difficult to believe that many Christians are even interested, or know enough Scripture, to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3).
The Baptist Union has already gone a long way down the ecumenical path to meet Rome and will clearly not rock the boat by picking up on a heresy that is small fry compared with the big fish they are cooking together now. This last point touches on the real problem today, for I am convinced that the church needs a New, and Complete Reformation before Jesus returns because I fear He will find too many churches in the state described in Revelation 2-3 - and they will be treated like the church at Laodicea:
15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
For those who desire to please the Lord the path has always been clear from Scripture and encouraged in such verses as:
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
Let us therefore "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 3:14) knowing that the apostle echoed the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth" (3 John 4).
For those who will never listen, no matter how many times they are warned, the comment of Bonnie Jones, who heard the truth (about the Alpha Course, Toronto, lukewarmness and much, much more) declared by the excellent evangelist Jacob Prasch (at Mountain Ash, South Wales, 1999) will stand as a testimony: 'That is just one man's opinion!' During his evening sermon, Jacob had challenged any listening to prove him wrong from Scripture and facts! As usual, no one was capable of meeting the challenge and all that resulted, in the way of response from the Laodicean church, was the Berean Mountain Ash fellowship being forced to seek a fresh venue by those who would rather follow the deception of 'Alpha' than Biblical truth. Unfortunately for the ignorant, Jacob delivers a thoroughly Scriptural opinion completely alien to the 'ear tickling' delivered from so many pulpits today.
When 'good' king Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:1; 2 Chronicles 18:2) foolishly allied himself with Jezebel (the 'spirit of false religion' - ref. Revelation 2:20), through her husband Ahab, he was only preserved by the mercy of God after suffering dreadful humiliation. The same spirit of Jezebel has caused foolish denominations such as the Baptist Union to ally itself with the errors of the Papacy and many other groups in error. It will be no good complaining that they had no part in the sins of these others when disaster befalls them for the Bible is clear (1 Corinthians 15:33-34):
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
This is not guilt by association, but worse, for former 'Protestant' denominations are now co-operating with Rome - and thus with every group co-operating with her (see Rome & Ecumenism). By meeting with those led by the 'spirit of false religion' and agreeing not to prosyletize the deceived in those churches and organizations they are participating and identifying with them.
Do you think God is pleased with men who refuse to separate from evil? Who refuse to name the names of false teachers? Who refuse to preach the whole truth from the Bible? Who seek the praise and acclamation of the world, its institutions and media ahead of seeking the truth? Who are willing to unite with those who preach a "different gospel" (Galatians 1:6-9) than the only one bought by the blood of Christ and promulgated by His apostles - and the only one which can save souls?
The world the flesh and the Devil have already destroyed many formerly fundamentalist, Bible-believing churches in Britain. When people leave our churches and go elsewhere, they do not ordinarily join the Catholic Church or some cult like the Jehovah's Witnesses. Instead, they join some un-Scriptural, liberal, live-as-you-please, judge-not, 'easy-believism' church in town. Sadly, many do not even have to leave their church now to share in this 'new gospel' - which is not new.
Joshua 24:15 "And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Galatians 1:10 : 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.
The Lord has strong words for those who choose the honour of men before honouring and revering the name of the Lord and who, like the Baptist Union and so many other denominations, covenant through ecumenism with those who practice witchcraft (Isaiah 8:11-22):
For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. 13 "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. 14 "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 "And many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught." 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 17 And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 And they will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness.
Scripture is clear that 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23) and God declared in His Word 'that every intent of the thoughts of his (man's) heart was only evil continually' (Genesis 6:5). Some may challenge our views and consider that we have been self-righteous or judgemental in examining the doctrines which have led to the heretical behaviour of the men named in these pages. We confess our sinful weakness and undeserved favour through our great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:25) and recognise that we are also poor sinners in the hands of a Mighty but Merciful God, who desires that none should perish, but that each should turn from his wicked way and embrace the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But we are never called to ignore serious error (as we have examined in this section - see also TCE reply to Letter 1 - Expositor History) and there are too many examples of supposed spokesmen for 'orthodox' denominations in Britain paying lip service to these truths, whitewashing sin, and nullifying the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ by their Pharisaical 'leadership,' which is content to follow the methods of men rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit who will 'lead us into all truth' (John 16:13). These men are openly proud of their ignorance of His Word, denying that 'the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding' (Proverbs 9:10), preferring instead their own 'wisdom' which is mere foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:25; 3:19).
Many others will also have been striving for years in churches which fulfil all the warnings of our Lord in his letters to the churches (Revelation 2-3) and, for those readers who have experienced similar abuses to those described in these pages, I quote the words of G. Campbell Morgan:
If there be no way to find Christ than by leaving the Laodicean church, then the sooner it be left the better.