72. Beware those who try to make false doctrine a private matter - when Scripture makes it clear that it is always to be dealt with publicly!
On the wider issue, there is always someone who asks questions in the ignorant way Denis did: 'wouldn't it be better to just critique the teachings and let the personalities remain anonymous?' Or at least, why not address criticism of doctrines (such as 'Word-Faith teaching' or 'Dominion Theology' or 'The Toronto/Pensacola Experience'), rather than on people such as Benny Hinn, Nicky Gumbel, Gerald Coates, Rick Joyner, Colin Dye, Marilyn Hickey, the Copelands, etc. This doctrine of addressing the errors of a preacher or writer as publically as they taught is not held to by many denominations today, and is usually handled in a hushed up manner through un-Scriptural bishops courts or the equivalent, such as the Baptist method, or Elim's 'superintendent' system. In response to this I would say:
It is Biblical to name names. Paul did it both positively to commend ministries (Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus in 1 Corinthians 16; Epaphroditus in Philippians 2; Onesimus and Ephaphrus among others in Colossians 4; and so on) and negatively to warn against ministries (Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Timothy 1:20; Alexander the coppersmith in 2 Timothy 4:14; cf. 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:15; 2:17 & 3:1; Titus 1:10-16). The beloved apostle John is also unafraid to be specific: 'Diotrephes, who loves to have the pre-eminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words' (3 John 9,10). Thus we see that much of the New Testament was written to publicly correct false teaching. Would Calvary Baptist Church and the Baptist Union presume to accuse the Apostle John of lacking love?
It is consistent to name names negatively if we are happy about praising people positively. Nobody objects to biographies detailing the mighty works of men greatly used by God, such as Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Whitefield or Spurgeon. These biographies are written not that we might admire them, but rather that we might 'imitate [them] just as [they] also imitate Christ' (1 Corinthians 11:1). Is it not equally just that we should speak as clearly about men who are instrumental against God and who resist discipline by the body of Christ? When we write letters it is not so that anyone might hate the perpetrators of error and heresy, but rather that believers might 'beware of [them], for [they] have greatly resisted our words [the words of Scripture]' (2 Timothy 4:15).
It is practical to name names. The sad facts are that people, as a rule, follow preachers rather than preaching - and this was clearly shown to be the case with the faction that followed Wheelhouse! It is not so much that we hear that: `Brother Kendall is speaking on the law of Christ' that is said, as much as: `Dr. R.T. KENDALL is speaking on the law of Christ'. It should be no surprise that people like Wheelhouse fall into Antinomianism when they are clearly influenced by Kendall's books and the Doctor has clearly been shown to have an Antinomian outlook! Principally, people go to hear men like Kendall because he is a big name and not so much because they are interested in the topics or passages of Scripture that are advertised. If people will follow personalities, then we have no choice but to attack these `personas', because they have become, to a greater or lesser degree, idols in the minds of their followers. This is why we hear people say things along the lines of: `If Dr R.T. Kendall, or Pastor Wheelhouse says it, then it must be of God'? Or the Yes-men who are in the heretics faction even go so far as to try and frighten you away from a Scriptural appraisal of a man's work with the ludicrous and un-Scriptural: `touch not the Lord's anointed' if you dare to level critique at their man!
It is historical to name names. Throughout church history, believers have not shrunk from clearly naming the men and women against whom they were objecting, as well as detailing the teachings that they spoke out against. Look at the titles of works by early church fathers, such as Contra Celsus or Contra Pelagius. Luther wrote Bondage of the Will as a direct criticism of Erasmus' Freedom of the Will, and was vociferous in his criticisms of that individual. Of course, those were the days before flabby, mealy-mouthed, spineless Milquetoasts came to power! In the apostolic, and post-apostolic era, men who daily lived in fear of death were still speaking out bravely in defence of the 'faith which was once for all delivered to the saints' (Jude 3:3). Where once men spoke out in the power of the Spirit, now the pre-eminent dictum is `be nice and inoffensive and as vague as possible at all costs'. `Not hurting people's feelings' has become more important than 'speaking the truth in love' (Ephesians 4:15). It is incumbent upon us to speak the truth in love, to protect our brothers and sisters who are in slavery to men who lie to them, cheat them of their money and take the minds captive to carnal philosophies and experiences. We will not keep quiet while these men practice their foul trade on the body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul withstood the Apostle Peter to his face publicly for his false interpretation of the law that caused him to disassociate himself from fellowship with Gentile believers (Galatians 2:11-14)! In the private meeting with the deacons of Calvary Baptist Church, I asked them to check out this Scripture as well as the clear example of 1 Corinthians 5-6. I pointed out that the apostle Paul does not mention love once in these passages. Only one deacon, Nesta Bowen, read the Corinthian passage in the meeting and agreed that love was not mentioned once! In Galatians 2, verses 11 and 14, it clearly states how Paul opposed Cephas (Peter):
'I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned … when I saw that they were not straightforward with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all …!'
Paul had a great deal to say about discernment and correction and practiced what he preached. He discerned that some of Peter's actions were not only contrary to the gospel but were forms of hypocrisy which caused Jewish and Gentile believers alike to stumble in the faith. Paul administered correction. His rebuke of Peter seems harsh according to today's heretically psychologised and 'religiously correct' mindset. Yet the Holy Spirit presents it as God's standard and the absolutely righteous thing to do. Paul saw that Peter, his beloved brother in Christ (as well as his co-worker, Barnabas), in reverting to the law, "walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel" (Galatians 2:14). They and others, in fear of Jewish legalists, withdrew from the Gentiles, who were considered unclean under the Mosaic law. Rather than a private dialogue which could have protected Peter's prestige, ministry and self-esteem, Paul, "before them all," opposed "him to the face, because he was to be blamed" (Galatians 2:11-14). If one is willing to believe God's Word, one can only admit that Paul did the very best thing for Peter--according to the Psalmist:
"Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.' (Psalm 141:5).
So how did Peter respond to Paul's 'attack?' Was there a 'counter-attack?' Did Peter complain that Paul was causing untold damage to his ministry? Did Peter complain that Paul's public correction could cause a severe drop in financial support for Peter's work? Wouldn't unbelievers be put off by the 'airing of dirty Christian laundry' or this public demonstration of discord among Christians? Wouldn't the church suffer and make it necessary for years of 'psychiatric pastoral-counselling' to repair the damage? And wouldn't Peter take the personal bitterness generated by Paul's public 'attack' to his grave? The answer to every question is - No! Instead, some time later, Peter called his public disputer 'our beloved brother Paul' and proceeded to commend 'all his epistles,' which he tells us were 'according to the wisdom given unto him' by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 3:15-16). Amazingly, especially from today's ego-sensitive, self-esteem-nurturing perspective, Peter included the very epistle which displayed for all time his own public 'embarrassment' at Paul's hands. Rather than causing emotional trauma, Peter's experience affected him in a way foreign to the teachings of today's deterministic and humanistically oriented 'Christian' psychotherapists.
Paul's approach to discernment and correction was faultless. Peter and Barnabas weren't the only ones he admonished. To them we can add Hymenaeus, Philetus, Demas, Phygellus, Homogenes and Alexander (cf. 1 and 2 Timothy). The beloved John makes the readers of his third Epistle aware of the problems caused by Diotrephes. This follows the pattern of the Old Testament where we should note that all of the prophets, from Moses and Joshua onwards, were addressing error and named those who were erring - whether it was personal sin, such as David with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12), or Micaiah prophesying defeat for wicked king Ahab (1 Kings 22) - or a letter from Elijah the prophet to wicked king Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21) in which God judged him:
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.'"
It ought to be clear to all that such warnings and public correction were what God desired. And we are to do likewise--with one important qualification. How we do something in obedience to the Lord is just as important as what we do. Paul made that clear to Timothy:
'And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will' (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Gentle to all, able to teach, patient, and showing meekness in dealing with opposing views are qualities in too short supply today and the reader will have to determine for himself whether he believes we were too strong in the wording of our letters, or in the words spoken during the meeting. The tapes are still available to show that Wheelhouse and his followers were the ones who frequently ranted and raged. The reader should also bear in mind the bluntness of correction demonstrated so often in disciplinary action in Scripture, such as Nathan's 'You are the man' (2 Samuel 12:7) to David. Indeed, in Galatians we find that Paul has no kind words for those who were leading the flock astray and wrote (Galatians 5:12): 'Would that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves'. The Greek translated here 'mutilate' means, literally, 'castrate themselves.' This is the Holy Spirit speaking and, if He speaks in this way, who are we to say this is wrong! This is the same hostility shown to deceivers in the Old Testament, such as the Midianites (Numbers 25:17-18):
17 "Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; 18 for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor, and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor."
We no longer strike deceivers with a literal spear or sword, as Phinehas did (Numbers 25:7-8):
7 When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked.
But we must follow the example of Phinehas, who checked the plague by striking first his deceiving brother and then the adulteress, by striking today's deceivers with the 'sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God' (Ephesians 6:17), 'living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart' (Hebrews 4:12). Only by correct application of the Word of God would the plague on Calvary Baptist Church be stopped--and the incorrect use of the Word of God (as demonstrated by the elder and deacons of the church and the Baptist Union) would be shown to be ineffective! Of course, the Wheelhouse's may take their plague to another idolatrous church, for there are many to choose from here in Britain! This is a plague that is on most British denominations who are committing adultery with the world and its false religions through ecumenism and compromise of every kind.
In today's flabby Christian environment it is difficult to get Christians to any meeting - even the Sunday services - so how could we oppose Wheelhouse to his face except by goading his followers out by making much of the evidence against him clear in a letter. Writing a letter to warn others of error is clearly 100% Scriptural as proven above. What did we do that was un-Scriptural? Why do the so-called leadership of Calvary Baptist Church and the Baptist Union have no answers to these facts? In these days of easy communication through the mass media, and through the tape ministry of churches such as Calvary Baptist Church, it is obvious that teaching will rapidly be spread far and wide - both good and bad! If we are denied access to equivalent media outlets the only method of public correction of false teaching is to write letters, tracts, books, or rely on the Internet to call the attention of the Body to errors that affect the whole of Christianity.
In keeping with many other scriptures that could be cited, 1 Corinthians 14:29 clearly states: 'Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.' Clearly the issue is not whether an individual listener is offended by what a preacher has said, even if one could stretch that to be a 'sin' against his brother. It would be entirely inappropriate for a listener to take aside the prophet or teacher he felt had spoken falsely and have a private discussion with him and, only if he refused to hear, then tell it to the church. The issue is the doctrinal purity of the Body, which must be guarded at all cost - what has been publicly stated must be discussed publicly. This applies to teaching as well as prophecy. It may well be that the prophet spoke truly and the offended listener was wrong. So when he speaks out against what the prophet or teacher has said, he himself will be corrected by others. It is this kind of open discussion among believers that the Bible teaches, and that is the only protection against error being introduced and allowed to corrupt the church. Never is it suggested that no one must disagree with what is being taught because to do so would cause 'division.' On the contrary, we are told that we must correct error in teaching and do so publicly.
Furthermore, what has been said in sermons, books, on videos, tapes, on TV, etc., is part of the public domain, subject to review, analysis, and critique of any kind. Anyone who makes public declarations intended to influence large audiences through these media ought to know that he is responsible for what he says, and will be held accountable. Some reviews and comments are going to be unfavourable, but that is to be expected.
It is also obviously not necessary to talk with a writer or speaker in order to be accurate and fair. It is a rather weak excuse to say that a writer or speaker really didnt mean what he said, he made 'a mistake', or 'sometimes we wish we had used different words.' The speaker has no excuse - he should have said what he meant. Unfortunately, there are thousands and sometimes millions who have read or heard a particular teaching and taken it at face value, as any reasonable person would. Words have meaning and it is assumed that the normal meaning applies. That is all we did in critiquing these sermons. Even if Roger Wheelhouse does not believe the doctrinal slant that came from his mouth, we must still deal with what has been taught for the sake of those who may have been affected by it. If a person has changed his beliefs, then he ought to publish or speak about this matter just as widely as he did when making the original statements. His renunciation of any false or misleading teaching he has given in the past should be corrected publicly rather than make a private explanation to an individual. This is logical and Scriptural and we can read Paul's self-denunciation in Acts 22 & 26. If Paul never attempted to duck the issue then why do Roger Wheelhouse, Calvary Baptist Church, and the Baptist Union believe that they can?]
73. Beware those who don't allow Scriptural, and logical, cross examination!
The Calvary Baptist Church/Baptist Union fiasco continued in this manner:
David Williams : How long are you going to give me, please?
Richard Lewis : 'It's ten to ten - ten minutes.'
David Williams : What I would like to have asked every one of the deacons was: 'If you were, um, asked to describe in one or two words the behaviour you witnessed towards yourselves and others, at the hands of Roger, what words would you have used?' I think the words that have already been used make it very clear that the words I actually used were very appropriate. I would also have liked to have asked the deacons: your recent letter stated clearly: 'We have considered the more serious changes made and we believe that Roger does not deliberately preach heresy and desires to serve the lord in all things.' I'd like to ask you individually to answer a question: Did Roger, in any way at all, try to influence the way in which you came to that meeting and the way in which you came out with that letter?
[Interrupted here by Richard Lewis : 'Can I stop you at that - because this was arrived at in the absence of the minister who had no influence over the writing of the letter at all.']
[Note: I believe that it is clear that Wheelhouse had already manipulated the diaconate thoroughly with his factious bullying tactics, and therefore the fact that he was not present when they drew up the letter does not alter the coercive influence that he had on them, so to state that he 'had no influence over the writing of the letter at all!' is nonsense.]
David Williams : [to Roger Wheelhouse] 'You didn't influence any individual in any way at all? Right! [disbelief!] We'd also like to ask - individually - whether the deacons could answer this: 'When you realised that Roger had spoken against keeping the Law, which I called Antinomianism, and when you realised that he'd taken a whole baptismal message to teach that we should be struggling to keep the Law, before baptism, and failed to mention, in any form whatsoever, the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you actually met with me and Zoë, which definitions did you use to determine what heresy, or a heretic is? I mean - tonight, people have already brought their individual definitions! I used the Scriptural one from a Greek expert. If people are going to come up and re-define Scripture as it suits them you can prove anything you want to prove. I'd be very interested if you can tell us what sermons you actually listened to over the last two years; how many people did you interview to come to this conclusion - that resulted in this statement in the letter? If you listened to any sermon - er, didn't you listen to any sermon when you failed to pick out the previous errors? If you didn't speak to individuals, how come you came to the conclusion that, 'Roger desires to serve the Lord in all things'? I think from what you've already said you've contradicted yourself in that statement. I think that many of you who have come up here as deacons have not told the whole truth. The things you've said privately are very different from the things you've come out with tonight. How can you make a statement like you've made when you haven't examined any evidence? I'd like to make a reply to some of the things that people have brought out: As has already been mentioned, Roger did come under false pretences. So you have to ask yourselves about the way in which people - I mean, what were you voting for when this nearly unanimous decision was made? [to accept Roger Wheelhouse as pastor!] Apart from some of the things Roger's come out with - he has continued to show, since the December 3rd letter - by the way I would like to mention now that I was in contact with deacons about the letter, and they did get it before the rest of the church and they did have opportunity to respond to it. So it didn't just go out willy-nilly to everybody. If the deacons had said - and given good reason - what was wrong with the letter, I might have still have sent it out. I almost certainly would. Because, quite honestly, all the division, and everything that has gone on underneath has already been revealed as being true. You've also got to ask yourselves, since that letter went out, what has Roger's preaching been like? Has anybody noticed any 'gaffes' at all?
[We had waited over a year since speaking to the deacons about our concerns regarding Wheelhouse's doctrinal teaching and they had clearly done nothing that was having a substantial effect. I was not present for every service, being absent in other churches as a lay-preacher, so I asked because I may have missed something (although my wife and genuine brothers and sisters in the fellowship were at the meetings I missed). But in the services I attended after we sent the letter, Roger was very low-key, subdued even, and I did not hear one trace of heresy or recommendation of heretical elements in the worldwide church. This is the effect I would hope would result from stern discipline of the kind the deacons should have mêted out if they were really leaders in the church].
David Williams cont. : It's been very low-key, hasn't it? If you can do that in the month since, you have to ask yourself, 'Why not previously?' And that, in itself, answers a lot of the questions, for instance, that Kevin [Dare] brought up. You know, the very fact that people can be careful and accurate with the Word of God - if they need to be! I have to say that when this huge vote did vote Roger in, you have to recognise the years of frustration - that people had been waiting! You have to consider for yourselves that - would they have voted for anybody?
[After this rhetorical question there was a huge outcry in the church meeting and, having heard the testimonies of pride and refusal to accept that it was either not God's will to install Wheelhouse as pastor, or His will to bring judgmental oppression to the church, I now goaded this huge protest from the fellowship to prove that the church still refused to accept that sinful pride and ignorance had resulted in this heretical ministry filling our pulpit!]
David Williams : Don't forget that Roger was recommended by the elders - elder and deacons. You know, we actually did listen, and people trusted the leadership. The quote from 1 Corinthians 13 - about love? You know, if I didn't care about you I wouldn't have bothered to write the letter. I could see no way in which any of these things were going to be resolved. It was just going to go on - year after year. I'm certain that it's happened in other churches Roger's been in. [someone shouted out questions about the manner of writing the letter]. I've already answered that one, actually [to the deacons at their meeting in which they made no response at all]. If you read 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, and the chapters preceding, you'll see that there was actually division within the church - and therefore it was a situation where the leadership simply wasn't functioning. Read Galatians 2, as well. [someone shouted out that Matthew 18 gives us the 'words of Jesus'] Of course they're the Words of Jesus [some people seem oblivious that Scripture as a whole is the Word of Jesus, the Word of God!]. The fact is, I had already spoken to Roger, privately, and found that he was willing to do whatever he wanted to do with the Word of God, just as he does sometimes in sermons. [more calling out questioning 'the process to follow'] There is a process to follow, but you don't use just one Scripture. [Richard Lewis called out to the fellowship to try and stop the interruptions from the meeting: 'Please continue.'] Sorry - OK?
Richard Lewis : 'Yes, thank you David'
David Williams : Peter [Smith] did tell me in the deacons meeting that he'd been talking to Roger and things had been improving over the last six months. Well, I'm sorry, I didn't see any of that. The fact is, between October and November, the same things were going on. The same people were being trampled on, many of whom were so hurt they won't even come up here and talk about it. Mike wanted us to be a Scriptural church - well, who doesn't! I mean, the very fact is - most of us want to be Scriptural, but when we are going to re-interpret Scripture as it suits us, as I say, we can prove anything we want to prove. I could quote from other sermons that Roger's come out with - because quite honestly, he has encouraged us to blaspheme against God. If you had listened carefully, you would have heard it. I mean, where were you on April 12th? I seem to have another five minutes so -
Richard Lewis : 'You have 3!' But, if you've finished, then we'll ask Roger to come.'
74. Beware those who have altered the Biblical definition of blasphemy!
David Williams: On April 12th  Roger gave an account of 'a woman who married late, in her 40's.' She thought it would be her final hope of having a baby and became pregnant and was looking forward to having the baby - but had an early miscarriage. So Roger went to her and - these are his words:
'.....she was such an angry lady. And I said 'Tell Him.' She said, 'I can't - I can't tell him how I feel' - He's not come up with the goods' - you know she didn't say that! I said, 'Tell him!' She said, 'but I shall scream at him, I shall shout blue murder at Him.' 'Well tell Him - He knows what's going on in your heart so you might as well tell him.' Why do we try to pray church (sic), why do we try to pray religious, why do we try and not be normal? You know, Jesus is quite thick-skinned and quite used to it - well He must be because He's got me as one of His disciples and I'm always complaining to him - and He hasn't spat me out yet. He hasn't let go yet! Yeah - so she was able to scream out - this lady was able to scream out - and, do you know, in that there was tremendous healing. I saw that lady transformed because she'd got it off her chest. She told Jesus exactly what she thought of Him - and then she carried on with her Christian life - and as far as I know is still going on with Christ. You know - don't worry so much about saying - He wants to hear - He's probably crying out and saying, 'Tell Me how you really feel - come on, stop playing religious games, stop putting this nice smile on your face. Stop coming to church intending to show everybody in Calvary that you're quite alright. Why don't you come out with it and say - No, you're not. And say it - because there is healing in there.''
So we have a pastor encouraging sinful prayer - telling her to tell 'Jesus exactly what she thought of Him.' And then he says 'she carried on with her Christian life'! With an incorrect view of the God of the Universe! Now believing that blaspheming against God will bring healing!
If you find that true I suggest you look through your Bible and find -
[angry shouting, quoting Jeremiah and Job, from the floor and Richard Lewis also called across to me from the microphone he was in front of and said: 'We look at that differently today!' As the mob howled I was reminded of a verse from Proverbs:
Psalm 35:16 Like godless jesters at a feast, They gnashed at me with their teeth.
David Williams (continuing when the hub-bub died down) : Job [meaning the book] is an excellent example of actually being rebuked for the advice of his friends. I don't know what you think about that Scripture. I mean, quite honestly, many of you are clearly confused. Kevin's already told me I'm confused! But quite honestly - [interrupted by Richard Lewis]
Richard Lewis : OK! I think I'm getting close to the edge of my tether. Both Jeremiah and Job berated God on a number of occasions - it was not his friends, Job's argument was with God!