Reposting content from dimreflections.com here due to hosting issues rendering the site intermittently unreachable.
As expected, a temporary diversion and record to follow up with matters at hand. Lest we forget our past and present and history repeats itself.
Crossway Community Church Surrey Langley pastors Mr Pat Sczebel , Mr Fred Eaton (update: recently left in early 2014 to pastor The Bridge church in Kitsilano Vancouver), and Mr David J R Smith (update: April 2016 also now “moved on”-and as true to church form it wasn’t pretty – to other endeavours and apparent career changes on Vancouver Island –sorry, he’s back now — according to 2 insider disclosures and best described here “in his own ‘experienced‘ words“) and strategically “selected” elders…..
With the fitting April 1st (we all wish it were a bad April Fools joke) first anniversary of the second church plant out of Crossway Community Church here, (one of which being the Russian ministry which was recently quietly dissolved and is surrounded by a cloud of unanswered questions revolving around designated funding) how are we to biblically celebrate such an event and a way forward? Please someone explain for all to understand? Please don’t insult the intelligence of at least 200 to 300 people in the process.
Noting that the Christian life is a life of repentance (as poignantly preached) do you remember your words Mr. David Smith, as the formal spokesman and “team strategist” “Rory, you will never get an apology from these men for the route they had to take….a lesser of 2 evils” all the while acknowledging the serious degrees of sinful conduct involved as though you were a mere bystander. Yet despite every conflict of interest decision that was made by the entrenched involved parties that never would have survived even the most inept of journalistic questioning, as some have said to me with sadness, yet, “the saddest part is that they got away with it”. Only in the church could such “passive” deception go unchallenged and unrepentant while somehow defending much Biblically disqualifying practise and conduct. Yet as we all know and understand God is NOT mocked even while we attempt to make a mockery and do violence to His Word and His people behind a facade of “right” thinking, superior doctrines, public social media displays of loosely at best high profile ministry associations and disingenuous affiliations and all this propped up by unchallengeable theological mindsets.
11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 8:11, ESV)
I look forward to responding to the email sent to me just a day or so prior to our Spring Break and I haven’t received any opposition in responding openly rather than behind private messaging. (Update: All that I would have wanted to say and was preparing in response to the ultra reformed observations made of my Facebook statements and blogs in the aforementioned email sent to me were far more clearly, authoritatively and eloquently addressed in the following podcast brought to my attention in recent months: http://thegodjourney.com/2013/05/24/breaking-the-culture-of-control/ It is an audio file so be sure to click on the play button symbol)
And Kaz I so agree in your sighting Luke 10:29-37 as to what causes the drive in this “way forward” that is capable of ignoring the wake of destruction or harming of souls. But thanks be to God who leads His followers into triumph over such.
1 Cor 15:57, 58
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
As I had stated in previous Facebook posts, men who challenged their actions rather than consider their little questionable handout “Spiritual Leadership” by John Piper in the midst of the chaos to select people were “charged” or labelled as being self appointed “gatekeepers”. If only the individual knew more of his Bible he would have realized he was basically asking men who dared question them to either remain silent and find a part or be as Cain who states “am I my brother’s keeper?” Correction I believe the handout was titled “The Marks of a Spiritual Leader” by John Piper and was being selectively handed out in the midst of the chaos, confusion, frustration and bewilderment. Looked up bewilder which seemed very accurate.
tr.v. be·wil·dered, be·wil·der·ing, be·wil·ders
1. To confuse or befuddle, especially with numerous conflicting situations, objects, or statements. See Synonyms at puzzle.
2. To cause to lose one’s bearings; disorient:
The pamphlet in itself is not the issue but rather it’s timing and purpose with regard to those it was given to and what it may have meant to and for those who embraced it’s promise, vision and unknown intent which was never disclosed other than to say “go read this and come back and tell me what you think”. Is someone able to expound on what it meant if the contents of this pamphlet were embraced along with the new direction of the church and it’s Church Plant for transparency and disclosure purposes? Anyone?
Read it for yourself, it’s free, putting yourself in the moment of when it was being dispersed-
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed Him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
Thankfully I trust we were taught well enough over the years to not consider such nonsense no matter the pressure to bend nor the prospects of greater involvement and opportunity in the new regime to really change things nor leadership rhetoric that may follow including humorous Church Facebook posts on the subjects of “Stop Killing the Church” with Gossip and Slander or the “Stupidity of Bitterness”, quite brazen considering the source and their actions. If this is not the case then such actions should clearly be explained as would of any group of men who, through accountable work, live off the generosity and stewardship of others? Politicians for example come to mind who regularly are to give an account for their actions and spending and when they attempt to avoid such there isn’t a docile following that will just sit there and accept such. Are we not to conduct our affairs as leaders in HIS church in a far more ethical manner than secular government or journalism? Citing a previous Facebook post:
“Of all work done under the sun religious work should be the most open to examination. There is positively no place in the church for sleight of hand or double talk. Everything done by the churches should be completely above suspicion. The true church will have nothing to hide.” — A.W. Tozer, Of God and Men
I suppose Mr Tozer would find it OK and acceptable that we are obviously not perfect and are finally glad to be taken off such pedestals of conduct and righteousness he seems to be erecting for us here with his words.
Why should such conduct be left unexposed, unchallenged or not openly discussed when it’s to the point of driving some to the brink of depression, discouragement, disillusionment and even questioning faith (because believe me they’re discussing you or I with much proof to bear ) simply because they are behind the label of being a non profit organization called a church? As they continue to seemingly traumatize and misuse or even possibly abuse their authority with men who up until recently still opposed their unbiblical actions, using unaware majority support, internet gloss, impressive public associations with high level ministries and the notion that we are being so blessed and everything is going so well God is surely for us, rather than open TRUTH, DISCLOSURE, DISCUSSION and TRANSPARENCY to do so, from all leaders involved.
If honest and open full disclosure were enacted as in 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” irrelevant of the consequences the outcome of Crossway and it’s people would/ will likely be much different.
A year ago on April Fools day a current leader pulled me aside and rightly stated along with what seemed like a subtle threat (which I won’t get into) that this (Church Plant) was all just nonsense and “smoke and mirrors” with a strategist at the helm. Surely, hopefully, Ken Sande, and possibly John Piper are coming to fix all of this……
What a time we live in where right is wrong and wrong is right in the household of faith and the consciences of men and women seem to be trampled by the very ones apparently called to support and protect them endorsed by the notion that “we acted to have a clear conscience”. I am now a firm believer that Christ brings faith, hope and love through the mind (the place of reason and intellect) for the seat of dignity of the created soul, the heart where Christ resides, by His Spirit and NOT in spite of the mind God has given us as His children to understand truth and question untruths.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Yes question motive (including mine) not believe the best in the midst of egregious sin nor acquiesce to a definition of sovereignty that entails or includes willful acknowledged yet unapologetic sin. When the word sovereignty is often brought up in light of such regrettable sin and hurtful outcomes, it’s as though we are then assigning blame to God Himself and eluding dealing with the ramifications and/ or facing possible consequences of either our practice or conduct or both. If that is not a fair assessment, please clarify for me and possibly others what sovereignty explained by fallible mere men looks like under these circumstances and effects, without us hiding behind “it’s a mystery” thereby leaving most or all of our conduct as Christians unaccounted for or unexplainable. What sort of testimony is that to a watching world that simply discounts us because we don’t think and ascribe accountability to God’s sovereignty?
1 Timothy 3:1-3
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
With regards to “judging motives” I appreciate this pastors moxie to say the following:
“It is true that God is the one who searches our hearts ultimately, and He is the one who will judge us in the end. But it is also true that he ties our deeds directly to our hearts. There isn’t a conflict between our actions and our heart, even if we ourselves are deceived into thinking there is. Sometimes our actions will appear good while our heart motives will be rotten, but never will our heart be pure and produce bad fruit. If there is a warning in Scripture against judging motives, it is that we need to be careful not to quickly praise somebody, assuming their motives are good. This is what we see in 1 Corinthians 4.
“3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. 6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-6
Discerning and judging men’s motives is necessary. We do it all the time. The only question is whether we will do it with discernment or if we will simply say, “I know that looks bad, but he couldn’t have bad motives. After all, I know him. He’s a good man.” “
As far as what sort of testimony these posts may be to the glory of Christ and His Church I will get to at a later date in response to that challenge, but my question is what sort of fruit or holiness or purity of heart in walking with Christ is being presented and demonstrated without disclosing who we really are and what we’ve really done, without fear. Especially when we call ourselves leaders in the realm of Christ’s church.
As members and partakers of the anguish that has visited so many through this long drawn out event of unfinished business (without question or denial), thankfully this is what many of us can and have relied on to move on, and if embraced by you as leaders can be a resting place for “real gospel” restorative work to begin of which then the work of reaching the lost can then be realized in earnest:
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18, ESV)
I would venture to conclude that there is much yet to be done and undone in word, deed, restitution, reconciliation through repentance for the harm that seems continues even after a year to ever make this a “Happy Anniversary” no matter the side……we await your arrival Ken Sande. (part serious for those still hurt, part hopeful, yet part tongue and cheek) As an Elder once said, “there is NO moving forward until you deal with the past”, not sure what happened to that line of thinking though.
Despite the serious issues cited by some in Ezekiel 34 with regard to shepherds, I anticipate with great hope and thankfulness that Christ (the Good Shepherd’s) own example found in Ezekiel 34:11 and onward is there for for all of our good and ultimate safety, care, protection and consideration even as we in life outside of these particular circumstances may be walking through a real “valley of the shadow of death…..of which, I will fear no evil….for You are with me……and You comfort me”
The Lord God Will Seek Them Out
11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy.I will feed them in justice. (Ezekiel 34:11-16, ESV)