123. Beware those who never answer your queries
I penned the following letter on the 4th March 1999:
we have prayerfully considered your request to write a letter based on the typed phrases you supplied to us on Friday, 26th February, 1999.
We are unable to accede to your request for the following reasons:
We cannot repent for something we do not recognise as being un-Biblical;
At the 7th January 1999 meeting we requested Richard Lewis and Kevin Dare to supply us with a clear Scriptural exposition to detail the ways in which they considered us to be in error in our interpretation of events; we have not received a single verse, Scripture, or comment of any kind which leads us to change our letter or our stance;
The simplistic quoting of one Scripture (Matthew 18v15-17) as if it applied to all the circumstances prevailing at the time the letter was written is contrary to sound exegesis and hermeneutics;
It would be impossible for anyone unaware of the whole situation to comment on the application of the single Scripture (Matthew 18v15-17) in these circumstances, therefore any advice sought by you in which you failed to reveal the complete account to the expert(s)/pastor(s) giving advice is also irrelevant;
Some of the deacons, and other witnesses, present at both the meetings (7th January and 4th February 1999) to discuss this whole situation failed to tell the whole truth, but instead presented a sterilized version of events, perhaps out of fear, but nonetheless lying by omission, and we refuse to take part in any kind of cover up of the facts;
Although the main thrust of our letter was written to reveal our appeal for action to prevent the further dishonouring of God's Name and Word, the evidence submitted by those who did testify truthfully revealed that we were correct in our evidence and encouragement to Calvary members to demand a church meeting to deal with ALL of these matters; our brief mention of the pastoral issues was apparently missed by many but, if you listen carefully, you will find that even Kevin Dare slowly came to that conclusion on the 7th January!;
At least one witness at these meetings would testify that Richard Lewis privately admitted afterwards that Roger Wheelhouse committed heresy [specifically Antinomianism] in the sermons we quoted; this makes his part in the subsequent white-washing all the more heinous;
Much more could have been brought out of the meetings, if it was not for the un-Scriptural handling by Richard Lewis, and we are totally confident that we have already proved from Scripture that Roger Wheelhouse is a heretic despite the fact that the truth has been hidden under a deceiving mask of confidentiality and, as you well know, this would never hold water in a court of law;
Some may think that the time is past and this matter should be allowed to drop, but we are thoroughly disgusted by the way in which Peter Manson and Richard Lewis dealt with Roger Wheelhouse and we still seek a meeting with them to obtain assurances that his past congregations will be Biblically counselled to repair the damage that we are certain was also inflicted upon them;
The possibility of Roger ministering unrestrained in another church horrifies us - as it should all Calvary members!;
We repeatedly emphasised the deliverance ministry required to deal with this problem and thus pre-emptively called the Wheelhouses bluff concerning the demonic nature of their ministry (if you remember Sue Wheelhouse reading a passage concerning "fault-finding demons" - repeated in the February meeting by Janet Dewey); it is clear that God placed them in the perfect position to receive ministry, but they have been reprieved, presumably by Peter Manson and Richard Lewis (unless you didn't share this challenge with them), to continue this pattern in other churches; this is unacceptable;
If we do not meet Peter Manson and Richard Lewis and receive assurances from Peter Manson/the Baptist Union concerning these matters we will take other action as appropriate;
It is impossible for any member of Calvary Baptist Church to try and sweep the corporate sin under the carpet - covering up sin never works and if you think that by keeping quiet you will retain the peoples' confidence you are sadly deluded; secret societies do not work and are not Scriptural;
We cannot believe that the diaconate has thought this through properly, or even examined all the Scriptures we have shared, and it is clear that the subsequent gossip can only muddy the water. Bring everything out into the open and deal with it for we know that you will be destroyed if you don't, for at least one person has recently witnessed a member of the present diaconate [Peter Smith!] canvassing for support to attempt to gain new diaconate members - because he cannot work with the present regime!
There can be only one way forward - forgiveness, deliverance, healing and standing on the Word of God:
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (John 5v16)
In His Precious Name,
David and Zoë Williams
124. Beware those who continue to put 'feelings' before Scripture
The church then circulated this letter to church members:
9th March 1999
Dear Brothers & Sisters at Calvary,
Although there have been varied views about the content of the letter sent out by David and Zoë Williams, it has been generally considered that the way in which it was distributed and the hurt it has caused the fellowship needs to be addressed. The deacons have met together on a number of occasions since the Special Church Meeting in January to discuss and find a way forward in respect of David and Zoe's action.
Whatever your feelings, we hope you will appreciate that it has not been easy to deal with such an unprecedented situation but it was felt that as a church we should at least seek repentance for the manner in which the letter was sent in order that forgiveness and reconciliation could follow.
David and Zoë were visited by Howard, Derek and Neil on 11th January in an attempt to obtain an apology as the first step. A letter was received from them but it was not considered to be helpful to the situation and did not accomplish what was hoped for.
The deacons sought further advice from Peter Manson, Richard Lewis and other senior Baptist ministers in the area as to what should be done concerning discipline action. Following their direction and counsel, David and Zoë were visited on 26th February by Howard and Derek and asked to consider the following:
"The fellowship at Calvary Baptist Church has been very precious to us over many years. It was never our intention to inflict hurt on the fellowship but rather to encourage us all to seek the truth - for the Truth sets as free and gives us Life and Hope of the Glory to come with our Precious Saviour.
We repent that the action we took and the manner of distribution of our letter was not in accordance with Biblical principles. We would seek your forgiveness for the hurt caused amongst the fellowship"
They were requested to reply by letter before the Annual General Meeting on 4th March. As you were informed by Howard, no reply had been received before the meeting. On leaving the building on Thursday, a letter addressed to the deacons was found which had been delivered during the evening.
David and Zoë's reply stated that they had prayerfully considered our request to write a letter based on the above text but were unable to accede to that request and gave thirteen detailed reasons.
After further discussion at the deacons' meeting on Friday 5th March, the new diaconate resolved that David and Zoë should be suspended from membership until such time as they feel able to repent of their action. This recommendation will be put to you for ratification/confirmation at the next Members' meeting on 8th April. We ask that you prayerfully consider this and seek God's will and guidance in this matter. The Housegroup meeting scheduled for the 8th will now be held on Thursday 15th April instead of the prayer meeting.
At that deacons' meeting the appointment of a Moderator was also discussed. It is hoped that a recommendation concerning this will be brought to you on 4th April and we ask that you make this important decision a matter of prayer.
We trust that you will continue to pray for the fellowship and for us as deacons as together we seek the Lord's will for us all at Calvary.
Yours, in Christ
At the Deacons meeting this evening, after much prayerful discussion, it was decided that in order for the church to move forward, a period of Repentance and Reconciliation should be observed. To this end, our brother Kevin Dare has agreed to lead the Prayer Meeting on Thursday 18th March at 7.30pm in a time of preparation.
The Sanctuary will then be open during the following two Saturdays (20th March and 27th March) between 10am and 3pm for prayer and meditation. The kitchen will also be available for you to make a cup of tea/coffee in order to facilitate reconciliation in an informal atmosphere.
Deacons will be available throughout these times should you wish to speak with them.
Please pray that this will be a good time and that the Spirit of the Lord will move on all the people in this place to His glory.
[We considered attending the meeting referred to in this letter, but decided instead to post the letter summarising the reasons we could not 'accede' to this request. Previous evidence gave us no hope of gaining replies to our Scriptural points - and the response here, and in the following meetings, proved us to be correct. Again, no reply to our thirteen points was ever attempted and there was no sign of repentance from the factious Wheelhouse's or any attempt to address the Scriptural issues by an arrogant church who hoped to bury the real issues. How does a church expect meaningful 'Repentance and Reconciliation' to occur when they do not even acknowledge their guilt in any of these matters?]
Kevin Dare wrote us a 'conciliatory' letter which included the following paragraphs:
'My main reason for writing to you is to say sorry for some of the things I have said in the last few weeks, especially at the January church meeting. I'm not proud of my words and ask you to forgive me for any offence. I want you to know that I love you both and that you have always been precious in my heart and life - you deserved better from me.
I was sorry to hear you felt unable to meet the deacons request (I do not know the reasons you gave), but I ask you to continue to pray for us as a church as I continue to pray for you.'
No doubt Kevin was sorry for 'some of the things' - but which things? He showed no sign of concern for the accurate handling of the Word of God at the meeting, and saying 'sorry' is not repentance.]
125. Beware deacons who still cannot answer Scriptural questions
Our friends, Hazel and Philip Baker, sent us a copy of the letter they sent to the deacons:
13 March, 1999
Dear Derek and Deacons,
We have read your letter of 10th March very carefully and feel that we need further clarification of the facts to enable us to pray about a clear direction.
Firstly, in your letter you stated that it was considered that David and Zoë acted in an unbiblical manner when distributing the letter. This we understand was based on the passage in Matthew 18. We would like to know upon which Biblical principles you are basing the disciplinary action to be brought against David and Zoë. If it is not on Biblical principles, is it part of the Baptist constitution and, if so, what part?
Secondly, are we to understand that it is only the manner in which the original letter was distributed that is causing concern? If that is the case, then can we assume that you do not disagree with the content of the letter? and if that is the case, then why are David and Zoë being disciplined in this way whilst Roger goes away with an £18,000 golden handshake, free to carry on in the same manner somewhere else? Are we in danger here of "straining out a gnat, but swallowing a camel"? (Matthew 23: 23-24).
Thirdly, you have concentrated on the hurt caused to the fellowship by David and Zoë's letter, but what about the hurt caused by Roger's teaching, which has done incalculable damage to the spiritual well-being of all those who sat under his ministry?
Finally, in the 'Stop Press', you referred to the church observing a period of "repentance and reconciliation". Does this refer to the church repenting and being reconciled to God as for example in 2 Chronicles 7:14, or did you have something else in mind?
We are deeply concerned about these matters, and look forward to receiving your answers to these questions.
[The Bakers also failed to elicit satisfactory answers from the deacons, despite receiving a visit in their home.
We also received a letter expressing sadness 'because you do not feel you can apologise for the hurt and confusion many people in the fellowship felt over the way your letter was distributed.' Included was a 'parable' to try and illustrate reconciliation--which instead amply illustrated the Scriptural, and relational, ignorance of our former elders. When the church had been refurbished, at considerable expense, a superb sound system had been installed. Our sister: 'felt money had been spent unwisely and, as the equipment had subsequently been stolen and was being replaced by the insurers, I felt God was giving us a second chance to act more wisely; the elders took my letter to the person who had purchased the equipment. He was not happy, to put it mildly, and said he was going to leave the church. When the pastor told me of this persons reaction, my immediate response was to try and put it right. I still felt the purchasing of the equipment was wrong, but that was now out of my hands. I had done what I felt God wanted me to do. Now I had to put the relationship back on line.' The truth of the matter was that the leadership of the church was so proud of the work done in the sanctuary that they held 'open days' when the world could come in and inspect the 'treasures' - just as Hezekiah foolishly showed his treasures to the king of Babylon in 2 Kings 20:12-19:
At that time Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armour and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, "What did these men say, and from where have they come to you?" And Hezekiah said, "They have come from a far country, from Babylon." 15 And he said, "What have they seen in your house?" So Hezekiah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them." 16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD. 17 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the LORD. 18 'And some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you shall beget, shall be taken away; and they shall become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'" 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good." For he thought, "Is it not so, if there shall be peace and truth in my days?"
It was the easiest thing in the world for the thieves to break into a building with minimum security and take a sound system more in keeping with a recording studio then relaying the Word of the Lord. Hezekiah 'rejoiced' in the words of Isaiah, just as the church in Britain believes that the treasures of her buildings will see out this generation. But soon there will be a famine for the Word in this land - and it comes all the sooner for the toleration of the Wheelhouse's of this world (Amos 8:11-12):
11. "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12 "And people will stagger from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.
Finally, our sister advised us by quoting I Samuel 26:8-11:
8 Then Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time." 9 But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD'S anointed and be without guilt?" 10 David also said, "As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 "The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD'S anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go."
The conclusion? 'I believe God is saying to us all now - leave Roger to Me.' Apparently, church discipline, as detailed earlier, becomes irrelevant and Wheelhouse should be allowed to prey on other fellowships. Hopefully, there was no suggestion that Wheelhouse was to be counted as the 'Lord's anointed'?]
126. Beware the church which covers up and installs an un-Scriptural 'Moderator'
31st March 1999
Dear Brothers arid Sisters at Calvary,
In our letter to you on 10th March, the deacons advised you that we were considering the appointment of a Moderator. During the last Interregnum the Church had an Eldership and a larger diaconate and it was felt that a Moderator was not necessary. However, the deacons have discussed this issue and with advice from Peter Manson, have decided that in the current circumstances, a Moderator will give support to us and the Church throughout the coming months as we seek the way forward and the appointment of a new minister.
We have approached Rev Bob Evans, who chaired the AGM, and asked him to consider taking on the task. He is married with a young family and lives in Cardiff. He has been a Baptist minister for 17 years, serving in several churches, as [sic] is currently the Free Church University Hospital Chaplain.
As Moderator his role would be to chair deacons' business meetings and attend and chair Church Members' meetings as required, to facilitate but not to make any decisions on any church business matters. When the time is right he will give guidance on the calling of a new minister. He will be available to take an evening service about once a month, but not participate in midweek meetings. The deacons and housegroup leaders will continue to take responsibility for pastoral matters but he will be available to deal with the more serious pastoral concerns which will be referred to him through the deacons. The role of Moderator is that of a supporter and adviser, so he will not take on the duties of a pastor other that [sic] what is stated.
At the Church meeting on 8th April, the deacons will bring to you the recommendation that we appoint Rev Bob Evans as Moderator. We ask that you will continue to pray about this matter and seek the Lord's will concerning it.
We also ask that you prayerfully consider the 'Making Sunday Best Project' and 'New Millennium Challenge' which we will bring to the April meeting for discussion. More details of this are available at the Church Office, on the notice board or please ask one of the deacons or Kevin Dare who will be pleased to explain further.
I would, on behalf of the deacons, remind you that we are available at any time to discuss any queries you may have. If you are aware of any pastoral needs, such as hospital visits, please let us know either directly or through the Church Office.
Our prayer is that as a fellowship we will diligently seek the Lord's will in all things and that as we are obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading we will see the Lord's blessing.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God'.
Ephesians 3 v 16-19
[Calvary Baptist Church denied the evidence before their eyes and disobediently failed to discipline Wheelhouse, but still think they are being obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading by considering more man-made ideas in the 'Making Sunday Best Project' and 'New Millennium Challenge'!]
The deacons had apparently followed our request and informed Manson and Lewis that we sought further discussion with them to clarify the points above, but we were informed that they refused to meet with us so we wrote to him: