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Saturday
Feb182012

What Does My Website Have in Common with Pornography? Ask Jared Mellinger!

Here’s another one of my favorite sermons.  This one is by Jared Mellinger.  He is the senior pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church in Philadelphia.  That means Jared is Dave Harvey and Mark Prater’s pastor.  He is a favorite son and probable candidate for the permanent SGM Board. 

My interaction with his message is in blue lettering.  It is titled, “Spiritual Reformation – The Message of Malachi 2:1-9” from November 6, 2011.

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Comments Regarding C.J. (Minutes 20:01-23:12)

“Many are the faithful leaders who have been disliked because they refuse to show partiality.  And what this means is that the way to know whether or not a leader is being faithful is never to measure popular opinion.  That is the thinking that creates leaders who show partiality.  Nice people who tell others only that which they want to hear. 

This is the lead in to comments about C.J.  Point one – C.J.’s lack of popularity is due to his faithfulness to God and Scripture.

“Tell me, what does it prove if a faithful pastor, a man who has faithfully upheld the gospel and the word of God and whose life is an example to many people.  What does it prove if that kind of man has many detractors?  Only that those who are accused are following the path of our Suffering Savior whose reputation was also dragged through the dirt for our sakes. 

I am glad for the ways C.J. has been a faithful pastor, upheld the gospel, and been an example.  But that is not why C.J. has so many detractors!  C.J. is not being falsely accused of wrong doing because he is too much like Jesus.  No, it is due to his deceit, pride, sense of superiority, hypocrisy, and abusive practices.  These ways don’t represent the Lord but they have adversely affected lots of “detractors.” 

Jared strenuously asserts that C.J.’s many detractors only prove his righteousness.  That is a bad piece of reasoning.  C.J. is not walking the road of suffering on his way to the cross like our Lord Jesus Christ.  No, C.J. is being disciplined by the Lord; he is not suffering for the Lord.  The real C.J. is being exposed because he has fought to conceal his sins for so long.  His reputation is not being dragged through the mud for righteousness sake.     

“And what does it prove if there are a good number of relational breaks in the ministry of a godly and faithful pastor?  Only that some have good company in Paul who experienced more relational rifts in the ministry than any of us.  2 Timothy 1:15, “All who are in Asia turned away from me.”  Whatever the cost, leaders must, we can’t, we must not be partial in our instruction and in our application of God’s word.  This is why God calls leaders to honor him…. No partiality.  No people pleasing allowed in our proclamation and application of God’s truth…

What Jared claims is obvious is actually insidious.  It defies decades of evidence.  Jared’s lack of sound reasoning is an affront to one’s sanity.  He must come to grips with all the ways C.J. has been an ungodly and unfaithful pastor.  Jared is a false prophet in his pronouncement.  Those that have left the movement are not like those who deserted Paul the apostle.  There is no comparison.  C.J. is not Jesus and he is not Paul the apostle. 

Incredulously, these are the only two paradigms Jared uses to explain what is happening in C.J.’s life.  Believe me, the “many detractors” and “relational breaks” are not due to C.J.’s superior righteousness.  Not even Dave Harvey would agree with that assessment.  They are deeds of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21).  C.J. has experienced more relational rifts than any leader I know in the movement.  Those who worship him get along with him well.  Those who speak the truth in love often experience his sinful judgments and chastisement.  They learn to remain silent, are fired or repositioned, or leave SGM.   

“We must be impartial in our evaluation of other leaders.  This impartiality language is what is used in 1 Timothy 5:21 where God requires leaders to render impartial evaluation of other leaders that they are close to.  That they are working alongside of.  This is why accusing a leader of being incapable of rendering an impartial evaluation of another leader is a terrible thing to do.  God’s word demands and requires impartiality from us in this regard.  And we need to hold that out for pastors.  We need to hold that out for leaders.  This practice of impartial evaluation of other leaders that they work closely with because that is what God himself expects and requires.  Friends, in every situation, faithful leaders instruct from God’s word and bring God’s word to bear and they do so without partiality."

Once again, Jared has a very high view of himself.  He is “impartiality” incarnate.  But this could not be further from the truth.  Jared leaves out verse 20 in 1 Timothy 5:20-21.  [20] As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. [21] In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

This solemn warning by Paul is critical because leaders who are friends are tempted to be partial.  Ask everyone who has worked for C.J.  But not Jared.  He considers himself above such concerns.  Indeed, the very concerns addressed in Malachi 2:1-9.  Yes we should hold out hope for our leaders to act with integrity but when they have repeatedly betrayed the people of God with cronyism it is time to call them to account as a group.  They have proven themselves to be untrustworthy.  That is true of the SGM Board and many other leaders in SGM.

We began appealing to C.J. to repent of sinful patterns in December 2000.  He has continued in those same patterns for the last 12 years.  His November 9, 2011 message at the Pastors Conference is the latest example.  No one has been willing to rebuke C.J. before the church in the presence of all the elders.  No one has been willing to hold him to account.  No one has been willing to judge righteously.  These verses have been flagrantly disobeyed.  The latest example being the nine men on the three panels.  Their reports are unbelievably biased and partial. 

It is this unwillingness to do justice that is so incriminating.  Instead of truth telling, there is deceit.  Instead of accountability, there is cover up.  Instead of transparency, there is concealment.  It is a “terrible thing” to charge leaders with being unwilling (not incapable) to render impartial evaluations.  It should never be necessary!  But that is not the case in Philadelphia or among the pastors in SGM.  To date, I don’t know of a single leader in SGM with the requisite courage and integrity to publicly rebuke C.J., Dave and the SGM Board.  SGM has no prophets.  I hope that changes and it may if churches leave in the months to come.  This much is certain.  Jared’s favoritism, bias, and partiality are on full display throughout his message. 

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Comments Regarding Pornography (Minutes 33:33-39:28) 

“Faithful leaders promote holiness in the people of God…. So not only do they walk that path of holiness personally, they promote it in others…. The end of verse 6 says “he turned many from iniquity.”  Turning others from sin.  Keeping them from sin and iniquity.  And the negative is there in verse 8, “You have caused many to stumble.”  Spiritual leaders must not cause people to stumble.  Pastors are protectors of the people.  They are appointed by God to ensure that God’s people do not fall into sin.  They are there to help turn many from iniquity… 

Shepherds of the flock of God which Jesus purchased with his blood have a responsibility to protect people from false Christ’s, false gospels, false teachers, and false prophets.  They are also called to model the Christian life, promote holiness and turn people from sin.  No problem so far.   

Jared is teaching from Malachi 2:1-9.  His attitude is arrogant.  He prides himself in being like Levi (vs. 4-7) and unlike the priests (vs. 1-3; 8-9) who have defiled the temple and caused people to stumble in sin.  He sees no relevance in these verses to himself or Sovereign Grace Ministries.  And yet these verses address some of the maladies so evident in the ministry.        

Mal 2:1-9 “And now, O priests, this command is for you. [2]  If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings.  Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. [3] Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the  dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. [4] So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. [5] My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him.  It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me.  He stood in awe of my name. [6] True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips.  He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. [7] For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. [8] But you have turned aside from the way.  You have caused many to stumble by your instruction.  You have corrupted  the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, [9] and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” 

Jared now transitions from the meaning of the text to the application of the text.  He is about to jump off a cliff and commands the church to follow him.  The text addresses leaders but he sees no application for himself, the Covenant Fellowship pastors, the SGM Board, or C.J.  He focuses on the errors of the people while extolling his impartial leadership.  If he were true to the text it would convict him, Dave Harvey, and Mark Prater for their biased instruction which keeps many from knowing the truth.  Instead the church is the one in need of correction.  Though the passage is about priests, Jared finds no application to the CFC pastors. 

“I was thinking this week and praying this week as I often do during sermon prep about what this point means for you, the people of Covenant Fellowship, and what does it mean for me with the responsibility that I have along with the other pastors to protect the holiness of the church and there were two areas in particular that came to mind as I was thinking about the application of this text to you that came to mind that I want to share with you here today.  

What Jared is about to say is not protection.  It is propaganda.  This is the standard fair response to critics by SGM.  Label them slanderers.  Defame them.  Ignore them.  Discipline them.  Ostracize them.  It is the same treatment endure by all the prophets.  

“One area to turn people from sin is to help them avoid ungodly speech.  There are so many Scriptures that speak to the defiling effect of sinful speech. There is a kind of speech that will ruin all who hear it according to 2 Tim 2:14-17.  Speech that will, the text says, “lead people into more and more ungodliness and their talk will spread like gangrene”… 

Jared takes this text and abuses it.   He is no exegete.  He yanks it out of context and misapplies it to my writings.  They are gangrenous according to him.  Full of death and decay.  Now he asks a question of the discerning.  Watch out, this is a set up.  Take note, if you don’t agree with Jared’s application you are a simpleton or worse.  You may be guilty of a sin more serious than accessing pornography on the internet.  

“Words can do incredible damage.  [A] question for the discerning.  Which would be more dangerous for a Christian to be exposed to?  A website devoted to sexually immoral images or a website devoted to sowing suspicion against leaders and tearing people down.  Friends there is more than one way to ruin your soul.  Avoid ungodly speech.  Avoid speaking of it.  Avoid listening to it.  For the sake of the holiness of the church. 

Which would be more dangerous?  Jared implies my website is more dangerous than a pornographic website.  Nothing biased, prejudicial, or partial about that remark.  Such a conclusion is clear to the discerning!  Moreover, reading what I have written will destroy your soul faster than viewing grotesque acts of bestiality or pedophilia! 

Contrary to Jared, I don’t sow suspicion in my documents or my writings.  I share discernment and evidence that helps people divide between truth and error in an environment of control and manipulation.  Evidence that has been covered up in some cases for over a decade.  I am not sinfully tearing down people.  I am exposing serious patterns of sin among SGM “priests“ like Malachi did.  For over a decade I did this in private.  Then it finally became necessary to appeal to the SGM pastors.  See “Eight Reasons Why Sending Out the Documents Was Not Slander But Necessary.” 

Here is my question for the discerning.  Was Malachi sowing suspicion and tearing down leaders in his day?  Was his speech like gangrene?  Was his message worse than pornography?  If so, don’t read Malachi.  Don’t talk about the book.  And don’t listen to others who reference his book.  

Hear me.  In using this analogy, I am not equating my writings with Scripture but I am making a valid point.  The priests in Malachi’s day hated his writings.  If they were alive today, they’d fully agree with Jared’s assessment of my website.  They’d hate it, despise it, and equate it with pornography. 

“Another way that leaders promote [holiness].  This is the second category that came to mind that I want to share with you is in how we protect others from stumbling is to help them avoid divisive people…. In the NT, one of the most important ways local elderships protect the holiness of the people and keep them from sin is to guard them and warn them against those who in the language of Acts 20:30, “rise up and speak twisted things seeking to draw away disciples after them.”  Romans 16:17 commands Christians to watch out for those who cause divisions.  Be aware of them.  Identify them.  Watch out for them….  Titus 1:11 describes a divisive type of person and then says “they must be silenced.”  I’ve realized there is a time to listen to those who disagree and there is a time to silence them.  To privately and publically warn others about them for the sake of protecting the church.  Titus 3:10-11 says “that after those who are stirring up division have been warned we must have nothing more to do with them….”  

This message was given on Sunday, November 6.  Three days later C.J. took the same approach at the SGM Pastors Conference.  Read “C.J.’s State of His Heart Message – Reflection on Personal Sins.”

“I think the days ahead are going to require more discernment as it relates to the identification of slander and the influence of slander in our churches.  I think the days ahead are going to require courage on the part of pastors and when necessary publicly identify those who are divisive.  I think the days ahead are not only going to require [it], I think they are going to require courage.” (C.J. Mahaney, Pastors Conference, November 9, 2011)   

Four days after C.J.’s instruction, Mickey Connolly excommunicated me and warned people to have no contact with me or any of my writings.  Those who refused to obey him were commanded to leave CrossWay Community Church.  Mickey conducted this “marking” by a lying and deceiving use of the Bible and commentaries.  Read “Mickey Connolly’s Deceitful Use of Scripture and Commentaries.”  The SGM Board has taken no action against him despite several appeals to them.  Jared, C.J. and Mickey are on the same page.  Group think is widespread.  These are talking points for the SGM faithful. 

Tragically, current and former pastors in SGM are afraid to speak up.  Current and former members likewise.  They contact me all the time but ask I not disclose their identities.  I understand but it is discouraging.  They are so fearful of SGM and their pastors.  They see what it will cost them to speak prophetically.  By the way, I am glad to visit any SGM church if their pastors want me to answer questions, meet with the church or help in some other way.  Don’t fear SGM.  Fear the Lord.

Men like Jared are prophets of peace.  All is well is SGM.  C.J. suffers like Jesus and is betrayed like Paul.  Dave Harvey can continuously lie, spin and deceive.  Mickey Connolly can intentionally twist the Scripture and use commentaries in a devious fashion without consequences.  Yet, men like Malachi and Jeremiah are guilty of “sowing suspicion against leaders and tearing people down” according to Jared’s functional theology.  Nevertheless the words of Malachi and Jeremiah apply to Jared and SGM. 

Jeremiah 6:13-15 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. [14] They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. [15] Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?  No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.  So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord.

We as a church need to think clearly about this category of biblical leadership if we are to be protected from divisive men who might seek to harm Covenant Fellowship at some point in the future.”

Covenant Fellowship Church needs to think clearly about the role of biblical leadership in contrast to the heavy handed leadership of Jared.  Like C.J. and Mickey, he believes it is time to silence critics.  It is time to discipline critics.  It is time to mark critics.  In reality, he is deceiving the church by keeping the truth from them.  It is part of a massive cover up by the Sovereign Grace elite.  So much is going unaddressed and being concealed.  Yet , church discipline and excommunication await those who dare to speak up.  Marking and shunning for those who hold leaders accountable.

But here is a happy thought to close with from the mouth of Jesus.     

Matt 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. [12] Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” 

Be a prophet.

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