4.27.2008

Personal Reflections on the Current Controversy: Part 5

I think some personal reflections might be in order at this point. I tried to go to sleep earlier but felt compelled to communicate some things I have been thinking about lately. Maybe I could try to bring some clarity to this current controversy. Maybe I could try to boil some things down so that we do not lose sight over what this is all about and thus avoid unnecessary rabbit trails, hearsay, and somewhat of a witch hunt.

The internet truly is an interesting and amazing thing. We have the immediate search power of Google to find information, people, and writings in the matter of seconds. We can create a community of people from all over the world. We can bring together scattered bits and pieces of information into one forum for the world to see. In many ways it is like the tongue, it has the power to create and the power to destroy. What has occurred in this here blog and several others over these last weeks is something I never foresaw. How did this all start? What was my purpose in posting the things I have?

I know that many people out there, many of my old friends, are probably very angry with me. As I write this, it is currently 10:30 PM. I noticed that everything over at biblicalthought.com has been taken down. I was speaking with a brother on the phone a couple days ago and he predicted that such would happen. And for the record, as God is my witness, I have only made ONE phone call to another brother about this. There is no doubt that many people have called me, but I have called only one person and that was almost two weeks ago now. I have been in email conversations with a number of brothers, but that was primarily to make sure I had my facts straight and to seek council before posting certain things. Here is the God-honest truth: this whole controversy was NOT a consciously organized secret council of angry people who maliciously plotted to attack Bob Morey. The following analogy is more accurate to what has happened. Remember in the movie, Terminator 2, the bad cop who was sent to take out Arnold? That cop had the ability to morph into anyone he touched; he was essentially made out of a liquidly type substance. At one point Arnold somehow blows him up and he explodes globs of silver blobs that look like melted solder. But what happened next? At the time, the special effects were amazing, but all the silver globs that were scattered in the street began rolling back toward the center and eventually all of them merged together to reform the bad cop. I know, the analogy makes the “other side” (i.e. ex-FCC members) the bad cop, but we are not bad. That is essentially what has happened in this current outbreak and controversy. Essentially, Dr. Bob Morey blew people up who are part of the body of Christ. He blew many people up over many years. Yet he does it in such a way that most all these people just want to get the heck away and start over fresh. Even then, he often makes this very difficult for people to do. What has happened these last weeks is those blown up bits of people all on their own accord merging back together and creating a voice.

The internet has provided the means for some of these scattered bits and pieces to come together. People began to talk and stories began to be shared. Visible patterns of abuse and sin done by Dr. Morey began to emerge and become more evident. The DVD’s from his Pennsylvania days hit the internet. While I mentioned them, I had nothing to do with putting them on the web. The link to them was then posted in my blog as well as at BT blog, both times by people I do not even know. The controversy made it into the OC Weekly blog. I have no idea how it got in there, though I know that Mr. Arellano is not a big fan of Dr. Morey so who knows how he heard about it. But things took off over there as well. Other information came together and soon there were tentacles all over the place, like a game of shoots and ladders, people could slide from this place to that with a click, click, click. Clark’s Open Letter to Dr. Robert Morey was thus brought to public attention along with my resignation letter. But this merely describes how a spark turned into a wild fire. But what was that spark again?

For me a renewed interest in Morey began with this most recent exodus of people from the church. When I left the church in 2007, I did so quietly. I did not make one phone call or email to anyone in that church after that. I was not “burned” by Morey. My letter explains clearly why I left, and at that time, as I said, the last straw that broke this camels back was how Morey burned a good friend of mine, Clark Gallagher. Clark was Dr. Morey’s closest assistant and his “Timothy” (in Dr. Morey’s own words when he ordained us). Dr. Morey utterly vilified Clark from the pulpit on a Sunday morning. He had done it also to others before Clark. So recently, when I heard about this most recent exodus of people and more so the people that were vilified this time, well, that both shocked me and angered me (note: not bitterness!). It was a righteous anger, an anger based on justice. I have already at length in these posts described some of these people and how much they sacrificed for Dr. Morey, his ministry, and his vision (and of course by saying this I mean they did it ultimately for Christ). Let this third exodus serve as the “third witness” that really made Morey’s behavioral patterns evident. But that was not all: the DVD’s surfaced showing the same patterns of behavior dating back over a decade ago. Moreover, an email was received from an ex-member of Morey’s church back in PA and this person described the same behavioral patterns that so many are speaking out against now. Individual persons have also sent me their resignation letters from years ago, and again, the same patterns of odd behavior were used to deal with these people (mini exoduses).

Some people have made speculations about this or that. I have myself tried to stay away from any speculative assumptions and have urged any readers or commentors to do the same. There are enough witnesses and facts that speculative ideas are not even needed. In fact, as Clark pointed out in one comment, such speculation undermines what we do know. I have listed names, places, and events. Most of these people would not mind to be contacted. There are many people who left who I have not mentioned, mostly because I did not have their permission to list their names. However, the persons I have listed should be sufficient to open eyes. The pattern Dr. Morey uses is seen in each mass exodus as well as many individual persons (though I would add it is not the only pattern of abuse that could be mentioned). It is essentially this:

1. A dedicated person in the ministry who learns too much about the shady practices opens his or her mouth and dares to question things.

2. The person is either ignored by Morey or a Kangaroo court is set up where the legitimate questions are ignored and the concerned person has things flipped on him and is made to feel as though they are in sin.

3. Accusations of “slander and gossip” and later “bitterness” are slapped on the concerned person. “Slander and gossip” are Morey’s two favorite “flip-it” smoke-screen tactics.

4. The concerned person who dared to question is said to be under the influence of Satan and their mental health is questioned.

5. When they try to fight these absurd claims they are then labeled with “anger,” “pride,” “bitterness,” and even “hatred.”

6. When the situation goes public–usually by Morey’s doing from the pulpit–certain “evidences” are made up that allegedly beyond doubt proves the guilt of the concerned person. Never mind that no one has ever seen any of this “evidence” against any of these people. Morey has such a cult like following that most people believe him. Then the church buys it. Then the person is delivered over to Satan if they still persist to clear their name or call Morey on his unbiblical dealings.

7. Morey cuts off all communication lines with the person and will have nothing to do with them based on a faulty application of Titus 3:10.

8. The “burned” person leaves and just wants to get on with their life, but they have lost all their friends at the church as well as their previously solid reputation because they were vilified from the pulpit.

9. Then over time, the people of the church forget all about it. New people come in who know nothing about it and new leaders are raised up to run the church and ministry for Dr. Morey. The cycle then repeats itself. That is why I am concerned for this current batch of Moreyites. But it is because time and new faces in the church that these old scandals fade away and when a new one happens like the one just recently, many people either forget about most of what happened in times past, or the new faces know nothing of them. Also when one person goes through this “ringer” and suffers these same tactics, he or she is just that–one person, against the “renown” Dr. Robert A. Morey and all that goes with him. Who would most people believe, a common Christian man or woman who says Morey lied and slandered me, or would most people believe the Doctor who has spent his life preaching orthodox theology and defending the faith? He who has the microphone controls the situation. However, microphones are quite an antiquated invention these days, and this thing called the internet is quickly turning down the microphones of many pulpit bullies.

This last “slam job” on some really good Christians moved me to take action. Yet this action did not come about in any consciously planned out way by me. Upon first hearing of the ridiculous and evil accusations that were made against Tom Maxham, I did nothing. This all started when I emailed that old friend at FCC for something unrelated to all this, but in closing I asked him how he is able to make sense out of the fact that the leadership of that church almost always ends up leaving and almost always ends up with some crazy story/accusation slapped on them. He said from his point of view, Dr. Bob has done nothing but good for them and made them what they are, and they all left (which would include myself) because of pride. I felt compelled to try to set the record straight and remain silent no more. I emailed him a three page reply. That reply got back to Morey and viola, Morey and “the crew” at BT launched the most ruthless assault I have ever seen in my 12 years of being a born again Christian. I have documented much of that abuse of the brethren here in these last four posts. The many commentors have added much substance to back up those posts.

Dr. Morey uses smoke-screen tactics, red herrings, ad hominem attacks, and straw men arguments against those who dare question him in any way. He twists Scriptures like Matthew 18, 1 Tim. 5:19, and Tit. 3:10 to protect himself from questioning. He blasts his double barrel shotgun of “gossip and slander” charges. He repeats this so phrase so often that if you re-read all the blogs over there, “the crew” now uses that same phrase. Though the post on the Need for Biblical Warrant is now removed as I type. Then those who have sought to call him out into the light are viewed as malicious gossips and wicked slanderers used by the devil. This is another discernable pattern that he often uses. Getting people to think that the one questioning things is mentally ill is also another favorite of his. The problem, however, is that he uses these tactics so often that it allows these patterns to become evidently discernable. It is these patterns of abuse that span over many years that we are now exposing to the light (Eph. 5:11; 1 Tim. 5:20). When the voices get too loud, Dr. Morey moves to censor them and tell his congregation not to listen to the voice. But this move only makes him more suspect in people’s minds. People think, “what is he afraid of, what is out there, why doesn’t he want me to read this or that?”

When I posted my first “Abuse of Dr. Robert Morey” post, I did not in any way do it out of a spirit of malice, bitterness, or hatred, but rather on the one hand out of a sense of justice to blatant sin on the part of one who claims to be an elder, and on the other hand, out of a sense of love for my friends unjustly vilified and lied about. I cannot speak for the hearts and motives of all who have since commented on this site, but I know before God that my decision to post that first one was not easy. But after several extensions of mercy to that man, I felt a strong need to let justice at least have an opportunity to be had. It seems, at least in some measure, to be seizing that opportunity. Many good people remain silent for many reasons. They may fear retribution from the abusive leader; they may fear harm may come to the church, or they may fear that the process of moving on will be drawn out longer. But the bottom line is that many people remain silent because of some fear. And it may not even be abused people, it may be people who left because they saw an unloving shepherd, because they saw a misuse of Scripture, because they saw a poorly run church, etc. But they too have a story and a testimony to tell as well.

Let me at this point try to bring some things into focus. This whole thing has grown into a large amalgamation of criticisms, most in my opinion justified.

First, there are dozens and dozens of people who span at least two decades who are all saying that Dr. Robert Morey is guilty of virtually the same things. They are not, to my knowledge, claiming that he is guilty of adultery, of physical violence, or heresy. Rather, the almost universal drumbeat is that Dr. Morey is a dishonest man who lies and slanders not just unbelievers, but more dangerously, the body of Christ. This universal voice says that he uses people, manipulates them, and discards them in vicious ways when they question him. This universal voice says that he is shady and dishonest in his financial dealings. This universal voice says that he does not rule the church well, but rather uses it to his own advantage. Many of these voices say he is a downright thief. More could be said.

Second, these are real and serious issues that ought not to be tolerated. Yet they continue to one degree or another because Dr. Morey is a lone-ranger and there is no one to hold him accountable. These are sins which ought not to be overlooked, ignored, or forgotten about. But that is exactly what happens: sin is swept under the rug and eventually forgotten about. However, we chose now not to forget any longer–unless and until Bob Morey repents of these sins of which he himself knows. It is not a virtue to let evil have the day. Regardless of who said it, the idea behind the quote has become famous: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Dr. Laura recently said on the radio, “decent people are too often wimps.”

Third, Dr. Morey hides behind texts like 1 Tim. 5:19. But not only does he not quote the rest of the verse, he seems to forget that there are dozens of witnesses to his public slander and wild accusations made against good men of God. How many people were present when he publicly slandered and lied about Clark? How many people were present when he publicly slandered and lied about Tom and James? I could continue but it is getting late.

Fourth, it is crucial in all this to remember that Dr. Morey is NOT the victim! People will be furious with me and feel sorry for him because people like me are harming his ministry and reputation. Friends, brothers and sisters, he is the one who harms his reputation and many of you are the ones who are out there fighting so hard to repair it to the rest of the body of Christ. He is the one who makes very unwise and sinful moves against people or in running the church and thus he brings it upon himself. He is not the victim! The victims of his abuses, his slander, and his lies are numerous. Keep that in mind.

Fifth, Dr. Morey and his “crew” claim to have conclusive evidence to prove the guilt of these people. But guess what? No one ever gets to see this evidence. I made a public offer to come down to the church and see it. They denied me and said that I was publicly delivered over to Satan. It would have been nice to at least get something in the mail letting me know that this happened. Dustin Hoffman called the church many times to see the evidence, but no one called him back. Guess what again? They claimed to have such “secret evidence” against Clark, Javier, and others also. They probably have some on me too. I will be there as quick as I can to see it. The law says that the accused have the right to face their accusers and to see the evidence used to indite them. Let’s see it boys.

Sixth, if what we are all claiming is true, then Dr. Morey has disqualified himself as an elder. He thus operates under a false pretense, a false image. And if this is so, then 1 Tim. 5:19 does not even apply to him and he should step down from public ministry and stick to writing his books.

Finally, as I said, I know that many people will be angry with me for these posts, and many already are. But again, he is not the victim here. Look to history for the real victims of his dealings. Look to the dozens and dozens of people who speak out with a unified voice to his patterns of sin and abuse. All I have done here is open my mouth a few times and give a voice to others to do the same. The actions and reactions by Dr. Morey and his “crew” through these last weeks has demonstrated and undergirded much of what so many are complaining about–essentially, a serious lack of real love. I would encourage readers of this to read my last comment on Part 4 to see more of my heart and feelings right now. While Dr. Morey may dance with joy over the sufferings and ex-communication of fellow believers, this writer is saddened and grieved by both his many friends who experienced the abuses of Morey as well as simply feeling sad and sorry for Bob himself. And I am afraid for my few friends who are still there.

Let us not lose focus of the main issue and universal voice. The Bible says that there is one who is the father of lies and who accuses the brethren of all manner of evil to destroy their witness, reputation, ministries, and future. Sadly, there is a so called elder in Irvine California who imitates these ways.

4.23.2008

The Abuses of Dr. Robert Morey Part 4: Email Conversations I had with a Member of FCC

[NOTE: I have removed the email conversations since I have found out that Cathrine Castaldi who questioned me in Part 3 is a lawyer here in Irvine. Until I get legal council, I will keep these email conversations private. But what follows is the intro I wrote that went before the emails].

[NOTE 2: I have now put the emails back in becaues I want people to see what I wrote. I want them to read about James, Tom, and the other godly men and women. Let the chips fall where God wants them to].

[NOTE 3: I contacted the lawyer here in Irvine who is named Cathrine Castaldi and she is not the Cathrine who asked me questions here. For the record I never said any where that Morey is suing me. But the coincidence between the two names given the current situation is quite interesting! When I write or report I want to stick to the facts and we should all shy away from speculation].

[Correction: The goodbye card that Anne Morey took away from the girls was not for Linda, it was for Patty].


Well, things sure have gotten interesting! I am grateful and encouraged by the many people commenting and speaking up about this issue. After the recent exodus of people from Faith Community Church, I emailed a friend of mine who is still a member there. I was asking for his mailing information for something unrelated to all this. In passing I asked him a couple questions about how he makes sense of the fact that there is such a high fall out rate among leaders in that church. He replied back with an answer. Then I replied back to him with a very long answer. Below here you will find those three emails now published since several people have commented in the last entry that they want me to post them. There were more emails after that, but mostly they repeat the same things and are also long, so I will spare you those. I have omitted the name of my friend who I emailed to keep him anonymous. He has chosen to stay out of this.

In one of the comments from the last entry, Cathrine Castaldi quotes something I said and then she asks me four questions:

"Multitudes of witnesses have spoken out against him..."
1. Where is the record of these witnesses? If offline, please post them here
2. How many witnesses constitutes "multitudes?"
3. Which specific sins has this multitude spoken out against (Chapter & verse please)?
4. Which Bible passages justify your "Abuses" series?

She concluded by saying:

"Please answer these four questions as best as you can and with the most detail possible. Use first and last names with contact info if possible.
Let me now briefly address these questions."

1.The record of these witnesses spans over many years, and we have good reason to believe probably spans over a couple decades. I do not recognize Cahtrine’s name so maybe she is relatively new over there and is not aware of the other large exoduses that occurred in the past. I have now witnessed three, each time with 30-50 people leaving. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is probably a hundred or more people over these years that left during these three major exoduses. I do not want to at this point start listing their full names and contact info because I have not asked their permission yet. Such will come in time. However, if any of them reading this wish to make that available, I encourage them to put their name and email address in the comments section.

2.How many witnesses constitutes “multitudes”? I think 100 people is “Warrant” to apply the word.

3.Cathrine asks “which specific sins has this multitude spoken out against (Chapter & Verse please)?” But I just wonder if she has actually read anything I have posted or anything anyone has written in the comments sections. Many of these sins are clearly explained. Do we really need a chapter and verse to know that lying, slandering, manipulating, etc. are sins? If she wants me to point in the Bible where Morey is himself in there sinning, well, he’s not in the Bible. But to satisfy her itch a little more I would suggest starting with Clark Gallagher’s Open Letter to Dr. Robert Morey (http://www.cchighland.org/robertmorey-openletter/). In that 19 page letter Clark lists 10 specific sins that he calls Morey to repent of and then he goes on to lucidly define, document, and defend his charges. So if you want concrete specifics, let’s start there.

4.Cathrine asks me, “Which Bible passages justify your "Abuses" series?” I don’t think we need Bible passages to “justify” speaking out in truth, speaking out for the church, and speaking out for the poor and needy (Pr. 31:8-9). That is, those actions are not things that we have to “justify” as though doing so were questionable. When Morey speaks out against the cults or even say, Rick Warren, the same passages that he would use to “justify” doing so would equally apply here. But let me try to satisfy this question a bit more.

First, as Christians our priority is truth. Thus we are called to repent of our own sins as well as expose sin in all other areas of life—especially in the church, and double-specially in church leadership. Of course we are to follow biblical principles for confronting elders in the church (e.g. Matt. 18; 1 Tim. 5:19), and these have been followed ad nauseam with Dr. Morey by these various waves of exoduses. Truth is not to be compromised in order to keep a position, to keep a movement alive, to keep a person protected from getting his or feelings hurt, etc. We are called to rebuke false prophets and teachers as well as crooked Christian leaders. The Bible teaches the priesthood of all believers and so we all have the authority and moral obligation to do these things. The Christian church is not the Roman Catholic hierarchical system where the common person has no voice, no authority, and no right to speak up.

Second, there are specific moral character qualifications to be an elder in the church, and these men are held to a higher standard than other believers. For one thing, elders are supposed to be held accountable by other elders in that church because there is supposed to be a plurality of elders. An elder is a public position much like a congressman, and they are held to a higher standard because they have so much influence over the lives of people. Dr. Morey is not only just a local church elder, he also heralds himself as an international scholar. He is thus open to more public scrutiny because of this.

Someone might protest here and say, “Ya but you are attacking his character and not his doctrine. That’s just an ad hominem attack, which is fallacious.” It would be a fallacy if I were in a formal debate with an agreed upon topic, but this is no formal debate. The qualifications of an elder are primarily all character qualities and not how much a man knows. And Morey’s character as an elder is exactly what is in question here. I (and many others) am not challenging or questioning his doctrine, but his character in relation to these qualifications. If he had a problem, say, lying to his wife in his marriage and was in counseling for it, I would remain silent and have respect for him. That would be his personal life and that’s one thing. But he is a public leader influencing God’s people how to think and live both inside his own church and also outside it to the larger body of Christ. Those individuals that act in such a way that brings shame, disgrace, and reasons to further unbelief should be rebuked and admonished to change.

Third, Matthew 18:15-17 gives guidelines for confronting a brother who has sinned against you. This process was followed (or at least they tried) by many people including Javier Villigran, Clark Gallagher, and others. Thus Clark’s open letter is “justified” as well as these current ones, given that he has failed to follow Matthew 18 several times, he has misused this text against these people, he has failed to meet the qualifications of an elder (if what we are saying is correct—heck, even half correct), and he has shown zero remorse over his attitudes, words, and actions. The Bible says, “tell it to the church” when he refuses to listen to these warnings. The context of the passage would assume that the other elders would be the one’s telling it to the church, but since there have never been any there and still are none over there (to my knowledge), the people of God are speaking out. At this point, we are at the public stage, though many will say we are at the tax collector stage.

Fourth, Ezekiel 33 gives us the “watchman on the wall” principle, namely, that we should be on the watch out for error, abuse, and heresy and speak up when we see it. We are called to warn God’s people of these things, and elsewhere in Ezekiel, false and bad shepherds of Israel are rebuked.

Fifth, the apostle Paul calls erring people out by name at places in the Bible. He lists their sins. Also, and maybe most relevant in this current discussion, the apostle John calls out Diotrephes by name for his sins in the church. Diotrephes was most likely an elder or leader in that local church. John says:

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence 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. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but[d] he who does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true (3 John 9-12).

Diotrephes was an abusive leader in the church. John says that when he got there he would “call to mind his deeds which he does” but then he goes on to list some of those things. Interestingly, Diotrephes love “to have the preeminence among them”. He was a power hungry leader in the church who put people out of the church who questioned or did not go along with his program.

Finally, when Dr. Morey accuses good people of all manner of evil sins, few if any people question him, few if any demand chapter & verse from him, and few if any ask to see what evidence he basis his accusations on. When he does it, it is the work of the Lord; when other’s do it to him, it is the work of the devil trying to destroy his “front-line” ministry. On biblicalthought.com Darrin at Faith Defenders made a public offer for anyone to come to the church and see “all the evidence” against Tom and another brother. I have only chimed in once over there and all I said was, “I will come to your church and see your evidence. And if you have nothing to hide then you will not mind if I bring a tape recorder and two pastors with me.” They did not let that comment onto their blog (though I have it saved). The only reason I wanted to bring two pastors with me was not to moderate or have them debate anything, but just to serve as silent witnesses to all that was said and seen. Stephen emailed me the next day and denied me to see this “evidence.” Among other things he said the only condition I can come there is if I completely repent from all my sin. He said I am not allowed on their blog because I was publicly delivered over to Satan. Or was it that, like in all the other past scandals, they would be exposed for having no evidence and that it is all made up, all a smoke screen? I will base my reputation on the characters and reputations of Tom Maxham and another church leader. If there is damning evidence to show that they were “plotting to take over the ministry” and that “Tom had his hands in the [financial] cookie jar,” well then I will be shown to be a fool for defending them and I will repent for calling Dr. Morey a liar on this issue. But I have seen them use this “we have secrete evidence tactic” all too many times while I was there. They dupe the people and then they sweep the whole scandal under the rug, ignore it ever happened, try to move on and hope to God that no one ever raises any more questions about it. Then in time people do forget about it and it is history. Dustin Hoffman also saw this public offer to see the evidence and has called the ministry several times in order to make an appointment to see it. They have not returned his calls. For the record, I have not talked with Dustin one time since all this has gone down. They will keep us at bay to protect themselves from being exposed by saying we are now delivered over to Satan. I didn’t know that they could deliver over members of other churches to Satan posthumously. When I read that I immediately emailed the elders at my church to tell them to watch out and be on guard, for there is an apostate heretic in their fold who is delivered over to de devil. These accusations against Tom were made in a public members meeting. Where’s the evidence to prove it Dr. Morey? Let me examine it with two or three witnesses and let me tape record our meeting for all to see. I will transcribe it and post it.

If all these men (Javier, Clark, Tom, Mike, myself and others) are so unstable, untrustworthy, and corrupt, why did Dr. Morey put them all in leadership positions over the church? Why did he publicly ordain them (not as elders in his church) but as ministers of the gospel? If they are really all the things he is calling them, what does that say about his abilities as a shepherd to put godly men into leadership over the people? You see, if these men are all corrupt and unregenerate as he is now claiming, then what kind of leader would put them in leadership positions over his church? On the other hand, if Dr. Morey was correct in spotting these godly men who stood out and were effective leaders, then are we really to believe the evil things he is speaking about them now? How could he let them help lead his church for years but then so quickly and so coldly to turn on them and accuse them of heinous sins? Which is it Dr. Morey?

In later email conversations I had with this anonymous member at FCC, I said to him that you can ignore all else I have said and chose not to respond, but please answer me one question: do you really think Tom (and another leader who wishes to be unnamed now) are guilty of those awful charges? To this day he still has not answered me, probably because Morey instructed the congregation on a Sunday morning to not read any blogs or emails, not take any phone calls, and not associate with anyone who speaks out against his ministry. They censored my request to see the evidence on their blog and they censored this post by Mike Robirds yesterday:

Mario,
I have been silent on this blog up until now. As I read your writing today, I wholeheartedly agree with scripture that we need to test ourselves continually to see if we are in the Faith. As a result, one assurance we can have to see if we are in the Faith is our Love for the brethren. 1 John 3:23-24, 4:7. In the last few weeks, I have watched as certain men on this blog, have maliciously, and cruelly attacked a certain group of people, because they left a “local” church body. They have been called: False brothers, apostates, rebellious, wolves, etc…all because they deemed that it was time to move on from a local congregation. I ask you, where is the love for the brethren Mario? Eph 4:1-2 Paul exhorts us to walk with all Humility, gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another etc… Col 3:12- Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness etc. I have not seen this from this blog site. There have been a lot of people to leave your local body, I ask you why? Are we all Apostates? Where have been the calls for reconciliation, repentance? If we are in sin, Galatians 6: 2 - tells us that those of you who are spiritual restore those who are caught in sin with a spirit of GENTLENESS. Regardless of what you say Mario, I do not consider you a false brethren, or apostate. I served in your present church for 9 years faithfully. I gave of my time, my energy, and my resources. I even shared some great fellowship time with you in prayer, and talking about life’s issues and the struggle of being a man of God in a fallen world. I ask, did you consider me a brother then? While I agree with your blog, I think you better look at 1 Cor 13. For you guys can have all knowledge, and win every argument, you can have a prophetic word, and even believe that you are Martyrs, because your the last ones left. But if you have not love for the brethren, and yes, those that left your “local” church body are regenerate believers, then you have nothing. I call on you and the rest to stop these attacks, against Godly people, and just get on about the business of serving the Lord in whatever capacity he has called you. Thanks for listening, and I welcome your comments.

This comment, like mine, was censored and not allowed on their blog. Why do you think that is? Was Mike’s post malicious and unbiblical? Or could it be that it would have exposed what he said? How could they respond to this? They could not and so they blocked it.

You know, I guess it's possible that all these people over all these years are just all liars and are just making this stuff up. It is possible that they are all, as Morey claims, being used by Satan to work against him. But is it really believable? Is it more believable that all these good and godly people are all consorting together and creating lies, or that this one man who no one ever questions is the one spinning stories? Friends, if you are honest with yourself before God, I hope you can see all this. What follows next are the initial email conversations I had with a good friend who still is a member at Faith Community Church. If you choose to comment, please do not nit pick little things and side track the real issue.

The Emails:
Wed, 19 Mar 2008 20:23:21 -0700 (PDT)
Sent to: Friend at Faith Community Church


Thanks little brother. I am curious though what you think about so many key leaders leaving the church. Do you think they are all wrong and mistaken? Why do you think leadership seems to leave in series and waves there? What say you?

Wed, 26 Mar 2008 10:52:40 -0700
Sent to: Joel Hughes


[Note as of 04-25-08: my friend at FCC who wrote this initial email to me has asked me to remove his email. Thus it is gone. However, the reason he gave as to why he thought that so many people were leaving is because they are all prideful.]

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:40:59 -0700 (PDT)
Sent to: friend at Faith Community Church


Alright young Jedi, I have thought for a while about how to respond to this. My goal is not to try to pry you out of there. But I would like to give you some things to think about.

I will be a bit blunt in some of this but do not take it personally. I have great respect for you and your abilities. I have plans for a future apologetics/education ministry to take over the world and you are one of the few I entertain in mind to have as a partner—that is, if you will have me. But from what I remember, you were never very tied into the ministry, never really knew too many people or leadership. That might have changed by now. But I must say that you are very na├»ve, not in your outlook on life, but as to what you know about Dr. Bob and the ministry. When I was there (for almost 5 years) I got really involved and I got to know most of the leadership very well. I saw many things that I thought were bad or even sinful. These things I wrote in detail to Dr. Bob in my 10 page letter to him, of which I heard from several people, that he never read. But instead of reading it and taking it seriously, he has since accused me of gossip, slander, and pride to several people, including my current pastor. When my pastor asked him about what I did and what slander and gossip I did, Dr. Morey back tracked and changed the subject. He is master of doing that. But he warned my pastor about me and told him that I was dangerous and unstable. Thankfully, my pastor saw through it. I have only showed my letter to Dr. Bob, Tom M, and my pastor. I have not gossiped or slandered in any way, but all I wanted to do was get out silently and move on. But he follows those who try to do that and calls their pastors and poisons the well. Here is another case in point.

As you remember, Javier and Lisa Villigran were “ex-communicated” from the church several years ago. I was on the inside when all that was going down. I talked with both sides and the leadership as well. That family was virtually ruined for a couple years. Javier wept on the phone to me and could not believe what Dr. Bob was doing to them, the tactics he was using. Javier and Lisa were with Dr. Bob for many years, before I got there. We were good friends with them outside the church. They are a godly family and got along well with everyone in the church. That family served him so faithfully and Javier helped me lead the kid’s ministry. He was in charge of half of it. Javier had the audacity to question some of the things he saw going on in the ministry with the finances. He got the run around and Dr. Bob evaded him and his questions. He was then formally delivered over to Satan for gossip. When this was happening I was in one of the morning staff “prayer” meetings and I was just listening to Cindy spew vitriolic poison about Javier and Lisa. It made me sick. I got a little angry and asked her some point blank questions; I essentially challenged the “evidence” she had. She had no answer, but more of a blind devotion to Dr. Bob and the ministry. Dorothy Kusch was so sickened by Cindy’s answers and bitterness that she just got up and left. I am getting to my other “case in point” soon. Last week I had lunch with the Villigrans and we reconciled. I learned many other interesting and scary things about Dr. Bob. But my case in point is that when they left the church, they started going to a reformed Baptist church. I visited that church last week and the pastor, Pastor Elliot, gave an amazing sermon on the resurrection. The Villigrans started going to this church. Pastor Elliot tried to contact Dr. Bob to talk to him about them. Dr. Bob would not take his calls. He tried to set up an appointment at the ministry but they would not let him. But interestingly there was a pastor’s conference in some other state and pastor Elliot was there. Someone pointed out to him that that’s Dr. Morey over there. So pastor Elliot went over and introduced himself and asked about the Villigrans. Dr. Bob said he had never heard of them. He said this several times until finally Elliot asked enough questions that Dr. Bob flipped again and said, “Oh yes, now I remember them.” He lied my friend. He outright lied. There is no way he could have forgotten who they were. Javier tried many times to meet with Dr. Bob and reconcile, but Dr. Bob would not have it unless Javier submitted to his ridiculous rules. Javier and his new pastor tried to reach Dr. Bob to again seek reconciliation, but he would not do so. I guess my case in point is not exactly the same, but oh well.

May I also remind you that Clark was publicly open in his letters and in his private emails that I have seen that he wanted and was willing to reconcile with Dr. Bob. Dr. Bob would not do it. He closed the books and said in his email (which I have) that he no longer ever wanted to talk to Clark. Is that biblical? Is that godly? Is that practicing what he teaches? If you don’t believe me you can read the long letter I wrote him where I document it from the emails with time and dates. Again, Clark was one who was so devoted to Dr. Bob it almost at times made me sick. Clark got axed from Dr. Bob blindly and in public. It is all documented. Dr. Bob was sinfully unbiblical. Clark has documented all this also in his open letter to Dr. Morey which you can read online.

My friend, do you realize how many people have left that church and how many families and people have been hurt and broken by that man? All of these people served him and the ministry so faithfully for years (of course they were serving God in doing so or at least should have been). We did so much for that man from teaching Sunday mornings, Mondays, Sunday Seminary, ran the church to helping him clean his garage or taking him to dinner. And that’s just the start. All these people who were leaders in the church who have left are mostly all still in contact and we are working on putting together some sort of FCC reunion, and the number of these people would outnumber the current population of the church right now.

May I also reiterate that the whole Clark thing was ridiculous? Again, I was listening carefully to both sides when that went down. Dr. Bob straight out lied to me about Clark and things that Clark allegedly said to me. He said that Clark told TJ some outlandish things, but when we asked TJ he said (and I have it on email) that Clark never said any such thing to him. I didn’t believe it when Dr. Bob told me these things there sitting in his minivan; I didn’t believe it because they were so outlandish and unbelievable. He did not do what Dr. Bob said he did or said. Again, there were slanderous lies.

I ask you, does any church you know of have such a high fall out rate among its leadership? I want you to think of a few people in particular. Aside from the Villigrans, I want you to think about Tom and Patty Maxham. If there was ever a couple more dedicated to the cause and the ministry it was them. Tom read over 100 books recommended to him by Dr. Bob and read dozens of books on counseling and went to many seminars. He and Dorothy Kusch counseled dozens and dozens of people and families at the church. Tom put in countless hours late into the night counseling people at the church, all for free. He was still working full time at the fire station. Dr. Bob completely trusted both his ability and his doctrine. He spoke highly of Tom many times about his gifts in this way. On top of all that, Tom took an early retirement from his job as chief of the fire station so he could devote himself full time to the ministry—again without any pay. In taking this early retirement he took a large hit financially on what he could get in his retirement, but he did this for Christ and the church. Is it really “pride” that caused Tom the counselor to leave in disgust? He said on the phone that leaving there was the healthiest thing he could do for his family. What do you think he meant by that? He was on the inside, he saw and he knew too much. One more thing, he has meet with the Villigrans to reconcile and apologize for how things went down with them. He knew that it was done all wrong and that lies were told about them to demonize them. I think if Tom had any fault it was that he just needed to stand up earlier to the abuses and lies and schemes. When I left the church, Tom pleaded several times with me to stay. He said he would talk to Dr. Bob and they would work on many of the problems I had brought up and confronted in my letter. Even then he was staunchly devoted to Dr. Bob and the church. No longer. They have now stood up. The only people I ever gave my Dr. Bob letter to were Dr. Bob, Tom, and my pastor. Tom read it then and re-read it recently and he said that I was right on in everything and that I saw many of the problems early or sooner than many others. But what I mention in it is all for the most part public knowledge and public things.

I would have you consider Mike Robirds who was with Dr. Bob from the very beginning when he arrived in California. Mike served Dr. Bob and his family for so long and in so many ways. Remember also that Dr. Bob put Mike in charge over the men’s discipleship. When I left the church, Mike also tried hard to keep me to stay. I remember the last time we talked (other than just recently) was at my job at Calvary Chapel. He came by to pick something up. When I brought up all the problems of Dr. Bob he said that we just need to put our heads down and keep moving forward. I immediately thought of an ostrich who buries his head in the sand. Mike was mad at me and so blindly devoted to Dr. Bob, he completely trivialized all the problems. I did recently get a chance to meet and speak with Mike and we have reconciled. He is so amazed that he could be deceived for so long. He could tell you much more. When the ladies in the women’s discipleship class passed a card around to say goodbye to Patty (Tom's wife), Annie Morey came over and ripped it out of a ladies hand and said in complete anger and said that they are not allowed to talk to her. You see friend, they have a cultish mentality in controlling who you can associate with. They black list people and then instruct them that they are not allowed to talk with them. Nicki and I were blacklisted. We heard from a girl in the women’s discipleship that in one of their meetings Cindy instructed (commanded) them that they were not to talk to Nicki and Joel Hughes because Nicki’s husband is deceived by Satan right now and that they need to pray for Nicki. OK. But not only were we blacklisted Dr. Bob slandered me later on to several people for no reason.

I would have you consider [name omitted until I have permission to use it] who also helped run the church and worked there for either no pay or for the most meager pay. But she also served the church in so many ways for no pay like helping run the kids ministry, doing secretarial work...omitted for now...She is one of the old saints that every church needs. She finally could stand it no longer either. She got too close and learned too much. During her last time there she was in a member’s meeting and she dared to ask or challenge with some questions in public about some things. She said that Cindy got angry and pointed her finger at her and said something to the effect that we will discuss that in private, not here. She has left and since reconciled with us and many others who were ejected or blacklisted.

Oh and there are so many others. I could mention Jim the financial guy the ministry had who taught the Crown Financial seminars and courses to the church. Jim worked for the church for a while doing all the financial stuff. When he finally found out how they deal with finances and all the schemes for money, he left. Dr. Bob slandered him and hounded him afterward. When he found out how insanely high the interest rate on the building loan was, he was horrified that Dr. Bob would be so biblically irresponsible and place such a burden on the people.

[I have omitted several names at this place from the original email since I need their permission]

I could go on and mention so many more people just like these who served for years and formed and lead the church.

Think about how much money Dr. Bob raises and gets. Do you know how many fund raising tactics he has done and how many hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars he has raised? Think of one example, the Crusader’s Club. That is purely a money making scheme. People from the inside have said this. It is such a joke and one reason I never got involved in it because I saw right through it from the start. Pay hundreds of dollars and you get a coffee mug, a sticker, and access to Dr. Bob’s email address to ask him questions. Please. But the men in the men’s discipleship group were forced to pay into it each month. You can bet I fought that one and almost dropped out of the group over that.

The whole initial deacon process was also a fraud and unbiblical. It didn’t even make sense. Read my letter for details on that one. The leadership of the church is really just Dr. Bob and some odd “Board” of yes men and yes women. Things are really just run by Dr. Bob and his vice president, Cindy. She controlled the selection of deacons more than Dr. Bob did. Please do not mistake all this as me being bitter. I am absolutely not. I am long over it. I am concerned about you though. When Dr. Bob wanted to go on the radio the whole staff and whole board was against it. They were already overworked and the church could not afford it since they were in the red every month with bills. Did he listen? No he forced it through and plunged the church into huge financial debt (ca. $40,000). Read my letter for more on that. His priorities are not the church and the people, but his projects and visions (CBUS and Radio and his (n)ever coming book).

And may I say that after 6 or so years there still are no elders in the church! What does that tell you? Do you know how many good and qualified men have come through there who wanted to be elders? One by one, they all get ejected or leave in disgust. Clark, Tom, Mike, and myself were all in Dr. Bob’s eldership discussion group. We read books together on eldership and meet once a month to discuss the book. Dr. Bob came in the beginning but eventually just stopped showing up and gave it over to Tom to run. The unspoken goal was that some of us there would eventually become elders. Nothing ever came of it because Dr. Bob did nothing with it and just forgot about it (and us). He runs the whole show on his own and it will NEVER be any different. There is always talk of elders, but it never happens and years go by. My friend, if you have hopes of becoming an elder there some day, I can assure you, you never will. He will never do it. He will give you all sorts of hopes and promises, he will give you assignments and books to read, but he will never do anything else. If you ever do become an elder there please print this email (just one page) and I will literally eat it and stand on my head. He will not tolerate sharing the power with anyone. It is Bob Morey Live and Solo, or it is nothing at all.

The man made so many promises to me. Countless times he would tell me that he wanted to bring me on staff full time but they just didn’t have the money to do so. I waited patiently and honestly expected nothing. I had hopes, but I expected nothing. My wife will attest to that. But then when they had no money to bring me on staff, guess what? But I didn’t think much of it and waited patiently. I watched the staff grow and grow. Hmmmm. Then I get promises again that he wants to bring me on staff or even eldership. But again, there was no money. But then he launches the radio show. Ok. It was one thing after another, like there was no money to pay the good intelligent men who could lead, but there was money to pay his daughter a salary and his son also for being the on staff “proof reader”? If there were ever a conjured job, it was that one. And there were still tons of errors in the proof read works!

Those who get too close to him or get too much power or question his ways, they get cut. He will make up stories and accusations and lies. This is well documented with all the cases mentioned above. This is why people leave (or one big reason), the man is a continual liar. He slanders like crazy.

Have you ever heard a pastor or Christian leader boast about himself and his abilities any where as close as you have him? Could you imagine some of your other heroes talking about themselves as he does? He creates and promotes a culture that praises him to high heaven as the smartest and greatest scholar since Jonathan Edwards or Calvin. This is part of the deception that keeps people there. And let’s be honest friend, his scholarship is not even all that—at least compared to so many others out there right now. His “doxological” apologetics is for the most part a joke. I have also heard of plagiarism in his work. His 40 plus books consist of at least half little pamphlets, and the bound books he has are small and basic little intros to stuff. He does have a few impressive works. But also, do you really believe he reads every work in the library of congress when doing a research project? Please, no one could do that. There is just no way you could read thousands of volumes in a weekend trip. It would take a day just to read through all the titles. This is another lie to magnify himself and create that kind of culture. You get used to and inoculated to it over time. But most who first show up are shocked at his self-promotion and either never come back or get inoculated also.

But all this aside even, there are real and serious other problems going on. These are serious enough to leave. But I would rather have you hear it from others who recently left. If this response has stirred any concern in you, I would encourage you to contact some of those men and talk to them. They will tell you. What I have said here is just the tip of the ice berg, of what is out in public view.

I do trust that you will come to see the truth that I speak of eventually. Either you will see it and say “enough is enough” or you will get screwed by Dr. Bob somehow. I warn you, he fights very dirty. He did so with the Villigrans, he did so with Clark, he did so with me, and he is now doing so with many who have left and many others in the past. He does stuff that you would simply not believe. I would also challenge you to let your girlfriend read this (if you guys are still together) because often the women are more sensitive to these things than we are and they see them earlier. If you choose to keep this response from her and keep your head in the sand like an ostrich that will tell a lot. Let her read this and see what she says.

Why did I leave the church? I left the church because I lost all respect for Dr. Bob as a man and to a large part as a scholar.

Peace
Joel

4.17.2008

The Abuses of Dr. Robert Morey Part 3: My Open Letter of Resignation from FCC

Dear blog readers,

Posting what I am here was not something I wanted to do. I have made this clear in my previous blogs about Morey. I extended mercy to him several times now. Yet he has now repeatedly called me and other faithful believers all inflamatory names under heaven: apostate, heretics, antichrists, unregenerate, the legion of doom, fallen away, reprobate, non-Christians etc. Thankfully there are many people reading these several blogs right now who are seeing through it. For he says more about his own heart than he does about ours. What I am posting now is the letter I wrote him when I officially resigned from the church, Jan. 21st, 2007. I ask you to read it and ask yourself: do I sound like those things he is now saying? Am I filled with hatred and bitterness and jealousy as he and his crew say I am? I will let you decide. At that time the only people who have ever seen this letter are Dr. Morey and Tom Maxham. I have only given it since to my current pastor. I wrote this before Clark wrote his open letter, and he never saw this nor did he know what I wrote about, but the similarities are striking. Also for the record, I never said that Dr. Morey is not going to write his book. I have no clue where he got that from. It's not in any email I have sent out. Also, the fact that he brings Clark into this shows further how he is clueless about what is going on. I have not talked with Clark in months, and he just called me two days ago asking me what in the world is going on. But the tactics, antics, and insane assumptions made over there now well deserve a response. And this will be just the beginning. What formerly was a private letter of resignation to Dr. Morey is now a public letter for all to see.



Dear Dr. Bob,

It is with great regret and reluctance that I find myself writing this letter. I wish I was not writing this. My heart truly hurts over my decision. Please consider this letter as my and my family’s formal retraction of our church membership at Faith Community Church. As the head of my home, I have made this decision out of conscience and much thought; I can no longer in good faith attend the church and sit under your influence.

I cannot express enough that I wish this were not the case. You have been one of my heroes of the faith. I have profited immensely from your teachings. My family and I have profited a great deal from our time at the church. I truly appreciate the teaching and serving experiences that you have given me, as well as the strong encouragement that meant very much to me coming from you. When people have asked me what I want to do in life, I usually say that I want to be like my pastor to the degree that God allows me—I want to pastor, teach, lecture, write, and debate. I have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to do that (nearly 10 years now). However, there have been actions and attitudes on your part that I have not wanted to imitate. While every pastor has his struggles and weaknesses, in the beginning and for several years now, I just tried to look over some of these and give mercy and grace, for love covers a multitude of sins. But they added up and my respect for you over the last couple of years has silently eroded in my heart.

Why did I never say anything? Why did I never confront you on any of these things you might wonder? Well, the truth is because having the “thick rhino skin” that you do, and seeing how you have treated other people who have tried to correct you—and especially how you have then later mocked those people from the pulpit, I figured it would do nothing except make me questionable in your eyes. I would be a trouble maker untrustworthy for any sort of leadership. Moreover, one of your own top staff members told me that he directly confronted you on the unbiblical nature of debt (or more like plunging your already broke church into more huge debt), and he told me that you tried to give some excuse from the Proverbs and then tried to change the subject. This reminds me of your last Sunday sermon where you tried to use the Proverbs to justify why it is alright to break promises. And so I said to myself, Dr. Morey is not perfect; I can live with some of these things, especially since I do profit so much from the teaching and the church body. But this recent episode dealing with Clark is the last straw for me.

I want to make it clear that I am not leaving the church because of anything Clark did or said. I am not leaving because he persuaded me to follow him or because he asked me to leave the church. That is emphatically not the case. That has never happened. I have almost left this church several times already for other various reasons explained below. What has happened between you and Clark is the straw that broke this camel’s back; I have made the decision for my family to leave, not because I am following Clark or any such thing, I am leaving because of how you treated Clark and how you have handled this whole situation. But this is not the only reason. It is one of seven reasons, many I have overlooked, but can do so no longer. I suppose I will just list them out, not so much that I think that they will change you—I do not really think they will which is why I never said anything—but rather to show that my decision to leave is not based on whim or rash emotions. I am not a rebel. And I do sincerely pray that God will use these to help you see some things. But I must also say that the reason I am choosing to resign tomorrow is because I think it necessary to take a stand against what you are doing.

1. There are too many taxes on the people to support your programs. One thing that really made me cringe happened before I ever came to the ministry, now probably over four years ago. In one of your mailings from Faith Defenders that I received you were appealing for your mailing list to donate as much money as they could, and then you cited Acts 5 about Ananias and Sapphira. You then clearly implied that if we do not give our money, then a similar judgment could be in store for us also! From what I heard this letter was what caused the Calvary Chapel book store and Distribution to forever remove all your products from their shelves.

Furthermore, the whole Crusader’s Club seemed more like a money making scheme than a legitimate ministry that cares about people. You have to pay all this money every month to get a couple trinkets and some information that should just be free. And the person with the most money is the one who gets the highest rank! It seemed to me like the titles and offices were bought, rather than earned. Also all the thousands of dollars spent on the fancy banquets each year seems like priorities are out of place since there was usually public complaints from the pulpit that we have no money and have other debts to pay off. There seems to me to be too much focus on money, too many appeals to pay for huge debts, and even divine threatenings and guilt-trips to pay these (your!) debts off.

A recent example of such a threat was when you used Micah four to raise money for the roof (I still have the handout), making us feel that God is holding some exact numerical debt against us, and His blessings will not flow until we have repaid Him for robbing Him every week of our Christian life that we failed to tithe or empty our savings account out for. What is even worse is that in your Hermeneutics course—that I am (or was) teaching the men in our discipleship meetings right now—you outright condemn preachers who go back to the OT and use Micah four to support their building programs! Moreover, the church donated tens of thousands of dollars for CBUS, plus pays out multiple salaries every month to those who are creating it. Now I fully support CBUS and am thoroughly impressed with the work that has been accomplished there. But how much money has gone to just one more project again when apparently the church can barely pay its rent? This small body of believers—many who have left for various similar reasons as all these listed in this letter—have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to this ministry: to send your books out, to get into the building, to put you on the radio (twice), to build your school, to fix the building, to pay your program directors (i.e. “staff”), etc. Enough is enough.

2. There is too much public and private rudeness, crudeness, and harshness toward other people—especially fellow believers. I agree with you in your teaching “God Mocked Them”. But this is toward blatant cult members and pagan priests. My heart has so often been grieved at how you make fun of and belittle other Christians who you disagree with. It is not just me, even much of your own staff cringes. Also some of the crassness you have used about men and women when it is just us guys often makes me sick (e.g. talking about guys “screwing” or “banging” their wives). Finally, I have often been disappointed at how you misrepresent people, the alleged things they have said or did, or the positions they allegedly believe. This is one of the main reasons that this ministry has not grown larger, because it surely could be far more influential. But I know so many people who will never listen to you again because of these things. Enough is enough.

3. There is a loss of priority in this local church body: your personal projects aimed at people out there take priority over the needs of the people right here at home. Something that has repeatedly grieved me in this ministry is that it seems that you care more about your own promotion and programs than you do about the health and people at Faith Community Church. I believe the church has suffered for this. You talked a lot about the men’s discipleship program and you would often ask the men how it has changed their lives. But honestly, how much have you ever really invested in us? How did you disciple the handful of men who helped you lead this church? What time did you spend with them on a regular basis preparing them for the pastorate, which they all desire? None of us are allegedly ready and mature enough to be pastors, but you never did much to help us to be “ready.” Did you pour your time into us on a regular basis? I told you several times what my desire is. I made it clear that I want to be involved with you in ministry more and to know you more. But every time you talk to me, you only talk at me (for you rarely if ever talk with me or listen to my thoughts), and I end up thinking to myself: “What is he talking about? That is not right about me? He doesn’t even know me. But he is assuming all these things about me.” After four years, you have this young man in your church who is so hungry to grow and be a pastor, and yet you have barely taken any time to get to know me. In fact, there are several of us like this. Telling us to read some of your books and tapes is just not the same as having a live pastor show us the ropes. I got very little from men’s discipleship, for when you did show up you either talked about debt or the building or “Bob Morey Live!”, or you put us to work outside. This of course was not every time. The times you did teach were profitable and were what gave me hope to continue coming. I had great hope when we started the eldership meetings, but then you began to not show up to those also. I guess things like the radio program or the university or your book took all your energy.

I cannot help but think that our church would be thriving today if you had let go of half of the “staff” who work on your “programs,” and put their salaries toward a few men from our congregation as ordained elders. The “staff” of the “ministry” was always growing, but the true spiritual leaders who are to oversee the church—that is over 200 people in number!—have never even grown by one more. The church has existed for about five years (and Faith Defenders even longer), and God has brought you some amazing men who have served you from the beginning. Does it take more than five years to know that a man is faithful and able? It only took Jesus a little over three years to find his men, and Paul often less time. Is that a biblical requirement, five or more years of service? Such men who work so hard to be pastors and sacrifice so much eventually get discouraged and question their calling. I think of us who are in that eldership meeting each month. I wonder how many more years we would be strung along with some faint hope that our calling would finally be recognized and come to fruition—especially since we are all in many ways already serving the church in this capacity, but just without the title or pay!

Moreover, it does not seem biblical or responsible to plunge the church into so much debt for your radio program when we are already so far in debt with the building to begin with. When every staff member urged against it, you went ahead with it. The board I guess allowed it. The church seems to be run then by some semi-secular board of two people—one woman and one man who (according to my knowledge) is not even a member—and is not run by a spiritual board of male elders as the Bible mandates. Some of the choices made in obtaining the building seem sketchy to me as well, like the immensely high interest rate (esp. when we were so small) or the L.P. who are the ones who then own and have the ultimate say of what to do with the building. Also renting it out to questionable and even heretical organizations always struck me as odd, given that we are Faith Defenders (but if you legitimately did not know that some of these churches were true heretics, then scratch that complaint). And nothing personal against John and Ruthann (I enjoy conversations with John), but were their jobs crucial to the ministry? Should we have to actually pay for an editor and a choir director? Are those things even essential? Are those jobs more important than the one assistant you did have? And why did your wife Anne receive a full time salary? I didn’t know that being a pastor’s wife was a full time paid position. Staff is cut and laid off to save money, but not our editor and choir director—jobs they should have done for free! and which others in our body would have done for free. The Bible says that Elders who “rule well” should be counted worthy of double honor. You may get the double honor for laboring in word and doctrine, but from the sample listed above, it does not seem that you rule this church well: it seems more to me as a means to an end—a financial vehicle to finance your personal ministry programs. Enough is enough.

4. There appeared to be an arbitrary choice of deacons, thus further supporting the above mentioned problems. Many people also saw this and I think was one reason that led them to eventually leave. To be honest, I did not understand why those chosen were chosen, and why others who should have been chosen, were not. And the reasons offered in defense of those chosen were either unbiblical or arbitrary. For example, in our public members meeting, many people asked you why certain people were chosen. Why was I chosen? Your reason from the pulpit was that I cleaned the bathrooms and did janitorial work. But that was a job the ministry paid me for as they would any other person or company. Also during that meeting you said that I had not been doing that job for several months! At that time I was working on courses/syllabi for CBUS. It showed me that you had no clue as to what I was doing. It showed me that you had no idea why I was being nominated as a deacon. Is that ruling the church well? When they asked why Mike Robirds is a deacon, you actually said because he lays carpets and can get discounts on carpet! When they asked why another one was chosen, you said because he oversees CBUS. But this again is a paid position separate from the church. On the other hand, there were people like the Henson’s, the Montgomery-Scott’s, the Villigran’s, and others who labored every week for the church and who would have loved to serve as deacons. While Mike Robirds is worthy indeed to be a deacon (as the above mentioned), Javier at the time actually served in the church far more, was a faithful member, and he actually worked on our air conditioning units much more than Mike laid our carpets! And no offense to Judy, but what does she really do except greet people at the door? Heather Henson labored far more in all kinds of ways in the church. When we lost Heather and Denise, we lost, among other things, an amazing kids choir program. The children suffered spiritually when we lost that, since so often I or some other person with no musical ability was forced to go up and lead them in weekly worship. Many of the choices made smacked to many people of favoritism and arbitrariness. While I believe all who were chosen were indeed worthy to be deacons, the public reasons you offered to justify these choices was uninformed and unbiblical. Enough is enough.

5. I believe that there were unfair and abusive tactics used against the Villigran family. Before he and his family were officially ex-communicated, I was trying to listen to both sides (as I tried to do in this recent conflict, especially since you made it a public affair). Javier shared with me some of the tactics and things you did, such as leaving six or seven hostile messages on his answering machine, the last ones where you are yelling. For some reason you also brought out on those messages some sort of threatening about him being accused of child molestation. When I talked to him on the phone the man was weeping. He was so deeply hurt over the whole thing. The parable about gossip that a brother read on Sunday morning, mocked and made fun of them, calling them names in a snobbish tone and the whole tone of the parable was not one of grief and sorrow, but mockery and pomp. There were other things that greatly troubled me during that time, but I do not remember them any longer. While I forget at this time many of the tactics used back then, I do not forget the tactics used now against Clark.

6. I believe that there are unfair, abusive, and unbiblical tactics used against Clark currently. This is the final straw that has broken this camel’s back. I have calmly and patiently listened to the both of you, and I just cannot bring myself to believe that Clark is guilty of some of the things that you publicly accused him of. I have known Clark for ten years now. Your stories are contradicting each other. I hate being in this place, but I have come to believe for the most part what Clark is saying. You publicly rebuked him as a rebel during the whole congregation! And this only a day-and-a-half after you spoke with him about his plan to start a church. You gave him no warning, no phone call, no private meeting as Matthew 18 would have us do. You told me that the Friday conversation was rushed and not conducive to clear communication. But then without clear facts you rushed to print Sunday morning to publish a smear job. Even your current defenders who were there have admitted to me that you basically sucker punched this man who has faithfully served you full time for the last four years! This to me seems to be an abuse of power, an abuse of your position of an elder. You told me he jumped the gun, but it sure seems to me that you didn’t jump the gun—you shot your co-worker with it!

The day before you did this, I hung out with Clark all day. He and Dana were happy and thankful that you (while reluctant or sad to let him go), were nevertheless going to accept his choice and be council for him when he needs it. He was shocked by what happened Sunday. He told me that day that when he heard about what happened, he felt like someone punched him in the face. Among other things, that Sunday (01-13-07) you told the congregation that Clark is not guilty of any moral or doctrinal sin, but then you accused him of the following things:

1. He is trying to split or divide the church and steal sheep.
2. He doesn’t care if you do not accept his ordination from you, he will just ordain himself.
3. He is going to try to take as many people with him as he can.
4. That various people have called you or the ministry and told you these things.

Moreover, you told me Monday night in your car the following:

5. That Clark told T.J. that the building is actually sold and that Dr. Bob is hiding the money.

Conveniently, the recording from the end of your message is edited out of the audio CD. However, charges 1-3 do fall into moral and doctrinal issues, which he is guilty of if that is what he said and what he intends, as you say he did and does. Thus already you have publicly contradicted yourself. First of all, just knowing Clark, I have a real hard time believing that he said and did these things. In fact, I don’t. But more importantly, for charges 1-4, where are your witnesses that allegedly called you or the ministry saying all this? A man should be able to face his accusers and have a fair trial before he is hung in public. In fact, throughout this week, your charges of things against Clark have not only grown in exaggeration and nature, but you yourself have resorted to judging his motives and heart: saying he is doing these things out of “hatred, gossip, and slander.” You make him sound like some plotting master-mind who maliciously set out to slam you and split your church. Give me a break. Such tactics reveal to me more about you than they do about Clark.

I cannot accept your charge that Clark is trying to split the church and steal sheep. These few families approached Clark with the idea and willingly made this decision themselves. They are not stupid people who can’t think for themselves. They were not coerced or deceived by him to follow him and turn against you. And why not, it makes good sense since they all live within a stone’s throw of each other and also all live so far away from the ministry. Do you know that since I have been serving at F.C.C. and teaching there, probably 8 to 10 solid people have said to me that if I ever started a church in their area (given our high number of commuters), they would attend it. Does that mean that if I did start a church, I’m guilty of splitting your church and stealing your sheep? Of course not. And this is in no way my intention.

I cannot accept your charge that Clark doesn’t care about whether you ordain him or not, he will just ordain himself. This is just silly.

I cannot accept your charge that Clark is going to try to take as many people with him as he can. He did not call anyone in the church and try to get them to follow him. This smells of just one more of your many careless exaggerations that are not afraid to hurt another’s character and reputation. Names of these people who are telling you all these awful things would sure be helpful to your case.

I cannot accept your claim that various people called you or the ministry to say all this. If so, where are these witnesses? That Sunday night I spoke to Tom on the phone and he said that one way or another you all would have to get together and try to work this thing out, even if you agree to disagree. This is what Clark wanted. Yet you then refused to meet. And then you e-mailed him and said that the issue is done, and according to Titus 3:10 you could no longer associate with him! The verse says that he is a factitious and divisive (heretic) man. He is? It also says reject such a person after the first and second admonition. Where were these two admonitions? This is too much for me to handle. These accusations are so strong, yet so unfounded. Further, Clark first informed you that he was going to start this church on Friday when you two spoke on the phone. On Monday (1-15-07) you emailed him a letter where you said: “Having listened this morning to your phone messages, that you wanted to discuss my sermon, I will have Tim send you a copy so you can hear it first hand. Once you hear it, I am open to you coming down and sitting down with Tom and the board to discuss it” (emphasis mine). This you said on Monday. The very next day, Tuesday the 16th, you emailed him saying that on the basis of Titus 3:10, you are “bound by the word of God to officially refrain from any further contact with you. It is better for both of us to go our different ways before we destroy any hope of future friendship. In this light I am no longer going to meet with you, take your phone calls, or response to letters or emails. The issue is over.” This is strange to me. For when I spoke to Tom on Sunday evening about your sermon, Tom said that the three of you would surely have to get together to work this all out, even if you have to agree to disagree. On Monday, you said that you were open to meeting with Clark, with Tom and the board there also. But then one day later on Tuesday you closed the case and put the file away forever. You said that it was done and you would refuse to any more speak with Clark. What? Is that what the Bible calls for? Is that what you taught us to do? Moreover, when I spoke to Tom on Friday, he told me that you have kept him totally out of the loop in this whole situation (except emails). But he said that he has not talked with you at all since your Sunday sermon. Why would Tom not be involved in this as he himself even expected as the church counselor? This to me seems suspicious. Especially since to this day Clark says he is more than willing to come in all alone and work this whole thing out, even if to agree to disagree.

Now if you respond to me that Clark sharing these emails to me is some sort of confidential breech or gossip, well, then, I just have to point out a few things. First, he did not offer them to me or blindly email them to me. I point blank asked him to send them to me because I was having a hard time believing that you could say some of the things claimed. Second, you yourself CCd all these emails to other people. Finally, you yourself don’t seem to shy away from making private counseling information public! So if you try to point your finger at me for using some of these emails, you are shooting yourself, for in those emails, you reveal private information about another person, even private by law.

If I may also add, charge 5 above is also ridiculous. You told me that Clark told T.J. that the building is sold and Dr. Bob is hiding the money. When I told Clark you said this he laughed for nearly 30 seconds. I just don’t believe it; I don’t believe that he said what you said he said. Now he may of said something that is sort of remotely kind of barely dealing with that subject, but I can’t help but believing that the way you put it is just another exaggeration to support you and hurt him. [Note added later: when Clark asked T.J. about this, T.J. flatly denied that Clark ever said this, thus showing Dr. Bob blatantly just made this story up to me that night in his van]

Finally, you sent out several emails to various people in the church stating that Clark was in counseling with yourself and Tom, and in those sessions, Clark confessed to some secrete dark sin. What! First, Clark denies ever being in counseling with you two and says that if he was then there would be detailed records of dates, times, and events as there are with every other case. There would be a confidentiality agreement signed by him as there is with every other case, and you should be able to produce all these documents. Can you produce these documents to support your accusations? Further, such sessions and what is discussed is supposed to be of the utmost confidentiality. Even if it were true, how could you ever reveal something like that in public? I would be horrified if you told the congregation that I or my family was in counseling for some very serious issues. This destroys any sort of trust in the alleged confidentiality in F.C.C.’s counseling program. Let us just say all this is true, you must realize that you are using another person’s confidential confession as a weapon against him. This confirms that you do indeed fight dirty. You did similar tactics against Javier, and unfortunately for you, it is all on tape with that one. And now when in confrontation again, you resort to threats and low blows. Well, this is low, if not legally liable. I am ashamed of you sir.

You are right; this whole thing did not have to happen. I just wonder why you were not more anxious to try to meet and work through any misunderstandings as the Bible in so many places calls us to do. Why were you so quick to attack him publicly and then cut him off and shut the door? Enough is enough. But I have one more reason that I can no longer attend the church and submit myself to your leadership.

7. I have always cringed at the massive amount of self-promotion and boasting you do. I have never in my life heard a Christian teacher, pastor, or scholar, promote himself and boast in his abilities as much as I have heard you do. I could not even imagine hearing Alfred, MacArthur, Sproul, Schaeffer, Piper, White, Swindoll, or even Bahnsen talk so much about themselves and how smart and great they are (in contrast to all the idiot nimnu’s out there). You rarely if ever have a good word to say about other good and godly men. Even with men of your caliber you usually immediately mention their flaws and problems. I have said to a few people before in private that I think your ministry and influence could be huge, as big as a MacArthur or a Swindoll, if you only cut out the crassness, harshness, and all the boasting about yourself. I have so many friends who would be going to F.C.C. but have been utterly turned off because of such behavior. I wonder how many others over the years are in the same boat. The men who do have such huge ministries rarely ever speak of themselves. I do believe that you genuinely love God and wish to see Him glorified, but that is what makes this all the more baffling, for this last observation of mine seems to contradict that thesis.

It is time for me to bring this letter to a close. I could contend with many, many of the things you have said over this last week, even your message about ordination and being sent. While I agree that this is the ideal situation, i.e., to be sent out by a local church with their blessing—something I desired from this fellowship, it also seems that if too much is made out of it then we climb in bed with Rome’s teaching of apostolic succession. For was Martin Luther sent? But did not God ordain and send and use him? Indeed. Many others like this could be mentioned. But I have said enough, maybe too much. I grant that some of my particular facts might not be entirely accurate. I am willing to retract anything that is shown to be false. I am very sorry that our relationship had to come to this. For a long time now I have been willing in true Christian love to overlook some of these things, for God knows I have my struggles and sins. But this recent abuse of Clark is just too much. Enough is enough. You cannot crucify the reputation of Clark and then sweep it under the rug of Titus 3:10. The irony in all this is that you said publicly that Clark is not ready to be a pastor or the leader of a church. You said that he is too immature and you told me that he has some issues to work on. But if we look this letter over again, if we look at the way this church is run, how you slander and mock fellow believers from the pulpit, how biblical principles of confrontation and restoration are ignored, and how you have to distort the truth (if not outright lie) and resort to dirty tactics to win, then sir, you are not fit to be an elder of any church either. Maybe you should check the plank in your own eye, before you publicly point out the speck in my brother’s eye. Maybe your calling in these latter days is the lectern and not the pulpit (as you tried to say it was for me), for then you could really focus on the things (the many projects) that seem most important to you, since you have admitted many times that you had no desire or intention to start a church when you came out here to California.

I want you to know that I am not going to spread gossip around about this. I am not going to call anyone in the church about any of this. My greatest concern and priority through all of this has been the safety and unity of this church. I love the people of F.C.C. and do not want to see them hurt, many of them again from previous churches. Please do not publicly or privately lump me in with Clark and the other three families who have chosen to support him. I have made myself clear that I am not following them nor leaving because of anything they did, but only because of what you did to them and how you have handled this whole situation.
Also, please do not attack me (or my family) publicly and harm the reputation I have worked so hard to create and uphold. It is sad that I even have to say something like that, but I simply don’t trust you. I almost expect that somewhere, if not next Sunday you will talk trash about me. Please note: the only line of self-defense I will take if I hear of any such thing (and I will) will be to release this letter to the public. But I will not be intimidated or bullied by you. I am my own man. My success or position in ministry is not dependent on any human man, except the Lord Jesus Christ. I have taken my stand. I am willing to recant and repent on these things if you think I have missed the mark and can clearly show me so.
How tragic all this is. I have defended you from nearly every critic at every turn of the way, and there are many. I have done nothing but serve you and the people of this church for the last four years. I have never failed (to my knowledge) to do anything you have asked me to do. I have taught for you on Sunday mornings and Monday nights every time you asked—and I was privileged to do so. I have taught several Sunday seminary courses for the church. My wife and I have tithed faithfully. We have served these four years overseeing the children’s ministry. I have taught the children and sang songs with them. I have cleaned all the toilets and bathrooms of the church. I have mowed the lawns and created academic syllabuses for your school. I have led a men’s discipleship cell and preached to them on your behalf at the men’s retreat. I have run book tables for you and even helped clean your garage. I have gone door-to-door in the local neighborhood to tell people about the church. I have always spoken highly of you and promoted your ministry and materials. I even dedicated my Trichotomy book to you. I have been faithful. I do not deserve to be attacked in any way.

Am I angry? Yes. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I sad? Yes. I have and will confess any anger to God, ask for forgiveness, and move on. I do not wish to hold any of this against you and my goal is to forgive you. I truly thank God for all the good that has come to me (and my family) from this time together and my plan is now to move on. I will still always take pride in saying that I had the privilege and opportunity to sit under one of the greats—Dr. Robert A Morey. That will be the story that I tell people.

Your former pupil and servant,

Joel Hughes
Theocentric7@yahoo.com

Ai! The Lad Has the Fight'n Spirit of His Pappy!



You see that one little toof down there on the bottom row? He'll gnaw your finger off with that thing. Watch out! If he gets a hold of your finger it goes straight to that toof for breakfast until you tap out. That'a boy.


Ahh, but he also has the big happy heart of Paps also.

4.14.2008

The Abuses of Dr. Robert Morey Part 2

I just finished reading the blog that Dr. Morey and some people (old good friends of mine over there) at Faith Community Church posted several days ago on biblicalthought.com. The author is Stephen Macasil. He came after I left so I never met him (to my knowledge). The whole thing truly made me sad and grieved. As a Christian, I just do not understand these ways of dealing with things against other brothers and sisters. But then today Dr. Morey posted a reply to Stephen's entry. And what he said utterly grieved me. Below you find what Dr. Morey said. I would ask you if you read this to look for any sign of love. Can you find any sign of sorrow over those who served at that church under him for so long? Is there any sense of willingness to have hope of reconciliation with any of these people? Now, I do not believe what he is saying here, I think he is dead wrong, but I will relay his words here for any reader to see. I think that his tone, his attitude, and his “joy” over such things speaks for itself.


Dr. Morey (said):

Dear Fellow Joy-filled Brothers,
I offer the following insight as to why some of those who leave FCC experience nothing but bitterness, rage, and hatred in their life.
“To whom much is given, much is required.”
These people grew greatly under my teaching and pastoring. God blest their lives. They experienced the best fellowship and joy in their Christian life while at FCC.
Then they were tricked into leaving the church by con men who used groundless slander. They did not bother to follow Matt. 18 and violated 1 Tim. 5:19. They did not deal with their sin but covered it up.
They never found a church where they experienced the same level of joy or teaching or pastoring. They float from church to church and end up going nowhere at all.
Sitting alone in their misery, they stew with bitterness that they are not back at FCC being blest. They see FCC members growing and being blest. They become jealous of them and end up hating them! The apostates have been left out of the blessings. Instead of repenting of their sins, they act out their frustration by attacking FCC and its leaders.
“Misery loves company.”
They want to trick FCC members into the same miserable life they have in the hope that they will regain the joy and fellowship they experienced back when they were together at FCC. But the hatred and anger eats them up inside and even when they get together, they end up venting their anger at not being at FCC. They talk more about Dr. Bob now than when they attended the church! How sad.
This is why Clark’s “church” fell apart. He tried to recreate the joy he experienced at FCC, but his lies and deceit finally came home to roast and the people grew tired of his hate speech.
Tom Maxham is not happy or blest. He has not been able to go on in his life with positive things to do and say. He is frustrated with the truth that he threw away his chance to be part of FCC by disobeying the leadership of the church. He dug his own grave. But, instead of accepting the guilt for what he did, he lashes out in pain and misery by blaming other people for the mess. He is feeling guilty for violating all the counseling principles he taught others. He is now doing what he condemned Clark for doing! Like a wolf, he has attacked the weak sheep he counseled and made them promise to violate Matt. 18 and 1 Tim. 5 by not checking out his silly accusations. His shame comes up as acid in his stomach. He cannot look at himself in the mirror. He is one sad miserable man.
How can these miserable, sad, bitter, people escape the snare of the devil into which they have fallen?
1. They must not cover their sin by blaming others. Adam and Eve tried to shift the blame off themselves to others. They are responsible for the choices they made. Blaming Dr. Bob, Cindy, etc. will not help them.
2. Admit to themselves and to others that they have sinned and this is why they are not being blest with those who attending at FCC.
3. If they saw the joy and fellowship we had at last Sat.’s Men’s breakfast, they would become angry and jealous that, while we were experiencing joy, they were being miserable.
3. They must apologize to those they conned into leaving FCC and tell them to swallow their pride and go back to FCC in repentance.
4. They must understand that while they can con some of the people some of the time, they will never be able to con all the people all the time. Thus they will fail at shutting FCC down. Dr. Bob will go on writing and preaching the Word. His new book will prove to be a great blessing. They are only speed bumps on the road of ministry.
5. They forget that Jesus promised that when His servants are persecuted and accused of every evil thing, His blessing on their ministry will increase in direct proportion to the attacks made upon them. The more they slander him, the more God blesses him!
6. Thus I am not depressed or dismayed by their silly and stupid accusations. They are making great rewards in heaven for me!
7. I spend my time doing the Lord’s work, such as writing the new book, while they spend their time doing the devil’s work, accusing the brethren. I am dancing with joy while they are screaming in rage!
8. I am encouraged by their attacks. You only get this kind of flack from the devil when you are dropping bombs on his stronghold. But, Satan will not distract me from writing the new book. Clark, Joel, Tom, etc. are only the flack that comes up when you are over the devil’s stronghold.
So,
Be bold,
Be brave,
For the Lord thy God is with thee.
Do not be dismayed;
Do not be depressed.
Walk in faith and victory
For the Lord thy God is with thee!

Apr 14th, 2008