The book, “Religious Tyranny” documents the history and doctrine of Clearcreek Chapel which is very important; newcomers to the Chapel need to know how the present leadership got there. This is a leadership that has unresolved conflict with dozens of families; they should not be able to outlive their evil deeds.
My conflict with the Chapel was a result of doctrinal differences. Of course, they clouded the issue with false accusations concerning my character. It’s what cultists do. Nevertheless, I have moved on until recently when someone connected to their ministry posted some of the old accusations on my blog, paulspassingthoughts.com. It’s true, tyrants do not know how to, as my mother-in law used to say, “Let well-enough alone.”
My son-in-law launched a website, Elder’s Resolution .org that documented what they had done to my family. That was around October of 2008. I let the website, along with other websites about Clearcreek Chapel fad away as well. Soon after, the Chapel purchased the domain addresses, Clearcreek Chapel .com, and a few others.
It actually took me a long time to dig up all of the files, documents, and letters that were available on Elder’s Resolution .org. Initially, refuting their massive disinformation about me was a daunting task, but this resurrection of the blog well be much more to the point and streamlined.
What happened was both tragic and the answer to prayers. Though I was a faithful churchman for years and a pastor, I always knew deep in my heart that church didn’t add up; something wasn’t quite right, but I could never put my finger on it. I prayed to God often that he would one day show me the truth. Meanwhile, I had finally came to the point where I was comfortable with church contradictions, and then it happened: Clearcreek Chapel became the focus of a classic New Calvinist hostile takeover.
It is a least possible that I was annoyed for the following reason: it took a lot of years to finally find my comfort zone with the contradictions, and then Russ Kennedy and company turned the tables over. At any rate, like all tyrants, they totally overestimated the average parishioner’s ability to discern truth. Had they merely allowed me to leave in peace, my discoveries would have fallen on deaf ears. This is because most parishioners, while denying salvation by church attendance, function that way. Most Protestants are functioning Catholics, and both religions are two different approaches to progressive justification.
The kerfuffle led me on a journey to the true gospel of justification by new birth. It also led me to make sure the true history of the New Calvinism movement was documented in “The Truth About New Calvinism,” which can be read here:
The timeline follows:
- I submitted my letter of departure on December 2, 2007. I was unequivocally a member in good standing.
- 5 days later the Clearcreek elders showed up at my house unannounced and attempted to put me “under the first step of church discipline.”
- I requested that the reasons for the church discipline be put in writing. At my house, 4 reasons were stated, but the clarification letter only stated two reasons: a demand to keep my present job, and that I should love my wife.
- I took the clarification letter to pastor Rick Wilson who was the pastor of an affiliated church for counsel. The letter perplexed him, but he counseled me to submit to the discipline so I could leave in peace after a couple of weeks. The irony follows: according to how they interpret the scriptures according to Matthew 18, only the unrepentant are treated as unbelievers and cast out of the church. How is that consistent with some sort of in-house church discipline? If I was allowed to fellowship in the church, fellowship goes hand in glove with repentance, which then excludes the necessity for the discipline. It is clear that they just wanted to hold me hostage there under threat of public humiliation, and they did.
- A presumed couple of weeks turned into months. It was clear that they were going to hold me hostage there under threat of public humiliation indefinitely. At this point, their actions were criminal under the Ohio penal code.
- I submitted another letter of departure, and took my family to the aforementioned other church to worship. My wife and I started counseling with pastor Rick Wilson. Indeed, the Clearcreek elders announced in a Sunday service that I was excommunicated and considered an unbeliever, and was under discipline for “longstanding sin.” In other words, the deliberate intentions of the elders was to leave the congregation to their own imagination in regard to what I might have been guilty of. Consequently, many in the congregation, in fact, assumed things like adultery. In regard to me taking a job in Fort Wayne, Indiana in an attempt to get my family away from the Chapel, they said I moved there to abandon my family.
- In the Fall of 2008, the Clearcreek elders hatched a plan to get my wife back to the Chapel with or without me. The plan, which was covert, was discovered when I found the letter they wrote her entitled, “Elder’s Resolution.” Basically, they claimed authority over her and insisted that she return to the Chapel against my wishes. Indeed, I deserve part of the blame because of what we were being taught at the Chapel for a number of years concerning church authority. I was not paying attention.
- Keep in mind, the affiliated church I went to never insisted that I go back to the Chapel or disallowed fellowship with their church. However, they did concede that I would probably have to go back and submit to another hostage situation in order to “get your wife back.”
- My wife filed for divorce at the behest of Clearcreek Chapel on August 20, 2008. They used the divorce in an attempt to destroy my life, in particular, my finances. I paid just under $1000 per month for child support and alimony on a temporary order. The divorce was final in 2009.
- Also in 2009, I joined Germantown Baptist Church and was eventually placed over the men’s ministry.
- In January 2011, I remarried, and in the same year, published the book, “The Truth About New Calvinism.” My new wife and I, Susan, accepted an invitation to spend a week at the INS compound in South Carolina. That’s the Institute for Nouthetic Counseling that was formed by the father of the biblical counseling movement, Jay Adams. Jay and the director, Donn Arms, had already collaborated on my book, Another Gospel, and also collaborated on the Truth About New Calvinism. I was also invited to write an article in The Journal of Modern Ministry Winter 2011 issue.
- The point here follows: INS had a formal counseling relationship with Clearcreek Chapel. Do you really think they would have partook in a relationship with me if they thought I was under a legitimate church discipline? This is always the MO of cults and tyrants: hurdle as many false accusations towards the targeted person as possible to keep them busy playing Whac-A-Moe rather than addressing the issues that matter. The Clearcreek elders deliberately created narratives about me by staging events. When my divorce was final, according to information I received, they all went and stayed in hotel rooms, supposedly out of fear that I would retaliate in a violent manner. They continually asked the congregation to help my x-wife financially when there was no need. They knew grade-A-well that I took a high paying job in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but told the congregation that I moved there to abandon my family and hide from the IRS. Meeting a friend for dinner at Applebee’s was stated as, “hanging out in bars.” Other than that, any legitimate faults were greatly exaggerated. Keep in mind, that the letter, “Elder’s Resolution” was penned on behalf of the elders by Greg Cook, who owed the IRS about $90,000 at the time. Furthermore, an elder who apposed a plan to pay his debt with church funds had to flee to another state so he would not end up like I did. These are evil men with wicked black hearts.
- In early 2012, with the published work of TANC, I wanted to give all of my research to some other writer or discernment blogger and ride off into the sunset. I felt like I fulfilled my obligation and it was time to move on. Another author, John Immel, expressed interest and we met for lunch. Keep in mind, I didn’t see the church in general, and Protestantism in particular as the problem; those pesky New Calvinists that were invading the church were the problem. As John paged through my book and we discussed the major points, he stated, “Yea, that’s what Martin Luther believed.” He also suggested that I read The Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion, which I did. That was a shocking revelation. I discovered that Martin Luther and John Calvin believed exactly what the New Calvinists believed. Indeed, New Calvinism was bringing authentic Protestantism (and all of its tyranny) back to the church. The answer to my prayers as far back as 1984 were being answered. The problem with church, is church. What I couldn’t put my finger on is the false gospel of progressive justification. What I couldn’t put my finger on was the idea that justification is a state of being, not a mere legal declaration. A true Christian is not merely declared righteous, he or she IS righteous. Good works do not flow from a double imputation, they flow from the new creaturehood of the believer. Protestantism rejects the idea of God’s seed being in us, but clouds the issue with terminology like, “Infused grace is a Catholic doctrine.” This is the belief that NO righteousness resides IN the believer, but righteous actions are only perceived subjectively. Any other belief is attacked as “having a righteousness of your own” insinuating that people believe that an inherent righteousness of their humanity enabled them to take part in their own salvation. Of course, that’s disingenuous. The belief is that we receive the righteousness of God when we are saved, although it is a treasure received in an earthen vessel. That, and that alone, makes us righteous, nothing else. Ability to choose God individually is conflated with a righteous state of being that is purely an act of God apart from anything we do. However, righteousness is a free gift of God, and like any other gift, we take ownership of it or it’s not a gift, but rather a loan. Besides, it is now who we are, and we can expect a love for the truth and different behaviors to flow from that.
- Further research eventually led to the writing of “The Church Lie” in 2018 leading to the accusation that I “hate the church.” Well, the institutional church is a lie. I think I do hate the concept, but of course, NOT the people in it. The fact is, the church does not come along for 300 years after the demise of the apostles. What did Christ’s ekklesia do until then? Well, I suppose it functioned as a family, because that’s what it is.
- 2012: founding of TANC Ministries and first conference.
Shame on me for ever thinking that my work is done before the Clearcreek Chapel threat to others is gone. I owe a debt of gratitude to the tyrant who recently came to my blog and dredged up the old false accusations and prompted me to renew my efforts to warn others about the Chapel. Again, it took me a whole day to find the old files to repost.
- The Elder’s Resolution. Note that the copy I obtained was my x-wife’s copy and included her copious notes, which refute many of the accusations in the document. https://app.box.com/s/gj3atgqq4lyf4j77k55b8yjviatocpaj
- Request for Grace Partners to intervene. https://app.box.com/s/b2bdx2h4rm1fjq1omnsje010of1qf9zk
- Letter to Grace Fellowship of Churches. https://app.box.com/s/lkoeagosjn43l7w8i0520q3l78grqmur
- Confrontation letter sent to all Clearcreek parishioners. https://app.box.com/s/swq0xhm54v3swhc3kcx7kru27i9i18ec