In 1995, I wrote a letter to Grace Valley Christian Center’s elders. I did not write it to the general congregation, though I had received a membership directory from a family that had recently left GVCC. I’m not a divisive guy — I talk with the leaders, not those who are lead.
In my letter, I included my paper on Authority, a doctrine that GVCC had abused badly. I wrote this to try to convince the elders of GVCC of their error. The elders wrote many scathing responses to me and I summarize them here, together with my counter-responses.
After so many years, I have no bitterness against the elders of GVCC, but I am puzzled at their lack of willingness to respond without recourse to threatening harrassment lawsuits. What are they trying to hide? Or, did Pastor Mathew command them to say that?
Abuse of authority in the church is not unheard of, but is unusual. I am no friend of antinomians who try to tear apart church government because there are some churches that govern badly, with self-interest.
Go ahead and read what I have written. Unlike Pastor Mathew, I am not beyond criticism, and am willing to take rebukes where needed. I serve as an elder in my Presbytery, and have the respect of the brothers. If you find I have spoken amiss, and will not repent, please speak to them. (I will provide the proper e-mail adresses upon request.
To those at Grace Valley, I have one recommendation: leave. If you don’t know where to go I have one excellent church in mind: Covenant Reformed Church of Sacramento. It’s the best church in the area; I say that having been a member there, and knowing the leadership. They lead gently, but firmly.
Consider what I write: I am a conservative elder in a conservative denomination. I have submitted what I have written to some of the smartest elders in the denomination, and they approved of what I wrote. Do not listen to Pastor Mathew, who is self-appointed, and who has appointed elders directly, rather than via election, as most elders receive their office. There was no presbytery that called PG Mathew. Beware Grace Valley.