Rejected, Yet Rejoicing Vol 3 – Struggles with Stumbling Blocks
1 Cor 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Struggling with Stumbling Blocks
Have you ever taken a walk enjoying God’s creations, the view, or intimate time with a family or friend. While in the midst of this tranquility you then stumbled over a rock or a stone and almost or actually taken a serious fall? It can be surprising and frightening to say the least…
Maybe a year or so after the Franklin’s were rejected. I found myself at odds with the elders about whom I could preach and associate myself with, this would become yet another stumbling block.
In Sept 2013 I returned from preaching with Ruben Israel and crew at Southern Decadence in New Orleans. I was asked to a meeting with the elders who explained that they were concerned about my associations. I was told that I should have better judgment and disassociate myself with certain preachers who were inflammatory, used certain language/content, or props, etc. I was threatened with not being allowed to be a part of PinPoint Evangelism. I was sure that Rom 14 could cover such doubtful things between preachers but they would not be persuaded from their positions.
It was during this period, that Tracy Bays had been making reports to the elders and the fellowship about varying preachers about differing issues. He had gone to Las Vegas SOAPA, and heard Ruben Israel preach on Harsh Words. Here is that teaching:
So the gist of his accusation against Ruben was that he used the word, S-H-I-T in that teaching when talking about Malachi 2:3. Tracy did not confront him at the conference but over the phone after he returned to KY. He reported this to Kerrigan and Kevin who became concerned about this and arranged a meeting with four of us where this was addressed.
As I explained to the elders, ‘curse’ words would be a matter of the heart. For example, when we use the word hell in the open air to warn people not to go there. The sinners will say, “Stop cursing around my children!” Then the same sinner a few moments later will tell the preacher, ‘Go to hell, m@th$rfuc%@^. Whose heart is pure and whose isn’t?
Here is a blog post I did called, “Cursing Christians”.
Unfortunately, I was not counting the cost of losing my ministry with Kerrigan and possibly all the relationships that I valued in Refining Fire Fellowship.
When we got done with our meeting, I emailed Ruben and simply stated, “I disfellowship with you.” My frustrations were building, though my inconsistencies were not played out yet. I saw Ruben and crew the next Mardi Gras and the next. I wanted to see them, have fellowship, and be with them in the battle for souls. They are a strong fortress in such a wicked and evil place such as New Orleans especially during Mardi Gras. I did end up seeing them briefly both at Jan’s and on the street. I would try to greet Ruben and understandably, he was cold to me. When confronting me a few years later, he explained that he only had a handful of people disfellowship in his entire walk that had ever done that. I really regret not standing up for the truth that I believed at the time that the elders told me to shirk these associations. Though I believed that Rom 14 gave me liberty in these doubtful areas. What was not sin had become sin to me as I wrestled between a spiritual rock and a hard place!
Another preacher that Tracy reported to the elders upon was Jesse’s teaching on the letter of the law vs. the Spirit of the law. The controversy concerns the video times 22:45 – 27:14. Jesse was giving the hypothetical situation about protecting Jews while the Nazis were hunting them down and what does the spirit of the law of love demand. Tracy accused Jesse of teaching saints that lying was okay in these teachings. Jesse used Rahab the harlot as an example in certain circumstances to protect the innocent we could feign the truth.
Within the last year, I’ll never forget Tracy telling me at a fellowship meeting, “You should have no associations with Jesse Morrell, he is a sinner!”
As the Bible and Jesse says, in the teaching, “To the pure all things are pure…”
During these times I was asking Kerrigan if he thought Jesse was a sinner and he would play the artful dodger. This double mindedness is an example of my quandary, he was telling me these things, yet not avoiding fellowship with Jesse himself. His heart I could see was one not desiring to have to confront Jesse, but I thought he would since he was requiring me to dis-fellowship. When and what he did with that information I am unsure. This I know, Jesse a few years ago inquired of me some parameters about NKU outside speakers on campus. I gave him that information, then he asked would I be able to join him. I replied I would not be able to and he asked why. I replied, “You will have to talk to my elders about why I can’t have associations with you.” After Jesse’s inquiry to Kerrigan, he came back to me angry asking why I had done that. I replied, “What do you expect me to do, lie?” After the shunning, Jesse found out our daughter and new son-in-law had shunned us at the influence of the elders. He inquired of Kerrigan on these issues and he was blocked on Facebook. Keep in mind that Jesse Morrell and his family was one of the founding families alone with ours and the Skelly family. This kind of partiality in relationships is a core problem in the character of Kerrigan especially.
What was my sin or sins in this whole mess?…To see how I continued to respond improperly in these testings and situations CLICK HERE, Hindsight a Hard Teacher, Vol 4: