Rejected, Yet Rejoicing Vol 8 – Purposes Fulfilled and Questions
The Purposes of These Testimonies Fulfilled
When I began assembling this massive testimony for the edification of the saints of God, I had a few things in mind: 1. How does the body of Christ avoid such future problems? 2. To make sure that it was recorded when it was fresh on our minds/hearts 3. To build the body of Christ 4. To ensure that any current members, including elders, would have our perspective in case they repent in the future. That has been and continues to be our prayer. 5. To ensure our children at home and especially Josh and Jenna, who had been separated from us, had the testimonies to refer back to in the future whenever they might.
Thankfully, it seems that all has been fulfilled in these goals except the repentance of the elders and the three remaining men in the fellowship. ERRATA: As of 12/01/16 two of the three remaining men have heard our side of this situation, were repentant and reconciled to us. The ‘elders’ have shunned them and their families as well. Our adult children Josh&Jenna have returned in humble reconciliation. I remember late Nov ’15 getting a call from Josh in the late evening. I saw the caller ID and I was frozen and couldn’t answer the phone. My family noticed my hesitation and asked who is it Dad? To wit I replied, it’s Joshua! They replied, “Answer it!” I answered and Josh spoke up on the other side of phone, “Dad can you forgive me?” Such relief! Such an emotional release! Of course we forgive you son, when can we see you!
It has been almost nine months since that time. Josh and Jenna had our grand baby Lydia downstairs on Sunday Jan 28, 2016. This was one our greatest fears that not only would we not be able to see our newlywed children, but our daughter Jenna was pregnant at the time of the division and we were missing out on all the things that were happening with them! Whew, we went through seasons of distress, grief, bitterness, and rage at the thought of these men of Refining Fire Fellowship dividing not only the fellowship that the Lord had started in our home in Fayetteville, NC but also now our very family! Our hearts were so grieved at the thought of Jenna suffering through these things while she was pregnant with Lydia.
Unfortunately, the Lovell grand parents are missing the birth and growth of their new grand daughter. We pray they soften their hearts in these matters and look forward to the day that the family will all be reunited under the banner of Jesus’ love. So they know, we have forgiven and continue to forgive them and all the people in RFF. As they have said, “We can never have fellowship with John McGlone. We can forgive him, but he will not be allowed back in RFF.” We are not seeking fellowship with them, but at least a civil relationship that can operate for the good of all concerned. Lydia has two auntie’s that she hasn’t even met yet; Charissa and Faith. We hope and pray one day soon they will be able to meet their niece, and Lydia them.
My son Joshua Lovell has decided to make a video testimony of what happened from their perspective in this tragedy. Please keep in mind that Jenna was pregnant during this time they were separated from her parents and six siblings. I have not pressured, influenced or asked Joshua to do this testimony video. This was his idea after trying to contact his parents and his former elders for some time now. They will not return his correspondence or phone calls.
NOTE: Two more families have departed from Refining Fire Fellowship as of 11/23/16. I pray they give testimonies of how the Lord was convicting them through this mess as well. They both mentioned how Josh and Jenna’s departure was used of the Holy Ghost to bring even more conviction that these things that had been done were unrighteous. See Joshua’s video testimony below:
Many Things to Learn
Conclusions, Questions, and Summary
I would exhort the body of Christ to judge themselves, their current thinking on ‘church’, and how they would handle a correction within their local assemblies. To have the overseers or elders ruling these issues in a Nicolaitan way will lead the group back to the apostate system that most holiness believers end up fleeing from.
In the interest of doing the goals outlined in the preceeding paragraph, I would ask you to do the following; Go through these rhetorical questions, answer them according to your understanding, comment below that we all may be able to discuss this, let’s see what conclusions the Holy Spirit would lead us to…
Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater?
- Should we abandon the fellowship of the saints?
- Can a local Christian fellowship grow too large?
- How does the body of Christ grow?
- How should elders be established among us according to Scriptures?
- How can the elders rule well?
- How can the saints operate under this rulership according to Jesus and the Apostles?
What is Normal Growth for the Body of Christ?
- Jesus discipled twelve men, all forsook him, one betrayed Him directly
- Jesus had thousands of disciples follow Him due to signs/miracles. He challenged their thinking and hearts with a hard doctrine. They all left except the twelve. He did not chase after them. John 6:53-71
- In Jesus’ most dire time of being arrested for trial, all forsook Him in the Garden of Gethsemene, John and Peter followed Him at a distance. John followed Him all the way to the foot of the cross.
- The NT church met in homes. With that said, there are practical and spiritual limits to being able to meet in a home
- These natural and spiritual limits should lead us to the conclusion that there must be spiritual divisions which occur over the course of time. I suppose that as the Lord raises up new teachers, elders, etc that they would split into another group in an amiable and godly way with some of the fellowship members to follow to this new meeting place.
- Disciple making of family members and others
- Gifts sought for and operated
- Caring for the needy; widows and orphans
- Visiting those imprisoned or sick
What is Proper Biblical Shunning?
- How can the saints of God judge internal matters?
- Marking the divisive man.
- Is shunning a person biblical?
- What happens when a shunning crosses close family ties?
- What if the issue is a matter of doctrinal disagreement vs. known willful sin?
What does Local Church Mean?
- Localities Seen in Scriptures
- Localities Appealing to Regions
- Regions Appealing to Other Regional Saints[worldwide]
Revelations During and Since the Dispute and Rejection
- Translation differences between the NKJV and KJV 1 Tim 5, 1 Cor 6, Titus 3
- Fear of man is a snare
- Not dealing with problems quickly and to conclusion
- Each group and individuals within those groups are at differing places of maturity, experience, and understanding
- Elders ruling well, is much more than teaching or organizing.
May God bless you as you seek His will for your life, for your families, and the fellowship of the saints. May His face shine upon you as you seek to lift up the Son and give Him glory for all the great things He hath done in our lives.
We love you.
L to R: Daniel, Hannah, Jenna, Seth, Caitlin, Nida, Sarah, Victoria, John our KY home, Spring 2010