RYR, Historic Email – Elders Direction to Avoid a Brother 04/29/15

From: Kevin Lovell <preachingvancross@gmail.com>
Date: April 29, 2015 at 5:07:35 PM CDT
To: Reggie W. <XXXX@gmail.com>, John Mcglone <johnmcglone@msn.com>, William H. XXXX@gmail.com>, Kyle C.f <XXXX@gmail.com>, Joshua G. <XXXX@gmail.com>, Joshua L. <XXXX@gmail.com>
Cc: Kerrigan  Skelly <rev_kerrigan@yahoo.com>, Tracy Bays <tabays@msn.com>
Subject: Important RFF Info
Hello brothers. Hope your doing well in the Lord today. There is a grieving situation that has progressed to the point of potentially effecting the fellowship, and we as shepherds are taking some steps that we needed to let you all know about.
I think we all know and love Jeremy and Sarah R., but recently, we as elders, have become very concerned about some serious issues of legalism that they are declaring and promoting which would be dangerous  for RFF if allowed to come in.
We totally understand that we are not their elders, and they are not part of this local fellowship, but because they have had a close relationship with RFF, we are seeking to do everything we can to turn them from this legalism out of love for them and so that we can continue to be able to fellowship with them in the future.
The main areas of legalistic contention that they have been promoting so far, have been regarding Music, Food, Health, and Movies. Jeremy has been making videos on these topics that are very accusatory and condemning.
Therefore, we want to ask, that for the time being, everyone at RFF refrain from any involvement with Jeremy and Sarah (unless absolutely necessary for non-fellowship type reasons) until we come to some sort of resolution on these important matters with them.
Please pray for them and for us as we communicate about these things. We are hoping that the current teachings brother Tracy is doing on legalism will be used by the Lord to help them, and that there won’t be any need for further separation. If for some reason you had to communicate with Jeremy and Sarah for some unavoidable reason, please don’t talk to them about this email or anything related to this.
Thank you for understanding and please be sure to share this with your wives as well so that they understand and will be in unity with the fellowship on this also.
May the Lord bless you as you seek Him today,
Kevin

This letter sent out before Jeremy and Sarah were communicated with concerning these issues.  This reveals the problem with their thinking on Matt 18.  This out of order direction by the elders to the members, led people to block and defriend on FB and other medias.  Even one elders wife is reported to have gossiped about this to the other women. Another elders wife, even had the gall to call Sarah Rice and let her know that she could not be her FB friend until these things were resolved.  The same woman also blocked Sarah’s sister and mother who have no part of this whatsoever.

Whomever, was the first to become offended at these video teachings should have approached Jeremy alone, then brought a witness, and then the church could have admonished him to repent if he was actually in sin.  The elders plea in this situation was, “He is not part of our fellowship, so we wouldn’t do a Matt 18.  What would that look like?”  They believe that this process only applies to the local church,[RFF].  However, this is not nor has it ever been my view and I believe it a grave error.  I believe we should treat every part of the body of Christ, (the church wherever they are) with the same dignity and respect that Matt 18 affords however impractical it may be.

This letter was the catalyst which led me to consider that I would have to finally deal with this misapplication and misinterpretation of Matt 18.  Within a few days I contacted Jeremy and began to share with him the things which had been going on since the first shunning almost three years before.  That dialogue led me to my first letter for an informal meeting with the elders. 

6 Comments to RYR, Historic Email – Elders Direction to Avoid a Brother 04/29/15

  1. Brad says:

    I had a feeling that something happened in the background when I first watched Brother Jeremy’s video on eating, movies and other things. I felt convicted at the time. It wasn’t a reason for me to message Jeremy and tell him that he’s preaching legalism.

    Wasn’t the video an admonishment and encouragement for everyone? We should look after our temples. This is disturbing to hear how this was handled. The video was fine. I thought some of the videos coming against some of the “Christian” movies were justified and perfectly non-legalistic. They are merely repeating what all of us are saying all the time. “Love not the world or the things in the world”. These movies aren’t “Christian”. They are just as Christian as Joel Osteen.

    This seems more like a scenario of, “conscience is convicted but pride won’t let me admit it” type things. Like being caught doing something you know you shouldn’t, ie condoning worldly “Christian” movies and applauding their message and such.

    Every new post sheds light on what most of us saw external signs of, but without the info of why we saw what we saw.

    • John McGlone says:

      Yes, I loved the admonishment of Jeremy’s videos and was being led to purge things out of our lives. Praise Jesus! When I began to promote these things in the fellowship and on the internet they seemed to be received at first and then they were rejected as condemning. Yes, I agree they should have listened to the conviction of their hearts on these matters instead of ignoring it.

      • Brad says:

        “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.” Proverbs 12:18

        “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” Proverbs 15:2

        “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, Nor will he go to the wise.” Proverbs 15:12

        “The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31

        Listening to rebuke or something that makes one feel condemned shouldn’t be something shunned. Self-examination should commence instead. If the self-examination results in change for the better, wisdom has been gained. If the self-examination results in no change required, then what has one lost?

        Shunning and denouncing wise counsel is the task of fools. These are areas that I’m learning myself. Rather than being “untouchable”, to take everything with some semblance of validity and seeing how I match up.

  2. Sean says:

    I would like to make a split type of comment in this response.

    I personally AGREE with the elders that Jeremy’s video(I’m only referencing one right now) on food and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is legalistic(not that this is even a biblical term, though it is more of an understood concept). That is for me to discuss further with him though …or those who have come to this view of this certain video if they would be willing. I just watched it again since I had not seen it since March when he released it.

    I personally DISAGREE with the elder’s decision to cut them off without a proper Matthew 18 rebuttal. With such close fellowship to Jeremy and Sarah they should deal with them in a proper fashion as any brother/sister who was in open sin. That would include 1 to 1, then with 2-3 witnesses, then the entire local fellowship to hear out the matter. If discussion went no further then I could see a legitimate claim to reach out to Jeremy and Sarah’s local fellowship to speak about the issue and warn if it’s required upon no change of mind on either side to sort out the issue. But that part is more of an open warning per many of Paul’s type of open references to name individuals whom to avoid. Paul did do this though(Rom 16:17 as one example).

    Clearly the issue I personally have today is that so many people think they have everything “right,” and no discussion will often occur. Despite much of our large ignorance of the Old Testament which Paul and Jesus both taught from since the New Testament did not even exist at that time. If Paul’s teachings were followed to the “T”–then no one would communicate with anyone about contrary doctrines more than 3 times at most. Sometimes Paul did outright warn to avoid people openly though(and we have no idea if he dealt with them personally in a Matthew 18 setting). So the elders may have a point to make such an email if Jeremy was just some random guy they wanted you to avoid, but Jeremy may have a point if you listen to him and are willing to hear him out and respond. Hence the dilemma, WHO is Paul referring to in some of these verses? If it were outright gnostics, then it’s a more clearly defined line of avoidance. But if it’s someone who came to a newer understanding through personal study, do they fit this category of direct avoidance without even speaking to them? Some verses are more clear than others.

    I don’t have time to continue my more personal dilemma as I think about this and all dialogue between professing Christians being legitimate or cut off–or I’d continue. Got a crying baby in the background, sorry!

    • Brad says:

      I haven’t watched Brother Jeremy’s video on health and food since he first put it on YouTube either. I do remember getting the impression of conviction on it, rather than the impression others took from it. That may be one of the key issues here.

      One camp watched it, believed Jeremy was calling for everyone to stop eating this and that and “judging brethren in food and drink”.

      The other camp watched it, found the video to be good advice with a desire to honour God in deed and with the temple we’ve been given, leaving it at that and not going any further.

      So the real question becomes, what was Jeremy’s motive and desire? Which “camp” (lol) was he intending to “preach” to?

      • Sean says:

        Yes when I listened again this time, I wrote down many questions I’d have to ask Jeremy for clarification. I believe the “camp” is fairly clearly pointed out in the video though. Those that are fat(obese, 30% or more body fat) and unwilling to change their diets to attempt to correct it, and those that are open air preachers and those living holy otherwise.

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