RYR, Historic Email – Elders Direction to Avoid a Brother 04/29/15
From: Kevin Lovell <email@example.com>
Date: April 29, 2015 at 5:07:35 PM CDT
To: Reggie W. <XXXX@gmail.com>, John Mcglone <firstname.lastname@example.org>, William H. XXXX@gmail.com>, Kyle C.f <XXXX@gmail.com>, Joshua G. <XXXX@gmail.com>, Joshua L. <XXXX@gmail.com>
Cc: Kerrigan Skelly <email@example.com>, Tracy Bays <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Important RFF InfoHello 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.