RYR, Historic Email – Informal Meeting Request and Response 05/30/15
Email sent from Kevin Lovell in response to my email requesting an informal meeting with the elders to discuss many issues that had come to a spiritual head in my heart. My questions are bolded for emphasis.
Good afternoon brother John. It’s been a few days since we sent you our email clarification and we haven’t heard back from you. We just would like to know if you did in fact receive the email and also if you had a chance to read it. Thanks.
- Clarification as to whether or not we as individuals have liberty to agree with Jeremy’s conclusions on music and/or movies.– As a member of RFF you have the liberty to agree with whatever conclusions are not legalistic. You also have the liberty to walk in the Spirit and not become legalistic yourself.Point #2
- If the Lord has used a person to convince a member to a view, that is not held by our fellowship. Do we have the liberty to discuss that openly among the members, that we may all come to a new understanding if we are mistaken?– When you say, “If the Lord has used a person to convince a member to a view that is not held by our fellowship”, how could we do anything except submit to the Lord’s view? It would be safer for you to refrain from saying that the Lord convinced you, and rather simply say that you’ve become convinced of a view not held by the fellowship.With that in mind, if a member becomes convinced of a view that is not held by the fellowship, they absolutely Do Not have the liberty to discuss that amongst the other members. This can bring confusion and division into the fellowship.Rather than that member discussing the new view with other members, it would need to be discussed with the elders and then it would either replace the old view or be rejected.At that point, if the elders didn’t agree with the new view, the member who brought the new view would have a choice to either continue holding onto the new view and cease being a member of RFF, or reject the new view and continue being a member of RFF.Point #3
- Clarification of what should be done with a Matt 18 situation with people who are believers but are not members of RFF, ie the [Rice’s].– The [Rice’s] were not in a Matt 18 situation. They were specifically in a Titus 3:9-11 situation. The Matthew 18 model is only for the local assembly. So, there cannot be any scenario regarding the Matthew 18, our Fellowship, and those not a part of our fellowship. We have explained this many times.Point #4
- Clarification on your views of Matt 18 that you the elders represent the ekklesia in the Matt 18 process. As I understand, you all told me a few years ago after the Franklin family shunning that you are the shepherds of the church and that the process would end with you all reproving the offender in front of the local body here. I made known my concerns and disagreement with that to you all at that time.– We have already discussed this with you at great length and we will not be discussing this again. Our view has not changed on this.Point #5
- Clarification of where you got this interpretation of Matt 18– See Point #4Point #6
- Clarification of any other elders outside our fellowship that you all are counseling with and/or submitting yourselves to,– This we have also discussed with you. We are submitting ourselves to the Chief Shepherd. Of course there may be other elders that we respect and we can learn from, but we are seeking the Chief Shepherd and desire to be shepherds after His heart.Point #7
- Clarification of what local church means vs. the church in relation to public reproofs and associations.– The context of 1 Timothy 5:19-20 is clearly speaking of the local church.Point #8
- Clarification of Rom 14 and how that relates to each individual believer’s choices/preferences on matters of doctrine, behavior, and associations.– We have discussed this extensively many times and brother Tracy just covered this topic in the teachings on legalism.Point #9
- Clarification of exactly whom the members of RFF may not associate themselves with. Would this be a recommendation or a command?– Anyone who fits the description in the following passages regarding disassociation, we would not associate with: Matthew 18:15-17, Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Titus 3:9-11, 2 John 1:10. These are simply not our preferences. If someone is a sinner, especially if they call themselves a Christian, we are not to associate with them. As Christians, we shouldn’t disagree with God.
Brother John, after seeking the Lord further regarding your desire to meet and discuss these points that are all interconnected and directly related to issues we’ve already discussed, we’ve decided not to meet regarding these things. We believe that our previous discussions along with the above answers are sufficient.We realize that this may be difficult for you, but we want to encourage you to trust the Lord with all your heart regarding these issues and also trust that we are shepherds who are seeking after His heart and desire to watch out for the souls of RFF with fear and trembling as those who will give an account. If we have shown ourselves to be trustworthy and faithful stewards, please have faith that we are walking circumspectly and caring for the flock. Please let us do this with joy and not grief. Hebrews 13:17May the Lord bless you as you seek Him today,Kevin
Commentary on the elders response to my initial email.
There were many places as you can plainly see where non answers are given. My original email was prompted by the elders sending out a letter concerning the Rices and some videos that Jeremy had recently done which apparently some members were feeling condemned. That email directed the fellowship to abstain from any contact with them unless absolutely necessary for non fellowship reasons. Jeremy was not even aware of this rejection until some days later when I spoke with him about it. Even if this were a Titus 3 situation as these elders are claiming. Shouldn’t they have spoken to him as a brother, individually to see if he would repent according to their view of this sin before this shunning proclamation?
To review that email CLICK HERE.