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Friday, December 29, 2017

You Can't Have it Both Ways, Part 2

When I first attended Calvary Temple, my family and I came from another church. Not one time did anyone in CT leadership or among the congregation question my reasons for leaving another church to come to Calvary Temple. No one accused me of being "out of order" or "rebelling against designated authority."

NOT ONE Calvary Temple member "marked" me for leaving my previous church, an action they take routinely when someone leaves CT. And not one person from my old church accused me of rebellion, nor did they shun me. In fact, I am still friends with members of my old church.

But when I left Calvary Temple and began attending another church, I was rebuked for being out of order, rebelling against designated authority and was consequently "marked". (everyone who leaves Calvary Temple is marked, whether officially or unofficially. In practice, it's all the same.)

And now, let me ask the current members of Calvary Temple:

If you came from another church to attend CT, were YOU rebuked? were you told you were out of order? and a rebel to your previous "designated authority"? Were you told to go back to your pastor and ask permission to leave? Did your previous pastor label you a rebel?

Do you see a hypocritical disconnect here? Why is it fine to leave a church to attend Calvary Temple but not ok to leave Calvary Temple? Why does Star Scott say God placed you in Calvary, but he doesn't say God placed you in your previous church?
  • Tony and Lou, you left a bible believing church (was it Halpine?)  to attend CT, were you rebuked?
  • Tony and Jenny, why didn't you get sent back to your old church?
  • Carolyn, didn't you first attend a church in Round Hill?
  • Jon, why wasn't your dad sent back to the Presbyterian church in Md that he and his family attended? 
  • Kevin and Theresa, didn't you leave family members behind to attend CT?  Did Pastor Scott tell you to go back?
  • Tony and Linda, what church did you leave?
  • Candace, I think you attended a Calvary Chapel church in New York. Did a pastor accuse you of being a betrayer?
  • Gary and Becky, I seem to remember you were part of a church in Staunton. Did they label you a deserter? 
  • Connie, weren't you and Jeff in a church in Maryland?
  • Raymond and Rhonda, why did you leave your church? Why didn't Pastor Scott send you back?
  • Jon, Sarah, Joshua and Christina - why didn't Pastor Scott tell you and your parents to go back to NY?
  • Bea and family, were you rebuked for leaving your old church in Purcellville?
  • Steve, didn't you and your parents and siblings leave a baptist church in Sterling?   
This is just a sampling of the current members of Calvary that came from other churches. All of them would tell you they had a good reason for leaving their old church to come to Calvary Temple. 
  • Perhaps they took a job in this area
  • Maybe they moved here to be closer to family. 
  • Or heard Star Scott on the radio and thought it would be a good church to attend. 
  • Maybe they had gifts that they felt Calvary Temple was in need of.
  • Perhaps they felt called to minister in a new church.
  • Maybe it was for doctrinal reasons. 
  • Or they felt they were not being fed at their current church.
  • Maybe they came to CT because there were rumors of abuse in their old church and they didn't feel comfortable sitting under a pastor with  "history". 
  • Maybe their old church was under investigation by the state police, local police, FBI and IRS. 
Whatever the reason, it was enough to cause them to make a decision that no one questioned. Most likely not their old pastor and certainly not Star Scott. And yet leaving Calvary Temple is considered the worst kind of sin. Leaving CT earns you the label of rebel, daughter of satan, demon woman, unsaved, deserter, trouble maker, enemy, betrayer, defamer, backbiter, defiler, bitter, etc. 

The person leaving Calvary Temple is doing exactly what many current CT members did when they left their previous church. They chose to leave one church and attend another. 

Having attended CT for a number of years, I am going to anticipate Star Scott's response. One response might be something like this:

                We have always said if you attend Calvary Temple, you have the
                best chance of making it to heaven, and we are more concerned
                with your eternal state. Amen?

(and like Pavlov's dogs, the congregation will respond 'Amen!' and not give it another thought.)

Another response might be along the lines of disparaging those who have spoken out against Calvary Temple. After all, Scott is a champion of character assassination. So he might do some version of this:

                 Consider the source.

Note that neither of these will address the actual subject of this post.

So, the conclusion we must come to, according to Star Scott's "new doctrine",  is the majority of Calvary Temple members are in rebellion to their previous pastor, out of order, betrayers, dividers, enemies and deserters. If Star Scott is going to insist we are out of order for leaving CT, then he needs to rebuke and send many of his current members back to their original church. Or, if they are not these things, then neither are all of us who left Calvary Temple.

May I remind you - you can't have it both ways.

Galatians 5:18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Isaiah 30:21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there.
Acts 5:29 We ought to obey God rather than men.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Enormity of it All

We were recently contacted by the writer of a blog that exposes abusive, authoritarian churches. The owner of this blog keeps an ongoing record of false teachers and asked for any additional information we wished to provide concerning Calvary Temple. As I began to compile a list of some of the problems associated with Calvary Temple, I was overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. It is one thing to hear of one or two problems in a church, but when one sees the list associated with Calvary Temple, it is shocking.
  • Star Scott teaches that he can hear from God on a level the average congregant cannot and is to be obeyed because he is the "man of God". To do otherwise is to be rebellious and out of order.
  • Counsel is to come from superiors in the ministry, i.e deacons and pastors. (not from friends or family members). 
  • Any infraction is to be immediately reported “up”. Matthew 18 principles only apply for minor infractions. 
  • When Star Scott's wife of 30+ years died, 2 1/2 weeks later he married a 20 yr old in the church. He stated that as High Priest, according to Old Testament instructions, he is not permitted to mourn and must marry a virgin that could be "molded". (thus conveniently eliminating any of the older women in the congregation).
  • Scott allows no oversight of the finances, has no set salary, buys whatever he wants and the church pays the bills. (since the IRS investigation, he says he now receives a salary. His lifestyle has only improved since then.) No questions asked. Though the congregants tithe and give offerings, they are not allowed a detailed account of where their money goes. 
  • Scott owns multiple race cars, motorcycles, expensive sports cars,  and classic cars. Has what he calls an "automotive outreach" in which he races and shows his Corvettes. 
  • Teaches mandatory 1st and 2nd tithe, and when necessary, a third tithe. If you drop off giving, you are excluded from church activities and benefits or asked to leave.
  • Teaches absolute shunning of anyone who "rebels" by leaving the church without his permission. (and he never gives permission, only puts out those who ask too many questions).
  • Advises spouses to divorce the spouse who has stopped attending the church.
  • Children must only marry within the church with leadership approval. No one may marry someone from outside of CT.
  • Scott and the other pastors as well as others close to leadership has covered up sexual abuse of several children and probably many more.
  • Allegedly sexually abused his two nieces when he was a youth pastor in CA. They were ages 9 and 11, went on 3 years. He fled CA (though it has been said by those who were in the church at the time that he was forced to leave) and came to Herndon VA to take over a small church. When the nieces came with parents to visit, he allegedly abused again. There is a police report on file with the Herndon, Virginia Police Department, though no charges were pressed.
  • Has claimed miracles that when questioned about the truthfulness, advised his staff to remove the “testimonies” from the website because there was “disagreement” about their veracity.
  • Calvary Temple/Star Scott have been investigated by the IRS, FBI, AFT, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department and the Virginia State Police.
  • ROUTINELY badmouths - slanders -  past members and other churches as well as other pastors in the area.
  • Multiple families have been divided, parents have not seen their children for upwards of 25 years and children are cut off from their parents. If a child no longer wants to attend CT, Star Scott advises parents to put "rebellious or backslidden" children out on the street with only the clothes they are wearing. One 14 year old girl showed up at an ex-Calvary member home because she had nowhere to go.
  • Insists that if a child was raised in Calvary Temple, "they have no choice" but to be a Calvary Temple believer. As soon as a child questions anything, the child is called into multiple meetings and "counseled." 
  • Everyone at CT knows to keep their questions to themselves, even in their own households. One woman we know was terrified to question any of the problems she was seeing for fear her husband would put her out. 
  • There is a culture of fear within CT, members know what the stakes are if they disagree. They will lose their family and reputation.
  • Star Scott takes multiple vacations a year, all first class, while some members of the church cannot buy a new car.
  • Scott owns multiple properties of which most of the congregation is unaware.  
  • Star Scott ridicules people spending $5.00 on a Starbucks coffee while his wife shops on Rodeo Drive and sports a $25,000+ engagement ring. 
  • Teaches that fathers are to carry out the vision of the PASTOR, rather than raise up children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. Fathers are not to have a vision for their own families.
  • God-given families are secondary to the "church family".
  • Forced a wife and mother to live 91 days in a hotel so she could be "broken". Not allowed to see her children. 
  • Finances and family problems are openly discussed in deacon's meetings without member's knowledge or consent.
  • Abuses (sexual, physical and emotional) are covered up by the leadership. Members are taught to leave it to leadership to handle. Though there are known cases of sexual abuse; they were never reported to the police. 
  • The pastor tells congregants to read only what he recommends. (mostly his own books, see CT website). An associate pastor told the church to use their own personal study for the reinforcement of what the pastor is teaching, not what they believe God is telling them.
  • Children, during youth group meetings, have heard very intimate details of Star Scott's sex life from Scott himself.
  • Women, upon the loss of a child may not ask God "Why?". To do so would be rebellious and not honoring to God.
  • Slander; destroying reputations of anyone who disagrees with Star Scott.
  • Star Scott lied about his educational background.
  • Star Scott uses the pulpit to gossip about and bully the members. It is not necessary for him to name names, as everyone in the church knows exactly who he is talking about. Everyone's personal business is in danger of being broadcasted to the entire church. People learn to keep their mouths shut. (or to ask only questions that make themselves look good.)
  • Scott uses ridicule, mockery, disdain, criticism, contempt, exaggeration etc in his "teachings". Members are careful to stay under the radar to avoid such treatment.
  • Members are convinced they will spiritually suffer if they leave the church to attend another.
  • If you attend Calvary Temple, "you have been placed here by God" and are told that you have no right to leave.
Many Calvary Temple members might be aware of much of the above, but perhaps not every point. The newcomer to CT only sees the seemingly positive aspects of belonging to a group of Christians that appear to be committed to one another. But as time goes by, members begin to see the ugly underbelly of CT. New members, and even many long time members, are kept from "reading the fine print". By the time all becomes clear, they are trapped through marriage, family, and fear. Many lack financial resources should they decide to leave Calvary Temple. In addition, most have given up close relationships with friends and family members that do not attend CT. Leaving Calvary Temple can be extremely difficult.

Make no mistake, Calvary Temple is NOT a good place. It has the potential (and likelihood) to destroy your life, marriage, family and faith. Stay far away from Calvary Temple of Sterling, Virginia.