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Friday, February 21, 2020

The Art of the Double Message

Having attended Calvary Temple, I am well aware that what is spoken from the pulpit often has a double or hidden message. Star Scott is skilled at "preaching" the word of God, using lots of Biblical verses and spiritual sounding phrases, but all the while putting forth another message that will cause the listeners to hear and absorb something very different.

Consider the following excerpt from the blog post entitled He Said That? Pt 2

             "I asked Greer this morning, "How would you summarize the message of the last six months? What have you heard over the last six months of our teachings? She thought for a minute, she said", "women are evil....I know that's how a woman is hearing it." (Ezra and Nehemiah Dec 2008)

Women are evil..........Scott never once said those words or anything like it yet Greer rightly said that this is what women (and you can be sure the men also) heard.

As many of us sadly know, it has long been the practice of Calvary Temple members to cut off or greatly diminish any relationship with friends or family that have either left or do not attend CT. But ask any member if they have been told to shun their friends and loved ones; they will deny it. They will insist that any such actions are entirely their own decision. Sadly, many actually believe this to be true; certain that they are in charge of their own lives. But this is far from the truth. In actuality, Scott uses the pulpit to divide his followers from their families and friends with a cunning double message.

A "teaching" from October 30, 2019 called Achieving Nothingness Part 3  illustrates this verbal sleight of hand so familiar to many of us.

Can you find any compromise in your life over the last months? ...Are you standing up for the gospel on the job? Are you afraid of losing your job,.....friends? What about family? We’ve got family members and we’re going to hang out with them on Thanksgiving and we wanna show them we love them, and some of these people are flat out just sinners and railers and yet we compromise that somehow we are going to love them into the kingdom. No, no, no, no you're not! praise God. You are going to do what God says and HE will cause those to be added such as should be saved. Where is our boldness? Where is our desire for purity of application of the word of God?

(Before I continue, what is the difference between a "flat out sinner and railer" and just a regular sinner? Would it be ok if we hung out with a plain old everyday sinner but just not with a "flat out sinner and railer?")

On the surface, Scott does not appear to say anything that would directly forbid members from spending time with family and friends outside of Calvary Temple. But notice the seeds he plants; he talks about compromising the gospel and implies they are disobedient if they don't "do what God says...".  He repeats the word "compromise" in the context of wanting to "love them into the kingdom". He implies that they are bold and purely applying the word of God if they do not "hang out" with non-Calvary family on Thanksgiving. And he states that God does not use believers to draw loved ones into the kingdom.

He further emphasizes these thoughts with the following:

            And I’ve stood and I’ve watched us as a people, at decisions that we make that are so worldly and carnal, that are not biblical decisions, they are cultural, nationalism, American, oh God we need to come out from among them and be separate.  (so being with family members is actually cultural, nationalistic and American but not Christ-like or biblical.)

How many times have we heard Star Scott or the other pastors use phrases like the following:
  • Why would you want to hang out with God-hater?
  • Why would you spend time with God-hating family when you can be ministering to the body?
  • Those that have left here are railers and dividers. They are reprobate. 
  • We are handling things - stay away from those who have left, we know more than you do.
  • Those that do not attend CT do not get to enjoy the privilege of taking part in weddings, graduations or field trips.
  • Anyone who leaves Calvary Temple is backslidden.
  • Calvary Temple members that sacrifice their families are pleasing to God.
The conclusion? If you have a family member or friend that has left Calvary Temple and you think you can still love them and perhaps draw them to Christ, you are full of compromise, disobedience, and carnality. You have no desire for the pure word of God and you are not a bold believer. You are not separate from the world. But if you reject these same family members and friends, you are obeying God.

Those of us who attended Calvary Temple know the scriptures Scott would use to support his message of shunning. (do not be unequally yoked, bad company corrupts good morals, don't even eat with such a one, be ye separate.....).

But though Jesus surrounded Himself with faithful men, He often shared His love with others, whether believers or not.

Matthew 11:19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Luke 5:29-32, "And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with the tax-gatherers and sinners?' 31 And Jesus answered and said to them, 'It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'”

Convincing Calvary Temple members to shun ALL who have left Calvary Temple depends on Star Scott's ability to group everyone into one God-hating, unsaved, reprobate, non-Christian category. Whether they are or aren't.

It is relatively easy for Star Scott to convince members to stay away from the "unbelievers"; but he has to work a little harder to convince them to stay away from professed Christians. How does he accomplish it? It's actually not that hard, just label everyone who has left without permission of leadership as "rebellious."  "Out of order. " "Disobedient." "Wayward."  Therefore, they need to repent to the pastors before they can be in "right standing". And the confession is never really enough to restore relationships. As some have been told, they just weren't sorry enough. 

Their crime? They refuse to attend a church that has pastors and members known to be sexual abusers as well as physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically abusive.

So leaving Calvary Temple, for any reason, brings about the same consequence. You are to be avoided. Period. And CT'er, if you find yourself searching for an exception (of which there are a few), you are deceiving yourself. 

And all of this brings up the question - Why? Why is it so important to keep members away from non-Calvary family and past friends? Because they know the truth about Star Scott, Ron Zarou, Dan Konczal, Forbe Carlson, Kevin O'Connor, Kimberly Heglund, other pastors and deacons and many members. Those who committed the atrocities and those who covered them up. Those who lied and those who kept silent. 

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