Pastor Says Demons Inspired My Warning Against West Coast
February 23, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
A pastor identifying himself as Paul Chappell’s friend wrote to demand that I apologize to Bro. Chappell for not talking with him before publishing my warning about his music. He said that he had no objection to sounding the alarm when such is needed” nor does he object when “brothers who disagree on some issue engage in a public debate.” He said, “Your concern about Lancaster Baptist Church showing signs of drift toward CCM is not my issue.”
His only issue was the matter of me not first contacting Chappell, and as biblical authority he cited “the spirit” of Matthew 18.
His first e-mail was fairly conciliatory, but when I stood by my conviction that this is not a Matthew 18 matter and when I refused to be apologetic, he then wrote the following:
“The fact is, your exposure to and past affinity with the the devils that operate in that [hippie] culture make you more than usually susceptible to the wily and very subtle influences of such spirits. What I'm trying to do here is discern just what spirit you are of. ...
“Look, what is bothering me about what you have done here is not that you are alarmed about developments in a brother's ministry that you believe smack of compromise, nor that you are willing to go public with such concerns. I would expect nothing less from you. What bothers me is that you refuse to acknowledge the impropriety of publicly marking a brother without at least giving him the opportunity to clarify his position, or correct his behavior. ...
“Now, in whatever measure of discernment I might have developed over many, many years of handling the Scripture, I must say, I cannot see any reason you would object to such a policy except willful pride. At this point, I am no longer talking to you about your issue with brother Chappell; I'm talking to you about what appears to be a ministry policy you have adopted that I think is not biblically supportable. If you don't think you owe Christ the effort He calls for to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and cannot see the appropriateness of adopting the spirit of Matthew 18 as a guideline to hammer out a policy that would assure your fellow soldiers that they are not going to be shot in the back by you, before you have at least extended them the simple courtesy of a phone call, or letter, or some kind of effort to reclaim before you disclaim––well, I don't know what spirit you are of––but it does not "taste" right to me. ...
“Brother, there are seducing spirits at work in your life that you are ignoring to your own peril. Even John, and James came under the influence of a sprit they failed to recognize was not of the LORD. David, you know not what spirit you are of” (E-mails from concerned pastor).
RESPONSE FROM BROTHER CLOUD
When I further refused to acknowledge that I have sinned, this pastor charged me with cowardice and other choice things.
I see no reason to quote more from the e-mails, but each one got angrier and more demanding. And I am not saying that I did not reply in some anger on my own side, because I did. We are only men. If any of us “modern” preachers were to tangle with a Martin Luther we would probably learn something about fierce polemics! We are pantywaists today. (Not that Luther is one of my spiritual heroes, but I greatly admire his boldness. The old boy was a real warhorse.)
At the heart of this pastor’s challenge is the issue of whether I acted properly by not contacting Pastor Chappell first and whether I sinned against him and his church, and that is what I want to answer here as best as I can.
First, I do not consider this matter “a cheap shot.” This issue is not small and it is not a one-time or a two-time thing or a three-time thing. The adaptation of CCM is a longstanding, deeply rooted matter at Lancaster. It is a pattern. Having progressed to the point where a church uses a charismatic-ecumenical praise anthem like “Shout to the Lord” is not a small or cheap issue.
Second, I have not stabbed Pastor Chappell in the back. Bless his heart, as far as I know is as healthy as he was before I published my warning. That type of thing is a mischaracterization of what I have done, and I believe it is a smokescreen and a sidetrack. If we worry about this type of slippery, ill-defined thing (and its twin “shooting the wounded”) we will never speak out.
Third, the issue is not me or Paul Chappell or any other man or our feelings or whether we are offended. The issue is the purity and character of Christ’s churches in these evil times and the very future of Bible-believing churches as we have known them.
Fourth, if something isn’t done, something drastic and dramatic and truly direction changing, the VAST majority of IB churches will be well down the emerging path within 10 years,. And that goes for West Coast Baptist Church in Lancaster, California. It’s not time to beat around the bush. It’s not time to play footsie with the good old boy IB network. It’s not time to sit on the sidelines. It’s not time to worry about some leader’s feelings. This is real down and dirty spiritual warfare, friends. In our day evil reigns, apostasy is on the attack, compromise is in the very air we breathe.
Fifth, I don’t have a “policy” of not contacting pastors before issuing a warning. To claim, as the aforementioned pastor did, that it is my policy not to contact pastors before exposing error is nonsense. The fact is that it depends entirely on the situation. I did contact Pastor Chappell on a previous occasion and asked him about statements he had made in a sermon and in writing that concerned me deeply. He replied and told me that I was mistaken, and I decided not to deal with the matter in writing at that time.
Sixth, as for this occasion, I saw the issue of Lancaster’s use of CCM as a longstanding, deeply-rooted policy. Had it been a one-time use of “Shout to the Lord” I would never had written what I did. If anything, I would have tried to have expressed my concern privately. I don’t believe that you blast men just because they make a mistake or two. I believe in exercising grace and longsuffering insofar as possible and the occasion allows. My enemies will probably have a good laugh at that, but those who know me know it is true. I don’t believe the use of one or two CCM songs, particularly when it is done in ignorance, means a church has gone full bore in that direction. I have warned people about being hyper critical in this matter. But when a large influential church has “adapted” CCM for years, including songs like Jack Hayford’s Pentecostal kingdom-now anthem “Majesty,” and is using more of it every year and is publishing it and is using soft rock and worldly methods of singing (e.g., scooping and sliding) and when the cameras focuses in from various angles on the musicians and singers and broadcasts it on a big screen, and when the music is sensual soft rock or bar-room piano honky tonk -- you have a church that has bought into CCM. You have a church that has a LOT of its people, including music people and staff members, listening to “pure unadulterated” CCM every day.
Seventh, I did not do this lightly and I have reconsidered it a hundred times since I published the report. I am not naturally a bold man, and I don’t like trouble (believe it or not!). I’m not like the late David Otis Fuller who wrote to me on several occasions and said, “The battle is getting hotter and hotter and I like it better and better!” To the contrary, I do these things in fear and trembling before the Lord. I even reconsidered the West Coast warning matter at our sweet prayer meeting tonight at church. I have reconsidered it deeply before the Lord and am convinced I have nothing to apologize about.
Eighth, had I contacted Pastor Chappell first about this matter, I believe I know what would have happened. For one, he would have thanked me for contacting him to share my concern and he would have renounced the use of “Shout to the Lord.” It is so glaringly CCM and Darlene Zschech is so glaringly an apostate that I am confident Chappell would have apologized for using it and he might even have said that he would look into other things in the music department, but that is about as far as the matter would have gotten. The other thing that would have happened is that I would not have issued a warning about the matter. Having talked to him, my mouth would most likely have been shut. And that means that there would not have been any possibility of a real top to bottom review of music at West Coast. Candidly, I don’t think there is much possibility of heart-level change even now, because the people, including pastor and staff, are already addicted to soft rock and entertainment music. And it draws the crowds. I predict that there will be a whitewash and a semblance of change, for awhile, a ton of justification about the use of CCM, and a lot of hatred expressed toward yours truly on every opportunity. Assuming that this doesn’t happen, and I hope and pray it doesn’t, the only possibility of a dramatic change occurring at Lancaster is if it is brought about by serious public outcry, because West Coast is very concerned about its “conservative” image.
Ninth, others HAVE expressed concerns to Paul Chappell about their music. This requirement that I go to him about the matter that others have already gone to him about is almost laughable. Pastor Chappell has allowed the church to proceed further down the CCM road each year. Seeing that people that know him have shared concerns with to him, and he ignored them, what would it have advantaged for me, a stranger and a man with a type of warning ministry that he does not really like, to have talked with him?
Each reader will have to answer that question for himself. As for me, I do not regret what has been done. I regret the trouble. I truly and sincerely regret that Bro. Chappell and some of his friends are deeply offended. But I do not regret doing what I did. I trust that something will come out of it that will glorify Jesus Christ and that perhaps Pastor Chappell will lay aside his offence at me and take my godly warning to heart and let it bring real change to that ministry.
Tenth, I am also glad that I did this because I have learned so much that I would not otherwise have learned. I learned more about the philosophy at West Coast that accompanies the use of CCM there. I have exposed this in “Reply to a West Coast Graduate.” It is the philosophy that we can be edified with CCM if the heart is right, that it is always wrong to have a “critical eye,” that we should leave such matters to the “man of God” and not criticize, that it is acceptable to use CCM as long as the words are right, that “love” is more important than the music issue, that soft rock is acceptable as long as we don’t call it soft rock, that it is good for West Coast to have standards but their standards are the apex of standards and that those who go beyond West Coast’s standards are extremists and legalists and hatemongers and demon influenced.
Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
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