Letter to Pastor Scott (November 19, 2013)

Dear Pastor Scott,

     I have not wanted to write you until today. I have at times wanted to speak with you. But today I heard you are tired.
     I am sorry you are not well. Before you go on your rest, would you please allow my children to see and talk with me. Would you please restore our broken relationship. You know it was based on falsehoods that you put me away. And I know it. There is no hidden sin. I am who I have always been. And I weep every day for my children, Jonathan, Sarah, Joshua, and Christina. As well as my sweet little grandchildren PennyRose, and Jackson. When I get their photo's I touch their little faces and cry, and tell them how much I love them, even without ever seeing them in person.
     I love my family Pastor Scott. I love my husband who did your bidding, even when he knew it was wrong. God loves me, how can I not love those who hurt me.
     And God loves you, sir. I know he does. Today, more than ever. Yes you have done bad things. And you will need to turn from the wicked deeds, and restore what you have taken away. But the minute you ask Jesus to forgive you, you are forgiven.
     But you know this. Last summer when I was sitting on Josh's door jamb trying to hug him before he drove off, and tell him how much I love him. He was trying to push me out onto the pavement. I was crying, saying 'Son, Pastor Scott would be appalled to see how you are treating your own mother!' As I walked away, George Shihadah was standing on the lawn watching. He had tears in his eyes. I said to him then, that I would respect any man who can admit he has made a wrong judgment. I would tell my children to honor any man, who has the integrity to right a wrong he did. I asked George to tell you that. And I mean it still.
     Pastor Scott, God loves you, please do the hardest thing you will maybe ever have to do in your life. Please make all the wrongs you have done--right. By God's grace you can do the impossible. You can go to the ones you have taken children from and restore their children, you can go to husbands and restore their wives. You can go to your own, and restore what has been taken. As you do, I know God's peace will flood your heart. And love, God's love, will take the sting out of shame.
      God needs broken men, sir. Not 'powerful, polarizing, pastors'. He needs men who are nothing, but have the Son of God--Him--He is everything.

Sincerely, Mrs. Molly Fitch

P.S. Here is a song I thought would be an encouragement to you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auEw_Ui71oc

Letter from Ellen (November 16, 2013)

Dear Calvary Temple,

      A little more than 5 years ago my family and I decided to leave Calvary Temple. During our 30 years at Calvary we had experienced many trials and many blessings so the decision to leave was a very difficult and painful one; a decision we wrestled with for many months and even years. The scripture that often sustained me during this time was "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'"
     During these months and years there were many red flags that we pushed aside or ignored. One was the warning that came from a former member I had known well and was respected in CT until he and his family left. He called to tell us that he believed Calvary Temple, after some legal changes, was now legally and financially under the  control of Pastor Scott. This should have caused me concern because we had been told otherwise by Pastor Scott. Another red flag came in the form of our own observations of the treatment given to people who had left CT. The offending individual or family was ALWAYS portrayed as rebellious, confused or lost. It seemed unlikely to me that every single one of them was now in complete rebellion to God only because they had left CT. Many of these people had been very well thought of just days or weeks prior to their leaving and now were being called reprobate, residue (as Pastor Scott said "we have filled a lot of the local churches with our residue"), backsliders, unsaved, lost, confused, etc. Their families were being divided and even destroyed. I heard Pastor Gardner say "EVERY one who has left Calvary Temple is not serving God."  Many people I had known and trusted were leaving CT and I finally had to ask myself why.
     One of the most disturbing events occurred when Pastor Scott married Greer just 3 weeks after Mrs Scott's death. He stated from the pulpit that God had spoken to him in prayer one night shortly AFTER her death that he was to marry Greer."Out of the clear, like a lightning bolt Thursday, a few days ago, God spoke to me and He pointed out in our midst one of the virgins among us that's to become my wife." And yet a friend in leadership told me that Pastor Scott had spoken of marrying Greer the week before Mrs. Scott's death.  I believed he had mislead the congregation.  In the teaching entitled "Ruth" (http://www.calvarytempleva.org/Teaching/Details/Ruth-200209)Pastor Scott referred to himself as the High Priest. "A very interesting thing that was upon the high priest, however, he couldn't mourn anyone. He wasn't allowed, as you read this, to mourn mother, father, children, and as you read into this, even, the implication being, the wife." and "He talks about the high priest and He says if you've lost a wife, you take a wife. It has to be one that's a virgin, it has to be one that's out of your midst." I remember feeling absolutely stunned that he was calling himself the High Priest. Scripture is clear as to who our High Priest is. (Hebrews 4: 14-16). I believed he was placing himself equal to the sinless Son of God. There were many explanations as to why he referred to himself this way ("he chose to identify with the priesthood, he didn't mean it that way, etc"). In the Ruth teaching Pastor Scott then described his marriage proposal (via his daughter) to Greer and again, I was very upset. I felt Greer was possibly coerced into agreeing to the marriage by such emotionally loaded statements such as "ALL THE PASTORS, there's been discussion; ALL THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES have been gone over, everyone's at peace..." and "I just encourage you that between myself and the pastors, we have thoroughly covered the scriptures to make sure that every things that's done is according to the Word of God'. Several of us wondered how a  young girl desiring to please God and her pastor could say no to that? Whether or not it was right or wrong for Pastor Scott to marry a young girl, the method he used to marry her seemed to me and others to be manipulation.
     In January 08 Pastor Scott began a series of teachings on the authority of the church leadership (http://www.calvarytempleva.org/Teaching/Details/Knowing-Gods-Voice-Doing-Gods-Will-200801) It was then I knew I could no longer turn a blind eye to the misinterpretation and misapplication of scripture. I felt as though there began to be more of an open shift in dependence on hearing from God to obeying leadership. He stressed that "God PREDOMINANTLY speaks to men that are placed by Him in roles of leadership" He stated "leadership hears the Word of God from a different perspective and on a different level than you hear it". I could no longer continue in and under a ministry that set themselves in this position. I know with all assurance that God leads us and guides us through the Holy Spirit and His Word. I know that leadership is there to counsel, help, encourage and lead by example, but NEVER to take the place of His leading. I know that even if I a make a mistake, or am wrong about something, God will get me back on track.
     One of the scriptures frequently quoted by Pastor Scott regarding the authority of the pastors in leading the flock is from Psalm 77:20. (You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.) But I had not heard him speak of the scripture in Jer. 31 that states "it will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt" nor the New Testament verse from Hebrews that confirms this Messianic prophecy. A very complete biblical study of Pastoral Authority can be found here: http://againstcalvarytemple.com. As I studied the scripture and other biblical writings on church authority, I felt that Pastor Scott was in doctrinal error.
     Pastor Scott has said that often people don't leave Calvary Temple until they are personally affected and I think there is truth to that. It took a very personal event to force us out the door. It was "diploma night", the night Pastor Scott stripped our son (and others) of his diploma, awards, and godly reputation. It began with Pastor Scott compiling a list of young people that he and others in leadership considered unfit to represent Calvary Temple and Discipleship Training. They were given the opportunity to repent. Some did in addition to many others that were not on the list. It seemed to me and others that Greer and Kimberly were in disagreement with the "repentance" of several of the young people and began to whisper to Pastor Scott. Five of the young people were called back to recover their diplomas and the congregation was told that these five were not on the list of those needing to repent. He stated that night and again in a subsequent service that the rest who had turned in their diplomas needed to repent and should be thought of leaven and even wolves among the congregation. Our son had turned in his diploma and was included in this group. We were heartbroken and deeply dismayed that our son was thought of in this way and that the congregation was now warned to beware of him. We were in disbelief that if our son was considered not fit to represent CT, then why had we never been spoken to concerning him? After much perseverance, we learned from one of the pastors that our son was NOT on the list. Pastor Scott admitted privately that our son was considered a godly young man. We requested that the congregation be informed of this but were told "no". We were told to stop "criticizing" him just because a "mistake" had been made. From that moment on I knew I had to leave Calvary Temple no matter what the cost.
     Thus began a very difficult time for me and my family. We left knowing we could lose every relationship we held dear. And we did. (The ironic thing is many of these friends we have lost would themselves like to leave Calvary Temple but they know the cost could be great.) Not only is it devastating to lose friends and even family, it I can also be difficult to adjust to life outside of Calvary Temple. Yes, my church life is now very different from the one I had in CT. I do not attend "church" nearly as often as I once did. Sometimes I only attend one or two actual services each week. But I am deeply involved with the Body of Christ. I have a group of many close friends that among us we attend 7 different churches. In addition, I am free to minister on a regular basis to a few people that are not yet believers. I spend a great deal of time in the care of a family member. I meet regularly with friends to lift up our loved ones in prayer. My pastor is a godly example to me and he and his wife are friends I can count on. I go to him for counsel but in the end he encourages me to hear from God on my own. He recognizes that he is a servant to the Body of Christ but we must each one follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our God is faithful to lead and guide each one of us. I am able to seek God on a daily basis and go wherever He leads me.
     I have experienced great trials in my life but "it is well with my soul". Should persecution ever come to such a degree that we must all flee, I know I am forging a relationship with God that can sustain me in perhaps very difficult and solitary times. We may not always have our "church" to depend on but we always have our God.

My heart's desire in writing this is to speak the truth in love to my brothers and sisters.

Ellen Kusar

Letter to My Children (November 15, 2013)

My own dearest Children,

     Lately I have been thinking of when we are with the Lord, and all tears are wiped away.  And the wonderful gift it is to know that He has offered us free and full forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ.   That is what I long for you to really know about our God.  Along with that new heart and life, he gives us courage to own up to things we would rather not.  Like me writing these letters publicly.  I hate it.  All I want is to be able to write you and speak to you as we always have, not through the filter of the pastors at Calvary telling you what they want you to know.
     I was very naïve.  Because of the endorsement of good men I respected here in NY, I never checked into the character and background of the pastors down there.  Now the men here in NY are so very sorry that they ever took me to Calvary Temple in VA.  And I am so very sorry that due to my influence our sweet Candace, Joelle, and Chris are entangled in the church there, along with you.  Many folks here have told me that due to my good reputation, they silenced their own doubts and trusted I was correct.
      I was not correct.  I blindly believed these were men of integrity.  They are not.  I recall when you, Sarah, told me that Candace was about to be marked and put out.  I had just been brought home from being put away 93 days and told to be quiet by Pastor Ron, but I asked you in surprise WHY?  Because she has been so emotional.  But what about her new baby?  Oh, Joey decided to give her another chance.  I was so scared. Because it was not right.  But if I spoke up, would I lose my own babies again?
      Dad told me last night, that Pastor Ron never told him about all the messages I sent.  Pastor Ron called randomly, every 10 days or so.  To see how I was doing spiritually.  If I was ready to be brought home.  One day he told me that they were ready to bring me home, but Tom had had a dream that I came home and was not changed.  So in light of that, although not prone to rely on dreams, they were going to keep me out a little bit longer.  I cried.
     I still cry.  Because maybe if I had not obeyed Dad, Pastor Ron and Pastor Scott, I would have been able to get you all out right away.  But I was so terrified that maybe they were right, maybe I was not pleasing to God. Maybe he was chastening me that way because that's what it would take to make me holy.
     How did I get so far away from the simple Gospel presented by Jesus, I AM the way and the truth and the life, and no man comes unto the Father but by Me......Jesus is the only one holy, and if I believe in Him, he forgives all my sins, and I stand complete in Him.....alone.

Waiting with open arms,
Your loving mom

Letter to My Children (November 5, 2013)

Dear Children,

     Yesterday was your little nephew's birthday. He turned 3. So far in his little life you were only there for his birth. You allowed your father to put Noah and Gretel away while I was put away in a motel, so you refused to celebrate his 1st birthday, and his 2nd, and now his 3rd. But we remember you, every day. Gramma told little Noah the story of his birth-day. And we looked at all the pictures. And he asked who the people were- Uncle Jonathan, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Josh, Aunt Christina.
     We cried on his birthday, your sister made pumpkin pie for his birthday cake, telling Noah it is 'your Uncle Josh's favorite!' Your cousins and aunt came over to unwrap gifts, we talked of you all, we missed you all, and hope against hope you would call. Aunt Jackie and I took a long walk after, and reminisced about raising you kids. You are ours, from God. We will never let you go.
      I pray God will bless and protect each one of you, Noah and I pray this every morning and every night, naming each one and little PennyRose and little Jackson and soon-to-arrive baby. Hugs and kisses always and forever, Your mom