Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Five, The Transition Team
During the return of Russ Kennedy to the Chapel in 1998, an influx of men loyal to the new Reformation crusade started showing up at the Chapel. It is unclear how Kennedy knew these men, but their arrival and the timing of it was by no means a coincidence. They were radio personality Chad Bresson, Greg Cook, Dale Evans, Dan Turner, and others less significant. The stage was set for a classic New Calvinist hostile takeover that was being replicated worldwide at breakneck speed. These events shared identical fundamentals that drove the movement and still does till this day:
The core “leadership team” understands the truth of the new Reformation, but also readily recognizes that the great unwashed evangelicals are not ready for this new, hard truth, and must be progressively indoctrinated. They must be fed according to what they can bear at any given time.
Hence, the transitions (takeovers) must be covert.
The transition team possesses the authority of the original Reformation; ie., God has granted full authority over the souls of men to Reformed elders. This is stated Protestant orthodoxy and evident to those who partake in a cursory observation of Protestant literature. The original Reformation borrowed this authority from Catholic dogma through a shared identification with St. Augustine who ironically is the doctrinal foundation of Protestantism and Catholicism both—and nobody even blinks. Augustine insisted that salvation can only be obtained in the institutional church and faithfulness to it accordingly. Augustine also insisted that men be compelled by force to submit themselves to the clergy.
Hence, who are the confused parishioners to argue with God’s anointed? This mentality leads to a very heavy-handed leadership style that describes Russ Kennedy to a “T.” And, is a hallmark characteristic of the movement in general. The movement’s excessive use of church discipline was even written about in major secular publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Evangelicals are perplexed en mass regarding this phantom force-like movement that has transformed the churches. Unbelievably, while this movement strives to return to the tenets of the original Protestant Reformation that was marked by tyranny, the recognition of an ideological connection to the same behavior does not compute in the minds of average parishioners.
The revival-like experience produced by the biblical counseling movement in the 90’s is summarily dismissed as “creating better Pharisees” and ridiculed as, “behaviorism” and “moralism.” Not only is the Adams biblical counseling revolution dismissed as a pseudo-revival, but is utterly disdained by these crusaders drunk with visions of grandeur.
Because original Protestantism no longer has state authority to enforce its orthodoxy, it must use creative means to control people. Most evangelicals do not understand that the Protestant gospel was formulated around a church-state and for the express purpose of a church-state. And therefore, principles of persecution for dissenters are part of Reformation doctrinal statements such as the Westminster Confession. Persecution is in the contract.
Consequently, when authority and control are innately part of a gospel, but there are no means of forcible control (because of Americanism’s separation of church and state), the only possible outcome is cultish behavior.
These elements identify the movement that has all but taken over the Protestant church and uniquely exemplified by Clearcreek Chapel. It is authority as gospel. It is a plethora of other mediators apart from Christ. But for the purpose of this study, file this very important word in the back of your mind for now: A-U-T-H-O-R-I-T-Y.
In addition, as this movement covertly infected the churches worldwide like gangrene, the 1980’s saw the emergence of reconciliatory organizations like Peacemaker Ministries. These organizations seek to protect the resurgence movement and keep its host churches from being sued. These organizations were a response to the pushback from the movement’s rampant spiritual abuse. These organizations are necessary because justice can never be found within the church, but why?
All of the aforementioned contemporary events fit together. What do these transitions look like at ground level? What happened at the Chapel that continues to take place presently? Why does it happen? Why is this behavior protected by other churches and what should we do about it?
Chapter Six: Elders Behaving Badly
Chapter Seven: Those Who Protect Them, and Why
Chapter Eight: Will the Real Protestant Gospel Please Stand Up?
Chapter Nine: The True Gospel: “You Must Be Born Again”
Chapter Ten: The Way Home