Is the devil loosed in the Gospel Forum?
I was previously at no church meeting where at the beginning as a rule number 1 disturbing members are threatened to be kicked out by the security, because by heckling – the human dignity of the honored pastor could be insulted. The unexpected news of the past few days already indicated that something was wrong in the Gospel Forum. It is extremely strange to be invited to a general meeting only one or two days in advance and then to get the following PDF late at night:
Curiously arrived at the event, I hear of the great danger or the dilemma that the district court in all dispute could determine an unbeliever as chairman of the Gospel Forum. Shamed be he who thinks evil of it, claiming heretical this would be better for our business, at least in the personnel policy.
The called attorney-at-law and Pastor Wes Hall quoted in the evening assembly of November 13th 2018 in his sermon how the church works according to God’s Word and Rules. Meanwhile, I am used to check everything in the Bible and wonder why we have given us a secular statute despite our appeal to the early church life. After all, the association law limits the authority of the chairman of the board, who should not act as easily as a sole ruling despot. The attempt by Peter Wenz to introduce four well-intentioned pastors to the General Council, which were determined by the Holy Spirit (two of them are a few years in the church) failed clearly. When Peter explained the failure, people even clap loudly in the congregation as if they misunderstood. A speaker on the stage usually enjoys the applause, in this irritating case it was rather shameful. Completely embarrassing are the shameful internal incidents of the leadership, which have come to the public, and are now to be settled by external mediators. You can feel like you’re at an AfD party convention, who changes the board again and again.
The Gospel Forum has thousands of spiritual members, but only 155 people have voting rights, of which 88 voters no longer agreed with Peter’s course, or seemed unaware of the implications of their vote. Perhaps they were particularly thoughtful for the reason why at the funeral of longtime pastor friend Gottfried Seiler Peter was not asked as a laudator and why the following e-mail was sent on October 17th 2018:
To briefly summarize the conflict, it is about power struggles at the top of the largest Protestant free church in Germany. Ten years ago I wrote a novel on this blog to reveal invisible negative powers such as domination, control, manipulation and jealousy. As I was told, the top boy scout Martin Seiler considers demonic powers to be responsible for the biggest crisis ever experienced by the Gospel Forum (former Biblische Glaubensgemeinde Stuttgart).
Is the devil loosed in the Gospel Forum or is it possibly a judgment of God??
Interpreting symbols as commentator I ask myself for years how we could select a circled point as a logo for the Forum. I do not associate the name Forum with a meeting place, but with a large marketplace that can be derived from the Roman Forum Romanum. Money and power are known to belong together. So millions of Euro in receipt, on which Gottfried Seiler gave an account, grew steadily. Only the Charisma Bookstore had to be shut down, which I do not consider a loss, for we sold demon-inspired books of Todd Bentley about the heavenly places and angel visitations. After all, two of my critical book reviews were tolerated in the Charisma blog. However, I would have expected more courage and action from the attentive main pastor and the then managing director.
In order not to write a novel again, I come to the main problem, which I have realized. The counting of the people and the weighting of numbers beyond the well-being of the individual according to the proud motto I & we are the largest in Germany. In the Good Shepherd’s example, Jesus left 99 sheep to recover the one thing lost. In practice, this was less lived because we were always trying to gain new members and did not care so much about remaining, injured people. But this is what is required of the true shepherds (compare Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 34).
It is to be wished that true repentance comes over Peter and the leadership. At the end of the general meeting Martin Seiler, Thomas Berner and Matthias Frank surprisingly appeared and gathered with all the pastors on stage. A strong signal of reconciliation with shared prayer was given by Reggie Ocampo after a prophecy (cars that collide and get stuck) to avert the menacing split.
Ultimately, the damage caused by the loss of confidence and the insecurity of many members of the church is immense, as I felt in the conversations before the way home.
November 14th, 2018 Matthias Ruf