Department of Corrections, Retractions and Clarifications
I fellowship at Calvary Chapel, SLO. My pastor, Bryan Stupar, was present when the leadership here in SLO repented. He, and another one of the pastors has been invaluable in bringing all of this about. I am accountable to them for the website.
We are active members of the church, and are growing in our service, as the grace of God allows. One of the reasons I get so impatient with Geftakys members, current and former, is because of the time and labor that I put into this. I don't do it out of bitterness, or lack or having a life! We have five active, well-adjusted children, a home church, (in our home) a thriving business, and a very busy social calendar which includes dinner with California senators and national congressmen on Tuesday next.
I have far better things to do than warn a small group of people about the fact that they were/are following a total charlatan. The ONLY reason I do it, is because I am constrained by love, and am answering God's call in this. This, and the fact that I was there for seventeen years, and I bear responsibility.
My letter was not meant to be an apology, but a correction. If an apology becomes necessary, it will look and feel like an apology. Again, name one leader who has had a clear, zealous and unequivocal clearing of their past service of a teaching demon. I can name one: Danny Edwards.
This is such a burden, because in spite of all that has been revealed, there still remain a few people who have it in their heads that the leadership were "dear men of God." Nonsense! They may be nice guys, in certain ways, and they may be Christians, but if you or they could clearly see one tenth of the damage that they helped perpetrate on God's people, you would recoil in horror.
Mike deserves far worse accusations than I have leveled at him. We can start with his treatment of the _________ and ____ ______, where he is complicit in a broken marriage.
Here is how I am looking at what is the rest of George's house:
Most of the people who have repented have left, for good. There are a few remaining who want to build the old ruins, and patch up the old wineskin, that was "so effective," for decades. These should realize in a few weeks of months that their labor will NOT be aided by the Holy Spirit.
There are a few, however, who are hell bent on continuing the "pattern," that George erroneously taught. They have not escaped, and there is nothing I can do to help them. I shall speak the truth as I am led, but I cannot save these people, even as the Pharisee's could not be saved by the Son of God.
Oh yes, I understand what I just said. I am not saying that God is unable to do anything, I am very clear on God's omnipotent character, and I am quite well versed in the doctrine of His sovereignty. Unfortunately, I am also very familiar with blind guides and blind followers. I have been getting hate mail from these people for years now.
The leaders are not innocent, and never were. If they fail to make a public declaration of where they stand, and fail to publicly repent and correct the errors the propagated, and fail to publicly apologize to the many people they have wronged, the are suspect.
I have no problem "accusing" Geftakys servants. I was one myself, and I know how many people I wronged and injured.
Dear Mike and Russ:
I am sorry that I must be so harsh with you. I just read your letter of repentance, and although I am sure you are sincere, I must say that you are only washing the outside of the cup.
If you think that a "dress code" is even an issue, in light of the very serious things that have gone on, then I must tell you, in Christ's love, that you a totally blind. You are still in a demonic fog, under the oppression of the enemy.
Let me add a few things to your list:
- Idolatry. "I have been an idolater in that I have placed my life and that of my family at the disposal of "The Work." I substituted the will of man for what God may have wanted in a systematic, pervasive way. Furthermore, I taught others, even insisted and manipulated them, to do the same. I also put an evil man, who is guilty of all the "deadly" sins on a pedestal, and called him, "The Lord's Servant." This is a name that only the Lord Jesus Christ has a right to, and I gave it to a man. Furthermore, I promised loyalty and allegiance to that man, which was idolatrous behavior."
- Coercion. "I have mishandled the Word of God in order to get people, by any and all means including shame and fear, to follow the pattern of behavior that my idol, George Geftakys, taught us was pleasing to him. I employed twisting of the scriptures in order to convince people, including myself, that what George said was correct and was in fact what the scriptures taught, even when it clearly contradicted the plain language in the Bible. There are many examples of this, but two that stand out are the terms, Leading Brother and Worker. These are extra-biblical terms, with extra-biblical meanings, yet I pretended for years that I was a shepherd after the "new testament pattern," and that the flock I helped manage for George was following the "new testament pattern," even though we were clearly in contradiction to the Bible in many areas. Because of this I recognize that I am not fit to lead this gathering, and that my influence is actually dangerous at this time, because the foundation of my life has proven to be built on the sand. While I know that Jesus Christ can recover me, and through His grace I can be made whole, at present I am unfit, not above reproach, and disqualified to lead God's people. I am stepping down from any and every position of leadership, because of the danger I pose to the flock."
- Blindness. "There are hundreds of instances where I thought, or hoped, that I was doing God's will, when in fact I was totally blind. Many people who have left over the years come to mind, and I am in the dark about why they said things they did. I was too blind to listen to their valid criticisms, and thus I acted divisively towards them, which is a serious sin. Perhaps the biggest evidence of my blindness is that I had years of close association with George Geftakys, yet I was unable to discern what was obvious. He is an arrogant man, with many serious flaws, both in character and teaching. These flaws were readily apparent to many others, but I was too blind to notice them. In fact, when people mentioned George's obvious sins, I vigorously defended this wicked man, and slandered my brethren who were telling the truth. My failure to see that I was following a wicked, evil, fraudulent man, and actively seeking to procure more followers for him is clear evidence that I am spiritually blind. The Bible says not to follow blind guides. If I do, I will fall into a ditch with them. The fact that George has been in a cesspool of a ditch, and the fact that I have been following him, means that I am also in the ditch, and no doubt all the pollution has infected me. I know that Jesus can wash and cleanse, and I know that He can deliver me out of the ditch, but even now I am unclear as to my situation, which means that I still don't see properly. I need to step away from all this, get out of the ditch, and seek counsel from godly men who do not suffer blindness in the manner that I do."
- False teaching. "Due to the above, I have come to realize that I have been a student of a false teacher, and a system of theology that the Bible calls heresy. I have been practicing and promulgating the Galatian heresy, which the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, calls bewitching and accursed. I have been both bewitched and a bewitcher. I repent of this false teaching, but even now I don't comprehend where I have gone wrong, further proving my blindness. I am not fit to lead God's people, and to even suggest that we continue as we are, without much outside help is error."
This is only a starter. Your points in your paper are merely symptoms of a far greater problem, which you are totally ignorant of. Far from being a man of God, you are both cultists! Yes, that's what I said, you are both cultists. I was too, so I can stand with you in sympathy and understanding./p>
I am not being harsh with you for personal reasons. I don't know Russ at all, and as for Mike, we always considered you guys to be our friends. The only reason I trouble myself about this is because God has given me a task, and I have love for all my Geftakyian brethren. I was there myself.
I would much rather change my tone, and talk with you about topics that heal and edify, but understand that I am contending earnestly for the faith, and I intend to be a fierce fighter, by the grace of God.
So, when I hear about your repentance, and then accuse you of being a viper, I am more convinced than ever that I was correct in my assessment. You are far more deceived than corrupt, but your actions will produce the same effect nonetheless.
IIdolizing George? Coercion? False teaching? Cultists? Where do you got off with such accusations? I'll admit that I respected George, trusted in his integrity and had no reason not to. Now that it has been exposed that he was a deceiver and an adulterer, we acknowledge that and sought how we should repentas our conscience has led us.Now you say that's not enough? This is absurd. I don't even know you, as far as I know never wronged you, nor anybody from our midst. Even other godly men - leaders from other Christian circles near & far rejoiced with us in light of what God was doing here. Should they grovel at your feet, too? Quite frankly, have you ever been to Seattle, let alone even investigated these things. I can't recall ever seeing you here. Let me ask you honestly...doesn't it seem you're running off at the mouth a bit and have chip on your shoulder?
From your own words I now realize that you are not doing God's work but you are doing the work of the devil, whether you see it or not. May God show me differently. I see you have a zeal for God but not in accordance with knowledge. I see a spirit of condemnation and division and an unwillingness to look at things any other way than your own. I pray God will have mercy upon you for the hurtful words that you have spoken to us in your ignorance. By this I am saddened greatly. For the record, though, it is you who are cutting yourself off from me, not me from you. I am open to discuss any doctrinal issues that you think I have about anything.
I thank God Jesus said let him who is without sin throw the first stone and that Paul said there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I don't know about you, but I am trusting in Jesus and am actively seeking His will. I am going to listen to Him and not anyone else. I believe the Holy Spirit is able to speak to me through the "demonic fog" even as He has. I pray that someday you will stand together with me without suspicion and judgment and that you truly will investigate your claims./p>
Dear brother Russ:
I am glad to hear that you are actively trusting and seeking Jesus. I am glad that you are only listening to Him. I am glad that you believe that He is able to speak to you through the demonic fog, even as He has. How did the Holy Spirit speak to you regarding George's character? Was it in a dream, or perhaps a promise from God's Word?
FFor me, it was after I realized that I didn't hear the voice of God as well as I thought. I realized that I was a proud, deceived person, who suffered from spiritual elitism. I was the sort of person who, due to pride, painted total failure in the spiritual arena as a "great victory." I took confusing, incorrect interpretations of scripture and labeled them "a word in season." Other Christians thought I was whacko, but I brushed it off and labeled them as worldly.
I don't know if you noticed it or not, but the list I gave you, to which you reacted so violently, was written in the first person. It is my list, and I am convinced that much of it applies to you as well. Doubly so if you were in leadership./p>
Also, how do you know what witnesses I have spoken to?
Having read the recent board in "Principles to observe in dealing with Geftaky's Servants", I write to reprimand you and condemn your false accusations about certain brethren, especially about Mike Glesener.. I ask you for what you have been demanding from everbody else, that you publicly repent from this malicious and ungodly behavior. In your advocacy to defend the truth, you are fighting the very One whose truth you claim to defend by accusing innocent and godly men (2 Tim 2:11-26 - don't let the devil use you to do his will). God will hold you accountable for this. Must every brother and sister previously associated with George Geftaky's ministry have your approval to meet as they believe God wants them to meet to be free from accusation and harrassment? Rom 14:4 "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand." From this I understand that we are accountable to the Lord, not to Brent nor to this website.
I now strongly question Brent's intentions. At the first, Brent, through the agency of this website exposed great darkness (praise God!), but now Brent seems to be taking the role of a railer, slanderer, and an accuser in his zeal to attempt to expose alleged sins. This, too, is sin. I hope that Brent would be willing to apologize to Mike about the things he said. Mike will probably respond to Brent himself, but quite frankly I don't think he should have to. Mike is not responsible to report to you to declare his innocence before he is innocent. You however are responsible to not receive an accusation against a brother except there be 2 or 3 witnesses. Have you spoken to all the witnesses or just selective witnesses or any witnesses? It is one thing to point out gross sin and harm done by God's people to God's people, but this has gone too far and Brent has overstepped the bounds of genuine concern for other Christians. He has seemed to assume for himself an unscriptural role. I perceive a divisive spirit that is seeking to slight and discredit all those who were linked to George's ministry despite knowing of what spirit they truly were of nor the true nature of the circumstances of which they are now accused. I hope Brent's crusade for the truth doesn't end with just crucifying God's shepherds (2 Tim 3:12-13). Surely God will hold those accountable who do so. I am greatly disappointed with how you are carrying this out in an inquisition style.
I ask Brent and the admin of this website to do the following...
1. Repent of the slander against brethren where there is no evidence of misdoing.
2. Public apology for the defamation of such brethren (despite your suspicions).
3. A genuine inquiry to the state of those they launch accusations against before making them public. (How sad - where is the Spirit of Christ in this?) There have been so many assertions made upon heresay and not upon fact.
Brethren, I urge you not to grieve His Holy Spirit any further regarding such things. We are not your adversaries - we are your humble servants. These are serious issues. I trust you will respond to them in manner worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 4:1-3 "I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Brother Russ Pittman
What you say above is fair enough. If I have falsely accused Mike Glesener, than I must publicly make apology and clear his name. This is what I have correctly required of others, and I should follow my own advice. I did not include Mike's name on the "vipers" list in a random fashion. I was given information that said that Mike was quite unclear regarding his renunciation of George Geftakys. If this is false information, than I will correct it. The problem with so many Geftakys followers is that they lack courage. They give me tips, without including their names. I don't act on these or publish them. Others give me information, with their name attached, and then implore me to not tell anyone they told me! For instance, plenty of people knew about David's abuse of his family, and about George's adultery and immoral behavior. Because they were unwilling to say anything, for whatever reason, these people were allowed to abuse people for decades. The same culture of silence exists now. I was called a liar two years ago, when I claimed that abuse occurred in the Geftakys home. David Geftakys cried tears in a prayer meeting, swearing he didn't do it. George Geftakys falsely "apologized" to people, in order to hide his immorality.
Now, when it comes to men who served George, Tim, Mike Zach and the ministry in general, people are only too willing to give them a pass. Remember, we gave George plenty of passes. We were to "believe the best about our brethren."
Given the pervasive darkness of the Geftakys ministry, any leader who doesn't come out strongly against George and his system is suspect. A leader who actually takes steps to cover for George is guilty. There is no excuse for this.
If I have falsely accused a person, I will humble myself and repent, publicly and promptly.
However, these Geftakys servants slandered me for years, and falsely accused me. Very few if any have publicly humbled themselves with regard to what they said about me, let alone contacted me and apologized. Mike Glesener is one of a few who has been totally silent.
Please, save your outrage for the people who led you into bondage, not for the person who put his reputation on the line in order to expose the darkness and bondage you were all suffering under.
Leaders are far more guilty than I in the area of slander. I am willing to take the lead by repenting, but some of them are slow to follow. Where do they stand? This is important.
February 12, 2003
We invite rebuttals, disagreements, entreaty and admonishment. When someone has something to say we will considerately listen. Recently, a person had this to say regarding the essay, Beware the Leaven of the Pharisees:
The Pharisees never said, "No prophet arises from Nazareth." They said, in John 7:52, "Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." You say above, "They just stood on their correct view of Scripture." Apparently you did not take up the challenge of the Pharisees to "search." For if you had, you would discover that Jonah and Hosea were from there. Maybe even Elijah, Elisha, and Amos were from there as well. One of the characteristics of the Pharisees was that, though educated, they were ignorant of the Scriptures.
After investigating what this person had to say, I soon realized that the brother who brought this to my attention is absolutely correct, and I thank him for pointing out my error. May this be an example of the kind the character we are trying to demonstrate on this website. We have corrected the essay to reflect this change.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.The Editor
In the article, Principles to Employ, Wes Cohen's name was included along with Mike Zach and others. Wes was identified along with these others as a "viper." I think this was partially in error on my part, because the leadership in Santa Barbara, Wes's assembly, has in fact stepped down. Currently, they are attempting to carry on in new ways. Wes's name was included, mainly because of recent developments between him and people he has wronged in the past. I erroneously suggested that he was still attempting to lead the Santa Barbara group, which is not correct. Wes has stepped down from his leadership title, and hopefully his leadership behavior. I would like to use this opportunity to apologize for putting his name in this list, and also to entreat him to fully come clean with regard to certain other issues with people from his past. Dear Wes, please distance yourself from these men and the things they stand for!