Calvary Chapel Green Valley (Henderson) Business Review
Sharing a testimony/review of a church experience. This testimony mentions teachers/leaders and public speakers Gregg Seymour and John Knapp. Both of these teachers teach publicly*:
I love everyone and pray for these people. I truly wish God’s best, and this is in no way containing any malice nor slander (falsehood/abusive speech) at all. I am simply revealing/exposing the slander and abusive speech that I myself have received (see Ephesians 5:11). I love and pray for all names mentioned here. I say the following with brokenness, concern and meekness. I will be truly happy to have this comment removed and have mercy should someone reach out to me from the church in obedience to Matthew 5! Nobody has! Rather, I have experienced intense betrayals and shunning from many members here. This is simply a truthful account to what I have seen and heard. I say this so that God’s people will not get hurt. It would be self-preservation and cowardly to keep silent. I must speak up for fear that someone else would walk the path I have. If you happen to attend Calvary Chapel Green Valley (Pastor John Knapp) in Henderson, please pay careful attention to see if there are any covering doctrines, covenants (written or unwritten; like “marriage covenant relationships”) or any talk about “shepherding”. I have personally witnessed talk of (quote) “marriage covenant relationships among leadership”, from the mouth of senior leadership. This is exactly what John Knapp told me. Having attended and served there for many years, I had no idea that there was such a doctrine behind the scenes that I had no clue about previously. Be alert to see if there are any possible cultic tendencies (like, shunning/blacklisting/insulting those who question doctrines or church protocol, or threatening them that they “may not enter the promised land”, etc.), possible legalistic rules or a possible spirit of elitism/control (such as – possibly the following: how to dress, how much to weigh, who to sit with at service, what service your family should attend/how to attend, being looked down upon as “divisive” or rebellious if one should choose to do a Bible study at another church midweek, being a single vs. being married, being looked down upon or insulted/spiritually abused because of questioning leadership and teachings, etc). Research the Shepherding/Discipleship Movement if you want. Please note, I am not saying for sure that this church is in that movement, but researching it will prove to be interesting and eye-opening. Dig deeper as did the Bereans in the Book of Acts.
Also, if you attend there, please be advised that based on my truthful, personal experience, if you email one leader or counselor something (even if it is not going to the church email domain but a personal domain) the other leaders have shared information (without asking) in the past (so quite possibly, the senior pastor or even possibly the entire church staff could be reading your emails to one church leader, even if they are personal and not sent to the church domain). Please also note that if you speak with leaders and/or their wives, you might be recorded. This could be a part of the “marriage covenant relationship” doctrine of sharing. John Knapp asked me, “would you hide anything from your husband”? I said, “no”. He said, “neither does leadership at this church hide anything from each other”. That was truly an unsettling doctrine and left me wondering exactly what this meant. Is this why they have shared emails with each other even sent to personal domains? Not sure. All I know is – John Knapp had all my emails to another leader named Becca who was my friend (sent to her personal domain) printed out and spread across on his desk, highlighted when I went to the meeting he called me into. I asked her why she would give him all of our personal emails which were supposed to be between us alone, and she said, “I am simply submitting to my authority”. The emails contained personal conversations (but nothing abusive, false or wrong on my part).
If you are experiencing spiritual abuse at this church, being called cruel names with false accusations (like a murderer, reckless driver, spiritually anorexic, divisive, troublemaker, etc.), you are not alone. Beware any possible or implied teaching (from the pulpit or in private) that telling the truth and exposing error is slander or “divisive”. See Romans 16:17 and commentary. I was told by Knapp’s secretary that I would ‘not enter the promised land like Moses’ if I didn’t be careful with my words to leadership. This made me feel threatened and scared and was a spiritually abusive statement using a twist in scripture. I was told by Knapp in a meeting that his secretary asked me to come to that I was unknowingly comparable to a murderer recklessly killing pedestrians in a car. This also made me feel very uneasy and was shocking coming from someone who acted so nice and gentle from the pulpit and who I looked up to spiritually. This was slander/abusive speech and false! The Lord condemns this treatment. I was crying the whole time in the meeting, and I could not understand the poor and demeaning treatment from a pastor someone who I really respected at the time and who I thought was a great teacher. Keep in mind, this all happened because I spoke up when I saw something unfair/wrong from a female leader at the church. I wanted to do Matthew 18:15-17 but again, had problems with this since I was a ‘vertically lower’ Christian. They did not want me to do Matthew 18:15-17 but rather that I do their church tradition/protocol their way, which I did not find Biblical when comparing to the Word of God. Therefore, it made me uncomfortable to follow their protocol/tradition of man (church tradition) because I did not see their protocol in the Bible.
Be very alert to a possible unBiblical submission to pastor and leadership. There is a healthy, Godly submission, and then there is a hyper-authoritarian, unGodly submission. I have (in an email) a record/evidence from an associate pastor at CCGV saying that the senior pastor has been “delegated by God to direct peoples’ lives”! One leader (pastor and teacher) to the public, named Gregg, said, “Although the heart of leadership according to Scripture is servanthood (Mark 10:42-45), the Bible also teaches that legitimate leaders have authority, in the sense of a RIGHT to direct others. This authority comes from God and is delegated to leaders for the good of the church. The following verses reflect the clear teaching that leaders should be respected and obeyed when operating within their legitimate sphere of authority” (per email). The pastor was asked in what areas can a senior pastor “direct others’ lives” – as in, to what extent does this “right” apply? Interestingly, there was no answer to this question.
Encouraging you to research “Covering Doctrines” which are prevalent in many charismatic circles today. These doctrines encourage unquestioning/unBiblical submission to the coverings/shepherds. I believe only GOD and His Son/Word have a “right” to direct peoples’ lives. We are to be disciples of JESUS and His WORD, not man pleasers. Be alert to any possible hyper-authoritarianism. Leaders are not to “lord it over” the flock according to 1 Peter 5:3. In fact, the Greek, transliterated word for “lord it over” is a dominating verb katakyrieuontes and is a command not to do – and this is an entirely different Greek word than a healthy, Biblical submission or obedience. Search the concordance to view the Greek meanings of these words – it will prove to be a very eye-opening study.
Senior Pastor John Knapp told me that the word “brother” in Matthew 18:15-17 does not apply to those “above me” or “vertical to me” in status at the church (i.e., leaders), but means “my friends only; those who are on my same lateral level”. He used his hands to signify the vertical and lateral relationship between me and leaders, and he did this twice on two different days. This is what he said to me, and it is a true account (not falsehood/slander/guile). Associate Pastor Gregg Seymour had told someone on email (I have a copy of this email) that Matthew 18:15-17 does apply to leaders, but then issued a contradictory statement: (I have evidence/witness of this to establish proof): “Where the Matthew 18 process does not pertain however is in the area of directives through church authority”. This statement is rather boggling. Don’t scriptural processes always apply and pertain regardless of the situation, the person, etc., or whether or not the situation involves “church authority”? In fact, church authority should be held very accountable to sin (which is what Matt. 18 is discussing). Do they think they are unaccountable to others “lower than themselves” using Matthew 18:15-17 on them since they are “above” others or since they are leaders? Is their sin allowed to be confronted (by the “lower” Christians), or no? There were no answers to the questions asked about clarifying this statement. There were no answers because this can not be proved using the Bible. When I had gone to the church to speak with John Knapp, as well as to return good for evil, the other pastor (Gregg) told me that “God always tells the leaders if someone is coming to talk to them”. He told me to “refrain from entering the building”. Keep in mind – I had attended, served and donated my time and money here for many years (I believe it was over four years)! I had fellowship with leadership, even been to lunch with the pastor’s wife as well as to the pastor’s house! Suddenly they treated me as an enemy/outcast because I had a concern about another leaders’ conduct there? Suddenly the people who I thought were loving Christians blocked/defriended me and sent insulting messages to me. One woman threatened me. Christians are called to love others (even enemies!) rather than putting on a fake love on Sundays or shunning others (which is a cultic tendency). This is frightening treatment to see especially for a new Christian. I did not expect this in a million years (I actually very muched looked up to and respected the pastor and his teaching). Gregg told me that God works on both sides and tells the church leaders first if someone is coming to talk to them. This is simply not true (as seen in the Word), and I do not know where he got this peculiar teaching from. The amount of shock and pain I went through due to this treatment from those I loved was indescribable. I felt unloved and abandoned by those who are supposed to be the Lord’s people and representatives. God assured me that He did not abandon me.
This is a public concern because many people are donating their money and time to this non-profit business without testing what leaders believe, teach nor knowing anything about their church protocol. Yes, this is a business and John Knapp is the President and registered agent according to the Nevada Secretary of State. Where does all the money go at this church? Encouraging you to research.
Another leader in women’s ministry told me that I “needed to pray about” whether or not this church was my “home church” since I had decided to do a Bible study at another nearby Christian church midweek (though I was still attending faithfully on Sundays). I simply wanted to go somewhere midweek where the Bible was being studied (rather than a modern book). She told me that God is not a God of division (so basically, I must pray about leaving since I was not doing all my studies there). If you meet with anyone at this church, I urge you to take someone with you or record it as a witness to what is said to you. If you do not, you could be spiritually abused and have no proof or witness of it. Based on my own experience, I must urge my brothers and sisters in Christ, with love, to be alert and careful. All is said with humility and the utmost love for all those at CCGV (including enemies – those who hate me – yes I love and care for them too!) and the utmost concern for souls. The above is simply the truth spoken with love, and I have proof. I am not trying to speak poorly of anyone – simply presenting the facts because I believe it is dangerous to be under leadership who thinks they are delegated by God to direct peoples’ lives. Please, please research the Moses Model (this is available in the Calvary Chapel Distinctives which was written by Chuck Smith). I do love mercy and if these people should ever come to me in obedience to Matthew 5, I will gladly have mercy and forgiveness. I will also have this removed from the internet should leadership contact me and repent/correct all these things. I truly hope for the best, but I had to warn my fellow Christians to be very alert, sober and careful or else you or your family could suffer greatly.
Concerning the Calvary Chapel Movement at large, I must warn the other sheep. Spiritual abuse can result in post traumatic stress syndrome among other ailments, physical and spiritual. Spiritual abuse is a very real, tragic thing occuring in many Christian churches today around the world, and I urge you to diligently do your research.
We must test the spirits to see if they are from God!
Listen to this interview radio show, this video on confronting leaders and this interview concerning the abuses within the Calvary Chapel Movement at large. Also, see this helpful article on the Calvary Chapel Movement compromise by the Spiritual Research Network:
Feel free to browse this site for more information on the erroneous Moses Model Leadership Structure and Calvary Chapel.