There is a minor YouTube personality by the name of Joshua Chavez, who uses the internet name: “Servus Christi” (Latin for “Slave of Christ”). Mr. Chavez presents himself as being a Christian, and presents himself as having a discernment ministry. His website, Beginning of Sorrows, states,
“Beginning of Sorrows is dedicated to the advancement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ through proclaiming truth and exposing apostasy. We will earnestly contend for the faith in every realm.
We abhor false doctrine, as it is largely the aim of this blog to expose. Many others have and do contend for the faith in this fashion, and we appreciate those who do. This is but another voice that we hope will edify true believers in Christ and bring insightful perspectives in certain areas.
Ultimately the goal is that the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified. The days in which we are living are dark, indeed. If we are not in the midst of THE great apostasy, then surely we are in the midst of A great apostasy.”
Contending for the faith, proclaiming truth, exposing apostasy, and glorifying Jesus Christ. These are his stated goals. But does he? It is my contention that he is not. He is not contending for the faith, he is not proclaiming truth, he is not exposing apostasy, and he is certainly not glorifying our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this series of articles evidence will be presented to support this contention.
Since Mr. Chavez presents himself as a Christian, I have extended him the benefit of the doubt, and am treating him and the issue of his public sin as if he is a Christian. As a Christian, I have nothing but love for Mr. Chavez as a brother in Christ. I want nothing more than for him to repent of his public sin and be reconciled to the Body of Christ. I believe Mr. Chavez has a talent which can be used to glorify Christ, if only he would use it to that end.
I have personally contacted Mr. Chavez via email, in an attempt to convince him to repent of his sin – sin you will see for yourself in the following articles. I have no desire to embarrass him. I have no desire to see him shamed. I do not hate him, nor do I bear him any animosity of any kind. I simply want him to repent. In my emails to Mr. Chavez I have explained that he was being very adversarial, very antagonistic, very divisive, and very hateful. This is not how Christians are to be, and especially not with other Christians as Mr. Chavez is being. I explained his condemnatory manner was not conducive to being loving as Jesus has commanded us to be. I have repeatedly asked him, urged him, and begged him to repent, to issue a public apology, and to rectify the harm he has caused and is causing through various public forums – namely YouTube videos, his internet blog, his Twitter page, and his Facebook page; for all the world to see (and thus bringing shame and reproach upon the Body of Christ, and by extension Christ Himself). His response was to say I was either a liar, or presumptuously ignorant.
Not being easily put off by his personal attack, I contacted him again and repeated my request for him to repent of his sin and rectify the harm he has done and is doing to the Body of Christ. His response was to ignore me. I tried one last time to get him to repent, emailing him with a detailed account of his sin along with a biblical refutation of it. His response was to accuse me of being “disingenuous,” of “malicious retaliation,” of “graceless retaliation,” of having a “gross double standard,” of defending “overt and undeniable hypocrisy,” of being “willfully blind,” of being “emotional,” and of “partiality.” He also called me a “liar,” a “nonsensical hypocrite,” a “graceless lunatic,” “pathetic” and he then pronounced “shame and Folly” on me. He then closed by telling me how gracious he was.
Matthew 18:15-17 states that if a brother sins against me, I am to tell him his fault in private. When you sin publicly against the Body, it affects the whole Body. Therefore, I believe Mr. Chavez has sinned against me as well. I have tried to correct Mr. Chavez via private via emails, however they did not serve to bring him to repentance. The concerns against him have been established by more than the two or three witnesses Scripture requires, as not only have I brought them to his attention, but so have Pastor J.D. Hall, Keith Thompson, Pastor Phil Johnson, Pastor Chris Rosbrough, and Todd Friel. Therefore, I believe the Scriptural requirements have been met in order to proceed to this next level, taking it before the Church, before the Body of Christ to whom I now set forth the concerns regarding the public sin of Mr. Joshua Chavez.
Concerns, Part One
A. Slander, Defamation, and Bearing False Witness Against Brothers in Christ
Mr. Chavez has repeatedly slandered and defamed Christian leaders, and in doing so he has brought shame and reproach upon the Body of Christ; and, by extension, Christ Himself. For example:
1. He publicly stated that John MacArthur, a well respected member of the Body of Christ, was “Diotrephetic” , indicating he shared the attributes of Diotrephes (3 John 9-12). In doing this he is claiming that John MacArthur: 1) loves to be in a position of preeminence over others; 2) refuses to welcome those in authority into the church; 3) maliciously spreads gossip about men of God; 4) withholds hospitality from other believers; 5) requires others to follow his poor example; 6) excommunicates anyone who crosses him; and 7) is evil and therefore not a Christian. He publicly and derisively referred to him as “Pope John MacArthur” , thus equating him with the Roman pontiff, a known false teacher. He has publicly called John MacArthur a “hypocrite” , a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , a “deceiver” , a “fraud” , an “ecumenist” , an “apostate” , and a “False Prophet” . He has called John MacArthur a “spiritual whore” , a term which he personally and publicly stated was used deliberately .
2. He publicly called Seth Dunn, a fellow Christian, a “degenerate” ; or, in other words, a person without morals, especially sexual morals (as is the common usage of the word). This is a married brother with small children! That he would publicly (or even privately) refer to a brother in the Lord in such a manner is reprehensible.
3. He publicly called J.D. Hall, who is not only a brother in the Lord, but a minister of the gospel, “sociopathic” . According to Dictionary.com, the definition of a sociopath is “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” He has also publicly called Pastor Hall a “liar” and a “deceiver” ; as well as publicly stating that he is a hypocrite , and “destitute of integrity” ; as well as publicly calling him a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , and a “False Prophet” .
4. He publicly called Phil Johnson, another Christian minister of the gospel a “hypocrite”  “destitute of integrity” ; as well as publicly calling him a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , a “deceiver” , and a “False Prophet” .
5. He publicly called Todd Friel, a fellow Christian and brother in the Lord, a “hypocrite”  “destitute of integrity” ; as well as publicly calling him a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , a “deceiver” , and a “False Prophet” .
6. He publicly called Paul Washer, a fellow Christian and well respected Christian missionary, a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , a “Hypocrite” , a “deceiver” , an “apostate” , and a “False Prophet” .
7. He publicly called Chris Rosebrough, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , a “Hypocrite” , a “deceiver” , and a “False Prophet” .
8. He publicly called Justin Peters, a fellow Christian and brother in the Lord, a “Pharisee” , a “Judaizer” , a “hypocrite” , a “deceiver” , a “fraud” , and a “False Prophet” . He also publicly stated that Justin Peters is “pathetic” , insincere , and a “coward” , as well as stating that his behavior is “tantamount to whoredom itself” .
9. He publicly called Costi Hinn, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, an “establishment religionist” .
10. He publicly called Albert Mohler, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, a “spiritual whore” .
11. He publicly called Steven Lawson, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, a “Pharisee” .
12. He publicly called Conrad Mbewe, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, an ecumenist .
13. Heu publicly called Anthony Mathenia, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, an apostate .
14. He publicly called Jeff Maples, a fellow Christian – a brother in the Lord, a “hypocrite” .
15. He publicly called Mike Abendroth, a fellow Christian and a minister of the gospel, a “hypocrite” .
16. In his video, “Paul Washer Partners With Pope-Loving Ecumenical Leader,” he publicly states that Paul Washer and HeartCry Missionary Society are not only in “formal partnership,” but “intimate” and “open partnership” with Martin Bucer Seminary, and thus, in partnership with the Roman Catholic church. This is ludicrous! And what does he base it on? The simple fact that the president of Martin Bucer Seminary, Germany is Thomas Schirrmacher, an Anglican Bishop (whom he refers to repeatedly as “pope lover” and likely an undercover Jesuit). Let's look at the actual facts, though, and see just how far off he really is.
Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil is an Evangelical Reformed Seminary located in Brazil. It is hosted by a local church in Brazil. It receives it's curriculum from a Reformed Seminary in the United States. It is an independent satellite seminary campus of Martin Bucer Seminary, Germany. Thomas Schirrmacher, the president of Martin Bucer Seminary, Germany actually lives in Germany and not Brazil; and, other than a few trips to Brazil to look in on the seminary there, has very little to do with Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil. Thomas Schirrmacher has long been involved in numerous human rights and religious freedom campaigns, often alongside apostate and false Christian groups such as the Roman Catholic church. While there is no doubt that Schirrmacher is personally in serious error and open rebellion against God as per 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, there is nothing to connect Martin Bucer Seminary to this error and rebellion. That Schirrmacher is the president of the seminary does not demonstrate the seminary itself is involved in his error and rebellion. Does the seminary teach and encourage ecumenism with false Christian and apostate groups? No.
Furthermore, his claims that HeartCry Missionary Society (and by extension Paul Washer and everyone whom has ever met Paul Washer) is in “formal” “intimate” and “open partnership” with Martin Bucer Seminary is equally baseless, as has been shown to him already – and yet he continues to promote this nonsense! In fact, this was recently shown to him on his own Facebook page in the form of a response from HeartCry, written by HeartCry's South American Coordinator, Mr. Luke Nash, who wrote,
“With regard to your question regarding HeartCry's connection to Martin Bucer Seminary in Brazil, there is no current affiliation. We support one missionary that previously graduated from the seminary (Igor Dias) and initially, in 2013 as the seminary was starting up in Brazil, HeartCry helped them purchase a number of good historically reformed books for their library, but that has been the extent of our partnership. This support was given prior to any awareness of Mr. Schirrmacher – since in our understanding the seminary in Brazil is very much an independent ministry from that in Germany – or any of his ecumenical views regarding the Catholic Church. As explained to us – again, we knew nothing at the time of any controversial issues regarding a seminary in Germany – the name 'Martin Bucer' was given to the seminary for purposes of accreditation in Brazil, while the curriculum was taken strictly from a separate seminary in the United States.
“We knew only the pastors of the church in which the seminary is hosted, and after spending time in conversation with them regarding their convictions and vision for the seminary, found them to be faithful, godly, Christ-centered men who held very tightly to the Solas of the Reformation – in no way ecumenical toward the Roman Catholic Church – and who desired to see genuine, biblical reform across Brazil.”
He goes on to write, “I can assure you that if we has sensed or been aware of any tendency toward ecumenism with the Catholic Church, we would have certainly ended all ties with the seminary immediately. Any news of such ecumenism in the German seminary (with which we have had no affiliation at all) had not been brought to our notice. In fact, I can assure you that if I ever sensed anything of the sort here at HeartCry, I would be the first to leave, as long as the other brothers didn't beat me to it. We are committed to the proclamation of the exclusivity of Christ as Savior and of salvation through faith alone by grace alone because of His sufficient atoning death on the cross. Paul Washer or the men here at HeartCry have never shied away from the proclamation of this gospel, and by God's grace will continue to proclaim it at the risk of inevitable offense.” He ended his message by reiterating, “I can assure you that we have no ongoing affiliation with Martin Bucer, and that we are not turning anyone into the arms of an antichrist or an antichrist supporter.” Signed, “Luke Nash, HeartCry Missionary Society, Coordinator for South America.”
There you have it. An official statement from HeartCry regarding the “concerns” he has raised. The extent of their support (not sponsorship as you falsely claimed) was to purchase some Reformed books for their library when the seminary opened. They have only supported one person, a missionary who had graduated from Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil. When they began their relationship with Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil they were of the understanding that it had no connection with Martin Bucer Seminary, Germany other than the name. They knew nothing about Thomas Schirrmacher. Nothing, and had they known, they would have severed any ties with Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil; and, they no longer have any affiliation whatsoever with Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil.
Right there in that official statement from HeartCry is everything Mr. Chavez asked for in his video. A severing of ties with Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil and a renouncement of Thomas Schirrmacher. And his response to getting exactly what heu asked for? He wrote that Mr. Nash (and HeartCry) was “thoroughly disingenuous and false.”
In his last email to me, Mr. Chavez stated, “I've never accused people of things they don't know.” And yet in his accusation against Mr. Washer and HeartCry Missionary Society as shown here, this is exactly what he has done.
I have to ask if Mr. Chavez, in his zeal to falsely condemn Paul Washer, Luke Nash, HeartCry Missionary Society and everyone connected with HeartCry for their alleged “formal” “intimate” and “open partnership” with Martin Bucer Seminary, Brazil – and thus Martin Bucer Seminary, Germany – and thus Bishop Thomas Schirrmacher – and thus the Roman Catholic church; is he equally zealous to condemn each and every teacher, professor, and faculty member at each and every independent satellite campus of Martin Bucer Seminary, Germany? Is he equally zealous to condemn such a highly respected and well-regarded individual as Dr. John Warwick Montgomery who served on the faculty of Martin Bucer Seminary? Is he, in his zeal, going to condemn Martin Bucer himself?
17. He publicly stated those who speak at the Shepherd's Conferences are “Diotrephetic” , thus applying the attributes of Diotrephes to them. In doing this he is claiming these speakers: 1) love to be in a position of preeminence over others; 2) refuse to welcome those in authority into the church; 3) maliciously spreads gossip about men of God; 4) withhold hospitality from other believers; 5)require others to follow their poor example; 6) excommunicating anyone who crosses them; and 7) are evil and therefore not Christians. I would note that among those about whom he is stating these things as fact are: Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Steven Lawson, Phil Johnson, Nathan Busenitz, Hohn Cho, Michael Riccardi, Paul Washer, Stephen Nichols, Conrad Mbewe, Alistair Begg, RC Sproul, Carl Trueman, Sinclair Ferguson, Derek Thomas, and Voddie Baucham. All of them are well respected men of God, ministers of the gospel, educators, missionaries; and, need I point out, fellow Christians. Brothers in the Lord.
I have asked Mr. Chavez, from one Christian to another, if he has any definitive evidence to support the accusations he has made against these brothers in Christ. I am not talking about what he has presented thus far as “evidence,” since it is not evidence at all; but rather, nothing more than guilt by association twice removed; and which is actually known as a logical fallacy of the red herring type. No, I am talking about actual definitive evidence that this person has taught false and heretical doctrine; that that person is personally engaged in formal ministry with a heretic; etc. To date he has made these accusations without providing any such definitive evidence. Not only is this slander and defamation, but it is bearing false witness against a fellow Christian. Not only is it bearing false witness, but it is, in many cases, an open rebuke of an older brother in Christ, which is open rebellion on his part to 1 Timothy 5:1-2, which states, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
Need I remind that Scripture clearly instructs us to be wise in judging fellow believers, and not to judge hypocritically (Matthew 7:1-5). We are not to judge Christians based on appearances only, but righteously (John 7:24). And, if Mr. Chavez is convinced these men are not Christians, not brothers in the Lord, then he has no business judging them at all (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). Either way, his continual judging of these men is contrary to Scripture, and places him in open rebellion against God.
1. Article: Pulpit & Pen Covers Up John MacArthur’s Deception, by Joshua Chavez, April 8, 2018, accessed 10 August 2018, http://beginningofsorrows.org/2018/04/08/pulpit-and-pen-cover-up-john-macarthurs-deception/
2. Article: Pulpit & Pen’s Dilemma: John MacArthur Partnering With A “Devil”, by Joshua Chavez, March 27, 2018, accessed 10 August 2018, http://beginningofsorrows.org/2018/03/27/pulpit-pen-dilemma-macarthur-hosting-marxist-conference/
3. Article: John MacArthur and Pulpit & Pen Exposed, by Joshua Chavez, December 23, 2017, accessed 10 August 2018, http://beginningofsorrows.org/2017/12/23/john-macarthur-exposed-pulpit-pen/
4. Video: Justin Peters Exposed (Phone Call), created by Joshua Chavez, Uploaded to YouTube by Joshua Chavez on July 15, 2018, accessed 10 August 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgFqVs1b9DM
5. Video: Paul Washer Partners With Pope-Loving Ecumenical Leader, created by Joshua Chavez, Uploaded to YouTube by Joshua Chavez on June 22, 1018, accessed 10 August 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJq3H8m8rKQ
6. Video: EVANGELICAL APOSTASY - John Macarthur's Heretical Connections Exposed, created by Joshua Chavez, Uploaded to YouTube by Joshua Chavez on December 11, 2016, accessed 10 August 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXjDYaGleZM