Letter to Rainier View church
The following is a letter that I wrote to the elders at the church I grew up in with much prayer to bring correction about issues of worldliness which are detrimental to holiness. These problems prevent the production of biblically-good fruit in each person under their teaching. By turning the grace of God into licentiousness these men, deny Jesus Christ by their works: nullifying any profession of faith (Titus 1:16). None of the problems were acknowledged in the response from Rainier View nor did they show me any place I am in error. I also sent this letter to the current pastor and now I believe it is time to warn the congregation, calling each one to biblical repentance and complete surrender to God. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His ways are higher than our ways.
Dear elders of Rainier View,
Chris, Leon, Pat, Brock, Andy, Mark,
This is Daniel Hug. I don’t know any of you well, but some of you may know I stopped attending Rainier View about 2 years ago after having attended regularly my whole life with my family. I made this decision after the Lord convicted me of how I was not a true Christian, despite my baptism, as I was walking in sin. At this time I came to repentance, grew in discernment, and began to see many instances where Rainier View was not standing on biblical truth but compromising to be more appealing to the unconverted.
I hope that you will hear me out. I am writing to each of you because of my love and concern for each person that attends Rainier View. I have concern for those who are converted that they would not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin as they attend a fellowship that does not call them to holy living (Hebrews 3:12-14). And I have concern for those who are NOT converted that they would not be deceived thinking that they are saved just because they attend church, were baptized, and call Jesus “Lord” (Matt 7:21-23). Below I have itemized some of my concerns and provided scripture references alongside each. These are intended to shed light on each issue. I pray that you will prayerfully read each one in order to ultimately be led by the Holy Spirit of God rather than by my words.
Authority of scripture
God’s Word is truth. It should direct our lives.
Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
Proverbs 30:5-6 (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The Word of God will judge each one of us.
He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. John 12:48 (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10)
Jesus’ words are from the Father and must be obeyed.
I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:18-19 (cf. Matthew 7:24-27)
Those who practice sin are slaves of sin and are of the devil.
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:7-8 (cf. John 8:44)
Children of God do not practice sin because the Spirit of Christ dwells in them and they are “set free indeed.”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-36 (cf. Romans 6:3-7, Romans 8:12-14)
When a sinner repents, they forsake their sin.
Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:11 (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10, Revelation 2:5, Proverbs 28:13, Ephesians 4:17-24, Galatians 5:24, Isaiah 55:7-9)
Unless each man repents, he will perish.
And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3 (cf. 2 Peter 3:7-9)
If anyone loves the lust and pride of the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16 (cf. John 12:24-25)
Believers are called to be holy as our God is holy.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-15 (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:1)
Believers are not to associate with professing Christians who will not repent. Godly fellowships will remove any such wicked person.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (cf. the rest of the chapter; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; 2 John 1:10-11)
False teaching from the pulpit
Attendees are taught to invite others to church, but are not equipped to go into all the world and preach the gospel thus neglecting to teach disciples to obey all that Jesus commanded.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (cf. Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47)
As the unconverted are being invited into fellowship that was designed for God’s children, God’s commands to “remove the wicked man from among yourselves” and “clean out the old leaven” are spurned.
In general, the teaching appeals to the desires of these unconverted hearts and interprets God’s Word to conform to man’s wisdom to please man. We should rather use God’s Word to discern truth and please God: 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Galatians 1:10
As people are not taught to dress modestly, immodesty is practiced without correction or discipline: 1 Timothy 2:9-15
Rainier View has replaced the call to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” with “live the invitational life.” One place this is seen is with the RVCC-hosted event NiteLite. In order to invite children from local schools, RVCC leaders have given them signed promise that they would not share the gospel in any way. In doing this RVCC has forsaken one of their primary duties. They should instead take the stand that Peter and the other apostles took when commanded to cease teaching in Jesus’ name: “We must obey God rather than men.” See Acts 4:18-20, 5:27-29, 1 Corinthians 9:23, and Philippians 1:27.
- Pastor Ryan has taught that even some “seasoned followers of Jesus have trouble giving up control of what worship music is sung.” Statements like this portray biblical discernment for what music is proper or improper in worship as something we should not have. God commands us to abstain from every form of evil: 1 Thessalonians 5:22. We should worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24) with holiness and the fear of the Lord (Psalm 96:9). Rainier View has departed from this, desiring to appeal to the tastes of those whose appetite is still for the lusts of the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4)! Here are a few examples of this:
- Rock music played during service recently
- Music played from the false church and band Hillsong which is a stumbling block through bad theology and sensuality
- Other ungodly music played in youth area (e.g. from false Christian Taylor Swift)
- Rainier View’s adoption of a “pro shop” in the kids ministry to reward kids with candy and trinkets for good behavior is in disobedience to Jesus. I once took part in this before I was convicted from scripture that we were just like the money-changers at their tables in God’s temple who turned God’s house from being a house of prayer into a den of thieves (Matt 21:12-17). Jesus dealt very sternly with them but, as teachers, especially of children, we’ll be judged with even greater strictness (James 3:1). By feeding the desires of their flesh rather than solely the pure milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2) we’re not letting the Spirit lead them. The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17).
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 1 Timothy 6:3-5
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:9
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:8
In light of these scriptures, I must conclude that the false teachings and bad fruit show the following: Pastor Ryan advocates a different doctrine that does not agree with doctrine conforming to godliness. He instead turns the grace of our God into licentiousness preaching an unholy gospel contrary to what was received from Christ and his apostles.
Proper response to ungodliness
- Each of us must turn from any double-minded service to sin: James 4:8
- We must bring correction to others that still take part in the unfruitful works of darkness: Ephesians 5:11-14, James 5:19-20
- As mentioned earlier, we must not associate with those who will not repent of ungodliness.
I am praying for each of you to be convicted by the Holy Spirit as I have been. I am available to meet, or for a phone call to talk further. Please study these scriptures and lead Rainier View in repentance.