Skip Heitzig Isn’t Convinced of Gospel For Asia Wrongdoing
One of our readers sent an email to former Gospel For Asia board member Skip Heitzig exhorting him to warn the church about the issues with the charity.
The email is pointed, yet intelligent and respectful.
Dear Pastor Heitzig,
I hope and pray that this message makes it to you and is not filtered out before it would even reach your attention.
I am writing to you in regards to Gospel for Asia. I have attended Calvary Chapel of (edited) for almost ten years now and several years ago my wife and I began sponsoring two children through GFA after hearing K.P. Yohannan speak during a service. Over the past year, I became very disappointed and discouraged to learn of the widespread corruption present in GFA, most especially from top leadership and K.P. We stopped our support of GFA several months ago after learning of the depths of lies, deception, and wrongdoing within the organization.
I also know that until very recently, you were a board member of GFA. Although I have not seen any information anywhere as to your reasons for resigning from the board, I believe I can make a safe assumption that your resignation was closely related to the current ongoings of GFA. Ongoings such as the termination of ECFA membership and the discovery of and continued revealing of wrongdoing and corruption within the organization. If my assumption is incorrect, you are free to correct me.
Now, the reason I am writing is to ask you and to implore you to speak out about the wrongs of GFA. Wrongs, that up to this point, GFA has been publicly unwilling to admit to, or at best, minimize. GFA has caused much harm in their financial improprieties, abuse of staff, deceptive behaviors, and bullying tactics, amongst other wrongdoing. As Christians, we have a moral imperative to look out for the welfare of others, most especially when we have the power to do so. As having been on the board, you must know more of the corruption of GFA than most other people. You also have multiple large platforms within the church and the evangelical world from which you can speak. I implore you to speak out about GFA and warn the Christian body about this organization. You are a shepherd. Please try to protect the sheep from the wolf within their midst.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope and pray to hear news in the near future of your sounding the alarm about Gospel for Asia and K.P. Yohannan.
Sincerely in Christ,
Here is the response our reader received;
Thank you for contacting us here at Connection Communications and thanks for writing to Pastor Skip. We always love to hear from you.
One of the assistant pastors here at Calvary Albuquerque, has responded to your email.
My name is Nelson Walker and I am an assistant pastor on staff here at Calvary Albuquerque. On behalf of Pastor Skip and Connection Communications, I’ll be answering your question.
As you are aware, Pastor Skip is no longer on the board of GFA.
Many allegations have been made against GFA and many defenses have been offered by GFA; the internet is abuzz with people with a variety of opinions. But, to this point, everything seems to be in the “he said / she said” category. Therefore, anything said pro or con would be premature.
The scenario necessary for resolution is for GFA to agree to some type of outside respected person or organization to do a fact finding investigation with results and action steps being developed based on findings. Until such an outside entity has performed such a task, anything said would be answering something before the entirety of the matter has been examined. This, as you know, would be unbiblical.
Your assumption, from your email, is that GFA is guilty of wrong.
This assumption, to my knowledge, has not been investigated and substantiated by and independent entity. Rather, this is an allegation assumed true.
Therefore, before calling on other ministers to publically criticize another ministry, the onus is upon those who are launching the initial allegations to bring independent investigation for verification of all facts. Such an independent report would in and of itself shed light to the entirety of the situation.
One way to stay in touch is through our website: skipheitzig.com. Here you will find The Connection broadcast archives, Pastor Skip’s Teaching Library, our online Resource Store, plus a directory of the national and international broadcasts of The Connection. You can also use this website to contact us with any questions, comments, or prayer requests that you may have.
It is our prayer that God will continue to reveal Himself to you through His Word as you seek to know Him.
In His Service,
Well, there you have it.
Skip Heitzig will not affirm that he left the board of GFA because he saw any wrongdoing.
All of the evidence presented by Warren Throckmorton and the GFA Diaspora is nothing more than “he said/she said”.
Evidently, the Evangelical Council For Financial Accountability is not “independent” enough to be considered legitimate by Heitzig.
The responsibility to expose any malfeasance rests solely on those bringing the charges, not on those who have already seen the operation from the inside.
Heitzig will remain silent except to diminish the concerns and intentions of those seeking answers.
Feel free, however, to visit Pastor Skips online store if you have further questions…
Make your own application…
a brain on spin cycle cannot see reason
You hit the nail on the head, Michael, with your closing remarks. God only knows what it would take for Skip to acknowledge wrong doing on GFA’s part. His lack of a personal reply to the person who sent the email to him is sad, very sad.
Hiding in the smoke from your “holy” fog machines, eh?
To summarize, “Shut your mouth, stupid sheep! No more bleating about wolves or thieves. We won’t believe either exist just because you’re crying out in pain or in fear for others. What does a sheep know about such things? Now, leave us loving shepherds alone so that we can enjoy our lamb chop dinner in peace. Oh, and be sure to line up Sunday for another fleecing; I need a new wool coat.”
Well, after reading this, I will be directing my wife to handle any mail that I receive.
What a joke! But again, it could be that Mr. Heitzig is too busy to answer all the letters he must receive. Maybe we should all drop him a line to keep his staff busy.
I’ve been away from all things CC for over a year. I’m rather enjoying being a Baptist!
This would be unbelievable, but it’s really par for the course.
They will dare you to prove it…while making sure everybody involved stonewalls.
If you continue, they bring on the lawyers.
It’s all about Jesus, though…
“In Skip’s service,
There. I fixed your misspelling, Mr. Walker. You are doing no service to God by supporting this cover-up of GFA’s misdeeds, but it certainly is helping Skip.
Walker has been faithful through thick and all the thin…
This response should not be surprising and it’s interesting that Skip can’t speak for himself. Speaks volumes about him. KP uses others the same way and refuses to speak for himself.
Way back when the Diaspora group first approached KP and GFA (June 2014) in accordance with Matthew 18, David and KP made a whirlwind trip to go see Skip so he could coach them through the stonewalling, arrogant response that they have given former staff, donors and Christian media folks GFA has deemed evil. In a sense, it seems GFA was and is only acting on the advise of Skip since he has previous experience in matters like these.
I don’t think resigning from the board will protect him from any potential legal issues since he was involved and informed from the beginning.
I find it puzzling that Skip’s mouthpiece suggests that it is somehow the job of those bringing the allegations to organize an independent investigation, as if they actually have that ability. I assure you that former staff members would be overjoyed to see a truly independent investigation conducted. Many suffered through Gayle Erwin’s farce of a board investigation. No independent investigation can happen without GFA’s cooperation, and they won’t even admit publicly who their board members are. They are obviously more interested in threatening legal action against those making allegations than they are about getting to the truth of the matter.
Have to go on record saying I’m not a fan of posting emails that the person sending did not know we’re going to up for public consumption.
I’ve said for months that the GFA defense was straight from the Heitzig playbook.
The part no one wants to hear is that it works…
CA is once again one of the largest churches in the country and Ed Stetzer was pitching his book on Christianity Today.
Maybe I should send Ed one of mine…
I acknowledge that doing so is a questionable ethical issue.
My choice to publish was based on the fact that people are being hurt by this situation and we must do what we can do to inform those who may be victims.
Calvary Albuquerque is and has been a vital part of the GFA network.
Having said that, I completely acknowledge it could still be wrong.
Ah, Nelson… still the same after all these years and with the wherewithal to get a commercial in for Skip. #skills
This jus makes me miss Ken (Puzzletop) all the more. I can just hear him laughing.
The great Puzzletop would have done justice to this nonsense… I miss him too.
#13; it’s wrong but it;s OK for you because you decide your crusade is less wrong? While I do not like GFA for any part of its ministry, I abhor the kind of rationalizing you watch-dogs do to justify your hatred of all things CC. Truly disgusting.
I do not view this as a CC issue except for the fact that it has been the cash cow for GFA.
We’ve received a lot of support and help from CCs who see this mess the same way.
It is amazing to me that I’m disgusting in your eyes, but this cover up goes without comment.
Here’s my conundrum.
If I simply excerpt the germane passages, I’m accused of either making the response up or taking it out of context.
This is important information…what should I do?
I tend to agree with London, #11, regarding concerns about publishing emails not intended for the public. In general, I oppose such violations of privacy, confidentiality, and infringing upon the ability of people to communicate openly and freely, without parsing every word for the public.
So, what I’m sort of thinking about this email, is that Walker is speaking officially, on behalf of Heitzig and associated ministries. He is stating policy. No confidences have been violated.
Generally, I cringe when people publish private emails. The above may be a reasonable exception to the rule.
I agree about the privacy of private emails. Yet private emails are one thing, while official letterhead-styled business responses (containing advertisements) wherein an understudy is assigned to brush aside an inquiry on behalf of the CEO, is another matter. I think Michael’s point is that there was nothing personal nor important in what the email contained. Michael is observing what wasn’t said about 100+ witnesses, or an involved accountability agency, or available documentation, or known lawyering.
This was really a corporate mass-mailing sent to one guy.
“This was really a corporate mass-mailing sent to one guy” … that was what it seemed to me to be as i read it … a form letter of sorts
I remember back around 2002 when there was an issue with one of my kids attending CC High School in Costa Mesa. When I shared with the Principal at that time how unhappy I was about that particular issue, I asked him what my options were. He immediately suggested that I contact Pastor Chuck directly. I called his office, left a message and within an hour he contacted me. While I am not silent about how negative I feel about most things CC, just the fact that Chuck called me right back spoke volumes. When Chuck sensed that I was still a bit bothered by the issue, he suggested that I come into his office and meet with him to talk and pray. Now it appears that Skip is much busier than Chuck and Skip has people to speak on his behalf. We should be grateful that Skip would even acknowledge any of us…
covered, is Skip too busy or is he covering his rear by not talking/answering folk directly?
Over 100 former staff are begging for investigations and answers, GFA loses it’s good standing financially, money is missing, several donor churches stop donating and are asking questions,etc, etc, and THEN Skip resigns fro GFA board, but he still thinks everything is hunky dory.
That makes sense.
I have no problem with your publishing this e-mail. That is not in any way personal or private correspondence. That is a corporate letter, carefully written to reflect corporate policy. It happens to be from a church, but it is nonetheless public correspondence meant for strangers.
This wasn’t written to an old buddy of Skip’s (he would have written that himself), nor is it one between fellow executives in the “business”, like between two fellow CC pastors talking “shop”. Either of those types of emails would be more questionable to publish. This is just a PR letter.
Em, I would hope now that he has freed up his schedule by not serving as a GFA Board Member any longer that he has a few extra minutes to respond to an email. So yeah, he’s covereing his butt.
Thank you all for the words of support.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m hyper sensitive to issues like this.
When a long time friend like London speaks, I listen.
London wants the best for me and this blog and all of you…and I know many of you share that heart.
You folks have more influence here than you know…
If Skip admits there is guilt, he, as a former board member who bears a fiduciary responsibility, will be guilty himself. Plus, he will not break the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not publically speak evil of another CC Pastor (or Organization).
Whether it’s ethical or not to publish an email like this certainly can be debated. I personally don’t have a problem with it as I follow along with the opinion that’s already been stated here that this does not seem to be really a personal email at all but rather like a corporate communication. Heck, the original writer of the email addressed it to Skip and got a reply from one of his assistants instead. They didn’t even get a reply from the person they wrote to. How personal can that be?
That being said, what we shouldn’t lose here is the utter ridiculousness of the reply. It’s one thing if Skip or Skip’s corporation doesn’t want to admit to guilt. What is expressed in this return email is quite another. If this doesn’t display the brazen stonewalling and refusal to honestly deal with issues by GFA and their (former) board members, then I don’t know what does. This is just a small snapshot of communication, but it speaks volumes to the attitude carried by GFA leadership.
Yes, we can debate if the email should be published, even one of a very impersonal nature like this one. But if we’re stuck on the publishing of the email while not being concerned with the content of the email, then I wonder where our priorities are.
Here is an article on some legal issues regarding emails and what journalists may publish. http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/the_legality_of_publishing_hac.php
Generally, journalists may publish anything they receive even if the original source procured it illegally. Journalists may not do illegal things to get information but it is considered censorship not to publish once it has been received.
One must always weigh the public interest and in this case, publishing is clearly in the public interest.
Jesus said to let your yes be yes. I don’t see much protection for Rev. Heitzig or Rev. Walker in this case in any spiritual sense and I surely see nothing wrong with it speaking.as a blogger/journalist.
As to the content of the email, it is insulting to the intelligence of anyone who have kept up with this story. The ECFA did a thorough investigation for weeks and then did something they almost never do – terminate a membership by board vote.
Thank you, Warren. That’s helpful and I’ll keep it for future reference .
The email response says it all.
“Protect the money, make more money.”
I am sorry, but at one time Skip was an anointed teacher of the Bible.
But he lost that anointing a long time ago IMO.
Is no one even allowed to speak the truth in the Body of Christ?
The aspersions from false brethren are always very telling.
Anyone who questions the authority figures in the body are made to appear suspect while the perpetrators of evil deeds get off the hook.
How many times have we seen this worked out in these scenarios?
Admit to nothing and make those with allegations appear evil in the eyes of others.
Michael acted righteously!
Barf, that’s all I can think to say….
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance.
That principle is condemnation before investigation.”
When, I read this email, it appears that somebody is begging Mr. Heizig to use his bully pulpit to bully GFA and hold them accountable and warn the flock. This is insane. Skip will never help this way if you think about how he got his bully pulpit to begin with. We don’t need to go to these big time Moses model pastors for help because they are the problem to begin with. Where do you think K.P got his training from? Now, I do agree that the email response is just as ridiculous but what do you really expect?
Andrew, I would expect that Skip would warn the flock of God as a shepherd, at the very least.
Something to the effect of saying, “At this time CCABQ is not supporting GFA financially, due to concerns of financial accountability and oversight. As your pastor I would ask that you pray for the leadership of GFA, and if you support this ministry, ask the Lord if you should continue to do so.”
Yeah, I kinda laughed at the thought of Skip saying this too. Then I my spirit was crushed a little, being pessimistic about a pastor doing the right thing….
Nope…he’s just a hireling…. 🙁
@ 11,19 and 20
There may be some confusion regarding ethics in publishing emails.
Mr. Walker is not writing a personal email. It is on behalf of the Corporation to a blogger. Michael would have to be viewed as a member of the press in a modern day sense.
Michael is seeking information from CC AQ on a public scandal.
All of the above are overshadowed by one fact however. In a criminal matter, are statements are public.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Period.
Skip knows this and that is why Mr. Walker is speaking on his behalf. They could have had the CC AQ attorneys answer, but for image purposes, Mr Walker was assigned this task.
This represents Skip’s legal position at this time.
Skip is not able to speak for himself due to personal legal liability.
It is ethical to post.
I appreciate you posting both emails in their entirety. My husband and I were introduced to GFA at CC Albuquerque way back in 1997. It was a huge church even then and Skip invited KP to preach all the sermons that weekend. We donated for a time to GFA and for whatever reason stopped years ago. Flash forward to 2014. We were between churches and decided to give what we would normally give to our local church to missions. Who did we pick? GFA with their line, “100% goes to the field” ECFA approved, seemed perfect. I feel sick to know now millions of dollars are missing and all the other financial and spiritual abuse that has been revealed. Skip has played a big part in this mess.
Thank you, Sandra.
It’s helpful to know that people are reading and it matters.
Papias, yeah my spirit is crushed a bit as well but I think the Lord is purging a bit of my naivety out of me.
No wonder many unbelievers don’t want anything to do with the church after seeing behaviors like this from grown men. Do people like Nelson have no self respect when serving Skip? How low does one have to go to show blind loyalty? Goodness.
I cringe to think of the influence KPY and Skip have on impressionable youth. I hope they do not follow their example. I feel horrible for the donor that gives to GFA and the lack of respect they are getting in all this. Talk about spitting in their eye! This is the thank you donors get for sacrificially giving to GFA. Amazing. SMH.
I think Ms. Kitty gets better treatment, and respect, than a donor to GFA!