Desert Hills Evangelical Free Church in Phoenix, Arizona
Sundays: 10:30am - 3636 W. Greenway Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85053   

An Open Letter to EFCA Pastors and Leaders

An Open Letter to EFCA Pastors and Leaders

Dear EFCA Pastors and Church Leaders,

We recently received an invitation to the Mosaix 2019 conference, with the pre-conference sessions beginning today. Desert Hills EFC is troubled by the EFCA partnership with this conference, and the elder board of Desert Hills thought it necessary to publish an open letter to all EFCA pastors and church leaders to let you know what and who the EFCA is cooperating with in sponsoring this conference. We could discuss many of the sessions and speakers, but for the sake of brevity, I only want to focus on two sessions and the speakers at those sessions to show why this conference should be avoided rather than applauded, and why as a movement we should have nothing to do with sponsoring this conference or encouraging people to attend it.

The first session I want to highlight is the pre-conference session on women in leadership. Here is some information about the women leading this session.

Saehee Duran has the title “lead pastor” at Life360 Intercultural Campus, which appears to be the equivalent of what the EFCA would title a “senior pastor.”

Georgina de la Mora is the co-lead pastor at Cornerstone Church. If these two women are two of the session leaders, it seems pretty evident what their position is on women as elders in the church, so we can only conclude what the session will advocate, namely, a position that is contrary to the EFCA’s position that women should not be senior pastors. Desert Hills believes and teaches the biblical view that women should not be pastors/elders at all, and this encroachment of feminist ideology into the EFCA movement that permits women to serve as pastors in some capacities and now sponsors a conference where women “senior pastors” are session leaders should concern all biblical complementarians.

The biggest concern of the group, however, is Grace Ji-Sun Kim. Her second book is entitled The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology. This book encourages Christians to be “open to the cultural, spiritual, and religious understandings of the East” (from the book jacket description). It attempts to “unite spiritual ideas in Christianity with those in Confucianism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism” (from the overview of her works on Wikipedia). Setting aside the problems with this session’s teaching on women in leadership for a moment, why would a woman who openly promotes idolatry and encourages syncretizing Christianity with it be on the platform at an EFCA-sponsored conference? And why would we pay money or spend time going to a conference where someone who is clearly a false teacher by every standard in the NT is leading a session?

I wasn’t able to find enough information on the fourth lady leading this session to know where she stands on any relevant issue, but in light of where the other three are, it’s irrelevant. It should be concerning to every EFCA leader that a conference that features a session like this would not only be sponsored with financial backing but promoted to all church leaders as a venue to learn how to lead the churches God has entrusted to our care.

I also want to highlight the session on homosexuality and the church. Linda DeYmaz is the wife of Mark DeYmaz of Mosaic Church. Mosaic Church appears to be in flux on their understanding of human sexuality. They have a position paper on gay marriage on their website which unfortunately does not actually take a position. The sermons Mark preached on the topic have been removed. The church’s elders are having “ongoing discussion” about human sexuality. And they believe we must “avoid taking extreme positions in every situation that threatens to divide the body of Christ, or that otherwise hinders the advance of the Gospel in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.” They mention how the SCOTUS decision will require years of discussion to arrive at a best practice and policy in our changing cultural landscape. None of these statements points to any biblical conviction about the clear teaching of Scripture on these questions. In fact, it seems like saying that gay “marriage” is sinful and that homosexuality is a perversion of God’s intention for human sexuality would be classified as an extreme position that would unnecessarily divide the body of Christ. Of course, that is false, as such statements necessarily divide the body of Christ from false teachers and apostates who falsely claim the name of Christ (1 Cor 11:19).

David Anderson hasn’t said much that I found on the issue of homosexuality, but he is a significant figure in the unbiblical social justice/cultural Marxism movement, which is a separate issue but nevertheless a concerning one.

Cindy Del Hierro’s position on the issue is also a bit confusing and unclear, but again, that is a problem for me, because this is not a difficult question. The Bible is clear on it; why aren’t these speakers?

Of course, the one speaker who is clear on where he stands on the issue is Kevin Haah of New City Church Los Angeles. NCCLA has a statement on LGBTQ on their website (http://newcitychurchla.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/New-City-LGBTQ-Statement-2-final.pdf). This statement was drafted by the leadership team of New City “along with a married Christian gay couple who are part of the church.” You don’t have to read past page 1 to figure out where the position paper is going to end up. They reject out of hand, without any argument or discussion, that homosexual desires are sinful, despite the many clear teachings in the NT that ungodly desires are sinful and to be rejected, including ungodly sexual desires. I find it difficult to imagine they would say that racist feelings are not sinful just as long as we don’t lynch anyone. But that is precisely the kind of argument they make concerning sexual lusts for someone of the same gender (which would also apply to inordinate sexual desires to someone of the opposite gender: sexual feelings/lusts/attractions/thoughts must be mortified if they are outside the bounds of marriage, and not so-called “gay marriage”). They essentially boil all of this discussion down to Romans 14 and homosexuality being a disputable matter, allowing homosexuals to be members of their church and to serve in any church office.

Kevin Haah is a false teacher by the biblical standard. Jude 4 talks about certain persons who have crept in unnoticed, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness. That is precisely what Mr. Haah and his “church” are doing. They repeatedly mention how grace covers all of our sins while promoting the continuance without repentance in homosexual sin. That is to pervert and corrupt grace, and to turn God’s grace into a covering for evil. It is to do the unthinkable, to say that we should continue in sin since we are under grace, but it goes further, saying that what is evil is actually good and permissible.

The EFCA leadership states that we are not moving in an LGBTQ direction, but tragically what they say with their words is contradicted by what the EFCA is doing with our financial resources, recommendations, and promotions. How many EFCA leaders will attend this workshop and have their biblical convictions damaged or even destroyed by false teachers who promote ungodliness as a legitimate form of Christianity? At what point will the EFCA become so jammed with LGBTQ propaganda that we normalize and accept it? Promoting these kinds of conferences will ensure that happens sooner rather than later.

One of the biblical qualifications of spiritual leadership is discernment, the ability to teach sound doctrine and refute those who contradict (Titus 1:9). Those without enough discernment to identify “those who contradict” sound doctrine should not be in leadership. We are troubled that those in leadership with the EFCA are either unable or unwilling to identify and denounce those who are false teachers in the church and instead have chosen to partner with some of them at the Mosaix Conference.

After prayer and discussion, the elder board of Desert Hills EFC has voted to suspend any and all financial support of the EFCA. We do not want our church’s resources being used to sponsor conferences led by false teachers who corrupt the gospel of Christ. We would encourage like-minded EFCA churches who are concerned about this direction to do the same.

Our hope is that the EFCA will reverse position on their sponsorship of this conference and re-assess how we might stand for the Word of God in a culture that has embraced ideologies raised up against the knowledge of God. The “LGBTQ” movement, feminism, and cultural Marxism are sweeping into the evangelical church at a dizzying pace, and our obligation as the pillar and support of the truth is to reject these false ideologies and firmly plant our feet on the timeless, unchanging Word of God. May we, like Daniel’s three friends, have strength to stand for truth even when everyone around us bows the knee to the devil’s lies.

For the glory of Christ alone,
Pastor Robb and the elders of Desert Hills EFC

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash