C & MA, Repent!

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Liberty Advocate





O Christian & Missionary Alliance, Repent!


Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.



This true story will cause every Spirit-filled Christian to cry out with righteous anger: “This is outrageous! This is a sin!”


A Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) congregation in Paramus, New Jersey, faces forced removal from their debt-free church building the congregation has owned since 1929. 


The Metropolitan District of the C&MA filed a lawsuit invoking a reversionary clause in their denominational documents.  According to the district, the clause allows them to forcibly take over all assets of the Community Church of Paramus.  The church property is valued at $500,000.


Listen carefully…the Community Church of Paramus was built without one cent of help from the C&MA.  Now, the Metropolitan District is demanding that they can forcefully take over the church building and all property inside against the will of the Church.  And the C&MA demands that the Church turn over their bank account of $27,000. (Instead of stating all of the facts of the case, read the articles listed at the end of this message.) 


What do you call it when church government uses its official position or powers to wrongfully gain property and funds?


Redistribution of church wealth?










Jesus expressed righteous anger when He openly rebuked corrupt church leaders…


Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 
for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, 
but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Matthew 23:25


Outwardly church officials appear godly, but inwardly they are full of greed and they can never have enough money and possessions.


And church officials use their official position or powers to obtain property and funds to which they are not entitled. 


And church officials use unscrupulous practices to gain control of the possessions they covet.


Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough,

and they are shepherds that cannot understand:

they all look to their own way,

every one for his gain,

from his quarter.

  Isaiah 56:11


Church officials pretend to care for their denominational flock but they are secretly treacherous and covetous.  They are false friends who appear brotherly  to those whom they covet: waiting…waiting…waiting to greedily gain their brothers' possessions by extortion.


And church officials enrich themselves by taking advantage of the trust between the church and district assuring churches the district will only invoke the reversionary clause for just cause. But they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  And when the time is right, they will prey on their own brethren and devour their possessions. 


And thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion,

and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God. 

Ezekiel 22:12


In the case of the Community Church of Paramus, church officials have greedily gained of their brethren by invoking a reversionary clause in denominational documents.  Under this clause, the decision to revert the church property to the C&MA is made solely by the C&MA district leadership.  The church has no voice. 


How can the property revert to the C&MA when it was never the original owner?  The plain meaning of reversion is to revert, or return to the former owner.  If the C&MA never owned the Community Church of Paramus, then how can it revert to the C&MA?  Again, the C&MA never contributed one penny to the building or maintenance of the church.


This is not a reversionary clause!  This is an extortionary clause!


This is unconscionable! 


This is unscrupulous! 


Unquestionably, the reversionary clause is unconscionable: the decision for church property to revert to the C&MA is made solely by the Metropolitan District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance executive leadership; the church has no voice.  Irrefutably, the terms of the clause are clearly one-sided and extortionary.


The C&MA officials carry on their greedy intrigue with so much artifice by including the reversionary clause in their denominational documents, that their wickedness is not suspected.  The Community Church of Paramus took them for good brethren and signed the C&MA documents, never suspecting they were hoodwinked into signing over to the C&MA total possession and control of their church property.  O what a wicked scheme!  


There should be much weeping over such a wicked covenant!  


O what a wicked scheme to betray trusting church congregations!


Woe unto wicked church leaders who are full of extortion and excess!


Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 
for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, 
but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Matthew 23:25


Due to a great public outcry against this abomination, the C&MA leadership responded with a message from Dan Wetzel regarding the closing of the Community Church of Paramus.  You may read the response @ http://www.cmalliance.org/news/2012/01/03/a-message-from-dan-wetzel-regarding-the-closure-of-the-community-church-of-paramus-nj/


And according to Bruce Terpstra, the Superintendent of the Metropolitan District, the District Executive Committee made a decision to close the Community Church of Paramus more than 2 years ago based on the following:


(1)   the embezzlement of funds;

(2)   the complete absence of constitutional leadership;

(3)   a failure of oversight; and

(4)   the assessment of the District leadership team that the church was no longer viable.


As for the embezzlement of funds, the church treasurer committed this sin.  And when Pastor Joe Smaha found out, he consulted the C&MA Metropolitan District for advice. 


As for “the complete absence of constitutional leadership” and “a failure of oversight,” these broad and vague and untrue accusations are used merely to cloak the District’s unconscionable use of the reversionary clause; and to try and quiet the loud public outcry against their extortion of the Paramus church property.


As for the claim that the assessment of the District leadership team was "the church was no longer viable" is another broad and vague statement to justify the extortionary clause.


And what is a “viable” church?  According to Pastor Joe Smaha, the Paramus church is healthy and growing.


Again: The Paramus church has about $27,000 in their church bank account and has never asked the CMA district for any financial help.


The Community Church of Paramus is financially independent.


And the C&MA labels it “no longer viable”?


Incidentally, the C&MA website claims that the Community Church of Paramus has been affiliated with the C&MA since the 1960s.  But they purposely withhold the whole truth: the Church also unaffiliated with the C&MA in the late 1960s and did not re-affiliate with them until October 1994.  So, between the late 60s and 1994 there was no affiliation with the C&MA.  And for about 35 years the church existed independently before the C&MA affiliation in 1965. 


The extortion of church property is not new.  This has been happening in the C&MA for some time, and C&MA pastors who speak out against this abomination are forced out of the denomination.  For example, Pastor Smaha was stripped of his C&MA credentials last year for fighting the extortion.


What is the root cause of extortion?  The love of money...


For the love of money is the root of all evil:

which while some coveted after,

they have erred from the faith,

and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:10


Moreover, denominational leaders no longer consider themselves shepherds of church flocks.  They see churches as businesses and see themselves as CEOs.  In other words, the church is not a ministry; it is a business and should be run like a business.  Thus, the  “progressive” or business church uses marketing strategies to target “customers,” church offices have “customer service,” and other man-made and purpose-driven business strategies contrary to a Spirit-led ministry.  And one of the evil fruits is greed.


Greedy church officials sit at their desks rubbing their hands together chanting: “Money, money, by fair means or by foul we must have money.”


Often church officials claim they need to sell church property to put the money into church planting.  What?  Uproot a healthy church to plant a new church?  This is nonsense.  And this is contrary to Jesus’ command:


Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,

do ye even so to them:

for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12


Or church officials claim they will let another congregation move into the building.  This is religious socialism – the redistribution of church wealth. 


Or is church property sold and the money put into the bank to assure district officials of their high salaries? 


And where does the money from the extorted church bank accounts go?  Into district bank accounts for salaries, raises, and financial support for favored churches?  


Is this the church good ole boys game?


Church politics are as corrupt as civil politics.


Listen, the church is not a business. The church is a ministry. 


But church officials are no longer led by the Holy Spirit.


They are led by the spirit of corrupt man.  They are led by the love of money:  greed, extortion, excess…SIN!


We must cry out against church oppression and extortion! 


And we must cry out to the Christian and Missionary Alliance leadership to repent.


As many as I love,

I rebuke and chasten:

be zealous therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:19


O Christian and Missionary Alliance, cleanse yourselves “from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). 


O Christian and Missionary Alliance, repent! For you have wronged many men and women and children!


O Christian and Missionary Alliance, repent!  For you have defrauded many congregations! 


O Christian and Missionary Alliance, repent!     


January 2012       
Liberty Advocate





See also:


1) Congregation dumped on street fights back - From WND.Com



2) Court case determines church must shut down - From WND.Com

www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=382721 - Similar
3) Church hijackings': Local flock among those ... - NorthJersey.com
Dec 27, 2011 ... Such moves are increasingly being exercised by evangelical denominations that target local churches, said James Sundquist, a North Jersey ...
www.northjersey.com/news/bergen/136299633_Churches_locked_out.html - Similar


4) James Sundquist has also documented several similar cases on his website www.perfectpeaceplan.com and has produced a DVD documentary exploring what he calls “church hijackings” in “Making Merchandise of Men’s Souls.”