A brief post to let the community in Elverson, Pennsylvania know that a lot is going on with Community Evangelical Free Church as led by Steve Estes. I am speaking with some sources now and hearing what is happening this weekend. Next week we will start to discus the latest with Community Evangelical Free Church. Today’s post is basically Ezekiel 34 and it is dedicated to Steve Estes, Merle Stoltzfus and Dave Stoltzfus.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Martin Luther King
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself. ”
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Proverbs 21:15 NIV
I received a couple of emails and some questions asking about news and updates with Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. This Elder Ruled church as you recall practiced church discipline on an alleged sexual assault victim, and covered up Brock Estes allegations of criminal conduct. I have not forgotten about Steve Estes church I have been waiting to get news. That said, there is a lot happening with this church and the Evangelical Free Church of America. I am talking to a couple of sources and I am working through all the news and updates. When we discuss Community Evangelical Free Church I want to have all the facts correct. Next week we are going back to Community Evangelical Free Church to discuss it, and of course there will be more news that will come as people are still leaving it. But before we get into it next week I want to draw your attention to a chapter in Ezekiel that I read tonight over dinner. I was encouraged to read Ezekiel 34 in the NIV version and I want you guys to read it as well. So I will work this weekend and make a few phone calls to my sources in the Elverson area and try and iron out the facts. Steve Estes, Merle Stoltzfus, and Dave Stoltzfus…make sure you pay close attention to this chapter okay?
Ezekiel Chapter 34
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd,and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals,and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lordhave spoken.
25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renownedfor its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lordtheir God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”