This is a page for discussion of the content of the original page. This page was created because there was a dispute or argument about the content of the page (Grace Valley Christian Center). Hashing out our differences here will allow for a more productive dialogue and won't clutter the original page.
I don't know about anyone else, but I would appreciate it if people on both sides of the fence would register an account and take credit for their posts. This is beginning to look less like a Davis informational page and more like an anonymous trash-talk page. —DomenicSantangelo
As you'll find below, many who left GVCC testify to the church's use of fear, intimidation, and public humiliation. Although they've moved on, that fear still persists, especially in those who spent many years (or their lives) at the church. Also, GVCC has many lawyers at their beck and call. Although an easy defense against libel is the truth, some are afraid that GVCC would just keep appealing their way up/around the legal world. I, too, hope that people will use their names to lend credibility, but some are only willing to comment anonymously.
Good point, Theo. I know of a fellow who left GVCC several years ago, wrote a letter to the church, calling on them to acknowledge and repent of unbiblical practices, and he was threatened with a lawsuit. Yikes! CliftonBurton
If you haven't been in the compound, you can't relate to the fear... CliftonBurton
A lawsuit though? In that situation, I'd be more afraid if they said they were going to "intervene" and "bring me back to God" than if they gave the empty threat of a lawsuit. —dom
My family and I attended Grace Valley Christian Center for 16 years before leaving in late 2001. We were involved in various ministries of the church during those years. I think many would agree that, ideally, concerns about sin would be handled in a personal, non-public venue, as described in Matthew 18. However, due to the gravity and long history of the allegations, and the painful and futile experiences of those who have attempted to address them privately, the Matthew 18 approach has been exhausted. Grace Valley’s effort to promote its ministry via Wiki, and the resulting need to warn unsuspecting, at-risk readers, has unfortunately brought this to the public forum.
It is sad that GVCC, whose members include many very gifted and godly individuals, has seriously compromised its effectiveness for Christ by adamantly refusing to acknowledge, much less repent of, a pattern of sinful practices. My prayer is that, through repentance and reconciliation, the aberrances at Grace Valley - which are bringing reproach to the name of Christ - would cease, and that the wounded and fearful among Christ’s sheep would be healed. However, as Augustine of Hippo observed, “Before God can deliver us we must undeceive ourselves.” When Christians (in or outside Grace Valley) express their concerns – however imperfectly – and are peremptorily dismissed, shunned, and vilified as enemies, God’s means for correcting error in His Church is thwarted and the error persists. Love for Christ and His Church demands that Christians do what they can to rectify any conduct, teaching or acts by other Christians which bring reproach to Christ’s name. In all of this, may we speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), may the admonitions be gentle (Gal. 6:1), and may God’s glory be our motive (I Cor. 10:31). Please see the Experiences section where I have posted our December 2001 resignation letter which details the concerns about Grace Valley which led to our departure. — Dale Sorbello
Philip- Thank you for lending credibility to the possiblity of one person having multiple aliases on this site, many don't understand the power of IP addresses as an identifier to their computers.
Neither name yields any results in the UCD directory, so they are not students or staff. (The names at least) Soon as multiple-account users figure out the IP thing, though, they might try editing from computer labs. -KarlMogel
Philip— I got a personal e-mail from Brett Feld, who has an entry on this page. He claims to have once been a member of GVCC, but no one at GVCC seems to remember him. I am thinking that "Brett Feld" may be a pseudonym. I have a sneaky suspicion that he is the same person as BobSmorelights and Clifton Burton. Is there a way to check that? Thanks. — GregPerry I propose the deletion of this page seeing as how there is seemingly a duplicate page that is doing the same thing. —SteveOstrowski
2007-07-21 16:48:09 I personally know Clifton Burton and Dale Sorbello. They and their families were among those who were told to shun us when we left GVCC in 1992. When they left, they experienced the same shunning. (We have since been in contact again.) Please believe what they have shared. Though it may seem like something out of "The Twilight Zone", unfortunately it's true. We all share our experiences in the hope of sparing others the horror of what we have gone through. —RichLindvall
2008-01-16 21:19:56 From "The New Webster's Library of Practical Information" Dedicated to P.G. On Pride: "Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals." Fulton J. Sheen On Tyranny: "Hateful is the power, and pitiable is the life, of those who wish to be feared rather than loved." Cornelius Nepos "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God." Thomas Jefferson "Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them." George Santayana "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt Love, Lighthouse —LightHouse
2008-05-14 02:09:40 Regarding qualifications for ministry I would defer to AW Pink who writes:
In every generation there are those of an officious spirit who aspire to leadership, demanding deference from their fellows. Such men, especially when they are endowed with natural gifts above the average, are the kind who become the founders of new sects and parties, and insist upon unqualified subjection from their followers. Their interpretation of the Scriptures must not be challenged, their dicta are final. They must be owned as “rabbis” and submitted to as “fathers”. Everyone must believe precisely what they teach, and order all details of his life by the rules of conduct which they prescribe, or else be branded as a heretic and denounced as a gratifier of the lusts of the flesh. There have been, and still are, many such self-elevated little popes in Christendom, who deem themselves to be entitled to implicit credence and obedience, whose decisions must be accepted without question. They are nothing but an arrogant usurper, for Christ alone is the Rabbi or Master of Christians; and since all of His disciples are “brethren” they possess equal rights and privileges. No man is to be heeded in spiritual matters any further than he can produce a plain and decisive “thus saith the Lord” as the foundation of his appeal. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11). Rather than conform to the rules of the Pharisees, Christ was willing to be regarded as a Sabbath-breaker! Paul’s work was to instruct and persuade, not to lord it over his converts and compel their belief. The elders are divinely forbidden to abuse their position and to assume any absolute authority or rule imperiously over the saints. They are not to act arbitrarily or in a domineering spirit, nor engage in any conversation that is not seasoned with grace, but instead to speak only the truth in love for the edification of the flock allotted to their charge. The Lord will not long tolerate a tyrannical spirit in His pulpit, nor any who are arrogant, rumormongers, or dictators to the consciences of His children, violating their precious spiritual liberties. —A.W. Pink, from chapter 11 of Practical Christianity
This quotation describes the Pastor of GVCC in painful detail. The Elders at GVCC fail when any minister like Mathew Gee is allowed to function using slander, harsh speech in fits of rage, directed to the lambs allotted to his care. That man is disqualified from service and in need of repentance administered in kindness and gentleness, that he, by God's grace, might be saved. What arrogance and pride prevents true peace and fruitfulness, the result of turning from these same manners of ministry so destructive to the souls of many in his care. How? He is without meaningful connection and authentic oversight from the wider body of Christ. This defines the irrelevance of the Ministry of Mathew Gee. Claiming to see but blinded by arrogance convinced of His own self-righteousness. We pray for his repentance. He gave his $5,000 gift and broadcast his goodness for all to see (cf. the article: Davis church gives $5K to DSF in the Davis Enterprise on May 09, 2008). Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."
A divine indictment of abusive leadership, and a divine promise of restoration for the abused
God's Message came to me: 'Son of man, prophesy against the shepherd-leaders of Israel. Yes, prophesy! Tell those shepherds, 'God, the Master, says: Doom to you shepherds of Israel, feeding your own mouths! Aren't shepherds supposed to feed sheep? You drink the milk, you make clothes from the wool, you roast the lambs, but you don't feed the sheep. You don't build up the weak ones, don't heal the sick, don't doctor the injured, don't go after the strays, don't look for the lost. You bully and badger them. And now they're scattered every which way because there was no shepherd—scattered and easy pickings for wolves and coyotes. Scattered—my sheep!—exposed and vulnerable across mountains and hills. My sheep scattered all over the world, and no one out looking for them!'
'Therefore, shepherds, listen to the Message of God: As sure as I am the living God—because my sheep have been turned into mere prey, into easy meals for wolves because you shepherds ignored them and only fed yourselves, listen to what God has to say: 'Watch out! I'm coming down on the shepherds and taking my sheep back. They're fired as shepherds of my sheep! No more shepherds who just feed themselves! I'll rescue my sheep from their greed. They're not going to feed off my sheep any longer!
'God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I'm going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I'm going after my sheep. I'll rescue them from all the places they've been scattered to in the storms. I'll feed them on the mountains of Israel, along the streams, among their own people. I'll lead them into lush pasture so they can roam the mountain pastures of Israel, graze at leisure, feed in the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I'll go after the lost, I'll collect the strays, I'll doctor the injured, I'll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they're not exploited.'
Quoted from Ezekiel 34:1-6,11-16 Message Bible — 2008-10-10 11:01:51 CliftonBurton
2008-01-16 21:33:23 Bible Quotes about GVCC:
Is. 14-4 The cruel king who ruled us is finished; his angry rule is finished!
5 The Lord has broken the scepter of evil rulers
and taken away their power.
6 The king of GVCC struck people in anger
again and again. He ruled people in anger and continued to hurt them.
7 But now, the whole world rests and is quiet.
Now the people begin to sing.
8 Even the pine trees are happy,
and the cedar trees rejoice. They say, “The king has fallen, so no one will ever cut us down again.”
12 King of GVCC, morning star, you have fallen from heaven,
even though you were as bright as the rising sun! In the past all the people of GVCC bowed down before you, but now you have been cut down.
13 You told yourself,
“I will go up to heaven. I will put my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the mountain of the gods, on the slopes of the sacred mountain.
14 I will go up above the tops of the clouds.
I will be like God Most High.”
15 But you were brought down to the grave,
to the deep places where the dead are.
16 Those who see you stare at you.
They think about what has happened to you and say, “Is this the same man who caused great fear on earth?
Is 14:25 I will destroy the king of GVCC; I will trample him on my mountains. He placed a heavy load on my people, but that weight will be removed. Is 16:4 The enemy will be defeated; those who hurt others will disappear from the land.
6 We have heard that the people of GVCC are proud
and very conceited. They are very proud and angry, but their bragging means nothing.
Is 16:12 12 The people of GVCC will go to their places of worship and will try to pray. But when they go to their temple to pray, they will not be able.
13 Earlier the Lord said these things about GVCC. 14 Now the Lord says, “In three years all those people and what they take pride in will be hated. (This is three years as a hired helper would count time.) There will be a few people left, but they will be weak.”
The officers of GVCC have been fooled;
the leaders of GVCC have believed false things. So the leaders of GVCC lead that church the wrong way.
14 The Lord has made the leaders confused.
They have led GVCC to wander in the wrong ways, like drunk people stumbling in their own vomit.
15 There is nothing GVCC can do;
no one there can help.
5 He will destroy the proud city,
and he will punish the people living there. He will bring that high city down to the ground and throw it down into the dust.
6 Then those who were hurt by the city will walk on its ruins;
those who were made poor by the city will trample it under their feet.
Is 29:15 How terrible it will be for those who try to hide things from the Lord and who do their work in darkness. They think no one will see them or know what they do. Is. 47:10-11 10 You do evil things, but you feel safe and say, ‘No one sees what I do.’ Your wisdom and knowledge have fooled you. You say to yourself, ‘I am God, and no one is equal to me.’ 11 But troubles will come to you, and you will not know how to stop them. Disaster will fall on you, and you will not be able to keep it away. You will be destroyed quickly; you will not even see it coming.
NIV Matthew 23:1-12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them `Rabbi.'
"But you are not to be called `Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.
And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
Nor are you to be called `teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
The greatest among you will be your servant.
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
NIV Matthew 23:13-15
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell
2009-05-11 09:14:55 I'm not sure, but I don't feel like some of these things above should be their own pages...The Sorbello's Resignation Letter from GVCC, Regarding Qualifications For Ministry, Bible Quotes about GVCC is opinion based as well, ["A divine indictment of abusive leadership, and a divine promise of restoration for the abused"]. These pages personally seem a bit farstretched. I understand some people feel a very deep connection and concern over GVCC, but I don't think it warrants comments about the place being turned into standalone pages. I think DavidRobinson posted something similar elsewhere. Perhaps if there was an anti-GVCC wiki :P —EdWins
- If we're looking at removing things from the wiki written by Davisites regarding things in Davis but that don't relate to all people in Davis, perhaps we should move all the ASUCD stuff off the wiki first? Certainly there are more top level entries that generate drama, are bitter and have nothing to do with a good chunk of the Davis populace that are related to ASUCD. —Evan 'JabberWokky' Edwards
- I agree with that too. The bulk of it is fluff, overactive wiki editors involved within ASUCD for years. I think it all should be condensed as much as possible, rather than sprawling all over the wiki. The "Court Cases" are a great example of stuff that don't need standalone pages, in my opinion. -ES
- How about the various sports pages? Most people aren't involved in Hockey, for instance. —jw
- That's a poor analogy and you know it JW, come on. I get you're trying to just make a point, but a page about the Law Court being a part of ASUCD makes as much sense as a page about allegations against the GVCC page, which makes as much sense as a page about Hockey being one of the sports in the town. You can get an idea of who's who, what's what, etc. What I disagree with is many pages on things that stretch relevancy, such as comments stretched into entries to emphasize them. And we've had pages arguing what qualifies notable vs not, that's not what I want to jump into here. I get your point, but really, let's keep it to the context and not stretch it into a big wiki philosophical discussion. In this specific context, I don't think every court case belongs on it's own wiki page. I don't think every allegation/letter about GVCC page needs a wiki page. Similarly, I think if someone was making a page for 10 different hockey games, that wouldn't really belong on separate pages either. Before a straw man is brought up, I also believe that there certainly are and will be exceptions to that. It's not black or white, clearly. But that leads back to the wiki philosophy talks that pop up every now and then. Nonetheless, this sort of stuff has come up before. I recall a certain aggie writer used to have his aggie articles as wiki pages, and a lot of people were in disapproval of the walled garden and wanted them removed, linked to from subpages, etc. The examples I brought up are in my opinion are of the same sorts of actions. It's not exactly analogous to the 'parent' topic pages. (And the talk about ASUCD wikipages being moved off specifically has come up dozens of times, typically around elections when people get tired of the edit wars. Hasn't happened in a bit, thankfully) -ES
- I just simply disagree. A long essay written by a Davis resident about a Davis topic makes sense to be on a distinct entry. Doesn't matter what it is, no need to get exceptions or examples going. It's a simple general rule of thumb. If it's a short little blurb, I agree: toss it on the same entry as the subject it ties to. If it gets long enough though, cross link it through and make a new entry. Seems simple to me. If there's a long play by play description of a hockey game (or ten games), especially if the focus is on local players, go for it... that's a great thing to have on the wiki (kind of like the Trivia Night entries). It captures a part of Davis, and over time will capture a particular era of Davis. I'm not sure what you're "saving" by advocating their removal. —jw
- I see what you're saying, and taking a step back, I do agree with you in theory (though I still think the ASUCD court case is lame and doesn't fit :P). I was going to explain what I was arguing for, but it's become a moot point. I was complaining about the links in my above post that are now defunct. I did not like the fact that posts made on this page were taken, and duplicated into individual entries. In my opinion, they should have been tossed onto the "Experiences" page as that's what they were/are, kind of, and not individually duplicated into independent entries. That is what I oppose(d), and the creator of those pages kindly compromised (thank you). -ES
2009-09-16 13:58:31 I would like to comment that I have visited GraceValley in the past. There are few churches in the area that preach the true word of God like Grace Valley does. I have been blessed beyond words by its rich biblicaly based teaching from a man of God who does not fear the words of men. As for the accusations of a harsh and oppresive leadership, those who trash talk this church have been asked to leave because they refused to submit to biblical authority. No "shunning" would have taken place if these people had not been so spiteful and cruel in their speakings of the church after they left. Many have come and gone for various reasons, and are looked kindly upon with no hostilities. It is important to note that the hatespeach is ironically one sided. Christians pray for eachother, they do not try to poison peoples minds and tarnish the churchs reputation. I would ask those who speak so venemently against this church to question their motives and evaluate their standing before the one true God who will hold each of us accoutable for every word we speak. —anonymous18
2009-12-17 23:25:08 Whoever is writing this Nonsense stuff..STOP...Who are we to JUDGE???? If you think the Pastor has a PRIDE, PRAY FOR HIM, U have to know It is GOD WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY OVER us...Instead Love one another, You have to know When you love someone YOU KNOW GOD.When Jesus came to this Earth he was not there to judge, he was there to make a PEACE, show everyone who he was..And he did this by LOVE....Reason we Came to know God is because Of his LOVE..Yo really don't know God is being so Patient, Cuz all of us sin so much, he could come anytime and struck us down..But he loves us so we could learn his way. If yo arguing Bunch of Crap yo really don't know who GOD is...God Loves everyone of us even though some people are lost wandering in Darkness..We have to pray for them Cuz we were like that too..God could have killed us but he loves us..Friends there are many False prophets around the world But Don't hate but be an Example to them and Love them..show them who is CHRIST and Truth...I am telling yo, Read Book of John Cuz Jesus became a exmaple for us way he showed kindness,love for example Samaritian women, many people were hating on her, but When christ came to her life she changed..C that. thats the Attitude we need to have....Jesus did not hate he loves showed them the truth...I can tell God also hate sin but Jesus pointed out sin by showing Love...he just didn't go out there talking trash, he went there and talk...Friends lets be unified and pray Cuz our Job is not to judge, Cuz pastor are not the one who is going to take u heaven...Check ur heart, is ur heart right for God, are u obedience, are u walking like Christ, have u except him as a saviour? have you obeyed his Teaching..Becauase Thats the things matter to God... But my prayers are with yo... —enrique
2010-03-14 19:34:29 i went there for first time.......NO ONE GREETED ME>>>.. —enrique
2011-03-23 15:18:06 Mike Moroski please don't talk or write.. —enrique
2011-03-23 16:39:57 I fail to see how Enrique's statements are insulting. in one he states no one greeted him, in another he states people should stop "trash talk" about each other and in a third he simply states he wishes someone to stop writing and emailing him...
- First-I'm going by his recent post..not the earlier ones. This says nothing about Enrique wanting people to stop writing and emailing "him".....he just says "please don't talk or write". In other words, shut up. —PeteB
- If it actually said "shut up", then those would be other words. But those aren't the words. The words he did use include ones like "please". -jw
- It's still not nice to tell someone not to write or speak....and I said that very simply on his page. Move the comment back if you wish.—PeteB
2011-05-13 17:32:14 PeteB who are u????? why are you acting like a Fool!!!! —enrique
Inactive since April. Time to delete. It won't be searchable but they can always go back through page history!
Ambivalent on this one. Delete it if you really think it should be gone.