my Archimedean Sword
He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them. If the iron is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more force. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.
I, David Johnson, launched Spiritual Authority two years ago today as a response to Elder Carl Schartner’s email to me of June 8, 2012, in which he requests I engage their new EPC “spiritual authorities”—the Presbytery of the Alleghenies—in a process of discovery toward a resolution of my concerns of spiritual abuse at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.
Days before, in a June 4, 2012, email, I had reiterated my charge of spiritual abuse along with my intention of openly telling my story—if session refused to “make the proper decisions toward Fourth Presbyterian becoming a safe church for everyone.”
I wrote, “My request is that you positively assure me that Fourth Presbyterian has taken the actions toward becoming a safe and healthy Body of Christ. This assurance must include Ross stepping down from his position of spiritual authority, with assurances that he will not teach or preach or be in a position to make spiritual decisions for Fourth Presbyterian.”
In his June 8, 2012, email, Carl had told me that session had accepted Ross’ resignation and that for a “season” of time Ross would not teach or preach at Fourth. Carl then placed this mess into the hands of the Presbytery of the Alleghenies. So two Junes ago I set up this blog—SpAu—in anticipation of an engagement with the Presbytery . . . only to wait all Summer long for nothing to transpire.
After three months of waiting, in a September 18, 2012, email, Carl informed me that the Presbytery of the Alleghenies was not interested in getting involved because I was no longer an active member at Fourth. He also wrote, “it is possible that the session would seek to restore Ross to the elder role at some point in the future. . . . It is also possible that session would ask Ross to teach in some capacity or, possibly, to preach.”
As Carl’s answer to me indicated a level of discernment that was blind to the spiritual dangers he had opened the Body of Fourth up to—I didn’t get back to him until Providence brought us together at the Kephart’s home on February 10, 2013, where I detailed for Carl what I was about to bring against them—if the proper decisions toward restoring Fourth back to health were not made.
I do not believe Carl understood the gravity of our situation nor the severity of my Sword—which brings me to the telling of My Story today.
I hope my ax is sharp enough to slice clear through the roots of rebellion at Fourth. As I begin to swing my iron—I want the Wolves of Fourth Presbyterian to know: they are surrounded with levers of exposures from above and below and from every direction on the ground. With just a pinch of pressure I will rain down rods of shining light into their pit of darkness. My war machine is engineered to thoroughly expose and depose them. From the heights of the EPC GA. To the depths of our local Pittsburgh community.
As I consider this SWORD a war machine, I want it understood that my war is being fought with spiritual weapons—fought with nothing but the Word of God and the word of my testimony. That is the ground I want engagement on. And as a public concern I want this battle fought out in the open (unless Fourth’s session is willing to agree to my terms). Since threatening me last year with legal action I’d like them to be aware of recent decisions that have secured my First Amendment protections to use media technologies to out them.
The way things are leveraged against them—if they are foolish enough to try to silence me with a lawsuit—they could possibly trigger the Streisand Effect and expose their machinations to the world all the more brilliantly than I could ever do on my own.
Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
Elders of Fourth, I was hoping to put you behind me with assurances of safety by now. As I am moving forward with another battle on a larger front, please know: in the not too distant future my story will reach a tipping point beyond which you will no longer be able to mitigate your exposure. You need to decide now how long you want this war to last. I still extend grace to you along with my ultimatum. But please know: by the end of the Summer Locusts—by the end of the singing of the cicadas—if you have not surrendered to my terms—I will begin a ground campaign that will use you men as examples and fulcrums in leveraging a most severe war against the priests of the Whore of Babylon.