Pastor Clay Peck has battled legalism ("strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law" http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/legalism) for years: "I smoked marijuana almost daily and abused alcohol every chance I got." (Clay Peck, My Journey Out of Legalism, Testimony of 15 Jan 2000, http://www.formeradventist.com/stories/claypeck.html)
SUCCESSFUL SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Pastor seems to have enjoyed this battle, because he's lived "an irresponsible, wild and carnal life". (Clay Peck, My Journey Out of Legalism, Testimony of 15 Jan 2000, http://www.formeradventist.com/stories/claypeck.html) Of course, this lifestyle wasn't cheap. So Clay decided to become a pastor to finance his addictions.
Now, when he plans a sermon, he considers:
"1) what do I want the people to know
and, 2) what do I want the people to do"
(Clay Peck, Shift Happens – Worship Sermon, Grace Place, 9 Dec 2012)
WHAT HE WANTS THE FLOCK TO KNOW
There are a lot of nasty, restrictive laws out there!! If cult members don't attend Grace Place regularly, "then we go off into the ditch of legalism, because we're always focused on what we shouldn't do" (Clay Peck, Shift Happens – Worship Sermon, Grace Place, 9 Dec 2012):
"WHAT WE SHOULDN'T DO"
The Colorado Age of Consent and Statutory Rape Laws specify an age of consent of 17. Which is plenty young for any normal man.
After admonishing the sheep not to stray off in the ditch of strict compliance with the law, and above all not to always focus on what they shouldn't do, we move on to point #2:
WHAT HE WANTS PARISHONERS TO DO
"Romans 12:1 says that true worship involves more than just what we're doing here. It involves offering our bodies". (Clay Peck, Shift Happens – Worship Sermon, Grace Place, 9 Dec 2012)
Well, what happens when young girls are sternly admonished to offer their supple bodies as a "living sacrifice", and there are some hungry false shepherds in the church who are told not to be "focused on what we shouldn't do". (Clay Peck, Shift Happens – Worship Sermon, Grace Place, 9 Dec 2012)
STATUTORY RAPE -- IN THE NAME OF GRACE
"On Dec. 8, Loveland Police arrested Michael "Brett" Wilson, 49, on
suspicion of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in February 2002
when he was performing councilor duties at the church.
GRACE PLACE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Wilson once served as a worship leader at Grace Place Church.
He also was involved with the church's music program, said Kevin
Maul, an investigator with the Larimer County Sherriff's Department." (Church denies covering up alleged sex assault, 9News, 13 Jan 2010, http://www.9news.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=130685)
But isn't all this "grace and love" against the law?
"I found ways to get around the rules", and "now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known". (Clay Peck, My Journey Out of Legalism, Testimony of 15 Jan 2000)
Certainly Grace Place's theology is "apart from the law", as we've seen in this case study.
But the District Attorney doesn't believe that all this is "righteousness from God":
"Linda Jensen, spokeswoman for the Larimer County District Attorney, said
THIS MAN WAS NO LEGALIST
Wilson has been formally charged with sexual assault by a person in a
position of trust, a Class 4 felony." (Church denies covering up alleged sex assault, 9News, 13 Jan 2010, http://www.9news.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=130685)
WHEN A FATHER HAS ISSUES WITH PASTOR CLAY
"A father and Berthoud church parishioner is speaking out against
leaders of the Grace Place Church and their handling of allegations that
an employee sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.
WHY TELL THE SHEEP THAT WOLVES ARE ON THE MAKE
"The [Grace Place] church has known about this for some
time and didn't even bring it up with their congregation," said David
Smith, who has attended the church and has family members still
attending the church. "It's a tragedy.... People need to know what
they're dealing with"". (Father says church knew employee sexually assaulted teen, 9News, 7 Jan 2010, http://www.9news.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=130346&catid=346)(see graphic at left)
A CULTURE OF ABUSE
"Approximately 6,900 US Roman Catholic priests were accused of sexual
abuse with at least 16,900 young victims between 1950 and 2011,
according to data from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops." (Pope censures 'guilty' Church officials over child abuse, PressTV, 28 Sep 2015, http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/09/28/431139/Catholic-Church-Pope-Francis-scandal-child-abuse-pedophilia-priest) Is Clay Peck's church any different?
"I have young children. Is it safe to bring them to Grace Place?"
Clay Peck's Impossible Dream - A Christian Church with marijuana, alcohol, and caffeine
Pope Francis addresses the Problems at Grace Place
Pastor Peck uses Old Testament Verses to whitewash the Grace Place Abuse Scandals
Pastor Clay sowed his "Wild Oats" -- at Seminary
Institutional Responsibility to Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse
I'm not saying that Pastor Clay was personally engaged in the clergy sex abuse scandal at Grace Place. But his liberal theologies made it possible. Attend this cult at your own risk.