Tearing Apart the Soul: Part 5
A Public Exposure of the Liberal, Feminist Teachings of Dr. Steven Tracy through “Mending the Soul” and Phoenix Seminary
and His Secretive, Coercive Attack Upon My Family
by Dr. Maynard C. Mostrom, Jr.
B.A., M.Div., S.T.M., D.Min., Ph.D. Studies
Part 5: Christian Assistance, Indifference, and Anger
Toward My Biblical Attempts to Save My Family
“the therapeutic is a more formidable ‘alternative gospel’ than humanism or the New Age movement can ever aspire to be…We evangelicals need to realize that the cultural decline we rightly deplore is definitely linked to the triumph of the therapeutic so many of us celebrate.”
(Os Guinness, No God But God: Breaking With the Idols of our Age,
“It would take too much time…Most of the members at Tri-City
don’t know you…We will not help you”
(Dr. Michael Sproul, senior pastor at Tri-City Baptist Church in Chandler, Arizona, on a phone call with me when I pleaded for his help and that of his church to officially investigate this matter and help me get my children back;.
After pastor Sproul’s statement, he rudely hung up the phone on me, called members of my family, and stirred them up against me!)
“Our elders will not support the public display of your letter.”
(A Phoenix area pastor’s email to me, giving no biblical justification for why they would not support the public exposure of Dr. Tracy’s false teaching and the serious, habitual, destructive, and wicked behavior of my wife)
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men…”
(Jude 3, 4a: two points to be made: first, godly Christian leaders earnestly stand for the truth and against error; second, ungodly leaders are apathetic about identifying and stopping serious error and may actually be participants and teachers of serious error that hurts Christians and others)
“The most disappointing thing that I have observed during my lifetime in Christian ministry is that so many “Christian leaders” seriously lack doctrinal and moral integrity and are largely unwilling to seriously submit themselves to the authority of the Bible and take a public stand for truth and against error.”
(Statements I have given to numerous Christians throughout my life)
“Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment,
but those of some men follow after.”
(1 Timothy 5:24)
“Christians are fully warranted in casting a wary eye in psychology’s direction for its Enlightenment-inspired dismissal of the Bible’s veracity and its carte blanche rejection of the jurisdictional authority that Scripture claims in the matters of the soul…
Many Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries have taken their psychology programs and relabeled them “Biblical Counseling Programs,” while maintaining an essentially psychological core of subjects. Because of this, Christians have good reason to be skeptical toward any type of counseling that is not thoroughly biblical.”
(John D. Street, “Why Biblical Counseling and Not Psychology?” in Think Biblically: Recovering a Christian Worldview, ed. By John MacArthur, p 203-05)
After my wife secretly and deceitfully left me on June 19, 2009, in response to her ungodly and destructive counselor, Celestia Tracy, I have talked to several hundred people about my situation. Including both Christians and non-Christians, men and women, young and old, those living in the Phoenix area and others living further away, I have sought to follow a biblical path of discussion and investigation with the hope that various individuals and churches would be willing to look at truth biblically, knowledgeably, and honestly and respond with a variety of ways of assistance and hope.
What kind of responses have I gotten? Well, as you can imagine, they have covered the whole spectrum from helpful to threatening. I have had some pleasant surprises. For instance, many of the people at my work, of whom most would not identify themselves as Christians or as committed Christians, have been open and understanding and willing to listen to my thoughts and concerns. Some have been through a separation and divorce and have been very helpful in that regard.
However, one of the most shocking, if not the most shocking set of responses that I have gotten has been by people who identify themselves as committed Christians, with many of them being leaders and pastors in Phoenix area churches and schools. Since I have been in Christian ministry for over 20 years, I have a good idea of where different groups of Christians stand on a variety of issues; yet even with this knowledge, I have been repeatedly shocked by the numerous apathetic and ungodly responses by the majority of Christian leaders that I have talked to!
For years now I have begged and pleaded with many of the Christian leaders in the Phoenix area (and many outside Phoenix and Arizona) to investigate my charges of false teaching and heresy by Dr. Steven and Celestia Tracy, a husband and wife team that counsel and teach through Mending the Soul ministries and Phoenix Seminary.
I have told numerous Christian leaders not only about the false beliefs taught by the Tracys’ to my wife and to others, but also about the incredible and clearly visible, destructive consequences that they have directly caused to my marriage, my children, my finances, and my career. I have had my website up for over 18 months with numerous facts and details to support my accusations. Yet few Christians leaders and other Christians are willing to listen and fewer still are willing to investigate this situation and speak up against the great evils that the Tracys’ are bringing upon my family and others.
“Are we to live as Christians on our own? Or do we have some obligation to each other? Do our obligations to each other involve merely encouraging each other positively? Or do they possibly include a responsibility to speak honestly to each other of faults, shortcomings, departures from Scripture, or specific sin?
Could our responsibilities before God also include
sometimes making such matters public?
(Mark Dever, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, p 168: While Dever’s comments are given within the context of a local church, the same principles apply to the Christian family as a whole.)
“Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Therefore purge out the old leaven…put away from yourselves the evil person.”
(1 Corinthians 5:5-7a; 13b: this passage and many others teach that unrepentant, sinful Christians should be put out of positions of leadership and church membership.
Paul places great blame upon the church and its leaders for failing to take serious action against serious sin)
Pastor Dante Antonucci and Landmark Missionary Baptist Church
(Casa Grande, Arizona)
When I came home on Friday, June 19, 2009 and found half my belongings gone from my house, my children gone (kidnapped) and my wife’s separation letter on the counter, one of the people I called was Dante Antonucci, a long time friend from our teen years at Tri-City Baptist Church and now pastor of Landmark Baptist Church in Casa Grande. Since Dante and his wife had known my wife and I for many years, and since I knew that the Antonucci family was biblically conservative, I looked to them for a biblical and objective perspective.
Over the past 3.5 years, Dante, his family, and his church, have assisted me and my children in many ways: advice, prayer, a place for me and my children to stay (on the day each week I eventually got to see them), assistance with moving, assistance with finding a new job, a church to attend, letters and emails, numerous hours of discussion, and many other ways. They have spoken up on my behalf, as a voice in the wilderness, yet being a small church and being located in Casa Grande, their lone voice has not been taken seriously by Phoenix Seminary and by others assisting my wife. Nonetheless, to this day, they continue to be a blessing to me and my children.
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:3-4a)
My Brother, Matt Mostrom and His Ungodly Wife Christine
“Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins”
(1 Timothy 5:22)
During the months after my wife’s secret and deceptive separation from me on June 19, 2009, I had talked to several people to understand the back story as to what had happened leading up to the separation and since. What I discovered was that my brother had assisted and was assisting my wife behind my back and without my knowledge. Whats worse: he did not at any time, even after the separation, tell me; I had to confront him months later about his deception and his lies.
My wife had approached my brother with her story; rather than investigating the facts and following the Bible and coming to me with a Christian leader to talk to me and hear what I had to say, he simply took her word and devised a plan to get me out of my house on the afternoon of June 19, so my wife could bring a moving van and take what she wanted while I was gone with my brother. In addition, my brother has assisted my wife in numerous other ways, without attempting to talk directly and honestly to me or discover the truth about this situation. When I confronted him about his course of action, he was evasive and has then and since refused to address this matter biblically.
After several email exchanges (he is too cowardly and sinful to have a face to face meeting), he finally asked for my side of the story. I gave him a summary in emails and the information on my website, yet he has not acknowledged the facts nor the need to follow the Bible. He still assists my wife and refuses to talk to me. A large part of his unbiblical behavior and refusal to deal with this matter relates directly to the ungodly influence of his wife, Christine, who obsessively controls him like a puppet.
“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives..Do not let your adornment be merely outward..rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
(1 Peter 3:1, 3-4)
The Apostle Peter gives a description of a godly wife; there are 3 contrasts between Peter’s description and my brother’s wife that demonstrate that she is ungodly. First, she is obsessively controlling not only over her own husband, but over everyone around her. This controlling is displayed by her speech (talking loud and over others) and her demeanor (which is that of a social and manipulative bully). It is also seen in the serious damage that she has caused to her relationships in life, including her own children.
Second, she is obsessed with money and clothing. Life for her revolves around having “things.” Third, she does not have the Christian focus on the “heart” and spiritual life that should characterize a godly Christian female. Not only does she hold to liberal and postmodern views of life (other than her politics, which is self-serving), she refuses to listen to serious discussions that are centered upon the Bible and she refuses to make changes to conform to what the Bible teaches.
The fact is that since my wife and I moved back to Arizona in 1996, Christine Mostrom has been the envy of my wife and an example for her on how to move away from biblical Christianity and away from biblical womanhood. Over the years, my wife has constantly commented on my brother’s wife, saying she wished she was more like her and had a life more like hers. At those times, I would make biblical comments to show that Christine is not the example of a godly Christian woman; to which comments my wife would ignore me and lament the life of a minister’s wife. Like Christine, my wife wanted the control, the money, and all of the American dream, no matter what it took and no matter who she hurt to get it.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
(1 Timothy 6:10)
Pastor Michael Sproul and Tri-City Baptist Church
(Tempe, now Chandler, Arizona)
After my wife’s separation, I approached Pastor Michael Sproul and Tri-City Baptist Church in Chandler about getting involved and leading a biblical investigation into my situation. Why would I ask this of them?
I grew up at Tri-City Baptist Church, having attended the church and Tri-City Christian Academy with Mike Sproul. We were classmates both in high school and later in graduate seminary training in Pennsylvania. We later both returned to Tri-City, Mike as assistant pastor and me as youth pastor. Together, under the leadership of Dr. James Singleton, we helped Tri-City Baptist Ministries (church, academy/day care, college, and mission board) make a transition of leadership from Dr. Singleton to the then assistant, Dr. Michael Sproul.
In addition to my ties to the church in the past, I was also ordained at this church and my extended family and numerous friends were also at Tri-City. Another reason is that Tri-City is the largest of the “conservative” fundamentalist churches in the Phoenix area. In the past, under the leadership of Dr. Singleton, Tri-City Baptist Church would have led Christians in the Phoenix area to take a biblical and public stand against false teachers, especially those who operated in the Phoenix area.
Sadly, the responses from Pastor Sproul and from most of the people at Tri-City has been neglect, apathy, refusal to hear, anger, manipulation, and additional problems caused directly by Pastor Sproul. Why have I gotten these unchristian responses? The answer to this question relates directly to Pastor Sproul’s lack of Christian character and to his relationship with me.
While we were on staff together at Tri-City, Mike Sproul was in line to become the next senior pastor. Having been lifelong friends and being on staff at the same church, I worked to be a friend and assistant to Michael to help him make the transition and lead Tri-City into the next millennium. However, what I discovered was that Mike Sproul was not spiritually, emotionally, nor doctrinally prepared for his new role (nonetheless, I still supported him as my pastor and only expressed disagreement with him behind closed doors).. What I also discovered was that while he appreciated the results of my efforts to build the youth ministry (and children’s ministry, and academy, and college, and the church as a whole), he was also jealous of my success and threatened by my ability not only to do ministry biblically, but to have real and observable success that could be seen by others (God blessed us with a genuine revival in our church that started with our youth group and its mission trip in 1998).
After Mike Sproul became senior pastor in 1999, his demeanor changed toward me and became increasingly hostile, deceptive, and insecure. The person who had been by his side as a friend and co-worker in ministry was now seen as a threat. I had not changed; Mike Sproul had changed and his weaknesses were coming to the forefront of his life. Mike Spoul wanted me out of Tri-City!
“Then Saul was very angry…Now what more can he have but the kingdom? So Saul eyed David from that day forward…Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him…Therefore Saul removed him from
(1 Samuel 18:8-13)
I left the pastorate at Tri-City Baptist Church in 2001 after 4 years of successful ministry, but it was not of my own accord, as was portrayed by the senior pastor. After he became senior pastor and had secured his position, Mike Sproul became increasingly proud and insecure about my role on staff; therefore, he bullied me, manipulated my role as youth pastor to isolate me, slandered my name and reputation, and forced me to leave quietly. I was forced out by the senior pastor, whose insecurity and liberal direction were at serious odds with my biblical approach to life and ministry. He knew how different our approaches to ministry were and used his position to force my departure so he would have no one left on staff that was willing and able to tell him the truth about himself and the unbiblical direction that he wanted to go. (much more on this in future articles in which I will tell the story about what really happened at Tri-City from 1997 to 2001).
From 1999 to 2001, while on staff, I saw the new senior pastor take liberal steps away from a biblical Christianity in many of the decisions that he made. I feared that with my departure, this process would even worsen and that Mike Sproul and Tri-City would move away from a biblical approach to ministry. Since 2001, my fears have been increasingly realized as I have observed the spiritual breakdown of Tri-City (this downgrade would be worse and quicker if it were not for the conservative and dedicated efforts of many on staff at the academy and the college).
Pastor Sproul will not help me with my situation because he is selfish and unwilling to spend time or effort on something that would help me, my family, and the overall spiritual health of Christianity in the Phoenix area (which is deteriorating at an alarming rate since Dr. Singleton stepped down as senior pastor at Tri-City in 1999). The church and members at Tri-City have failed to biblically respond because they have been bullied into a fearful and apathetic submission to the unquestioned authority of pastor Mike Sproul for so long that they don’t know what to do and they don’t have the courage to take any significant steps if they did.
The fact is that pastor Sproul has taken Tri-City down a path that is in many ways a serious departure from biblical Christianity into a psychological and liberal version of Christianity. As a result, he and the church are not interested in taking a stand against an ungodly philosophy of ministry that they have largely adopted themselves! The man and pastor that I once called my “friend” used me to get what he wanted, then threw me out of “his” church when he could move forward without me. I can honestly say, with great sadness that pastor Michael Sproul is one of the most sinful Christian leaders I have ever known!
“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words.”
(2 John 9-10a)
“Hence the cry first directed to liberals in the 1960′s and transferred to evangelicals in the 1980′s: The traditional pastor has given way to the modern pastor who is “a CEO in his study and a shrink in his pulpit.”
(Os Guinness, No God But God: Breaking With the Idols of our Age, p 123)
Pastor Joel Tetreau and Southeast Valley Baptist Church
While I was youth pastor at Tri-City Baptitst Church (1997-2001), one of the privileges that I had was to assist pastor James Singleton and Tri-City in starting Southeast Valley Baptist Church. Shortly after the church was started, a longtime friend from earlier days at Tri-City, Joel Tetreau, became senior pastor of the church. After I left Tri-City, my family and I became members of Joel’s church until 2008.
When my wife suddenly left in the summer of 2009, Joel became a constant source of advice and encouragement, making numerous calls and sending numerous emails to tell others about my situation. During this time, Joel and I talked about my coming back to his church and bringing my daughters with me. He agreed that it was a good idea and I looked forward to the church’s spiritual support for my family.
Email Sent to Southeast Valley Baptist Church
When I began to attend Southeast Valley Baptist Church in 2011, Joel and I discussed ways to introduce the church to my situation and ways that the church could possibly help. As a part of this process, I sent the following email to the entire church family:
Dear Family and Friends of Southeast Valley Baptist Church,
During this week of the release of the final “Harry Potter” film, America and the world is publically proclaiming the conquest of Postmodernism and its pagan witchcraft over biblical Christianity. Such is the world in which we now live. What may be sadder still is the fact that many Christians and churches not only tolerate our new anti-Christian worldview, but also contribute to its acceptance within our own churches and families. It is time to wake up and courageously rededicate ourselves to God, His truth, and His cause.
Those of you at church have seen me and my daughters over these past several months. You may know some things about our situation; many things need to be said, only a few will be said here. For over 2 years, my wife has been separated from me with the assistance of several well known Christian institutions in the Phoenix area. During this difficult time, Pastor Joel has been one of only a few individuals that have stood by me and been of great help. He has been a good friend and has invested dozens of calls and meetings with me to help with this situation.
I tell you this so you know that the sending of this letter to you is not behind Joel’s back, but with his knowledge and advise. This link www.causeofgodandtruth.com goes to my website, which begins to tell my story not only to you, but to the entire Christian world. It is being sent out to thousands of Christians as a public and biblical step in this process. I know that for many of you, this may appear to be harsh, extreme, and unloving.
If you feel this way, I ask of you to do a few things before passing judgment. First, investigate the facts according to the truth and the Bible. Second, be willing to seriously consider what I and other Christian leaders who follow the Bible have to say. Third, look at this in light of the serious condition that we find ourselves in our society, our churches, and our families. Fourth, consider the opportunity that Southeast Valley Baptist Church can have not only in ministry to my family but to the Phoenix area and to others around the world. It can be a time of spiritual growth and leadership to the Christian world and a statement against the forces of evil that dwell even within the Christian fold.
More needs to be said but later. Please visit the website, read, cry, pray, and think about how it applies not only to me and my children, but also to your families, relatives, and friends who have or are going through similar problems. I want you to talk about this among yourselves, with others, and with me. Please send the link to your email contacts. Thank you.
For the Cause of God and Truth,
Dr. Maynard C. Mostrom, Jr.
Pastor Tetreau’s Refusals to Lead His Church
Against False Teaching
(2007-2008 and 2011)
After the email, I was hopeful that Joel’s church would be interested in knowing more about my situation, help me spiritually care for my children, and propose steps to biblically confront those responsible for my marital crisis. Joel personally continued to be a great help, but his church did not follow his path and, sadly, Joel did not lead them to follow his steps.
For nearly a year, I and my daughters attended the church, yet we were largely neglected by the church and few members ever sought to talk about my family and what should be done to address the serious sins committed against God, me, and my children. I had been asking for spiritual and official involvement from Joel’s church, including a meeting with the pastors to discuss such action. When such a meeting finally took place, the 3 pastors spent most of the time addressing a past problem and not the present one. I agreed to talk about the past and the reasons for my departure from the membership including a letter I had sent to the men of the church giving my reasons for leaving in 2008.
One of the main reasons I had left Joel’s church in 2008 was his unwillingness to seriously lead his church to follow biblical truth including his unwillingness to deal with significant false teaching that was coming directly from one of his own pastors, assistant Gary Davis. Pastor Davis and his previous church had merged with Joel’s church years ago with Gary assisting Joel on the pastoral staff. Over the years, I had observed Gary’s teachings and noted a continued decline away from biblical orthodoxy into neo-orthodox and liberal beliefs. This problem culminated with Gary Davis publically teaching the doctrine of “conditional annihilation” (God puts many unbelievers out of existence, rather than sending them to an eternal hell).
This teaching, which is contrary to both the Bible and the church’s doctrinal statement, was not accepted by Joel but it was tolerated and quietly ignored. I pursued further discussions with one of the pastors (who was also greatly concerned) and with other church members who were as well. When further pleas for discussion and evaluation from this pastor and others were ignored by Joel, and for other reasons related to my family, I felt it time to leave in early 2008.
At the meeting that I had with the pastors several years later in 2011, it was evident that they were intent on defending their approach to dealing with the problems in 2008 and were still unwilling in the present to address my situation as a church. So we mutually parted ways. Since that time, I have been in contact with pastor Joel Tetreau and I am hopeful that he will see the need to protect Christian orthodoxy both within his own church and within the Christian community in the Phoenix area.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, nor of me…”
(2 Timothy 1:7-8a)
“I’m making public statements about the poison in Tracy’s material”
(Pastor Joel Tetreau, text message to me, January 26, 2013)
LETTER SENT TO OVER 100 CHRISTIAN LEADERS
IN THE PHOENIX AREA: DECEMBER 2011
“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. Therefore when Paul and Barnabas has no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question…Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had much dispute, Peter rose up and said…James answered.”
(Acts 15: When serious doctrinal problems arose in the early Church, the Church leadership quickly gathered, aggressively spoke, biblically evaluated, and publically declared the truth for all to see and hear; this biblical process is virtually
non-existent in our Phoenix Christianity!)
‘My topics have to do with our life-work, with the crusade against error and sin in which we are engaged. I hope that every man here wears the red cross on his heart, and is pledged to do and dare for Christ and for his cross…Our fathers used to speak of ‘The Cause of God and Truth‘; and it is for this that we bear arms, the few against the mighty, the feeble against the mighty. Oh, to be found good soldiers of Jesus Christ!”
(Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Greatest Fight in the World,” p 8-9. This sermon was Spurgeon’s final annual address to his Pastor’s College and the culmination of his battles to stand firmly against the downgrade of British Christianity.)
When my wife secretly separated from me, I began to talk first to the people that I knew: family members and the churches/pastors that I have listed above. Some of my family members and certain members and pastors of Landmark Baptist Church, Tri-City Baptist Church, Southeast Valley Baptist Church, and Grace Covenant Church have provided a variety of assistance to help me and my children and I am grateful for their help.
Yet, most of this assistance has related to alleviating the symptoms of my situation and not to directly addressing the root cause of the problem. None of these churches, as churches, has taken significant, official steps of biblical investigation and discipline to bring my case to bear upon my wife, her counselors (the Tracys’), their employers (Phoenix Seminary) and my wife’s church (New Valley Church, Phoenix). As a result, the Tracys’ to this day still continue to seriously harm and destroy marriages and families while the other parties involved continue to assist them and resist biblical discussions about their actions.
I believe that the Bible teaches that all teachers and preachers need to be evaluated; that those teachers/counselors that give teaching that is significantly against the teachings of the Bible should be contacted and questioned. According to Matthew 18 and other passages in the Bible, false teaching by those professing to be Christians is one of the most serious problems that the Christian Church can have and it should be addressed by other Christian leaders immediately and fully.
This process of fact finding and evaluation, that the Bible clearly teaches, needs to take place, for the protection of my family and other families; therefore I have continued the process with various emails and phone calls. When this failed to get any official Christian responses, I decided to send a letter to many of the Christian churches in the Phoenix area.
(Note: portions of the letter in parentheses are additional comments reflecting what has transpired from December 2011 until the present )
December 10, 2011
To Christian Leaders in the Phoenix Area and Beyond (Sent to 100+),
As each of you know, the past few months have witnessed a shocking and public exposure of wickedness in the matter concerning “Penn State University.” We and our entire nation have heard the outpouring of details uncovering a lifestyle of immorality at this prestigious school and the great, long term coverup of these sins by many within the school leadership. As we have learned, numerous children and families were hurt not only by coach Jerry Sandusky but also by the “culture of silence” that tolerated and allowed for this evil by its failure to confront and expose the sins of a member of their own institution. Since this situation continued for years on account of this silent conspiracy, it has only recently been dealt with through public exposure, forcing coach Sandusky and those within the culture of silence to face their guilt and take steps to address their sins and crimes.
Throughout this public relations trial, we have seen that there is a growing sense of moral outrage in our country. Many people, believers and unbelievers alike, have continued to asked one particular question in a variety of ways: Why didn’t someone speak up earlier and expose this process of evil, stopping its continuation and thereby protecting others who were later hurt by this terrible coach? Justice cries out to biblically and morally answer this question and requires that we learn a hard and painful lesson from the sinful silence of the educational leaders at Penn State.
Men and leaders of the Christian community in the Phoenix area, I am sending this letter to tell you about another “Penn State” coverup that is even more wicked and sinful than what has occurred at this “secular” university. This process of sins, crimes, and corruption is far worse than the situation at Penn State because of what has occurred, who is involved, and because the intentional and ungodly coverup of this tragedy is within our own Christian camp here in Phoenix. A deceitful conspiracy of enormous sinfulness and destruction has been created, supported, and tolerated for years at one of our own schools!
Like one of the parents at Penn State, I am speaking out on behalf of my own children and for others who have been seriously hurt by a long term, established, and wicked system of false teaching that is being dispensed through Dr. Steven Tracy, professor of psychology (actually professor of theology and ethics) at Phoenix Seminary. Through his humanistic, liberal, and feminist counseling, Dr. Tracy’s psychological poison, in direct violation of numerous central teachings in the Bible, has been steadily pouring into our Christian community, our churches, and our families through the guise of “abuse” therapy. Claiming to provide a biblical and scientific ministry for abuse “victims,” the seminary has in fact itself been abusing people by systematically displacing biblical theology with worldly psychology with harmful results. What is equally sinful in this situation is the acceptance, toleration, and maintenance of this false Christianity by the “culture of silence” that includes many of the faculty and staff at the seminary and numerous other individuals and groups connected with the school. Like the situation at Penn State, it is time that this great wickedness be publically exposed to the Christian community and to the broader world in the Phoenix area and around the country.
My name is Dr. Maynard Mostrom, Jr. As a doctoral graduate of Phoenix Seminary in 2006, I celebrated over 25 years of ministry training and experience and looked forward to spending the rest of my life serving in Christian ministry with my wife and our three children. However, this dream of serving God and others as a family together in Christian ministry was shattered when my wife began to receive counseling at Mending the Soul, a private counseling extension of Dr. Tracy’s teaching at the Seminary. Hoping to see some “biblical” healing in my wife’s life, that she needed as a result of her childhood abuse from her father and her own life of sinfulness as an adult, I was shocked to see the pervasively wicked, deceitful, and destructive teachings and results from Dr. and Mrs. Tracy’s “Christian” counseling (for a fuller explanation, please see my website, causeofgodandtruth.com—new articles will be added to the website in the near future, if not by the time you get this letter).
As a result of Mending the Soul and Phoenix Seminary, my marriage and family has not been “mended” but has instead been literally “torn apart.” My wife isolated herself, secretly abandoned me and our son, kidnapped my daughters, threatened me with false abuse charges, and has obsessively controlled my life, finances, and children through the continued instruction of her counselor and through a wicked, legal process of slander and manipulation. Our house went into foreclosure, my children have been temporarily taken away from me (now permanently), and my paychecks have been garnished, due to my wife’s lies, to the point that I can’t afford to get my own place and often lack money for necessities such as food and gas. I am financially unable to retain a lawyer while my wife makes over 80,000 a year and is taking almost a third of my salary. My wife is legally and literally destroying our family and my life, credit, career, and role as a father and she is doing this in direct response to her continued counseling with Mending the Soul!
During the past 3 years of counseling under the the Tracys’, my wife has repeatedly refused to follow the Bible and has taken an even more ungodly and anti-Christian path than before. Her growing hatred for God, biblical Christianity, and for me, her husband, (now ex husband) is obvious to those who will view this situation through the lens of Scripture. My wife kept me from taking my children to church for almost 18 months, has repeatedly attacked my Christianity, wants to have my library sold (which the judge has ordered), and has intentionally sabotaged my career in ministry. For over 3 years she has refused to have a meaningful conversation with me, has repeatedly failed to submit to biblical authorities and processes, and has used state directed psychologists (one at a cost of $3000) and ungodly legal tactics to try and have me declared “unfit” for custody of our daughters at our trial on January 19, 2012. Notwithstanding the Tracys’ refusal to even talk with me during this time, I have confirmation from what has been taught to my wife and from other sources that my wife’s wicked and destructive actions against me have been guided and encouraged through the continued instruction and approval of the Tracys’ (for more details, please see my website).
If this were not painful enough, Mending the Soul, Phoenix Seminary, and New Valley Church in Phoenix, (a liberal church where my wife attends) have refused to talk to me or follow the basic biblical principles of Matthew 18. Instead, I have been ignored, slandered, and threatened if I continue to try and talk to these parties or to anyone else about my situation. To this day, I am still shocked that these people and these institutions can act in such an ungodly manner and still try to convince themselves and others that they are acting in a way that honors God. Having extensively studied the Bible (with several degrees and PhD. work at Dallas Theological Seminary) and having ministered for over 2 decades, I am here to tell you that this is a spiritual and moral outrage and an abomination that “Christians” and “Christian institutions” would intentionally teach and act in this way.
What I have discovered through this entire ordeal is this: Phoenix Seminary has created and maintained a culture of silence in order to protect Dr. Tracy’s network of false teaching that extends from the seminary and like a cancer is seriously hurting our churches and our families. Like the football program at Penn State, Dr. Tracy’s teaching is a substantial part of the life of the seminary and is therefore given great latitude in its approach to psychology and counseling. It brings in money, students, and a means of expanding the seminary. For those people connected with the seminary, a public discussion and admission of the serious doctrinal and moral errors that are fundamentally at the core of Dr. Tracy’s counseling program would bring serious negative consequences to the institution and its future. So the seminary uses its culture of silence to overlook or accept Dr. Tracy’s false teachings and avoid open dialog in order to maintain the processes and monies they employ.
As you are the Christian shepherds over the Christian community in the Phoenix area, I have brought this matter to you because biblical justice requires it and the survival of my family needs it. Over the past several years I have sought to privately talk to the parties involved, yet they have refused to seriously discuss this matter with me. With their continued refusals to biblically evaluate my complaints, their continued attacks upon my life and family, and the serious lack of biblical action from other Christians and churches here in the Phoenix area, I believe that the only way to bring biblical justice to this situation and help my family, as well as others, is to bring this serious matter directly and publically to you.
I am informing you about this matter because Phoenix seminary’s educational network of false teaching and its corresponding culture of silence needs to be broken. I believe that this necessary action will not happen from within the Christian community connected with the school because the culture surrounding the school is not willing to hold itself biblically accountable( the seminary still refuses to talk or meet with me; instead their law firm sent me a message in the summer of 2012 requiring all my communication go through them) . It is imperative for my family, the Christian community, and the broader Phoenix area that this ungodly culture of silence be broken in order to bring a measure of accountability and justice back into our Christian family here in Phoenix.
For almost 3 years (now 4 years), I have begged and pleaded with various Christians to get involved in opposing this tragedy, yet to this day not one Christian leader has shared my situation with their church, nor made it a matter of special prayer in public, nor made any official church statement to the parties involved. I also trusted my extended family, friends, and my attending church to take serious biblical actions to address this matter, yet they have for the most part refused to do the most important things needed, such as confront those responsible and work to enlist Christian involvement. Instead, even these people, who should have been my strongest support, have largely ignored and criticized me, not because I was unbiblical, but for making “waves.” In short, my own extended family, many friends, and my attending church (which was at the time Southeast Valley Baptist Church in Gilbert) have refused to take serious steps to help me deal with the core problems in this matter . Such is their apathy that, in fact, by the first of next year I will in effect be homeless (in fact, I was homeless until Grace Covenant Church helped me).
In addition to publically informing you about this matter, in the next few weeks and months, I will be taking this story to the general public. While adding more articles on my website and giving it to a broader audience, I will also be talking directly to journalists, public officials, radio stations, newspapers, television stations, and many others . I will continue to take this biblical course of action informing Christian leadership and the general public until the culture of silence at Phoenix Seminary is broken and Dr. Tracy is exposed and disciplined for tearing apart my wife’s soul, hurting my children, and harming numerous families like mine.
If what I have said sounds too terrible to be true, I would ask each of you to read my website, become informed about the psychology of Dr. Tracy, and compare both perspectives with the teachings of the Bible. If you seriously seek to discern the truth from God’s Word, I believe that you will see that Dr. Tracy’s counseling philosophy is at its core humanistic, selfish, and inherently destructive to our Christian community. I also believe that my own family situation clearly and practically demonstrates this evaluation. I exhort you as men of God to seriously consider this matter, identify the Tracys’ departures from biblical truth, and contact Phoenix seminary with a phone call and/or a letter of rebuke.
4222 E Thomas Rd
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
Please share this information with others and contact me through the information below. I ask you to join me in breaking this ungodly “culture of sinful silence” at Phoenix Seminary and prayerfully ask God about helping me with legal assistance, lodging, and financial aid in this great cause.
For the Cause of God and Truth, and for My Family,
Dr. Maynard C. Mostrom, Jr
Trial: January 19, 2012
(Wife’s Divorce: March 15, 2012)
RESPONSES TO MY LETTER TO THE
CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN THE PHOENIX AREA
“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
“I take a grave view of the present state of the Church; I think that those who cry, “Peace, peace’ when there is no peace, constitute the greatest menace to the people of God…Those who form the consistently Christian remnant in the Presbyterian Church and in other churches, instead of taking refuge in a cowardly anti-intellectualism, instead of decrying controversy, ought to be on their knees asking God to bring visible Church back from her wanderings to her true Lord.”
(John Gresham Machen, “Christianity in Conflict,” in Contemporary American Theology. Machen, one of the greatest champions of biblical truth in the 20th century, made this statement in 1932. If only he could see us now!)
“What is theological liberalism? If someone asked you this question, could you provide an answer in, say, five sentences—at most, ten? If you can’t, then how are you or anyone else going to be able to defend your church against liberalism? If you can’t positively identify the problem, how are you going to find a solution?”
(Gary North, jacket cover to his book, Crossed Fingers:
How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church)
I sent out this letter over a month before my family trial in January 2012 in the hope that Christian leaders in the Phoenix area would get involved and organize to provide assistance and a collective voice in court to present to the judge. The letter was sent directly to almost 100 churches and to over 30 individuals that I have known and ministered to in churches and schools in the Phoenix area over the years.
What was the response to my letter : only 1 church (the elders at Grace Covenant in Gilbert) and only 1 other pastor (Roger Geiger at Southeast Valley Baptist Church in Gilbert) responded and offered any assistance. All others recipients of the letter did not respond either positively or negatively by email, phone call, or by letter. Such is the indifference of the primary Christian leadership in the Phoenix area toward the destructive path of false teaching in its own family and toward mine!
Pastor Darrell Gustafson, Grace Covenant Church,
and Grace Covenant Counseling Center
From the time of my wife’s separation in June 2009 to my public letter in December 2011, pastors Darrell Gustafson and John Giarrizzo at Grace Covenant Church in Gilbert, Arizona had provided assistance through meetings, prayer, advice, counseling, and numerous phone calls and emails. When they got my letter and heard of my financial difficulties due to the court’s decision to take my children away and my legal costs, they provided a place for me to live for several months in early 2012 until I could regain financial stability.
During this time, I and my daughters attended their church and made initial plans to join the membership there. Given my work schedule and visiting schedule with my children, this was a difficult task, yet we moved forward to join the church and meet with the elders about a plan to approach Dr. Steven Tracy and Phoenix Seminary about their roles in my family’s destruction.
During 2 separate meetings with the elders, I found that the elders and I had different plans as to how to approach the issue. Having been ignored by the Tracys’ and the leadership staff at Phoenix Seminary, I had been working to communicate with the trustees of the seminary to try and set up a meeting. Marv Spatz, the chairman of the board of Trustees at the school had sent me an email agreeing to a conference call with certain restrictions. I shared this with the elders of Grace Covenant at the 2nd meeting and was hopeful that they would agree to participate and add their voices to mine in expressing biblical concerns over the lack of doctrinal and ethical integrity in the seminary and with several of its teachers and staff members.
The response that I got from the elders was not what I expected. First, they surprised me by asking me not to take the conference call. Second, their participation in the matter would be undisclosed to me and I would not be included in their plans; in effect, I was being put aside to trust them to follow through with this matter while they would not tell me what they were going to do or not do, nor when they would do it.
In response to the elders, I expressed, at the meeting and in follow up conversations that I was grateful for their involvement, however, I believed that what they asked of me was contrary to the biblical process for dealing with false teachers, heresy, and those who supported or tolerated such godless and destructive actions. In effect, it was taking a soft and compromising approach to a serious situation that needed immediate and substantial attention. They wanted a more diplomatic approach that excluded me and my “harsh” words from the process (I have been using the same words that the Bible uses). In the final analysis, I believed that their approach would actually be a substantial reversal of what I have worked on for several years.
Our discussions showed that we had a similar understanding of the evils taught by Dr. and Mrs. Tracy, yet we had different approaches to dealing with the problem. When I continued to push the seminary for an immediate meeting and explained my plans to take my situation to the general public, against the wishes of the elders of Grace Covenant, they excluded me from all communications with them. With their unwillingness to allow me to pursue a biblical and aggressive course of action, that I had explained was necessary for biblical, legal, spiritual, and financial reasons, I determined that it was unwise to continue attendance at their church. I have heard since then that the elders did finally meet with Dr. Tracy in January of this year (almost 9 months after our meetings together!) and that Dr. Tracy was still of the same mind. I hope and pray that the elders of Grace Covenant will have the biblical convictions and courage to follow through on their process (in accordance with Matthew 18) and take this matter directly to Phoenix Seminary and the Christian leadership in the Phoenix area.
“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy…that you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they learn not to blaspheme.”
(1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2 points to be made: first, Paul strongly encouraged Timothy to understand that he was in a spiritual war that should be viewed with all seriousness. Second, this spiritual warfare required strong measures against specific individuals that were a part of the Christian community. These Christians, or professing Christians, were named publically disciplined for all to observe and learn)
“Brothers and Sisters, we are trying to put a preliminary meeting together to discuss the “Mending the Soul” Ministry and the effects and the non-biblical direction they have taken.”
(Pastor Darrell Gustafson, email sent to various people, Monday, June 4, 2012)
Indifference and Weakness of
Christian Leadership in the Phoenix Area
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite…But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion…So which of these 3 was neighbor to him who fell among thieves…Then Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise.”
(Luke 10:30-32a; 36-37: Jesus rebuked the Jewish leadership for its failure to show genuine concern for others in need)
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
(1 John 3:17-18)
“I am not sure which hurts more: the actions of my wife, the actions of those helping my wife, or the inaction of Christians who should want to help.”
(Statement I have made to several pastors during this situation)
During the past several years, I have made hundreds of phone calls and sent hundreds of emails to well over 100 different Christian leaders both in the Phoenix area and around the country. I have been repeatedly shocked by the lack of Christian love and the refusal of the vast majority of leaders to get involved in a direct, biblical manner. Why is it that a Christian leader can have his marriage, family, and life repeatedly torn apart by false teachers working within the Christian family while other Christians act as though nothing is happening?
First, the Christian leadership in Phoenix is unwilling to deal with this issue. Most Christian leaders in the area have adopted and use various forms of psychology and are giving steady doses of it to their churches and students. Why expose something that will expose themselves! In addition, many leaders have accepted the humanistic methodology of the psychiatrist’s isolation from outside accountability. For some leaders, they are afraid of the political, financial, and even legal consequences, if this situation were to be addressed or be discovered by their own churches and the public.
In addition, many Christian leaders have a superficial acceptance of the Tracys’ because they are actively “against abuse.” It is assumed that trying to stop “abuse” is a worthy cause regardless of how it is done. For such leaders, I am likely viewed as the stereotypical abuser, who is verbally lashing out in order to somehow justify his actions. Sadly such stereotypes are used by many to hold a uninformed and misinformed position. Lastly, for some, they do not know me or their schedules are very busy; yet this is no excuse for apathy and neglect of such a big problem within our own Christian family.
Second, the Christian leadership in Phoenix is unprepared to deal with this issue. Of all the characteristics of Christian ministry, the identification of false teaching within the Christian family and the process needed to hold false teachers accountable are among the most difficult to practice. This type of Christian discipline is the most neglected aspect of Christian ministry in today’s world and its absence is one of the primary reasons for the deterioration of Christian churches not only here in Phoenix but around the country. The type of Christian “shepherding” needed to deal with such matters requires courage, conviction, and sacrifice that most of the Christian leaders in the Phoenix area are not prepared to give.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…”
(2 Timothy 4:1-3a)
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…”
(1 Peter 4:17a)
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write…I know your works, that they are neither cold nor hot…I will vomit you our of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…Behold I stand at the door and knock…He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:14-22; Christ rebukes and chastens His church for its failure to understand its true condition and its failure to take serious steps to correct the problem)
Due to the intentional refusal and failure of the Christian leadership in the Phoenix area over the past 4 1/2 years to address my accusations and institute a formal, biblical process of inquiry and discipline, it is now necessary to take my situation directly to the general public for help (see my next article for details and my flier, which is being given out to thousands throughout the Phoenix area).
Having grown up in Arizona and having been a part of its Christian family and leadership for over 40 years, and having been a minister in various schools, churches, and Christian ministries in this area, I can sadly say that the Christian leadership in the Phoenix area, as a whole with few exceptions, is substantially corrupt, apathetic, inept, and worldly.
A Christian minister has for several years publically accused another Christian minister and others within the Christian family of false teachings and heresy. I have told my story to over 100 Christian leaders in the Phoenix area, in which I have made the most serious accusations that can be made about a Christian leader. Included in my story are the facts about my identity as a Christian minister, my repeated pleas for help, and numerous details about how my family and my life have been systematically torn apart and destroyed by Dr. Steven and Celestia Tracy, my wife, Mending the Soul ministries, Phoenix Seminary, New Valley Church, and the court system of Arizona.
Yet to this day, not one Christian leader or Christian institution in the Phoenix area has taken a public stand to demand a biblical investigation into these allegations. Not one Christian leader has started or participated in a web blog; not one Christian leader has written an official letter of rebuke to the Tracys, Phoenix Seminary, or New Valley Church. Not one Christian leader has taken this situation directly and publically before their church and lead their church to get publically involved.
The fact is: the entire Christian community and its leadership, with few exceptions have, by neglect, avoidance, stereotype, by threat, and by legal action, continued to this day to cover up this story so you and others will not know. What a sad commentary on the apathy and wickedness of the Christian leadership in Phoenix!
The refusal of the Christian leadership in the Phoenix area to address this matter is also symptomatic of its significant downgrade over the past 30 years into various forms of liberalism and worldliness. The primary cause of this downgrade is not the wickedness of the world, nor the sinfulness of Christians in general, but rather it is due to the compromising and cowardly Christian leadership in the Phoenix area.
The intentional refusal of Christian leaders in the Phoenix area to address this situation over several years and hundreds of pleas demonstrates that they are unconcerned about my situation and irresponsible as God’s shepherds over the Christian flock. As a group, they are apathetic and cowardly and unwilling to take serious steps to investigate serious charges against other Christian leaders. It is my hope that going public with this matter will shame the Christian leadership in the Phoenix area and cause it to see its great need to return back to the Bible and back to the biblical Christianity it claims to represent.
“There are strong spiritual forces invisibly warring against us in this whole controversy…The way forward is to add a clear statement to the governing document of your church…Will we glorify God through manhood and womanhood lived according to His Word? Or will we deny His Word and give in to the pressures of modern culture?
This is the choice we have to make.”
(Dr Wayne Grudem, “Key Issues in the Manhood-Womanhood Controversy” in Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood, p 68)
“You are preaching another gospel, a gospel that leaves us all dependent on you and your methods for the experience of true Christian liberty. Once we were told we could do nothing without Christ. Now we almost hear that Christ can do nothing in us or for us without the help of ‘Christian’ psychology.
Should I not be perturbed? Should I not be angry?…A great folly seems to have overtaken many evangelicals: they constantly yield the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word to the idols of modernity…In light of this, how much longer will the church believe in and support the idea of an authoritative Bible…Five years? Ten years?
Is it already too late?
(Jim Owen, Christian Psychology’s War on God’s Word, p 7, 11-12)