I’m writing this letter as the founder of this website, Protestia, and publisher of the ministry known as Pulpit & Pen. This open letter addresses Chavez, also known as Servus Christi, Jacob Prasch, and their respective followers.
On August 20 of 2020, I posted an article with a countdown clock to the terminus, or end, of the “ministry” of “Servus Christi.” I warned at the time that…
“…the work of the Lord is always counterfeited by the devil. Although there is biblical evangelism, there are fake evangelists. Although there is biblical teaching, there are false teachers. Although there are biblical mercy ministries, there are scam artists. And although there are biblical discernment ministries, there is Servus Christi.
I have watched Chavez for years attack the most discerning men in evangelicalism. I have watched him, using words out of context, audio clips out of order, and videos hatcheted and hacked out of sorts, go after the friends of Jesus as though they were enemies. I have spoken to the man directly on the phone, on several occasions, for hours at a time, and tried to both hear his perspective and also correct his course. I have written about him, warned about him, and cautioned the discernment community away from him as a Sectarian Minimalist heretic.
My concerns about the man have been centrally focused on one devilish trait; the man who calls himself a Servant of Christ is opposed to the very Body of our Savior, remains outside the Church of the Living God, and attacks it rather than edifies it.
I recognize their tactics well. As their argument goes (Chavez and those who follow him), I am a lover or worshipper of man and can countenance no criticism of “celebrities” like Todd Friel, John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Paul Washer, Justin Peters, Chris Rosebrough, or others who are the constant target of his schismatic attacks. But while this might remain an effective volley of attack to some, my own public testimony of Christian discernment and willingness to criticize even my friends provides a stalwart defense against such claims.
But these claims, which might work on others, prove to be no kryptonite to me. While I admire Dr. John MacArthur greatly, I have criticized his invitation of Social Justice advocates to his Shepherd’s Conference, an act on my part that to this day has Phil Johnson – who officiated my child’s dedication – no longer returning so much as a text. Discernment ministry, of which my publications have become synonymous with polemics itself, has been publicly derided by Todd Friel on numerous occasions (although not by name), especially in light of my stance on Romans 13 (another disagreement). Justin Peters, who like all of these men has preached at my pulpit, will not so much as acknowledge my existence in any public format. I have suffered scars that run so deep from these friends that no other man can truly know, merely for my commitment to fair and impartial polemics and inconvenient disagreement on tertiary matters.
I cry no river over the severance of friendships I myself caused. I knew the cost. I mourn their loss, but I have not yet donned sackcloth or ashes, trusting in a God who restores all things and makes them new (Revelation 21:5) and who is the one who both gives and takes away (Job 1:21). But suffice it to say, any accusation that I am a worshipper of men should be rejected as a gross lie. My relational scars bear witness to it. I, along with my various publications, plod along in the work of discernment even while yet in an institutionalized time-out, suffering as the name that shall not be named, faithful to the truth and trusting in God to make the dust settle where he decrees every speck to land.
And because I love the spiritual gift of discernment (1 Corinthians 12:8-10), and because we are told to train the powers of that gift with constant practice (Hebrews 5:14), and because every gift of God is good (James 1:17), I have kept a wary eye on those imitators of the devil who sneak into the church privily to spy it out (Galatians 2:4) to carry it away captive (Colossians 2:8), and who look like Christians but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15).
However, in more than a decade of discernment work, I grow weary. No discernment minister I know, except for Pastor Rosebrough or perhaps Justin Peters, has plodded along for such a long time without being burned out by the daily sinful scum that happens to muck up the boots of polemics plodders. Time and again I have cast my eyes upon other ambitions (just as I am now in a season largely occupied with other matters) only to be brought back again to dispatch some wolf or rogue devil’s agent who needs to be marked (Romans 16:17) and handed over publicly to the devil and back to their master (1 Corinthians 5:5).
In all of this time, our work at Pulpit & Pen has dispatched some notorious skalawags. There are the Ergun Caners, Clayton Jennings, the Greg Lockes, the Jerry Falwell Jrs, the Todd Bentleys, and many more who have had to be polemicized, ostracized, and whose ministries needed to be summarily dismantled. God have mercy on the wrestling (Jude 1:3) and holy quarreling (2 Corinthians 10:5) that it has taken to do this work and on more than one occasion I have prayed that the Lord be more merciful to me as a pastor than he was to David as a king, who he did not permit to build his temple for being a man of war rather than peace (1 Chronicles 17:2-4).
But with God as my witness, I have rarely seen any man who needed to be divorced from ministry as much as Servus Christi, whose very name is a violation of the 9th Commandment and who might better be called Servetus Diablos.
As I revealed in the post, Servus Christi Imports Bride, Fakes Marriage, Sends Her Back After Consummation – as the title would suggest – Chavez demonically and methodically acted predatorily upon a young female Christ-professor in a way that is stomach-churningly evil.
That post reveals – using his wife’s (I do not use scare quotes around the word wife for her sake, respecting her convictions) words – that he intended to use this young woman for a combination of carnal purposes and her financial support of his ministry. But determining her to be unsatisfactory he then sent her home after contriving a marriage ceremony officiated by his step-father and witnessed by his mother. He did not receive a marriage certificate, as he had promised, and sent her back to her continent and is – to this day – refusing to speak to her.
Several Scriptures about false teachers come to my mind regarding Chavez. Titus 1:11 says, “Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” 2 Timothy 3:6 says of them, “They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions.” They are the ones to teach for the sake of greed (2 Peter 2:3). They are the ones whose consciences are seared (1 Timothy 4:2).
In the days since we first reported this incident, using his wife’s words publicized in various public formats, she has since reached out to us one-on-one. We have put her in touch with a Titus 2 type older woman (we promised not to have any knowledge of their private counseling, which would remain confidential) who could provide counsel from the Bible. We have offered her all of our resources for her to receive counseling near her home. We have tried our best to offer Biblical advice to a woman who just wants to know why Chavez will not even return her messages, answer the phone, respond to her pleas, and most importantly, refuses to even pray with her.
I’ve been a pastor for 22 years, a husband of 20 years, and a father for 17 years. And I have the privilege of being the father of three young ladies. And with God as my witness, if they were ever treated the way this woman was treated it would take the Lord’s long and capable arm for me not to take Deuteronomy 32:42 into my own hands, “I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh— with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
Dear fans of Servus Christi, please understand that what Joshua Chavez has done cannot be defended. In fact, he has not even tried to defend it himself, as you have surely noticed in the month since our expose’ was published. There is no excuse. He ‘married’ a woman in a sham ceremony, under pretenses that would make her his provider, consummated the marriage, and sent her home to Africa and summarily ‘ghosted’ her existence.
On top of this, Jacob Prasch was well aware of what transpired. He spoke to the couple on WhatsApp on the day of the ceremony, giving his blessing. And after the marriage’s very short demise, he and his ministry refused to offer the young woman any help or assistance. And like Chavez, he ghosted the young woman as though she was not worthy of a phone call, an email, a text message, or the slightest signal that she was a living, breathing human being made in God’s image.
Both of these ministries – that of Servus Christi and that of his one-time employer, Jacob Prasch – masquerade themselves as discernment ministries, criticizing those evangelical leaders with whom they disagree. And both of them, in their actions on this matter, have proven themselves unworthy to even speak the name of Jesus, let along claim to speak for Jesus. The Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the one who is now at God’s right hand, would sooner tie a millstone around their necks and cast them into watery depths than bestow upon them the mantle of minister.
In the days following our expose’ over a month ago, Chavez promised his fans in various formats and threads that a response was coming shortly. But that response has not come. It turns out, it’s apparently far harder to orchestrate lies than to confess the truth. For a man as prolific at making videos as Joshua Chavez, his silence speaks volumes of his guilt.
Within days of my reporting on his wife’s words, I received a letter from an attorney claiming to represent Chavez, who is not licensed to practice law in either his state or mine, demanding my article come down. I sent it to my attorney and, let it be stated, Chavez can pound sand in Jesus’ name. I informed them very clearly, a retraction would not happen, and received a few more threats that they would take me to court within days. I’ve received no further communication from them and I presume that will work as well for Chavez as it did Ergun Caner against Jason Smathers, James MacDonald against Julie Roys, or the various times I got a ‘cease-and-desist’ nastygrams from Clayton Jennings, Jonathan Cahn, or most recently, someone associated with the Jerry Falwell Jr. scandal. In other words, it will not work.
We are Pulpit & Pen. We are Protestia. We are the ones who know no other kind of warfare than scorched earth. We are the ones who have already sacrificed our lives, fortunes, and reputations on the altar of truth-telling. Intimidation does…not…work…on us. It never has. It never will, so long as God remains afixed to his throne.
Truth is the ultimate defense against an accusation of libel, and the power of discovery and subpoena in the hands of Pulpit & Pen in a court of law is a right that the enemies of righteousness would give us to their great peril. For ten years we have only published that which we believe to be true, which we have verified through primary sources, and that which fulfills our publication’s religious purpose, “Whatever is said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear (Luke 12:3).”
But the facts of what we have been told by Chavez’ wife, and what has been substantiated through various forms of written and photographic testimony, are secondary to my purpose in this open letter to you, the followers of Chavez and Prasch.
In the many years of our discernment ministry, we have (obviously) earned many critics who disagree with this or that of what we have spoken or exposed, or more precisely, the way we have spoken or exposed it. Of that, I make no excuses and offer no explanations. I know the row we have chosen, and we have hoed it. I know the bed we have made and will sleep in it. We have lived by the sword of truth and are prepared to die by it.
Rather than taking issue with the way a discernment ministry does discernment, I implore you to take note discerningly of the trajectory and purpose of their ministry. One question should be asked more than any other…are they for the local church or are they against it?
One question should be asked more than any other…are they for the local church or are they against it?
No bi-weekly episode of the Polemics Report is aired without an exhortation to the listener to be a contributing, serving, loving, supporting member of their local congregation. No post or article has ever been written at Pulpit & Pen, Polemics Report, Protestia, or any of our publications that encourages Christians to leave their local church without finding a new one immediately and post-haste. And no one is encouraged to leave their congregation without following the rules of our Savior in Matthew 18. And repeatedly, incessantly, religiously, do we exhort the listener and reader to use discernment for the edification and building up of the local church (1 Corinthians 12:4-19), rather than for its destruction.
The ministries of Joshua Chavez and Jacob Prasch do precisely the opposite. Their entire goal, stated explicitly, is to convince you there are no good pastors, no good churches, and no good ministries (except for theirs). Their entire schtick, their goal, their enterprise, their industry is to demolish hopes of their followers in the institution that Christ established on this Earth to do his work.
Please listen to me, a man who is characterized widely as divisive and as a schismatic (I would argue unfairly)…there are good men of God near you. They are imperfect and flawed, but they belong to the Lord and have been chosen by the Holy Spirit to serve the church as overseers and elders (Acts 20:28). I will be the first to tell you that good churches are few and far between, but that does not mean they are non-existent. The God of Heaven always had his diplomatic outposts on Earth in the local church. They are filled with messed up, occasionally wrong-headed, and inherently flawed people with a doctrine that has not yet been perfected by the glorification in Christ that awaits us. But please listen to me…Jesus loves his church.
If the discernment minister you listen to makes you hate your church, rather than love it, he is not of God. If the discernment minister makes you an enemy of the church rather than a friend (even if you must be a critic), he is not of God. If the discernment minister you listen to makes you abandon the body of Christ, he is taking you away from the Head, who is Jesus Christ himself.
Please pray for Chavez’s abandoned wife. Please pray that Chavez and Prasch have their ministries implode so that in the end, their souls might be saved. Please pray for those discernment ministers who do it for the church, not against the church.
Give them no countenance. Give them no ear. And may the silence that they have given us over the last month continue until Christ Jesus returns, lest they harm rather than help the sheep of God’s pasture.