What if the most vociferous critic of the church’s best leaders was in fact an abuser of women, a fornicator, adulterer, and unrepentant hypocrite? Well, it turns out, he is.
A controversial YouTube figure and top lieutenant in Jacob Prasch’s multi-national Moriel Ministries, Servus Christi, is known for his lengthy videos critiquing evangelical leaders. The pseudonymous personality says his real name is Joshua Chavez, although he has been accused by some former Prasch followers of using various aliases. He’s certainly been caught on more than one occasion operating with fake names online, occasionally that of women.
Jacob Prasch and Joshua Chavez have built their large following online by imitating the work of Christian polemics, a discipline of theological study that is highly despised but still often utilized, most of the time for the edification of the church. But the type of polemics engaged in by Prasch and Chavez stands in contrast to that which is done by most; theirs seeks to take people out of churches rather than building them. Painting themselves as discernment ministers, Moriel Ministries builds a level of credibility by critiquing the low-hanging fruit of notoriously false teachers, many of whom desperately need to be exposed. Chavez, for example, critiques sermons just like Chris Rosebrough is famous for doing, creates power-point presentations like Justin Peters does, and designed his website as a counterfeit look-alike of Pulpit & Pen. But instead of pointing to Christ Jesus, Moriel Ministries and its henchmen have built a worldwide cult of personalities for Jacob Prasch, the ranting lunatic who has been proven to have lied about his (non) Jewish ancestry and holds to uniquely bizarre doctrinal beliefs (like Jesus is the Metatron or that John MacArthur is a tool of the antichrist).
But unlike the discernment ministers Chavez counterfeits, he doesn’t stop his critiques at Beth Moore, Joel Osteen, or Kenneth Copeland. Chavez spends endless hours splicing videos of Justin Peters, Chris Rosebrough, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, and even a few of yours truly (JD Hall), mostly out of context, out of order, or partially fabricated. His recent claims about a convert to Christianity from the New Age Movement, Doreen Virtue, have been particularly libelous and wolf-like, seeking to devour new converts to Christ and slander those who helped them find Biblical theology. And almost all of Chavez’ attempted coup de graces include a unique form of Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon, assigning not only guilt by association, but guilt by association of association of associations.
The two men – Moriel and Chavez – don’t have inconsequential ministries, either. Moriel’s camera work may give the appearance of him being a destitute, sad old man holed away in a non-descript trailer park somewhere, but in reality, Moriel Ministries has ten branch offices around the world, with an estimated million dollars or more per office being received each year. And Chavez, who many believe is an heir-apparent to Prasch, exploded into prominence several years ago after picking high-profile fights with some of evangelicalism’s most straight-shooting preachers. He currently has fifty thousand subscribers on YouTube, a feat that isn’t easy for cultists.
Both Moriel and Chavez have the same Modus Operandi, which serves to build their audience while emptying churches of their congregations. Mostly, this consists of convincing their listeners that no good churches exist, that all other spiritual leaders are compromised, and that they should leave their local churches and listen to them exclusively online. Instead of filling up churches, the Moriel-Chavez guild empties churches, a sure sign of textbook apostasy if ever there was one. And ironically, their apostasy is done in the name of fighting apostasy, a devilish twist on the purpose of Christian polemics.
For example, when I spoke to Chavez on the phone several years ago – a conversation which we both recorded – I pressed upon him to tell me if he had ever enjoyed a lasting healthy relationship with any local church. Chavez, after long orations on what really constitutes a church and if the pastorate really exists and if “organized religion” is really Biblical, and having provided other arguments of deconstruction, he eventually had to answer with no. He has never enjoyed a healthy relationship with any church and neither should he expect to. I marked him immediately as a Sectarian Minimalist heretic, a designation I’m happy to have made accurately. Biblical discernment ministers desire to equip, edify, and build up local churches (Ephesians 4:12), not dismantle them. Prasch-Chavez do not have a ministry of building up, but only of tearing down.
This, by and large, is because they are schismatics. Or, as Titus 3:10 would call them,αἱρετικὸν (heretics).
It should not surprise me then – and in fact, it didn’t – to discover that Joshua Chavez is as morally sound as he is theologically sound (in other words, not at all). While rumors have circulated for over a year that Chavez recently had a live-in girlfriend (while working for Moriel) with whom he soon eloped and then immediately divorced, we were unable to verify that information. That is, we were unable to verify the information until her concerned friends from various support groups reached out to us with their desperate pleas for help. We have since been able to verify their accounts through various sources to the best of our journalistic ability. And we have cross-referenced those accounts with correspondence sent us that originated directly from his female victim. But the story is even worse than has been whispered.
Chavez imported a woman from South Africa under the guise of marrying her, conducted a private fake wedding ceremony, consummated the “marriage,” and immediately sent her back to Africa, refusing to ever speak to her again
The story begins as a Chavez’ “career” in internet discernment ministry was taking off. As his notoriety grew while criticizing the work of Paul Washer, John MacArthur, and other leaders, Chavez soon developed fans in other countries. Many of those fans were followers of Prasch’s Moriel Ministries, which is best characterized as an anti-church with strong Judaizing tendencies. And it was Jacob Prasch himself who began to utilize Chavez as a top figure in his online outreach.
Chavez soon took interest in a young, devout religious follower, whose identity and name will be withheld from this article, as is the longstanding practice of Pulpit & Pen when dealing with the victims of spiritual or sexual abuse. The woman, an attractive and pious believer, worked as a professional in a respectable career. And through an online relationship with Chavez, she was soon promised a trip to America to marry the internet minister.
The woman’s religious convictions were very clear from the beginning; sex should be reserved for marriage, marriage was to be a lasting covenant between a husband and wife before God, and remarriage was not permitted under any circumstance. Chavez assured the woman that he too held these convictions, and that it was God’s holy will the two should be united in holy matrimony.
The details surrounding this tragic abuse are as follows:
Chavez carefully groomed the young follower from Africa, pledging his undying love and promising her betrothal.
The details of Chavez’s relationship with his victim were spoken plainly in a number of Facebook support groups. These include Fasting for Marriage Restoration, Standers for Covenant Marriage, and Covenant Marriage and Betrothal Divorce.
Chavez’ victim, convinced to be a “stander” (someone who is in a marriage and remains faithful despite their spouse’s infidelity or unfaithfulness), spoke candidly about her situation, without saying the last name of her “husband,” merely referring to him as “Joshua.” However, according to her, Joshua had an important online “ministry,” which he “put her away” (Matthew 1:19) to focus upon.
After she posted one photo in a support group (see below), some recognized “Joshua” as Joshua Chavez, the full-time minister of calumny who “calls out” the world’s finest preachers for supposed infractions of doctrinal standards. When they saw that her husband was Jacob Prasch’s right-hand man, their jaws dropped in disbelief.
As the details of her relationship with Chavez came out, friends and fellow survivors encouraged her to speak to Biblical counsel. Some suggested that she speak out, lest Chavez do it again to another woman. However, the woman claimed that the exposure would make him “hate her” even more, and he already “hated her plenty.”
The young woman’s friends tried to assure her that his behavior indicated his actions were premeditated and intentional, if not predatory. And most of all, they tried to convince her that a marriage proposal based on fraud was not a two-party “covenant” ratified before God, but a scam.
Advice in the groups varied. Some claimed that marriage is forever binding, no matter how fraudulent it began. Others insisted that Chavez’ intentions of using the woman and then discarding her were inconsequential to God’s design of the permanency of marriage.
But almost all in those support groups seemed united on one thing; Chavez never intended to legally marry her, nor did he intend to keep her in the United States as his wife after their honeymoon. She was to Chavez disposable. And those who knew Chavez or followed his ministry or that of Jacob Prasch’s, uniformly believed the church needed to find this out because, as the Scripture says, “judgment begins in the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
According to the woman, Chavez promised her over their 8-month online courtship that marriage was the will of God for her, and that she was meant to be with him. And when she came to the United States on a three-month visa, it was Chavez’s explicit promise to marry her and get her established as his wife in the United States.
Not belonging to any church, Chavez concocted a ceremony officiated by his step-father; the only witnesses to the event were Chavez’ mother and grandmother.
Because Chavez is a Sectarian Minimalist, he had no access to a local church in which to marry this young woman. One of the woman’s friends put it this way to Pulpit & Pen, “That it was a trick to sleep with her and throw her away.” She added, “the [young woman] is absolutely broken by it all. She believes in covenant marriage and that he is her covenant husband so she says that she will never move on. She said she is in ‘deep pain and grief’.”
Interestingly, Chavez never acknowledged his marriage in social media, in his YouTube videos, to his followers or the followers of Moriel Ministries, or clued in his many religious followers that he was either “betrothed” or “married.”
To this day, followers of Moriel or Servetus Christi still do not know that Chavez had a “secret marriage.” But that makes more sense, now that we know he also had a secret “honeymoon” and secret “divorce” to follow.
Perhaps it would be difficult for Chavez to explain that during their brief in-country betrothal, he was living with this woman outside of matrimony. Whatever the reason, this marriage was top-secret and neither known or celebrated among the people who follow him most closely
Did he ever intend to make his marriage known? The answer to that is a resounding no, considering that he was never legally married at all, and neither was his wedding ceremony observed in the assembly of the church or with witnesses outside his wife and sister.
The couple was declared married “in the eyes of God,” but from the very beginning, Chavez had promised to file legal paperwork to have them officially married by law.
It was not the intention of the young woman never to be legally married. In fact, Chavez had promised her that he would file a marriage license when he returned from the honeymoon. However, according to sources close to the young woman, the honeymoon is when Chavez began to mock and belittle the woman and made known his plans to send her back to Africa without being wed.
One source wrote, “I guess she was blinded by love and trust for him, that she did not make sure she had the right visa before going to the honeymoon. It seemed awfully convenient that he had excuses not to do it legally. Especially since [the young woman] said he just became very negative on the honeymoon, and was starting fights and saying all these bad things about her that he never had before. Before the honeymoon, she said anytime they would fight he claimed he felt physically sick to his stomach if he did not make it right with her before bed. She said it was like something came over him on the honeymoon and he changed and she believes it to be a Jezebel influence. My opinion is that he knew he wanted to depart so he had to start making stuff up so he could blame it on her.”
However, in plans revealed on the honeymoon, Chavez plotted to separate from the woman and send her back to Africa, having fulfilled his carnal desires.
In messages delivered to Pulpit & Pen, the young woman explained from her own perspective where things went wrong and furthermore, believes it was Chavez’s intentions all along to discard her after the honeymoon. However, and this important to emphasize, she repeatedly asks for prayer for Chavez and that God would save his soul.
In one Facebook post, the woman compares Chavez’ actions to that of a human trafficker…
However, one need not think that Chavez only wanted the young woman for sex. She also reports that he wanted her for her money and labor, desiring that she work in her professional field in order to finance his time in “ministry.” Allegedly, the young woman had a fair amount of financial savings, but Chavez became enraged when he discovered it was because of her thriftiness and financial discipline, and not because her job was lucrative.
At one point, after deciding to send her back to Africa when her visa expired, Chavez told her that if she “got a good job, I will buy you a ticket back to America.” Chavez was under the impression that the young woman’s visa would allow her to be employed (it did not), and grew angry that he would instead have to provide for her.
Reportedly, Chavez’s mother is overbearing and “controls him” and was upset the young woman was not as skilled at homemaking as she would like, encouraging Chavez to send her back to Africa. Chavez insisted that her role would not be homemaking, but bread-winning to support his ministry. Nonetheless, his mother remained a driving force in the decision to put away his wife to Africa.
Refusing to legally marry, Chavez would not have to legally divorce. After sending her back to Africa, Chavez immediately stopped all contact with the woman, “ghosting her.”
Content that sending her back to Africa without a legal marriage would conclude the matter, Chavez immediately “ghosted” the young woman, refusing to speak to her. Currently, the only avenue of communication the woman has is to contact him through his media ministry, Servetus Christi. He has blocked her number and email addresses in all other forms of communication.
However, since the release of our “beating the weeds” post late last week, Chavez has sent several messages to the young woman’s father, insinuating that she should be institutionalized, ostensibly to keep her from speaking to the media or sharing her story to others. Additionally, Chavez has promised if any information comes out about him, he will communicate with every asylum in Cape Town, South Africa, to have her institutionalized.
The young woman has no signs of mental illness whatsoever. Her desire to remain faithful to her husband out of a strong religious conviction is what Chavez is characterizing as a mental illness. The woman’s communications with Chavez only amounts to letting him know almost daily that she still loves him and is praying for him; he is characterizing that as insanity.
The woman is currently seeking to restore their marriage, even if it can be rightly characterized as “human trafficking.”
Convinced that it’s valid in the sight of God and should last a lifetime, the young woman is remaining faithful. Chavez, however, says that she will hold him back from ministry and is a “distraction” from the work God has set before him.
The young woman wrote, “Even if someone marries with an evil heart say for sex and a woman to work so they don’t have to, so he can do his ministry…he realized I might not be a good worker; I don’t think he wanted to invest in me. I asked him what happened if one day I got sick and he said he would send me back to South Africa.”
She continued, “I honestly think he is an evil man and God knows his intentions may be that of a human trafficker.”
However, lots of people have lots of bad advice, and she continued, “I already shared this question on Sharon Henry’s ministry and she said even if you marry a human trafficker it is still valid, I don’t want to talk to any pastors about it because I am sure of what is biblical. I still feel married and only God can judge the heart.”
Chavez has worked for Moriel Ministries during this time, who has helped to cover up his sins and allowed him a prominent place in the organization. Chavez has never told his many followers of his sin, and neither has Moriel issued any statement regarding his behavior.
Moriel Ministries utilized Chavez as a high-ranking member of their ministry for nearly six months after his sham marriage and divorce.
However, a video produced by Moriel Ministries on the topic of marriage and divorce, speaks condemnation on the topic. In the video, Jacob Prasch calls such things “abominable, and should be abhorrent to all of us.”
There have been no statements provided by Moriel Ministries in regard to Chavez’s disqualifications from ministry, although it is speculated (it is not fully known) that his behavior might have led to Chavez’s departure from Moriel in late 2019; many months after these events took place.
The young woman believes that Jacob Prasch is a “very bad influence” on Joshua, and just uses him because he’s good at “attacking his enemies.”
While ruining this young woman’s life, importing her for a fake marriage, taking her purity, and then immediately sending her away without a writ of divorce, Chavez has continued his attacks upon men like Paul Washer, John MacArthur, and Justin Peters.
A list of pastors, preachers, and evangelists attacked by Servetus Christi during his sin of fornication, fraudulent marriage, divorce, and subsequent cover-up include:
- Justin Peters
- Chris Rosebrough
- Doreen Virtue
- Costi Hinn
- John MacArthur
- Todd Friel
- Ray Comfort
- Ken Hamm
- Kirk Cameron
- Phil Johnson
- James White
- Voddie Baucham
- Josh Buice
- And ME (JD Hall)
Little did any of us know that amidst these videos and tirades, Chavez was trafficking in humans, using women for sex and money, fabricating a marriage, and putting away a woman as though she were a used garment. Some of these men have provided their own retorts and rebuttals to his lies, such as this video from Justin Peters (and another one here). But many of these men have ignored his great insults to their doctrine and character.
Is there more to come?
Some have wondered why we published our “Countdown Clock” to the “Terminus of Servus Christi.” Why do so?
We have used this strategy repeatedly with figures who need to be exposed for the goodness of God’s Kingdom, but who are hiding their sins. We call it “beating the weeds.” The fact is, there are far more people negatively affected by Joshua Chavez than just those we know about. And we want to them to be alert that the truth is coming.
Many are afraid of “going up against” Joshua Chavez alone. We aim to help them.
What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops (Matthew 10:27)
Our task is to expose the deeds of darkness.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11).
Joshua Chavez has presented himself as a teacher and rebuker of the church, but he has engaged in secret, unrepentant sin that explicitly forbids him from opening his mouth on the supposed side of Christ.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1).
Many other accusations have been sent to us from the public in regards to Chavez’ gross immorality, ranging from other similar situations that have taken place with women to accusations of sodomy. We currently make no claim as to the veracity of those additional claims and are seeking to verify their truthfulness.
One thing is certain; from what we already know about Chavez in regard to his mistreatment of this poor woman, he is disqualified to ever speak any rebuke to God’s faithful ministers ever again – and we’re fairly confident he never had the right in the first place.
(Editor’s Note. Reposting for posterity)
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