About the Founder – Ronald Shea, Th. M., J.D.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Ron Shea attended Villanova University on a full scholarship through the United States Navy, where he earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, passing the first half of the professional engineer’s exam for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while still enrolled at the University. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy in 1976, and honorably discharged in 1980. In 1986, he earned a Master of Theology, cum laude, from Dallas Theological Seminary, where he majored in New Testament Literature, translating the entire New Testament from the original Greek language as part of his graduation requirement.
In 1987, Ron published “The Four Perversions of Grace,” more commonly known as the “Grace Chart. ” In 1988, he published the first edition of The Gospel Booklet. Although it is almost impossible to “credit” any one person with a particular advancement in theology, The Gospel booklet (1988) is widely recognized as one of the first works to set forth with clarity and specificity the actual content of saving faith. Similarly, the “Grace Chart” is generally recognized as being the first (and perhaps most succinct) statement setting forth the parameters of “free-grace theology.” It not only identifies and conceptualizes the four theological premises by which works are made a requisite for eternal life, it was also one of the earliest statements to clearly distinguish “free grace” from the alternative doctrinal understanding of grace (that is, the doctrine of “sovereign grace,” which is the dominant understanding of “grace” within western theology since the time of St. Augustine, and championed by Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin in the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions respectively.
Clear Gospel Crusade was born in 1988 with the first publication of the Gospel Booklet. Because the term “crusade” was largely associated with mass-evangelistic rallies, by the time of its incorporation in 2008, Clear Gospel had dropped the term “crusade” from its title, and has since gone by the names “Clear Gospel Campaign,” “Clear Gospel Ministries,” and the churches have associated under the name of “Clear Gospel Fellowship.”
Unable to raise support for a ministry dedicated to a defense of the Gospel, Ron returned to secular work to support himself as a “tent maker.” In 1998, Ron Shea earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Hastings College of law—at the time, one of the top five public law schools in America. He earned awards in admiralty, oral argument, and jurisprudence (legal theory).
Following law school, Ron Shea sat for, and successfully passed the day-long United States Patent bar exam, and the three-day California Bar exam. As a patent attorney, Ron was able to patent his own inventions, and is the holder of at least three United States Patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,779,058 “Method and Apparatus for Managing a Digital Inventory of Multimedia Files Stored Across a Dynamic Distributed Network;” U.S. Patent No. 7,663,504 “Emergency Vehicle Warning System;” and U.S. Patent No. 12/780,835, “Method of Detecting Stolen Vehicles and Vehicular Components.”
In 2010, as a trial attorney, Ron Shea filed a federal civil rights lawsuit (Fed. Case no. 10:cv-006796 Central District of California) under Title 42 U.S.C. Sect. 1983 against Judge Michael Latin, the former presiding judge of the Civil Courthouse of Van Nuys (Los Angeles County). His lawsuit also named the entire Superior Court of California as a defendant. In his complaint, Ron Shea alleged that Judge Latin had not only systematically denied multiple indigent clients access to the court, but that he had unlawfully altered the court transcripts to conceal his judicial misconduct. Concurrent with his federal lawsuit, Ron also filed a formal complaint with the Council on Judicial Performance.
Judge Latin quickly “retired” from office following the complaint. However, the federal lawsuit was dismissed on grounds of “absolute judicial immunity” of Judge Latin, and the “Eleventh Amendment Immunity” of the state. The defense attorneys argued that, pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution, America is a divided sovereignty in which the state and Federal governments are co-sovereign, and that, under the Eleventh Amendment, the state enjoys “sovereign immunity” from suit in Federal Court.
Shea appealed the dismissal (appeal no. 12-55407), filing three appellate briefs of 67, 40 and 62 pages. On October 10, 2013, Ron Shea made his oral argument before a three-judge panel in the United States Court of Appeals. Ron Shea challenged the doctrine of “sovereign immunity” of the state of California in matters touching the Bill of Rights. Shea advanced numerous arguments that the Declaration of Independence is “incorporated by reference” within the United States Constitution, and is therefore not simply rhetoric, but law. Shea further cited the third sentence of the Declaration of Independence:
“governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Accordingly, Shea argued that the American people are the progenitors of any sovereignty claimed by state or Federal government, and that the American People had not divested themselves of all attributes of sovereignty, but have “retained” (Ninth Amendment) those “unalienable rights” with which they have been “endowed by their Creator.” (Declaration of Independence, Second Sentence). Shea argued that the Bill of Rights defines many of those “unalienable rights” with which the people were “endowed by their Creator.” Shea concluded that within that tiny enclave of rights, neither the state, nor federal government are the sovereigns. As touching our unalienable rights, We the People are the sovereigns.
In oral argument, Shea passionately plead, “It is impertinence for California to stand at the bar of this court and claim sovereign immunity over that tiny enclave of rights where we the people have retained sovereignty.”
After losing his appeal, Ron Shea filed a 40 page Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court (Shea v. California, Supreme Court case no. 13-8161). He expanded his legal argument, offering further evidence from the United States Constitution that the second and third sentences of the Declaration of Independence have been “incorporated by reference” within the United States Constitution, concluding that the second and third sentences of the Declaration are not just “lofty aspirations,” of the American People, but, as a matter of law, are part of the Constitution itself, and therefore, the Supreme Law of the Land. The Supreme Court declined to rule on the question.
Fueling his ministry from his practice of law, Clear Gospel grew as worldwide Christian ministry committed to the proclamation and defense of a clear and accurate presentation of the Gospel message amidst the sea of theological nonsense that permeates the market-driven church of the 21st century. Within the first twenty-five years of its printing, the Gospel Booklet was translated into over 30 languages worldwide.
In the summers of 2008 and 2009, Ron traveled to Pakistan. Together with Bishop Raheel Shakeel, Ron taught two eighty-hour seminars in Pakistan on the content of saving faith and the defense of the gospel and the doctrine of grace. Following the seminars, Bishop Raheel continued to teach, disciple and organize the 30 men and women who had attended the seminars. Clear Gospel Fellowship–Pakistan was able to secure a government license as a recognized denomination under the Societies Act of 1860. Within the first eighteen months of the 2008 seminar, whole villages were won to Christ by the Pakistani evangelists trained at the Clear Gospel seminar. The Pakistani mission grew to over 1,000 members and close to 3,000 regular participants in the first eighteen months. Shortly after its’ founding, however, financial hardships befell the ministry.
In about the summer, 2011, Taliban terrorists entered the home of Shakeel Das, Bishop Raheel’s father, and captured Sohiel Nathaniel (Bishop Raheel’s brother in law). The Taliban castrated and tortured Sohiel, and then murdered him in cold blood, shooting him seven times in the head and chest. Although these events seriously injured the work of Clear Gospel Fellowship—Pakistan, the ministry has continued through the dedication of the national Pakistani believers who attended the first two seminars in Karachi.
Ron has pastored churches in New Orleans and San Francisco, and has been a member of the Christian Legal Society, the Federalist Society, and Mensa, the high I.Q. society. He is a competitive ballroom dancer, and has won first place awards in international tango, fox trot, quick-step and English waltz. He is still looking for his “final” dance partner.