Welcome to De-Commissioned, a place for former members of the Great Commission movement (aka GCM, GCC, GCAC, GCI, the Blitz) to discuss problems they've experienced in the association's practices and theology.

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July 20, 2018, 01:38:18 am *
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Welcome
Welcome to De-Commissioned, a forum for former members of the Great Commission movement (aka GCM, GCC, GCAC, GCI, and the Blitz) to discuss problems they've experienced in the association's practices and theology.

The forum tab above will take you to the discussion forum. To the right are posts of interest.

* Previous/Current Organization Names
  • The "Blitz" Movement (1970-1983)
  • Great Commission International (1983-1989)
  • Great Commission Ministries (1989-Present)
  • Great Commission Association of Churches (1989-Present)
  • Great Commission Churches (2005-Present)


* Who's Online
Dot Online Guests : 35
Dot Online Users : 0
Dot Hidden Users : 0
Dot Total Users : 35

* Newest Registered User
Cult Proof

* Stats
Dot Total Members : 1280
Dot Total Posts : 18442
Dot Total Topics : 1488
Dot Total Categories : 3
Dot Total Boards : 17


* Top Topics (by View)
Topic Views
Spanking 157570
GCM is GREAT 95816
Women and GC 90811
Faithwalkers 201... 81637
Pastor Mark Darl... 76638
GCC and GCM 75972
The Verification... 75554

xx A few ideas for people who are questioning the health of their church | 18 Jul 18
18:36:46 by Cult Proof | Views: 329 | Comments: 6

If you are here because you are wondering if your church is abusive I want to offer you a few ideas that might be helpful.  These things were helpful to me, but my story is my story and your story is your story. 

Take a break from talking to your current pastor and leaders (maybe even your friends), even for just two weeks.  If they aren't abusive and controlling they will respect your need for space.  Talk to people outside of GCC and get a new perspective of what is normal, healthy church behavior.  If you have friends and family outside of GCC talk to them AND I suggest choosing 3 or 4 area pastors and asking them if they will meet with you.  You do not need to say what church or pastors you are talking about or coming from.  A healthy pastor will respect your desire to not share who you are questioning.  Share your concerns, things you've noticed or experienced and ask if it is normal.  For example, I don't know one couple in my gcc church who got married without the pastors consent; that's not normal pastoral behavior, that's control.  Ask things like is it normal to hold meetings about people who have left your church. 

Ask yourself if you see the fruits of the spirit sincerely, regularly, and natural coming out of yourself, your pastor, and others around you.  Are people "working" on the fruits of the spirit, or is the Holy Spirit seen coming naturally out of people because He is living inside them?  This was mind blowing to me! 

Research words like: double bind, mind control the B.I.T.E. model, gas lighting, narcissistic abuse cycle (different from the normal abuse cycle and for me described my relationship with my pastor to a T). These are all forms of psychological abuse.  You can decide for yourself if you have experienced any of these.  Depending on your location and involvement with the inner working of your church experiences will vary.  You may realize that you didn't experience horrible abuse but your friends have.  Or you might conclude that your church is healthy and going well for you.  You might realize that you've been living under horrible oppression. Whatever you conclude for you please be respectful of others who have been abused.  Spiritual abuse is serious and people who do identify abuse in their life need to take their healing seriously.  If you identify forms of abuse in your life please consider professional counseling (and search for a counselor who has an understanding of spiritual abuse)

Websites to check out:
thriveafterabuse.com (words you need to know and cycle of a narcissistic relationship)
pastorlamb.com (gaslighting)
libertyforcaptives.com (an all around great resource!)

Books:
*Broken Trust by Remy Diederich
*Twisted Scripture by Mary Alice Chrnalogar
*Safe People by Cloud and Townsends
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by Johnson and Van Vonderen
Mending the Soul by Steven Tracy
Cult Proofing Your Kids by Paul Martin
Churches the Abuse by Enroth
*highly recommend
Martin and Enroth and Larry Pile have recanted their belief that GCC is abusive.  Personally I believe they were manipulated by GCC in a strong assertive effort to look out for their reputation; not because any sincere or meaningful changes have been made.  I also know the truth of my own experience.  And I believe the many painful and heart breaking stories I have listened to.  You get to decide for you what your experience has been.

If you decide you need to leave your GCC church I pray and hope for you to continue to seek your faith.  I also pray that you will give yourself the grace and space to heal. I pray that you will find that leaving your GCC church was a possible necessary and good step towards truly finding love, joy, peace and all the fruits of the spirit.  I trust that Jesus will meet you and carry you all the way to complete restored mental, emotional, and spiritual health.


xx Wish List | 31 Mar 18
09:47:41 by Huldah | Views: 4106 | Comments: 27

I've been thinking about some of the doctrines and practices that, in my opinion, separate GCx churches from healthy churches. What would it take for GC to move past its historical errors and take its place among churches that don't qualify for the "cult" or "cultic" label?

My list of suggestions:

1) Publicly repudiate Jim McCotter as a false teacher.

2) Publicly admit to placing pressure on members to commit to membership for life; publicly repudiate this practice.

3) Publicly admit that they taught the false doctrine of "unity trumps truth," and that it meant exactly what it sounds like (that is, it wasn't taught in some context that softened it or explained it away as a harmless figure of speech). Publicly repudiate this teaching. Affirm that followers of Jesus Christ must have an absolute commitment to the truth, both in doctrine and in life. (My post on this topic as a historical teaching is here, but others on the same thread have confirmed that this teaching continued well into recent years.)

4) Admit that the elders have been much too involved in the personal decision making of families and individuals in the church. (I would like to add, "Make amends where appropriate," but how would they even start to do that?)

5) Issue a public apology for their false teachings, for the harm that has been done to individuals and families, and for accusing their truthful critics of slander. This should be a real apology that takes full responsibility for the things they've done wrong, not attributing those errors to "youthful zeal" (as in the 1991 statement of error) or taking jabs at the people they're apologizing to (also in the 1991 statement of error, and in the letter retracting the excommunication of Bill Taylor.

Frankly, I doubt that they could actually follow through on #1, repudiating Jim McCotter. The training and authority of the leadership go back in a short, direct line to McCotter himself. Without formal seminary education, the primary qualification of the leaders is (correct me if I'm wrong) that they all learned their Bible either from McCotter himself or from someone who learned it from McCotter. Doctrinally, McCotter is the cornerstone of GC theology.

Does anything else have anything to add? What would it take for you to consider GC no longer cultish in its practices and teachings?


xx The Roots of Evergreen | 30 Mar 18
14:28:49 by GodisFaithful | Views: 7515 | Comments: 82

I don't think the truth is being told about the roots of Evergreen Church.

I happened to hear Mark Bowen on the radio in recent months telling the glorious beginning of Evergreen Church.  How Mark Darling and Brent Knox moved up from Iowa to start a brand new church.

Since I was here, before Brent and Mark moved up, this did not ring true to me at all.

Jim Coleman and Gary Kellogg moved up to Mpls in the early 70s to get a campus ministry going.  Gary and his wife did not last long up here, I think it was because he felt too green, and Jim Coleman stayed.  I got involved in 1974. We were meeting as a church in a home.  Jim was the pastor.

Jim Coleman did appoint a few pastors who wiped out quickly because they were too young and immature.  At one point he appointed a young charismatic type guy named Gene Sullivan. Gene had a major moral failure and stepped down. We then had an "elder" from India, who eventually went back to India, and  a godly also an older man named Don Shoenburg came on as a pastor (beloved by many with a distinct Plymouth Brethren background.) At this time a split happened because Don disagreed with some of the emphasis of Jim McCotter.  After that Joe Branch was a pastor with Jim Coleman. Before the split, I remember Hershel visiting, and Dennis Clark a few times.  We were a legit church.

When Jim and Joe were pastoring, there was a re-evaluation of some of the "works" and we were deemed one that was not growing as we should. So Jim McCotter took our two pastors out, and sent them to Delaware to start a work there, closer to the national pastors in Maryland and D.C. At this time we did not have pastors, but we were told we would have some pastors assigned to us. During the interim Rick Whitney visited and actually moved here with his family for at least a month, Rob Irvine and his family too, Dave Gumlia came to check on the church.  These were big names back in the day.

Finally, along came Brent Knox and Mark Darling.  And along with them came many "saints" from Ames. We joined forces, the Ames people and the Mpls people as one church.  This went on for some months until Brent and Mark visited Bill Hybels' church and got excited about re-naming our church and following the seeker friendly model.  We were never told this was a totally different church.  All of us went to work for the opening Sunday of this new model.  But we were the same people.  

All of this history you will not hear from the pastors of Evergreen now.  It is like we did not exist.

And the connection to Jim McCotter is huge.  He was the Apostle-type head honcho in Ames for years.  Mark Darling listened to his tapes over and over so there is no way Mark is not influenced by Jim McCotter.  Brent Knox has strong ties to Jim McCotter, personal ties.  As far as I know, there has been no public refuting of Jim McCotter's teaching or influence or any of the things that he did and taught that were heretical.

And along the lines of Evergreen re-writing history, John Van Dyke was one of the pastors and sent out as a missionary.  Why doesn't Evergreen own their history? They did not discipline John Van Dyke. John decided to leave Evergreen and people were told a lie in a public meeting about John being in counseling for his marriage or some such thing. Many witnesses to that meeting. I think the pastors of Evergreen should apologize instead of pretend it did not happen.

This stuff bugs me. It is dishonest, I think. Is anyone else in Mpls troubled by this?

  


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