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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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)

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xx Wish List | 31 Mar 18
09:47:41 by Huldah | Views: 3098 | Comments: 15

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: 5902 | Comments: 81

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?


xx How do you separate "GCx" from Christianity? | 28 Feb 13
00:03:03 by araignee19 | Views: 24860 | Comments: 27

First, let me start by saying I am not trying to imply that GCx is not a Christian church. I believe they are. I was saved in one. God has used that church for good in my life.

However, there are many things I now disagree with GCx on. When I first left a little less than two years ago, everything changed. I lost my friends, my church, my goal in life ("plant my flag and die"), my stable living situation, etc., and it turned my world upside down. I realized that many things that I had accepted as true while in GCx were a twisted version of truth or just plain wrong and unbiblical. I left in a firestorm of conflict and hurt, after 5 years of trying to live the GCx life, and crashed badly afterwards. I became completely burnt out and wanted nothing to do with church or God for a while.

It has been quite a time of healing to get me back to a place where I believe in God again and want to grow in my faith. But the problem I'm having is that I learned so many untruths at GCx my reaction has been to put pretty much everything I know about God and Christianity on trial. While I do believe we should test our faith, I think I have gone off the deep end of testing, and I'm not sure how to get through things. There are so many things I'm unsure of I don't know where to start, and so my faith has become stuck and stagnant. I am unsure how to separate the things GCx taught that were wrong and hurtful from the things they taught which were true Christianity, but that I now associate with hurt and so have a gut reaction of "run away."

I know this is different for each person, but do you have any advice, thoughts, or encouragement? I could use some right now...

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