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.

You may read and post, but some features are restricted to registered members. Please consider registering to gain full access! Registration is free and only takes a few moments to complete.
De-Commissioned Forum
February 21, 2019, 05:11:45 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home   Forum   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: A few ideas for people who are questioning the health of their church  (Read 3955 times)
Cult Proof
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 63



« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 11:33:29 am »

Agreed, inappropriate.
Please allow people to share their own stories. If you need to work through issues in your own relationships go to counseling.
Logged
Ned_Flanders
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123



« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 07:51:27 pm »

Agreed, inappropriate.
Please allow people to share their own stories. If you need to work through issues in your own relationships go to counseling.

My apologies if I was inappropriate.  However, you don't know what I've done; so please don't tell me what to do or where to go.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 04:32:36 am by Ned_Flanders » Logged
Janet Easson Martin
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 568



« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 07:59:35 pm »

Thank you, Linda and Cult Proof for your genuine and very thoughtful concern.  

Ned and I have messaged each other (through this forum site) in the past because he was also in the Maryland GCx Church.  I understand a little of where he is coming from, and believe he has no ill motives in his question. And, most of all, I can answer because I would love to brag of GOD’s GRACE where my husband is concerned.

My husband’s response to my involvement on this WONDERFUL forum is that he is my biggest cheerleader to writing here.  Before he or I knew about this website, he offered to pay for me to start one myself for the same purpose.  But, I soon learned of it and felt it did a MUCH BETTER job than I ever would.  

In my case, my husband has been one of the principal parts of my healing from GCx’s abusive so-called “Christian” teaching.  He has one of the healthiest and most grateful perspectives on the gospel I’ve ever encountered.  He is by no means legalistic or pharisaical.  And that was EXACTLY what I needed to see modeled, after being entrenched in a LOT of PRETENTIOUS TALK and ACTIVITY in GCx.  He is often the word relax personified.  He carries leadership roles in both work and church.  Though he is far from perfect, he is the best earthly picture of Jesus I’ll probably ever have.  

To your latter question, Ned, I will likely be on the faith healing journey for quite some time. Abusively erroneous teaching for more than a decade steals a LOT from a person.  You must one by one claim those things back. But, I am GLAD I can take the journey with so many others who can identify, support, and encourage.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 08:37:43 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
Cult Proof
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 63



« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2018, 05:16:58 am »

Ned, I want to apologize to you. I am sorry for my comments. Yesterday was a very hard day for me regarding church abuse stuff and I would have been much more wise to not respond at all. I am sorry that you got put in the cross fire of my own stuff.  Given your relationship with Janet I was wrong to call it inappropriate. I am sorry for that.

Janet I have a lot to learn from you.

And I am really glad that your husband is so supportive. Mine too!  For me it’s so needed coming out of such misogynistic environment.
Logged
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2296



« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2018, 07:35:29 am »

Ned,

I apologize. I took your question as a rhetorical one in that I thought you were suggesting that her husband probably did not approve. Hence my reaction. I see now that you were just asking an honest question.

I am thankful for Heidi sharing her story (she is a wonderful woman and has a wonderful family), and so sad that a group of men calling themselves spiritual leaders and claiming authority that requires people to obey THEM has put so much false pressure on people, marriages, and families.

I am grateful that my husband supports my posting here (but I hesitate to say that because I don’t want people to feel obligated to share such personal information).

I’m sorry for the pain GCx has caused you. God bless you.
Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Ned_Flanders
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123



« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2018, 10:15:53 am »

Dear Linda and Cult Proof,

Thanks so much for your messages and your apologies are very much appreciated.  God bless you both.  

And thank you, Janet Easson Martin for your support.  Granted, it probably would have been better to send you a PM instead of posting here on the public board.  In any case, I'm very glad to hear you all have supportive husbands.  

If I may add, I think I asked my question because I sometimes wonder- particularly after reading people's stories on this forum- about our respective pasts with GCx- and how they are affecting us in our lives today; our current relationships and places of worship.  All of us were involved in GCx at different times, places and for lengths of time.  Apparently, some people went through some pretty severe levels of spiritual abuse.  And doggone right Gcx was a mysoginistic, sexist Church.  I do think they had some wisdom about being careful about spending time alone with the opposite sex but I think they were too heavy-handed about dealing with adults and their normal, healthy sexual desires.  What a shock that two people would be attracted to one another and want to spend time together!  And I may be wrong but I get the feeling this board is mostly women.  Nothing wrong with that at all; in fact, I'm not surprised, considering the way women were treated.  I'm just glad this board exists as a place that people can support each other.  

I've mentioned this before but if I don't say anything else here on this forum, please remember this point: GCx was a symptom of something that was very broken in our lives.  We can think back and wish we'd left at the first red flag, the first sign of discomfort or certainly wish we'd never set foot in that Church at all.  But I think something broken in us attracted us to that shame-based, legalistic Church that claimed to want to "reach the world" with nobody else but a bunch of White guys in charge.  For me, getting out, taking a long look at myself and being in a much better Church fellowship all helped me to move forward.  I certainly hope others here have been and will be able to do the same.  
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:34:22 pm by Ned_Flanders » Logged
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2296



« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2018, 12:17:41 pm »

One caution I have about asking posters here to let the public know whether or not they have the support of their spouses is because, frankly, I know that GC people read this and I believe they would not hesitate to use information they gleaned through this forum to privately discredit posters.

For example, I told you I have my husband's support. Since I post by name people now know he supports me and can't use the "she is rebelling against her husband" attack on me privately. They have to stick with the "she is bitter" attack. That said, it also makes it sound like I am not allowed to have a public opinion unless my husband approves, or, if he did approve, but I chose not to speak for him, it could look like he did not approve. That's why I still think it's best to not ask. I don't trust GCx people.

Quote from: Ned
I've mentioned this before but if I don't say anything else here on this forum, please remember this point: GCx was a symptom of something that was very broken in our lives.  We can think back and wish we'd left at the first red flag, the first sign of discomfort or certainly wish we'd never set foot in that Church at all.  But I think something broken in us attracted us to that shame-based, legalistic Church that claimed to want to "reach the world" with nobody else but a bunch of White guys in charge.  For me, getting out, taking a long look at myself and being in a much better Church fellowship all helped me to move forward.  I certainly hope others here have been and will be able to do the same.
I actually think that this could be said about some, but not about all GCx people.

In our case, we were unaware of the history and beliefs of ECC/GCx because we came at a time shortly after the 1991 statement of error when they were keeping things on the down low. There were some red flags that we categorized as "odd", but people have quirks. Plus, we were older (40) and more mellow about people's idiosyncricies. And, oddly, this might come as a surprise, but we are not super confrontational people on matters of church preference. As soon as it crossed a line (that line was commitment for life and obedience to elders), we did research and left within a few months.

My feeling is that many good Christian people are deceived by GCx churches not by what they say, but by what they don't say. (Most people don't normally Google the name of their church and the word cults.) They keep a lot of stuff about their past hidden and they are good at deflecting criticism by attacking the person with the "slander, lies, bitterness argument".

I don't know about the male/female stats on the forum. I know the reason I post more is because I am in a season of life where I have time during the day to express my thoughts. Plus, my writing style is more conversational and because of that I engage in more back and forth dialogue while he is more inclined to read the forum yet post less frequently. That said, it was ECC asking him to remove his blog post that started this whole forum because a few GCx people realized an anonymous forum was needed to keep GCx from silencing people.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 12:20:07 pm by Linda » Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
wisemind
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 20



« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2018, 02:32:00 pm »

Certainly some people may join Great Commission churches because something is “broken” in their lives. But I don’t believe anyone knowingly joins a cult. Many join because it looks good on the outside...so much service to God, quality music, certainty of beliefs, etc. It offers instant acceptance, “instant friends” which can be especially appealing to college kids away from home for the first time. Once you become part of the group you buy into the belief that this church is “special”, better than other churches or denominations. The leaders are strong and authoritarian (powerful and revered within the group, ie Mark Darling) and you learn the rules quickly and follow them if you want good standing within the group. (One of the strongest rules is not to question anything the pastors say or do.) Insidiously, people, beliefs, and rules replace a relationship with God. And it becomes very hard, if not impossible for some, to leave even if they are suffering psychologically and emotionally because of the abuse. It’s heartbreaking.
Logged
Ned_Flanders
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123



« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2018, 07:12:15 pm »

In our case, we were unaware of the history and beliefs of ECC/GCx because we came at a time shortly after the 1991 statement of error when they were keeping things on the down low. There were some red flags that we categorized as "odd", but people have quirks. Plus, we were older (40) and more mellow about people's idiosyncricies. And, oddly, this might come as a surprise, but we are not super confrontational people on matters of church preference. As soon as it crossed a line (that line was commitment for life and obedience to elders), we did research and left within a few months.

Well, if I'm reading you correctly and you left within a few months of being involved there... honestly, you're not really the type of people I was talking about when I said "something was very broken in our lives to stay there so long."  I was talking about people who stayed there for a long time- maybe years- and often against their better judgment.  If you and your husband left within a few months, it sounds like you understood early on that the Church was not a good place for you.  So, to your credit, I think it says good things about you that you left sooner rather than later.  For those of us who stayed much longer, I am certainly not saying you're bad or ignorant people.  

I stayed there eight years myself so I certainly have no room to put anyone else down.  There were warning signs but I put them aside.  I definitely wish I left sooner than I did, or told someone off who disrespected me.  But I left a long time ago.  I don't beat myself up now over things that happened and I have moved on to a much better life.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 02:34:15 am by Ned_Flanders » Logged
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2296



« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2018, 07:57:47 pm »

Ned,

We were there 10 years. Everything up until February of the tenth year was pretty "mainstream evangelical". There were a few odd things. For example, once Brent Knox told everyone that all the teaching we needed was what ECC pastors could offer us and we didn't need to read Christian books. That was odd, but we just thought, "Clearly this guy is not well read, but he's entitled to his opinion." Other than that and a few odd rules about how small groups were organized (A woman in our small group passed away and her husband had to leave the couples small group that they had been in and go to a singles small group now that he was a widower. Go figure.) no blinding errors were taught.

Then in 2005, at an all church gathering called "Fanning the Flame", Mark Darling said we were his bride, we should commit to our local church for life, that leaving our church was like divorcing our wife and that he would die in a Great Commission Church. This was the beginning of the end. We had NEVER heard of Jim McCotter until we googled "Great Commission Churches and cults" after that awful teaching.

My point was that they were pretty mainstream for a while. I think they cycle in and out of mainstream as needed which is something that people should be aware of. They are probably headed for a more mainstream approach in the aftermath of the Darling/ECC Leadership fail.
Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
BTDT
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 142



« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2018, 07:03:16 pm »

I've mentioned this before but if I don't say anything else here on this forum, please remember this point: GCx was a symptom of something that was very broken in our lives.  We can think back and wish we'd left at the first red flag, the first sign of discomfort or certainly wish we'd never set foot in that Church at all.  But I think something broken in us attracted us to that shame-based, legalistic Church that claimed to want to "reach the world" with nobody else but a bunch of White guys in charge.

[For the forum at large -- I was at the Maryland church at the same time as Ned and Janet. I've corresponded with them both via PM in the past. ]

This is quite true for me, although I would not have thought so at the time.  For me, the relationships people had with each other were what sucked me in and kept me in. I was fairly shy about making friends, but I love people and enjoy friendships tremendously. (1) In my young mind, the (apparently) God-centered friendships validated what the church taught, even when something they said or did raised my hackles a bit. 

Happenstance happened a bit, too. About the time I had truly had enough, the church called a special meeting to present the 1991 Weakness Paper.  The leaders present (2) communicated their repentance of the earlier errors, and laid out a plan to do better. So I stuck around to see how the reforms went.  And they went well enough, just not far enough. So again, about the time I was thinking of finally going elsewhere, the GC die-hards went off to form Oak Ridge Church, and the "done with GC" folks like me stayed at Valley Brook, and we left GC together.

So my stay in GC (1984 - 1993ish) was partly due to being blinded by a desire for close friendships, and partly due to hope for improvement at various times.

-Ed-

(1) Translation: I'm quiet and shy until I get to know you, then you can't shut me up.  Grin
(2) Significantly, not all of them were there.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.1.1