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Author Topic: ALIENATION in GCx Churches  (Read 1990 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« on: February 25, 2019, 09:19:24 pm »

ALIENATION in GCx Churches


“Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.”
Galatians 4:16-17


It is fascinating to find the two principles that are key to building an atmosphere of cult control spelled out in this New Testament verse - love bombing and isolation. The Greek word for zealous here is zeloo. It actually means “to be jealous”. It is used to mean “eager to possess”.  The Greek term for alienation here is ekkleisia. It’s meaning is “to shut out”. It is used as shut out, exclude, and separate.  This Greek term comes from ek meaning from, from out of, suggesting from interior outwards; and kleio - to shut, to shut up, close, lock. Ekkleisia implies preventing  and excluding the approach of others (from outside their group).  In other words, they are eager to possess people exclusively for themselves and their group’s ends, rather than Christ’s.

The only person who has the right to possess and control us is Christ. This passage is talking about spiritual leaders alienating believers from other healthy believers and leaders who have valid concerns about their possession and control.  In the case of GCx, this is practiced regularly to keep members from hearing the truth about it’s spiritual health. Below are just some of the instances that members reported.  Many accounts have already been given in this section under “Shunning in GCx Churches” detailing how concerned members and ex-members have been called out as enemies, just as Galatians 4:16 describes above.

Both the New and Old Testament call out these very deceptive methods to warn us of trouble among a gathering of believers. They point out the danger of alienation resulting in entrapment. The wranglers often seek people for their own glory and following instead of Christ’s.


“Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘See, I am against the magic charms with which you ensnare souls like birds... I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, so that they will no longer be prey in your hands...
They have not taken up the cause of the fatherless, so they might prosper, nor have they defended the rights of the needy. ... The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority.”
Ezekiel 13:20,21,27,31


This strategy of alienating us from others is definitely not for our welfare. The Word of God above very plainly states that the people who practice such measures will not benefit us though they eagerly imply that their group gives much spiritual advantage and advancement to any who join (as is also highlighted in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians below).

“We dare not classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves by themselves, they are not wise. ... For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. ... I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles


Christian or concerned parents, families, and friends (like the Apostle Paul) have been perplexed about loved ones unhealthy attachment to this kind of “church” group. The member’s excessive commitment to leaders and the group and their increased isolation from them is a biblically founded cause for great concern. They are being “charmed” and “played”, and soon will be dangerously detaching from genuine voices of sound Christianity and reason in their life. Their exploitation is essentially the object of Lovebombing and Alienation. The group goes so far in alienating those outside that members’ genuine sources of love, concern and affection become considerably severed from them. Please be informed and alerted of the jeopardy to your faith and healthy relationships that the Scriptures warn about such “Church” cultures.

This GCM Warning Forum Website documents a disturbing history of these disingenuous and underhanded methods in GCx Churches.  The testimony excerpts that follow focus on the prominence of the “Alienation (or Isolation)” component in GCx Churches.  It’s counterpart, “Loveboming” is a very necessary measure to making alienation successful. Lovebombing is strongly evident in the testimonies throughout this site. The following excerpts reveal how those once inside this culture of intense control experienced this practice of alienation in GCx churches.  (In a couple of cases they are the concerned parents observing the strange behavior of their children as a result of the pressure in the group.)




...realizing that the outward appearance of the seeming harmony, unity, friendliness and caring is how they are supposed to act, not truly a manifestation of inner peace and joy that comes from following Jesus. ... They give up desires they once had in order to serve the church more fully. (Notice I did not say serve God.) Their hopes and dreams and activities that are not church or outreach related are strongly discouraged. True friendships are discouraged so everyone can be "best friends" in the system. ... No one is encouraged to seek therapy outside the church, but this system is powerless to help anyone find real answers that lead to true peace and joy - the way Christ intended for us to live.
-wisemind


...I noticed that there was.. something different.. about the way my new friend group thought and acted, as compared to my previous Christian experiences. I slowly began to feel the pressure to go to every meeting and event, and be a part of every service held. My free time and my life outside of GCM was very swiftly vanishing.
-puff of purple smoke    [left ~ 2005]


I had been sure that their Christian walk was so right because they kept telling me it was right, that they were different, that we were special. ...Then my eyes were opened and all of those things took on a sinister bent. ...My GCx church was full of sincere, kind people.  I still miss them and the fellowship.  But I can't go back because THEY are TRAPPED. They are oppressed. They can't see it. I still love them, but I'm embarrassed for them too.
-Agatha L’Orange


How I wish we all would have known that back then...but their isolation techniques were quite effective. Especially the "if you listen to Them, you're in sin and not really One Of Us" nonsense.
-BTDT


I ...spent some 5 years with the East Lansing, Michigan [GCx] fellowship in the late 1970s through the early 1980s... Any group that insists on isolating their members from family, friends, and... orthodox knowledge of other reputable authors and believers - such a group has an agenda that is not biblical. The modus operandi within the pre-GCA [GCx alias] ministry that I knew was very reminiscent of “Animal Farm” and “Lord of the Flies”. They changed the rules to accommodate their own selfish purposes and they ruled like petty dictators who act on whim and without mercy.
-damaged_goods


My choices while in the GCx church were very much persuaded, manipulated, pressured and pushed through guilt and fear into a certain lifestyle that was not only awkward but downright isolationist. ... I hadn’t really read or listened to many voices outside my church in nearly ten years (except Dr. J. Vernon McGee who was permissible, probably because he had very little commentary).  We were strongly discouraged from reading other Christian commentaries. I was also advised to spend little or no time with those outside the church which included my own friends and family (unless they were supportive of the GCx group).  
-Janet   [left ~ 1991]


Other abuses were... Isolation from outside influences (parents, professors, former friends regardless of religion, mature Christians from established churches). ...we were discouraged from having any outside activities, hobbies, or friendships because such things weren't "profitable”.
-Huldah


I attended Summitview and The Rock in Fort Collins [GCx Church groups in Colorado] from 2006-2011. ... I am an artistically inclined person and I was pretty actively discouraged from this because the majority of what I enjoy is "secular"- a completely pointless classification. I remember once saying to someone that I had recently reread The Chronicles of Narnia and the leader who was not even a part of that conversation told me if I was reading anything other than the Bible or a book directly about the Bible I was wasting my time.
-crp87


I have always sensed that they subtly teach an isolationism by having you break off ties with former friends and family if they don't buy into what you now believe, even if your friends and family are Christian! Then, you cannot build long-lasting relationships with non-believers that give a steady witness to the power of God in your life because you don't have time for relationships. You are at meetings or events or Bible studies or serving 5 evenings of the week, and the weekend is reserved for the sports outreach and church. ....if you are in the system, the culture doesn't encourage you to marry outside of the system; although that happens on rare occasion.
-MarthaH


Identity with the group, isolation from family/friends, no legitimate reason to leave (the person leaving is always in the wrong), these are all warning signs of potentially unsafe groups. ... I noticed they also took down the talk RW [GCx Pastor/Leader] gave at Faithwalkers [GCx Commitment Event over College Winter Break] 2008, I think it was. The one on committing to GC [GCx alias] for the rest of your life, where he told parents that their college aged kids now answered to their local elders and parents should not interfere. Smart of them to... remove [from the website] the controversial stuff so parents remain uninformed.
-Linda   [Left ~ 2005]
 

I had never heard of GCM [GCx alias] until my son was about to leave for the summer to work at the YMCA in Estes Park and had also decided to participate in the LT [GCx “Leadership Training”] Program. ... As the days went by, we occasionally got a text, but no letters or much other communication. ... He could have come home a day earlier and we asked if we could come and get him so we could see him quicker, but he said he would have to "pray" about it.  Seriously, we hadn't seen him all summer and He had to pray about it before he came home!?! ...I feel like they stole my son and I didn't do anything about it.
-tk


We were encouraged to pick roommates within the church, so I reserved a dorm room along with another new member from my hometown, on the same floor with a couple of other guys. We were also encouraged... to stay in town for the summer, so my roommate and I rented a room from one of the guys in the church, and worked as painters for another church member. That's when things started getting weird. ... My boss, who was a church leader, was very secretive about his business, which wasn't much more than a bunch of ladders and underpaid church members. ... [Later,] after making the decision to leave GCI [GCx alias]... I took my first professional position. Out of sheer luck, I was a new hire along with an excommunicated GCI elder. ... He told me that he had been party to conversations where church leaders had targeted individuals to be "challenged" to drop their friends or other connections for the express purpose of increasing their commitment to GCI.
-Valley Noir


I had so much zeal that I separated from my parents (who were VERY concerned about the ISU [Iowa State University] Bible study due to the news coverage in the Des Moines Register about the cult label being applied to the group and to it's charismatic leader, Jim McCotter). ... I was deeply embarrassed for the way I treated my friends and relatives while attending the Ames [GCx] Church. That spiritual elitism really dampened my relationships and to have to admit I was mistaken and in error was shattering.
-lone gone


I kept having the feeling of "mental disconnect" as every so often I would "wake up" and say to myself "Wow! Why do I feel like my life is being controlled by the Church." I found my family relationships deteriorate and the pressure to be "all for God and the lost" was overwhelming me.
-spiritman


This assignment of new authority occurs often in my GC church.  A "new family" replaces the old, thus disregarding the commandment: Honor your mother and your father. This is a great illustration, though, of how dishonoring such behavior is to our biological family, and how disrespectful GC is for using such tactics.  I would consider this divisive.
-Daisy   [left ~ 2006]


My mother was very sick at the time, and I had gone to visit her a few times.  ...she was having emergency surgery. My pastor didn't want me to go visit her. He felt my responsibility was with the church.  ...[I was] pacing on my front porch having a near panic attack about leaving Atlanta without the blessing of the leader.  My father found me - set me straight - drove me back to Atlanta to gather my things and later we ate the fatted calf... GCI [GCx alias] was WAY out of step. Used cult-like methods of controlling persons...
-wombats


Every decision had to have a basis around the church. You couldn’t just do something (go on a trip, attend a non-church event, hang out with someone) without a church or evangelical reason. Personal pleasure, joy, and desire had no place in the life of the church. Of course, if you did everything you were supposed to, you wouldn’t have time for anything outside the church anyway!
-Genevieve


Loyalty is preached endlessly, and if you are single it is HIGHLY encouraged to live with other singles. ... I was told I could become selfish if I did not move in with other singles because then we all could serve the church together in "unity". The thing is, I knew I would not be true friends with these people due to the fact that we did not have the same interests, etc. Church interests reign supreme in GC [GCx alias].
-Grounded    [left ~ 2008]


The first thing that I was corrected for was not isolating myself with Candlewood [GCx Church] peeps. I had been meeting with and enjoying the fellowship of other Christians that weren't a part of the Rock [GCx ministry] on campus. It was suggested that I get to know Candlewood people, look for the lost, and let the found find the lost.
-Hope    [left ~ 2013]


Beyond not inviting outside speakers, in the church I attended you were rebuked if you were attending small group/church functions while at the same time visiting another church. Reason given was that you were not being of a “single eye.” ... Outside counseling was also greatly discouraged, even on issues where special training may be needed, such as depression and eating disorders. Instead you would be referred to a GCM [GCx alias] pastor whose advice would basically consist of “pray more.” The belief of my former GCM church leaders was that all of your life needs could be met through that church.
-Anonymous


I was told not to see a psychiatrist or a therapist. ...saw a "counselor" that was a member of the church that had no experience in psychology and was basically told that my mental health wasn't a problem with my brain, it was a problem with my soul.
-jcrash27


I wanted to go to counseling but my pastor repeatedly told me that the “Lord had provided him.” Such a strong statement made me feel sinful for wanting to go to counseling and ashamed that the pastors counseling wasn’t helpful and actually made things significantly worse for me.
-Cult Proof    [left ~ 2016]


We began to read other good books about God and godly Christians from the past ~ not just books on evangelism, which was all we really heard recommended... One time we wanted to go to a conference on prophecy by a gifted Bible teacher ~ and we were told not to because it might cause us to learn something they didn’t believe.  I had never heard any teaching on prophecy at all in the years I had been there, yet we were told it was wrong for us to learn from someone else.
-Truth Lover


We were told not to listen to James Dobson (after all he graduated from a secular school) or anyone outside the church.
-wastedyearsthere


[GCx says] ...if you listen to other spiritual leaders -- no matter how educated and how they've proven their love for God over and over -- it's still wrong to receive teaching from anyone else but us. This is our movement. Our church. For life. Keep filling our pockets with money and devoting yourself to unnecessary un-Biblical works and subjecting to our endless guilt-trips too.
-boboso




Barnes Notes commentary on Galatians 4:16-17 pronounces “When False Teachers have designs on a people, they begin by alienating their confidence and affections from...” [other] “pastors and teachers”. Thus, the negative bashing of other Christian groups becomes necessary. ‘They undermine their confidence in other people or groups so that there is little difficulty drawing them over to their own purposes.’

Barnes summarizes the two methods of securing our affection for these false teachers that practice cult control. ‘First, they attach themselves to us through implying enthusiastic and intense friendship, manifesting special interest for our welfare. Second, they alienate us from those who practice a sound gospel’ (by making them a negative influence or an enemy).

False teachers declare concerned outside influences “enemies”, causing severe division and ultimately, alienation. As Paul declares in Galatians 4:16, he is actually labeled as an enemy. This group’s goal is not to better our relationship with or increase our commitment to Christ, but to secure our loyalty and devotion to them.



“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way... Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

Romans 16:17-18
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 08:39:10 am »

An unwritten but loyally kept rule in GCx is “You must alienate any close friends who no longer attend the GCx Church.”  This is another real life example of suppressive alienation (and slander) that still happens repeatedly in GCx Churches.

I remember a person I was really close to leaving my second year there. I understood their reasons and thought it was perfectly natural for them to make a decision like that. But I soon learned that it wasn't wise for me to say that. An "older person" met with me to make sure that I understood it was bad (almost a sin) that this person had left. ... I didn't leave on bad terms with anybody but just leaving was enough for me to be labeled all the negative things that people who leave get labeled. I don't have a lot of friends from the church despite the long list of people who claimed to be my friends and brothers and sisters when I was a part of them.
-carolused2be

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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 08:20:41 pm »

This damaging practice of alienation toward other innocent believers who leave GCx is seen as loyalty toward the their church.  But it is actually disregarding Jesus’ commandment to love one another, just as the commandment to honor your father and mother is often disregarded in this group. Both are often alienated in GCx, especially parents among the college age members.  They too often become divisively viewed as an adversary.  The excerpt below describes this common occurence practiced throughout GCx churches.


I left the church a few months ago to take a job in another region. As many other posters have noted, this is considered a huge sin in WCCC. You are supposed to be committed to the church for life. I have lost many close friends who in my time at WCCC considered me their "sister in Christ." I can only imagine what is being said about me in the church. The saddest part is that I myself had shunned several former close friends who had left the church. There is a real feeling in the church that if you're not with us, you're against us. I only did what I thought was right at the time, but now I feel terrible regret and remorse over the way I behaved.
-GB


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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2019, 10:11:46 am »

Quote from: Janet
This damaging practice of alienation toward other innocent believers who leave GCx is seen as loyalty toward the their church.  But it is actually disregarding Jesus’ commandment to love one another, just as the commandment to honor your father and mother is in this group.

Well said, Janet. For some reason, I had never thought of it in terms of violating Jesus's command to "love one another". Thanks for bringing that into focus.

GCx pretends they are "loving one another" when, in fact, for decades they have been shunning and alienating fellow believers who leave or who point out the error with the core value that people should "give the controls over to people that I work through (aka the "pastors")".

This morning, Diane Langberg Tweeted this Elie Wiesel quote:

"I swore never to be silent wherever and whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. 
We must always take sides. 
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. 
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2019, 08:10:59 pm »

Wow!  Great quote!!  

The GCx Doctrine of Silence seems to be the very means by which they have sought to achieve sustainability.
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2019, 09:33:59 am »

The GCx-taught required response to those who leave their group is quite telling, in shunning or ignoring their fellow believers.  These actions speak louder than words.  They do more to hurt the cause of Christ than to help it. But, here is Jesus’ actual commandment on how treat other believers:

“By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
 if you have love for one another."
(Jn 13:35  HCSB)


However, this is the GCx ingrained treatment of fellow believers:

For years I've seen close families from ECC disappear, but never once did I hear why, or get any explanation. They were just gone. And from what I saw, I never knew of really anyone who continued connecting with them after they left.  It truly is like GCx believes you're lost if you leave the movement, cause they treat you that way.
-Drew
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2019, 10:19:38 am »

Wow! Janet, do you know which church Drew went to? Or when? "They were just gone." That was exactly how it happened!

At my church, there were occasional whispers of a mysterious group of former members known only as "the people who went to California." (If memory serves, one of these mysterious people was Larry Pile.) We were not supposed to talk about them or even ask questions about why they left. Looking back, it was so weird the way we all fell in line with the taboo and just accepted being silenced. We knew they existed, but for all practical purposes we had to pretend they had never existed. There was almost a feeling that talking about them would bring some kind of spiritual harm down on the rest of us.

In all fairness, I have to admit that I personally wasn't shunned after I left. I left on my own, not under church discipline (but in fear of it, since I had a lot of questions and doubts about the church which were earning me the reputation of a troublemaker). For a while, people at GC were even kind enough to write me letters of encouragement while I was at basic training and military language school, a kindness I appreciate to this day. However, I knew or knew of other people who were also innocent of any wrongdoing, who were shunned and publicly defamed by the church.

Anyone who says that people were only disciplined for serious offenses like drug abuse is either lying or clueless.

(Edited for clarity and to fix typos.)
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2019, 12:33:17 pm »


Anyone who says that people were only disciplined for serious offenses like drug abuse is either lying or clueless.

Absolutely to your statement above, Huldah!

By the way, Drew shares on here that he went to ECC-Lakeville in at least the early 2000’s. I believe Linda was his Sunday School teacher and she may be one of the families that he was referring to in having no idea why they left.
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2019, 01:06:03 pm »

Many times those leaving were actually commanded or threatened not to speak to others about why they were leaving, so the rest had no real truth about what had transpired.  Silence has been the great cover for spiritual abuse continuing to occur in this group.  As is apparent in their testimony below there was no sin or biblical justification for this member’s banishment.


By the end of summer 2006 we had been told that we were not welcome at any church function, but most of the congregation had no idea why we had left or any knowledge that we were asked not to attend.  People who used to be our friends cut off all contact with us. My family was pushed out of the church with no rational justification. Much of this conflict happened during a time when we were trying to plan our wedding...
-banished


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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2019, 11:10:04 am »

We left ECC Lakeville in 2001 or so and went back to ECC Bloomington because it was closer so I'm not sure if Drew was aware of our departure from ECC or if he was referring to people leaving Lakeville.

As I've mentioned before, we did think it was odd that no one asked us about why we left. My husband and 2 of our children played in the band regularly and we were quite active. Suddenly we were gone and no one asked why.

A few years later, I ran into a former member at the grocery store and she asked my why we left. I actually teared up and said, "Thank you for asking. You are the first person to ever ask me why we left." (This was at least 5 years after our departure.) Her reply was, "Well, we were told not to ask you." That explained a lot.

I recalled the all church meeting to explain John and Suzanne's departure from Berlin and ECC and remembered Mark D and Mark B sitting on the stage. Mark B did most of the talking, but it was made clear that we should not ask the van Dycks why they left. It was presented in a somewhat threatening way, like there was something wrong with them and they might react negatively if asked.

My conclusion now is that if GCC leaders tell you not to ask people why they left, you should be sure and contact those people and ask them why they left.
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 10:57:09 am »

More People...  Similar Stories...  Substantiated Alienation in GCx Churches...


I left a very weird church in Des Moines. ... People never seemed to leave under normal circumstances. ... When people did leave, it was as if they were suddenly cut-off from you... It was always inferred that there was sin in their lives. Also, I found out after leaving that most people who suddenly "disappeared" had questioned leadership, but we (the flock) were only told a spin as to why they left. ... Since leaving, I have been afforded several opportunities to interact with other people who have left. They have told me concerns other leaders in the city have. They are basically blacklisted in the community.
-Time2Write



...the "the excommunication of ---- -----" at Cornerstone [GCx] Church.  They didn't have the audio, but the written transcript. It makes my heart just pound... I was there at that meeting... It was awful... demeaning... the written word is only half as bad as it was.  I think others should read this transcript. ... All my friends were no longer my friends because we dared leave the church. ... My thought is perhaps I used to use the word "friend" too loosely because true friends wouldn't behave in the way they did.  I feel that I was only a tool to be used and when I no longer was willing to be used... that was that... and I was no longer worthy to be a friend to them.  I have to say it hurt quite a bit.
-Lynn



I met with leaders and told them what I saw happening that I felt was unbiblical and harmful to the sheep they were supposed to be leading. The result of me trying to be honest led to shunning (no, it wasn't in my head)... In one meeting, I blatantly heard a pastor said we were not to talk with a person and have nothing to do with them. I experienced it towards myself when I chose to leave as well. In such an environment, it is very difficult to have a fair hearing. ... My pastors never admitted that they shunned me or spoke ill of me and spread their own version of why I left their church. I have forgiven them but we are not reconciled and they have not repented.
-Outtathere
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2019, 06:27:09 pm »

"My conclusion now is that if GCC leaders tell you not to ask people why they left, you should be sure and contact those people and ask them why they left." Linda

Good grief Linda get over yourself. No, that is simply foolish talk from a deeply wounded person who literally 18 years later wears her wounded heart on her sleeve...but in a dark and vengeful way. Sad.
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2019, 08:50:16 pm »

First of all, foolishness comes from those who are quick to speak and slow to listen.  Some obviously have not read Linda’s experiences with GCx.  Anyone who has read her posts on here would never characterize her as dark and vengeful.  In fact, she is quite gracious considering GCx leaders had the audacity to attempt to maliciously divide her and her husband from their own children.  Actually, what GCx leaders did in that would rightly be called DARK and VENGEFUL.  

In fact, not much listening at all has been done by those who speak such things.  Person after person on here has testified to GCx’s audacious practices of slandering (falsely accusing to harm) their own brothers and sisters in Christ to hide the truth about the group’s offenses against it’s members.  Here’s someone else reporting this twisting of guilt upon innocent people.


I spoke with a friend and there are lots of people leaving [Walnut Creek Community Church in GCx]. They aren't being told the truth why people left. I think people in there should talk to people who left and see if they get a different story. Before I left, I talked with my friend who left before and asked why she left. She told me of how she was controlled and gave examples. She was confronted by a leader and asked to commit to the church for life. When I told my bible study leader about this, I was told to talk to the pastor. He put a spin on it and made it sound like my friend was the one with the problem. ... Leaders have left too. I asked a friend about it and she said nobody knows why. It is all hush-hush. ... I'm glad to be gone. It is so hard to leave. I'm not a loyal person in some people’s eyes and not on the wall with them.  That hurts.
-upthecreek


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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2019, 08:56:16 pm »

And someone else:

When I moved away for personal reasons, some people that were close to me were counseled by a pastor's wife to stop being friends with me and I was accused of a lot of things by these very same people that I thought were my good friends. ... I still considered myself a member of that church at that point but I was not treated as such because I had chosen to be somewhere else geographically for a period of time.
-used2be


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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2019, 08:58:00 pm »

And someone else:

I married someone outside the church, in a large measure to get away, and later heard the word that I had “tubed out”(an old way of saying I had left the faith) and married a rich doctor for his money. (We are currently working in medical missions in a very poor country…so that was hardly the truth). After leaving GCI it took many years to sort out the difference between church and God. I thank God that he holds me in the palm of His hand, and His Salvation and the Faith I still retain is a marvelous gift from Him who I love with all my heart. I now work in full time Christian ministry, but tremble and have a knot in my stomach when I think of GCI [GCx alias]…. I’m trembling uncontrollably now as I write….. so 17 years later, it still grips me.
-Liz



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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2019, 09:01:49 pm »

And someone else:

I know in GCM vernacular that when you leave a GCM church you are whispered to have 'abandoned your faith', but that is not the case.
-Gary
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2019, 09:06:03 pm »

And another:

I am current GCM [GCx alias] member. At times, I feel like I can’t get out; and when I question, I feel like the truth is twisted.
-christmadealive



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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2019, 09:09:27 pm »

And another:

Now might be the time for me to leave but I need encouragement. I am afraid to leave for a lot of reasons.  Mainly that I will lose friends and the shame they make a person feel, and what I have seen in recent years to people who have decided to leave. ...If they find out I wrote this I am sure that I will get even more rebukes.
-wondering

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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2019, 10:24:01 am »

"My conclusion now is that if GCC leaders tell you not to ask people why they left, you should be sure and contact those people and ask them why they left." Linda

Good grief Linda get over yourself. No, that is simply foolish talk from a deeply wounded person who literally 18 years later wears her wounded heart on her sleeve...but in a dark and vengeful way. Sad.

Just saw this.

Mango, it is always appropriate and not foolish to hear both sides.

It is never appropriate to attempt to silence people through spiritual intimidation.

And literally, we left 14 years ago, not 18. Correct your facts! Haha!

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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2019, 10:55:10 am »

Mango's personal attacks are a classic example of "shoot the messenger." It is not the fault of anyone on this forum that Mark Darling exploited his young female followers, nor that the ECC BOT found the accusations credible. That was all Mark's doing. Mark's choices. Mark's sin. But, emotionally it's easier to take the anger and disappointment that should by all rights be directed toward Mark, and turn it instead against the people who helped expose the sin.



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