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exshep
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2007, 05:02:10 am »

brother,

You have a point to an extent. I have read the Linworth site. The history could be argued is vague. The thought crossed my mind why bring something up from 20 years ago — provided it does not impact the church. My perceptions are promising. However someone came forward with documented evidence of problems I would want to know rather than finding out the hard way. Word of mouth can be invaluable. God never told us to park our brains. Fear is used as a means of protection. Gut level indicators can be very reliable.

What has been happening with the 1991 apology is there are current and former GC members who seeing how the church stacks up. It depends where one goes. Keep in mind when one has a group go bad, it can take years to recover. The best things I can suggest is to get an understanding of the dynamics involved. Of course prayer is invaluable in this situation and dearly appreciated. Hope this clarifies things for you.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
Miss Current
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2007, 05:02:28 am »

Brother #28:

To further your analogy, my hometown pizza parlor is part of a NATIONAL FRANCHISE and yes a dozen people got really sick 7 years ago…that we know of. Those 12 people were discovered because it came to light that one of them got sick and then another and then there was an effort to find all of them that got really sick. From that point forward it was never spoken about again, so when someone did eat this restaurant’s pizza and got really sick it was never discovered or made known to the public that this pizza joint on occasion serves up pizza with some “sour” (couldn’t come up with a better description) ingredients.

What’s worse is this community does not have a local food ordinance team which monitors the quality of the food to see if restaurants are complying with food regulations…so you must take your chances eating there because the pizza parlor surely is NOT going to tell you that they serve “sour” ingredients all the time or even from time to time. The owner is too busy trying to staff the pizza parlor and doesn’t want turnover of its employees because that would further complicate matters. The owner is also worried about making a profit because that is the only reason he is in business and surely he can’t spend more time and money trying to rectify the problem. He knows he is not accountable to the local food ordinance…because there is none…and therefore he is just trying to get by as a new startup pizza joint with this relatively new PIZZA FANCHISE which is touted as being the best way to crave your hunger.

And besides, this owner hears worse stories of other FRANCHISEES of this PIZZA FRANCHISE and thinks he therefore is in the good knowing that he is not the worse offender in the group and that really, some people just have a bad digestive system and can’t stomach our pizza, so when we discover who those people are all we have to do is ask those customers not to patronize our pizza parlor again and that will leave us only with those customers who have stomachs to “handle” our “sour” ingredients. And by the way, who says our ingredients are really “sour”? We are using the ingredients we were taught to use from our FRANCHISE and we are able to get quantity discounts on those ingredients if we order them through the FRANCHISE…got to save time and money you know, it’s hard making a living and there are a lot of hungry people out there…never mind if we make some of them sick, we are still accomplishing our objective of satisfying people’s hunger and trying to make a living at the same time…isn’t that a greater cause then worrying about some people who get really sick on our pizza?

Please BROTHER, I am NOT trying to find the 12 people identified as being sick 7 years ago. I am NOT about trying to find the other people who got sick since then. I AM ABOUT PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM GETTING SICK IN THE FUTURE. A local pizza parlor and also the NATIONAL FRANCHISE who are not interested in discovering why people get sick eating their pizzas WILL go out of business. If there is no governing oversight by food ordinance regulations, then the customers will take action on their own…picketing the pizza parlors…telling potential customers ready to walk in the pizza parlor about their experiences…probably knocking on the windows of the pizza parlor to warn those people inside sitting down at table eating the pizza…and if none of that works…they will scream REAL LOUD to the media and any other sources who will listen to get their word out.

So what is worse then that pizza parlor owner and the NATIONAL FRANCHISE executives telling the public at large that they have been known to serve pizza with “sour” ingredients? It is to do nothing and continuing on as is BECAUSE THEY ARE SO BUSY WITH THEIR HECTIC SCHEDULE TODAY…they have orders to fill, people to feed, bills to pay, livings to make in this fast paced world they find themselves in.

Again, I beg of all the LEADERS, take the path that is right. Don’t make excuses of we’re too busy. What will our members think? What will the public think? Will this hurt our image? But I have to take care of this commitment or that commitment. I…I…I…I…I have to do this..or that. Do the right thing. Even if a pizza parlor has never served “sour” ingredients…if it is part of a NATIONAL FRANCHISE which has and DOES CURRENTLY serve “sour” ingredients then that LOCAL FRANCHISEE owner will be extremely interested in how the FRANCHISE conducts its business elsewhere around the country.

Please don’t sweep this under the rug. PLEASE.
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Miss Current
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2007, 05:02:42 am »

If I had that pizza parlor I would make sure every new employee new that story by heart and that it should never happen again. ever. it is the polar opposite of what providing food should do and i would embrace it and continue to learn from it.



maybe not put it on the menu, but do whatever i could do never let it happen again.
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exshep
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2007, 05:03:34 am »

Miss Currrent:

Your post could not say it better. It is especially germane in the local situation at Grace:. I did paste the post to a small group blog.

I received a disturbing email from a member, or an elder, I do not know the person, saying that the Saturday Service of bible teaching is nothing more than another sandwich at McDonalds which did not have interest. Knowing my emotional liimitations, I am staying out of the fracas and looking for a new church home.

I pray for God’s wisdom in the current crisis.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2007, 05:03:58 am »

Miss Current and others,



Good points, but I think we differ in one aspect. While the pizza parlor is part of a a national franchise, I would say that the local shop made people sick because a local employee didn’t wash their hands properly. The restaurant has a policy that says everyone should wash their hands, but this one guy didn’t do what he should have and others paid the price by getting sick.



You, on the other hand, might say that the sickness was not from an isolated employee, but instead from sour ingrediants being distributed to all the restaurants from the national headquarters. You might say that the local problems stem from larger national problems, while I might say that the local problems are truly local. If this is an accurate description of how you feel, then we may simply respectfully disagree with one another, and there’s no reason to beat that horse any harder.



I didn’t mean to imply in my previous post that pastors shouldn’t make time to answer people’s questions when asked. Of course they should. If they can’t or won’t, that’s unfortunate.



What I did mean to say, which ex-shep realized, is that all we can do is change the future by our words, actions, and prayer. We can not change the past, and to dwell on it seems like wasted energy to me. Understand it? Yes! But to go out of your way to bring it up and discuss it, no. Just my opinion.



To use another analogy … I listen to the President last night talking about the war. It is unfortunate that 3,000 US warriors have died. We might argue whether they should have or shouldn’t have, but they did. What can be done now? Change direction. But change is slow, even for the “most powerful man in the world.” He confirs with generals, with Senators, with Representatives, with his cabinet, with his dad and other advisors, and undoubtably reads pubic opinion polls. Change is slow, even if change is the right thing to do. Some will oppose chane. Others will slowly agree. Still others will embrace quickly and wholeheartedly.



I see the church in a similar light. The Catholic (universal) church is massive. Change happens at a snail’s pace, if at all. The evangelical American church is huge. Change happens soooo slowly. GC is a movement of maybe 20,000 (probably less). Change occurs, but not at a pace all would like to see. A local GC church is a couple hundred. Change can happen quickly, and is largely in the hands of a few people setting the tone. That’s where autonomy comes into play.



No one on this board — pro, con, or indifferent — denies that GC had and has problems. The arguable questions are, “How did they arise?” “How severe are they?” and “How can they be fixed?” The answer to each question depends in large part on your own local experience. My local experience is a good one. I see very few problems, and not much that needs fixed. Others may see enormous problems in their local. I respect that. But again, I think it is a local issue more than a national one. If we disagree, I hope we graciously do so.



Peace,

AB
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« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2007, 05:04:10 am »

That should be “public opinion polls.”



ROFL
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2007, 05:04:25 am »

Miss Current,

Don’t forget to add that at your pizza parlor, patrons are expected to commit to eating at your pizza parlor chain for life.

“Plant a pepperoni and die on it” to paraphrase a quote by R.W. (Plant your flag and die on it).
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G_Prince
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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2007, 05:04:36 am »

All this pizza and sandwich talk is making me hungry!
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2007, 05:05:01 am »

You might say that the local problems stem from larger national problems, while I might say that the local problems are truly local. If this is an accurate description of how you feel, then we may simply respectfully disagree with one another, and there’s no reason to beat that horse any harder. . . I think it is a local issue more than a national one. If we disagree, I hope we graciously do so.

Brother, what if there used to be problems on a national level, but in 1991 the organization attempted to reform and issued an across the board apology to the public on behalf of all of its franchises. 16 years later, there are certain pizza parlors following the new ‘reformed’ guidelines, and certain pizza parlors are disregarding it and using the old ones. People are getting sick, but the only response those people are getting is “we apologized for that in 1991,” or “every pizza parlor is autonomous, don’t blame the organization for how they operate.”

I know of people who have tried all they can to bring correction to their local church, and have been met with frustration. Shouldn’t the national organization’s responsibility be to step in and do something? If they don’t, they are condoning the behavior.

Would it be good for business to hand out a visitor brochure on Sunday morning that discusses all your church’s past faults, all the families who have left for any reason, all the sermons you wish you could preach over? Of course not. Would you put an announcement in your bulletin every week that says “New members are encouraged to read our 1991 paper about church error.”? No.

I don’t think anyone thinks the error statement should come up every Sunday, or even very often. But GC doesn’t even mention it during history sermons. None of my small group leaders had even heard of the statement. At Faithwalkers in 2004, a founding elder said the problems of the past were the result of the groups “closeness” and the Devil persecuting them. This doesn’t sound to me like an organization that is sincerely sorry for how it behaved in the past. There’s no need for them to dwell on the past, but like anon said, if they want to prevent the problems from reoccurring they need to inform people as to what those problems were.
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2007, 05:05:42 am »

Miss Current, excellent, excellent post.



A Brother, excellent rebuttal. You raise valid points and disagreements respectfully. I hope we can all respond with the same respect!



I have a counterpoint. Let’s throw out the issue of whether the problem is local or national. Regardless of whether the the sour ingredients are being distributed by the national headquarters or are simply local problems, the problem should be being addressed by all levels of the franchise, to include local shops that never had any reported cases of poisoning and to include national headquarters. Anyone that asks about the issue to any local shop should be able to get a straight answer about what happened and what is being done. Do you agree?



To me, it’s just good business practice, plain and simple. If Pizza Hut conducted themselves in the manner GC has, they’d go out of business. Too many people would distrust that they actually cared about the wellbeing of their customers. The media would be all over it. National HQ would be burned at the stake due to their unwillingness to take responsibility for any number of local franchises.
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2007, 05:05:56 am »

Oops, tack this onto the end:



or National HQ would be exposed as being the source of the problem.
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2007, 05:06:17 am »

Sam -



“Why God is a Mid-Westerner! Doesn’t everyone know that?”



Bravo. I laughed out loud.
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2007, 05:06:43 am »

Puff — “Shouldn’t the national organization step in and do something?”



That’s how the local church and Pizza Hut are maybe a little different. Who has authority over the local church. IMO, its Jesus and no one else. Now, could GCAC revoke a local church’s membership to the organization? Sure.



“If they want to prevent those problems from happening again, they need to inform those people …”



Who are “those people?” The small group leaders. Should the pastors start “Small Group Leadership Training 101″ with a point by point review of GC history and every leader who might have caused some harm along the way? I humbly say no. Using the pizza analogy again, should all assistant shift managers at the local restaurant know that some people got sick seven years ago so they can better do their jobs?” I don’t think so. Instead, the assistant shift managers should be thoughtfully and thoroughly trained by 2007 standards so that the restaurant can be a safe and profitable one. Or another analogy … does the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys need to review game film from the 1983 team to know what bad defense is, so the 2008 defense doesn’t repeat the errors? No.



Also, using the excuse for past error of “we were too close and the devil came attacking,” is not a cop out in my book. The good book says our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual realms. We humans are subject to the devil’s lurking. He can use all kinds of tricks, even among otherwise good leaders.



Dipping,

I agree that someone asking the question at the local shop should be able to get an answer. But I don’t think the local shop should be expected to print a Q&A and put it on each table for the customer’s reading pleasure.



For what its worth, when I asked questions of my pastors about this, they tok a fairly neutral position. Yes, we wish some parts of our past were more honorable. We hope that our future will be one of humility and growth. Our small group leaders are a mix of longtime GC and newer GC. There has never been an atempt to sit everyone down and get everyone caught up to speed on the past. I’m OK with that. Again, just one brother’s opinion, and I respect other viewpoints.



AB
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Miss Current
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2007, 05:07:40 am »

Brother AB:

Let’s assume you are a person of leadership in a local Catholic church. What do you do?

How do you react to allegations against the worldwide Catholic church?
How do you react if someone in your congregation asks you about these allegations against the worldwide Catholic church?
If people ask you what procedures you have in place at your local church to prevent “allegations” like this in your local church, what do you tell them?
What do you recommend the worldwide Catholic church LEADERS do in regards to the allegations?
Do you think these actions in the allegations could happen again in the future in the worldwide Catholic church?
Do you think these actions in the allegations could happen again in the future in your local church?
What would you do if you knew a priest in the Catholic church who was guilty of these allegations but the National Catholic church was trying to cover it up by shuffling priests around to different parishes? Would you keep quiet?
How far would you go to keep children safe in your local Catholic church in the future?
How far would you go to keep children safe in the worldwide Catholic church in the future?

Miss Current
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Miss Current
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2007, 05:07:57 am »

I think the Catholic Church thing might be a little different. For one, nobody who molests an alter boy does it thinking it is God’s will, or that the Catholic church condones it.
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The Clone
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2007, 05:08:08 am »

I like pepperoni pizza A LOT!!!

-The Clone
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Miss Current
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2007, 05:08:44 am »

Yes Puff, the “actions” which hurt people are different…but the “reaction” of the LEADERSHIP really isn’t that different.

REACTIONS:
Ignoring the actions.
Covering the actions up.
Not telling potential future victoms about the past.
Leadership more concerned about how it will impact their image and their denomination’s image rather than being concerned about prevents such actions in the future.
Hush, hush…we can’t let this out.

Okay, everyone has been waiting 16 YEARS for the LEADERS to produce the BOOK OF GOVERNMENT. Where is it? Do you think it is forth coming? Absolutely NOT. Those leaders are not going to raise a finger in effort to do that.

Let’s forget about the past victoms. Let’s start from today. Now if someone in the GCx movement in a leadership position within a local GCx church causes “harm” in someway to a person in that local GCx church in the FUTURE…with the 1991 Error/Apology Statement out there and also saying a Book of Government will be issued to help prevent FUTURE wrongs of GCx and NOT having that BOOK OF GOVERNMENT finished and issued 16+ YEARS later…there is no lack of Trigger Happy Lawyers in this country to take that case (and others ) to court.

There is a reason denominations have their own GENERAL COUNSEL (LEGAL DEPARTMENT). If GCx has one, in my OPINION, the lead person should be let go…period. If it is an outside law firm, they should be fired. This lawsuit is just waiting to happen. Up to now the LEADERS might be able to plead “they didn’t know they could be sued”. After reading this, they CAN’T plead ignorance….these blog comments are date stamped. Further evidence building a case against them.

I would be real concerned if I were in leadership at the GCx movement. I would be hitting SPEED DIAL to my attorney. Nate, please give ALL this information I am describing to Dave Bovenmyer and any other Leaders. Apparently many of them read this blog. I would like the subject of a lawsuit against the GCx movement to be “officially” brought to their attention. Let’s see how they handle this hot potato.

Will the LEADERS react responsibly? I know what it is like to be in the top position of a company. I know the responsiblity. Being in the leadership and national leadership of GCx carries all that responsibiltiy.

You have a HUGE hole in your RISK MANAGEMENT. You are forewarned. Do I want GCx to get sued? Absolutely NOT. Do I want the GCx leaders to ignore things? Absolutely NOT. Do I want the Leaders in GCx to make the appropriate changes and implement the appropriate actions to negate this risk they are faced with? Absolutely YES.

Please start with the BOOK OF GOVERNMENT as you said you would do. Don’t say you are too busy. Don’t say you have more important things to do.

Please.

Miss Current
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Miss Current
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« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2007, 05:08:58 am »

Miss Current,

I see you’re point but I don’t want to force anyone to change through threat of lawsuit (although perhaps others might). I don’t want to hurt or embarrass anyone. I still have friends in GC who I care about.

I hope that GC can outgrow it’s problems. I think there are many in GC such as Nate, who are not only aware of the problems but deeply troubled by them.

(I think it’s a good sign that the person who is perhaps doing the most work to revolutionize GC is a member of the church. Thanks Nate!)

I want change to be genuine and not forced. I only hope that issues can be raised and addressed through critics like us, and from those inside the church who are trying to turn the tide. It may be years before real change will happen but I think it will. I know many good people in GCM and I believe that God is working there.

I don’t want to take GC behind the woodshed. I want them to change out of their own conviction, no matter how much time it takes.
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« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2007, 05:09:11 am »

Apologies for hasty spelling errors. Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2007, 05:09:35 am »

You know… let’s just put the pizza idea aside for a minute. Here’s the facts as they stand in my situation:

Facts:
1. Great Commission Ministries has had problems in the distant past, the recent past, and today.

2. Great Commission Ministries pledged themselves to try to correct those problems in the letter of apology.

3. I joined the church having no knowledge of these problems.

4. I was asked to sign a pledge of commitment to the church.

5. I was taught many messages about commitment to the local church for life– similar to the kind of commitment you would make in marriage.

6. I noticed after awhile that things were odd in the church– some things even seemed cult like.

7. In 2001 I began to do my own research and found the letter and other testimonies .

Conclusion: Great Commission Ministries both nationally and locally asked for a lifetime, sold out commitment, and a vow to God on my part. This was asked of me without giving full disclosure. I was asked to align myself with their purposes, to plant myself and family in this movement, to stake my reputation and my good name with their movement. In return they did not offer full disclosure of major problems within the movement.

Inference: Great Commission Ministries both locally and nationally (excluding a few God-fearing, honest leaders) felt that there was something to hide. There were plenty of reasonable opportunities to make this known to my husband and I. Perhaps when we questioned the doctrinal beliefs and asked for the doctrinal statement. Perhaps when we took the membership class. Perhaps a good time would have been when we were begninning the process of taking on more leadership responsibilities.

Instead these things were hidden from us and I became part of a movement and I feel that I became guilty by association. I also brought new people into the movement.

It would be like marrying someone who never told you that he had done time. So of course I feel betrayed, misled, and untrusting of GC. And most likely, I always will remain untrusting. They have had ample opportunities to address these issues. They have had ample opportunities to make major changes. They have had ample opportunities to join in this discussion. To apologize, to make amends, to now come forward in honesty and tell the truth. To make a good faith effort.

All pizza jokes aside: a religious movement that asks for lifetime commitment and hides serious errors in their past is far more serious than a pizza parlor with cleanliness issues.

Make no mistake, someone who asks for a lifetime commitment is asking for your life. Your life. Let me say that again. They are asking for your life. We have message after message that asks for a lifetime commitment to GC. They are asking for your life. Don’t you think we are allowed honesty in return?
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