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Author Topic: GCC and GCM  (Read 57478 times)
puff of purple smoke
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« on: February 10, 2008, 08:23:17 pm »

GCM has a completely new website. New design and content. One of the new pages on it is titled "Questions & Response" (link) and it contains the following paragraph:

Quote
I have read some criticisms of the Great Commission movement online.
There is a small but vocal group of online detractors of Great Commission Churches. They say they have complaints with GCM, but in actuality their concerns are with Great Commission Churches—not with GCM as a mission organization. They misrepresent GCM when they label any church associated with the historic Great Commission movement as a “GCM church.” As a mission agency and distinct 501c3, GCM is not under the authority of Great Commission Churches. We would direct those who desire more information to Great Commission Churches’ website.

How can this possibly be true? Both organizations come from Great Commission International. Both share David Bovenmeyer on the board of directors. Both of them are referred to by researchers like Larry Pile as one in the same (his Marching To Zion book includes both organization in the title.) In the 1991 weaknesses paper, published by GCAC/GCC, it refers to Great Commission Ministries as "our mission organization." Can GCM honestly say that it is not, for lack of a better term, "in bed" with GCC? It has been my understanding that GCM is just the campus/missionary extension of the Great Commission movement. All the research I've seen seems to support this. If I am wrong I want to be corrected.

To make this argument even harder for me to swallow, my own experiences do not jive with the GCC/GCM separation defense. I joined my "GC Church" through a GCM campus ministry. Certainly many of the problems with GC I experienced in GCM, not GCC. Through the campus ministry I was encouraged to go to both the Friday night GCM service, and the Sunday morning GCC service. People in my GCM ministry where heavily involved in things the GCC ministry was doing as well. They did outreaches together and swapped teachers. The line was often very blurry when it came to which ministry was responsible for which event. Leaders in GCM were listening to tapes by GCC leaders and playing these tapes for their GCM small groups. So in my experience, GCM and GCC were so meshed together that they might as well have been the same organization.

So.. I have a few questions for all you:

1. Did you go to a GCM or GCC ministry? Both?

2. Did you know the difference at the time?

3. If you went to a GCM ministry, did the church you attended have a GCC ministry at it as well? (And visa versa.) If so, how separated were they? How different were they in teachings and beliefs?
 
4. If you are a part of the "vocal group of online detractors" (have to chuckle at that) which of the organization's ministries did you experience problems at? GCC or GCM? Or both?
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maranatha
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2008, 09:29:53 am »

After being involved with Great Commission for a bunch of years, I had no idea they were different.  

In my mind, they were and are the same.
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Linda
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2008, 09:31:48 am »

That statement seems like an obvious attempt by GCM to distance themselves from GCC. That is going to be a little tricky because as of this morning the GCC web page offers the history of GCM:
Quote
The Great Commission church movement began on college campuses and has always had a focus on campus ministry.

In 1983, GCI launched the first summer Leadership Training conference which attracted college students for a summer of intensive training in evangelism and discipleship.

In 1985, GCI undertook a mass outreach and expansion effort (Invasion '85) with the goal of starting fifty new campus ministries. While the gospel was proclaimed and many churches were successfully established during I-85, most of the churches did not continue. As a follow-up to I-85 GCI did a series of "Vision" fund drives (1987-1989) in order to provide financial support to campus workers.

In 1989, under the leadership of Dave Bovenmyer, Great Commission Ministries (GCM ) was formed to mobilize people for campus ministry by training them to raise financial support. Over the next fifteen years, GCM became a ministry through which many leaders (Tom Schroeder, Jeff Kern, Greg Van Nada and others) equipped churches in Great Commission for campus ministry.

In 2005 GCM, which had been providing leadership and pastoral care for a group of campus churches, was redefined and refocused as a service ministry serving the entire Great Commission movement. GCM exists to support the movement by helping mobilize Christian workers for ministry in the US and around the world through training them to raise financial support and other missionary support services.

For me, that statement is very disheartening. I (and all posters here) have been reduced to a bunch of "detractors."

"They say they have complaints?" They say? Wording like that attempts to  dismiss some very real problems. These are not just made up problems we are talking about. These problems that we are talking about are enumerated in a 13 page statement of error and apology written by THEM. We are merely saying, "Hey, guys, remember that stuff you said was wrong in 1991, apologized for, and said you wouldn't do anymore? Well, you're still doing it. So, stop already."

Also, now we are misrepresenting them? And what is the part about the "historic Great Commission movement"?

When I refer to GCx, I am talking about the movement of churches and the ministries founded by self proclaimed apostle Jim McCotter somewhere around 1970 or those started by leaders trained in GCx churches. I am not throwing in all churches who believe in the "great commission" as stated in Matthew. I'm talking about the movement that excommunicated a bunch of people for slander when they suggested that truth was more important than unity. The movement of churches that in writing asked my husband and me to agree (which we didn't) to a two sentence statement saying we left because we had a different opinion on church government and "to say nothing more" to anyone who asked. That group of churches and leaders trained in that system, that's the GCwhatever I am talking about.

Also, if they aren't a church, but are a 501c3 organization with revenue of more than $25,000 per year, aren't they are required to provide tax information to anyone who asks including information like who the officers are and how much they get paid? And, I think also the pay of the top 5 highest paid employees.

I used to think that GCx was fixable. Sadly, I don't think that anymore. I hope I'm wrong.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2008, 09:55:01 am »

I think it's a distancing technique as well.  

I went to a GCAC/GCC church.  But they worked with GCM all the time.  I know they say they are incredibly different, but obviously GCM has serious, serious problems... as many of us have experienced wacky LT experiences.  If anything the GCM movement is the one that has more "cultural weirdness" like all the people living together, the weird anti-dating sermons/positions, etc.  The college movement (which is run by the arm of GCM) is the movement that scares me the most.  It's there that impressionable youth are required to NOT date, give up summers to go to LT, and where they live in the bubble of controlling behaviors etc.  That said, there are college movements that aren't extreme.  AND one college movement may wax and wane with its extreme views depending on who are the dominating student leaders at the time.

But yeah, the whole GCM, GCC thing was never explained to us until just recently.  We gave money to GCM and never knew that officially they weren't connected.
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DesiringTruth
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2008, 10:45:48 am »

Wasn't there something posted in De-Commissioned about the possibility of GCC and GCM going their separate ways?  I've tried to find it, but to no avail.  Perhaps someone else knows where that seems to be mentioned. (Not sure though about this being accurate - hopefully someone can point us to the right posting.)
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Angry
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 11:24:13 am »

Puff,
Let me make this as clear as possible - our complaints and concerns were aired directly and 100% to GCM.

It is ironic that in the link you attached, gc* is quoting hot and heavy their membership in the NAE.  While this may be true as of today, it must be noted that gc* was asked to withdraw from NAE in 1989.  This withdrawl did not stop the group from claiming their membership in later communications.  Please note the following complaint levied against the group in the days of yore:

2C.    National Association of Evangelicals--
Continuing to claim membership in the NAE long after the NAE requested GCI's withdrawal.  In the "Membership Manual" of the Lee's Summit Community Church this claim was still being made as recently as June 1990, as indicated by the date on which one girl registered her desire for member-ship.  The claim was also reportedly made by both Bxxx Wxxxx and Jxx Zxxxx several months after GCI's withdrawal from the NAE in early 1989.  It is difficult to believe that men in their position (and Dxxx Bxxxx of Lee's Summit) would be unaware of the true situation.

As to the validity of gc*'s claim to be members in good standing currently, who knows when/if they re-joined.

Angry
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 05:57:31 pm »

This was claimed till 2006 in Colorado prior to re-admittance to the NAE. I was "tweaked" at this when I'd checked before and then heard these claims...I didn't get it and thought I must be wrong or that the NAE site didn't have it up yet. Then I learned otherwise.

I also agree this is just dishonesty. There's really no separation between the groups: those designations are for tax/paper only, and that's fine: but to try and say otherwise is deceptive.

Remember how we were told to be careful not to be deceieved (in the word)?
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2008, 05:28:56 am »

This is an issue that is somewhat more complex than it seems.  On one side, it's true that GCM staff and GCC churches have essentially zero distinction within certain churches.  In the church that I was part of, I've only learned in the last few *weeks* that both our community church and our college group were both GCC.  The only thing GCM about it was the fact that myself and one of our college pastors were GCM staff.  The title GCM was still applied liberally, but was apparently applied incorrectly.  Something about constant name-switching apparently leads to a lot of confusion on several levels.

Phrases like "I'm just getting my paycheck from GCM, I'm really GCC" are not uncommon among staffers talking to potential supporters (I never used that phrase, because I incorrectly thought from day one that The Rock was GCM).

On the flip side, there *are* GCM churches that are setup and run completely different.  I'm not aware of any of these churches in the midwest under folks like Rick Whitney (God bless him), but I'm thinking more along both coasts.  In those distinctly GCM churches, things are apparently run differently (aka, dating is safe and normal, pastors have "normal" relationships with the congregation, women are treated in egalitarian, sincere complementarian ways*).  I think Jeff Kern recognized the fact that GCC was still tied closely to their GCI roots, and he wanted GCM to move away from that.  Many of us know how that went for him.

Currently, there is GCM leadership that still sincerely wants to move away from it's GCI ties in much more than a symbolic sense.  We are not the only people who have felt oppressed, depressed and suppressed by the current system of authority in GCC.

GCC (aka Rick Whitney, John Hopler, Mark Darling) eagerly associates with GCI and still holds some real affection for their history (to quote one of them from Faithwalkers a few years back, "Could it be that there was something great we had back then, that we've lost since?!").  GCM is getting more and more loathe to associate with the authoritarian structure, the ex-communications, Jim McCotter, etc.  It'll be interesting to see how things go in the upcoming years.

The leadership of GCM has been quick to reconcile with me after my horrible staff experience, and they've been more than helpful, apologetic and sincere with me.  I think GCC could care less about me, because I shut down their efforts on the Wikipedia article (and I'll bring you all to the Wikipedia Board for fraud and deception if you start that crap up again.  I've got so much proof against you guys, Galen).  They're learning, along with Scientology, that teh intarnets are a scary, complicated collection of tubes.

I've voiced my disagreement with some of the language of the new website already to GCM's top leadership, and he's taken the feedback pretty well I think.  I'm eager to see how he follows up with it, and see where things go.

I guess to sum up my post: I think GCM wants to actually be separate from GCC, and I think at a leadership level they're different.  The problem is that so many GCM staff are really GCC'ers and are working at a GCC church, and so the line blurs to the point where it disappears.  Most midwestern churches are totally GCC, with a handful of GCC staff that happen to get a paycheck from GCM.

Oh yea, one other thing: I had lunch with Dave Bovenmyer the other day, and in many many ways he's not crazy like so many of the GCC'ers that we've become used to.  It doesn't freak me out that he's on both boards.  If Mark Darling was on both boards, I'd be much, much more nervous.  Dave, though, I think he's more trapped than anything.

*When I say "sincerely complementarian", I mean that both men and women work to complement their respective gender, and there is no distinct system of authority or submission outside of the natural and healthy one of compromise, affection and service that ought to exist in a normal marriage/relationship.
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DesiringTruth
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 10:15:33 am »

Nate, thank you for taking time to explain this.
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TerryD
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 11:19:07 am »

When you look in the mirror and notice that your shirt is buttoned unevenly at the top, you have to unbutton it until you find the point at which the mistake was made. It won’t do to try and correct it only part way down or compensate for the irregularity in any other way.

I applaud the new leadership of GCM as they consider pulling away from the old guard and the old errors.  But it’s important to underscore that in the minds of most current and former members, “GCC” and “GCM” are interchangeable. If they wish to gain full credibility and forever put to rest the nagging criticisms, GCM folks will need to actively participate in some significant unbuttoning.

If they want to be seen as the new friendly mainstream GCM,  I agree that they probably should avoid dismissive and condescending references (“a small but vocal group of online detractors...” who “misrepresent GCM”) when addressing critics on their new website. But again, I applaud any effort in the right direction.

If they are seeking to be seen as independent, step one will be to be extraordinarily clear and public about that separation and in so doing address and correct specific teaching and practice that makes GC what it is. Wanting to look better without addressing issues and changing what you really believe, teach, and do is obviously not enough, particularly when you’re a college group and parents are watching (read: googling) like never before. If the new GCM is riddled with old-style, high-control GC’ers throughout its ranks, nobody is much reassured by claims of organizational autonomy.

In Marching to Zion by Larry Pile, there is an account and transcript of some notes related to a 1977 encounter between Blitz leaders in Albuquerque and higher-up leadership in the movement. This in my mind continues to best summarize the problem and identifies the point at which GC ecclesiology (church theory) went sour. I think the confrontation resulted in the removal of some or all who brought the complaint.

The concern was what was beginning to happen in the young organization, and following a series of specifics came this conclusion:

Quote
“Such practices and attitudes [regarding elders] we feel amount to spiritual bigotry and pride, based upon an improper concept of authority and leadership, and an underdeveloped concept of the body of Christ.”


Many, if not all, of the alleged offenses, “abuses” and manipulative practices flooding this forum and found in other places can be traced to these two ideas. That cloying sense of something not quite right, something too elitist, narrow, top-down, patronizing, condescending, controlling, exclusive, club-like and generally off-center about GC churches was enough to lead us to question and research, and brought us to something very close to the same two conclusions nearly 30 years later.

Whether you can have campus ministries/organizations a la GCM that are truly “churches” is another very large and open question, but in regard to GCx “churches” wherever they are,  I’m suggesting that at least this much corrective unbuttoning will be necessary:

To Correct an Improper Concept of Authority and Leadership GCM and GC churches will need to:

1. Rethink their theology of human authority (New Testament vs. Mosaic)
2. Change leadership accountability structure to include congregations. The elitist, closed system of “plurality” will no longer be acceptable.
3. Openly acknowledge decades of failure in this area and find a way to deal with men still in office who have some things to put right, even in the distant past. Retire the intransigent old guard if necessary, the top guys on down, locally and nationally.
4. Identify the movement founder’s authoritarian practices and fundamental errors, publically rejecting them.
5. Open the eldership path to any who wish to pursue it.
6. Expose and reject anything in one-to-one discipleship and mentoring practice that crosses the line into extra-biblical control.
7. Be open to critical analysis of teaching and practice without using of the “divisiveness, slander” self-protective dodge common to all abusive groups.

To Correct an Underdeveloped Concept of the Body of Christ they will need to:

1. Rethink their theology of Church (a body vs. an army)
2. Publically acknowledge (again, but this time really publically) the elitism of the past, ceasing and desisting from any suggestion of disloyalty or compromise in those who question or who wish to leave their churches
3. Underscore the significance of the larger body of Christ by opening doors and pulpits and avenues of counsel to other denominations and mission organizations—beyond the window-dressing of “councils of reference.”
4. Recognize the role of the congregation and the varied gifts there represented in setting the direction of the churches
5. Change the church governance model (while a variety of forms are Scripturally valid, GCx’s appalling track record would demand one in which there is maximum accountability of pastors to congregations)
6. Return financial oversight to the congregation and it’s elected representatives
7. Return to the congregation the task of calling and selecting it’s leaders. In their current state, congregations are so weak and ill-informed that the only solution in many cases might be to withdraw from GCx and affiliate with a legitimate denomination that can come in and help the people organize.

This is a pretty tall order. A lot of career trajectories and even the organization(s) itself(themselves) would be put in jeopardy, but without significant, public structural changes, it will be hard to believe that the “improper" and "underdeveloped" concepts have really changed much. Heartfelt expressions, sentimental assurances of good intentions and all the rest ring hollow without real movement.

Imagine if an organization could ever muster the humility and the courage to embrace a course anything like this...
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namaste
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 12:10:28 pm »

Okay, this just irritates the hookie out of me.  :lol:

I don't know whether to call shenanigans!, or "liar liar pants on fire!" (I'm open to suggestions.)

I went to a GCM church.  I've only ever been to a GCM church.  The GCM church I went to had ZIPPO association with a community-based/local GCC church.  I am not confused about the organization this church was/is associated with.

I'd like to know who SPECIFICALLY wrote that people with "beef" have beef about only GCC churches.  The individual who wrote that is doing nothing short of blatantly misrepresenting the situation.

Either that individual changes that statement, or they're nothing short of a flat out liar.  That's the end of it.

I'm willing to publicly reveal my identity/the church I went to if it will force that individual to change his/her blatantly false and misleading statement.

Sorry, this just irritates the hookie out of me.  :oops:

ETA: Contrary to what Nate posted (not slamming ya Nate, just pointing out my different experience, lol!), we had bizarre dating rules, church loyalty rules, discouragement of college studies, and pretty much everything you'd find in a typical GCC church.

Again, this church was exceedingly clear that they were GCM, NOT GCC.

Hope that helps! Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 12:27:36 pm »

Great list, Terry!  I would like to add that requiring education in theology, Greek, and other religions and segments of Christianity should be required for pastors and possibly some non-pastoral leaders.  This needs to be beyond GCLI, and beyond conferences or even a week here and there.  Pastors have to learn this stuff whether they teach it to themselves or not.  It would make ME feel better if they went to seminary.  But I think that they could learn these things themselves on their own or in groups but GCLI is not sufficient.  

These guys need to know WHY they believe what they do.  Because I think that as a rule the pastors do not KNOW this.  They have no way of answering real questions about church.

For example, here is a list of ordinary questions I don't think your average GC pastor/leader could answer (I couldn't either, but when I tried to ask questions like this... my pastor did not know the answers outside of his own interpretation of scripture):
1.  Where does the concept of original sin come from?
2.  Why do we baptize like we do?
3.  Why do we take communion like we do?
4.  Why don't we speak in tongues?
5.  Why do we talk "badly" about mainline denominations?
6.  What do Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, and Baptists really believe?  I mean really... not what we THINK they believe.
7.  How do I read the Bible?
8.  What tools should I use to study the Bible?
9.  Why is premarital sex a sin?
10.  Why do we meet on Sunday?
11.  How do I know the Bible is true?  Is it just because we believe it?  
12.  How did we GET the Bible?


You see, I think they ask for blind faith.  And when something doesn't mesh because they're wrong... some people throw out the baby with the bathwater and give up on God and Jesus altogether.

There must be depth to our faith.  Those of us who are prone to doubt (in the past anyway) need to know WHY and HOW Christianity got to where it is today.  

We were told to not read books on these matters when we were trying to embrace Christianity fully and find our place in the HUGE body of Christians that have existed throughout the ages.  This was viewed as seeking "man's knowledge" which is so crazy.  I mean how do I know that they're right and not Hindus?  I can't just take what one tiny group of people is saying and their little three ring binders (labelled GCLI) for this!

Some people REALLY want to know!  This is the kind of knowledge that DEEPENS faith!  We should not be afraid of what we'll find if we study... if we think we're right!  This attitude that they had actually made me doubt more because I was following people who hadn't examined all the angles, therefor they didn't even know the questions to ask let alone answer!

Wow, got a little carried away there!

It's not enough to have a good heart!  The Apostle Paul could not have written as he did if he had only had a good heart!  He had the benefit of theological training and was able to draw on this for his writing.  And GCLI didn't even exist then.
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2008, 01:29:41 pm »

Here are the GCC and GCM ministry directories if anyone is interested:

GCC Church Directory

GCM Campus Directory

According to the directories, the Sunday morning portion of my church was GCC, with the campus ministry being listed in both the GCC and GCM directories. Does that mean that the campus ministry was a part of GCC, but had some staff members who were paid by GCM?

I don't have time now, but it'd be interesting to go through the directory list and figure out which churches are purely GCM and not GCC.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2008, 01:45:09 pm »

I see from your list that The Rock Minneapolis is listed as a GCM church.

Hmmmmm, interestingly enough, the ECC web site welcome page says:

Quote
Evergreen is a non-denominational Christian church with five locations throughout the Twin Cities area.


On the affiliation page it says:
Quote
Evergreen Community Church is affiliated with Great Commission Churches, a US based fellowship of churches and ministries united around shared values, a common history and especially the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.


The Rock is listed as a GCM church on their web page.

ECC is one church with 5 locations including the Rock.

ECC is affiliated with GCC which they say is a US based fellowship of churches AND ministries united around many things (the one that jumps out at me is "a common history").

If the Rock is listed as a GCM church and the Rock is one of the 5 ECC churches, and ECC is a GCC church, then the Rock is a GCC church.

So, GCM and GCC are the same. Or, the web page is wrong. Or, they are part of 2 different church affiliations.

I think what frustrates me most is the lack forthrightness here. Whether or not it's intended, it is deceptive.

Just tell us the truth so we don't waste our time.

This seems to be an old problem they have. Back in the day, they were a campus organization with elders. When the campus paper confronted them on that saying a campus organization has to be made up of students and can't be a church, they denied being a church.

Everything old is new again.
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2008, 01:58:54 pm »

If GCM wants to sever association with the bad old days...

Maybe they should change their name!

 :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2008, 08:49:40 pm »

Well well Nate, I guess I'll have to reply since you're putting my name.  I'm not sure what "evidence" you think you have on me in regards to wikipedia - I've been forthright from the very beginning, unlike certain other editors.  As has been stated before, that phone call was to inform JH and DB what their options were and how wikipedia works.  There was no conspiracy, no instruction of "here's what you guys are going to do".  That's the only "evidence" you could possibly have, if you want to go before the Board feel free, I have no fear of that because I know I've done nothing wrong.   I've been upfront from the beginning on wiki, so please refrain from name-calling and threats.  I know you're hurt from whatever happened (that you won't even talk to me personally), but you're old enough to act like an adult.
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2008, 09:19:27 pm »

I was working-out how to put into writing much of what Terry said; and he did it sooo much better! That's why I like the idea of having guys OVER 30 or so years of age as elders/counselors etc...and not just because of age either: some of that old guard he mentioned is a source of trouble.

I think Terry's post comes close to a thought I've had...I think: GC would practically have to be dissembled. Period. Take, for instance, the new Testimony post:

Quote
"I don't believe GCM churches are a sham. I know they're doing some amazing things in many peoples' lives. I truly believe that God is using GCM churches and their congregations to fill some sort of need. But at the same time, the church certainly needs to wake up and honestly respond to rational criticism. I do believe that a certain amount of poison continues to seep into this movement, and if they continue to resist confronting it, they will cease to be effective teachers of the Gospel."


Now parts of that may be true...but it reminds me now of Paul:

"As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. Why? Because I do not love you? God knows! But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." --Paul, 2 Cor 11:4-5


Ever notice the boasting and corporate pride? Those last two words are two that'll really get you in deep too. Anyways good works without the word rightly rested upon the tongues of sheep, leaves it only wrested with burdens for them to bear. Works without the word KNOWN purely...leaves the hearers burning surely. I.e. you can't change the gospel and remove the church from its foundations and still give praise. It all depends, too, upon extent and kind. I think the seeker-sensitive stuff (which gets brought up) was actually just one avenue to actually remove the Church from its foundations...i.e. create something else: the reason being because the LORD adds unto His Church, but all the writings, those philosophies, and musings on "doing Church" for the "seeker" are founded upon the ill-advised (and terribly fatal) vanity that we might add to it; and saying "no, it's God using the works we're coming up with"...when they're not the "plan"/s or "method"/s (i.e. the "foolishness" Paul clearly and explicitly describes and lays-out plainly) is simply trying to dodge accountability to the word.

This isn't to say God cannot use our own stupidities, especially to reach those he, as the word says, chose before the foundation of the world: but it also warns of great falling from truth and a strong delusion...and that could be what much of this (and GC is could just be one small part) is: the closer something is to genuiness, but is off, the more dangerous. Like many times around here people will list-off a bunch of valid points and then one or two that are actually not bad: rather GC just often mis-used them. A lot of times I'll let those things go; it's usually things imminently pending about the gospel I get in a ruckus about (reason I'll bring up teaching of other groups and such).

It also isn't to say we should be clear and direct in teaching, and none of this "invite people to 30 events over the course of a year to warm-up then maybe tell them a little about God" kind of thing. Er. "Now is the day of salvation", Right?

This reminds me of the World Wide Church of God. It supposedly repented and changed doctrines...but only at the "not good enough" of critics it desperately wanted to persuade of reform; then some professor gave "all clear" on their doctrinal statements/teachings as being "evangelical" and yet even a cursory glance proves this quite untenable; I was once shocked with one of the GC leaders (before learning this stuff) saying how they hoped the Mormon Church could be reformed...interestingly some of the genuine "reformers" of the WWCG are still the most vocal critics shouting "warning...still not Jesus's". You can't simply change words on paper and announced your regeneracy in the Holy Spirit: that organization needs to be dismantled so that the real foundation may come to be that upon which each member is placed by God's choosing; the same with the Mormon "Church": it has no foundation, it's not alive, and irredeamable, however God can (and does) rescue people from that false gospel and pull them out.

This reminds me of an incident with Ravi Zacharias. The Utah Church's pastor often talks about how they brought Ravi in to speak to the Mormons...and attendees reported there were moments the mormon "elders" looked like they were squirming: but then he told a little Mormon girlr he couldn't explain the Trinity to her because "I'm a guest". Even as "guests" of the Sanhedrin and priests the Church in Jerusalem refused EVER not to speak the Truth and proclaim the gospel. Many other attendees reported that Ravi didn't so much convey the gospel as "we're your friends", and the Mormons even took pains to make clear that Ravi didn't have anything to do with the Mormon Section of "The Kingdom of the Cults"! So I was dumbstruck at the pride taken in that event..."this hasn't happened since D. L. Moody was invited to preach"! and reminisce that unlike Ravi Moody put the gospel plainly on the table...and was never invited back.

GC would truly need to be dismantled all-over and have gospel-teachers (and I'd like the Greek too, though it's not a prereq) come-in to begin clearing-up confusion come and teach the word unadulterated; at least wherever it's not on the right foundations. If it did undertake the work to the extent Terry mentioned it wouldn't even be the same, at all, structurally; nore spiritually in the sense of many of the things taught being re-visited and checked carefully.

That's kind of what makes hoping for "GC" hard: who cares so much for that thing? It's those trapped by the subtleties, taken captive and spoiled for the world rather than Jesus Christ, that we ought to be caring for: practically everyone, and I do think them worth praying/fighting/etc. for.
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nateswinton
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2008, 09:39:26 pm »

Galen,

I was referring to the part where John Hopler, a member of the GCC board of Directors, directly advised GCM staff to remove factual, sourced information from the organization's Wikipedia article.  

Did you know that during the Maryland Political controversy that the people running for office were not only appointed by the church, but that the end goal was to Secede from the Union (?!) and setup a theocracy?  The raw truth is actually way worse than the watered-down summary on Wikipedia.  John didn't even want us to re-word things, he just wanted us to do broad-sweeping removals.

You're damn right that I'm "hurt", Galen.  Only two people from Stonebrook have even talked to me since I left in October, and I didn't leave with a fight or anything.  I just quietly stopped coming because after I went off staff to get a real job, everyone started treating me like I was diseased.  I was rebuked over Facebook for not being "loyal".  How cool is that?

My wife, daughter and I lived off just over $10,000 in the 12 months that I was on staff.  After all the talk of love and loyalty, it was all a one-way street.  So I guess I must be the immature one here.  Clearly I'm out of line in feeling "hurt".  I lost more sweat and tears for that church than anything else I've ever applied myself to in my lifetime.

Like I said before, IF you guys try and start up what you had going for a while on the article (which I told DB from the beginning was too aggressive probably out of line), I'm going to be there on the other side the whole way, and I'll bring some real full disclosure to the situation.

If you take one month to look honestly at the facts and dig deep, Galen... If you allow yourself to believe only truth, no matter how bad it hurts, you'll end up where I am too.  So I don't blame you for being where you are in a way.  I was called "the zealot" in my church for a few years because of how "on board" and "loyal" I was to the Movement.  I was a rising star once too.  I was "discipled" by the right people, I was doing all the right things.  In the end, it was my conscience that got me.  I learned too much about GC* and I couldn't swallow the hook anymore.

It's not a cult, but it's dangerous.  It's aberrant for sure.  It hurts people that you love, and it's an incomplete, imbalanced gospel that's preached.  You talk about me being old enough to behave like an adult?  You have no idea where I've been and what I've been through in the last few years here.  The position you are in right now makes you iconic of everything that put my life through the blender in the last three years.  Don't think I wouldn't love to oppose what you're standing for right now.
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Linda
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2008, 09:50:06 pm »

Quote
Did you know that during the Maryland Political controversy that the people running for office were not only appointed by the church, but that the end goal was to Secede from the Union (?!) and setup a theocracy?


What?!
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randomous
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2008, 10:29:26 pm »

Yeah, you're right, John did ask us if we could remove that stuff.  There's no rule against input from people.  You and I both listened to what he said and made independent decisions that those types of changes wouldn't be appropriate under Wikipedia rules.  I still don't think we have a "fair and balanced" article, looking at articles of other movements and orgs and denoms.  But that's a different issue.  John is a free man, he's free to seek our advice and to point things out to us that he knows from experience.  What would be wrong is for me to just go and change things without a source or become a simple "tool" or extension of GCC.  I never did that, and I'm going to continue to work to improve the article, as time allows.
I definitely empathize with you on the finances issue - I made roughly that and don't have a family, and it wasn't easy for me.  But I knew how support raising worked going in, and the risks involved, and the necessity for God to do a miracle for it to work.
I'm not a "rising star" or a poster boy in any way.  I doubt I'll be an elder anytime soon, and you won't see me teaching large groups soon either.  I'm not a model Christian.  Thankfully, that's not why I went on staff.
I'm genuinely sorry that you're hurting.  Have you considered that the people you left are hurting too?  I mean, as soon as you left it was on the internet for everyone to see why.  Just saying, don't make it out like the blame is on everyone in your church.  A friend, a student, said the other date that you become an adult when you start taking personal responsibility (he said it better, and there were actually two things).
Again, I don't see why you feel the need to threaten.  If you want to oppose my edits, that's your prerogative, though I'd hope you'd just consider them in light of the quality of the article and how my edits fit within the rules rather then because they were made by me.
I don't have any personal animosity towards you, and I hope you're able to heal and stop hating me for being loyal to my church.
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