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Author Topic: How do you separate "GCx" from Christianity?  (Read 19359 times)
pvitartas
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2013, 07:46:06 pm »

I had a similar experience, and I was asked to leave in 1978.  The "church" was then called Solid Rock.
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pvitartas
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2013, 03:30:37 pm »

Reading Eric Hoffer's book, "The True Believer," an analysis of mass movements, really helped me understand what happened to me, and that my feelings upon being shunned were not unusual or otherwise out of the ordinary.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2014, 12:43:58 am »

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

Lemme give a shot at something: insofar as any standardizable doctrinal and practical commitments, GCx can be said to be Christian-like or not, depending whether their commitments are not simply formulaicly orthodox but untwisted given the wider, messed-up, context. Put another way though, it's a mix: the kind we're commanded in Scripture not to "touch" because it is "unclean". Thus, one can also say, necessarily, the crowds therein must be "mixed" company: put another way, I'm frightened at the insistence on being "fair" and calling this stuff "Christian" in the sense of "unquestionably Jesus's", when we know there are pastors on these very forums who got beaten-up and spit-out for daring bring the Bible to bear on unbiblical doctrines and teachings, and when there was rampant abuse and harm--which decades on continues unabated and accelerating: the gal I alluded to in just posting an announcement of another getting out, who was a long-time member, was also gossiped and beat-up and humiliated very publicly for even complaining about gossip: none of that has anything to do with the Spirit of God, biblical church-ing as Christ or the apostles' instructions delineate, or with doing anyone good except to protect those who lord over the sheep: scoundrels and imposters.

So put another way, it's not as though there are no Christians in GCx, no Christian moments, no Christian things: but on the whole we must not keep insisting that we call it "Christian", except perhaps in the same sense the mainline denoms are still called such for historic reasons, or Palestinian Arab Christians or Egyptian Cops who are called "Christians" because their parents were rather than any particularly cherished or sincerely held beliefs, or Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians who are so-called despite being more interested in being either Russian or Greek and alike very moral, but not really orthodox or abiding in Christ's word (also something common--and note I did waste away a bunch of time talking to a Greek Orthodox seminarian as well as another layman who admitted this really is a general pattern and problem).

I think that in the service of truth we can only say "Christian" with such qualifications, not as to show how "fair" or "kind" or "understanding" we are as to ensure we will keep or acquire approving nods or acceptance for our moderacy, but in showing the very unChristian and un-biblical and inconsistent and hypocritical and historical-roots-troubled (the axe is laid at the foot of the tree--and there is no real reason a committed Christian or servant of Christ should not pick it up and swing where the fruit is abundant...and bad), though I'll say also this: even Calvin, despite the excesses, "occasional" Papal flirt with something less-than-moral sexually, the rampant sodomy (admitted in Catholic sources and urged against) in the monasteries given the unbiblical vow of chastity (besides such vows being Scripturally forbidden, the apostolic command is that any who is incontinent is to marry rather than burn--period), and horrible twisting of doctrine (in a sort of ignorance of Scripture and attendance to things biblical and historic put over temporal, then-current, and personal concern), etc., didn't claim that Rome was entirely unChristian: unCatholic certainly, given "Roman" + "Catholic" is a fundamental contradiction--funny to claim Rome is the central Church on an ancient basis given that Antioch was, and James rather than Peter was the closest thing to a historic first among peers (which he was, in fact, called) despite however they want to finangle and argue change and development in history...he acknowledged therefore a visible-invisible division, the mix of wheat and tares, and that the thing wasn't to be condemned outright as altogether not Christian at all. Of course, they hadn't done trent and anathematized the gospel of grace yet (and oddly enough destroying and inquisitioning and pulling-up all of official and allowable Augustinianism within the Roman Catholic Church therefore and calling such "heresy" by the name of "Jansenism"), but that's another matter.

But nonetheless, even Calvinists--of the earlier pastoral and in-your-life-for-your-benefit rather than the later academically-molded teaching-from-pulpit-now-stay-away-from-me kind--of today will say, "such and such who goes to mass may be a Christian; those committed to Trentian Catholicism however, are not in the pure sense." Likewise of GC*, within--I do not merely mean those "loving" or very active and enthusiastically committed to "Church" and "the cause of Christ's kingdom" (as such things are so often vaguely, or in definitions provided unbiblically, used)--we may say there are Christians; but those engaging in lying reproach of sheep for bringing the Scriptures to bear on false teaching, well...need not be counted brothers and sisters--as Christian--at all, do they? For it's Jesus who said of that situation, "happy are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you, lying, for my sake; rejoice and exult! For great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you..." and you likely have heard the Scripture's declaration of judgement on those who rejected a prophet of God.    : ( for them.



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ustawannabee
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« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2014, 07:06:04 am »

Hunh?Huh?
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araignee19
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2014, 08:05:09 pm »

theresearchpersona, I am very much not sure I agree with that... Maybe someday I'll have time to elaborate on why.
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jcrash27
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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2015, 10:47:28 pm »

I have had problems myself with adjusting to life outside of GCx.  I have problems with severe mental illness, and I have Asperger's.  I joined GCx when I was 20 years old.  I was in college, and I had just been saved and baptized in an evangelical free church a year before.  I lived next door to these four awesome girls that were really nice and really cool and above all, they loved Jesus.  I thought their beliefs lined up with mine.  The church I went to was ultra-modern, and I thought it was really cool.  I had never had many friends before, mostly because of being an Aspie, but all of a sudden, I felt like I was really popular.  Little by little, over the next 3 years, everything around me came crashing down.

The entire time I was in GCx, I was told that my mental illness could only be relieved by God.  I was told not to see a psychiatrist or a therapist.  I was on an anti-depressant, but since I didn't really take my mental illness treatment seriously, I slipped through the cracks, only to find out almost a year after leaving the church that I had Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Asperger's, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Anti-depressants should not be used for people with Bipolar because it almost always causes mania.  I 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.  I was told that I wasn't reading the bible enough, meditating on scriptures enough, fellowshipping enough, or praying enough.  I was chastised for having a job that I desperately needed to pay for college because it was interfering with my time in fellowship and time spent with the Lord in general.  I was reproved constantly, and I became so depressed that I started cutting.  I became increasingly suicidal and had to be hospitalized on multiple occasions due to suicidal ideation and self-harm.  Eventually, I started to see that what I was a part of, what was around me completely encompassing my life, was not true Christianity.  Christianity is not meant to make you hurt so bad that you want to kill yourself.  I was a victim of spiritual abuse by GCx.  I failed out of college, I lost my job, and I lost my apartment because of my mental illness going untreated.  I didn't think I could lose anything else, but I lost all of the people I considered to be my friends when I left.

Obviously, I have spent a lot of time in therapy talking about my experiences.  I have not lost my faith, but I do not attend church anywhere.  I haven't set foot in a place of worship but twice since I left the church.  Right now, I feel that I can learn just as much by studying the bible on my own and praying.  I don't believe I need to hear someone else's interpretation of scripture.  I own 8 bibles, all in different translations that I have accumulated over the past 7 years.  I've been out of the church 4 years, but it still feels like I can never escape it completely sometimes. I even moved far away from the church I went to.  I think it is only natural to feel resentment after first leaving the church.  I can see why people might lose their faith after leaving; after being subjected to such a high level of spiritual abuse.  It isn't God that caused all of the pain and hurt.  It was people that were misguided that caused the suffering.  When I left the church, I lost all of my friends, and spent about 3 months without any friends.  I just had my dog.  I had to rely on my faith so much during that time.  I had to trust God to leave the church in the first place, but to live such a lonely life feeling all of the pain and eventually guilt was almost unbearable.  During that time, I realized the most how important my faith in Jesus was.  I appreciated his suffering and sacrifice much more, and it took 4 years, but I've finally turned things around to where I am prospering depending on your definition of prospering.

You see, it is okay to feel angry from your time in GCx.  What you experienced was wrong.  It was not Christianity.  When someone reproves someone suffering from severe mental illness in my case as not being Godly enough, that is just plain wrong.  Jesus very clearly states that you must help those with illness.  You don't chastise a person for having any illness, you help them and you love them.  For so long, I followed what I was taught in the church, but they were so wrong.  They do not truly understand mercy and they misinterpret certain scriptures.  They are the reason why people hate Christianity.  They believe they are being persecuted all of the time for their beliefs because people reject them, and they are right to reject them.  I do not agree that they are being persecuted when people reject them.  Persecution is what happens when Christians are unjustly imprisoned for their beliefs, when they are physically attacked for their beliefs, when they are exiled for their beliefs, and when they are killed for their beliefs.  When all of us left GCx, we lost all of the people we thought were friends.  We were exiled.  We were persecuted for our beliefs when we left.  Not all churches are like that.  Not all churches are bad.  True, you must be mindful of what is being taught and how it is being taught to avoid falling into that trap again, but if you cannot find a church that aligns with your beliefs and aligns with the teachings of Jesus, then you must keep looking or worship on your own.  God is always listening to true believers.  As a person that has almost died at my own hand, I know that God is there and God is listening.  I know God has a purpose for all of us, and maybe part of our purpose is being members of this forum, telling our stories and relating to the stories of others to overcome the injustice of GCx and to encourage each other to strive to live in the light and turn from all darkness.  Maybe we are all here on this forum to warn others who may look on this forum that are current members of GCx.  We all have three things in common here.  We all love the Lord, we all thought that we were following the Lord as members of GCx, and we all left GCx when we realized that they were so wrong.  Don't let GCx continue to ruin your life by turning your back on God completely.  Your quarrel is with man, not God.

Just to be clear, if you have become atheist, agnostic, or joined a religion different from Christianity, I am not trying to insult you.  Everyone has a right to have their own beliefs and if you do not believe in a God or share my beliefs, that is totally fine.  I respect you and your right to your beliefs.  I was replying as a Christian to this post that asked how to separate GCx from Christianity. 
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2015, 12:39:41 pm »

Jcrash27,

It is very interesting that your sad encounter with GCx was sooooo recent. The main defense GCx uses for their abuse is that it happened IN THE PAST and IT WASN'T THAT SERIOUS. I am glad you came on here to tell your story. I would strongly encourage you to keep it anonymous, as you have. GCx cannot be trusted with believers' lives or REPUTATIONS. To save face, they TWIST reality or the facts in their favor, when in the vast majority of cases they are the one at fault.

Many of the things you have said about them are the same traits or SIGNS seen over and over again IN SPIRITUALLY ABUSIVE CHURCHES.  Here is a very incriminating link from CBN on this serious matter:
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/biblestudyandtheology/discipleship/vonbuseck_spiritualabuse.aspx

It is commendable that you have realized they don't represent the REAL HEART OF JESUS. And, that you have separated them from Him. Perhaps that is why you were able to hold onto your faith. So many that leave are not able to separate them, and thus give up on the 'god' they learned. This, of course, is the intention of Satan's scheme in using False Teachers (falsely representing Jesus). He aims to scatter the sheep from any fellowship and ultimately from their Savior.

You have shared ways you were abused by them that are testified to so often on this GCMwarning site. The many ways the leaders pretended to be The Holy Spirit to us. In fact, it's so firm and so engrained in GCx, it's easy to start believing these FALSE VISIONS: where you should go, who you should go with, if you should work, if you should visit family, if you should plant this or that offshoot of their church, and who you should seek counsel from, and whether you should take medicine to heal from mental illness. The advice (as testified to on this site) they have given is like insensitively & firmly lecturing someone injured to read the bible more to stop bleeding. Mental illnesses require professional and often medical attention. They are deceived into thinking they have ultimate authority over your life, even more than a doctor. I'm glad you used your own sensibilities to get the help you needed.

You are soooo right in your belief that Jesus does not reject you. In fact, because of The Blood of Christ, he will never reject you. As believers, we are going to live eternally with our wonderfully loving and caring Shepherd in a life that will blow our mind. Anytime we, by faith, behold God's presence it is just a taste of the banquet bliss we'll enjoy forever. Satan does temp us, though, to miss out on trusting God implicitly, and thus, keep us from plans and harvests he longs to fulfill in us; Leaning on our own fret-filled methods of acquiring happiness. Like a faithful parent he keeps steering us back to his GLORY-lit path, NEVER giving up on us. The things we do to fill our soul end up stealing from it instead. Too many times bad habits wound us and exhaust us, yet we keep letting them hound us. I have found implementing Grace, by words of faith, to be the only long lasting cure. There's something I say to myself (or out loud) when I feel caught up in temptation or bad habits that RELAXES me and washes me afresh and frees me, truly giving me power from above to overcome them:

'MY SIN IS SO ENTIRELY ATONED FOR AND BLOTTED OUT
THAT ITS POWER TO KEEP ME AWAY FROM GOD
IS COMPLETELY AND FOREVER TAKEN AWAY'


I also want you to know that what you experienced at GCx does not seem to be uncommon there. In fact, it seemed a higher risk there than in any churches I am familiar with. It is also a form of demonic seduction, as is false teaching. I know of someone who used to lead or disciple people in his time in GCx, and thinks that GCx seemed almost to be breeding ground for homosexuality. I knew of several people who were involved in this deceptive habit (and were "accountable" to some elders to supposedly get free). Some were still operating in a leadership capacity to my recollection, even though this was definitely known by the elders. That ALWAYS CONFUSED me because others who merely disagreed with or questioned the leadership about their false "doctrines" were not only removed from leadership, but often tossed out of the church. By the way, I had hoped to NOT DISCUSS this topic on this site, but I feel you and others may be encouraged to know you weren't alone. The scriptures do say that False Prophets urge people to abstain from marriage. Many cults seem to try to control the passions of people. Since this command is not of God, I believe it led and leads to extremely codependent and very unhealthy relationships.

I have to tell you that one of my counselors (who is familiar with this type of toxic church) found it extremely rare that there was no sexual abuse among or by the top leadership (that I knew of) in such an abusive and controlling environment. Just telling you what she told me. If this was the case, it would be helpful for any to share facts alone here without any names. IT seems names should only be heard before a board of known wise & trustworthy leaders outside this organization to judge the guilt of that leader and his integrity to lead. There are trustworthy christian leaders in the body of Christ who could and should do so rather than us taking it to public trial (as the WORD of God instructs). And the outcome of such a hearing go to those affected in the Body of Christ. I hope and pray no names are ever shared in matters such as this, unless it is of absolute urgency because one is in authority and has been confirmed by many witnesses; and the person is first personally confronted by several sound godly witnesses, as I have said, from OUTSIDE THE GCx CHURCH because this group has shown time and time again, it does not have the integrity to shepherd or judge God's precious flock.

Janet


« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:56:03 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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