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Is GCx a Cult?
Yes - 12 (36.4%)
No, but cult-like - 11 (33.3%)
Seems to vary by location - 4 (12.1%)
No - 6 (18.2%)
Total Voters: 33

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Author Topic: Is GCx a Cult?  (Read 21816 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2021, 06:40:11 pm »

Is GCx a Cult?

A Former Member and Cult Experts Answer - Part 4

The remainder of Chapter 2 is an overview of 12 different well-known “Fringe Churches” who could be considered Christian but, deviate in conduct and activity. Dr. Paul Martin, in his 1993 book, also says they at Wellspring “received letters and phone calls constantly from concerned parents all over the country describing some new fringe churches in which their children have become involved.” He also highlights at that time Ron Enroth heard about new “fringe” churches on a weekly basis. The dozen Fringe Churches he outlines “have been accused by numerous former members and outside observers of manipulative techniques and authoritarian control.”

Though this is a significant portion to excerpt, I feel the information is vital to those reading here. It follows two years after GCx was called out publically as an abusive church organization by Ron Enroth in his book, “Churches That Abuse.” So, it is has been validated by an expert who was not a former member. I heard the National Evangelical Association also had thick stacks of files of complaints they received against GCx. Perhaps they along with Enroth were bamboozled into accepting that GCx had sincerely and heartily repented. This site contains testimony up until 2019 of many similar accounts of the very same conduct and activity they practiced in their earlier years. Not to mention that their “Statement of Error” (released on the heels of the first book that would expose them) was never made too public. Few received it. Some leaders even hid it from those inquiring.

After some excerpts I have added my comments in magenta to reflect more current history from this site of documented spiritually abusive experiences in GCx. See the links at the bottom to read more.

GCx was tenth on the “Cult Proofing Your Kids” Fringe Churches’ list. Below in black Garamond is Paul Martin’s text from the book.

Great Commission Association of Churches (formerly known as Great Commission International and originally called “The Blitz Movement”)

... When I was a member of GCI during the 1970’s, our leaders maintained that no other group had this same “vision,” and critics were expelled for questioning or challenging this vision of leadership. GCI was highly authoritarian, and demanded strict commitment from all followers.

When I was a member in the 80’s this still was the message and outcasting was practiced, though more through shunning.

Many ex-members have faced long years of therapy trying to recover from their experience in this group.

I, myself, required intensive therapy soon after I left in the very early 90’s, and most that I ran into also sought and received therapy to recover after they left.

Some have attempted suicide. Still others, some ten years later, sustained such psychological damage that they have been unable to get on with their lives, often taking jobs well below their educational and intellectual qualifications.

Some encouraging reforms have occurred in recent years after the founder, Jim McCotter, left the movement in the late 1980’s. However, the current leadership has not yet revoked the excommunication of its earlier critics. The admissions of error so far have been mainly confined to a position paper, the circulation of which has been questioned by many ex-members. Furthermore, Great Commission leaders have not yet contacted a number of former members who feel wronged and who have personally sought reconciliation.

Atleast one excommunication was “retracted” perhaps before GCx sought membership in NEA. Some have actually been contacted to retract criticism or remove statements of explanation (online) as to why they left when they were slandered by their local GCx leaders. Family members were contacted to try divide children from parents. Some were contacted but claimed it was insincere rhetoric. Seeking the good of the group’s reputation often seemed to remain the priority over the good of the member.

There has been some positive movement in that direction, but most ex-members that I have talked to are not fully satisfied with the reforms or apologies and feel that the issues of deep personal hurt and offense have not been adequately addressed.

Links to some Excerpted Ex-Members Experiences From this Site:





« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 04:22:29 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
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« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2022, 09:10:39 pm »

Very helpful video. Wish I had seen or heard these thought-provoking questions back when I was getting sucked into GCx’s captivy.

You Might be in a Cult - Avoiding Cult Thought  (2:24 min)


« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 07:34:45 am by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2023, 10:01:24 pm »

Reading about the controlling characteristics of another strange religious group makes it all the more creepy that GCx and it’s continuing culture stoops to the aberrant measures it does. These oppressive means in no way follow the Christ-like and respecting control of the Holy Spirit. If you read the abbreviated excerpt below, it almost sounds like GCx (Bold emphasis & italics mine):

He claimed to have heard from God, who supposedly told him, “I will teach you the Word as it has not been known since the first century if you will teach it to others.” This implies that, up until _________ revelation from God, believers throughout the centuries have not known the true meaning of God’s Word. This is another sign of a cult—only the founder and his followers have the truth and everyone else is wrong. Such a statement denies Jesus’ words in John 16:13, when He told His followers that the Holy Spirit would come and lead them into all the truth. ...

Various chilling accounts written by former members of ___________ describe brainwashing, manipulation and control of followers... Like many cults, __________ marks those who appear not to agree with the cult or who fail to obey unquestioningly and purges them. Those who are purged are avoided and escorted off ___________ campuses and utterly ignored, even by longtime friends.

Also as in many cults, the followers of __________ are lured into the group by the friendliness and acceptance they experience upon meeting __________ members. This is simply a marketing technique used by _____________ to gather followers, not genuine friendship. ...*

Perhaps when you’re propagating enough lies, you have to ruthlessly guard what comes in and what goes out so that you won’t be caught; and the main biblically unsupported premise for its existence crumbles. Public relations becomes one of its main tasks.

Anyhow, the group referred to above is The Way International. The author of the piece I read says, “The Way International promotes the two beliefs that are consistent with every Christian cult—they deny the deity of Jesus Christ and they believe in works righteousness...” The founder of this group later wrote a book called Jesus Is Not God.


« Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 08:58:15 am by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2023, 09:00:04 am »

A Spiritual Recovery Ministry
Defines Abuse and Cult

This is an article worth reading as it provides some fresh perspective into the terrible problem of spiritual abuse. (This particular ministry, Barnabas Ministry, is different from the plural one, Barnabas Ministries which is for pastors.) Here is description from their website from which the excerpts below were taken.

The Barnabas Ministry was started in 1999 with the idea of helping those involved in a particular church movement. Over time, it has become a resource used by people around the country and the world from many different churches to understand and recover from negative church and spiritual experiences. This is the primary goal of the Barnabas Ministry.

Here are some interesting sections I have pulled from one article, “The Yeast of the Pharisees: Spiritual Abuse by Pastors and Counselors,” by Edward J. Cumella, Ph. D.

Spiritual abuse began in the Garden of Eden: Satan manipulated God's words and convinced our earliest parents to follow him instead of God. This event epitomizes all spiritual abuse. …

Christians believe that human beings have a spirit that connects us to God. As such, spiritual abuse consists of actions that distort or sever our relationship with God. Since identity derives from knowing who we are in relation to God, spiritual abuse harms self-concept and self-worth. Spiritual abuse also causes mental and emotional distress, and is therefore a form of mental/emotional abuse. …

Dr. Cumella goes on to describes 13 features of spiritual abuse of which this is the last:

Ensnarement. Rather than promoting maturity among believers, abusive leaders inevitably promote self-doubt, guilt, and identity confusion, since believers struggle with the contradiction between what their conscience and reason tell them and what they are being taught. This ambivalence, coupled with fear of condemnation and loss of direction and fellowship, make it difficult and painful for believers to leave abusive churches. …

And then explains a point worth consideration:

Think about a cult, for at its most severe, a spiritually abusive church is a cult. It has so diverged from solid Biblical teaching and grown so warped in the authoritarian rule of one man, that it has become a place of idolatry where God is no longer worshipped. "Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees." (Galatians 5:7-10, Matthew 16:6).

The Yeast of the Pharisees: Spiritual Abuse by Pastors and Counselors by Edward J. Cumella, Ph. D.


« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 02:47:12 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2023, 11:07:13 am »

Cult or not. They're very destructive to the body of Christ. Their "heirarchy" is bad for all individuals. We are all equal in God's eyes.
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