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Author Topic: Leaving GCx Churches  (Read 8325 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2023, 06:47:15 pm »



I too have been thinking of leaving. I have been part of a GCM church since 1990. I struggle because I know I will loose all my friends. I have given so much of my life to this church. I have mixed feelings because I got saved as a result of this location and have since had a personal relationship with Christ. ... I see some things in recent years I do not agree with. I have voiced my concerns but in the end it seems it just rolls off their backs. ...

I also want a more in depth walk and more in depth teaching. It seems like everything is geared to the new believer and finding new believers, but little to maintain the ones who have been there for a while.   Questions that still nag at me is about the church: over 18 years I have seen thousands come and go, why can't they keep the people that get saved there? ...  Shouldn't a healthy church be able to keep the ones already there as well as lead new belivers to Christ?

... I am trying to find a good church in the area and hope to spend this month going to the GCM location on Friday and then Sundays check out the other churchs.  I am hoping the Lord will lead me in the right direction as to where he wants me to go.

-Peggy,   2008


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« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2023, 06:53:10 pm »



But control of the individual is the name of the cult game.  So while GC may have true religion, they are cultic in their aberrant desire to control and manipulate for their own ends and the good of their own leadership. …

Since I left I have found many churches that are MUCH better than GC churches!  Not just a little better, but MUCH better.  

It is not even a little true that all churches are basically the same with the same problems.  All churches are different, some more different than others.  No church is perfect, 'cause they all are populated and run by sinners redeemed by Christ.  But some churches are populated and run by men who are far more compassionate, spiritually sensitive, and biblically trained than GC churches. …

Get away from GC, find out the truth, and celebrate the sweet freedom of worship in a church that understands how to edify all the saints and how to grow the gifts of all who attend.  If you find your present church is no better than your ex-GC church, you simply settled into the wrong church...keep looking!

-anonymoustoday,   2009




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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2023, 09:03:10 pm »



I started attending a GC church my freshman year of high school and left 12 years later at 25 years old. …
When my wife and I left we were very careful to not talk about our experience because we were trying to avoid being labeled gossips and slanderers. We had close relationships we were trying to salvage which eroded anyhow (until recently, now that many of our old friends are leaving GC as well). I speak up now because the things that drove us out of the church in 2011 were still happening in 2016, and perhaps my voice can help someone avoid the pain I experienced.

I left in 2011. Prior to leaving we were processing some unnecessary and harmful church discipline our pastors had carried out against a family member of mine. I think I had an inkling that there were people online who criticized the movement …

All that to say when I started questioning whether my pastors were doing the right thing I went looking and found this site.[/b. It helped me understand why my pastors were doing what they were doing. As we left I found it healing to read this forum and learn that I wasn't crazy, I wasn't making a huge mistake, that others had similar experiences across multiple churches in the movement. After a while I didn't visit the forum as I got my feet underneath me again. I returned just recently.

When we left we were very deliberate to not say anything that could be construed as gossip and slander against the pastors so that we could avoid the shunning and formal excommunication our family members experienced. Our closest friends were at that church and showed no signs of ever leaving; we were dead-set to do what we could to preserve tenuous relationships. In the 7 years since I've found my voice and feel that I can help others by telling my story and letting others know they are not alone, they are not crazy, that there is hope in their future. So now I post to warn and shine light into dark corners.


-Boggs,   2018




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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2023, 04:39:24 pm »



The main issue people are leaving is because of the work based theology GCM [GCx alias more recently relabeled “Reliant Mission”] is adopting and practicing. Youths are being exposed to the theory of loyalty and performance rather than repenting & believing idea. … they are brainwashing people with the tradition & custom of their own GC Theology (which I like to call GCeology.)

-Alibi,   2010


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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2023, 08:10:42 am »

It was hard to leave.
They told my roommate Karen to follow me and not let me talk to Anita (who left the group).
I was scared but I should just have called the police. I wonder if Karen G (who married Ed D) from the OSU Solid Rock group is still in the group.
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2023, 06:18:24 pm »



It's so deceptive that they don't tell people from the start that they aren't allowed to leave without the elders' approval.  If they did, most people wouldn't even get involved with the GCx cult.

-Therese,   2023



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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2023, 07:18:19 pm »



There was a girl who came around for a while from Drake. She made a profession of faith and then at semester moved to Chicago. I found out later that she went through counseling to get deprogrammed. Looking back, I can point to some people who left suddenly and switched schools. Don't know if that still happens or not. I wonder at times if there was more to it than just finding a different major at a different school.
-DevastatedTC,   2013


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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2023, 10:13:51 am »



I and my wife…were involved with a GC church in Richmond KY [1987-1989]. … It was connected to Eastern Kentucky University. … I also learned what a wreckage of human lives a church can enact when steered by ungifted and fleshly men at the helm. … Many of the other principle actors in that drama have changed over the last two decades though; they simply are different people now. … I'm pretty sure Columbus [GCx Church & Leadership in Ohio] was our "mother", but I can't swear to it. …

YOU are responsible to God for YOUR descisions and actions.  FLEE.  FLEE NOW.  It will only be harder later.  Find a Bible-believing and teaching church in the community, and get OUT!

-Rev. Russ Westbrook,   2012



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« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2023, 05:46:08 pm »



It was difficult, painful and just like the rest, JC [GCx leader’s name abbreviated] was emotionally and verbally abusive. I have so many stories. My point.....run as fast as you can from them. It took me 12 years to finally leave, and by then, the depression that I denied for so many years had taken its toll. …

We found out that the [GCx] leadership held a church wide meeting informing everyone to avoid contact as we had "back-sliden". Wow.....can't believe I still remember the term. I've never in my life experienced such rejection. We lost our "friends", it was very difficult on our kids.

-Leftin87


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« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2023, 09:24:39 pm »



I attended Summitview and The Rock [GCx Churches] in Fort Collins from 2006-2011. ...

Our final straw was at one Wednesday night Bible study my fiance and I were told that we could not sit near each other- it was causing single members to become jealous and stumble. I then announced that my fiance and I would not be attending any further Symbio, Rock or Summitview events. ...

I will just say that the next few months I received some harassing phone calls and emails from former friends at the Rock, leading up to me being told that I probably shouldn't associate with people from GC anymore. I even saw several people who I knew and used to have pleasant relationships with turning and walking the other direction when they saw me on the street. ... In the three years that have followed I have experienced so much depression and self doubt about how everything went down. I know in my brain that I made the right decision to leave but it was just so hard to have people that I thought were my friends attack me and cut me off. My wife and I have struggled to join another church for fear of being hurt like we were hurt before. As much as it makes me sick to admit, It has really shaken the foundations of my faith.

-crp87


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« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2023, 08:04:26 pm »



I left a great commission [GCx] church a few months ago, and I'm having a hard time finding a new church ... And having been conditioned to believe in only great commission, it's completely unknown territory for me. ... I just couldn't keep pretending everything that church does is okay...

I think the saddest part about all this is that there were a lot of good times, if you were in GCM, you had a built in group of friends, never alone, always someone to have fun with.... But it was so twisted, underneath all that was so much deception and manipulation...

-Differentstrokes,   2015



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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2023, 02:09:33 pm »



I left Candlewood [GCx Church in Omaha, Nebraska] about 7-8 years ago. I thought I had at least a few true friends there as we were all "doing life together" in college, but I was quickly avoided and/or shunned by most of them. Sometimes if I think about it, I still get a little sad and confused.

-Darkblue,   2015


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« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2023, 07:01:25 pm »



From my experience and from many on this forum, when a person leaves the movement it is painful at first but then the freedom of reading and understanding the Bible independently of controlling and heavy handed pastors is extremely liberating. This is where real recovery and healing can take place. It also helps to talk with others who have left the movement. We all had different experiences, but also a lot in common. The GCx movement is cultish, no doubt about it, and it takes time to "debrief".

-GodisFaithful,   2019


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« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2023, 06:46:35 pm »



I have a lot of family and friends still in the [GCx] movement, but I came to the realization that it was extremely unhealthy for me. … it has significantly unhealthy patterns that have spanned decades that, in my opinion, go beyond 'normal' church problems. …

I have been a member of three churches since I left, and all of them had issues, but not in the same scope at all. I would recommend taking a step back to gain perspective, as I think it is hard to see some patterns (especially those of control/authoritarianism) when you are swimming in the water. May God give you clarity and grace. …

In GCC I felt unable to make my own life choices - only a few paths were legitimate Christian choices. (No one has ever tried to control my choices since leaving). I also have experienced unconditional acceptance and love. Church members have not had an agenda for me. I experienced freedom and grace, rather than legalism and compulsion. I also have experienced pastors who do not care if I have my own views on things like the age of the earth and do not insist on submission to them. …

My handle here is Free in Christ, because I didn't experience that freedom truly until I rejected the claims of that church on me. …

-Free in Christ,   2018
 

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« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2023, 06:39:59 pm »



I left a Great Commission Ministries (GCM) church in the midwest in the recent past, but I still can’t read the Epistles without cringing. I didn’t realize the effect the church had on me until after I left. …

Every decision had to have a basis around the church. You couldn’t just do something (go on a trip, attend a non-church event, hang out with someone) without a church or evangelical reason. Personal pleasure, joy, and desire had no place in the life of the church. … Marriage was treated more like a business/ministry partnership than a relationship built on love and friendship.

The messages were all the same–loyalty, submission, evangelism, purity–that didn’t meet an inner longing for God. … It felt very shallow. … I didn’t leave for several years after. …freedom is scary. I liked all the rules. It made me feel safe and like I was following God in the “right” and “best” way. I felt guilty a lot and like I wasn’t doing enough…

The good thing is that though I came in like a lamb, I left like a lion.

-Genevieve,   2007


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« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2023, 07:12:41 pm »



We belonged to this [GCx] OSU college group when it was called Solid Rock back in late 70s and early 80s. It was cultish, controlling and abusive. We both left, at different times. They made it difficult to leave but we persisted and managed. Then when we contacted some members later, they shamed us for leaving. They asked sternly more than once "why did you leave?" "We hope you come to your senses". They told us that repeatedly. We were stunned. They acted like they were the best church in the world and you're not right with God if you leave. Actually they did tell us more than once that our relationship with God wasn't right. But they didn't have any sin to point to except the sin of leaving (what they called it).

Please stay away from this group unless they changed for the better.

-Therese,   2023


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« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2023, 06:35:44 pm »


I’m guessing most GCx members have never heard the basis of this disbanding of a “GCx Church” unless they read “Marching to Zion” by former GCx member Larry Pile. Looking back it’s hard to believe so many of us were entrapped by such an audacious claim!


...the local elders of the [GCx] Blitz group in Columbia, MO...had decided to disband the group, concluding that it simply was not a New Testament church. The brothers had come to believe that their basis for existing as a separate entity in Columbia was unscriptural - i.e., believing they were "the church" or "the saints" in Columbia to the exclusion of other believers there. Upon realizing that others were just as valid, "we no longer felt compelled to continue," says Eugene, "as if we were the last to uphold the banner." Now free to do as they saw fit, they recognized that their group, for many reasons, wasn't very healthy, and they saw a church across town practicing the body life they desired, as well as being much more stable and a more accurate cross-section of the community. So, most of the Blitz members funneled themselves into this other church, and became active, contributing members of its fellowship.

-Larry Pile, “Marching to Zion”



Those “GCx” elders practiced good shepherding to humbly acknowledge that false claim and other errors/reasons that made them “not very healthy.” They were wise to be the example for others to follow in leaving “GCx” and going to a healthy church. What if all the “GCx” elders listened to the Holy Spirit more than men back then and also left? We would have little need for this site. But sadly there are still people coming out of “GCx” Churches (rebranded) today who have been desperately wounded psychologically and spiritually.

If you are seeking to please God and not men, and Christ truly dwells in you; you too can hear the still quiet voice of God (in your Spirit or His Word), and also leave. You can warn others inside to protect their precious faith and get out. It’s not too late to do what you should have done a long time ago. You can do what you God truly calls you to do —TRUST Him for your future.

Here is an encouraging music video to agree with by FAITH:


FEAR IS NOT MY FUTURE - Kirk Franklin, Maverick City Music, BrandonLake (w/ lyrics)

https://youtu.be/7C1Dp9m98JM



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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2023, 08:46:35 pm »



I've felt "STUCK" in not wanting to leave those I'm in fellowship with...but not wanting to fellowship with error. The hard part may come in trying to explain to them why exactly I need to leave...because they really look up to the leaders etc.. But I can't stand watching the mis-training, especially in business pragmatics glossed with evangelical pop-lingo; and the poor teaching of wrested scripture and proof-texting...and then watch as pastors and "leaders" spin any and every criticism, crack jokes about those who'd dare correct an imperfect teacher, and so on. ... I've watched plenty of people go for advice in leaving...and they're ALWAYS told NO; and I've watched people take concerns over error and they're flat-blank told "WE'D BE OKAY IF YOU LEAVE". I also know where some of this policy comes from; rather, though, than delve deep into scripture to investigate claims of abuse etc. they blow it off an defend one another, then call those little sheep slanderers and divisive.

-theresearchpersona



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« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2023, 06:29:14 pm »



I was in college, and only wanted to become a nurse, but had only got into programs out of state.  (I had prayed about the profession for a whole summer and the school for quite some time after that.)  After announcing my plan to leave the state for one of these programs my GC [GCx alias] friends (my only friends at that point because being a good member of GC is so time consuming) stopped calling me.  It was forecasted that I would turn my back on God, as the pastor my for age group gave me multiple examples.

This incident helped me to see how much more my "friends" were dedicated to the church than to me.  It made leaving easier.

-Daisy


We ended up leaving the church because R. and D., who's now at [GCx Church] Coulee Rock in La Crosse, Wisconsin, distorted definitions of gossip and slander to excommunicate a family member. In my opinion the asymmetrical information access (pastors expect to hear about members, but members dare not speak ill of pastors) is critical to maintain the pastors' power.

-Boggs,   2018


This observation applies to the college ministry. ... Most people that leave the [GCx] church are viewed as disloyal and probably struggling in their walk with God. Basically there is practically no way that someone can leave the church and remain in good standing. When people leave, they are either not committed enough, not willing to live the Christian life, selfishly pursuing their ambitions, not following the will of God, etc. It doesn't matter if the person leaves and joins another church or if the person leaves to go home to their family or if they leave to go somewhere to follow their job and join a church there or if they leave because the church isn't the right fit for them. And it doesn't matter your real reasons for leaving, people will eventually come up with a story of how you had been struggling with something and how you had been sinning.  If you leave, you're considered a traitor and will have minimal interaction with a lot of the people in the church. ... This sounds harsh but I've seen it happen repeatedly, especially in the college ministry.

-Ruth,   2010


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« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2023, 03:29:10 pm »



...I have been so pleasantly surprised by other Christians and churches we have experienced since the time we left [GCx]. There are so many amazing churches and people following Christ. God is so big, and His expressions throughout the world are not nearly as narrow as one singular movement. We have experienced a lot of grace and acceptance, and that has been very healing.

Last, a book that really helped me is "Grace Awakening" by Charles Swindoll. It's from 1990, but still has a lot of good truth. It really helped me in rejecting legalism and embracing the freedom we have in Christ. It's funny, it's such a foundational, simple Christian book about grace, but reading it felt very subversive in the context of that church.

Now my husband and I are actively involved in church, but I did have to take several years off from church, as I was very wary of it, as are many of the others on this site. So be kind to yourself. You have a lot to process through. It takes time, and what it looks like might be different for each person. If you do need to take a break from church to heal, find a good friend who truly is free in Christ, and involve them in the process so you won't feel so alone.

-Free in Christ,   2018


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