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Author Topic: Leaving GCx Churches  (Read 7791 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« on: January 28, 2021, 09:13:12 pm »

Leaving GCx Churches



Here is the first of several testimonies revealing what members experienced when leaving GCx.



One of the neat ways God has shown me that He is my healer has been putting people in my life who have shared their story of leaving our church—I identify with them.  A woman who moved onto my street told me about being betrayed by her small group leader. The lady I randomly went to for a haircut told me her theological issues (same as mine!) that made her walk away. Two friends left after me and although we don’t see each other often we understand each other and it’s been beautiful to breathe easier and share more freely all that God is doing because there’s nothing to prove to each other anymore. I’d definitely say trauma is the word for leaving what I thought was my identity and future and the Lord has proved faithful. This forum has been a good place to process and though it’s been rough lately, in a strange way even the debates have been healing...

...After reading this forum, I'd say it is the same. Several people started reading and studying their Bible on their own and had their eyes opened to grace. Then were labeled as bitter, divisive and falling away. But the thing is, people do struggle after leaving the church, many words and ideas have to be completely redefined without the legalism attached.
-Mary7


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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 09:28:31 pm »

Leaving GCx Churches



I thought I would have stayed for my life.  I didn't make any formal commitment, like many have, but I never planned to leave either.  I stayed even when I thought they were wrong on some things.  There are no two christians who will agree on everything...  But with the GCM church, it finally became too many things to follow at all, and too many things that seemed downright dangerously off mark...  
-graceforall



I was about as deep as someone can get into GC for about 10 years. When I left... It's like I woke up. It's like my identity had been erased during those ten years. Talking about not being able to have any dreams or goals of your own! I lived that for ten years!
-escapee



I lost a lot of friends when I left the Rock (GC campus ministry), but I still have a few true friends who stick by me, and I discovered the strength and value of other friends I had outside the Rock.  The most important true friend I discovered was God.
-2xA Ron    [left ~ 2012]





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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2021, 02:00:25 pm »

Leaving GCx Churches


Some of the aftermath of leaving a GCx Church can often include PTSD.


I am waking up out of the mind control and seeing the truth of how distorted GCC [GCx alias] is and how real and close and loving God is. I also was in GCC for 18 years and consider it a miracle of Gods grace that I am out and out of mind control. The mind control piece, in my experience, is the most damaging aspect. My heart breaks for the people I love who are still blind and trapped by it. ...

Some of us might have PTSD from our [GCx] church experience. That is so sad and NOT at all what Jesus desired Christianity to bring to the world. It’s also a clear statement of shame on an organization that says it most accurately follows New Testament Christianity.

In our family of six, half of us have PTSD. Yes, that means one of our four kids has ptsd from church abuse. That’s really sad.  AND I am so proud of her; she can tell you who bullied her and she can tell you with compassion who is truly a nice person but who is trapped.

Some people on this site are from years back. I deeply appreciate their voices of history as they affirm my much more recent experience of abuse and leaving GCC. Together we have a shared history and present; we are a voice of strong evidence that these churches were and remain abusive and even unchrist-like. ...

I am thankful to be out of GCC because now we are free to live and love and be loved.

If you decide you need to leave your GCC church I pray and hope for you to continue to seek your faith.  I also pray that you will give yourself the grace and space to heal. I pray that you will find that leaving your GCC church was a possible necessary and good step towards truly finding love, joy, peace and all the fruits of the spirit.  I trust that Jesus will meet you and carry you all the way to complete restored mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

-Cult Proof    [left ~ 2016]
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 10:25:42 pm »

This has been posted somewhere before on this Forum, but thought it was worthy of repeating.  I don’t think I heard why most people left either when I was in GCx.  It was pretty mysterious, except for the usual slanderous criticism if people asked.  I also felt as if I were sneakily trying to escape when I left.  


More than once I knew of people leaving by another route....escaping as if from a prison in the middle of the night with not a sign or clue as to where they had gone.  Not something you would find in most churches, or in most strict religious communities for that matter. ... The exclusivity, the confinement of mind and company and; sadly, the arrogance of the church made it clear to me that I had to leave.
-miserere




I read this section of scripture the other day.  It reminded again of how God VERY PERSONALLY addresses us as if in a direct face-to-face conversation through certain verses of His Word to get our attention.  This section was one of several he repeatedly kept pointing me to when I was in GCx.  He wanted to illuminate my spiritual eyes to bullying I was subjecting myself to in the GCx teaching and culture.  It was destroying my confidence and empowerment in Christ.  God was trying to help me see I needed to remove myself from such leaders and such an environment.


the abounding GOOD NEWS was deceptively chipped away at in GCx. Before long I was thinking and acting like a spiritual pauper, groveling to find favor with God. Those who looked down on me there not only put me in a lowly place, but served to keep me there. Below is a scripture God would continually highlight to me while in GCx, but I was blind to who and what was bullying me.
-Janet




"How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down--
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
But in their hearts they curse”.
                                                     
Psalm 62:3-4


Please pray about what God might saying to you through scriptures he repeatedly and personally points out to you.  They are out of a deep love.




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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 09:23:36 pm »

Leaving GCx Churches & Finding What We’re Missing


The difference was immediately noticeable for me after leaving GCx when I finally found a healthy church.  Though I was a bit nervous at first, the atmosphere was so relaxed and normal.  The people weren’t clamoring to get me “knit in”.  They were naturally welcoming, but not trying to convince me to attend every activity.  I never felt like a project.  I wasn’t expected to be at everything.  No one pretended to be best friends with me, manipulating my schedule or my choices.  Friendships grew in a relaxed way at this new church.  People were real and pretty authentic.  They was plenty of appreciation for all and love among close friends.  Over the 10 years there (where I met my husband) I was VERY blessed to enjoy some very special friendships, including one woman who has remained one of my closest friends to this day, even though I moved away and went to a different “denomination”.  I agree with the former member below - it is very sad that those inside GCx don’t know what they are missing.  


I just want to say that one of the most destructive things I experienced in the GCC church I attended, and one of the reasons it is so hard to heal, was the way they screwed up my view of God. ... I never felt ministered to at my GCC church, I felt I had to perform, or that I was a project and once I no longer danced to the music I was quarantined and kept apart and now shunned.   The funny thing is that in the 2 years we attended the healing church, I like to say it is where God sent us to lick our wounds, There was never a shortage of teachers or people to take care of all the little things. Hmmmm.. maybe this Christ like love has something to do with it. I am not sure what kind of response I want from this post. just sharing a revelation that came to me this week.  It makes me grieve for the leadership of my GCC church...they don't know what they are missing.
-unsubscribed

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 07:05:19 pm »

Leaving GCx Churches & Finding What We’re Missing
(Continued)



I crashed and burned and ended up in the GC ash pile years ago. By God's grace I eventually found a small fellowship with a pastor who understands that Christ is our life -- not the church, not leadership, and not any other human endeavor or relationship.

Someone in here mentioned Maj. Ian Thomas; my pastor knew him. I got to hear him speak once a few years before he died in 2007. I read "The Saving Life of Christ" and it was a spring board for me to start reading the Bible again. In my years in GC, the Bible more or less became my military handbook and God was the General whose orders came down through the elders. blecchhhhhh!
 
Now I am getting reacquainted with Jesus and realizing anew what true love really is. How many of you have the "Footprints" passage on your refrigerator door? I do!

Jesus sticks closer than a brother, and his consolations have started delighting my soul again. I never responded to all the warning flags at GC until the damage was done in my life. Ultimately, I am responsible for listening to error. I had the Holy Spirit to lead and to guide me, but I let men lead me instead. I am not minimizing the effect of the error preached at GC -- it is tragic to read so many of the stories in here -- but take heart, Jesus is still the Truth, and He will set us free.
-newcreature






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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2021, 08:45:39 pm »

This is an informative excerpt about Mike Royal (former member of GCx) from an article titled “Student tells story of cult involvement - Officials work to limit influence” by Lynn Gibson, found in The Gamecock, U of Southern Carolina, April 30, 1990.  Royal was one of several former leaders McCotter slandered quite  dramatically in a sudden ‘middle-of-the-night assembly’ where they were vehemently condemned and labeled ravenous dogs and worse for several long hours. Royal explains here some of the challenges of leaving a cultish church like GCx (he uses the name at that time - GCI). The link to the full article is below.



Exit counselor's views

Mike Royal, a Charleston real estate investor, has good reasons for his concern about cults. He used to be in one. Royal was involved with Great Commission International, which is recognized by both the American Family Foundation and the Cult Awareness Network as a cult, from 1976 to 1980. At one point, he was the executive editor of Today's Student, GCI's national newsletter. GCI was founded by Jim McCotter in 1972 in Iowa and has since grown to an international organization with 80 churchs [sic] associated worldwide.

Royal said he was close to McCotter himself until he walked away after being deemed "unspiritual" for questioning McCotter. Since then, Royal has dedicated his life to helping others get out of destructive cults. He received an master's of social work at the University of Georgia and has done intervention and counselling to cult members in several states. "These groups (Boston Church of Christ and GCI) are using mind-control techniques to get people in and to keep them in," he said. Royal said most cult members are sincere in their beliefs and aren't aware of the techniques being used. "Part of mind control is you're not aware you're under it," he said. "These groups strip you of your critical thought processes. If you find yourself doubting them, you're no longer under their control."

This is the reason for involuntary intervention, which many exit counselors are wary of participating in because of increasing legal action by the cult members", Royal said. "If you're taught that your beliefs are going to be persecuted by unbelievers, why would you voluntarily listen to someone tell you're brainwashed?" he said. Royal said his interventions, which are free and usually arranged by friends and families of the cult members, are not always successful. "Whether people leave through intervention or not, they need support," he said. "They feel foolish for believing and often, they've lost their only social outlet. They need to resolve their feelings of guilt.” Royal said cults operate on guilt. "In other churches, you are offered salvation if you believe," he said. "In these groups, you're never fully 'saved' - there's always something you could do wrong."

Cults also separate members from their family, he said. "That's one of the first things they do," he said. "They want you away from people who care, who question your relationship with the church. They tell you to expect persecution because that's part of testing your faith." "Most people in the cults are sincere," he said, "but the leaders are aware of what they're doing. They control minds for money, for power, for the security of having people at their beck and call.["]




Full article:
https://www.culteducation.com/group/1046-great-commission-international/13273-student-tells-story-of-cult-involvement.html




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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2021, 07:48:05 pm »

While reading Richard Harvey's "The Cause and Effect: A Closer Look" in the GCx Library on this site, I came across a quote appropriate to this thread.


Tozer says:

"When confused sheep start over a cliff the individual sheep can save himself only by separating from the flock. Perfect unity at such a time can only mean total destruction for all. The wise sheep to save his own hide disaffiliates."


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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2022, 08:47:32 pm »

CBN has a good article, part three of Warning Signs of Spiritual Abuse. It highlights such abusive controls as Performance Emphasis, Fear Motivation, and Painful Exit which we were all too familiar with in GCx. It is encouraging when we hear our dilemma identified by reliable sources and can have confidence to leave.



When a pastor tells his congregation that those who leave his church or disobey his authority are in danger of God’s wrath, you can be sure this man is operating in a spirit of control. He is attempting to sue [sew] fear as a carnal means of keeping people in his church. The line usually goes like this: “If you leave our church, the blessing of God will be lifted from your life, and you will miss God’s will.” Another version says, “If you leave our church, you will be in rebellion, and Satan will be free to bring havoc into your life.”

- Mike Fehlauer, for CBN Online



From Link:
https://www1.cbn.com/warning-signs-of-spiritual-abuse-part-iii



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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2022, 08:43:22 pm »

This is from a woman who is probably stronger than she thinks, and more of an inspiration than she realizes because she was courageous enough to leave GCx after having been inside for 30 years. Her brave determination to thoughtfully consider and uncover the red flags she had been observing and experiencing for so many years could have been an overwhelming challenge. A challenge many would rather ignore or deny. Imagine if you’d been beaten down for that long by people who deceptively and erroneously claim God’s authority, you may not even want to speak his name.

While those in GCx who are spiritually corrupt or covering and complicit for those who are, they may think they are operating in secret, but God very much sees and He acts on their behalf. They are the apple of His eye. Here are some of her candid words on her gutsy journey out of GCx that she offers to others who may feel the same, so they perhaps would not feel alone.


Red Flags. We've all had them. Over time, we toss them aside, then we toss some dirt on them. More flags appear, and someone convinces us that it's our imagination--or our sin, so we toss those aside too.

It's hard to unearth these red flags, especially when there are so many and they are buried so deep. Plus it means that you have to admit that you ignored them for so long and were taken in by a different gospel, so to speak. A message of legalism & conformity, not a message of grace & freedom. Galatians 5.1 says: It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
. . .
A friend introduced me to a podcast called "The Place We Find Ourselves".  Episode 89, released on May 12, is titled "Spiritual Abuse" and is accurately descriptive of my experience with the Great Commission groups I was involved with. The host interviews Rachael Clinton Chen, who actually never names the group/s she was abused by, but the story sounds so familiar.

Then, knowing how difficult it has been for me to reconnect with God since my departure from Great Commission, my friend referred me back to Episode 38 of the same podcast, entitled "The Process of Learning to Hear from God." Also very good.
. . .
C.S. Lewis once said: Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

That is why this site is helpful and necessary.


-Margaret



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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2022, 08:34:52 pm »

It was sadly pretty acceptable for disciplers in GCx to wheel a lot of control over their disciplees passing down what they had experienced from their own disciplers eventually back to the GCx leaders at the top. Things like pressing people to attend every meeting even if meant they couldn’t study for a test or diligently complete their assignments, miss important family events, or attend to family members needs. It was quite regular to dictate who your friends should and shouldn’t be including other Christian family and friends, or how much time you spent with them. Usually this was because the leaders feared those outside the church would inform members of how harmful this strange culture really was. They used lies and deceptive threats at any cost to keep them from leaving.

It wasn’t unusual for them to dictate how one needed to dress or spend their time and money, and rebuke them often when they didn’t submit to their “controls.” In this case, the member’s phone was actually confiscated by her discipler (leader) because she was communicating with those outside the church. Sadly, this type of control was “acceptable” in GCx Churches. She recalls her real experience below.


I also left the Manhattan [Kansas GCx] church. I'm glad some other people are getting out. Leaving was the best and hardest thing I've ever done. I'm glad I found this forum.

So, yes, my experience was bad. I was about as deep as someone can get into GC for about 10 years. When I left... I really can hardly describe it. It's like I woke up. It's like my identity had been erased during those ten years. Talking about not being able to have any dreams or goals of your own! I lived that for ten years!

Some memorable moments... when one of the "leaders" (I was a "leader" too by the way) took my phone away from me for about four days because she didn't like who I was talking to. She held onto it and made me tell people I was "fasting" from my phone.

Anyway, I left shortly after that (about one year ago). For ten years I'd known in the back of my head that I was in a cult but that sort of flat out control gave me the final push.
...
Kept it from me for 4 days. I was texting people outside the church and this leader thought they were a bad influence on me. I was TWENTY FIVE years old.

-escapee    [left ~ 2009]



It would be easy to guess that if these isolating and controlling measures were not used by GCx the majority of people would have left their churches not long after they entered.



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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2022, 08:31:46 pm »


There have been wrong ideas spread about why many people are leaving GCM. Huh. GCC people say that people are leaving because of Calvinism, but I don't see Calvinism as the real issue. Yes God is sovereign and not everyone wanna accept that sovereignty of God. The main issue people are leaving is because of the work based theology GCM is adopting and practicing. Youths are being exposed to the theory of loyalty and performance rather than repenting & believing idea.

They think its a great thing to make people brainwashed with the word of God (as Mark Darling suggested in faithwalkers & many GC pastors say in their messages) but they are brainwashing people with the tradition & custom of their own GC Theology (which I like to call GCeology).

-Alibi




I felt a "weird" feeling the first time I went there, but it took 8 years for my brain to catch up to my instinct.

-Agatha L’Orange




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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2022, 09:21:09 pm »

The Apostle Paul calls people who liken their “authority” to God’s or their “husbandry” to Christ’s two names: Idolators and Adulterers. To say Paul is livid about such claims would not be an overstatement. But, pervertedly, those have been the claims in the vast majority of GCx Churches.



What I find so disturbing is the analogy of leaving a GCx church to a divorce.  We heard that when we left, and were told that right to our face.  It is so wrong.  And yet, we now see how this statement is believed at the GCx members if that's what the pastors are preaching, sharing with their down lines, and absorbing as truth.  It's not Truth.  Someone point to Truth in the Bible where leaving a church is parallel to divorce of a man and a woman.

We didn't even attempt to correct people on their misaligned theology, particularly because we were already seen as haters.  This is still so grieving, because nothing was further from the truth.  We joyfully gave so many years, and did so in the faithful, available, teachable way that was always presented. What it felt like was a slam of a door and has shown us the true colors of many inside the GCx church.  This has got to be grieving to Christ as well.

-EyesOnChrist




Leaving the [GCx] Rock Church in Salt Lake City was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. Looking back, however, my only regret is not having left sooner. To anyone that's in a similar position to where I was when I created that post, I'm so sorry that you have to go through this and I also have hope that you can do what you need to do to take care of yourself and make out in one piece. Spiritual abuse and control is very painful and damaging. The journey back to yourself takes time and is so worthwhile. Good luck to all!

-Ophelia



It was certainly challenging when I left GCx, because one wrestles with a lot of emotions like 'is God angry with me because I left,' or 'am I being rebellious to God's will by leaving?' because GCx sure makes it seem like they have the cornerstone on what the following the will of God means and looks like, and that they're only ones who truly comprehend scripture and have a sincere heart, etc. ... "We are exceptional in comparison to other believers" seems to be a permeating attitude among leadership.  

One has to learn to separate the notion of divorcing GCx, from the notion of divorcing God, because the two are not the same -- though they might feel the same. We might feel like we're betraying God by leaving -- and really, what hubris of GCx to make people feel so indoctrinated, as to feel like this is so! No church should have such a business making people feel that way. People should feel like they are free to come and go and find their proper church home... not one church is the owner of the Gospels, or the religion of Christianity.

-FeministRebel




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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2022, 08:35:29 pm »


My head is spinning and my heart is so thankful for this forum.  

Does anyone feel guilty for buying into the GCx ick and falling for it hook, line and sinker?  

I was involved with a GCM church for 3 and 1/2 years. The first year or so I didn’t see the dark side. …

I went online and looked up information, found out about how deep the history of abuses goes, and found this site.  I am so encouraged and relieved that there are others calling out what is wrong here.  I was at one of the national head GCM leaders house more than once... and even just reading that name kills my heart.  I went on a missions trip with another leader who I have now read documents from...  I read them and feel sick.  What was I thinking?  How did I not see back then how sick they were?  The rhetoric hasn't changed that much from when I was there -how did I not see how messed up this is?  ugh...  why, why did I stay as long as I did?

thank  you sooo much for reading and the feedback...  I have just been reading other posts and processing, praying, thinking...  so glad for this site and that there is a place like this and other people who are calling out this sick stuff.

-512

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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2023, 07:44:25 pm »



I am a recent ex [GCx] after spending 10 years in various GCAC churches. Looking back, our story fits with so many at abusive churches. ... A year later, in 2008, I was diagnosed with cancer. I still live with it 2 1/2 years later. Last year (2009), my daughter came down with a bizarre systemic infection and is now somewhat handicapped by it.

In all the time we spent sick, in surgery, or in the hospital, we never once received a card, letter, or phone call from our pastors or any other church staff. We received no spiritual counseling at all through this difficult time. Our friends from small group were great...but on a corporate level there wasn't even an acknowledgment that we were in need or having a difficult time.

... we asked our pastor for a reference letter for a completely online job for me (you know, wife, woman, mother) as a professor that would allow me to work from home, continue homeschooling our kids, and work at a Christian university where I could have a great impact for the Lord. We received a negative recommendation worded strongly, and were told that our unusual amount of suffering/disease was probably the sign of hidden sin. ...

Months later, we were lynched in our own home by a posse of our friends and both pastors in our home without any notice. We were accused of gossip and slander (at this time both my husband and I were accused). My father, a trustee of the church, was present for the meeting to help my husband and I, and was told this was inappropriate - that it was private and did not concern him. ...


At the time we left, our issues were:

- We were yelled at, accused and told we "would never prosper" without submitting and confessing publicly (violating many Scriptures, including I Corinthians 4:5)
We were told that the pastors were our real "fathers" and that to leave would mean we would live forever as church "orphans" (violating Matt 23:8-10)

- We came to understand that the pastors believed GCAC churches were the only true church and to leave meant we were abandoning the faith or becoming "apostate" (although we have never renounced our faith and believe we still belong to God's Church, which we entered through faith and were sealed by baptism into)

- Suffering was clearly seen as a sign of sin. Any prolonged suffering, disease or premature death is seen as "outside the will of God". This prosperity gospel (little g) does not reflect the experiences of Christ, Paul, or Job, and we could not raise our children in such a church in good conscience, knowing my cancer may never be cured

- There was complete disregard for our emotions, motivation, or spiritual maturity in these discussions. We were TOLD what we felt, thought, and meant, and any other explanation we offered was dismissed as a lie. How can you possibly argue with that, or make yourself understood? It was submit, or leave.


... We have many friends who remain there. We have been unable to speak to any of them even about our reasons for leaving as the pastors have forbidden them from seeing us, much less talking about why we left.

- MarriedWomanPhD,   2010




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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2023, 11:31:08 pm »



Leaving the [GCx] Rock Church in Salt Lake City was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. Looking back, however, my only regret is not having left sooner. To anyone that's in a similar position to where I was when I created that post, I'm so sorry that you have to go through this and I also have hope that you can do what you need to do to take care of yourself and make out in one piece. Spiritual abuse and control is very painful and damaging. The journey back to yourself takes time and is so worthwhile. Good luck to all!

-Ophelia,   2013


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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2023, 07:16:07 am »

I would simply add to trust that voice inside you, whether it's whispering or screaming. After growing up in a gaslighting-type of family, it made sense that I found my "church" home in another gaslighting environment. So when others told me I "shouldn't be thinking those things," I stayed around much, much longer than was healthy. And thus hurt more people in my wake.
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2023, 08:28:21 pm »



One of the neat ways God has shown me that He is my healer has been putting people in my life who have shared their story of leaving our [GCx]church—I identify with them.  A woman who moved onto my street told me about being betrayed by her small group leader. The lady I randomly went to for a haircut told me her theological issues (same as mine!) that made her walk away. Two friends left after me and although we don’t see each other often we understand each other and it’s been beautiful to breathe easier and share more freely all that God is doing because there’s nothing to prove to each other anymore.

I’d definitely say trauma is the word for leaving what I thought was my identity and future and the Lord has proved faithful. This forum has been a good place to process and though it’s been rough lately, in a strange way even the debates have been healing— ...

True FREEDOM comes from knowing that Christ holds all I need and is all I need. He has shown me that I no longer need to impress the pastors, their families, or work myself up the through the system. God's standards are so much higher than man's (GC churches OR ANY OTHER idol) but so much easier since He holds the weight.

-Mary7,   2018



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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2023, 10:14:30 pm »



I was a Christian before joining GCx. I left after about 5 years mostly for doctrinal reasons. As time went by, I began to see that there were more reasons to leave than I had realized at the time. Maybe I
could say it like this: If I had it to do all over again, I would have left sooner because of other reasons (controlling personal lives, amateurish Bible teaching, low view of education, etc.), and not waited around for doctrinal differences.

-MidnightRider


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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2023, 07:19:28 pm »



I joined Evergreen [GCx founded Church relabeled “Hometown Church” in Minneapolis, Minnesota] in 1988, met my husband there (as all good girls do), and helped plant the Plymouth location. We left in 2000, not because of any problem we had with the church at the time, but because my husband was changing careers and his only job offer was out of state. We were, although not recognized as leaders, extremely involved. He was in the band, and I had basically been unpaid full-time staff for the previous five years... The backlash we received at our announcement shocked me. One small group leader even told us that Satan was trying to lure us away from the faith. I now believe that it was God leading us out, because I now look back on the 12 years I spent there and recognize the spiritual abuse that I never saw for what it was at the time.

-bLizard,   2018



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