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Author Topic: My understanding of the Great (C)ommission:  (Read 36501 times)
Linda
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« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2018, 01:27:52 pm »

Sorry. My bad interpretation. You said you appreciated it.

Quote from: Rypick
It was very informative, and very well written.

You also said it was informative and very well written.

You didn't say it was slanderous and shun us over it, as one ECC pastor did. So that was nice.

You didn't preach a sermon against it saying it was a work of the flesh (specifically DIVISION) from Galatians 5, as one pastor did. So that was nice.

Your use of the phrase "complimentary of much of ECC and the pastors" was where it seemed you were putting words in my husband's mouth and that's why we came to this thread. Thought you should read his take on that for clarity.


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« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2018, 01:55:02 pm »

I do know GodisFaithful’s story and that it really happened to her just like she shared.
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2018, 04:06:14 pm »

Quote from: TerryD's blog
I occasionally read the blog of a very bright young guy at the Evergreen Rock location in Minneapolis. I happened to notice that in his bio he mentions his church, and that it is a GCM church “much like an Evangelical Free Church or General Conference Baptist church.” Not at all! Whether you like it or don’t, it’s drastically different. The statement of faith might be nearly identical, but nothing about structure, leadership or governance is even close. I wonder if this misunderstanding is common among members.

Ha! That was my blog. Terry was right. I was wrong about how governance was structured. I remember reading this oh so many years ago and thinking, "I need to learn more about this governance topic." Ah memory lane.
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TerryD
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« Reply #43 on: March 28, 2018, 04:42:12 pm »

Quote from: Omelianchuk
Ha! That was my blog. Terry was right. I was wrong about how governance was structured. I remember reading this oh so many years ago and thinking, "I need to learn more about this governance topic." Ah memory lane.

We had an amicable and interesting email conversation following that (on this and some other topics) as I recall. Blessings!
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2018, 04:56:56 pm »

Quote from: Omelianchuk
Ha! That was my blog. Terry was right. I was wrong about how governance was structured. I remember reading this oh so many years ago and thinking, "I need to learn more about this governance topic." Ah memory lane.

We had an amicable and interesting email conversation following that (on this and some other topics) as I recall. Blessings!

I remember!
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GretchenGail
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« Reply #45 on: March 28, 2018, 08:09:08 pm »

Agatha, your A through D are so true.

How many times have we seen the pastor's kids get the "fast pass" to marriage and the other guys have to work years serving the elders to get permission from the elders to marry. It's sick. (Of course, those elders do it because that's how it worked when they wanted to get married. It's one big dysfunctional system.)

Not in my church and not in my family.  Many singles have been in the courtship/engagement state for less than a year and Jeromy and I were dating for 2 years, engaged for 1. Yep, together for 3 years.  Abstinent by choice and God has been faithful to us for honoring those around us who suggested we wait.  Yes, we trusted the advice of human beings, our leaders, who lovingly advised we wait to honor my parents who were not believers but NOW ARE.  The hope, in honoring my unsaved parents, was to see my precious parents come to Christ and THEY DID!!!!   God has used "waiting" in our lives to teach us patience and to rely on Him.  Funny how sometimes following the advice of people (sinners, imperfect, regular Christians who love the Lord and the Word) actually does yield an incredible testimony of your faith in Jesus Christ.  I happily submit to my leaders because they love me, they love Jesus and whenever I want I can make choices for myself.  There is a lot of peace in the body of Christ when we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #46 on: March 28, 2018, 08:28:34 pm »

Agatha, your A through D are so true.

How many times have we seen the pastor's kids get the "fast pass" to marriage and the other guys have to work years serving the elders to get permission from the elders to marry. It's sick. (Of course, those elders do it because that's how it worked when they wanted to get married. It's one big dysfunctional system.)

Not in my church and not in my family.  Many singles have been in the courtship/engagement state for less than a year and Jeromy and I were dating for 2 years, engaged for 1. Yep, together for 3 years.  Abstinent by choice and God has been faithful to us for honoring those around us who suggested we wait.  Yes, we trusted the advice of human beings, our leaders, who lovingly advised we wait to honor my parents who were not believers but NOW ARE.  The hope, in honoring my unsaved parents, was to see my precious parents come to Christ and THEY DID!!!!   God has used "waiting" in our lives to teach us patience and to rely on Him.  Funny how sometimes following the advice of people (sinners, imperfect, regular Christians who love the Lord and the Word) actually does yield an incredible testimony of your faith in Jesus Christ.  I happily submit to my leaders because they love me, they love Jesus and whenever I want I can make choices for myself.  There is a lot of peace in the body of Christ when we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

First off I can't believe this stuff that people are believing..."pastor's kids get the fast track to marriage..." that this was the outside judgement of a situation, and then you propagate it as gossip.  This is what bitterness does to your soul.  Your imaginations have run wild.  Pastors in control of who gets married and when, while poor servant young men are enslaved to the pastors until they are released to marriage and freedom.  I am not trying to be rude, but the absolute ridiculousness of these accusations and beliefs are just mind numbing. 
 
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Huldah
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« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2018, 09:51:19 pm »

First off I can't believe this stuff that people are believing..."pastor's kids get the fast track to marriage..." that this was the outside judgement of a situation, and then you propagate it as gossip.  This is what bitterness does to your soul.  Your imaginations have run wild.  Pastors in control of who gets married and when, while poor servant young men are enslaved to the pastors until they are released to marriage and freedom.  I am not trying to be rude, but the absolute ridiculousness of these accusations and beliefs are just mind numbing. 

Perhaps things have changed for the better since my day. If so, then I'm glad for the progress.

However, I affirm from my own personal experience that this was the way things were back in the early days of GC (pre-Evergreen). The only exception is the part about pastors' kids having a fast track, since most of the pastors back then didn't even have kids yet.

The sisters were taught that God wouldn't give you a husband until you were spiritually mature. And spiritual maturity meant being so content in the Lord that you didn't care whether or not he gave you a husband. The way to reach that level of maturity was to work harder, serve harder, and continually hope to prove your worthiness. Expressing frustration with the system was seen as "grumbling," which meant you were offending God the way the Israelites offended Him by grumbling in the desert.

In the meantime, while we waited and worked, a couple of sweet young couples I knew of (one that was together before they got saved, and another who found themselves growing attracted to each other after they joined the church) were split apart by the elders. The elders and deacons found wives for themselves, while the vast majority of young men were discouraged from even singling out a special sister to talk to and get to know.

This is not gossip. This is not imagination. This is the situation I lived with back when I was part of GC. I can't say what has gone on since I left, but it isn't farfetched to believe that some of the same mentality has persisted among the leadership.
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2018, 11:24:12 pm »

First off I can't believe this stuff that people are believing..."pastor's kids get the fast track to marriage..." that this was the outside judgement of a situation, and then you propagate it as gossip.  This is what bitterness does to your soul.  Your imaginations have run wild.  Pastors in control of who gets married and when, while poor servant young men are enslaved to the pastors until they are released to marriage and freedom.  I am not trying to be rude, but the absolute ridiculousness of these accusations and beliefs are just mind numbing. 

Perhaps things have changed for the better since my day. If so, then I'm glad for the progress.

However, I affirm from my own personal experience that this was the way things were back in the early days of GC (pre-Evergreen). The only exception is the part about pastors' kids having a fast track, since most of the pastors back then didn't even have kids yet.

The sisters were taught that God wouldn't give you a husband until you were spiritually mature. And spiritual maturity meant being so content in the Lord that you didn't care whether or not he gave you a husband. The way to reach that level of maturity was to work harder, serve harder, and continually hope to prove your worthiness. Expressing frustration with the system was seen as "grumbling," which meant you were offending God the way the Israelites offended Him by grumbling in the desert.

In the meantime, while we waited and worked, a couple of sweet young couples I knew of (one that was together before they got saved, and another who found themselves growing attracted to each other after they joined the church) were split apart by the elders. The elders and deacons found wives for themselves, while the vast majority of young men were discouraged from even singling out a special sister to talk to and get to know.

This is not gossip. This is not imagination. This is the situation I lived with back when I was part of GC. I can't say what has gone on since I left, but it isn't farfetched to believe that some of the same mentality has persisted among the leadership.

Huldah, this stuff has not been around since the late 90's, and I doubt it was around before then as well.  Maybe pre-ECC days...it seems the church made mistakes that they were aware of and repented of their mistakes and errors.  But it is still gossip.  Plain and simple.  Just because something may be true, or was your perception of what was really happening, does not mean it is no longer gossip.  It is gossip and speculation to say something like "it is not farfetched to believe that some of the same mentality has persisted".  Sadly this forum is built on the foundation of gossip.  It is so much "he said, she said, I heard, did you hear this one, did anyone else hear this...", one sided stories.  If you, and others did an honest look into what scripture says, what God says, about gossip, I feel like many people's participation would come under their own scrutiny.  I am on this site only because I feel like there needs to be other voices for all the observers that visit this forum.  I have not participated in the gossip.  I know many of you feel you have a duty to participate in this to protect others from GCx, hence the name GCMWarning.  But is this forum really protecting anyone. Do people really need to be protected?  Especially as more and more people say none of these claims are happening today. 

This forum is a place for people who are angry or hurt to come and attempt to find some validation in their negative experiences, their disagreements with the church;a bandage for their open wounds that do not heal because they are unable to find true forgiveness, and use the guise of this forum and "protecting others" to continue on in their hurt.  Our human nature is to seek validation, we crave it, we are driven by it. To feel significance, to find value and worth in our emotions and experiences, choices and person-hood, but where does our validation come from?  Man cannot validate. A forum online will maybe bring you fleeting validation.  Man's approval will not last or change us.  Our validation comes from Christ and Christ alone.  He is the only one we can find significance in.  Validation comes in knowing who you are in Christ, and who Christ designed you to be, and how God delights in you.  We can wear ourselves ragged attempting to find validation in what we do, or what we know, or who we know, seeking our own identity to make sense of this world, when all along our identity is in Christ.  This quest for human validation is what leads so many into terrible relationships and poor choices.  We are desperate for approval of our fellow man, or woman. This site will never fulfill you, or bring you healing, only Christ can do this for you.  I am not being rude, I am trying to insult.  I am just a sinner saved by His grace alone,  who disagrees with what goes on here.  If a sister in Christ came to me struggling, I would suggest to turn to the Bible, find out what God has to say on the matter, and pray.  This is a plea from a sister in Christ, who, above all things, believes in God's power, the creator of this great universe!  He has the power to heal hearts, allow forgiveness to happen, bring true identity in Christ, to rebuke and teach grace, protect those that need protection, to validate and value, to guide our hearts and minds, to bring wisdom, open our eyes to truth, speak truth, to strengthen the weak, humble the proud, to bring peace, and to unite. There is so much more power in Christ then futile words on a website will ever be. 
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2018, 05:49:31 am »

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The sisters were taught that God wouldn't give you a husband until you were spiritually mature. And spiritual maturity meant being so content in the Lord that you didn't care whether or not he gave you a husband. The way to reach that level of maturity was to work harder, serve harder, and continually hope to prove your worthiness. Expressing frustration with the system was seen as "grumbling," which meant you were offending God the way the Israelites offended Him by grumbling in the desert. 
wow this eerily similar to what we were taught at my church as recently as 2013. I remember feeling sad b3cause I wanted to have a boyfriend and get married and I asked my small group leader why are the other girls getting married and not me, her went something like this: look at their spiritual lives, they're way more dedicated to god than you are, guys want girls who are dedicated to god. Its not about looks or anything other than your spiritual walk and until you stop wanting a man and start wanting god more, no one is 3ver going to pick you.

I remember this conversation very very clearly because it kind of hurt A LOT, I was young and overwhelmed already and felt like I was doing the best I could, so hearing that made me feel pretty terrible.
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2018, 05:57:18 am »

There was a similar conversation when I wondered why these younger people kept getting chosen for leadership roles and not me, basically the same stuff except I also had to stop being jealous of everyone
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2018, 06:10:15 am »

Also found an old journal when we were packing this week and had this quote written down from faithwalkers "you will never get a husband until you are content being a lone with God for the rest of your life"
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araignee19
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« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2018, 06:45:13 am »

This attitude towards dating was alive and well in my experience in the Rock, Fort Collins, CO, 2006-2011. I was told I needed to get the point of being truly "godly" before I should date. I saw leadership try to break up one couple who entered the Rock dating out of high school because they didn't want to get married quickly enough (because of parent's wishes that they finish school first). I saw leadership heavily discourage at least two other relationships because they were with men from an outside church. I saw them discourage several relationship because the people involved had not sought "council" first (i.e. approval - they had sought plenty of advice from friends and family, just not the leaders of the Rock). It would sure be nice if instead of saying "this stuff just doesn't happen anymore," the response for once was "Holy cow! Yes, we know we have struggled with this topic in the past. Here is our apology paper detailing our wrongs and current position. We will investigate to see how far this goes and address the leaders who are teaching this falsehood to make sure it stops."

In my opinion, it is foolishness for a church to say "we used to struggle with that, but are certain we don't anymore." Those teachings were certainly at one time woven through the fabric of this organization, and there are many people who have heard these teachings but have never heard a correction, so they still believe and teach it. These issues have not been sufficiently actively fought against. I was shocked when I finally found the apology paper, because it detailed almost every issue I had spent years trying to change. NO ONE, not one person in leadership, ever even told me it existed. They just argued they weren't doing anything wrong and that I just needed to submit and stop causing disunity.

I firmly believe me sharing this story is not slander or gossip. I have not named any names. I have not attacked anyone. I am not being bitter. I have shared what I saw so others can make up their own minds. I am not saying this sort of stuff happens in every GCx church, and it is very possible these are pockets of issues and are not systemic (and I rejoice if that is so). But man, it should be firmly addressed in the cases where it has been reported, and not dismissed as gossip.

Also, see this thread for nice discussions on what gossip and slander is and is not:
http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/biblical-definition-of-gossip-and-slander/msg11502/#msg11502
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HughHoney
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« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2018, 07:33:36 am »

Quote
Not in my church and not in my family.  Many singles have been in the courtship/engagement state for less than a year and Jeromy and I were dating for 2 years, engaged for 1. Yep, together for 3 years.  Abstinent by choice and God has been faithful to us for honoring those around us who suggested we wait.  Yes, we trusted the advice of human beings, our leaders, who lovingly advised we wait to honor my parents who were not believers but NOW ARE.  The hope, in honoring my unsaved parents, was to see my precious parents come to Christ and THEY DID!!!!   God has used "waiting" in our lives to teach us patience and to rely on Him.  Funny how sometimes following the advice of people (sinners, imperfect, regular Christians who love the Lord and the Word) actually does yield an incredible testimony of your faith in Jesus Christ.  I happily submit to my leaders because they love me, they love Jesus and whenever I want I can make choices for myself.  There is a lot of peace in the body of Christ when we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Cool! Now imagine that your experience had been that the leaders thought you shouldn’t date. You  got excommunicated if you made choices for yourself.  You probably don’t know anyone that happened to but I bet you know of a lot of people in positions of authority that absolutely made those kinds of mistakes. Good men make terrible decisions. A lot of those leaders are still in authority. And this website is in part a testimony to their mixed record.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2018, 07:36:52 am »

I am going to dip my toes in here into the "gossip."

I think one of the most sad and tragic cultish parts of some (maybe not all) GC churches is the way that the pastors think it is just fine and dandy to mess with who falls in love with who, when and how they date, whether someone is mature enough to get married, whether a couple is right for each other, etc. This idea that a pastor knows best in this area of specificity, what is he, God or something?

I will just say from the outset that the GC church I cut my teeth in (Mpls-pre-Evergreen) did not have this idea down.  Our pastor was very green and had not been with the movement very long.  And when a couple wanted to get married it was all great and good and celebrated. If I would have had to wait for some level of maturity I would still be single, for sure.  I was immature when I got married and  have needed to mature a lot.  God has made me the joyful mother of many children, and now being a grandmother is one of the best delights on earth.  I am so thankful that a pastor did not mess with who I wanted to get married to, and did not mess with my husband wanting to marry me.  For the sake of my sons especially, in this area, I am forever grateful that we got out of Evergreen and their lives were not messed with in this way.  Our family does not all go to the same church but we all love the Lord, and that is totally by the grace of God. I think their spouses are just fantastic and they sure did not need any pastor's approval in picking out the right one.

I heard first hand a sad story (post 90s by the way) from someone who I am very close to, telling of a heart break over a boy and girl in a GC church who were starting to be attracted to each other.  But this was not ok with a couple of the pastors. The impression I got was that the girl just was not quite up to some kind of standard. So the small groups were all switched around willy nilly so that these two could not see each other. That was that, and the guy married someone who was approved of by the pastors, and the girl has had a very difficult time getting over it.  My heart breaks for her and she is in my prayers.  

So there is my little gossip nugget for the day.
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Huldah
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« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2018, 07:46:47 am »

Huldah, this stuff has not been around since the late 90's, and I doubt it was around before then as well. 
So I'm lying? Or hallucinating? Or what? What an astounding thing for you to say.

Just because something may be true, or was your perception of what was really happening, does not mean it is no longer gossip.  It is gossip and speculation to say something like "it is not farfetched to believe that some of the same mentality has persisted". 
Well, then, I suppose history is gossip. Biographies are gossip. Pointing out legitimate problems of any kind is gossip, even if you don't give names or specific details. You're grasping at straws, GTA.

The reason I wrote, "...it is not farfetched to believe that some of the same mentality has persisted," is that I've read so many complaints similar to my own, from people who were there long after I was.  Like I said, I'm glad if your church doesn't have any of these problems. I'll take your word for that. But I know what I saw and I know what was happening around me.
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2018, 07:49:07 am »

Quote
The sisters were taught that God wouldn't give you a husband until you were spiritually mature. And spiritual maturity meant being so content in the Lord that you didn't care whether or not he gave you a husband. The way to reach that level of maturity was to work harder, serve harder, and continually hope to prove your worthiness. Expressing frustration with the system was seen as "grumbling," which meant you were offending God the way the Israelites offended Him by grumbling in the desert. 
wow this eerily similar to what we were taught at my church as recently as 2013. I remember feeling sad b3cause I wanted to have a boyfriend and get married and I asked my small group leader why are the other girls getting married and not me, her went something like this: look at their spiritual lives, they're way more dedicated to god than you are, guys want girls who are dedicated to god. Its not about looks or anything other than your spiritual walk and until you stop wanting a man and start wanting god more, no one is 3ver going to pick you.

I remember this conversation very very clearly because it kind of hurt A LOT, I was young and overwhelmed already and felt like I was doing the best I could, so hearing that made me feel pretty terrible.

Yes, this stuff is still going on, because it is BIBLICAL.  Maybe your small group leader could have been more sensitive in how it was worded to you, maybe could have giving you some more help in this area?  I was an "older" single comparatively, and I was so absolutely content in my walk with God, and in life, because I had grasped that my identity comes from Christ alone.  My worth was in Christ alone.  When I came to that point in my life, it was such a sweet time of such peace.  I am actually thankful for that time, I learned so much, and made my walk with the Lord so much richer.  I no longer needed to worry, or feel discontent with being single.  It was so freeing.  I did not need a man to validate me.  I just served the Lord and I finally gave all the control to God.  I made a list of qualities (30 to be exact) I wanted in a spouse, and let God have that list.  And eventually God brought that man into my life, and every single item on my list was met in this man.  Every single item.  And do you know what initially attracted us to each other?  Each others willingness to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters, to serve others, to love others, as God commands.  

Your small group leader gave you truth...you were complaining about your discontentment of being single (I am not saying that singles should never have this struggle, or occasionally struggling is a sign of immaturity) but asking someone why others around you are getting married, and you are not...were you just looking for some validation ("it is okay sister, I am sure some day it will be your turn because you are amazing"), or an honest answer??  This leader gave you some some things in your life that you could grow in before you got married, gave you ideas of what would be better to focus on, not terrible advice?  We people get so easily offended that we can't hear.  Why, because our validation is coming from people, not Christ  (see a theme here with my other post)?
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2018, 07:50:43 am »

GTA:

Do people need to be warned about cults? Yes.

Do they need to be warned about churches where the pastors think they speak for God in a controlling way? Yes.

If people get out of a cult or a cultish church, do they need to find validation that their experience was crazy? Yes.

Speaking of validation, are you sure that you are not wearing yourself ragged by coming on this forum daily telling every single person on this forum that they are not finding proper validation in their lives? Is this validating to you? Be careful, because people do crave validation, as you stated.
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Huldah
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« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2018, 07:57:48 am »

Differentstrokes, Arraignee19, and GodisFaithful, thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm sorry you had to go through those things or witness others going through them.
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Huldah
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« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2018, 08:00:44 am »


Yes, this stuff is still going on, because it is BIBLICAL.  


Wait, wait, wait? It's still going on? Even though it never happened to begin with? I'm confused.
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