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Linda
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« on: August 19, 2019, 04:59:38 pm »

“Vintage Faith Church - Stillwater is a member of the newly formed M28 Alliance and is historically connected with Great Commission Churches (GCC). We are united with other like-minded churches for advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. GCC is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.”

Haha! What is that last sentence all about?!
Someone needs to tell these fellas that the membership in the NAE and ECFA is not inherited or transferable!.

My snarky paraphrase:

“A group that we are not members of, but once were, that we no longer want to identify with is a member of some evangelical organizations. Therefore, we are safe. Not to worry.”

https://vintagefaithstillwater.com/about-us/who-we-are
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 05:02:03 pm by Linda » Logged

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margaret
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 07:36:04 am »

Usually these church home pages introduce the leaders.  I don't see that on their page, although I do see some Whitneys in one of the scrolling photos.

They're getting sneaky!  Excuse me....not "getting".
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 04:00:10 pm »

Also, this statement is appearing on their statement of faith, as is on some of the other M28 churches. I don't know if it was there before, but it might be a distinction they felt compelled to make in the new M28 association: 'For purposes of Vintage Faith Church's faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our pastors are the Vintage Faith Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.'

(And Rick Whitney's son-in-law pastors this church in answer to the above question.)
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Huldah
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 07:29:26 pm »

If you do a search for the phrase, "final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application," you'll find a number of non-GC churches who use that exact phrase on their websites. It's probably meant to protect church leaders from legal action by disgruntled members.

Edit to add: I understand that the gospel is under attack in the US, and that churches need to be proactive about protecting themselves. But I also see a trend within the evangelical church to protect the leadership and the churches' public reputations at the expense of the members, and not just in GC. This trending "final interpretive authority" notice makes me nervous because it could go either way: protecting the body from wolves in the fold, but also protecting wolves in leadership from their abused sheep.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 09:43:48 am by Huldah » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 06:03:57 am »

Vintage Faith Wichita has this on their web page:

https://vintagewichita.com/pastors-and-teachers

“Tom is on the board of the Lift Network of churches and attends the Leadership Council for Great Commission Churches.“

Anyone know what the Lift Network of Churches is?  Has anyone ever heard of the “Leadership Council of Great Commission Churches”?
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Huldah
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 08:34:38 am »

https://liftchurches.com/ is the web site. Appears to be still under construction, as their Leadership & Affiliations pages have no content. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account, both of which were just set up this month.

Their focus appears to be church planting.

UPDATE: Registrant data (that is, site ownership) is concealed except for the registrant location, which is in Iowa, https://www.whois.com/whois/liftchurches.com. According to liftchurches.com, the Lift Network has churches in Des Moines, Iowa, and Ames, Iowa, but the names of the churches are not yet available from the website. I'm assuming that one of them is Stonebrook in Ames, as their pastor Matt Heerema is the author of an article that appears on the site.

UPDATE #2: A notice on the Lift Network home page says, "Site by Mere." According to https://liftchurches.com/articles/what-is-a-healthy-church/, "Matt (Heerema) owns and runs Mere Agency who help the church use the web to impact the world with the gospel." I'm not sure why the registrant information was sanitized for the Whois entry, when most of that information can be readily pieced together from the Lift Network website itself. Not saying there's anything shady going on. It just seems odd.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 11:45:07 am by Huldah » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 11:30:07 am »

Thanks for sleuthing this up.

I saw mention of “Lift” a few weeks ago and was Googling then, but couldn’t find anything at that time.

GCC still lists Vintage Faith Wichita as a GCC church. Anyone know if GCC is rebranding? Or, if a 3 way split is happening?

In all of this, the women who were bad mouthed in sermons by Evergreen pastors prior to the findings of the investigation that showed some ECC elders were long ago aware of what was going on still have not been publicly apologized to.

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Huldah
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 11:44:37 am »

In case you missed it, Linda, I added an additional update to my previous post.
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Huldah
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 11:47:42 am »

I saw mention of “Lift” a few weeks ago and was Googling then, but couldn’t find anything at that time.

There was nothing to be found at that time. The website registration dates from August 14 and the FB/IG/Twitter accounts from about the 16th.
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Huldah
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2019, 12:05:58 pm »

In all of this, the women who were bad mouthed in sermons by Evergreen pastors prior to the findings of the investigation that showed some ECC elders were long ago aware of what was going on still have not been publicly apologized to.

This, in my opinion, points to what we really need in the body of Christ. More prayer, more accountability, more people who are willing to take the commands of Jesus Christ seriously. Not more urban church plants (is there anywhere in America that people don't have access to a good local Bible church already? except for maybe parts of Utah or Alaska), not more music ministries or Christian coffeehouses or Twitter accounts (not that there's anything wrong with any of those, per se). I just read today of a Bible translator who was murdered by Muslim agitators in Cameroon. His wife had one of her arms hacked off and is still in the hospital. But here we are in safe, prosperous America, where "suffering for the Gospel" means getting all huffy and offended when one of your colleagues is exposed for playing touchy-feely with pretty girls. Sorry to come across so harsh, but I'm starting to think that much of what passes for Christianity in the US is a sham. I hope I'm wrong. It's just something that's been weighing on me for a while now.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 04:55:29 pm by Huldah » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2019, 02:48:46 am »

https://liftchurches.com/articles/what-is-a-healthy-church/

Interesting that the first article that you linked mentions Mark Dever and 9 Marks.

Dever’s Number 7 of the 9 marks is a fan favorite. These guys LOVE church discipline...except when it comes to them.

Dever is best buds with C.J. Mahaney (founder of Sovereign Grace). Remember back in 2011 or so when the sex abuse scandal hit Covenant Life (CJs church)? Rather than submit to the care of his elders when he was accused of a cover up, CJ fled to Capitol Hill Baptist (which was Dever’s church) and left Josh Harris in charge at Covenant Life. And Dever who is totally against people leaving their church (especially if there is any hint of sin involved) welcomed him with open arms.

There are often 2 sets of rules for these guys. Rules for the little people (aka the congregation) and rules for the leaders (aka the chosen). It should not be. We watched it play out before our eyes with ECC.

And, oh, the irony of an article entitled "What is a Healthy Church?"

« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 07:59:43 am by Linda » Logged

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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2019, 08:36:40 pm »

Why would a Christian Organization select a name that is nearly identical with several other Christian organizations that already exist?  The Lutheran & United Methodists share a “Lift” Group.  A group of Christian women also are named “Lift”.  It also seems to be the name of an organization that says it helps the cancer community.

I think it’s highly possible they want to hide their history.  GCx and it’s leadership have frequently changed their organization and church names in attempt to shake off their spiritually abusive reputation.  If the teachers and preachers remain the same although seemingly newly organized, they are likely teaching the same twisting of Scriptures from the same group of men discipled and appointed by James D. McCotter (or his appointees).  

These leaders seem to be choosing to deceive potential new members with smoke and mirrors by continually whitewashing their group with a new name.  We on this GCM Warning Forum testify in detail to the abusive history of so many current and former leaders and the self-appointed Founder.  Please read the posts found on this site.  Below are a few sections that contain abbreviated quotes from many former members.  It seems we may represent several thousands of members who have been mentally, emotionally, and spiritually abused by men under the authority of this organization which we now often refer to as “GCx” because Great Commision International has many aliases which include: The Blitz, Great Commision International, Great Commision Ministries, Great Commision Association of Churches, Great Commision Churches, Collegiate Churches Network, possibly RELIANT, possibly M28 (easily confused with an already existing Christian organization), and now possibly LIFT Network of Churches (also Christian organizations with a very similar name).

Testimony Quotes:

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/alienation-in-gcx-churches/

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/shunning-in-gcx-churches/

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/authoritarianism-in-gcx-churches/

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/lovebombing-in-gcx-churches-and-other-counterfeit-relationships/

« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 07:33:58 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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Huldah
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2019, 12:11:47 pm »

The phone number on the Lift Network Facebook page is the same number on the Walnut Creek (Ames, Iowa) church website. For the last couple of years, the Walnut Creek church has been conducting something it calls "The Lift Campaign."

Walnut Creek and The Lift Campaign.

LIFT is a capital campaign to help accelerate a growing gospel movement in Des Moines & around the world...Your gifts go toward planting new churches, purchasing new facilities, and sending/supporting missionaries in the Middle East.
A "capital campaign" is another term for fundraising campaign.

Progress on the Lift Campaign.

The three aspects of the LIFT Campaign are:

    To plant two new Walnut Creek locations in the greater Des Moines area
    To establish permanent meeting places for our South and Highland Park locations
    To send and support 20 missionaries...

...Currently, there are five members of Walnut Creek who are in the process of moving overseas within the next two years. Their desire is to reach people groups who have yet to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. A Middle East goer family is currently receiving more intensive training with the hope to move overseas within the next year for language acquisition school. The remaining three missionaries are planning to participate in the same training program in July 2018.

There are two additional updates, both from 2018, https://lift.walnutcreekchurch.org/post/2018/02/05/altoona-hosts-first-service-new-building and https://lift.walnutcreekchurch.org/post/2018/04/23/altoona-renovation-complete. These have to do primarily with a new building in Altoona. Neither update mentions the missionaries in training.

Some thoughts.

A few posts back I criticized GCx for apparently having little interest in reaching out to the dangerous parts of the world. However, if WCC or any other GCx church is actually sending out missionaries to the Muslim world, or to genuinely unreached people/language groups (not just comfortable assignments like Berlin), then I'm all for it. I would be truly delighted if my previous words were proven wrong.

All the same, I'm a little puzzled why there's no mention of these missionaries in the latest updates. Allowing for normal privacy and security concerns, shouldn't there still be at least a little information available? People donated money under the specific understanding that some of it would support thos missionaries. If anything, it seems like the missionaries would be an even greater priority than the new buildings. This isn't meant to sound like an accusation. It's just a wish for clarity. If those missionaries are really going, I would like to be in prayer for them.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 12:16:45 pm by Huldah » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 11:11:00 am »

Huldah, how interesting that you noticed that the Walnut Creek, Des Moines, phone number is the same as the contact number on the link that the Lift Network provides to their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/liftchurches

https://walnutcreekchurch.org/contact
 
Oddly, Walnut Creek still identifies with GCC and makes no mention of Lift Network. This is confusing. Anyone know what that's all about?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 11:13:11 am by Linda » Logged

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Huldah
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 04:34:27 pm »

It's possible that a split is in the works (Lift splitting off from GCC) but has not been formalized yet.

If Lift does split from GCC, I hope they will formally and publicly repudiate the doctrinal errors of McCotter, Clark, Martindale, and other GCC founders. In the best possible scenario, this would include reaching out with an apology to those former WCC & Stonebrook members who were harmed by those teachings. This would enable the Lift churches to truly start with a clean slate, if a clean slate is what they desire.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 03:07:40 pm by Huldah » Logged
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2019, 06:51:52 pm »

Absolutely Huldah!  I agree there needs to be some CLEAR REPUDIATION and APOLOGIES with AMENDS to prove they are throwing out the whole batch of bad yeast (their spiritually abusive teachings), and not merely all talk of “change” as usual.

I think the best action the leaders of GCx (current and past) could take would be to step down as “pastors & teachers” and actually study and learn the TRUTH about the Bible and Christianity under sound proven teachers in order to accurately interpret them.  It seems Paul saw this as a necessity and did this for a number of years before he ever began espousing “biblical” ideas & teachings.  No one should be teaching as a pastor or shepherd until they study and show themselves approved as one who accurately handles the Word of God.  

A pastor that taught at a church my husband and I attended would often mention how God showed him he needed to be as accurate and careful as a surgeon with the Scriptures.  He was a VERY fruitful pastor, teacher and evangelist.  I believe that most of the GCx teachers and pastors are/were not gifted, empowered, nor anointed by God to lead in the body of Christ in a shepherding capacity.  If they were gifted, they lost their empowerment and anointing when they started instructing their people with continual false teaching that oppressed their flock.  So many of them sought approval from McCotter and leaders under him and were erroneously taught that every believing man should be an elder (which was synonymous with pastor in GCx).  So many of them stayed as elders/pastors because they left their education and trade under the false teaching that it would make them more spiritual to give it up and devote themselves to the church.  Thus, they had less resources to support their families if they stepped away from this position and the financial support of the church.

Strangely, each GCx church big or small financially supported a plurality of paid “pastors” instead of a number of volunteer elders as in most churches (so it seemed there wasn’t much left for caring of those in real need).  Having less job experience, education or skills, these elder/pastors likely dug themselves into what has seemed like a pit they can’t get out of.  Likely many were not intended by God to be a “pastor”. They can still trust God to provide an income as they step into their true gifts that God has given them.  He promises to care for us, even in our old age.  They can learn to live on less like they strongly persuaded their people to do. Some of their members still suffer the consequences  of sacrificing their home, retirement, family, education, job, and training to the building up of these leaders and this organization, falsely touted as “for the sake of the gospel” and “surrendered to Jesus”.  Many of these sacrifices were slyly dictated by McCotter and his disciples and those under them to hastily expand the GCx Church empire. But the VERY God and faith they espouse and supposedly teach is EXACTLY who can deliver them from the trap they are in.  I believe he is waiting for them to be MEN of VALOR and testify to the truth of the spiritual abuse they allowed or caused themselves.  He is waiting for them to actually TRUST him (which they also supposedly teach) to give them steps to free them from their entrapment.



“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he,
I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:4



I pray they will call on God to open the ancient doors you have long been trapped inside.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 07:47:09 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2019, 12:35:59 pm »

For those of you keeping score at home, "Lift" has added "Campus Fellowship" to their web page, and included a link to the campus groups (aka churches) involved.

https://liftchurches.com

The link takes you here.

https://campusfellowship.com

Now we pretty much know what churches are aligning with "Lift Network".

What we don't know is how Lift Network relates to GCC.

GCC still lists the Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc. churches as GCC churches.

I have received a few private messages from several sources dating back to last Winter that suggested the campus groups were leaving GCC and that there was dissatisfaction in the Iowa and Kansas churches and that this all related to the mishandling of the Darling situation by ECC and GCC.

It's all very odd and mysterious.

But all these mysteries are overshadowed by the fact that some high up ECC leaders are just trying to move on with "ministry" when we all know that some were aware of the Darling situation and some of the claims made by women for MANY years and did not deal with it in spite of the ongoing claim on the part of leaders that "character matters". It's all a house of cards.


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Linda
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2019, 02:31:14 pm »

Here is some info gleaned from the Campus Fellowship link on the Lift Network web page.

Drake is a ministry of Walnut Creek.
https://drake.campusfellowship.com/drake/about

DMACC is a ministry of Walnut Creek.
https://dmacc.campusfellowship.com/dmacc/about

Grandview is a ministry of Walnut Creek.
https://grandview.campusfellowship.com/grandview/about

Iowa State University is a ministry of Stonebrook Community Church.
https://isu.campusfellowship.com

University of Nebraska—Lincoln lists no church affiliation (perhaps I missed it), but meets at Candlewood Church.
https://unl.campusfellowship.com

University of Nebraska—Omaha is a ministry of Candlewood Church (and proud of it according to their web page)
https://uno.campusfellowship.com
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2019, 07:14:03 pm »

The Lift Network whose leaders who participated in Authoritarianism, False Teachings, and other Spirtual Abuses have this as their “mission statement”:  “Helping churches plant and establish healthy local churches”?!  What a fraudulent claim!  Unless their leaders have never been part of GCx and never been discipled by False Teacher & Apostle James D. McCotter or his disciples; or have indeed been studying under sound teaching for years somewhere doctrinally trustworthy, or a sound seminary, they have no foundation upon which to state such a claim.  Be warned, they could actually potentially bring harm to your local church, as they have historically done for decades to their own members.  See this site for much more detail.

This reminds me of a guy we know who is selling consulting to small businesses to supposedly help them out. He has never truly owned a legitimate small business, and he has stolen customers and other employer’s profits out from under them; but those he approaches likely don’t know his history.  He is not someone who should be entrusted with giving you advice or any part of your business, to say nothing of getting paid for such services.

Here is what what Wikipedia reported about the group (GCAC, GCC, GCI, GCM, Collegiate Network, and several other aliases) Lift Network is from, until it was mysteriously removed!

“The Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC) is an evangelical Christian association of churches based in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Formalised as a movement in 1970, it is developing a world reach in its aim of 'planting' churches that are based on first-century Christianity. It has been criticised for its authoritarian approach, with local church elders directing many aspects of members lives, and has been described as 'abusive' and 'cult-like' with an out-dated attitude to the role of women in the church. In response the Association argues that it has a scripture-based philosophy, that accords with the teachings of the early Church, and that a person's value is in Christ.” [emphasis mine]

- [This is an old revision of this page, as edited by ClaudeReigns (talk | contribs) at 04:48, 9 April 2007 (→The "Blitz Movement" Begins: for lack of a better Blitz picture....). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.]


« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 03:57:51 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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