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Author Topic: Found God & Amazing People  (Read 6397 times)
Digital Lynch Mob
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« on: March 09, 2018, 08:48:16 am »

I got saved at Evergreen Bloomington. It changed my life. God used an amazing group of people to impact me in ways I will never forget. There was a small retreat center called Lindis Farne about 90 minutes north of the Twin Cities. Our small group went there a couple years in a row. We shared testimonies and worshiped. Oh the worship was amazing. One of the small group members played guitar. There was a large fireplace. It was beautiful. We served each other and loved God...together.  Beautiful!
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2018, 08:51:56 am »

I am glad you have good memories.
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iamnotafraid
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 11:20:21 am »

I got saved and baptized at The Rock church.  I've enjoyed fellowship with some of the most sincere, loving and generous people.  When our family has suffered, the church has surrounded us with love and prayed faithfully for us.  For over 15 years our family has been blessed weekly by the saints at this church.  They are like family to us.
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Phoenix
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 04:38:10 am »

I got saved at Evergreen Bloomington. It changed my life. God used an amazing group of people to impact me in ways I will never forget. There was a small retreat center called Lindis Farne about 90 minutes north of the Twin Cities. Our small group went there a couple years in a row. We shared testimonies and worshiped. Oh the worship was amazing. One of the small group members played guitar. There was a large fireplace. It was beautiful. We served each other and loved God...together.  Beautiful!
Good old Jerry (or Gerry?) from Lindis Farne.  Made multiple trips myself.  A retreat there bonded a small group, was always a great way to start a year off.  Made it possible for the short weekly groups to go deeper because of the connections made on those trips.
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KnowingGod
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 05:19:59 am »

“They are like family to us.”
-until you leave and that “family” is no where to be found.

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KnowingGod
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 05:44:23 am »

The way God saved you was by giving sight to our blind hearts. “God . . . (Not Mark, Brent or evergreen) has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). If you see Jesus as supremely beautiful and desirable so that you embrace him for the Savior he is, God has healed your blindness.

And he has raised you from the dead. “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). And he has given you the gift of faith. “It has been freely given to you that you believe in Christ” (Philippians 1:29).

So you, Mark, Brent, or Evergreen did not save you. You did not open your blind eyes, or raise yourself from the dead, or create your own faith. All of it was owing to God’s sovereign grace. You may have resisted this for a long time (as Acts 7:51 says), but, if you love Christ, God overcame your resistance and brought you to himself. What was impossible for you, God did (not Evergreen or turn Rock). “With man it is impossible, but not with God” (Mark 10:27).

Why does it matter if you know this? It matters because when it’s the other way around you see the glorification of Evergreen, The rock, and thier pastors for your salvation and make idols of

Knowing how God saved and not your pastors, leaders, or the church enables you to feel a fitting thankfulness to God. You can’t be thankful for what God did, if you think you, the church, or a pastor did it (Romans 6:17).
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 08:52:08 am »

“They are like family to us.”
-until you leave and that “family” is no where to be found.
Who left who?

And as for your second post, yes of course. But...

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" Romans 10:14
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KnowingGod
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 09:41:36 am »

Are you justifying ex-communication of someone because they leave the church?
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 09:57:40 am »

Wait so you're saying it's fine for friends to completely turn their backs on other friends just because they decided to leave a church? Idk, that's a pretty low bar for friendships.
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 10:02:36 am »

Are you justifying ex-communication of someone because they leave the church?

What? No. Who said anything about ex-communication?
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 10:09:13 am »

Wait so you're saying it's fine for friends to completely turn their backs on other friends just because they decided to leave a church? Idk, that's a pretty low bar for friendships.
Nope. I'm saying it is flawed thinking to remove yourself from a circle of friends and then blame them for a lack of interaction i.e. "turn your backs." To have friends you need to be a friend. If you leave a church (or any other area of social interaction) and don't keep in touch, it seems pretty silly and narcissistic  to blame others for the deterioration of friendships.

I have several very good friends who left Evergreen. I've never turned my back on anyone who left, but without purposeful interaction, its the natural course that friendships will fade over time. If you no longer interact at church, where will you interact unless you put forth effort?
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 10:16:23 am »

I tried to keep in touch, texting, calling, inviting people to things etc, and only one person out of 30 or so "friends" ever contacted me again. Tell me again how it's my fault for not keeping in touch. I even lived with some roommates from church after I left, they would barely speak to me, and then I was asked to find another place to live. I didn't want to lose my friends, but I knew it was a risk when I decided to leave, I was foolish to think I would be the exception to the rule.
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Differentstrokes
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 10:17:46 am »

When I got married, not too long after I left, I invited my old friends and the church pastors, I had no hard feelings and would have loved to share that day with them, like two or three people came and only because they were still friends with my parents.
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Phoenix
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 10:22:00 am »

The way God saved you was by giving sight to our blind hearts. “God . . . (Not Mark, Brent or evergreen) has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). If you see Jesus as supremely beautiful and desirable so that you embrace him for the Savior he is, God has healed your blindness.

And he has raised you from the dead. “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). And he has given you the gift of faith. “It has been freely given to you that you believe in Christ” (Philippians 1:29).

So you, Mark, Brent, or Evergreen did not save you. You did not open your blind eyes, or raise yourself from the dead, or create your own faith. All of it was owing to God’s sovereign grace. You may have resisted this for a long time (as Acts 7:51 says), but, if you love Christ, God overcame your resistance and brought you to himself. What was impossible for you, God did (not Evergreen or turn Rock). “With man it is impossible, but not with God” (Mark 10:27).

Why does it matter if you know this? It matters because when it’s the other way around you see the glorification of Evergreen, The rock, and thier pastors for your salvation and make idols of

Knowing how God saved and not your pastors, leaders, or the church enables you to feel a fitting thankfulness to God. You can’t be thankful for what God did, if you think you, the church, or a pastor did it (Romans 6:17).

Thank you for your sermon KnowingGod.  Maybe I am wrong but I think the spirit of this part of the site/forum is to just express some gratitude and share a memory.

What prompted the sermon?  The second sentence seems to be in line with your thoughts because they mention how "God used" the people.
Perhaps it was the first sentence where DLM says they were "saved at Evergreen" ?
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araignee19
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 10:36:22 am »

I was at a different GCx church as a disclaimer, but they share some pretty big threads and roots.

I have email after email with my team leader asking me to leave and me saying I wanted to stay. I was told I should leave and find somewhere I could be more “unified with.” None of my old friends would engage with me after I was asked to leave, so eventually I did. This was not me choosing to remove myself. This was them abandoning and forcing me out in a time of great need in my life because I didn’t fit their idea of “unified” or “helpful” or “pationate” enough.

I had a friend I was very close to on my team when I first joined. She was asked to move to a different team to “strengthen that team,” and she stopped responding to my attempts to hang out or having time for me. I confided in my team leader I was hurt by this change in our friendship, and she told me “she needs to focus on her new family because that is where her efforts are most effective. You can’t be hurt by this. This is the life you have chosen.” 

I was told to instruct one of my “disciplees” to stop spending time with a long time “outside” friend in favor of spending time with me because I was her assigned “coach” and she didn’t have time for both of us. I barely knew her, and she didn’t like me (understandably).

I found God and amazing people at this church as well. Thankfully, I still have God. But I was abandoned by the people who were amazing, until they suddenly weren’t.

I have many more examples of stuff like this I experienced. For anyone lurking, that is part of my experience and story. This was wrong and cult-like. It should be shared. Take it for what you will.
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Wrestling
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2018, 10:42:55 am »

It’s a holy mix isn’t it?

One person’s good experience doesn’t negate another’s traumatic experience.

One person’s traumatic experience doesn’t negate another’s good experience.

My own good experience doesn’t negate my own traumatic experience.

My own traumatic experience doesn’t negate my own good experience.

We can talk about the good AND we can talk about the bad. We can do better respecting one another. Both “sides” can do better and do better today. Seek to understand.
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DarthVader
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2018, 10:47:42 am »

I was at a different GCx church as a disclaimer, but they share some pretty big threads and roots.

I have email after email with my team leader asking me to leave and me saying I wanted to stay. I was told I should leave and find somewhere I could be more “unified with.” None of my old friends would engage with me after I was asked to leave, so eventually I did. This was not me choosing to remove myself. This was them abandoning and forcing me out in a time of great need in my life because I didn’t fit their idea of “unified” or “helpful” or “pationate” enough.

I had a friend I was very close to on my team when I first joined. She was asked to move to a different team to “strengthen that team,” and she stopped responding to my attempts to hang out or having time for me. I confided in my team leader I was hurt by this change in our friendship, and she told me “she needs to focus on her new family because that is where her efforts are most effective. You can’t be hurt by this. This is the life you have chosen.” 

I was told to instruct one of my “disciplees” to stop spending time with a long time “outside” friend in favor of spending time with me because I was her assigned “coach” and she didn’t have time for both of us. I barely knew her, and she didn’t like me (understandably).

I found God and amazing people at this church as well. Thankfully, I still have God. But I was abandoned by the people who were amazing, until they suddenly weren’t.

I have many more examples of stuff like this I experienced. For anyone lurking, that is part of my experience and story. This was wrong and cult-like. It should be shared. Take it for what you will.
Hey araignee19 - I'm sorry for what you experienced..Just out of curiosity, was this in a college focused or campus GCx church?  I have a hypothesis that it's more likely for bad experiences to occur in these settings than in other GCx churches (at least in recent in history) but wondered if that was true in your case.
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KnowingGod
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2018, 11:07:49 am »

It’s just the near idolatrous type admiration I see among GCC Christians that should be given to Jesus Christ. For example the #Markdarlingismyhero campaign that was going on on here. I’m not discrediting  that God used a sermon of theirs at some point that God used at some point to draw them into a relationship with Jesus, it’s the Glory given to evergreen or the pastor that should be given to God. As for the ex-communication type behavior experiences after leaving I would agree that it does go both ways however our experience was former “friends” attitudes changed dramatically towards us that shouldn’t have all because of leaving besides a few. It’s as if leaving GCC meant leaving God to some.
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araignee19
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2018, 11:39:07 am »

Yes, college group in Fort Collins, CO (the Rock). And yes, I think it could be very true that problems are more common in college groups. I certainly think these issues could be patchy.
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EscapeFromSummitview
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2018, 11:55:23 am »

From the 1991 statement of error in GC churches:
Quote
One very negative effect concerned members who chose to leave our churches. Because of our conviction that God's plan to accomplish the Great Commission relied upon New Testament churches following the geographical progression described in Acts 1:8, and because we believed that our churches were unique in their commitment to pursuing that plan, there was a concern that a person leaving would miss out on God's will for their life. Our overemphasis on the things that we believed distinguished our churches from other churches and organizations and our failure to recognize that God might desire to use those individuals outside of our association of churches made it difficult for some to leave without feeling guilty and inadequate, or believing that God could use them for His purposes in another church. It also caused some of those who remained to view those who left as choosing something that might be good, but wasn't what was best.
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