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Author Topic: Good side of the Great Commission  (Read 3357 times)
Captain Bible
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« on: May 19, 2011, 07:21:19 am »

The thing I did like about Gc was the places it exposed me to: Latin America, Colorado, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Louisville. We would go by bus to a city so you could take in the sights, and laugh with friends along the way. My trip to Latin America changed my life. I saw how happy the poorest people are, how free they seemed living in the mountains in the natural world. The sights and smells of that trip have been coded into my mind. It is one thing that I am very thankful for about GC: the missions focus. Being exposed to different people in places like Latin America and Chicago have challenged the way I see the world. In a way these meetings are what have helped me grow out of the closed ways of thinking that I was steeped in.

The frantic push to save the world put me in contact with the world I was destined to discover, join, and thrive within. In a way none of this would have come about without the Great Commission Movement. "Hold on to the good and let the bad slip from your fingers."  Thankfully true life has come to me, before I would tell myself over and over that I was redeemed and Loved by Jesus but I never thought that I was truly happy. Back then to be truly happy would have been out of place, (For real happiness only came in heaven). In the end, I am thankful for much of what I have learned in GC, Perhaps not the lessons they intended for me, but none the less.     

"When you divide the land by lot as an inheritance, you must set aside a donation to the Lord, a holy portion of the land, eight and one-third miles long and six and two-thirds miles wide. This entire tract of land will be holy." Ezekiel 45: 1
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 06:20:08 am »

The Jesus Movement of the 1970’s was fueled by people who were disenchanted both with the traditions of the church and the rebellion of the hippie counterculture. Many, many groups sprang up throughout the nation that supported young people who wanted to be fully devoted to Christ and committed to a group. Simplicity of lifestyle and sharing together in the life of Christ were the focus. Because many of the young people had been part of the hippie culture, they easily accepted authoritarian leadership.

For a short time in the 1970’s, I was a member of a thriving group of Jesus people that quickly evolved into a cult, grew in on themselves, and eventually dwindled to almost nothing. There was strong, abusive authoritarian leadership. We lived communally. Nobody left without being shunned. Nobody. A few years ago, some of the alumni of that group formed a facebook group. The communication often became tense. All of us remained disenchanted with church, and longed for the sweet fellowship of our former cult. I started searching the internet for information about Christian cults, and stumbled upon this site.  Although I left Walnut Creek, I had never considered it to be an unhealthy church. I think I fit into Walnut Creek easily because I felt a kinship with people who had similar roots to my previous church that I missed.

In a healthy church, people do not necessarily believe or practice the exact same things, but they live together in a loving community. I joined GCx when I was 43 years old. My children were 10 and 15 years old. The kids went to public school, and did not hesitate to share an opinion. We did not change our beliefs or practices when we joined the church, and I did not feel compelled to do so.  I enjoyed the community spirit within our small group. We met weekly and had a monthly potluck. We prayed together. It was great having a support group. It felt like home—it really did!

It seemed like there were two separate churches at Walnut Creek. There was a church of older people who provided the financial backing. These people have more diversity, which is tolerated because they are not inclined to change. This part of the church is fairly healthy and helps the church maintain the appearance of a healthy church. I think the church was very different for the college group and people who were really “knitted in” at a younger age.  The college group and the older people did not intermingle at all. I really had little connection with the unhealthy aspects of the church.
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I said I'm PROUD to BE a CSU RAM

« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 02:22:08 pm »

I agree there's a difference between the college group and the other areas of the church. It seems like there's a developmental perspective: college kids are spiritually infants, so they need quite a bit of structure and such to know how to live as Christians. However, the leaders seem to overdo that part (according to some of my friends and postings on this forum) and the developmental task of exploring and learning by oneself with his or her Father is missed in all that. I think the new believers that are socialized (taught worldview and that specific group's norms) do look a lot different and probably end up relying on that structure to grow for a decent part of their early spiritual years.

One benefit of all these young people growing together (and it's a benefit I've experienced) is the zeal that we as young believers had and fed off of each other. I remember praying with the college group in a chapel on campus, and we would earnestly ask for the salvation of students' roommates, classmates, professors, and the coolest moments were trusting God for the prayers we uttered and then worshiping with the college pastor jamming on an acoustic guitar with our voices echoing off the stone floor and wooden walls of the chapel. Going through the day after that hour of morning prayer was amazing Smiley
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