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coffee
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« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2010, 09:59:29 am »


I see it like a dysfunctional family. The deck may be stacked toward the continuing of the dysfunctions, but if the kids recognize it, they can work to make their own families better, and their kids can do the same, and so on.

I'm really happy that you hadn't heard of the "old GC" past, and that your radar didn't light up at Riv.  Smiley

I like the analogy, BTDT. It's something I was thinking about last night; I come from a dysfunctional church (not Riv) myself, so those are my church roots. I've gone from that path, and I feel healthy and strong in my faith, due in large part to the guidance and teachings at Riv. But because of my past, does that mean that I should not be able to bring the Good News to others? I am still friends with some of the people in my unhealthy church past; there are family members who remain tied to it. But I don't think that that disqualifies me from bringing the gospel to others. Nor should it disqualify a church who may have started that way but is definitely not on that path anymore. I have not completely and fully severed my ties with my church past, nor will I ever as long as I have family involved in it and friends who are members. I may continue to point out differences, and encourage, as I have been encouraged at Riv, to not take man's word at face value but to check it out against the God's authority, the Bible. I don't know if you can ever separate a church, or a person, from it's roots.

In answer to your line of command, Linda, I don't believe that our current pastors, Steve and Paul excluded because, yes, they were part of the Ames, IA church plant, have been trained at GCLI or whatever you called it. Steve and Paul, I have no idea about. Email them and ask, they are both wonderful and open people. To sever ties completely would mean that we would lose Steve and Paul, who are both wonderful and caring and gifted pastors. I wouldn't want to sacrifice them on the premise that we need to sever any and all ties ever associated with GCI (I think thats the original acronym you used). Hard to keep them straight.

As for the authority question, I have two answers. The first, is that their authority comes from God. And they have to answer to God for their leadership. That's not a role I would want to assume, and I know, from their teachings, that it is not one that they take lightly. I am assuming, so please correct me, that you feel that seminary is the only way to get that authority. I'm sure that is one route, but I'd argue not the only one. The other part of that answer, is that our congregation grants them the authority to lead us and guide us in our learning and spiritual growth. If at any point I disagree with a teaching or message, I feel that I can go to any one of the five pastors and bring my questions forward. They are all visible and accessible to the members, no easy feat with 2000+ people passing through on a weekend.
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LucyB
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« Reply #81 on: January 25, 2010, 10:06:58 am »

I can tell you that Riv has not heavily promoted its GCx roots in all the time I've been there. It's always been a loose affiliation.

Quote from the Riverview website: "Riverview was started by a group of churches who have since birthed several other groups of churches.  We continue to stay involved with them through one of those groups, GCM."  

It appears that Riverview is deliberately coy about their GCx roots. This is not an unusual practice within the movement. For example, Walnut Creek does not even mention any affiliation with GCAC on its website http://www.walnutcreekcc.org/   Most of the members of this church have never heard of McCotter. The affiliation with GCx has an appearance of being loose, but in reality, the influence of GCx is quite strong.
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Linda
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« Reply #82 on: January 25, 2010, 10:08:59 am »

Quote from: coffee
Email them and ask, they are both wonderful and open people.
This would be something those attending should ask.

Quote from: coffee
The first, is that their authority comes from God. And they have to answer to God for their leadership.
How did God give them their authority?

Quote from: coffee
I am assuming, so please correct me, that you feel that seminary is the only way to get that authority.
Your assumption is incorrect.

Quote from: coffee
The other part of that answer, is that our congregation grants them the authority to lead us and guide us in our learning and spiritual growth.
Great! Just curious, how did the congregation "grant" them this authority?
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Linda
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« Reply #83 on: January 25, 2010, 10:13:09 am »

Quote from: LucyB
Most of the members of this church have never heard of McCotter. The affiliation with GCx has an appearance of being loose, but in reality, the influence of GCx is quite strong.
Good point.
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coffee
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« Reply #84 on: January 25, 2010, 10:21:54 am »

Another facet of the weirdness is that GCM employees may work at a GCC church UNDER the authority of the GCC church.  It seems to me that GCM wants to separate itself from GCC, but doesn't have the guts to really do it.  Or the power to change the involvement of it's missionaries with GCC. 

Perhaps another layer of this has to do with monetary support. A campus church will not garner the same revenue/support as one with older members who are financially stable. This is not an exception at Riv, I know. The lost monetary support may be an issue with completely severing ties? That is speculation, just something I was thinking about.

When speaking GCM, are we talking Great Commission Ministries or the Great Commission Movement?

Someone suggested that this thread be moved, and I agree. This has definitely turned from a Hello and Testimonial....
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coffee
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« Reply #85 on: January 25, 2010, 10:31:00 am »

I can tell you that Riv has not heavily promoted its GCx roots in all the time I've been there. It's always been a loose affiliation.

Quote from the Riverview website: "Riverview was started by a group of churches who have since birthed several other groups of churches.  We continue to stay involved with them through one of those groups, GCM."  

It appears that Riverview is deliberately coy about their GCx roots. This is not an unusual practice within the movement. For example, Walnut Creek does not even mention any affiliation with GCAC .  Most of the members of this church have never heard of McCotter. The affiliation with GCx has an appearance of being loose, but in reality, the influence of GCx is quite strong.


Note that I said heavily promoted, please. Riv, in my opinion, has not shied away from its GCwhatever roots. They have not tried to say that Steve and Paul didn't come from Ames in '77. I don't think they are being deliberately coy; more that they are giving the relevant information. People who come to the site want brief information not a 3 page paper on the history. That is not the intent, nor should it be. I'd say many members of Riv have not heard of McCotter either. Why? He's not relevant. It has nothing to do with the teachings of the bible or what is being taught in the church today. And I disagree that the influence of GCx is quite strong. We've never had GCx speakers come in and teach our church; and certainly the abuses that I've read about on this forum have not happened at Riv in my experience.
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Linda
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« Reply #86 on: January 25, 2010, 10:48:31 am »

Quote from: coffee
I'd say many members of Riv have not heard of McCotter either. Why? He's not relevant. It has nothing to do with the teachings of the bible or what is being taught in the church today.
I went to a GC church in Minnesota. I had never heard Jim McCotter's name mentioned even once in the ten years that I was involved. I regret that it took me so long to learn about the founder and heartily disagree with anyone who says he is not relevant. I first heard of him through a Google search of GC.
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« Reply #87 on: January 25, 2010, 10:49:13 am »

Coffee:

At Walnut Creek, the influence of GCx is strong.  I did not intend to refer to Riverside with that comment. I have no knowledge of Riverside. People can judge for themselves if identifying the organization that started the church in a brief history of the church would be verbose and irrelevant.

I donít know of any seminary who ordains pastors. The seminaries train pastors, and the churches ordain them. The people give them authority by submitting to their leadership. If I had a toothache, I could ask my brother to pull my tooth. He would have authority to pull it, because I gave him that authority. Maybe he went to a week-long seminar on pulling teeth. Maybe he has had some of his own teeth pulled, and remembered some of the techniques of the dentist. Maybe he searched the internet on safety strategies. Perhaps he has been pulling teeth for many years. He has the authority, and he has some training, but if he did not go to dental school he canít possibly have the same depth of knowledge as a dentist. Why is it any different with pastors?
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Anonymous
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« Reply #88 on: January 25, 2010, 11:00:17 am »

I thought my GC church was wonderful for the first year or two. Didn't even know it was a part of GCM, GCC, or any other organization. I would have been defensive if somebody was negatively portraying it as a some sort of controlling cult-like place.

The longer I was there, the more I began to realize the level of control that was exerted over CERTAIN members, however, and the connection to the larger movement became more important when piecing things together. I too had never heard of Jim McCotter, not once, even during "how this movement got started" type messages. Now, knowing he was the founder of the entire movement, I am shocked they went to such lengths to hide his role from me. But back then, I would have responded similarily, "He's not around anymore, so who cares?"

If anybody tries to tell you the history of Great Commission and does not mention Jim McCotter, they are trying to hide something from you. He was so important to the formation of this movement, it would be like telling the story of Microsoft and not mentioning Bill Gates. There is something not right about a church in GC that does not mention him in such sermons.

Much of the controversial stuff goes on behind the scenes, especially in leadership meetings. Meetings with people they know they can trust, with people they believe to have control over. Remember.. in GC you are "tapped" into leadership. One of the qualities of people they tap is unquestioned obedience. This is the single most important attribute you can possess that will signal to leadership that you are leadership material. Transparency in GC doesn't happen because they believe it's okay to mislead people for the sake of the Gospel. They won't say it like that, but in the end that is what happens.
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #89 on: January 25, 2010, 11:30:41 am »

It appears that Riverview is deliberately coy about their GCx roots.

Another reason, besides coyness, for not mentioning McCotter is that he is no longer with the movement. It is somewhat embarrassing to explain why your apostle left the church. Embarrassing enough, apparently, that GCx has never really explained it.

Imagine the Pope leaving the Roman Catholic Church to "pursue other interests".  Huh
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askingquestionsaboutGCI
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« Reply #90 on: January 25, 2010, 11:42:16 am »

Quote
Interesting. Three churches left GCAC. I didn't know about that.
I was referring to one church with three pastors.  Others may have left GCAC, but I'm not aware of them.

Actually, at least two churches in Maryland did leave GCAC or GC whatever...... Valley Brook Community Church and Cedar Brook Community Church (Paul Abbott was and still is the pastor there).  Outside of Maryland, I don't know if any others left.
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BTDT
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« Reply #91 on: January 25, 2010, 12:10:31 pm »

Actually, at least two churches in Maryland did leave GCAC or GC whatever...... Valley Brook Community Church and Cedar Brook Community Church (Paul Abbott was and still is the pastor there). 
Thanks...I had completely forgotten about Paul's church.

I agree that this thread is moving far from a "hello".  Smiley We've covered several topics; maybe they need to be separate threads in a different section.
  • GCM today vs. GCAC today -- same or different directions, which group has churches free of the deep problems of the historical GCI/Blitz movement
  • Merits/demerits of church leaders choosing other church leaders
  • What is appropriate training for pastors
  • How much "should" a church say about its history on its "advertising" (web site)

I'm sure those topics alone can keep the bandwidth flowing to and from the forum for a while. Smiley
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« Reply #92 on: January 25, 2010, 12:38:28 pm »

Another reason, besides coyness, for not mentioning McCotter is that he is no longer with the movement. It is somewhat embarrassing to explain why your apostle left the church. Embarrassing enough, apparently, that GCx has never really explained it.

Imagine the Pope leaving the Roman Catholic Church to "pursue other interests".  Huh


That hits the nail on the head.  Mccotter left in the 1980s, well after the organization had been formed.  They don't address his departure.  This leads to two possibilities:
1)  It's truly unimportant, he simply lost the desire for ministry in GCx or something.
2)  They're ashamed and have something worth hiding.

Since they won't even address it, I suspect the second option to be true.  Openness and transparency are essential to a church's survival and reputation.  A recent example is Ted Haggard.  For those that don't remember, he was the pastor of a mega-church call New Life in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He was caught doing drugs and in a homosexual relationship after preaching staunchly against both.  The church allowed him to resign before they fired him and issued a statement that he was no longer involved and not permitted to come back.  They were clear.  A wrong-doing had occurred, and they acted accordingly.  So why all the mystery surrounding Mccotter if there isn't something to hide?  Issue a statement.  Say something.  But don't sit there like nothing happened when Mccotter founded the movement.

On the issue of River, it could be the exception to the general trend.  I sincerely pray that it is.  But look at those lists of GCC and GCM churches from 2008 and 2006.  In at least 3 instances while comparing those lists, there was no difference.  The GCC church was the GCM church in the same local geographic area.  And those are just my firsthand knowledge.  So River may be trying to distance themselves, but until they shed that GCx label, it will be near impossible to prove that they are any different than the rest of the GC churches.

-Immortal_Raven
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Peace
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« Reply #93 on: September 05, 2010, 12:38:12 pm »

Wow!  Was looking for a new Church in Plano, TX.  Have a friend in GCM, Columbus Ohio.  Will definitely share this stie with him,I know his Pastor was recently asked to step down due to being "to harsh, hateful, critical," of people.

As a Christian counselor I will share a few resources for the person who posted this statement, I hope this comes across a vein of love and challenge.  You may be in denial of codependency and suffering from deep boundary issues that we all have vilations of in our past.  Christ can heal them, but not apart from your cooperation.  He and His Holy Spirit are perfect gentleman.  I would suggest to you, "Boundaries," by Clou/Townsend and 12 Steps to overcoming Codependency," McGee whom is a Pastor in North Florida.  As well, CR groups are croping up in lots of Church's around the countr.  These resources are a great healing tool for people recovering from abuse.  I just think you may be "covering," codependent behavior, for some abusers.  

I love you and hope this provides a source of trimendous growth in your own life.  These are just my assumptions, afterall, I for sure don't have a corner on the tuth and neither do I know another person's soul to "convict them of sin, righteousness, and judgement."  (That's the Holy Spirit's job in John 16).  It's so easy to fill old addictions with the power that spiritual positions offer to "control" people.  Another codependent behavior.
-Sounds a lot like the "Shepherding Movement," or "Navigators," movement.

He is worthy and someday will truly restore us all at that great banquet,
until then,
Jesus is healing


I would like to answer the question about people leaving. Yes, some people have left because of doctrinal disagreements, and ,yes, some others have left to non-GCM churches. My familiy and many others from our church still keep in touch w/all of these people. We know that even though because we are seperated by "pety divisions" we are still brothers and sisters in Christ, and therefore, part of his body. Infact, some of my best friends have left the church. Anyway, there is the answer. Also,I may be mistaken, but i think a lot of you had problems in the early days of GCM. As you have noted, they have grown and changed greatly since them. I do not think that their apologies were "generic" in any way. I know that they were sincere and pentive. However, the church was not nearly all bad in the "old days." How could they be? Thousands of people were led to the Lord.
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Peace
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« Reply #94 on: September 05, 2010, 12:50:37 pm »

Another great resource/must have for those healing:  "Healing from Spiritual abuse," by Dr. Ken Blue.  If you can find the CD's they are great!




  To answer angry's question i did not mean that a movement was wrong by not continuing in sin. That is not what i meant at all and i'm sorry that i gave you that impression!!!!!!!! What i meant was that if a church apologizes for sin and does not continue in it, then they should be forgiven. Just because there was sin does not mean the whole movement should be condemned.
  To answer someone else, i do not believe that my GC church is abnormal bc/it is a good church. I actually believe the spiritually abusive churches are those that are abnormal. As I said, I know a lot of amazing leaders in GCM. John Hopler, Mark Groff, Timmy Powers, and Ken Young to name just a few. I think that the root of the problem is not the churches but sin is.
   I am so deeply sorry you all were hurt through GCM. It breaks my heart to know that there is evil even amoung such a wonderful thing as GCM. Please, am asking you not to blame GCM and GCC. GCM is full of beg hearted Christians on fire for the Lord. They are a group of people dedicated to reaching to world in this generation. Christ has used them to lead thousands to the Lord. Please, blame the sin not the chruch. As Christians, we are all part of the same church, Christ's body.
  Also, Please don't take what i'm saying as judgmental. That is not my intention at all.

P.S. I apologize for any type-Os you may find. 
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Neverbeengcm
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« Reply #95 on: January 28, 2012, 10:20:19 am »

Most Christian churches are better than no church at all.  Some of What GCM churches do is Ok  The problem is that they cause harm by tearing apart families, controlling the lives of their followers and make women 2nd class members.  All of the power in Great Commission churches is funneled into the leaders. These leaders are self-granted power to rule over their flock like dictators.  Any insurrection is almost certain to be "outed" by other members of the flock due to the preachings of the pastors. 

The leaders control their flock by choosing who a church member dates and potentially marries in totally misguided ways. There is no mention of dating or church responsibility in choosing a mate in the Bible.  If you want someone else to choose who you marry, then maybe a GC church will be great for you. Most of us would prefer to actually like the person we date and have a chance to get to know them on our own.  We don't want our church to get involved in our personal lives.

GC churches still have youth groups recruiting new members on college campuses around the country.  These new recruit are young adults 18 years old. They are vulnerable because they are out into the world away from Mom, Dad and the safety of their homes for the first time in their lives.  The daily schedules of these kids are chosen so that schoolwork and family eventually become a secondary concern. THe churches are run like gestapo run Germany.  Church members are led to believe that GOd wants everyone to spy on each other to report anyone who talks about how the teachings the leaders are spewing is flawed. The church becomes the primary concern in their lives.  Family, friends and personal freedom is left by the wayside.

The GCx doctrine is wrong and definitely not great.

Yeah...you could call GCM great...a great concern for our kids and their families.
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« Reply #96 on: October 25, 2012, 02:22:16 pm »

I attended GCM back in the 80's, I knew Jim McCotter, Tom Schroeder, Rob Lamp and other prominent leaders of GCM.  Interestingly enough I became involved through a girl that I dated inviting me to a Sunday service at our student union.  I was enthralled with the Love of Jesus Christ and the really awesome music that was Christian rock.  Those were very inspiring days for me.  I made some really awesome friends, & we always had something to do, basketball, volleyball, camping beyond services, and or bible studies.

I know I was pressured to not date my girlfriend, and she certainly was as well.  It seemed that there was a conscious effort and subtle pressures to keep us apart.  Looking back there was a point where I was told she was being groomed, and I really wasn't.  I still liked to party with my friends on campus, and wasn't willing to quit school or relocate to start a new church in Maryland.  There literally was a point where the members of my house told me they were relocating out of state, and they did.

I was "shunned from the group", and lost connections with all those friends.  I did have a very supportive family, and they admitted being extremely concerned with some of the changes that they had seen in me.  They had been concerned when I tried to witness to family friends, and became extremely concerned when I had told the daughter of one of my Dad's friends that being Catholic did not ensure that she would go to Heaven.  She needed to be saved like I had been.

Years later I came in contact with one of my elders and brothers in that house.  He and his wife had left the church too, and had found a new church and returned to Columbus Ohio.  He apologized for being a part of meetings where my Christian fate had been discussed.  And apologized for having been part of a decision to "shun" me and encourage me to leave GCM.  I honestly didn't remember it as well as he did, and he seemed very relieved to get my forgiveness and acceptance.  This brother was one year older than me (in people years).

I have also come in contact with others from that block of time, and though we have never spoken about specifics, each of them seemed to have some issue that had occurred.  Does anyone leave this body, this church on good terms?  God bless you all, and to those of you breaking away, please know there are many places to find God's love where you are not constantly being judged by other college age kids, & or your Christian elders.

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