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Author Topic: GCM is GREAT  (Read 78380 times)
jat5453
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« on: October 15, 2008, 09:02:22 pm »

Hey everybody,

 I was so sad to hear that so many people have been hurt by GCM. I believe GCM is awsome body of believers, who are doing there best to win the world for Christ. I am not saying that everyone involved is perfect, because that is far form the truth. We are all imperfect sinners, in need of a perfect savior. By reading this site, I know many of you have misunderstandings about GCM. I want to do my best to clear these up. I am going to try to post often, and I hope my blurbs will not be deleted. I really am not trying portray that i know everything. In fact, there are many questions i can not answer. However, i want to try to help reinstill confidence in GCM, and clarify what we are really all about.
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Linda
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 10:54:25 pm »

When you say GCM, what are you referring to exactly? A "regular" church? A campus church? The sending organization that is based out of Florida?
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 10:51:49 am »

jat,

Greetings.
Quote from: "jat5453"
I was so sad to hear that so many people have been hurt by GCM. I believe GCM is awsome body of believers, who are doing there best to win the world for Christ.

I started a whole discussion thread on GCx's idea of "reaching the world". It has gone cold, but we certainly didn't finish and maybe we can get back to it.
Quote
I am not saying that everyone involved is perfect, because that is far form the truth. We are all imperfect sinners, in need of a perfect savior. By reading this site, I know many of you have misunderstandings about GCM. I want to do my best to clear these up.

That is kind of you. I hope you will at least be open to the possibility that you have misunderstandings about GCx as well.

Quote
I am going to try to post often, and I hope my blurbs will not be deleted. I really am not trying portray that i know everything. In fact, there are many questions i can not answer. However, i want to try to help reinstill confidence in GCM, and clarify what we are really all about.

It would be helpful if you would tell us about yourself. How old are you, how long have you been with GCx, etc. GCx's teachings and practices have changed over the years. I would like to know where you are coming from.

Also, do you know who Jim McCotter is, and his significance to GCx?
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boboso
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 06:00:53 am »

jat,

Thanks for coming to the forums.

As you said, most of us here have been severely hurt by GCx churches and practices. I would invite you to read the testimonies here with an open mind --

I would also invite you to ask your leadership some questions:

1. How does one become a part of "leadership"? Is there a documented, objective, clear path to becoming a part of "leadership"?

2. Does every believer have access to the Holy Spirit?

3. Is it possible that someone in the congregation has greater spiritual maturity than the "leadership"?  

4. If I find something in the Bible that conflicts with the current "leadership" stance, what should I follow?

5. Is it possible for one to hear from God and the "leadership" not know about it?

6. What motivates you to tell people about Jesus?

I'm curious to hear what answers you receive. Please don't be afraid to ask these questions as it will only help you gain understanding of where they're coming from.

Thanks,
B.
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2008, 07:22:41 am »

That is a great list of questions.  It's surprising that those areas are so murky in any GCM church regardless of size or location.
It's interesting going to a "regular" church now and they make evident all the answers to the questions.
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ustawannabee
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 07:08:32 am »

why are you assuming that WE are the ones with misunderstandings? are you saying that our experiences and therefore our feelings are not valid?
I am glad for you that you like these people (I guess). How long have you been with "the church"?  doesn't it make you wonder why this web site exists at all? I am not aware of one of these websites for say Evangelical Free churches or Lutherans although I dare say there are people out here that have probably been hurt in a church in one of those denominations.

Yes, Praise God we have a perfect Savior!!!
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Linda
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 08:32:02 am »

Quote from: "jat5453"
I am not saying that everyone involved is perfect, because that is far form the truth. We are all imperfect sinners, in need of a perfect savior.

I'm not meaning to "pick on" jat5453, but does anyone else think that when GC defends itself with the "no church is perfect" argument (I'm sure jat heard that and was passing it along to us in an attempt to help us out), it is kind of like bringing Hitler into an argument, all discussion shuts down.

I can't tell you how many times we were told that. I remember one vivid moment when we were talking with an elder right after MD told a gathered group of over 1000 we were his bride. The answer wasn't, "I think he misspoke," or "I'm gonna talk to him about that and have him clarify his messge." The answer was, "First of all, (and then a penetrating gaze directly into my eyes) you do realize, don't you, that there is no such thing as a perfect church?"

Here's the answer I wish I would have given him, rather than the confused stare. I should have said:
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Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
God is in the business of perfecting his Church. When leaders excuse unsound doctrine with the words "there is no perfect church", they are showing a profound lack of knowledge about just what the Church, the Bride is.

They also demonstrated ignorance (or purposeful error, but I'm choosing ignorance because it doesn't judge the motives) about the Bride when they told us, "Like the husband is the head of the house, the pastor is the head of the church." Ephesians 5 says something similar, but, as we all know, replaces "pastor" with Christ.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 11:23:53 am »

Quote from: "jat5453"
I am not saying that everyone involved is perfect, because that is far form the truth. We are all imperfect sinners, in need of a perfect savior. By reading this site, I know many of you have misunderstandings about GCM. I want to do my best to clear these up. I am going to try to post often, and I hope my blurbs will not be deleted. I really am not trying portray that i know everything. In fact, there are many questions i can not answer. However, i want to try to help reinstill confidence in GCM, and clarify what we are really all about.

First, I am glad you have found a church home that is helping you to grow to maturity so that you are personally able to do all that God desires of you to do (the purpose of "church" -- Ephesians 4:7-16).  I would have been concerned that you are not aware of the doctrines and practices of GC that have caused so many Christians pain, however, your presence on the forum militates against such a concern.

Sin, in any form (e.g. unsound doctrine, lies, theft, murder, whatever...) is not overcome by the sinner until the sinner can articulate WHAT specific sin he has recognized in himself.  To say that any church is filled with sinners is a truism, but unhelpful in accomplishing anything.  If you truly believe that you have sinned, you can name the precise sins you have committed.  More than unhelpful, such a comment as, "all churches have sinners in them" is often used insincerely to brush off wrong, to cover up error, and to dismiss sins that need to be corrected.

Similarly, to say that GC leadership is imperfect and has sinned, if that comment is to have any legitimate meaning, requires the specific sins to be identified.  So, Jat, which sins have you noticed among the leadership to which you gave reference when you said that GC leadership was imperfect?
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 12:32:51 pm »

Quote from: "jat5453"
[...] I am going to try to post often [...]

jat posted twice on 10/15/08 and has been silent since. Why would that be?  He said he would post often.

Imagine the scene where jat went to his GCx fellowship the next Sunday, and told his leaders he had found a web site where people were <gasp> critical of the GCx, and that he was going to answer their objections and defend the church. What do you think happened next?
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wastedyearsthere
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2008, 03:25:08 pm »

invited out for ice cream by an elder or confronted in a dark alley?
Tongue
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2008, 11:10:06 pm »

Quote from: "wastedyearsthere"
invited out for ice cream by an elder or confronted in a dark alley?
Tongue


I've gone through both, though the alley wasn't dark.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 02:23:03 pm »

I actually do hope that Jat returns.  Good polite discussion around the Scriptures can always be helpful, no matter what side of an issue one is found.

Quote from: "wasted"
invited out for ice cream by an elder or confronted in a dark alley?


One of my first "invitations" was in a garage with the elder's cars.  That was when I found out that those who hold too tightly to Scripture to learn doctrine are "stiff necked," "unteachable," "fools," and have "negative reports" given about them to the elders at other assemblies.  That was when I also found out that the elders in a given region literally met all together to evaluate by name the spirituality of the members of their respective churches.  Still makes me cringe to think of the abuse in a denominational system like that.
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G_Prince
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 12:17:52 pm »

Quote from: "Linda"
I'm not meaning to "pick on" jat5453, but does anyone else think that when GC defends itself with the "no church is perfect" argument (I'm sure jat heard that and was passing it along to us in an attempt to help us out), it is kind of like bringing Hitler into an argument, all discussion shuts down.


I couldn't agree more! The problem with this argument is the assumption that since no church is perfect; they are all equal in their imperfection. GCx may be hurting people, but all churches hurt people so grow a pair and move on.

Of course we all know this is erroneous. If every church was equal in their imperfection, then why would we choose to attend our particular church? The truth is some churches are more imperfect than others. We attend our church because we believe that it has it's ducks in a row. (or as close as you can get them). Therefore, GCx’s “no church is perfect” argument is a smokescreen for, "sure we may have problems, but they are tiny little ones that even the best churches struggle with."

I wish GCx would just be honest and say this. Clearly their lack of action to address the issues confronting them for the past 40 years shows that they don't think much is amiss. Why feign humility with the "no church is perfect" argument? It's a touch insulting to us dissenters. The message we receive is, "yes sorry you got hurt, but really there is nothing we can do about it because no church is perfect." BS! If there is a problem fix it. If you truly care about the people in your church why wouldn't you address the glaring issues which are hurting people and sending them to the door?
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 01:04:02 pm »

Quote from: "G_Prince"
If there is a problem fix it. If you truly care about the people in your church why wouldn't you address the glaring issues which are hurting people and sending them to the door?


Because many of GC's problems are what it thinks are "features"; they spring from the design of things, and the teaching.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 02:50:03 pm »

Quote from: "theresearchpersona"
Quote from: "G_Prince"
If there is a problem fix it. If you truly care about the people in your church why wouldn't you address the glaring issues which are hurting people and sending them to the door?


Because many of GC's problems are what it thinks are "features"; they spring from the design of things, and the teaching.


Oh my goodness!!!  That is SO true, TRP!  They're "features" inherent to the design.
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G_Prince
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2008, 10:42:25 pm »

Quote from: "theresearchpersona"
Quote from: "G_Prince"
If there is a problem fix it. If you truly care about the people in your church why wouldn't you address the glaring issues which are hurting people and sending them to the door?


Because many of GC's problems are what it thinks are "features"; they spring from the design of things, and the teaching.


Excellent and very important point! "problems" is a very vague term which occludes the real issues. There are problems which result from sin and invade the church because it is made up of sinners, and then there are problems which are embedded in church policy.

The Catholic Church has its infamous "problem." However, sexual abuse and it's subsequent cover is totally contrary to what Catholicism stands for. While these sins are far more damaging than GCx's issues (that we know of) we recognize that the problem is not the Church but rather individuals within it.

But for GCx problems ARE church policy. This is why it seems so hard for them to change; They have to re-structure their DNA. Changing the fundamentals would cast shadows on their mythic origins. If McCotter's policies are fundamentally wrong, they have to question whether their movement was ever truly inspired by God. They are really in a quandary; the see their problems, the even apologize for them, but they can never really change them because it would threaten their divine sanction.
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Huldah
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 01:17:36 pm »

JAT, if you're still reading (as I hope you are), please don't take any of this as an attack. My heart goes out to you because you remind me very much of myself back in my Solid Rock days. Here are some thoughts I wish you would prayerfully consider.

I am not saying that everyone involved is perfect, because that is far form the truth.
This is a troubling statement. In a subtle way, it puts the blame back on the victim of spiritual abuse: "If you were unhappy at GC, then it was because you had an unrealistic standard of perfection." JAT, this may not be exactly what you meant, but it's how it comes across. The truth is that there's a huge difference between expecting perfection from the leadership and expecting not to be abused by them. Having been in the military, I've attended a number of different churches in this country as well as overseas. Every single one of them was imperfect in some way, but only GC was systematically abusive to its members.

By reading this site, I know many of you have misunderstandings about GCM. I want to do my best to clear these up.
Please clarify. What, specifically, do we misunderstand?
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jat5453
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 07:01:14 pm »

Hey Everyone,

 I am sorry i've not been online for awhile, and ,no, it is not because "one of the elders took me out for an ice cream in a dark alley" as someone wrote in. No, my life has just been extremely busy and hectic lately.
 I noticed that many of you asked what misunderstanding you had. I did not mean to seem like i was assuming that your problems were all misunderstandings, and that you were not really hurt. That is not what i meant at all. I simply meant that if you all have any questions that you are not sure of i will try my best to answer.
  I have also noticed that a lot of the problems with the church has to do with abuse of leadership. I know that there has been some, but there has also been abuse of leadership in all types of churches. Someone wrote that you would not see a site like this for any other type of churches so to speak. However, you do see where people are hurt by there individual churches. I have been at my GCC for 16 years and i have not witnessed any abuse of leadership. I believe that most of these problems stem from individual churches and not GCM as a whole.
   I would also like to address that ,yes, GCM has had its problems. However, they have apologized again and again for them. They have actually sent out letters apologizing for specific sins(as someone mentioned).
    Someone mentioned that saying the church is not perfect is having the wrong understanding of the church. I do agree that we are the perfect body of Christ. However, while we are on this earth we indwell carneth bodies. Therefore, We will sin. That is not to say that we should make God's grace an excuse for our sin. By leaning on the holy spirit we should flee from sin. However the Bible says that if we do sin we have Christ to intercede for us. My point is that while on this earth the church cannot be perfect. It is only in heaven that we will come into full perfection.
   It did greave me to see some of the comments about the elders in the church. Cry I know many of them personally, and they are some of the biggest hearted people I have ever met.  Many of them have devoted their whole lives to seeing people reached for the Lord.
  I want you all to know that i am not intending to down play your hurt in anyway. I do believe ,though, that a whole movement is wrong bc/they have made mistakes in the past as long as they adknowlege them and do not continue in sin.
  I have made priceless friends through GCM, and I have seen Christ reach many people through them. I have not seen as strong of fellowship and love for other believs than i have in GCM.
  Please continue to write!!! I will do my best to respond(though I do not know how often). Thank you for not taking me down ,and for being willing to talk to me.
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Angry
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2009, 10:38:48 am »

Jat5453 -

Thank you for sharing.

It has been determined here that there are healthy churches as well as unhealthy churches within the gc* framework.

Sounds like you found a basically healthy one - good for you.  Many of us have been burned by "unhealthy" ones and react accordingly.

I am hoping beyond hope that your statement below was a typo -

"... I do believe ,though, that a whole movement is wrong bc/they have made mistakes in the past as long as they adknowlege them and do not continue in sin."

Please calm my fears that a gc* member doesn't believe a movement is wrong by not continuing in sin.

Angry
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Huldah
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2009, 10:45:47 am »

Thanks for posting, JAT. I'm glad your absence wasn't the result of being "invited out for ice cream".

To the extent that GC has been a blessing in your life, I'm honestly glad. I, too, found some good things at GC along with the bad. If there hadn't been anything positive at GC, I'd never have joined in the first place.

I have also noticed that a lot of the problems with the church has to do with abuse of leadership. I know that there has been some, but there has also been abuse of leadership in all types of churches...
True. GC is not the only abusive church in the world. (And, for what it's worth, my personal opinion is that GC is a church, not a cult.) But you write as if abuse were the norm for churches, not an aberration that should be corrected or exposed. I've attended plenty of imperfect churches that have managed to avoid spiritually abusing their members. They set a standard which GC repeatedly failed to meet.

My point is that while on this earth the church cannot be perfect. It is only in heaven that we will come into full perfection
Agreed, but again I must point out: we're not talking about perfection. Please don't make that the issue.

I believe that most of these problems stem from individual churches and not GCM as a whole.
This is possible. My experience was with one particular GC congregation. However, people from other GC congregations have had similar negative experiences. And congregations were by no means isolated from each others' teachings. Sermon tapes were freely shared between congregations. Non-local leaders such as Herschel Martindale and Jim McCotter were household names in the church I attended. One of the local deacons whom I knew pesonally, whose grounding in Scripture was sketchy at best, now holds a position of national leadership in the movement. Perhaps he has grown in grace since I knew him, but then again, perhaps he has become more entrenched in faulty doctrine and practice. Nothing I saw during my time at GC makes me optimistic that it's the former.

I'm not doubting your own happiness at GC. It's actually a relief to hear that the movement isn't thoroughly abusive. However, I'm suggesting that you ask yourself whether spiritual abuse is the exception among GC churches, or the norm. Is it possible that your church is the rarity?
 
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