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Author Topic: GCM is GREAT  (Read 79223 times)
jat5453
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« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2009, 11:14:39 am »


 Hi everyone,

 Someone asked me if I was really trying to help or if I just wanted to defend GCM. Honestly, this really hurt me. I am here to help in whatever way I can, and I am by no means telling onyone that what they experienced was all a misunderstanding. I am here to be open minded, but also to ask all of you to be the same. Some of you have alluded to and said you were taught to follow everything your pastor said. When I have ever seeked my pastor's advice on anything, he has always adviced me to seek the Lord first and then make my dicisions baced on the Lord's leading. I have never know my pastors to want to control the lives of the church body. It seems horrible to me that some of you have experienced this type of abuse. All I am asking is that you do not judge the whole movement from only a fraction of the churches. I know many wonderful GCM churches. Yes, to answere some of ya'll I am from the east coast. I just feel like so many people judge all people in a movement by some of the people in a movement. I have also seen this in the Southern Babtist Convention. Someone is hurt by one of the pastors/elders, and ,therefor, will never step foot inside a babtist church again. I have also seen great leaders drove out of churches bc/ they were judged on account of where they came from, not who they were. I love my church family dearly. We do our best to help one abother with whatever problems we may be facing, and I have never known any gossip or hasty judgement in my church. I am so very sorry some of you have experienced the exact oppiset. I believe that your experiences are the exact oppiset of what the church was designed to be like, and what GCC was designed to be. Please, do not blame everyone in GCM, or even the majority, for the mistakes of a fraction. Be open minded that is all I am asking. I will try to do the same.
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amyk
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« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2009, 04:56:18 pm »

JAT

I'm new to this forum and I found myself drawn to read the post titled "GCM is Great."  I think you think that because you know some really great people and love your church that those of us who have joined this forum to discuss what we believe to be spiritual abuse, are overreacting.  Here's my thoughts:

  • GCM targets scared freshman. I know that's how I was initially sucked in.
    GCM's "apology" came out in 1991. I was a freshman in 1992 and heard NOTHING about this. In fact, I was a victim of everything on the list. This is irresponsible at best. Deceitful and sinful at worst.
    I went on staff in 2005 and heard a 5 minute discussion about "people being hurt in the past and it being a misunderstanding." First time ever hearing about it. Never saw the letter. No details provided.
    I was encouraged to change my major to be able to "share christ with others."
    Reading my journals from that time in my life, I was MISERABLE. A hot mess. many years later and I am still in therapy. I attribute this to the influence and teachings of GCM- legalistic, dogmatic
    GCM's practice of moving people into leadership is irresponsible.  I was "promoted" to leadership of a small group 3 months after being "saved." I can't imagine what damage I inflicted to others. This guilt torments me still today. I attended LT and conferences, etc. and conformed to fit the picture they painted, I was still not equipped to be a spiritual leader in the lives of my peers. I don't know many 18, 19 or 20 year olds who are equipped.
It's years later and I am still unable to attend any church. Organized religion scares me and I have made peace that my spiritual journey does not need to include membership in organized religion at this time.This is not because I am looking for a "perfect church," but rather because any attempt to experience church is traumatic, like tearing off a deep, gaping scab.

Several people I stay in touch with who were involved or are still involved with GCM are concerned that I am not following jesus. I think it's out of fear that they refuse to acknowledge what happened, Thankfully, many people I know are working hard, like me, to recover from a cult that stole our twenties from us. Do I have responsibility? Yes. But I also know that I was taken advantage of, brain-washed and bullied into a legalistic system that haunts me still today.

-amy

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MidnightRider
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« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2009, 08:09:45 am »

I know many wonderful GCM churches.

Could you name 5 of them?
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everythingchrist
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« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2009, 05:57:17 pm »

Amyk,
I see this at our church (and I'm older) that newly saved are starting their own groups within months of being saved.  This is to attract younger couples/families.  But, even Paul did not preach for a few years after his road to Damascus salvation.  I don't know if you have a Calvary Chapel nearby.  I don't go to one, but still have to go to  a GC church.  But, my friend was at a Calvary and says their great...balanced...include the Holy Spirit but are not charismatic.  Satan wants you out of fellowship because you are then isolated and easy prey.  Try to get to a church and give it a chance  and give it some time there to get to know before judging and don't remain offended!  This is Satan's snare.  :)READ THE "BAIT OF SATAN". This is a good read.
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TurnLeft
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2009, 05:36:53 pm »

JAT, I am not sure anyone here is saying that every GCx church was or is bad.  What is needed is healing for those who did experience abuse, and healing starts with repentance and forgiveness.  The leadership has too often not been repentant.  And the guilt is so widespread at this point, it is hard to get things reconciled.  I not only drank the kool-aid; I passed it around to others and encouraged them to drink.  I don't know whom I've hurt.  I wonder (I'm new here) if there is a list of the names of the people who are willing confess to those who write in and lay out specific sins committed against them.

I was a defender for a long time.  It took getting married and having all my expectations completely exposed for the false hopes they were before I could see what I'd been through.  The wounds are deep; the consequences seemingly for ever:  marriage choices, career choices, family decisions, etc.  I know that God is sovereign, but I constantly struggle.  I feel that I was not protected.  I hope that our experiences have made us stronger Christians.

Like many, I struggle to read Scripture.  We threw our lives behind the understanding we had of God's Word--we lived the lies we believed.  Every time we open the Bible, those false messages are waiting there to confuse us.  Pray for us, JAT.  Pray for our healing.  But please don't judge or presume to understand what you haven't experienced.  If your church and its leaders are innocent, you have no need to defend them.
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lone gone
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« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2009, 05:15:44 am »

Welcome Left turn ,

I'll address your thought about this statement of yours: I wonder (I'm new here) if there is a list of the names of the people who are willing confess to those who write in and lay out specific sins committed against them.


In a word,  no, there is not a list. This is an internet forum where privacy trumps issues between individuals. In a perfect world where our identities are known and there is no chance for human weakness to intervene, then a list would be great.

One poster here ( Dr.Sam) and I attended the same fellowship but at slightly different times. When this became apparent to us he apologized to me off-line for anything he may have done to me. (Even though he had not.)

I feel this is the way it ought to be.

Also regarding the struggle to read scripture, I can commiserate.  It took years to be able to read God's word without a mental subtext about it's meaning going on in my mind.  ( I called it voices... which it wasn't , but it made sense.)  Time and a continued experience will help to heal this.  Something that assisted me was changing the translation that I was using.  We had used the NASB in Ames.  I finally settled on the NKJ version which has, after 30 years, finally broken through the old "auto-thinking" and allowed me to read with a beginners open heart.

I hope you find your visit here profitable.

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jat5453
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« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2010, 04:01:11 pm »

Left Turn,

 I'm not trying to defend, but understand. I have met serveral ppl who were hurt through misunderstandings(and no i'm not saying that your issues are misunderstandings). I am looking, right now, to see what the real problems are, and how God my can use me to help fix them. I was raised in a GCM church, and I have never experienced any of these things. It breaks my heart to hear all that you guys have been through. I do believe that GCM has the right idea in many areas. I have never seen such zealousness for sharing the gospel or such real community in any of the other churches I have visited. It is a true community. Recently, my family has left our GCM church to join a church(a Babtist church) closer to our community. they still have those friendships. They are still loved deeply by the people in our old church. So, I'm open to the possbility that my church may be the exception, even though I know many of the Pastors in the SE. I really want to understand.
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BTDT
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« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2010, 08:16:23 pm »

Hi, jat5453 --

You've mentioned "GCM" several times when talking about the churches that you've felt were good.  Are these churches really members of Great Commission Ministries, as opposed to Great Commission Churches?  I'm really starting to wonder if there's a difference in the churches of the two organizations, even though they're strongly related.

B
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jat5453
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« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2010, 05:59:18 pm »

Yes, I know for sure that my church, as well as many other wonderful churches, is a GCM church!!
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BTDT
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« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2010, 08:55:07 pm »

Thanks; that really is helpful to know.  I'm deeply saddened to see many GCC/GCAC churches are still stuck in the old misguided and often hurtful ways. It's heartening to know that, at least within GCM, things seem to be much better at some churches.  Maybe most or all of them, I don't know.
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Linda
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« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2010, 08:59:31 pm »

One question. Do GCM churches promote national GCC events like Faithwalkers and HSLT where students are asked to commit to GC for the rest of their lives?
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BTDT
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« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2010, 09:29:39 pm »

As far as I remember (it's been a couple of years), I didn't hear of Faithwalkers or HSLT (or GCLI for that matter) at the GCM church here.  They did participate heavily in LT (the summer Leadership Training thing), and I remember something called "Ignite".  Don't know what they teach at either one. 

The LT 2009 web site is still up, and has some info...including saying that they require written parental permission or advice before they will admit someone.  That alone is a nice change from the LT of the 1980s!
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LucyB
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« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2010, 05:21:47 am »

On the GCM website, there is no mention that they have their own churches separate from GCC. They indicate that they assist churches and work with churches, but not that they start their own churches. The only churches they mention are GCC churches. I am confused. If they have their own churches, why don't they list them on their web site? Walnut Creek is a GCC church with a college ministry. The leader of the college ministry, Nick Bal, is associated with GCM, but the church is still a GCC church. Some GCM ministries have their own churches that are not associated with GCC?  
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 05:24:16 am by LucyB » Logged
BTDT
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« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2010, 07:03:12 am »

Yeah, I'm still a bit confused about that, too.  Before I posted last night, I double-checked the GCC web site, and our local church is not listed there at all. 

Skimming the GCM web site, they talk about campus churches and church planting, but they never mention that they are an association of churches, nor do they list churches that "belong" to GCM. And the local church's web site doesn't even mention GCM (it used to). 

I'm not at all ready to say there's any deception going on -- more likely, there's just something I don't yet understand about how GCM is organized.  I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until I see otherwise.  (And yes folks, I know the history of Great Commission very well, thank you. I'm just not quick to label or condemn GCM without solid evidence that they are still stuck in the old ways, as it seems some GCC churches are.)
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Linda
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« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2010, 07:30:20 am »

Two years ago, Tom Mauriello (at the time he was the head honcho at GCM, but I've never seen his name listed on the web page) posted here for a few days. My husband and I had some private correspondence with him. People on the forum had asked him for the names of the GCM churches. Here is his list. He was going to post it on the forum, but never did.

·         Ball State Revolution

·         Bowling Green, Ohio – send a church plant to Kent State

·         H20 Orlando

·         Illini Life, U of IL

·         Illinois State Illini Life

·         New Life Church, U of M Campus Church

·         Ohio State – new church ‘replant’ on the way

·         University of Maryland Church

·         The Rock, University of Missouri

·         New Life Campus Fellowship, Virginia Tech – Jim pace was on the news a lot with the shootings last year. 

·         Riverview Church, Lansing MI

·         Texas A&M University

·         University of Texas

·         University of North Texas

·         Kairos & Kairos West, Los Angeles
 
·         Heritage Church, Ohio (affiliate)

Both Kairos and Virginia Tech are becoming more affiliate than core like Heritage, so hence the term 14-ish.


I will reread his letters when I have more time and see if he answered any questions. He did give permission to post some things on the private forum, but not public, so I would just paraphrase. One thing he said was that GCM separates itself from GCC when it comes to Faithwalkers. They will not participate in Faithwalkers (he implied a philosophical difference as the reason). They have Ignite every other year (or at least did at the time of his writing in February 2008).

Tom, if you are reading this, please feel free to comment!
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Linda
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« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2010, 09:32:03 am »

I'm re-reading Tom's letters and will paraphrase (not comfortable posting them, although it would be great to hear from Tom on some of this).

According to Tom, after Jeff Kern left, the structure was clarified. GCMC (which is what the GCM churches are now called) formed its own organization and GCM moved its legal status to be connected with them. As of the writing of the letter, Van Nada was the head, Tom was the executive director.

The question I have as I look at all these initials with a GC at the beginning is: Can each GCwhatever trace its roots to McCotter?

For example, if the leadership of each GCMC church is self-perpetuating and can be traced to McCotter, then we've got a problem.
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Linda
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« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2010, 12:23:57 pm »

I'm doing the research on each GCMC church, it may take some time. I'll start with Riverview Church in MI. Here is a link to the history.

http://www.rivchurch.com/about-us/our-history/

My point: By their own admission, while Riverview may be a GCMC (or whatever initials they go by now) church now and not a GCC church, as far as I can tell from reading the history, the elders there are still appointed by each other in a chain that is directly traceable to McCotter. Therefore, it is impossible to separate GCC from GCM unless, at some point, all ties (leadership and otherwise) were cut. Correct me if I am wrong.
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BTDT
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« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2010, 12:40:13 pm »

For example, if the leadership of each GCMC church is self-perpetuating and can be traced to McCotter, then we've got a problem.

Only if nobody in the chain changed things.  I know several pastors/elders that were appointed in that "chain", some by Jim McCotter hisownself, who saw the errors and fixed them in their churches.  A few examples, from my experience with Valley Brook, are Dan Baty, Steve Huhta, and Rob Lamp.  There are others. 

I'm not saying one shouldn't "test the spirits", so to speak; I'm just saying we shouldn't start out with preconceived notions.

B
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BTDT
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« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2010, 12:44:15 pm »

I'm doing the research on each GCMC church, it may take some time. I'll start with Riverview Church in MI.
I hope, as you mention each church, that people will chime in with their actual experiences there, good or bad. Those would be helpful data points.

When you get to New Life at the University of Michigan, count my positive comments in their favor.  They're the "local GCM church" I've been writing about.  [And a big shout-out to my New Life friend(s) that are reading here, since you now know who I am. Cheesy]

Should this go into a new thread?  Might be easier to find and refer to later.  Just a thought.
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Linda
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« Reply #59 on: January 11, 2010, 04:13:50 pm »

My "research" involves looking at the web page of each ministry and seeing who they claim to be. Personal experiences don't really help with fact finding in terms of how GCC and GCM relate (which is what I am looking for here), but obviously people can say whatever they want.

Quote
Only if nobody in the chain changed things.  I know several pastors/elders that were appointed in that "chain", some by Jim McCotter hisownself, who saw the errors and fixed them in their churches.
My questions would be "who" in the chain made changes? Under whose authority did they make those changes? For example, someone "appointed" by "Apostle" McCotter really had no authority (other than authority "bestowed" upon him by self-proclaimed "Apostle" McCotter) to change anything. There is no legitimacy to their authority if it came about by a false apostle. Were these changes made clear to all and was there a very public distancing from the early erroneous teaching? I've never heard of a group of GC elders distancing themselves publicly and boldly from their past and finding a meaningful way to continue.

Obviously, Riverview is not trying to distance themselves from GCC. GCM is trying to distance themselves and all GCM churches from GCC (it's bad for fundraising to have a 13 page statement of error and apology in an organizations past). Also, again, we have the new initials--just keep changing the name when things get tricky. I was told that GCM churches are now GCMC churches, but can't find a list anywhere on the GCM site of GCM churches or GCMC churches and a Google search of GCMC led me to the Mennonites.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 04:43:39 pm by Linda » Logged

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