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Author Topic: Colliding with Deceptive and Abusively Dismissive Leadership in GCx Churches  (Read 2861 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« on: October 06, 2019, 05:36:25 pm »

Colliding with Deceptive and Abusively Dismissive Leadership
 in GCx Churches

Part One



An incredibly helpful account of what happens in spiritually abusive churches written by Mary Alice Chrnalogar is “Twisted Scriptures”.  It outlines the dynamics of manipulation at play.  It reveals how believers confuse surrendering to God with surrendering to men. Ms. Chrnalogar’s “extensive work with those injured by mind control gives her a valuable insight into the thinking of these misguided persons and knowledge of how they keep themselves from thinking critically and objectively”. The following are excerpts from the chapter ‘Collision With Leadership’ in this book:

“It is not “discipling” that I am against, it is the abuse of disciples by their trusted teachers, group leaders, and pastors. If these leaders are unwilling to listen to reason and bring their teachings back into conformity with the Bible, then it is up to you, the disciple, to confront them. Please know it is not just non-denominations that pervert the Gospel in order to control members. So don’t think it only happens in other churches—look carefully at your own. But be prepared! These personal experiences will demonstrate what you might expect when you collide with your group’s leadership.”

“If you find yourself categorizing people...know that you are keeping yourself from getting outside, possibly valid, information. You cannot be objective if you are not willing to be open. You will have a healthier balance and be more objective if you allow yourself the freedom to talk with people whose views conflict with your own. The Bible says, “Seek and you will find” (Matt. 7:7). Controlling discipleships stifle you from examining negative ideas about the program, so you cannot find the truth. Don’t be afraid of negative information. This fear is what most controlling groups want. Fear of negative information can keep you in their group.”


Below are member’s experiences with abusive leadership in GCx Churches.  Newly formed groups, “Lift Network of Churches” and “M28 Alliance”, have their roots and training in the GCx [Blitz, Great Commission, GCI, GCM, GCAC, GCC] organization in addition to the current GCC Churches. It is necessary to expose their destructive practices so that you or your loved ones’ faith will not be harmed. The former members below range from the 70’s to current day.




...within the last year [2011]... During a sermon, a [GCx] pastor actually said there are no more [or hardly any] false teachings nowadays. I was so shocked when I heard this, I couldn’t hear the rest of his message. How dare he make such statement when the Bible is full of warning about false teachers and deceptions. From that message, I concluded the pastor was not about God’s agenda.
-ForwardMove


I can think of a few instances where going to [GCx] pastors or a church's board of "pastors" didn't resolve legitimate concerns or grievances. In fact, there often is just a "circling of the wagons," protecting and defending the leadership. When you mention a problem, then you usually end up being a problem.
-DesiringTruth


My reason for posting isn't to damage anyone who is there. ... I ask for those who are looking to take a step out of your comfort zone and look into practices of abusive churches. I came to this site several years ago and my [GCx] "leader" spun it to make it seem like the problems listed here were fabricated. Now that I am gone, I can see clearly that they were not. However, it was so hard for me to look into it because I didn't want to believe I was in a bad group. ... I am so thankful for some of these posts. What helped me to leave was realizing that people who left weren't divisive, but saw the same things that I saw. I hope that anyone who is still in and reads some of these posts doesn't dismiss the people on this forum [as] "angry or divisive", but reads these posts objectively. I'm thankful that I was able to speak with people who got out! Great posts!
-wounded


I've watched people take concerns over error and they're flat-blank told "WE'D BE OKAY IF YOU LEAVE". I also know where some of this policy comes from; rather than delve deep into scripture to investigate claims of abuse...they blow it off and defend one another, then call those little sheep slanderers and divisive. ... GCM [GCx alias] takes any criticism as that [of] persecution...
-theresearchpersona    [in GCx ~ 2007]


I once heard a [GCx] pastor say that he didn't mind all of the people who were leaving our church. He felt like God was simply "pruning the bad wood" from our church (he derived this from "I am the vine, you are the branches").
-namaste


All the rhetorical gimmickry in the world won't change its authoritarian nature or cover up its past which is even more extreme. It has huge membership turnover, and its exes aren't starting GC-like churches they way they would be if GC [GCx alias] were a "movement."
-observer


Honesty seemed to be labled "slander" and "gossip" often, even if the focus of the conversation was a pattern of behavior, not the individuals. ... I remember going to one last [GCx] small group, my friend who was more involved in this website was pulled aside by our small group leader along with another original contributor. ... I do not even remember all the words used to describe the concept that we were divisive to the church, and “please don’t return until you speak to a pastor, repent, and change your ways”.  There was a total denial of all problems with the church, even those named in the errors paper. Something was said about “the blood being on our hands”, maybe for those who would be led away from the GC movement by our actions...
-Daisy


It is heartbreaking to see GC* leaders continue to dishonor Christ by the manipulative tactics they have used for decades and continue to use.
-unsubscribed


I am personally not aware of a GC leader that has (1) significantly changed their views from GC views and (2) stayed in the movement.  I'm not saying that never happened, I'm just saying I don't know of any. ... The message from their national leaders is very clear -- they think they have the best thing going, and that to be truly committed to God, you must be 100% committed to *them*.  In the past, they have had difficulty discerning the difference between a command, a practice, a principle, and a preference.
-BTDT


They [GCx leaders] don’t take seriously the suggestion that they have cult-like tendencies. It’s viewed as persecution and misunderstanding by outsiders not as zealous as they are. They hide their past and don’t even have their 1991 apology statement [The Weakness Paper] posted. ...  Certain pastors and members were believed and emulated like they were gods. They were listened to like the voice of God about who they should marry, where they should live, and what they should do with their lives. They were rock stars in the association who everyone wanted to be close to...  “Cool” people with a zealous, outgoing personalities were valued over “nerds.” Even if nerds were living godly lives and doing everything GCM asked, they couldn’t ever rise to the top tier. People tried to change their personalities to fit the ideal.
-Genevieve


What shocked me is that it was not until I found this website and joined this forum earlier this year that I realized the Weakness Paper was a NATIONAL paper for every GCx Church. For years, I thought it was written specifically by and for my home Church.  But I don't recall a word about it ever being said...by the leadership at the college Church. Publicizing this statement should have been priority #1 and I think there are very specific things they should have done in the process of repentance...
-Ned_Flanders


In the 70's in Solid Rock [GCx Church], things were kept in house as much as possible.  I recall an expose written in the Ohio State University Newspaper, the Lantern, in which a Solid Rock spokesman [leader] downright lied.  He stated that "disciples" were not encouraged to drop out of college by members of then, Solid Rock.  I assure you, from personal experience, that is/was a lie.  I lost two years of college time because of these ... [leaders], and my being gullible. ...  I'll never forget a 21 year old elder (ELDER???) stating in a sermon, "you should look upon the elders as your parents..."  I think that was the fork in the road that finally got me thinking - this is messed up.
-pvitartas


This is one of the biggest warning signs of an unhealthy church such as GCM [GCx alias]. They feel like they need to filter, censor, and control anything said about them. Ultimately, this shows a yawning chasm of insecurity within the movement. If you are truly secure in your beliefs, you should have no problem with others criticizing or pointing out alleged errors.
-G_Prince


A [GCx] pastor who approaches a... former member, and attempts to secure not only a withdrawal of criticisms but also the identities of other former members with criticism, has crossed the line of his authority. The line has been crossed in other instances and those pastors go unpunished by Great Commission [GCx alias]. The choices to preserve the power of their authority and the authority of the organization to the detriment of the well-being of individual members is blatant in each of these instances. ... For the purposes of day-to-day operations within the church, the elders are pastoral staff only.  In twice a year meetings, the board members, who are also elders, have oversight. Their directive from GCA [now GCC (GCx) National Board] is not to remove pastoral staff without GCA permission. Since the board really has no "teeth", their role is mostly decorative...
-Jehu    [left ~ 2006]


This really irks me. Perhaps because this [GCx leadership] attitude is what I've heard many times specifically to justify bad leadership or inaccurate preaching - "oh, but I know his heart, so it's ok!" Sometimes, this might be true. But if someone is consistently doing poorly and acting in a manner NOT consistent with the Bible, it's not justifiable because of his heart.
-Anonymous


Our [GCx] pastor was present at this meeting. I spoke to him and his wife about how disturbing I thought C.’s [GCx leader] teaching was. And the response was, "You have to know his heart." I immediately answered, "Jesus said, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.' I'm very concerned about his heart. I'm not sure he is a believer." They both just furrowed their brows and looked at me like I was from Mars. I didn't know this was a standard GCM answer until I read this site, but I was disturbed with the response. ...  When I was in GC I asked for a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws, but never did get one. ... I did not understand the governance of GC. I asked questions. My questions went unanswered. At the time, I did not think it was a big deal. Church politics is a minor detail, right? WRONG! These are important details to understand from the outset when you are getting involved with any church. Do not assume that everything is all right because the church has the appearance of being fairly mainstream.
-LucyB


I was not surprised when he focused on the GCx one-trick pony (Titus 3:10) and compared your serious grievance with ECC [Evergreen, GCx Church in Minneapolis] leadership to disliking his raggedy jeans he wears while preaching. When I was in GCx, it was a common practice to totally rephrase and minimize another Christian's concerns. I see there is "nothing new under the sun" in regard to the imperious judgments made by GCx leaders. ... It almost appears to be a GCI badge of honor to forego, downplay, and criticize seminaries. Yet strangely enough, when you look at some of their websites, they use the word "ordained" to apparently convey a sense of traditional meaning to the general public.
-newcreature


Sadly, high control groups that aren't as gospel centered as they think they are often cannot distinguish criticism that is due to them from true persecution. I'm sure that most people who post here aren't viewed as people whom they have hurt, but are seen as people who are deceived, no longer loyal to the cause... We are all persecutors to them [GCx] and are therefore dismissed.
-Outtathere


I have to wonder about the GCM [GCx alias] administration itself...the men at the top. Given the many sad stories they surely know about...I mean beyond those they more or less apologized for way back when... I wonder just how serious are they about seeing people grow into Christlikeness.
-musterion


I truly believe that God is using GC [GCx] churches and their congregations to fill some sort of need.  But at the same time, the church certainly needs to wake up and honestly respond to rational criticism.  I do believe that a certain amount of poison continues to seep into this movement, and if they continue to resist confronting it, they will cease to be effective teachers of the Gospel.
-einmal    [left ~ 2006]


The GCx National Board Director’s narrative on GCC web has attempted to frame valid concerns as a thing of the past or originating from individuals who have since recounted their original concerns or stories.  [The GCx Director] seems to be very proud of his statement, ‘A Christian Perspective of Internet Criticisms’, and the fact that it was accepted by the NAE as a resource.  It is my opinion that [the GCx Director’s] article shows a lack of understanding of dynamics of abuse in the church.  It is a treatise on how to silence and ignore dissenting voices when victims refuse to play by the rules churches have set up - concerns only in private, only in person, perhaps to your abuser, etc.  I don't think rules like [this GCx Board Director’s] are currently working for the church to address systematic abuses in the church.  Such rules aren't protecting the weak. They aren't protecting Jesus. They are protecting leadership and their power.
-Badger


I am current GCM member.  At times, I feel like I can’t get out, and when I question I feel like the truth is twisted.
-christmadealive




“For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. ... This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply,
so that they will be sound in the faith”
Titus 1:10,11,13




(Modified 10/8/19)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 07:28:30 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 07:53:54 pm »

Colliding with Deceptive and Abusively Dismissive Leadership
 in GCx Churches

Part Two



In the scripture above Paul is speaking to Titus to rebuke false teaching sharply. Peter also seems to have learned from Paul to grow in grace by the Holy Spirit, and to have become bold enough to stand firm against Authoritarian Leaders (according to 1 Peter 5:3).  However, it was not always so.  Remember, he was once intimidated by the ‘circumcision group’ (in Galatians) and joined them in their hypocrisy when in their presence.  In fact, when the disciples were young in their faith Jesus warned them not to argue (about scripture) with the Pharisees, but to LEAVE them because it would bring harm to their faith.

So, for many it is best to simply leave a group that is erroneously teaching their own man-made doctrine and traditions and not the Bible accurately. I personally think it is good to have a plan to leave, and then share with some where they are not following the Bible on your way out.  Here is some helpful advice from Mary Alice Chrnalogar who is very familiar with the confrontation process with deceptive and abusively dismissive leaders:


If you plan on voicing your concerns to your leaders, or if you are in an abusive group, please take note: It is not likely you will “win” in a confrontation with your group’s leaders—as a matter of fact, there is very little chance that you will change even one leader’s mind. Knowing this, you must understand that the longer you try to reason with them, the greater will be your chance of suffering an emotional beating. Think hard about the risk to your own emotional health before you decide to meet with these leaders, and remember that you are under no obligation to take any abuse from them. Once the pattern of mishandling disciples becomes obvious to you, your first responsibility is to protect your own spiritual and mental welfare. Only after you are certain you are safe should you consider meeting with your group’s leaders.”



Here again are more real life stories of those colliding with abusive GCx leadership:


The Great Commission ideology looks good and normal on the outside, and unless you get entrenched deep enough in the system to be trusted with their true beliefs you would never see them as a cult. They deflect, squirm, lie, and try to appear safe by denying what their beliefs truly are, changing their name, distancing themselves from criticism, and finally accepting the "cult" label as a badge of honor because they are being persecuted for their beliefs. ... The tragedy is that this is not at all evident at first glance. This "church" looks like a healthy, growing body of believers to most people - myself included. There are college educated, polite, dedicated, talented young people who do the work of this church. It looks so good on the outside, but the true underbelly of this church is dysfunction, pain, depression, and fear. No one is encouraged to seek therapy outside the church, but this system is powerless to help anyone find real answers that lead to true peace and joy - the way Christ intended for us to live. The majority of pastors cannot hear or accept any criticism or counsel without defensiveness. It's their way or the highway.
-wisemind


My experience was very close to being in a cult. There were rules that were not spelled out in the Bible. There were pressures to conform and meetings, meetings, meetings. I tried explaining to a pastor where he was off in teaching, but I was seen as being divisive. It wasn't good. ... My reason for commenting is because I read a book, entitled "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse". I felt sick to my stomach after I read it because so many things I experienced at my church lined up with the unhealthy things listed there.
-wounded


There was a philosophy among the [GCx] leaders that the ends justified the means. And because of this, they felt comfortable lying or deceiving in order to achieve their goals. As I have followed McCotter’s [Founder of GCx] business exploits, I see that he has carried this way of thinking into his businesses.
-damaged_goods


GCI is a denomination with a colorful history of documentable deception. Very sad. ... Pretending that we [GCx members] are a group of students who happened to discover each other while on campus and now desire a campus room for some Sunday morning fellowship, when in truth we are already an entire church from the off-campus community whose pastors have ordered us to acquire a campus room and not to divulge that there is this church tie, that sir, that is deception and not wisdom.
-ANobody


Did anyone ever tell you how much the elders were paid?  That information was never available to us; nor was any general accounting of church finances available.  I found that disturbing.
-Valley Noir


... JH [abbreviated from original], a member of the GCC [GCx alias] board of Directors, directly advised GCM [GCx alias] staff to remove factual, sourced information from the organization's Wikipedia article. [See Below]  ... I was called "the zealot" in my church for a few years because of how "on board" and "loyal" I was to the Movement.  I was a rising star once too.  I was "discipled" by the right people, I was doing all the right things.  In the end, it was my conscience that got me.  I learned too much about GC* and I couldn't swallow the hook anymore.
-Nate

GCx’s top Leadership had the following section deleted in its entirety:

“The Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC) is an evangelical Christian association of churches based in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Formalised as a movement in 1970, it is developing a world reach in its aim of 'planting' churches that are based on first-century Christianity. It has been criticised for its authoritarian approach, with local church elders directing many aspects of members lives, and has been described as 'abusive' and 'cult-like' with an out-dated attitude to the role of women in the church. In response the Association argues that it has a scripture-based philosophy, that accords with the teachings of the early Church, and that a person's value is in Christ.”
-Wikipedia  
    
    [This is an old revision of this page, as edited by ClaudeReigns (talk | contribs) at 04:48, 9 April 2007 (→The "Blitz Movement" Begins: for lack of a better Blitz picture....). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.]


At first, Candlewood [GCx Church in Omaha, NE] appeared to be awesome. ...I suddenly had a large group of friends I could hang out and talk with. I felt a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, that's about the only good thing that came out of this. I have no doubt there are many people in Candlewood that mean well, want to do good, and want to seek God. The problem is that Candlewood, as well as the rest of the Great Commission Churches  [GCx Churches] proclaim a twisted version of the gospel that is designed to control and draw in moths to a flame. On the outer, it looks like a welcoming Christian church. The big reason for that is if you are a member of Candlewood you are not allowed to live your own life, let alone be your own person. ...What really scares me is that this entire movement has been able to flourish and look valid despite many people trying to call them out and end them...
-Child_of_Arkham


Tons of manipulation going on in GC [GCx]. Leaders manipulating their flock, new members being manipulated by small groups, and the "bait and switch". The whole church puts on a facade of being open minded, hip and trendy, with secret teachings saved for members who advance up the GC chain.
-puff of purple smoke


The fact is, people will not tell you the truth up front.  They don't think seminary is good.  They emphasize the church being above your career and even family.  They are controlling.  ... These are all things you can speak to the pastors on and they will reply in such a way as to downplay their beliefs and practices.  And then later, you find out they really do believe and practice what they said was *optional* and it really isn't *optional* if you want to really be a part of things.  But then you find that there are exceptions to every rule but only for *special* people.  ... I wouldn't touch this group with a ten foot pole.
-Agatha L’Orange


It almost appears to be a GCI badge of honor to forego, downplay, and criticize seminaries. Yet strangely enough, when you look at some of their websites, they use the word "ordained" to apparently convey a sense of traditional meaning to the general public. Who typically walks in the door requesting to see a pastor's credentials when he says he is "ordained" on the website?
-newcreature


People who voiced concerns, were basically told, if they don't like it, they can leave. Leadership [of GCX Orlando Church] had a really hard time receiving feedback and were passive-aggressive to those who did voice concerns. There were, for example, kind of "black-listed" or ignored/shunned.
-bothered


Unquestioning loyalty to the top. They would befriend students, then turn on them and accuse them of disloyalty if they questioned anything about the leadership. I know from first-hand observation this was still going on in the late 90s and early 2000s.
-HolyMoly


One thing GC is good at is keeping up appearances. They have a 13 page error statement from 1991. They still do all the things they apologized for, but they get to "look" like they apologized. They even named their apology "Project Care".  ...  Knowing what I know about this group, I find it a little disingenuous that they put up a blurb acting as if they were suddenly concerned about parent/child relationships.
... my final point on eldership in GCM. If you take a current elder and ask yourself the question, “Where did he get his authority?” The answer will be, “From the current elders in the local church.”  Next question, “And, where did the current elders get their authority?” Answer: “Oh, they were appointed by the elders who were sent here to do a church plant in our fair city.”  Next question: “And, where did the elders who were sent here to do a church plant in our fair city get their authority?” Answer: “They got their authority from the elders in Ames who sent them here.”  Final question: “And where did the elders in Ames get their authority?”  Answer: “They got their authority from self appointed apostle Jim McCotter.”
-Linda    [left ~ 2005]


When I found out that McCotter heavily influenced both BK [GCx leader] and MD [former GCx leader of Evergreen Church] personally in their beliefs and teachings we made the personal decision to leave based on who the main pastors of Evergreen were directly influenced theologically by.
-GoingClear


Jim McCotter [founder of GCx organization] is a evil, unethical, deceptive man that GCM [GCx alias] as a movement has not renounced or excommunicated. This is the danger in sweeping sin under the rug. ...This forum and social media are now ways that the sins of the leaders cannot just be swept under the rug.
-Marie


When you bring the issue of an abusive pastor to the attention of leadership, instead of addressing the core problems, they will argue about insignificant details. The [GCx] pastor will create diversion problems to take the focus off of the real problem. ...In my opinions leadership is aware that something is very wrong, but they don't care to fix it.
-banished


Our founding pastor was our "central leader." The teachings and traditions of our leaders were considered to be the very words of God, though often not founded in properly taught Biblical understanding, and we passed around those teachings much more than we passed around what the Bible actually had to say. We were a closed system - if any person left the church they were considered to be basically an apostate, though that was never overtly stated. There simply wasn't room for disagreement in "philosophy of ministry" or for correction or questioning of the leaders. There wasn't room for biblical context, authorship, intended audience or relevant cross-referencing. There was ONLY room for biblical teachings when it emphasized what the leaders wanted us to conform to.
-Wingless_Butterfly


I also attended GCC, and my husband did, and we had our kids there...and the awakening is painful. So. So. So painful. ... I learned about spiritual abuse, about the history of GCM, about mental illness (which I believe the founders of GCM likely have) [and] about what made me vulnerable...
-XianJaneway


...I was also deceived. Had I been given the opportunity to read the [GCx] Statement of Error Letter when I first attended, I would have never become a member of the church. I was also deceived by the lack of importance of seminary trained leaders. Seminary training is very important among many other qualifications for pastors and should not be excluded. ...then was eventually lead by pastors using verses out of context.
-UffDa


In Great Commission [GCx], what is going on besides the Gospel, what taints, twists and colors all that is done, is a prideful, worldly, hierarchical view of leadership and an underdeveloped concept of the body of Christ.
-TerryD


After they [GCx leaders] had approached me about being a "leader" and I denied it due to the craziness I started to notice, I was then told (within a month) that I was unteachable and then told I was causing some division. ... I didn't change anything about what I was doing before but, I think they were paranoid as they couldn't believe anyone would not want to be a part of "leadership". ... You cannot call them on it as you will be labeled divisive. You cannot tell them they're wrong as it violates the authoritarian setup. Truth doesn't matter. Spiritual maturity doesn't matter. ...  I don't think the GCM church we went to has been forthcoming about their beliefs on leadership because they know most rational Christians will reject it and leave.

The "leadership" attitude was arrogant, condescending, pompous, self-righteous, and outright filthy. When anyone brought up a reasonable point, they were immediately marginalized and told to sit down and shut up. The women were treated with such disrespect. ...Yes, they are hurting many believers -- however, I do not believe they know what damage they're causing nor do I think they are evil. I believe these "leaders" are misguided, confused, stubborn, and misinformed (and some very egotistical). ...Obedience to leadership was to be unquestioned. I was told directly, "if you find a conflict in your own study, just go with what the leader says (blindly)".
-boboso


If you are at all like me, you asked more questions when you first came around, but after a while you began to get worn down or apathetic and made excuses to justify the things that are so very, very wrong. Beware of the false teachers!
-Time2Write




« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 06:59:45 am by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2021, 03:17:45 pm »


X
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2021, 10:37:37 am »

Coined Excuses
of Dismissive GCx Leaders



GCx Leaders very often used “coined” phrases when confronted with the truth of abuse of fellow leaders.  They likely discussed, and agreed upon these responses to confrontation from concerned whistleblowers of spiritual abuse in their midst.  They are SO often repeated I don’t think any real processing of concerns is accomplished on their part.  They minds have been trained to reject most anything negative about their leaders.  As a result, they parrot the “proper GCx responses” to any such concerns or actual wounding.  They really do sound like a broken record, repeating their robotic replies.  

And some wonder why things haven’t really changed among so many of them?  They have been so conditioned and falsely persuaded they are nearly unable to do so - UNLESS THEY LISTEN TO God’s VOICE INSTEAD OF THEIR OWN - IDOL.


Here’s one of their banal excuses:

“But, I know his heart.”



God’s Word actually says at least two things about that. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but GOD looks at the heart.”  And “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  WHO CAN UNDERSTAND IT?”  God instructs us instead to actually look at their fruit.  Well, this website forum is FULL OF THEIR FRUIT.  




« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 05:07:11 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 01:28:09 pm »

You're the only one posting on here.  How about coming on live and confronting Jim with your feelings?  Let's end all this and get it out in the open?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 12:40:04 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 12:33:35 pm »

TELL IT TO THE CHURCH


Today I read a comforting and securing passage in Matthew 18 about what God asks us to do in the case of brothers in Christ sinning against us.  It might be important to know that Jesus seems to have just rebuked those who have disrespected or abused the young and helpless (or believers young in their faith); scattering them from their true shepherd who is their help, in the preceding passages.  

Interestingly, the passage immediately following in Matthew 18:15-17 addresses believers who were sinned against (perhaps by those who took advantage of their vulnerability) by another believer/s. That would apply to any believer who was spiritually or otherwise abused by another believer/s.  First, Jesus says to confront them personally.  I did that and many others did that including many who have testified to exactly such on here.  Except for former GCx leaders who have come on here to genuinely and sorrowfully apologize and perhaps a few in private, I have not heard of any “GCx” leaders truly repenting in the sense God requires. So, the first step we took according to Matthew 18 with current GCx leaders was to no avail.  Instead we were berated from the pulpit as enemies of Jesus and the gospel; and often characterized as those who were no longer serving The Lord.  

Some had the opportunity to take it in person with another in attendance, but it was challenging inside GCx because you were not permitted to share such experiences with others or listen to them.  Other leaders present did little to nothing because they were part of the ‘good ‘ol boy’s GCx Club who would not call out an elder for abuse, Spiritual or otherwise. If they did stand up against it, they found themselves booted out as we have seen evidenced a number of times on here.  The GCx leaders either pretended to listen and then slandered us behind our back; or they outrightly told those with accusations to leave the church.  So, writing letters for documentation (with the knowledge of others) allowed for confirmed confrontation of sin to happen.  

The scripture, Matthew 18:17 instructs us that if THEY REFUSE TO LISTEN TO TELL IT TO THE CHURCH (especially if it would bring harm to others or the church body).  This Forum Website became a channel through which those abused could freely speak out against those who sinned against us.  I personally think this site has been very kind and gracious in not naming names in general except in the case of the founder.  After reading the abused’ experiences, others were very soon corroborating the charges against these GCx leaders by their own encounters.  Many others.  The leaders could have come on here to sincerely apologize in the estimated eleven years this Forum has been available, but I don’t know of any except a handful who have also left.  Again, the people writing here have repeatedly been denigrated into a group of sinful gospel-haters.  That is a convenient label to incite shunning and receiving our statements as made-up testimonies and lies, as they have been so corruptively told.  

God says if they refuse to listen and repent, and obviously come humbly seeking our forgiveness for their wrongs (without a list of weak excuses); to treat them as a pagan or a tax collector. I think we can all conclude that such characterizing is NOT fit for leadership of ANY BIBLICAL MINISTRY!!



McCotter would be foremost on the list of Abusive Leaders from GCx that God instructs us to REBUKE BEFORE THE CHURCH, and treat as a pagan.





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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2021, 01:16:45 pm »

You really should look fresh at the scripture regarding this topic of gospel and slander.  You are really messed up on this.  Jim is ready and willing to meet with you.  Why would you avoid it?  Just seems really evil that you avoid the opportunity to end the backstabbing and get right...
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2021, 02:00:24 pm »

For the record, Vince Capobianco has never pointed out a single instance of Jim being slandered on this forum, even when repeatedly asked to do so.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2021, 03:57:19 pm »

You really should look fresh at the scripture regarding this topic of gospel and slander.  You are really messed up on this.  Jim is ready and willing to meet with you.  Why would you avoid it?  Just seems really evil that you avoid the opportunity to end the backstabbing and get right...

Jim is obviously not ready and willing to explain his teaching. If he were, he would post on this forum. Seems cowardly for him to want a one way conversation on his terms.
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2021, 06:39:43 pm »


Deception and Lack of Integrity

In Dismissive Leadership



“All their deeds are done for men to see.
They broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love the places of honor at banquets, the chief seats in the synagogues,
the greetings in the marketplaces, and the title of ‘Rabbi’ by which they are addressed.”

Matthew 23:5-7



I feel much of the activity in GCx by National Leaders, Church Leaders, and disciplers, and even disciplees was so sadly done for others to see. I am not saying all. But you could just feel the pretense of vetted members. The people felt a need to impress the leaders because they would receive more honor and praise from them; and if really dedicated be offered as a candidate for marriage which the elders “must approve.” It seemed “super-spirituality” was traded for “love” and attention.

Not to hard to guess how this environment was created. Men seeking honor from men rather than from God. This invited in the temptation to use deception to present a different personna, and even be deceptive about spiritual accomplishments. I heard leaders greatly exaggerate their success.

I believe this was caught from the top down. There were a lot of questionable claims being freely tossed about. McCotter was a master at this. You may have read how he traveled “around the world” to meet with VIP christian leaders. When specifically questioned about who he met with in traveling in Switzerland, he irritatedly answered with a little known theologian in the states, not Francis Schaeffer as he seemed to allude to. It seems he arranged for this guy to fly there to meet him when they could have met in the states. He was attempting to fabricate an image of someone much more spiritual and “important” than he actually was.

Here is one particular occasion where he depicted himself as deceptively having accomplished a great feat. The response of GCx leadership was “denial” of impropriety, and cover-up. What else is new!


One of the most shocking examples of the tendency towards inordinate adulation of Jim was the "Honduran slide-tape Show" shown at the FALL '84 Regional Conferences. The film was not even factually accurate, failing even to mention the name of the founder of the Honduran work, Daniel Sierra. The impression given was that Jim McCotter had been the major contributor in Honduras. More frightening, however, were the accolades and effusive praise of Jim and  "manipulative" poses and shots of him compared to similar ones of our Lord Jesus Christ. One was reminded of Acts 12:21-26 concerning Herod when the people said "This is the voice of a god, not of a man". The Honduran film has been brought to the attention of Jim and GCI elders and it has been defended as proper. This film on Honduras evidenced not only a lack of integrity by its omission of Daniel Sierra but demonstrated that a borderline deification of Jim is taking place in GCI and shows the role of leading elders in this. At the 1984 elders conference, in D.C. many elders testimonies had shifted away from "what the Lord as done in my life" to the "blessings of obedience to Jim Mccotter".
-E Ray Moore Jr., Th.M.


From GCxWeb Library:
http://gcxweb.org/Misc/ERayMoore-05-17-1985.aspx


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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2022, 12:11:29 pm »


Abusively Deceptive and Dismissive Leadership in GCx Churches

First Revelation



In recounts of what some have genuinely seen and heard when clinically “dead,” leaving their physical bodies and entering what seems to be a Heavenly realm. They share reverently of not speaking of certain things at the solemn request of God. It makes one quite curious what that special knowledge is they have been entrusted with. Even Paul was caught up to a Heavenly realm with things too wonderful that he was not allowed to tell.


“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows—
 was caught up to Paradise.
The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.”

2 Corinthians 12:2-4    BSB


With that in mind, it makes it all the more intriguing to actually hear what God explicitly told the Apostle John to share of the “vision” he had while exiled to the island of Patmos. What he experienced was  also in the Heavenly realm. We are invited and blessed by faith to look at John’s particular revelations that can only be unveiled by the Spirit.

The very first part of John’s vision in Revelation appears to be a glimpse into a Judgement of Believing Churches. The very first message to the very first “church” pronounces COMMENDATION on their REFUSAL to let False Teachers poison the preaching and practice of Christ’s Good News with their LIES.

Revelation re-introduces our All-Powerful God in fearful glory. Reading the opening section makes us tremble. God does use the principle of firsts in His Word to demonstrate supremacy. So, we should tremble especially at these first words.


“I know that you cannot tolerate those who are evil,
and you have tested and exposed as liars those who falsely claim to be apostles.”

Revelation 2:2


I personally don’t think that God is too pleased with a bunch of “spiritual activity” by a church when the founding “teacher” has twisted His WORD for selfish gain producing ideas that are startlingly false! God’s Word makes this a matter of prime importance to any church seeking to shine His Light.





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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2022, 07:11:24 pm »

In case you haven’t seen this account of deception and abusively dismissive leadership in GCx toward a former member, it is good to understand that this was the appalling patterned response to not just this person, but to hundreds and likely thousands of people questioning their horrid words and actions.


“...I had been asked to meet with [three elders] and about 10 others as a ‘leadership group.’...Those meetings showed me a lot to be concerned about, and when they gave us Jim McCotter’s Leadership book, that really confirmed it. Once I started it, the incredibly faulty exegesis and less-than-scholarly form...made me so mad that I knew that if I finished the book, I’d leave the church. I loved the people so much that I quit reading it for a while...

“...My questions got more and more haunting (I did read Leadership...), and began asking a lot of questions. I wanted to help, not just leave. I tried to point out the elitism, in-growth, faulty ‘apostle’ doctrine, peer-pressure and conformity being substituted for genuine spiritual growth, focus on church and church government rather than on the individual’s personal relationship with and knowledge of God..., inordinate dependence upon leaders, lack of independent thinking, etc., etc. Most of what I said (usually in small amounts, said at the ‘leadership’ meetings) seemed to go right past everyone.

“Eventually my questions and everything got worse, I was accused of having a pattern of slander, and was given my three warnings. I was told that I’d be disciplined if I ever talked to anyone else about my questions, but they never followed through on it.

“What they put me through at that point gave me a small idea of what you…and hundreds of others have gone through. I was told over and over that I was deluded, that I was in sin, and that they feared for my life, etc., etc. When I said that I just wanted truth, I was told that I didn’t. I was also told that the problems that I saw were products of my imagination...”

- A woman writing (after leaving her GCI church in the upper Mid-West) to a former elder in a different GCI church, April 14, 1986



From the GCMWARNING LIBRARY:  http://gcxweb.org/Misc/LarryPile-03-11-2006.aspx



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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2022, 07:41:09 pm »

This excerpt from a letter to Larry Pile from a former member of GCx makes me so sad and mad. It reminds me of the stuff you see in horror pictures about abuse. The constant gaslighting to innocent individuals who expected a truthful answer from those who claimed to be honest. How tragic! Causing those questioning to think they were crazy.

Lying to preserve and protect their own hide while ripping at the dignity of others. That’s what wolves do to sheep, not godly men. I’m sorry to say from my own experience and that of those writing here, I don’t believe most of these GCx leaders were any godlier than young cocky believers (or unbelievers?) looking for power and position whom Paul warns against making elders. They were appointed as pawns by McCotter - ‘yes-men’ to perform his edicts. There were probably exceptions to that, but those kind were kicked out for sounding the warning call, or left quietly.

Here again is how precious members were treated, controlled, and lied to.


I was with [name of church deleted] for about 2 years including going to Leadership Training in Estes Park for the summer. That was about 1 1/2 years ago.

...I lost part of me there. I used to be a die hard, passionate apologist but no more. I am interested but don’t do much research though. [Name of church deleted] gave me alot of crap for doing it because it wasn’t what the group was doing...

...I talked to psychologist who had info on cult activity and helped me objectively qualify my experience. I was so messed up in the head I believed that I was psychotic or something because I saw a bunch of things going on and what not that no one else did. Also leaders told me that they weren’t really there. What do you call people who see things that aren’t there??? So far research has shown that it really is there not in my head

-November 2002



From this site’s Library of Documents, Larry Pile’s Statement - March 11, 2006
http://gcxweb.org/Misc/LarryPile-03-11-2006.aspx


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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2022, 11:20:16 am »

That last post is certainly one I can identify with. Even though it was a very long time ago, and I've forgotten many of the details, I vividly remember the feelings of confusion and betrayal when almost everyone around me was refusing to see what I saw. (It's like the old adage says, "People will forget what you said, but they'll never forget how you made them feel.")
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2022, 09:34:52 pm »


It’s like the old adage says, “People will forget what you said, but they'll never forget how you made them feel."
-Huldah


Wow! That is a powerful statement, Huldah. Like an indelible impression is made on our soul.

That statement explains why attitudes transferred along with certain scriptures or lingo can create a triggering reaction. Is it any wonder why it may take some years to even hear God’s Word again? They heard it with much criticism and condemnation. It may have been the weapon with which they were beaten down and shamed. Listening to certain passages can produce burdening false guilt or dreadful fear of not doing enough to please God.

Even after 30 years, I still have some of that trauma left with certain verses mostly because of my time in GCx. I try to take that false guilt captive and replace it with affirmations of my position and preciousness in Christ. I claim the blood and my forgiveness. The feelings can occasionally seem debilitating, but with recognition and intentional claiming of my righteousness in Christ I am again freed from their grip.


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For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
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