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Author Topic: Info about GCM in New Zealand, McCotter, & Geoff Botkin  (Read 40237 times)
Cindy
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« on: December 29, 2008, 08:42:29 am »

I recently figured out that a prominent figure at Vision Forum (a cult birthed by the cult that I used to be in) was once a notable person in Great Commission Ministries and apparently a business partner in New Zealand with Jim McCotter.  The man of interest is someone named Geoff Botkin who was CEO of McCotter's New Zealand media group which owned a newspaper and a TV station.  He was with the group for many years, but he apparently resigned and came back to the US.

There's information that says that he was employed by GCM while stateside as well.  I was curious to know if you have any information about Geoff Botkin's background or what actually happened in New Zealand.  Does anyone know what the plans were for GCM's acquisition of a newspaper and a TV station there?

I'd appreciate any help you could offer
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puff of purple smoke
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 08:43:19 am »

GC's official story is that McCotter left the movement in 1986 and hasn't been back since, thus his activities in New Zealand, which I know a bit about, are supposedly in no way connected to GCM at all. Do you have information to the contrary? There have been rumors that McCotter was still being consulted near daily by GCM leaders for years after leaving the movement, but nothing has been proven.

As far as McCotter and GCM's interest in media, this goes back to when McCotter was in GC and he gave a sermon titled "Media Mandate." He basically said it was God's will for Christians to take over the media, and for years he attempted to use GC finances to do this. It was never successful, but when he left the movement he said it was to continue to pursue this goal.

What was the name of the cult that birthed Vision Forum? Do you know when Geoff was involved in GC?
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Cindy
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 08:52:47 am »

Hello,

I attended a Shepherding Discipleship group (while completely unaware that there was such a thing) in the early to mid '90s, in the Baltimore Annapolis area.  This particular group was once affiliated with Christian Growth Ministries, but they also loved Bill Gothard and followed his aberrant and eccentric teachings through his parachurch organization, the IBLP.  If you are unfamiliar with Gothard (who arbitrarily adds his preferences of extrabiblical laws and moral imperatives to the Gospel), the   There are essentially two main groups that took Gothard's teachings and expanded upon them, those groups being Jonathan Lindvall and Doug Phillips.  (All are spiritually abusive and manifest to Robert Lifton's thought reform techniques, so by that definition, I consider them a cult.  As with GCM, some people prefer the terms "cultic" or aberrant instead.) Doug was an attorney with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, left there circa 1997, and founded Vision Forum and Vision Forum Ministries in '98, a parachurch organization (both for profit and part non-profit) that supports the so-called "Biblical family" and homeschooling.  This article (and series of them) outline the primary problems with Gothard's belief system.  The author and his associate at Midwest Christian Outreach met with Bill Gothard weekly for several weeks to try to point out these doctrinal issues, but Gothard eventually stopped agreeing to meet with MCO President, Don Veinot.  The same apologetics group published this article on Phillips (the first one in the newsletter entitled "Who Will Be First In The Kingdom?").  I did a video presentation at a Baptist Seminary about them in March 07 for a countercult apologetics group (and I got into all sorts of trouble because this mindset has infiltrated the Southern Baptist Seminary system).

Phillips is a Theonomist and claims to be Reformed (though I don't think he really conforms to either), but he actually holds doctrines from Gothard which essentially make him more Roman Catholic than anything else.  They are separatist, and their Calvinist views are pretty aggressive which makes them especially neo-tribal and exclusive.  As Gothard promoted his "higher way" brand of gnosticism, so does Phillips.  He is patriarchal, and his dominionist group teaches that covenant children (those they birth) are God's primary means of evangelism, that women must remain in the home (not have jobs), that it is a mandate of God to have large families of covenant children as they are to follow the OT directives (strict replacement theology) regarding Israel and Israel's "seed," that they must be homeschooled, that daughters should not be sent to college as "kingdom architecture" mandates that they are only in God's plan, to be mothers and keepers of home, that women should not vote (though they equivocated on this point), that if you leave your daughters unattended in public that they will be raped like Dinah, etc....  Daughters are to serve as helpmeets of their fathers until they are given by their fathers in marriage, and they follow a system of arranged marriage through courtship (that they seem to borrow from both Gothard and Lindvall). Phillips has called people who reject their teachings "Canaanites" at one point, and they essentially operate like the Massachusetts Bay Colony circa 1640.  They LOVE the Puritans.   They use loaded language excessively.

Round about the time that McCotter's New Zealand Media efforts folded up and Botkin resigned as CEO (reported to be a business partner with McCotter in several sources), he appeared (rather mysteriously, it seems) at Vision Forum with his family in tow.  In 2005, Botkin's daughters wrote a book that Vision Forum published ("So Much More"), outlining their odd views about the role of women and particularly unmarried women, glorifying the role of daughter as her father's helpmeet.  All persons in a family serve the vision of the head of household, the patriarch and must have all of their activities approved by the father.  In 2007, they released a video that the family produced called "The Return of the Daughters," glamorizing their teachings.  In these writings, they state that they had a constant influx of university students in their home (inferring that the mysterious Geoff Botkin was a professor), and they speak as though they are not really Americans who were able to observe westerners, evaluating the problems in their worldviews.  Botkin has also worked on several other Vision Forum films including something called the "League of Grateful Sons"   that was released in 2005.  Botkin claims to have been a Marxist, but since I know that this group teaches that anyone who rejects their rigid view of women is a Marxist, I don't know that I find this claim so convincing.  I would like to know in what capacity he was a Marxist exactly.

Geoff Botkin apparently attended a GC group in Silver Spring, MD, presumably while he was a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, though I don't know for who or what.  This article cites Botkin as an administrative assistant for them, dating back to 1986.  His CEO bio from NZMG, he says that he was the president for "an American policy think tank," but I wonder if that just describes his activities with the GC church in Silver Spring, trying to organize a group, involving them in politics.  (On the website for his current self-established video group, he states that his 12 year old son did work for the US Navy and consulted with Hopkins, so who knows.  I suspect that "Deerwood Studios" is his own home studio where he trained his children.  Smoke and mirrors...)  Not much else is known about this man of mystery who just showed up in Texas a few years ago, and he's been busy producing films with and for Vision Forum ever since.  Doug Phillips has a fascination with films and established a Christian film festival (to capitialize off of people like those who made "Fireproof" and Ben Stein's "Expelled").  They are masters of spin.  So I am curious to know (and don't know that I ever will be able to discover) whether Doug Phillips recruited Botkin to make films and whether he is on Vision Forum's payroll.  Botkin is touted to be quite erudite, and when his daughters spoke at a homeschooling convention that a friend of mine attended, he would not let "common folk" near his family.  It was like they had secret service agents around them at all times.  They come across as odd and definitely mysterious -- this supposed former Marxist.

What is terribly interesting is that Botkin has said that if conditions for families do not improve soon, he is asking for families to emigrate to New Zealand!  I know of people who actually seriously investigated this.  Basically, he's said that the US is becoming increasingly hostile to homeschoolers, so it is his brainchild idea to move people to New Zealand.  (I'm ready to start taking up a collection to send them, but I don't think New Zealand has ever done anything that offensive to deserve that fate! Ha, ha, ha.)  There are two other odd facts about this.  Bill Gothard who has a center in New Zealand announced in the 1980s that he wanted all of the ATI homeschoolers (his homeschooling curriculum) to move there, too.  It had something to do with his belief in the Psalm that said "From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same" and the fact that NZ sits on the international date line.  And on a radio interview that I heard, Botkin talked of his plan of micromanagement of his childrens lives called the 200 Year Plan.  Therein he suggests that it is his plan that his son become Prime Minister of NZ (roughly 25 years from now), something that might be hypothetical, but I don't think that anything these people say is innocent.  Near the bottom of this blog post, I pull out the quote, and you can link from there to listen to the interview (which does not otherwise reference NZ).

I would love to know how McCotter and Botkin became connected and about Botkin's involvement with Great Commission.  He and his family have lived in West Virginia at one point and in Alabama, but I don't know when that would have been.  Note:  I would phone Paul Martin to ask if he recalls the name, but Paul Martin of the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center (exit counselor who was formerly with GCM) was admitted to the hospital with leukemia and pnemonia last week, now looking at a hospitalization of about a month at least.  Please keep him in your prayers!

I would really like to know any information that you and your readers might know about Geoff Botkin.  It seems likely that Phillips either recruited Botkin or Botkin seeks to establish himself through Phillips by making what sound to me like propaganda films.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Agape,
Cindy
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Linda
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 09:41:52 am »

Cindy,
Thanks for all the detailed information.

My husband made the Botkin, Vision Forum, McCotter, GC, connection several months ago. I have several close friends who are really into the Vision Forum thing, and the more I hear, the more I don't like. I had noticed the Botkin name in some of the gcxweb articles about New Zealand.

I did a little research on the "dominion mandate" (Vision Forum people refer to this a lot) this fall. From what I could piece together, the Vision Forum people are all about electing Christians to office in order to fulfill God's call to Adam to fill the earth and have dominion over all things. They seem to be involved in the Constitution Party and Doug Phillips' dad ran for president on that ticket in 2004, I believe. This sounds a little similar to what GC was up to in Maryland in the 80's.

Anyway, interesting, thanks.

Also, Puff, thanks for the new look.

Blessings,
Linda

« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 10:04:24 am by Linda » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2008, 09:43:49 am »

Oh, I am sorry to hear about Paul Martin. We will be praying for him.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2008, 05:12:29 pm »

I thought the "Vision Forum" was eerily GC-esque!

Unlikely that it's explicitly connected with GC, but ideologically...

Yeah, dominionism is a real problem within Christian circles: this is one of the things I do like to contend with Presbyterians, etc., over, because the faithful ones I do consider my brethren, yet their "covenant children" teachings are not only contrary to Scripture, but easily lend them into this error (as well as their denominations to becoming full of christianized cultural social gatherings with a few believers, but mostly moralists who share their parents' faith little to none: troubling, BUT not always the case); same with any Christian group, historically, that made the assumption that they ought assume anything about their children, rather than "suffer them to come unto [Jesus]".

As to Gothard: I've found his books in GC Church libraries before: and I believe I've seen him quoted, so his ideas are not unlikely to be found in GC and its leadership. I remember one of the DTS professors wrote that he went to a Gothard conference and had never been assaulted with as many misuses of OT Scripture either before or since.

I think the root of the problem with Dominionist crap (and I'm using that last word legitimately, not to be crass, perhaps I should say "skuballon") is the rejection of Jesus's teaching "my kingdom is not of this world", and the denial that God alone is author and perpetrator of salvation, and that we have no part in it: we're pawns, so to speak, that preach His message...but only watch Him work. And to Him be the glory.

It also rejects the Biblical teaching that the flesh profiteth nothing, it is the Spirit that giveth life! Israel had the law, did it not? And did the people remain steadfast in faith and love toward God, in obedience out of humble and contrite hearts? Nope.

Anyway, "Dominion Mandate" type thinking is associated and often comes from the most unversed in scripture; it goes by a variety of forms and names (Dominionism, Restorationism, etc.).

As for the comments on replacement theology, be careful: are you arguing against the Church being identified with Israel? The NT does have thoughts like this...but the Gentiles are grafted into the vine as wild braches: out of Jew and Gentile, one flock is created (again, the Gentiles are ingrafted). Very often people try to deny this and say Israel and the Church are distinct, but "Church", Gr. ekklesia, "congregation", is used of Israel in the OT, and it's from there (the LXX) that the NT applies it now to those ingrafted, and it is Paul that calls it the "Spiritual Israel"; in the sense that the believing Gentiles are now ingrafted, it is new; but otherwise, there is no difference between Jew or Gentile.

If you're arguing in the sense against the Church now being physical and legal Israel...then you're correct. It establishes the law, but it knows that by the keeping of the law no man is justified...and that those who return to it are dead to Christ; this is one of those things that you could in theory distinguish true and false believers. (EAS, thoughts on that statement?)

As for Botkins: perhaps you should warn New Zealand's government of conspiracy. They might certainly appreciate it...their reviews of McCotter's fruit were that he left behind damage and pain for those he abandoned. : (
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2008, 09:53:12 am »

Here is a blog post with more information, and a timeline, of Geoff Botkin's involvement in Great Commission: http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2008/12/who-is-geoffrey-botkin-vision-forum.html
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 11:41:53 am »

I think the root of the problem with Dominionist crap [...] is the rejection of Jesus's teaching "my kingdom is not of this world",

Why would you think that is the root, when the dominionist's primo verse is all the way back in Genesis?

Quote
and the denial that God alone is author and perpetrator of salvation, and that we have no part in it: we're pawns, so to speak, that preach His message...but only watch Him work. And to Him be the glory.

This comment puzzles me, too, since the most noteworthy names in the dominion movement are Calvinists - R. J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, Gary North. Who are you talking about?
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 07:27:34 pm »

Problem is defining "Calvinist", as well as keeping the distinctions clear: unquestionably, God alone is the author of Salvation: Scripture makes that clear; Christ it was who said His kingdom is not of this world; in the Reformation there were a lot of extremes and people examining the sides: the various states saw it as an opportunity, as well, to assert their own power, and erected state Churches and presumed their societies to be whatever kind of Christian they dictated; resisters were persecuted. Even Calvin had "an" idea of Separation between Church and State, http://www.theopedia.com/John_Calvin#Separation_of_church_and_state, though not the kind I'm speaking of (ahem, kingdom of the world vs. that of Christ).

In the Reformation it was state-controlled Churches that arose, for the most part, at the whim of princes (rulers); there was the extreme of the anabaptists who denied that Christians should in any way be among the rest of the world at all (and still do, often), and this partly due to their hatred of education (to this day they and related sects often denigrate it: a buddy of mine, though, has some in his family that are interesting because they don't fit this mould: though in a visit to them he went to see what they actually believe in since, as he put it, they're often legalists who have works righteousness: something that made them persona non grata among the Reformed because it is against the gospel).

Because of the State Churches and the ideas like "Christian Nations", a lot of ideas like "presumptive/assumptive regeneration" arose that supposedly God wanted by the fleshly seed of Christians (because Christians are spiritual) to erect His government on earth; they called the children "the seed of the Church" (and still do); this militates against what Christ said, to suffer the Children to come unto Him (don't assume they have), and twisting of verses like "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (not "to these" but "such as these": I've noticed a few translations that if they don't translate precisely, the latter notion is found in the text, perhaps translators thinking "such as these" is too archaic for their simpleton audiences...errrrr....) to proof text the idea that the children of Christians are already Christians: it's for this I don't even wonder why, though in many particulars the Reformed-bunch are usually doctrinally excellent, within 3 generations of any new move of believers in this camp, thier descendents in the Churches liberalize their doctrines and become critics of, not adherents to, the Bible: with what one guy called "file cabinet orthodoxy".

The anabaptists were just as bad, such groups as the Amish (at least, sects of them...the anabaptists are ever-dividing like the Classical dispensationalists), even today, being assumptive; but then show their stripes when at a certain age they make their children spend time in the wider world, and after this time period, if they come back, they are assumed Christian and allowed to remain, but if not they're excommunicated as apostate: a works-righteousness.

That's why I like the (historical, reformed/calvinistic, Second Confession) baptists: they assert God's Sovereignty as did the Reformers, over all matters; do not, as many of the the Reformed bunch do, assume their children are saved (like many modern "baptists"--or neoevangelicals--either do, or do after some cheesy "repeat after me" prayer); like the anabaptists don't mix Christ's kingdom with the world's, unlike them don't advocate removing themselves from society (which would be Contra Paul and which would have the same antagonistic result towards preaching the gospel as "hypercalvinism"), nor historically do they oppose being educated and becoming learned to approach Scripture carefully rather than ignorantly.

It's this group, interestingly enough, that's despised by Catholics, Reformed, Anabaptists, and Presbyterian alike (from the lips of one of their pastors himself...a man I love greatly, actually), but does not return that favor; it's this group that was separatist from England's state Churches and persecuted (along with Puritanical groups, though they didn't leave England for religious freedom, as people recount these days, but from Holland where they had it, to set-up their kingdom-on-earth vision: a type of dominionism in their own time, though their writing is often edifying (the famous preacher C.H. Spurgeon, a baptist, counted many of their works to be among his favorite)).

Is this a plug for (historical) baptists? No. I count the believer my brother if his confession is the gospel; the point is that throughout time the same erros (including "dominionism") crop-up. As for Genesis, "dominion" there isn't used in the modern sense "dominate" is used; nor is it applied to a post-fall world: dominionists make the grievious (damningly heretical) error or thinking it is a cultural or socio-political mandate for Christians (again, it's a teaching that opposes the gospel); [by this I don't mean that they're all damned, but that rather it really really tends to move such thinkers into camps where the gospel gets all twisted up and conformed to the world, and a whole lot of other gospel-tampering/obscuring trouble]; they also err...have humans or have they not already taken the earth under their dominion? (Yea.)

And on this subject, here's an interesting article on the subject by a Reformed-Dispensationalist (not classical dispensationalist as far as I know) brother! http://cicministry.org/scholarly/sch001.htm

Not just the main article, "The Dominion Mandate and the Christian Reconstruction Movement", but the Addendum, "How the New Testament Understands the Church's Role in the World", is interesting; I think you guys will appreciate it. : D


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Cindy
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 08:24:25 am »

I have another two questions.

1.  Does the Great Commission follow Covenant Theology, Dispensational or something else like New Covenant?  Would they be considered Calvinists?

2.  What kind of eschatology does Great Commission observe?  Do they believe in pre-millennial, post-millennial or amillennial in their views?

Thanks a bunch~

Cindy K
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 09:34:25 pm »

I have another two questions.

1.  Does the Great Commission follow Covenant Theology, Dispensational or something else like New Covenant?  Would they be considered Calvinists?

GCx did not put much emphasis on theological education, and in some ways was opposed to it. But most of their theology was picked up from the Plymouth Brethren and common American evangelicalism. They were more dispensational than anything else.

Quote
2.  What kind of eschatology does Great Commission observe?  Do they believe in pre-millennial, post-millennial or amillennial in their views?

Pre-mill, pre-trib. This was tied  in with their emphasis on evangelizing the world in one generation. Jesus is going to be coming back Any Day Now, so we need to get as many people saved as possible in a hurry.

Quote
Thanks a bunch~

Cindy K

welcs.
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Postpre
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 10:10:01 pm »

The belief that Jesus can come back "any day now" (i.e., that His coming is imminent) is expressly refuted by Paul:

KJV 2 Thessalonians 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: ;for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

Jesus, also, told His disciples that all the tribes of the earth will "see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory," "Immediately after the tribulation of those days."  And, per Matthew 28, this is what the disciples were told to teach future generations of Christians.

In all fairness, though, not all GC leaders taught pre-trib.  I know of a few that were post-trib or pre-wrath. 
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 01:12:06 am »

What if, however, people merely do not recognize that man of sin? For in the first place, people are very historically illiterate...

Remember that Paul is writing in his time, not ours.

Some of the most consistent, I think, doctrinal investigation upon the subject of Christ's return has been Lutheran: though since semi-officially Lutheranism counts the Bible to have antilegomena, they may'nt, necessarily, be considering all the details; anyway, now I want to find that paper and link to it here...
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 07:19:37 am »

In all fairness, though, not all GC leaders taught pre-trib.  I know of a few that were post-trib or pre-wrath. 

Was this early in the GCx movement? Or are you saying that post-trib post-wrath people came into GCx later?

If we are going to argue eschatology (instead of just talking about GCx's teaching on the subject), we need to move over to the Moribund Equine place. And it will end up being everybody-against-MidnightRider.  Sad

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Cindy
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 10:55:37 am »

I have another two questions.

1.  Does the Great Commission follow Covenant Theology, Dispensational or something else like New Covenant?  Would they be considered Calvinists?

GCx did not put much emphasis on theological education, and in some ways was opposed to it. But most of their theology was picked up from the Plymouth Brethren and common American evangelicalism. They were more dispensational than anything else.

Quote
2.  What kind of eschatology does Great Commission observe?  Do they believe in pre-millennial, post-millennial or amillennial in their views?

Pre-mill, pre-trib. This was tied  in with their emphasis on evangelizing the world in one generation. Jesus is going to be coming back Any Day Now, so we need to get as many people saved as possible in a hurry.

Quote
Thanks a bunch~

Cindy K

welcs.

Thank you so much for this information.  There have been other leaders in this patriarchy movement that have seemingly changed from being very dispensational to becoming hard-line Calvinist overnight.  God can do anything and turn a heart in an instant, but I find it interesting and a point to be noted that, as I believed, the Great Commission was a typically dispensational group, following the premil, pretrib rapture eschatology.  Vision Forum is very much what some people have called "hyper-Calvinist" and are very exclusionary.  I think that's an interesting distinction, and I thank you for confirming this for me.
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Cindy
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 11:13:48 am »

In all fairness, though, not all GC leaders taught pre-trib.  I know of a few that were post-trib or pre-wrath. 

But GC was not notably Calvinist.  That is probably more significant to me than the interpretations of eschatology.

Vision Forum does a great deal of declaring Christians "non-elect" so that they can sue them.  I never heard of such a thing in any Dispensational church I've attended, where I've spent most of my life.  I understood that the GC was not Calvinist at all, and the rest of these things seem to proceed from that basis.    I think most VFers would find it interesting that Botkin was business partners with Jim McCotter, and Jim's following was largely pre-trib/pre-mil rapture oriented and non-Calvinist.  So much for this group hinges on salvation coming through the wombs of the elect as the primary way of expanding the Kingdom of God.

I just want to make sure I have all of my "ducks in a row" concering my understanding of the group.

Thanks again!
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 11:18:50 am »

My thought on all of this is that many GC elders don't have a clue as to what any of this means.

About Calvinism or Arminianism we once heard these views addressed in a sermon with the words, "We don't subscribe to either, we just believe what the Bible says."

Also, I remember having lunch with Brent Knox and another nameless elder (I shall spare his name to protect him because I am that merciful!). Terry and Brent were discussing Calvinism and Arminianism (I really hope I'm spelling that correctly because my spell check keeps underlining it in red, but I digress) so I know that Brent is at least familiar with the two views. The other elder, however, admitted that he really didn't know what they were talking about. I was baffled because regardless of your theological point of view, it seems to me that a pastor should at least be familiar with basic theological terms. I mean, if I knew the basic differences, shouldn't an elder?

It seems to me that our GC church leaned Calvinistic (is that even a word?), but in a unique way. The once saved, always saved thing was so HUGE that I remember hearing talks that if you were a Christian and sinned, you didn't need to repent. There is a talk currently available online (one of the last ones we heard before we left) where we were told that I John was not written for Christians and therefore the part about confessing sins is not for believers. Very odd theology.
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 12:03:21 pm »

It seems to me that our GC church leaned Calvinistic (is that even a word?), but in a unique way. The once saved, always saved thing was so HUGE that I remember hearing talks that if you were a Christian and sinned, you didn't need to repent. There is a talk currently available online (one of the last ones we heard before we left) where we were told that I John was not written for Christians and therefore the part about confessing sins is not for believers. Very odd theology.

Very odd, and not Calvinist at all. As I argued on the "Once Saved, Always Saved", just believing OSAS does not make someone a Calvinist. It does not even mean they are leaning that way.  Smiley

My GCx pastor also taught that Christians did not have to ask forgiveness of sins. He said when you become a Christian, God forgives all of your sins, including your future ones. So there is no need to keep asking for forgiveness. I asked him about the Lord's Prayer, and he said that was for a different dispensation and therefore that prayer is no longer an example for us. This is not a Calvinist belief, either.

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Linda
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2009, 12:42:56 pm »

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Very  odd, and not Calvinist at all. As I argued on the "Once Saved, Always Saved", just believing OSAS does not make someone a Calvinist. It does not even mean they are leaning that way.
First of all, I really HATE the Calvinist/Arminian debate. It just seems pointless to me (but I do think pastors should know theology).

That said, I didn't mean to imply that the OSAS deal was the only example, it was just one odd example. I could have made that more clear by putting it in a separate paragraph. Maybe what I really believe is that they are neither, but an odd mix of the two. That is basically what they taught in the mid-90's which was the only time I heard the words mentioned. They said they were neither.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 02:38:06 pm »

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My GCx pastor also taught that Christians did not have to ask forgiveness of sins. He said when you become a Christian, God forgives all of your sins, including your future ones. So there is no need to keep asking for forgiveness. I asked him about the Lord's Prayer, and he said that was for a different dispensation and therefore that prayer is no longer an example for us. This is not a Calvinist belief, either.
That is not exclusively a GCx position.  That view has become prominent with the NPP (New Perspectives on Paul) branch of theology, just this side of hyper-dispensationalism.  The argument runs a bit deeper than just "we no longer need to confess our sins;" since all that Jesus did was "for the dispensation of the Jews," most of His teachings can be ignored (along with the gospels) and more attention must be paid to Paul's writings, the "only writings given to the Gentile / church dispensation." 

Usually these folks forget that Paul taught that his gospel was no different than the gospel of Jesus and that salvation always was by faith alone and did not change from dispensation to dispensation.  It just blows my mind that some Christians can think that Jesus' teaching was not relevant for the church age. 
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