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Author Topic: McCotter Poison  (Read 56982 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #100 on: July 16, 2021, 01:33:14 pm »


A Savage and Brutal “Shepherd”

Part 1



This is just one of many instances of Jim McCotter’s cruel treatment of those he was acting as “shepherd” over in GCx. Because of the position he had wrongly shoved and rammed his way into, other GCx leaders were intimidated into carrying out his cruel edicts. He used “stolen authority” to slyly manipulate them to push out any who questioned his abusive ways. He really acted as the prideful, callous, cold-hearted and remorseless “Director” of GCx who poisoned men following him that would become primary leaders of GCx. He had no scriptural authority or “anointing” from God to act as shepherd of any of God’s people. Read for yourself.


One day when we got back we were sitting out on the back porch - it was as hot as the dickens that day - and Jim was swinging in the swing, and I was sitting there, and Jim just casually said, “You know, I think we need to get Dave Munday off the staff.”

   And I about fell out of my chair, and I said, “What do you mean?”

   And he said, “Well, Dave's just asking too many questions, and he's just, you know, got some problems, and I think it's time for him to go ahead and get off the staff.”

   And I said, “Good grief, Jim, Dave was editor of the paper before I was editor of it. He's frankly one of the best editors we've got. And he's very helpful, very resourceful. I can't believe we're gonna do this.”

   Jim said, “Yeah. Well, you know, I think he's out-served his purpose, and he needs to get off the staff. You know, the New Jersey team is leaving in a couple of weeks. We'll put him on the New Jersey team, and tell him he can be the East Coast representative for the paper. That way we can get him out of Ames and off the staff altogether.”

   I couldn't believe it.

The next morning I was due to drive back to Ames to pick up my family. I knew what was going to happen to Dave, and basically I just decided to go ahead and get out of town knowing that Dave would probably be gone by the time we got back from South Carolina. And, sure enough, when I did get back in two weeks Dave was gone. [Dave's wife] Pearl was still there, and she came over to say goodbye. There was a brother who was going to drive her out in their car to New Jersey. She was about 8½ months pregnant, and had to lie on a mattress all the way to New Jersey.

   At any rate, they went out there, and we moved on with the paper, and about a month later we had some financial difficulties, and I told Jim that we were running out of funds. He suggested that we take Dave off the staff and save some money that way. We had promised Dave a certain amount of money to relocate to New Jersey and continue to serve on the staff, and one thing and another, and I just called him up and said, “Well, Dave, we've got some financial problems, and we thought maybe you could go ahead and get a job and just kind of voluntarily work for the paper at this point. All we need is a couple articles a month” - something like that.

   And Dave was put off the staff. That would have been in the fall of '79. I saw Dave two years later in the fall of '81 down in Charleston. He weighed about 120 pounds, and his health was broken, and his marriage was having problems, and all of that came from the psychological impact of what we did to him. Well, Jim never looked back.
- Mike Royal, “Marching to Zion”


I think it would not be an exaggeration to say that McCotter chewed people up and spit them out. If they were more loyal to Jesus than to him, they were at risk of inhumane treatment.



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« Reply #101 on: July 16, 2021, 06:13:24 pm »

Thank you for posting that, Janet. I read MTZ a number of years ago but I didn't remember that particular story. How horrible.

These stories of Jim McCotter remind me of the warning in Hebrews 12:15, "let no root of bitterness spring up and trouble you, lest thereby many be defiled." Although "root of bitterness" is sometimes interpreted as a person who holds grudges, a more accurate reading seems to be a person who is a source (root) of grief (bitterness) within the church. I believe that Jim McCotter has been, for decades, a root of bitterness for many, leaving them heartbroken, disillusioned, impoverished, or some combination.
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« Reply #102 on: July 16, 2021, 07:14:48 pm »

Couldn’t agree with you more, Huldah.
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« Reply #103 on: July 17, 2021, 11:17:27 am »


A Savage and Brutal “Shepherd”

Part 2



More Actual Events from Mike Royal regarding Jim McCotter

These are partially copied from ‘The Continuing Saga’ segment of “Marching to Zion” by Lawrence Pile. The link follows this post.


I knew Jim well (I thought I knew him well), and I got involved in the movement back in 1976 right after I graduated from seminary. I'd even been warned by some (I talked with one very prominent theologian in the country who encouraged me to stay away from the whole thing), but I thought, y'know, they were all wet, and Jim had said they were all wet. I'd heard Jim speak for at least two or three hours at that point, and I knew everything. So I ignored all that. And I was very enthusiastic, and Jim really courted my friendship - he knew that I'd come into some money through inheritance - and we kind of hit it off pretty well...

I did have the opportunity to observe Jim in many different situations. When we first moved to Ames we lived in his house for six weeks...

One of the reasons I was never selected as an elder myself, it was Bill Gothard's fault. I had been to the Gothard seminar way back in '72, and he was speaking in some city west of Ames somewhere, and I thought I'd go back and review, listen to what he was saying again. I invited Jim to go with me (I thought it would be some good material for Jim to hear), so Monday night we got in the car and drove to this place (I think it was two or three hours away), and listened to the Gothard video presentation, and drove back to Ames. Tuesday afternoon I called Jim and said, “Are you going back with me tonight?” And he said no, he wasn't going. And he questioned me about where things were with Today's Student. I said, “Everything's okay. I've worked ahead, and we've got everything okay there.” So I took off without him. Wednesday night as I was getting ready to leave, Mike Stohlmeyer called me and said the elders were getting together and wanted me to come over. There they proceeded to tell me that they had thought about recognizing me as an elder, but that I'd gone to the Bill Gothard seminar, so I didn't qualify.

   I really didn't know whether they were being serious or not, so I said, “Well, gosh, maybe Jim can't be one either. He went with me Monday night.” [Laughter in audience]

   Now, how does Jim get out of this one? [Laughter] He told me that he didn't want to go, and that the reason that I wasn't really qualified to be an elder was that I could not sense in his spirit that he didn't want to go [laughter], and that if I were really qualified I would have been able to sense that [laughter], and because I couldn't sense that it proved that I did not have the maturity to be an elder yet. And guess what? Like a dummy I accepted it and walked out. And that was okay. (My wife was pretty irate.) ...




Link to Continuing Saga, “Marching to Zion”:
http://gcxweb.org/Books/MarchingToZion/MTZ-ContinuingSaga.aspx



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« Reply #104 on: July 18, 2021, 06:55:35 pm »


Jim McCotter

NOT A Man Of Integrity



This is from a talk that Mike Royal gave after he left GCx Churches and especially the self-appointed leader, Jim McCotter. He knew the leaders and members would likely be lied to about why he left, so he emphasized to the leaders there was only one reason that would be true they could give - that “Jim McCotter is not a man of integrity, period.”

Well sadly, he was right. I was at a meeting along with many folks who heard McCotter vehemently tear apart the character of Mike Royal and two other men (their names have escaped me). I believe he quoted Philippians 3:2 to describe them as “dogs, evil workers”, etc. He claimed that they had left the faith and were dangerous to our spiritual well-being. He went on and on about them with much vitriol for at least an hour to ensure we would avoid them.

After I left GCx, I recalled this “urgent” and “dangerously alarming” midnight meeting where many of us were woken up out of our sleep to attend. Would guess that his choice of time for the meeting was to effectively dramatize the concern. I also realized that the very thing he was accusing these men of - he was. He was actually the wolf himself.

Mike Royal’s detailed accounts of McCotter’s words and actions described in “Marching to Zion” are EXTREMELY HELPFUL in bringing to light those things hidden to it’s average member. They tell of a man who is very unlike the shepherd God calls by the Holy Spirit over his sheep. They paint a picture of a spiritual wolf who “feeds on sheep” rather than providing food for them.




Jim said, “How in the world did we get $30,000 in debt?”

   I said, “Well, remember back around the first of May after we put out the last edition of the paper, I told you we had to stop everything, release the staff, tell them to go out and get jobs, and shut down everything because we'd had no more money coming in? And Jim, you said that you wanted to keep the advertising crew so they'd keep working and trying to get advertising for the fall. You wanted to keep on the layout crew so they could keep producing advertising material for the advertising staff. Obviously, Paul had to stay on board as our financial manager. I had to stay on board if I was going to be looking after what was going on.” And I said, “We've continued to accumulate debts.”

   Jim then said to me, “Well, what are you going to do about this $30,000 debt?”

   And I said, “Nothing.”

   And he said, “What do you mean, 'nothing'?”

   And I said, “Well, Jim, you remember our conversation in Colorado Springs outside the airport on the morning of January the first where you relieved me of all financial responsibility fo this paper, and took 100% of that on your own shoulders?

   And Jim said, “Michael, you misunderstood me. You and I need to get alone by ourselves, 'cause I've got some things I need to share with you about that.”

    And I said, “Jim, I didn't misunderstand you. I understood what you said, and I questioned you on it, and I know what you said.”

   And he said, “Well, Brother, there're some things that I've got to share with you. We can't talk about this here. We have to get alone to talk about this.”

   Knowing that Jim didn't have anything to share… I mean, I knew the whole conversation I had with him… I said, “Jim, I don't know what you're alluding to, but whatever this confidential matter is that you cannot talk about with these other brothers present,” I said, “I release you from that. You say on. I don't care what you say. I don't care what they hear. You say it, and don't hide behind that smoke screen.”

   And Jim said, “I cannot talk about this here. We'll have to get together.”

   So I said to those other men, and I said, “Y'know, I've basically repeated to you a conversation of what happened between Jim and me in Colorado Springs, and I'm saying that Jim's lying here, and Jim's response to me is to say there's some secret thing that he can't repeat to y'all, and so that relieves him of any responsibility of answering me at this time, and y'all are believing him and not me, and he doesn't have to say a word.” And I said, “You guys are crazy.” [Applause in audience]

   Well, I knew at that point that's the straw that broke the camel's back for me. That was a point blank lie, and, y'know, I knew that my wife and I were coming out of this thing.

   The meeting went on and we talked about what to do, because we decided that night to close down the Today's Student. So I said, “Well, I'll get out a letter to the elders and tell 'em what happened.”

   And Jim said, “No, Brother, I'll write a letter to the elders, and ask them if we should close the paper down.”

   I said, “We just decided to close the paper down.”

   He said, “I never do anything with Today's Student paper that I don't first consult with the elders and get their counsel.” [Laughter]

   So I said, “Well, I'm the editor. I have the responsibility to these men to tell them the truth, or at least to tell them as I see it.”

   And Jim said, “Well, you can't do that.”

   And I said, “Well, Jim, why don't you write a letter, and I'll write a letter?”

   And he said, “Why don't you consider dropping off the staff?” [Laughter]

And so again I turned to those men in the room, and I said, “Y'know, that's fairly casual. I've given three years of my life, and a lot of money towards this paper, and Jim just casually suggests that I drop off the staff because I want to write a letter to the elders and explain to them what happened as I see it.” And I said, “Y'all are gonna let that pass?” And they were. They did. I never wrote that letter. ...

 Well, later on, Jim wanted to have a kangaroo court, and at first I wouldn't agree to it. But finally I decided I would for the sake of the elders, to basically try and tell them what was goin' on, really knowing it would do no good, but I thought I owed it to them to sit down and tell them. And so we went through all the things I'd shared with Jim, that Brian and I had gone through with Jim. And I rehearsed them on what happened with Today's Student, on Jim lying, and one thing and another. And I said to them, “Y'know, I know when I leave y'all are gonna make up different reasons for why I left, but if anyone ever asks you why I left, and what was the reason I gave when I left, there's only one response you're gonna be able to give them, and I'm gonna tell it to you right now. I'm leaving California for one reason: Jim McCotter is not a man of integrity, period. That's all you can answer when people ask for my reason why I left.”

   And so we proceeded to leave, and that has only proven itself out more and more over time...


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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #105 on: July 19, 2021, 08:01:39 pm »


McCotter Poison

Violating One’s Conscience to Follow




Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear.
For some people have deliberately violated their consciences;
as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked

1 Timothy 1:19    NLT



You know, I wonder if the reason many GCx elders continued to be silent about McCotter’s dishonest and treacherous behavior is because they had used deviant means toward their members in order to cover for McCotter. Perhaps if they stood up for what was true and right and honorable, the falsehoods they told would begin to unravel and their corruption might be revealed. Sadly, this practice of lying at nearly any cost to justify the “end” continued even after McCotter left. Discipling can obviously be for good or evil.

As a result, the “acceptable” practice of many GCx leaders when confronted on nearly any issue continued  to be to deceive and viciously slander another, or to deny the truth altogether. Here is such a situation recalled in detail by Mike Royal in black and white with several witnesses present.


  When Ray Moore was coming out of the movement up in Indiana I was up there at the time, as were Sam Lopez, and Herschel Martindale, Dennis Clark, and Jim. We had the opportunity to meet with Herschel by virtue of the fact that we just walked up to all of them meeting in the union with Ken Wooten (Ray's co-elder). Ray said, “I'm an elder in W. Lafayette, and Herschel, I want to talk to you. Would you get up and follow us?”

   And Herschel was taken so much by surprise that he got up and followed us. We walked out and began talking to him. Eventually Dennis and Sam found us, and they were really wondering what was going on. And we each had an opportunity to talk with them. I had with me the articles from the Des Moines Register and the Ames Daily where they had asked questions about the ISU Bible Study, and whether or not it had elders in it. And knowing how Sam was going to respond, I put him in a corner, and I said, “Sam, when we went to Ames in 1976, was it your impression… didn't we have elders in ISU Bible Study?”

   He said, “Yeah, of course we did.”


   I said, “Well, how come in this newspaper article written in 1979 Mike Stohlmeyer and other men quoted in this article swear there were no elders in ISU Bible Study?”

   He said, “Well, it doesn't have elders. The Ames Fellowship Church has elders.”

   And I said, “Sam, that organization was not created until 1979. You and I went there in 1976. Now, I want to ask you that question again, Sam. Did the ISU Bible Study have elders?”

   And Sam looked at me point blank and said, “No.”


   And I looked at him point blank and I said, “You're lying.” And I said, “I'm gonna tell you something else, Sam. You lie for Jim McCotter every day. You violate your conscience.” I said, “I worked closely with Jim and I know that you cannot work closely with Jim and not lie constantly and violate your conscience.” And I read him the verse out of 2 Timothy, I believe, where it says you'll shipwreck your faith if you continue to do that.
-“Marching to Zion”


This last paragraph is crucial in the GCx mode of operation, and worth pondering. What Linda has often quoted on here is profoundly clarifying to leadership in GCx.



“Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave, When First We Practice To Deceive!”

-Sir Walter Scott


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« Reply #106 on: July 19, 2021, 08:32:43 pm »

Is there some legal significance to having elders (which, in those days, was synonymous with pastors)? Would that, for example, make it a church instead of a legitimate student group, and therefore possibly ineligible to use campus facilities?

When I was at Solid Rock at Ohio State University, we definitely had elders as well as deacons. We definitely considered ourselves a church. Yet we were also considered a student group, which gave us the privilege of holding our meetings in campus facilities.

I've long since considered it a problem that SR called itself a student group even though none of the leaders and relatively few of the members were then enrolled at OSU, and even though there was strong pressure for students to drop out of college. It hadn't occurred to me that there might be legal issues involved. If anyone has any definite knowledge of this--that is, whether or not a church can legally use university facilities by claiming to be a student group--please feel free to comment or correct my understanding.
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« Reply #107 on: July 20, 2021, 07:44:02 am »

Huldah, here is an old post by Linda.


I have read the rules for the U of FL student organizations. They require that the officers in the organization be full time students. I could find nothing about the qualifications of the people attending the meetings (didn't look that hard though). What the rules state is that those leading the group must be full time, in person (not correspondence classes) students. Period.

What that tells me is that GCL is allowed to meet on the campus for their stated purpose, so long as the organization is governed (plans, money decisions) by full time students selected according to the rules set forth in the bylaws (which are required by the U of FL for all student organizations) of said organization. If outside people are making decisions for the student group and not the officers of the student group, then they are misrepresenting the group. This is not a student group, this is a church misrepresenting themselves as a student group. It's called lying.


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« Reply #108 on: July 20, 2021, 07:56:25 am »

I agree with Linda. CRU, Navigators, and the like are student based organizations. The entire church that those leaders attend does NOT show up for twice-a-week and Sunday services on the actual college campus in their student unions and lecture halls like many GCx Churches did for years upon years. This was the case at the University of Maryland for a number of years when I attended. There had to be deception to pull that off.


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« Reply #109 on: August 30, 2021, 08:01:52 pm »


McCotter Poison

Two or More Witnesses



GCx leadership taught the very deceptive idea that “according to scripture” it’s members were never to listen to anything negative about any of it’s leaders. Actually they twisted the truth of God’s Word by fearfully condemning any who simply listened to accounts of abusive behavior from even multiple witnesses. They labeled this “listening” as very sinful. They told their congregations even recently in the last decade if they read anything negative, especially on the internet, about the GCx Church or it’s leaders that they were putting themselves in danger, and most definitely sinning. According to testimonies on this site this appeared to be a nationwide message to their people.



Do not entertain an accusation against an elder,
except on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

1 Timothy 5:19


What does the scripture actually say to do with an accusation against an elder?

“Not entertain” means don’t ‘receive it openly’; don’t ‘acknowledge it’ (as true). The Greek does not imply that you put your hands over your ears. After all, how would you ever learn there are multiple people who have witnessed very inappropriate or sinful behavior if you stuck your fingers in your ears and repeated loudly, “La, la, la, la, la.” It is obvious you may listen, but must refuse to accept it as truth IF only one person has brought this accusation.


How many people make an exception in this scripture to entertain an accusation as worth considering?

Obviously, the testimonies of the same sinful behavior by an elder from several people is another story. It is imperative that an elder be above reproach. God would never want them to continue in their position as “highly regarded with authority” because their behavior is to be a model, not a sham. In their post they could bring much harm to the flock, and to the name of God’s Church.


It seems this deceptive edict initially came from Jim McCotter himself as he condemned people who listened to actual accounts of the truth about himself, after he had been confronted with his sinful practices and denied them. Then, he went after those concerned about his behavior by attacking their character with twisted recounting and outright lies. Here on this site, people are free through pseudonyms to speak openly about what they or others who informed them they have personally witnessed of leaders in GCx Churches. Here is yet another account of the corrupt character and leadership of Jim McCotter.


I had the opportunity to hear from the person who baptized me and he was part of the movement from long ago and followed Jim McCotter to D.C. His assessment as one who sat directly under his feet is that Jim is evil. Mind you, he is still a Christian and supports missions heavily. His basic assessment of Jim is that he loves money and that he is a wolf.
-MarthaH




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« Reply #110 on: September 05, 2021, 07:58:01 pm »


McCotter Poison

For the Love of Money is the Root of All Kinds of Evil



We were looking at this section in Sunday School this morning, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the root of McCotter’s poisonous effect upon so many. The scripture seemed to present an awfully familiar scenario.



If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine and teaching which is in agreement with godliness (personal integrity, upright behavior), he is conceited and woefully ignorant [understanding nothing]. He has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, which produces envy, quarrels, verbal abuse, evil suspicions, and perpetual friction between men who are corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, who think that godliness is a source of profit [a lucrative, money-making business--withdraw from them]. But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. For we have brought nothing into the world, so [it is clear that] we cannot take anything out of it, either. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who [are not financially ethical and] crave to get rich [with a compulsive, greedy longing for wealth] fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction [leading to personal misery]. For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:3-10


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« Reply #111 on: September 09, 2021, 01:53:58 pm »

Looking forward to the day when everything will be known.  God will bring all lies to light and expose everything that is hidden.  Meanwhile, there's a lost world to reach. 
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« Reply #112 on: September 09, 2021, 03:54:38 pm »

Vince, you've repeatedly been asked to point out even one lie that's been told about McCotter on this forum, and you've repeatedly refused to do so. So let's move on to a different topic.

You indicated in an earlier message that McCotter did something that was harmful to your parents, back when they were followers of his.  You didn't give any details, though. Would you be willing now to share exactly what happened?  And then you could explain why you chose to follow McCotter anyway, in spite of how he (according to you) hurt your parents.
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« Reply #113 on: December 20, 2021, 11:45:08 am »


The Apostle Paul’s Lingo of Spiritual Abuse



As I was reading in 2 Corinthians 11 today Paul’s condemnation of False Teachers conduct in verse 20 struck me anew. If “Spiritual Abuse” was part of the cultural lingo then I really believe he would have labeled these very improper characteristics of church leadership as such!

His checklist of warning to those he loves is to wake them up from the “deceptive” spell they are under from False Teachers who proclaim The Gospel, but don’t practice it.



Do they enslave you?  

(Obviously not to build Egyptian pyramids, but their own competitive “endeavors or empires” with much pressure never to leave thier “work” supposedly of God.)



Do they exploit you?  

(Do they request or subtly threaten you that you must give time & energy God intended for personal relationships, family, personal endeavors, education or job to them and falsely label it God’s Will for Your Life?)



Do they take advantage of you?

(Do they use guilt & fear to require more of you than you have peace & joy to give, but you are brainwashed to not question?)



Do they push themselves forward?  

(Rather than lead UNDER God’s reverent authority, they like bullying rams push and butt with their “horns” to manipulate you to do their bidding and show you whose boss?) (Do they claim “the seat of Moses” to dictate your choices?)



Do they slap you in the face?  

(Doubting Paul meant physically here, but with sharp ungodly rebukes to put you down in order to elevate themselves. Shaming you without cause. This is appalling to Paul.)





Allow yourself time and space to critically consider these very ungodly ways of Spiritually Abusive Leaders. Just because people claim they aren’t False Teachers doesn’t make that so. This is an inspired litmus test of The Spirit written through Paul. God gave you the mind of Christ to discern for yourself when you ask Him. Or, if you don’t feel strong enough I believe he could give you a sign to strengthen your faith.



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« Reply #114 on: December 21, 2021, 09:52:01 pm »


False Teachers

Satan’s Agents In Building Strongholds



The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5



Could it be that chapter 10 of Second Corinthians is also addressing the serious problem of False Teachers and their methods of teaching, just as chapter 11 does (which is often highlighted with the subheading “False Teachers”)?

The verse above is applicable to any stronghold in our lives, but it seems plausible that it was originally written to expose the imprisoning rhetoric employed by False Teachers the Corinthians were encountering.

Extremely interesting is the language chosen to describe the ungodly weapons which, it seems here, Paul is warning that False Teachers use. Could it be possible that their defensive weapon is building an “impenetrable” fortress? Thick walls built by long-winded and empty but persuasive arguments with all sorts of empty and ostentatious claims to appeal to our sense of self-worth. The very Greek words used here seem to support that purpose according to their definitions below. These arguments and claims actually rebel against and do not submit to Our Heavenly Father’s authority or plan. They are hideously opposed to all that God is and what His Word says about the conduct he commands.

Isn’t that why we felt we couldn’t leave? I believe we were in a stronghold to attempt to divert us from God’s communication with us. Though he hadn’t left us, we weren’t free to heed His Holy Spirit. He was QUENCHED in many, if not most, GCx Churches. Our enemy’s plan was to confuse us about the real character of God. It was used to steal our joy by transferring our sweet shelter in Jesus to the suffocating “fortress” of GCx. I believe their False Teaching originating with Jim McCotter was meant by Satan to counterfeit a biblical Christian community and to wreak havoc on our faith and personal relationship with Christ. I believe Jim McCotter was Satan’s agent for evil.

Here are some helps to better understand the particular Greek Word used for “stronghold” in verse 4 colored in blue. This is the only time this exact Greek Word is used in the New Testament. Then, the meaning of the the Greek Word used for “pretension” in verse 5 is also shown below in red.




Strong's Concordance

ochuróma: a stronghold, fortress
Original Word: ὀχύρωμα, ατος, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: ochuróma
Phonetic Spelling: (okh-oo'-ro-mah)
Definition: a stronghold, fortress
Usage: a fortress, strong defense, stronghold.

HELPS Word-studies
3794 oxýrōma (from the root oxyroō, "fortify") – a fortified, military stronghold; a strong-walled fortress (A-S), used only in 2 Cor 10:4. Here 3794/oxýrōma ("a heavily-fortified containment") is used figuratively of a false argument in which a person seeks "shelter" ("a safe place") to escape reality.

[3794 (oxýrōma) is also used for a prison in antiquity (BAGD).



epairomenon - Greek Word for “pretension”

Thayer's Greek Lexicon
reflexively and metaphorically, to be lifted up with pride, to exalt oneself: 2 Corinthians 11:20 (Jeremiah 13:15; Psalm 46:10 ()

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
exalt self, poise, lift up.
From epi and airo; to raise up (literally or figuratively) -- exalt self, poise (lift, take) up.


MERRIAM-WEBSTER Dictionary
pre·​ten·​sion | \ pri-ˈten(t)-shən  \
Definition of pretension (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : an allegation of doubtful value : PRETEXT
2 : a claim or an effort to establish a claim



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« Reply #115 on: January 02, 2022, 10:40:51 pm »


McCotter Poison

Pushing Traumatizing Child Rearing



As we recently read, GCMCult Survivor’s story of being traumatized by McCotter’s abusive teachings of child rearing that his parents sadly were persuaded to follow is the experience of too many others. I believe even in all this suffering our Heavenly Father very much desires to comfort those adult children in the deepest parts of them. I believe he wants to open the eyes of the parents so they can really understand and be truly remorseful about what they have unknowingly or knowingly inflicted, and ask God to heal their children and their relationship with them.

“Let the little children come to Me” is Jesus’ attitude and tenderness toward wiggly children, and toward the same children as adults who have hard heart-breaking questions. He still wants to intently listen and compassionately answer as if you were a broken-hearted and fearful child sitting on his lap.

Here are some very sad results of innocent children’s imperfection being harshly shamed. I’m not talking about a child who knows better who is deliberately acting in rebellion and gets disciplined without being traumatized. You’ll surely get the oppressive mindset being taught here as you read these accounts from those children and those who observed the abusive control they received.



I have posted this before but spanking has always been overused in my opinion at GCI.  It seems it is really the only means of discipline.  I have a friend who was following the church's stance on spanking and overdid it (bruised the infant) and resulted in a child abuse investigation.  The infant was crying and he was told to spank until the infant stopped. I remember being told to spank an infant (less than a year old) if they turned over while changing their diaper!  I was told when I was in the GCI church -- to close windows when spanking.  If I bruised the toddler -- I shouldn't take them to the doctor that day!
-wastedyearsthere


The GC lessons on spanking and parenting are fear-based parenting.  They are alarmist, dangerous, and wrong.  It's not something they would publish anymore, but it IS something that goes on. ... The damage this doctrine of perfect obedience has caused is breathtakingly sad.
-Agatha L’Orange


Growing up, I was spanked in the GCx system, and it was awful. ... Kids are treated like little machines that exist to do their parents bidding. ...  Since obedience is the goal, spanking solves nearly all parenting problems. To the parents it seems like the kid “accepts” or even “embraces” their discipline and learns to behave and obey; in reality, the kid is just scared...of their parents. ... I loved them at some level, but I was always glad when they left the house and always paranoid when they returned. In short, I wanted as little to do with them as possible. I also learned that being myself was dangerous around them. ... Spanking had blossomed into a massive and irrational cloud of fear which hovered over our relationship and obscured all honest forms of communication.
-G_Prince


I was raised in a Great Commission Church from birth, in the late 70s through the 80s, and my parents...followed the church's discipline rules to the letter. It's hard to express what my childhood was like -- the terrified obedience, never knowing what would bring on a spanking, and never ever being good enough to avoid being spanked. ... and spanked for any and all infractions. All the children in my family turned into chronic liars, hiding everything about ourselves, silencing ourselves, suffocating ourselves. My parents had great success -- I was the perfect daughter, they spanked every bit of assertiveness out of me, beat the word "no" out of my vocabulary. This led to my utter submission and compliance with every authority figure, which made my parents proud but had catastrophic results: my sisters and I were sexually abused by a family member for years. And our education was so restricted that we had no idea what was happening to us.

Even today I feel like I am missing some elemental part of me that everyone else has -- for example, I never ask questions about anything. It's not that I have questions and don't ask, it's that I have no questions in me, no curiosity, no ability to reach outward. It's like, mentally, I stay on that blanket calgal described. Like my soul never grew legs.

I have almost no relationship with my parents now. They left the church many years ago and are divorced; I haven't spoken with my father in a decade, and my mother has no idea who I actually am inside. ... I cannot even look at a church, any church. Too many reminders.
-childofgcm


When they were one or two, he would place them on a blanket and train them to stay on the blanket and take them to the bathroom to spank them if they got off. This would train them (like a dog!) so we could sit through a bible study with "well behaved" kids. At dinner, it was so painful. [For a] minor infraction (and it was HIS standard and he would LOOK for ANYTHING) he would take a boy out of the room to be spanked. He would go to the bathroom (and spank with multiple paint sticks taped with duct tape) and spank and spank until and my son would stop crying as crying was a sign of rebelliousness. It was painful to be sitting at the table listening to this at the table.  I had been thinking of leaving (divorce was not part of my vocabulary at that time) and I had to protect my children was part of this.  My daytime (with their dad at work) with my boys was so peaceful and beautiful and then evenings were so tense.

The first day my husband moved out and we had dinner just the three boys and I (age 5, 4 and 1 in a high chair), I told them that from now on, we would be having dinner without Dad.  Without my prompting, the two older ones jumped up on their chairs, raised their hands above their heads clapped their hands and cheered.  It was the most stress-free dinner ..... From the mouths of babes. ... and this was in the late 80s
-Calgal


The verse that comes to mind when I hear stories like that is Colossians 3:21, Fathers, do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged.
-Linda




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« Reply #116 on: January 03, 2022, 11:14:21 pm »


McCotter Poison

Pushing Traumatizing Child Rearing - II



More excerpts from the topic in this site viewed by a guesstimated 100,000 people. “GCx-style Spanking” has been a heart and soul breaking experience for many bewildered children; and for the parents who have come to realize it’s traumatizing affects. Linda nutshells the ensnarement well:

“Young believers...meet a GC person (in the early days, McCotter and his band of traveling evangelists) and learn that their sins can be forgiven. This is a good thing. Then, the odd twisting happens. They devote their life to the teaching of the man and group who shared the Gospel and not to the Man who gave his life. The Devil is very tricky.”


I am the son of a prominent GCC pastor who was mentored by Jim McCotter. Our family was going to be a shining light to all the parents of the world as the model family. I was spanked frequently, perhaps once a day. Every time I was spanked I felt shame, guilt and fear. Other than occasional trips to the grocery store and going out to eat on my birthday, it was the only thing that my parents did with me one on one.

... They cared about our obedience more than anything else. In a way I didn't grow up with a father or mother just some coaches who trained me to be a soldier for Christ. ... Seeing the circle of abuse continue has brought about a lot of anger. I just hope I can find some constructive outlet for it. Every one has a story every story fills out the picture I hope some of my story will help someone out there think twice about what GCC call's "Discipline."
-Captain Bible


The “Rock [GCx] Church law of parenting” essentially taught that you spanked your kid from the moment there born. If you could spank in the womb to begin the “obeying” process I’m sure they would. A lot of the book Baby Wise is recommended and your identity as a true Christian is measured by how well your kids behave all the time. I saw a lot of mini robots.
-Gracetoyou


All of us kids were spanked brutally until we were about 11-12 which really messed us up. We would be spanked bare bottom with a big rod. We would be spanked until we bled and had severe bruises. I have very fond memories of screaming and hugging the toilet as we were mercilessly beaten with a rod. This teaching was very common in the GCM movement and I know multiple families in our church practiced this exact same method.
-ReaperofGCM


The (unspoken) goal is to keep your kids (and your women) in submissive obedience. Don't allow them to use the brain that God gave them to think things through or ask honest questions; just blindly follow the parents orders, husband's commands, and the pastors' teaching. And then pile on the guilt and fear by saying that this is God's will for them so if they don't follow orders, God is not pleased. The dysfunction in these Great Commission "churches" is astounding! (And incredibly cultish in so many ways.)
-wisemind


My kids were born in 2003 and 2005 and we were taught by gcc [GCx] to abuse our kids. Actually more than that we were pressured to abuse our kids and we were rebuked when we wouldn’t. And no I am not calling spanking abuse. I am saying we were told...to spank them until they bleed and to not stop even when they were teenagers. Thankfully my kids are healing from the trauma of being born into a cult.
-Cult Proof




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« Reply #117 on: January 12, 2022, 09:42:18 pm »


McCotter Poison

Pushing Traumatizing Child Rearing - III



After recently listening to Philip Yancey recall his story, who also grew up in a extreme legalistic church and parenting environment, talk about his experience with a “gospel” that is shamed based; it is not far fetched to hear such heart-breaking stories (as below):



I grew up in a gc church in the 90s.  I attended youth retreats, faithwalkers, LT’s, mission trips and even home church. ... As a child, I was more reserved and shy than most, and my quiet nature was easily manipulated.  I know very well the shame based gospel. Spanking was everywhere.  Wrong looks, bad countenance, you name it.  Growing up in my gc Church, the god I knew was a rigid, angry, righteous, rule making, shaming, impossible to please god.  There were so many rights and wrongs I couldn’t keep them straight.  It wasn’t fun or beautiful or applicable to my life. ...

Portraying happy Christian on the outside was the most important thing.  As a teenager, some of my sins were so “bad”, I had to apologize to a pastor bc I was told that my sin hurt the body of Christ as a whole.  Never mind that I was dying on the inside.  Gc squelched my individuality and dreams and crushed my spirit.  My eyes became completely dead.  There was no light, I was so lost and confused and very sad.  I contemplated suicide on a regular basis.  As a kid, I would sneak out in the middle of the night and walk along the highway hoping someone would kidnap me so that I couldn’t be blamed for killing my self or running away voluntarily.  I learned early on to always pretend.  Pretend I was okay with only being allowed to have friendships with gc people.  Pretend everything was fine.  Pretend I wasn’t going through any problems.  Always be obedient, respectful, happy, remorseful....all the pretending and burying caused so much pain.  

As I got older, I engaged in a lot of self destructive behaviors and got involved in extremely abusive relationships.  The effects run deep.  
I know about authority figures asking about my sins and I was supposed to confess everything.  It would pour out of me like vomit.  I was so afraid they would find out if I didn’t and I would be labeled deceitful.  I was afraid all the time.  I thought there were gc spies everywhere watching so they could report my sin back to my authority.  I don’t think they ever were, but there was such an unhealthy amount of fear and guilt at all times. ...

- Shamednomore




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« Reply #118 on: January 13, 2022, 09:17:56 am »

I was afraid all the time.  I thought there were gc spies everywhere watching so they could report my sin back to my authority.  I don’t think they ever were, but there was such an unhealthy amount of
of fear and guilt at all times
.

What a horrible way to grow up. I'm so very sorry for the kids who went through this.

Oddly enough, I have good reason to believe that there really were "spies" in my GC church who reported other members to the deacons. Whether or not this was true in ShamedNoMore's church, it must have been traumatic to believe you were surrounded by informants everywhere. And, of course, God would be the ultimate spy, since he sees and knows and judges and (for all a child would know) disapproves of everything, always watching to catch you in a sin, instead of watching over you in love. What profound at emotional and spiritual abuse.
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« Reply #119 on: January 14, 2022, 09:05:25 pm »

I agree, Huldah. My heart goes out to these children, now adults trying to untangle it all.

In reading the Parenting Tips Chapter of “Cult-Proofing Your Kids” by Dr. Paul R. Martin (former GCx member) this evening, I was reminded of an important portion of the story of at least one GCx-raised child who has shared her story on this website.


Quote from childofgcm (Reply #115) above:

I was the perfect daughter, they spanked every bit of assertiveness out of me, beat the word "no" out of my vocabulary. This led to my utter submission and compliance with every authority figure, which made my parents proud but had catastrophic results: my sisters and I were sexually abused by a family member for years. And our education was so restricted that we had no idea what was happening to us.


As Dr. Martin discusses how parents “trying to achieve mindless obedience can be costly,” he recounts a number of women coming to the Wellspring Retreat Center who were raised in “strongly-churched homes” and later joined churches “led by vibrant charismatic leadership-type pastors.” He says “they were fairly easily seduced into believing that since God worked so mightily through this pastor, his suggestion for them to have sex with him (to “aid in their spiritual growth”) must be obeyed.”

He explains “The fallacious reasoning that “wise men can’t be wrong” can lead to the kind of obedience that made 913 individuals drink a cyanide-laced fruit drink.”


That is similar to the audacious command of many GCx leaders over five decades — “Obey us even if we’re wrong.”




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