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Author Topic: Mike Royal's Letter To Mike Braun  (Read 25115 times)
EverAStudent
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2008, 10:27:32 am »

The three dominant forms of church government in the local church (ignoring the denominational oversight for the moment) are: pastor-rule, elder-rule, and congregational-rule.  This can cause confusion, Linda.  Especially when tied to the definitions you have given for independent (congregational) vs. denominational.

As I understand it then, an independent church where the pastor makes all administrative decisions without congregational approval would be: pastor-rule congregational.  In my circles, we would have called it pastor-rule independent.  

Since GC was denominational--any organization of churches that is dominated by a national committee that can play the adminstrative trump card (ie "national leaders") is a denomination.  So GC would have been: pastor-rule denominational.  

Churches with boards of elders who have adminstrative oversight would be the elder-rule style of church governance.  Churches where the congregation votes on everything administrative would be congregational-rule.  In both of these styles of governance, the pastor still has doctrinal oversight.  

I always get a kick out of hearing GCers try to explain how they are not really a denomination, even though the "national leaders" often directed pastors to be uninstalled in one church and installed in another, or directed families to move from one church to another, or set the strategic direction for all the activities of an entire year (eg 64 in 84).  he-he-he, not a denomination, he-he-he, talk about self-delusion...
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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2008, 12:45:49 pm »

sounds like GC is wrangling about words.... forgetting the "duck rule".
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Linda
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2008, 09:55:37 am »

The three types of church government commonly recognized are:

1. Episcopal (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican).

2. Presbyterian (Presbyterian, Reformed)

3. Congregational (lots of Baptist churches, GC churches, I think A of G)

I currently attend an elder-led congregational Baptist church.

Gotta run, more on what each one means later.

Bringing it back to GC, our leaders (and I attributed this to lack of seminary training and misinformation in the GCLI teaching) thought that congregational meant the congregation made all the decisions. I stand by my statement that when it comes to church polity (provided you are using the commonly, seminary taught types of church polity), congregational does not mean that the congregation makes all the decisions. It means that the church is independent of any denomination. The word congregational confuses GC people because it sounds like the name implies that the congregation votes on everything.
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2009, 01:27:51 pm »

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The Mike Royal letter (link) from 1985 describes the beginnings an essential sectarianism, divisiveness and authoritarianism still alive and well in Great Commission and still a threat to the spiritual health of some young adults in particular.

One of the fascinating things about GC history is that - although GC leaders claim it has nothing to do with the modern movement - so much of GC's past has influenced what they are today. McCotter's discipleship, dating, leadership and slander beliefs are all still being taught. I still remember the first time I read the 1991 church error statement, being shocked at how similar the "past abuses" described in it applied to my GC experience in the mid 2000's. Here we have even older documents, the Mike Royal letter from 1985, Paul Martin and Larry Pile's letters from 1978, all laying out a case that on many points could be leveled towards modern day GCM/GCC/GCAC.

A quote from the Mike Royal letter I found especially relevant to today's GC was this:
Quote
In fact, recent teaching by leaders who work directly under McCotter in Maryland asserts that the Bible is authoritative over only 40% of a person's life (i.e., is black and white on certain issues, like adultery, etc.) but in anything not specifically spelled out in Scriptures, it is the leaders' perogative to interpret, direct and counsel specifically and authoritatively. This concept (in more general terms) has been around in the movement for a long time, and has resulted in much harmful meddling by leaders in the private lives of group members in such areas as: the choice of marriage partners; the purchase of cars, homes, etc.; pursuit or non-pursuit of higher education; location of residence; choice of occupation; use or non-use of birth-control methods; adoption of children: child-raising; and much else. Much damage has been done by the simplistic, uninformed, and plain wrong advice and dictates of inexperienced and arrogant young men, posing as wise counselors, who must be obeyed.

This describes much of my experiences in the movement to a T - and yet this was written over 20 years ago!
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2009, 05:28:09 pm »

Moderator note: I split this Mike Royal discussion out of the "GCxWeb.Org: Lots of new stuff" thread, and merged another 2-post Mike Royal thread into it. There is yet another thread on the same topic of Mike Royal's letter here that wasn't merged because it wouldn't make sense in the context that it was written.
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