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Author Topic: The GCC website, McCotter & the Book of Gov't  (Read 5395 times)
Dan Bovenmyer
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« on: March 16, 2007, 05:22:23 pm »

I really like the idea in the Statement of Weakness about having a book of government. I told my dad so in person yesterday, and am going to bring this up in our local church leader’s meeting. I think that there are some thing in place already about this, but they are not well publicized at all. Many people don’t know about our statement of early weakness, I think have more focus on that in some way would be very good. I do know that GCC recently publish a longer version of our church history including mention of the statement of weakness. You might want to check that out. http://www.gccweb.org/gcc/about/history_long.asp
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nateswinton
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2007, 05:22:57 pm »

It’s noteworthy that the Statement of Weakness paper is linked on that write-up of the history.
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Dan Bovenmyer
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2007, 05:23:20 pm »

Things that I’m in the process of doing personally as a result of this site.



Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.–George Santayana

I keep thinking of this quote. I don’t want that to be true of me.

I’ve been trying to take inventory as I’m reading here. I want to watch for hurtful ways in myself first before I look elsewhere. I have felt rightfully reproved as I’ve read here. I intend to keep reading and thinking.



I’m in process of personally talking to every person in my sphere of influence about what I know of our failings. I’m going to make sure they are exposed to our weaknesses paper. I’m asking them to join with me in keeping watch that we don’t return to those weaknesses.



I’m also asking them how we are currently doing, we have a growingly diverse church here of many personality times with different religious and personal backgrounds. I think it will take many different types of people to really watch for the differing types of weakness that we could have.



I just wanted to give you guys some view into my own thoughts…please make suggestions as you feel I need correction.
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nateswinton
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2007, 05:23:37 pm »

Dan,

Cheesy You’re more bold than I am in this. Only my closest friends have seen the Weakness Paper or any of the books and documents I got from the GCMWarning dudes. While my involvement here has affected my personal life and leadership deeply, I’ve been hesitant to circulate much stuff.

My reasons? 1.) Especially after what happened with “Gene”, “Debbie” and “Steve Bush” over on the “Lets Talk About Sex” thread, I’ve been gunshy about talking before I have tangible facts. 2.) Gossip has been something that makes me red-in-the-face, so I’m being careful about that. I don’t want to make anyone “stubmle”.

I realize that “Gossip” and “make people stumble” can be trigger-words for alot of people here, but please believe that I mean them in the correct sense. The way I like to operate is to quietly work behind the scenes and build up a huge amount of credibility, then enter the scene already competent and well-versed, and ready for action-action-action, rather than lots of discussion and brainstorming.

My personal goal here is to assist in reconciliation as best as I believe I can. A goal I’m gaining since making that one is to not allow myself or my peers to cause similar wounds to what you guys here have in our own student group.
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Princess Buttercup
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2007, 05:23:58 pm »

That history link it outrageous.



During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s a concerted effort was made to reach out to people who felt that they had been hurt by GCI and GCI churches. At the initial urging of Tom Short, the GCI leaders and pastors published a paper as part of a plan to follow the Biblical standard of humility and reconciliation in relationships. This effort towards reconciliation, formally called Project CARE, was led by Dave Bovenmyer and was instrumental in building unity with Christians within and outside of Great Commission. (For a copy of this paper, click here.)



Excuse me, an effort was made to reach out to people who felt they had been hurt?



That’s just plain arrogant. A sincere apology would not put the blame on the person who felt he was hurt. A sincere apology would say we recognize we have made some decisions that hurt people, we are going to change, and then would be followed by sincere humility, restoration of broken relationships, and change. A sincere apology would also not involve a national leader 15 years later saying the statement was too self depricating.



GCM just can’t admit they did something wrong.



Looks like the spin control is in motion though. Can’t wait to see the next set of talking points.
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puff of purple smoke
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2007, 05:24:27 pm »

The wording of that paragraph does seem extremely evasive of responsibility. “people who felt that they had been hurt by GCI and GCI churches” — not “people who had been hurt by GCI and GCI churches.”

At least they are including the error statement on their website now. That’s a step forward.
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Princess Buttercup
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2007, 05:24:38 pm »

No mention of the hundreds of excommunications. Just hurts.No mention that people are still excommunicated. Just words like “reconcilliation in relationships.”
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nateswinton
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2007, 05:24:57 pm »

I can understand your tone, even though it’s not the one I’m chosing right now, Princess.

It has struck me as “off” for a while that it seems several of the people that were present at the forming of the Weakness Statement don’t speak of it in a way that the language within the statement seems to demand.

Almost like saying “I apologized a long time ago, and hey, I wasn’t even that wrong. Get over it!” Hmmm… Maybe I’ve got a cold and I’m tired, but I feel grouchy right now.
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puff of purple smoke
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2007, 05:25:13 pm »

Nate, thanks for posting that.

That’s one of those things about GC that just “doesn’t add up” to me. When I think I’ve figured out GC, I often come back to that and rack my brain. At this point I am tempted to believe the apology was sincerely meant by Dave and a maybe few others, but many in the movement (used to years of having to go along with whatever McCotter or others above them said) just went along with it at the time, not necessarily wanting to disagree or rock the boat. After all, just a few years earlier people were being thrown out in the hundreds for disagreeing with leadership, including some national leaders. 15 years on, we find that some churches seem to have taken the error statement seriously, and others (unfortunately many national leaders) want to forget it.

One thing that contradicts even this theory: has any pastor ever taught a GC history sermon that even mentioned the hundreds excommunicated, or bad theology back then. Or taught a sermon that didn’t skip/gloss over the serious problems of the past? Ever? The closest I’ve heard to an accurate history sermon is Steve Nelson’s, and that one practically paints McCotter as a saint.

If there was such an effort to reconcile with members “hurt” by the movement, who exactly did they reconcile with? Where are these people? Where are the “GC was bad to me, but look, they changed, I am proof of that” stories?

Another theory I’ve had about the odd dichotomy is that they published the statement to counter bad press they were receiving (Dave has stated the error statement was prompted following news that Churches That Abuse was going to be mentioning GCI in it, and some other events occurred around that time), and so many people perhaps went along with the statement realizing it was what the movement “had to do” to pacify their critics, but not necessarily what they wanted to.

Whatever it is, something just seems to suggest that not everyone has maintained the same level of seriousness about the error statement.
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nateswinton
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2007, 05:26:03 pm »

Puff,

Good thoughts. I’ve brainstormed in several of those directions and cant’ find many explicit, black-and-white conclusions. It seems very complex and multi-faceted.

About painting McCotter as a saint, I’ve heard a few thoughts from current members that further complicates, but also explains some stuff. First, McCotter lead many of the national leaders to Christ. I know that was the case for Dave Bovenmyer, even. If I remember correctly, Jim really “believed in” Dave, and I think Jim’s influence in Dave’s life largely got him to a place spiritually where he became an elder at a young age and was consistently involved in leading the Movement in different ways. I read a letter to GCI in a Cause Magazine where Jim highly praises the hard, diligent work of Dave and others in putting out the (bi-monthly) editions of Cause.

I think there’s a sense of loyalty and/or respect that goes along with “saint-ing” McCotter, or at the very least refusing to “demonize” him.

Another thing is that I doubt that many people in The Movement today have the foggiest idea of what McCotter is up to. Dave was surprised to hear that Jim is a millionaire. Many people here on decommissioned have mentioned that their pastors refused to read any documentation by Wellspring & Co. - and that’d further lead to a sense of pleasant ignorance. I frankly can’t imagine the horror of learning that someone that was your spiritual “father” in many senses has “tanked” spiritually so badly. I think about the handful of men that persevered with me when I was a much younger christian and helped me to become the man I am today. It would make me sick to find out that they were living extremely worldly or worse - very deceptive, manipulative lives. I would probably want to know the truth, but I wouldn’t want to dwell on it for sure.

So to summarize for the “too long, didn’t read” crowd, I think some people either have a sense of loyalty or respect for the 1970’s version of Jim (which by most accounts was much more reasonable and “Godly” than other incarnations), and many are simply pleasantly ignorant of his lifestyle today and aren’t too interested in bursting that bubble of bliss in his memory.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2007, 05:26:43 pm »

And don’t forget that in the “too long, didn’t read crowd” there are those that still think that there was nothing wrong. There are those who still believe the same way today. In courtship pressure, no moving away except “for the kingdom of God,” careers are bad, and so on. I know plenty of those types, and they seem like the nicest people in the world if a little odd. And then you find out why all their kids have followed in their footsteps… because there is no other acceptable path.
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Glad to be free.
mamie
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2007, 05:27:11 pm »

Speaking of communicating history, the original Columbus church (Linworth Road - Tom Short’s current home church) began a 4-week, Wednesday night series last week that is recounting the history of GC, a decade at a time. Martindale talked about the 70’s last week, from what I’m told. I’m not sure who is slated for the other three weeks.

Part of me wants to go to hear what is said and, more importantly, what is left out. But I don’t think that I could listen without getting really upset - not because of my own experiences, but because hearing white-washed revisionist history would really make me angry for the sake of the people listening, thinking they were getting the “real story.” It’s such a great opportunity to show a humble, servant-leadership attitude….but I’m not hopeful.

Ex-shep, you said you wanted to visit with Chris Martin sometime….this might be a great time to drop by the Columbus area…. I would suggest the week that they will be talking about the 90s, since that’s when the Weakness Paper came out, right?

Another option, for those who are interested in what current national leaders are recounting as GCs history (btw, I was told that Chris was recently appointed to the GCM board, which, if true, would lend further “authority” to this version of history) would be to contact the church and see if they will be taping the series and making it available.
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margaret
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2015, 05:51:09 am »

I was around when the Weakness Paper came out. And I told one of the national leaders that our local church was still operating according to pre-Weakness Paper mentality and practices. People were being hurt. People were leaving, and unable to even pray for years. Some people were staying in the church JUST for damage control, once new people saw what was really happening.
What did this national leader say to me, when I told him how our pastor was operating? "But he works so hard!"
So be it. And we fell through the cracks, and "church" keeps on keepin on.
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