Welcome to De-Commissioned, a place for former members of the Great Commission movement (aka GCM, GCC, GCAC, GCI, the Blitz) to discuss problems they've experienced in the association's practices and theology.

You may read and post, but some features are restricted to registered members. Please consider registering to gain full access! Registration is free and only takes a few moments to complete.
De-Commissioned Forum
November 27, 2021, 05:06:25 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home   Forum   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Fat People Need Not Appy in GCM, at ISU and even Evergreen  (Read 31216 times)
Rebel in a Good Way
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 455



« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2018, 07:04:03 am »

How frustrating. The church should be the one place a woman can go and not be told how inadequate her appearance is, that she's not pretty enough, that she doesn't measure up, or that her looks keep her from representing--Christ? No, she's not pretty enough to represent the pastors! This is so far from the heart of Jesus.


Huldah, I know this is from a few years ago, but I LOVE this quote!  It tugged at my heart because I know how often women do feel inadequate about their appearance (which is a lie from the world), and how the church should be affirming their identity in Christ.  The spiritual gifts are not based on BMI.

Maybe Mark D & GCC only want thin, hip people to recruit other thin, hip people?  I guess if you have overweight people who might minister well to others who also feel stigmatized, you will just get more uncool fat people in your church and obviously nobody wants that (sarcasm).  So sad.  This kind of thinking dishonors the image of God in all people.
Logged
Outtathere
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43



« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2018, 07:23:06 am »

It is an interesting phenomenon when you make the stage as a focus and not the Bible. It would be interesting to have before and after pictures of GCx staff comparing how they dressed before they spoke on stage to how they looked after. One that comes to mind used to dress rather unhip until he took over a student ministry, at which point he became an Abercrombie junkie. Another shaved his head, grew a goatee and got an earring. Mark always talked about his leather jacket and how he created the broken in look. Again, the focus becomes on human ability and not the word.
Logged
GodisFaithful
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 328



« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2018, 09:15:00 am »

Back in the day (and I go WAY back) the norm was to look like a hippie in our GC church.  After all, that was the 70s, that is what was cool and normal,  at least on college campuses where we were "reaching out."  And most of us didn't have a lot of money for wonderful wardrobes, and if we had extra we were supposed to give to the church.  Who had time to shop the malls?  We were in constant meetings and going out sharing Christ two by two, etc. 

And does anyone here remember the head coverings???!!!  Up here in MPLS most of us sisters wore those bandanas that you wear if you are going wilderness camping.  I visited Ames a few times as a single.  So exciting, they were a big "work" compared to teeny weeny us.  Well, I was so curious about THEIR head coverings.  You were supposed to wear these if there was public prayer to show your submission to God and male leadership if I remember correctly and we had teachings on how serious this was for us sisters.  Well, I don't think my mind was on Christ there in Ames because I was peeking to see what kind of head covering Barb McCotter was wearing.  It was kind of long and lacey and much more elegant than a bandana.  I think I used a diaper from my diaper bag a few times, because I figured it was worse to be caught without one during the prayer than use a diaper, in case someone was peeking and I got caught. Not sure if I was concerned about what God thought.  But, suddenly there was a big emphasis on our image to the outside world and the head coverings flew off as fast as a toupee in a 60 mile an hour wind!!!  Some of us sisters were like, "Wha Wha Wha?Huh"

Then they powers from on high sent away our pastors because MPLS was not growing to their liking, and while we waited for new pastors, Dave Gumlia and Rick Whitney and their families came and stayed here, I think for a couple months.  We had a big lecture by Dave one Sunday about how we were dressed on Sunday and he pointed out how his wife looked and we were all supposed to try for that.  See, we were being worked on before Mark and Brent ever came, but we were some stubborn sheep who were having trouble with this image thing.

And my husband was one who was reproved for how he looked.  Cut your hair, work on your wardrobe.  Well, can a leopard change it's spots?  My husband hates to shop, hates it.  I try but I am not always there to look him over (not that I am a wardrobe specialist) and he has had women at work tell him that his sweater is backwards, more than once.  He has no fashion sense and he really could care less, except if I don't like it.  Our kids to this day will tell him when the dorkometer is going up.  dorkdorkdorkDORKDORKDORK.  So we were not clone-able.  But that's ok, we are gone now, and free of this emphasis.  In no other church that we have gone to were we taken aside to be exhorted about what a bad testimony for Christ we are because of our clothes.

Think of how this emphasis affects young people.  With all the selfies and the constant concern about fitting in and not being bullied and not looking different and not having the right outfit or the right brand or the right look.  How is Evergreen any different from the world in this?  I know I know, the world looks on the outside.  But also,  there are those verses about religious leaders cleaning up the outside of the cup and the inside was icky.  And that was Jesus to those who were self righteous and wanted all the emphasis to be on the outside of the cup.  I'm not saying that the inside of my cup is always so pretty.  But I do have some constant cleansing going on, some merciful cleansing, washing me, washing anyone who comes to Him and wants to confess and be cleansed.  And that goes for hypocritical leaders from cultish churches too.  But be encouraged if the outside of your cup is not all shiny and so perfect that you are in the band on stage and pastors are complimenting you on how great you look and you turn heads because you just so have the hour glass figure (if you are a woman) that everybody drools over and a knack for looking so SO put together.  Jesus loves you this I know, warts and all.
Logged
Huldah
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 955



« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2018, 10:11:02 am »

The world looks on the outside, but the people of the world are not all fools. They notice whether or not professing Christians are people of integrity. You can't hoodwink the vast majority of them with trendy clothes and a stylish haircut.

Unbelievers are not shallow and they're not stupid. We who are saved by grace have no business taking such a patronizing attitude toward the lost, some of whom are more ethical than some professing Christians.

Oh, and I do remember those headscarves. We were told that they had great spiritual significance, but they were actually just a campus fad in the 70's, particularly among feminist/leftist students who were tacitly announcing that they had loftier things to pay attention to than their hair. Once the world abandoned the headscarves, so did GC.
Logged
GodisFaithful
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 328



« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2018, 03:02:57 pm »

I hope people realize that the Dorkameter example in my last post is a joke in our family. We can laugh about it. Our identity is not tied in knots over our image  I think my husband is the most handsome, greatest guy in the whole world and I tell him that all the time and I mean it. So what if he doesn't look like a magazine cut out? And so what if I don't? I don't remember Jesus putting an emphasis on this when he was here. Jesus cared deeply about the most down and out needy people.  And he was concerned about helping people to be free of sin through Him, not polishing up their image.   

 I understand that it takes time to process the hurts from years in GC and be able to laugh about some of the absurdities. Laughing is some of the best medicine, though. It's healing. But some of the stuff is way too tragic to laugh about.

As many have said, it wasn't just a message at Evergreen of dress like me, but also act like me. I felt like my personality, who I was as an individual, was squelched in order to meld into the group. (This happens especially for women, I think. And especially if you are being groomed for leadership.) People still caught in this image trap don't see it, but after we left it becomes more clear.  Many times we have used that frog in the water analogy about our experience in GC:  the heat is getting turned up in the pot, damaging you, but you don't realize you are in trouble until it is almost too late to jump out.



Logged
bLizard
Obscure Poster (1-14 Posts)
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7



« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2018, 08:52:43 pm »

And does anyone here remember the head coverings???!!! 

Ha!! I started going to Evergreen in the summer of 1988. The name had just been changed and the phone campaign was on to get people to the "grand opening." My first exposure to the church was a prayer meeting. There were 2 brothers who were roommates in one of the campus houses, I met them through a mutual friend and they invited me to go. Everyone was friendly and things were cool until the announcements were over and Brent said, "Let us pray." Immediately every female in attendance opened her purse and out whipped bandannas, baseball caps, lacy things... I was horrified. That was the longest 2 hours of my life as I sat there the only bare-headed one, hoping nobody would peek and notice my sin. The brothers felt bad too - being dudes, it had never occurred to them to prepare me.
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1182



« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2018, 12:04:59 pm »

It just breaks my heart when I think of people I knew  in GC who were seriously overweight who had recovered from major trauma.  And then they were in that awful shallow paradigm where they would be shamed.  It really makes me sick.  He didn't seem to understand the relationship between sexual abuse and trauma and some cases of women being overweight.  He was a harsh task master.  

We once had someone say to us, "Isn't the body of Christ amazing?  So and so wouldn't even speak to you outside the church.  He's a frat guy, a lawyer, a good dresser, social. And you're tech nerds.  Dress ordinary.  Dorky.  And here, you're both friends. That's what makes Christianity amazing!"  We were like, huh, interesting. LOL!!!  SO WEIRD-- and yet still we stayed.  Mostly because we were never under any illusions of our own hotness!


« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 10:57:40 am by AgathaL'Orange » Logged

Glad to be free.
GodisFaithful
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 328



« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2018, 03:56:31 pm »

Agatha,

My mother's joke was that she had lost 300 pounds, the same 5 over and over and over.  I'm starting to identify with her struggle.  How discouraging for a pastor to imply that your worth and value as a person and wife is hugely tied to your weight or build.  I could seriously see how a couple, after leaving a church like Evergreen, would need some good Christian marriage counseling.

 There are some great Christian organizations out there who do a wonderful job of teaching about the sexual aspect of marriage, not crossing the line into giving coarse or overly private and personal information, or building up expectations that are unreasonable. Part of the specialness of the whole deal is that it IS private!!

I liked what you said about growing old together.  The companionship aspect is huge. 
Logged
AgathaL'Orange
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1182



« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2018, 04:08:50 pm »

I had the very weird realization after we left that our marriage was so healthy!  It sounds like bragging and I don't mean it to be.  I just mean, they had given us some kind of complex.  I wasn't submissive enough. I wasn't into pleasing my husband as my number one goal.  My husband wasn't an alpha kinda guy full of noisy, obnoxious, visionary zeal.

We left, and a year later, we realized we barely fought anymore.  We had a time a few years ago when we disagreed and the kids were like are you guys okay?  We've never heard you argue.  This was from a marriage that had become very high conflict in the early (GC) years.  I had begged during the GC years for more attention and time together.  More weekends.  Less meetings. 

We almost never disagree now.  We love each other.  We are so happy.  We are more in love than ever before.  We have adventures.  We share a common goal. We're friends.  We compared ourselves in GC to these very strange, submissive, tense, time strapped marriages.

And after we left, it was so dang easy.  OMgsh.    NO more long hours at GCLI.  NO more men's retreats ad naseum.  NO more small group leadership meetings.  And all the volunteering. 

All of a sudden we were running together.  Taking long vacations.  Sharing every evening together. 

All this time we'd just been regular and normal, and were made to feel there was something wrong with us somehow because our allegiance was to be to God which really meant GC. 

Our relationship had predated GC.  We had come to the church well counseled in the church we had grown up in.  I am thankful every single day for my marriage and that GC didn't ruin it with their weirdness.

We were very lucky. 
Logged

Glad to be free.
blonde
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 349



« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2018, 11:07:40 pm »

Yap! Thin is in.
Logged

We must become the change we want to see.
-Mahatma Gandhi
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2496



« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2018, 07:28:50 am »

In sharp contrast to Mark's teaching there is this from Isaiah 53:

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 08:07:23 am by Linda » Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
GodisFaithful
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 328



« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2018, 01:41:20 pm »

And this from Billy Graham's funeral.

Advise to a pastor in the Middle East:

"People all want to talk about themselves.  But don't talk about yourself, talk about Jesus, and when we lift Jesus up  He will draw all men to Himself."

Dr. Irwin Lutzer was interviewed after the service.  He said that when he was able to visit Billy the last time, in a wheelchair, Billy was content.  He was just fine without the cameras and the crowds.  His identity was in Christ.
Logged
pvitartas
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 47



« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2018, 03:32:44 am »

During my involvement, I can recall being hungry much of the time.  "Falling" involved sneaking food - for which I felt guilt to confess...to somebody.  In that day, I was 5'11" and weighed about 145 pounds.  I looked forward to visiting home (for which I was also made to feel guilty) because I could actually eat until I was full.
Logged
Phoenix
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 62



« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2018, 07:26:41 am »

I had the very weird realization after we left that our marriage was so healthy!  It sounds like bragging and I don't mean it to be.  I just mean, they had given us some kind of complex.  I wasn't submissive enough. I wasn't into pleasing my husband as my number one goal.  My husband wasn't an alpha kinda guy full of noisy, obnoxious, visionary zeal.

We left, and a year later, we realized we barely fought anymore.  We had a time a few years ago when we disagreed and the kids were like are you guys okay?  We've never heard you argue.  This was from a marriage that had become very high conflict in the early (GC) years.  I had begged during the GC years for more attention and time together.  More weekends.  Less meetings. 

We almost never disagree now.  We love each other.  We are so happy.  We are more in love than ever before.  We have adventures.  We share a common goal. We're friends.  We compared ourselves in GC to these very strange, submissive, tense, time strapped marriages.

And after we left, it was so dang easy.  OMgsh.    NO more long hours at GCLI.  NO more men's retreats ad naseum.  NO more small group leadership meetings.  And all the volunteering. 

All of a sudden we were running together.  Taking long vacations.  Sharing every evening together. 

All this time we'd just been regular and normal, and were made to feel there was something wrong with us somehow because our allegiance was to be to God which really meant GC. 

Our relationship had predated GC.  We had come to the church well counseled in the church we had grown up in.  I am thankful every single day for my marriage and that GC didn't ruin it with their weirdness.

We were very lucky. 

And yet I joined Evergreen shortly after being saved, met my wife there and learned how to be married and parent via our own walk and the help of friends at Evergreen.  (Even completed GCLI.)

We learned how to protect our schedule, rarely put our kids into Sunday kids programs were on/off part of Wednesday nights because we lived by our own convictions and did not tow the line.  (After 18+ years of this we have never been called out by leaders either.)

So, perhaps the family of origin, individuals and the marriage itself is part of the formula?  (Please do not read this as an accusation or an attack on you/yours, that is not what I mean.)

The danger of people reading this site is that one can read these things and assume that anyone who attends one of these churches will come out a wrecked person/marriage and that could not be further from the truth.
Logged
Huldah
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 955



« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2018, 09:24:47 am »

The danger of people reading this site is that one can read these things and assume that anyone who attends one of these churches will come out a wrecked person/marriage and that could not be further from the truth.
I agree that there's some truth to that.

But here's how I see it. If we (those of us who've been hurt at GC churches) post about our experiences, then there's a danger of stereotyping GC members unfairly, as you described. But if we don't post, then there's a very real danger of people joining a GC church unaware of what they're getting into, only to find their spiritual walk damaged by certain teachings and practices which the movement as a whole has failed to address.

The point is that, either way, people are entitled to know about the potential problems before they join. They're entitled to make an informed decision.

That's one reason this forum exists.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.1.1