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Author Topic: H2O Church at Bowling Green State University  (Read 59556 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2015, 09:17:16 pm »

GLORY !!!

What you have proposed and challenged above, Xray342, is so perfectly fitting in submitting to biblical humility, and so scripturally fulfilling in protectively shepherding God's flock that it takes one's breath away !!

PRAISE to Him who LAID DOWN His life FOR THE SHEEP !

XXXXXXX,OOOOOOO, Jesus - - -
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 09:38:17 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
H2O Guy
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« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2015, 09:07:03 am »

Thanks again for your response H2O Guy. Obviously we're analyzing things from two different perspectives and that's the way I expected this conversation to go. This isn't my first trip to the discipling rodeo, but my first trip into the GCx circuit.  Grin

And here's my exhortation to you:

  • Read Cults in our Midst and Toxic Faith. The first is written from a psychologist’s perspective and the second from a Christian perspective. Note any and all examples in either book that you have encountered not only in your time in H2O but in other churches you've been involved with.
  • Lead a Bible Study lasting 4-6 weeks concerning spiritual abuse. Use what you learned (primarily in Toxic Faith with backing material in Cults in our Midst) to teach those you disciple in H2O.
  • Lead a short Bible Study (or two) concerning spiritual abuse with other leaders at your peer and experience level and the rest of the leadership of H2O that oversees you. Use what you learned in those books and what you discussed with your small group and discuss with the rest of the leadership.
  • Working with the rest of the leadership in H2O, have a presentation to everyone involved in H2O about the origins of GCx, from Jim McCotter all the way through the present day. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to abuses. The most important piece is to show conclusively that these abuses are no longer occurring and that the discipling structure is healthy and balanced. You probably want other local ministries and their respective leaders there to give their perspectives.

Here's something I told another H2O church leader once: you will eventually be challenged by a concerned parent or family member of one of the students in your ministry that H2O is a cult. In fact, this leader told me this had already happened once to them. It would be reassuring for them if you can walk them through this process. In fact, these things should be taught frequently enough that an undergraduate member would hear them at least once before the graduate.

P.S. This is also the same challenge I would give to any Disciples on Campus/ICOC/ICC leader. However, none of them have taken up this challenge up to this point in time.

Sorry for being late to respond. A couple things in response to this. I think overall it's a great idea but I have a few thoughts to share.

First, I plan on reading Toxic Faith in part out of curiosity and in part to, as you suggest, understand better what the traits of a cult are. I'm not going to promise to read cults in our midst. In part because I don't have a ton of time to invest in reading about cults when, to be honest, it feels so irrelevant to me. But, yes, I want to read through Toxic Faith to be able to know symptoms of a toxic church when I see it. If there happens to be anything that needs addressed, then for sure we can do that.

Second, I don't think that all of that is necessary. And, I feel like I need to be careful when saying this because when you suggest doing all of that it feels like if I don't then you're free to label us a cult or something and that's silly. It sort of feels like an ultimatum that we don't deserve to have. The reason I feel like we don't deserve to have that placed on us is because you have no idea how far removed we are from the people you're talking about. Our staff team is small, and none of us (quite frankly) are even old enough to have been anywhere close to McCotter. Like, regarding working with the leadership of H2O and talking to everyone about the origins of GCx and Jim McCotter (who the vast majority of people in our network have little to no connection to) feels like overkill. Akin to feeling like I need to send a personal apology to someone that my 4th cousin twice removed sinned against. Or, alternatively, the Bible Study feels a little bit like going through a teaching series on Maternity when our students are like 65% male and 100% not parents. Sure, if it were about how God relates to us or something that could be valuable. But getting into specifics about what to do when you're an empty nester is not terribly relevant to the people we're talking to... and it's not of the utmost importance.

And, we have been approached by students parents (though few) and asked about the allegations on this website and we've talked through that with them. Again, I don't really appreciate the "P.S." statement at the bottom there. Disciples on Campus have pretty obvious cult-like practices. 10s of students from our church have experienced what they do and fled to our church. And, it feels like A) we're being equated with them and B) you're saying that if I don't take up this challenge our church is no different. And that's ridiculous given that literally none of the people on this site have any idea how our church functions.

I suspect that in the coming weeks I won't be checking this site as much. Feel free to respond, I'll try to respond in a somewhat timely manner... but the beginning of the semester is soon and to be honest I'm going to be more concerned with extending the gospel than reading about cult-accusations. You can say that this is me "dodging" what's being said, but I don't feel like I've dodged anything. I just... it genuinely won't be on my mind. Hope that makes sense.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 09:08:56 am by H2O Guy » Logged
H2O Guy
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« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2015, 09:23:49 am »

So, I was reading through the GCC apology letter and after reading through all of the issues/problems they have that need/needed corrected I don't see a single one that exists in our church. I don't think I'm being blind or foolish or arrogant when I say that either. Again, I think it's silly to associate H2O with the issues GCC had.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 11:05:24 am by H2O Guy » Logged
Outtathere
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« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2015, 09:40:51 am »

H2O Guy, if I met you for a cup of coffee, we'd probably get along good and be able to talk about God and encourage one another. Having done short term mission trips and having met a few folks from other GC churches, I would agree that not all practice the same things and that some churches function differently than others. I think it would be good for you to read the book you mentioned and make a vow to never practice such things.  Also, you may not have meant it this way, but please change your statement from "issues that GCC had," to "GCC has". There are too many testimonies of people within GCC to dismiss the practices from leadership.

Regarding McCotter, I'd say that he's not some cousin several times removed. He was the founder of the movement who built the foundation and mission of GC. Forgive this analogy that I'm about to use for relevancy, but that's like saying that people complaining against Planned Parenthood shouldn't look into Margaret Sanger's beliefs when she founded the movement to eradicate less desirable races because that was a long time ago(again, not equating GC with PP).

There was a statement of weakness paper that was issued to the entire movement for practices that were chronic within GC. The purpose was to apologize and to say that the movement no longer condones such practices. If your church is aware of these things and has moved away from them, then good for you guys! However, ignorance of the past could allow such practices to reemerge. Most of the complaints on this site seem to be related to practices done since McCotter's time that leadership continues to endorse. Shepherds of the flock should be aware of such things to protect the sheep from them. Believing the best in you, I would encourage you to be aware of the complaints and to make sure you don't easily dismiss them.

Also, you should ask a question of more recent history as to why there was a divide between the churches of GC and GCM. Ask the questions as to why GC disagreed with Jeff Kern's vision and moved him out or how the Steve Bush debacle led to the beginning of the Faithwalkers movement and a return to the 'glory days'. By the way, McCotter was at the first Faithwalkers (much more  recent history) and several overtures were made for him to return to the movement. Sometimes old cousins show up at family reunions, I guess. Has the family ever said that the founder of the movement was a heretic for calling himself an apostle?
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H2O Guy
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« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2015, 11:20:53 am »

Outtathere, thanks for speaking with grace in an unassuming manner.

I'd say it's important for me to look up "family history" so to speak, so I understand what you're talking about. Our church network doesn't participate in Faithwalkers. Actually, up until this summer I hadn't ever heard of it (having been involved in my church for 6 years now). I still don't know very much about it except that it's some sort of conference or program... I'm not sure. Either way, no, we don't participate in it. And, Jim McCotter's name hasn't entered my sphere until I came to this site. Which could sound like embarrassment of the past but to be honest, I don't think he has ever been relevant to talk about in any context.

Here's both my understanding and experience with GCM and GCC. GCM has been nothing more than our missions organization. That is, they've dealt strictly with getting people funded through support-based means. I know some of the people in GCM, but to be honest, they're super hands off at this point. So, it feels inaccurate to call something a "GCM" church anymore because they're merely a sending organization. The relevancy of Jim McCotter, of Jeff Kern, and Steve Bush seems miniscule to me. I know some people who know some people who MIGHT know them... but they're not involved or in leadership in our church. Perhaps it's fair to ask them about it, at least. But, when you say I should ask questions I'm genuinely not sure who I'd ask. I could ask one of the guys that's the director of the H2O network, but I'm not sure he'd have a ton of insight. Maybe he would. I could also ask some of the people at GCM, but, again, I'm not terribly connected to the people in our missions/sending organization.

Overall, yes, it's fair to say I should read the book recommended. And, it's fair to say I should ask some questions about our ties (or lack-there-of) with GCC.

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Linda
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« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2015, 12:58:11 pm »

As I understand it, GCM churches are now called Collegiate Church Network churches.

There has been no formal distancing themselves from their GCC history. I think that might be a big part of the problem. No apology and no distancing implies agreement with their mother organization.
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H2O Guy
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« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2015, 08:15:34 pm »

Yes, the Collegiate church network is a thing. And, there has been a formal distancing... on http://www.gcmweb.org/who/OthersSay/Questions.aspx it says "The Collegiate Church Network shares a common history with Great Commission Churches, but today is governed separately." Which is accurate.
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Linda
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« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2015, 10:30:52 pm »

But, GCM churches just rebranded themselves as CCN churches. They never fully distanced themselves from GCC churches in terms of publicly acknowledging and correcting bad teaching.
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H2O Guy
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« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2015, 09:14:23 am »

I'm not positive how you could be aware of whether or not the people in my church network corrected bad teaching unless you have been attending a CCN church. Further, I've not experienced this "bad teaching" you speak of since being involved in H2O Cincinnati... either at our church or any of our retreats or conferences.
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Angel
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« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2015, 11:33:39 am »

Many warnings in the bible about false teachers:

  Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
  7 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

    "20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
      22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy ...,,,Jude

 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”  Mark :8
     Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)
  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
      Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 A Godly leader is  loving and kind , people that are proud or abusive do not have the holy Spirit .     
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Linda
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« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2015, 02:22:05 pm »

H20 Guy,

Whether or not you like it or are even aware of it, your church has a significant shared history that can be traced to a man named Jim McCotter.

GCM was started by GCC. GCC was started by McCotter, Clark, and Martindale. GCM churches have never distanced themselves from the faulty teaching of McCotter, nor have they distanced themselves from the faulty recent GCC teaching (commitment for life, obedience to elders, etc.

My point: GCM churches changed their name to CCN churches. As far as I can tell these are not new churches, but re-branded old ones. Until the CCN leadership retracts and corrects the faulty teaching, it will be hard to believe CCN churches have changed. It also looks like a deception is going on to remove the name "Great Commission" from the association, while at the same time having many of the same men in leadership.
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xray342
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« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2015, 08:06:34 pm »

H2O Guy,

I'm happy you're going to read Toxic Faith. However, not reading Cults in our Midst and having a basic understanding on how the technical dynamics of cults work isn't wise, especially for a campus minister. There are students involved in all sorts of cults (not just cults of Christianity, but also political cults and cults based in Eastern religions) and all sorts of recruiters on college campuses these days and it's essential that Christian ministers be able to counteract their tactics and reach them for Christ. In addition, it's good to compare and contrast a cultic system verses what God intends for a healthy spiritual community, namely the Church and its localized visible manifestations.

Your reasoning concerning not knowing who Jim McCotter is and that you're separated from his influence is faulty. The shepherding/discipling doctrines and practices tend to embed themselves very deeply in the people who practice them and they don't dissipate easily. (That's why reading and digesting Cults in our Midst will be handy!) If I would ask a Disciples on Campus member or even one of their staff members if they were connected to Kip McKean, they would most likely respond in the same way that you did relative to McCotter. However, McKean's influence over their doctrine and practices of the Disciples on Campus is crystal clear. The passage of time isn't going to prove that the abuses have gone away. Changing the people who are involved isn't going to prove it either. Only by identifying, refuting, and repenting of McCotter's practices can the discipling in H2O be considered to be safe, constructive, healthy, and glorifying to God at all levels. Also note that parents of Disciples on Campus students do the same thing as well when they read things on the Internet about the ICOC **.

Don't you find it funny that "tens of students" leaving the Disciples on Campus join H2O? I know they have a lot of churn in their numbers, but "tens of students" tells me that a significant percentage of people who leave the ICOC join H2O. Do you know of a particular reason or reasons why that is?

** Materials rightly criticizing the ICOC - particularly on the Internet - are called "Spiritual Pornography". But there's nothing pornographic about it, so it's safe to consume. Wink Grin
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Linda
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« Reply #52 on: August 11, 2015, 08:32:06 pm »


From the horses mouth. Here is a link to a GCLI History paper. Their words. Not mine.

http://gcmwarning.com/media/Documents/gc_history.pdf

Quote from: GCLIpaper
The Revival of the Campus Ministry and GCM
During the late 1980’s, there was a tremendous pulling of resources from the campus ministries. In an attempt to maintain a strong campus movement, GCI did a series of “Vision” fund drives (1987- 1989) in order to employ staff members full-time in campus ministry.
Then, in 1989, GCM (under the initial leading of Dave Bovenmyer) was formed primarily to mobilize people into campus ministry by training them to raise financial support and by equipping them for campus ministry. In 1990, GCM (under the leadership of Tom Schroeder, who was later joined by Jeff Kern and Greg Van Nada), took a greater role by revitalizing the entire campus ministry in Great Commission, providing overall visionary leadership, equipping, and coaching to the campus staff
.

Greg Van Nada is the Managing Director of CCN.
Greg Van Nada has been a leader in GCM churches for many years and goes way back in the history of GCC.
GCM churches are now called CCN churches, but were started by GCC.
Same churches.
Same leader.
No distancing from the past history in words or actions.
Oh what a tangled web we weave...

http://collegiatechurchnetwork.com/who-we-are/leadership-team-and-affiliates/
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Linda
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« Reply #53 on: August 11, 2015, 08:40:50 pm »

And then there is this from a GCM newsletter from 2008.

Quote from:
GCM began in 1989 with a vision to mobilize Christians into full-time campus ministry. Our focus is churches for the next generation. Our roots are in a church planting movement called Great Commission Association (GCA), which began in 1970. GCA is a fellowship of churches and ministries. Each church in the association is self-governing but accountable to GCA on doctrine, ministry, and ethics.
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newcreature
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« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2016, 09:01:45 pm »

Yes, the Collegiate church network is a thing. And, there has been a formal distancing... on http://www.gcmweb.org/who/OthersSay/Questions.aspx it says "The Collegiate Church Network shares a common history with Great Commission Churches, but today is governed separately." Which is accurate.
You might want to reconsider your assumption that "there has been a formal distancing." You also might want to click on your own link again to see the chameleon nature of the organization. Now they are calling themselves "Reliant," and guess who is on the board of directors? None other than David Bovenmyer, Greg Van Nada, Joe Dunn, and James Kaufman, whose "roots with the ministry run very deep." So it appears that at least half of the board go way back with GCx, and a quarter of the board helped propagate GCx from its earliest years.
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