* "Orientations" which are "Revealed" by "God" through a centralized global "Presbytery"/"Hierarchy"
- In Maranatha, there is a top-down chain of command, from God through a centralized hierarchy situated in Vila Vehla, ES, Brazil. From there come "orientations" (instructions that God revealed) on just about anything under the sun (messages to preach, announcements, flower arrangements details, prayer chains, dress code, final say on who gets "raised" to the "ministry", etc). These are typically required for ALL of the LOCAL groups in the world to follow. There is no true autonomy for local groups
- and to do so will very likely land the local pastor in a trouble. This in general is potentially very dangerous, as it lends itself to legalism and Spiritual abuse (e.g. it did not prevent the major scandal, nor the reported mistreatment of former members and pastors, etc). Many online in Orkut communities, blogs and others have reported discouraging reports about this. As for a centralized leadership, there was no such heirarchy in the New Testament. Meetings like in Acts 15, were the exception and not the rule, since no such setup of micro-managing was practically possible (nor needed) back then. Authoritarianism
has been widely reported as well, and evidenced by the lack of freedom in expressing doubts, questions and concerns
. Again, this lends itself to legalism, errors and abuses going unquestioned (e.g. - because the members are led to believe that EVERYTHING is done by revelation). I speak from experience here and have talked to numerous former pastors about this here and abroad.
* Here are some things to search on Orkut, blogs and internet to get a flavour of what many are reporting
. The Orkut communities contain the least edifying discussion, while one website by a former pastor contains many correspondences of former members, which are handled in a more fair and balanced matter. Ultimately, you should have your own experience with God about these things, and not rely on other people for this. This is however useful to know in general as a smoke test (because where there is smoke, quite often there is also fire). The Orkut groups and blogs contain links to articles in the media and are updated frequently. Again, I am not a harsh critic of the organization, and do not necessarily endorse everything written there. Solon's letters is probably more edifying to read:
** Orkut Group: Igreja Cristã Maranata (Maranatha Christian Church)
** Orkut Group: Já fui um Maranata (I Was In Maranatha)
** Cavalerio Veloz (Swift Knight) Blog
** Solon (Website - Safer and more edifying)
] (Letters) and [www.celeiros.com.br
] (Testimonies - including excerpts from a book that give a less romantic version of the organizations origins)
You can also research controversy and scandals about the group in the media in Brazil (Vitoria, ES, Brazil)
by searching for "Maranata" on:
Please note: The above mentioned links are in Portuguese - but you can use
] to paste in the link (or text) to see it in English
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2012 02:58AM by moosewhynot.