Morning Star Testimonial Church
Date: September 15, 2003 08:29AM
I have kept my name unlisted in the posting of this message for my own safety and privacy. My intent is not to slam or tear apart the Morning Star International Church, but I feel that is my job to write about my own personal experiences with them for future reference to anyone even thinking of attending their services.
It all started about 3 1/2 years ago in the early months of 2000. I was a service member serving onboard a U.S. Naval warship. One of My long time Navy Buddies if you will, was getting pulled away from his social life and drawn into an unknown local church at the time (take a guess who.) Being the young gullable person that I was, I didn't see the harm at that time in attending church on Sundays (and in all honesty, attending the right church isn't a bad thing.) Although the thing that bothers me still to this day was that once I had attended their services a few times, I had experienced what I would call in my opinion "harassment" from the senior members and on down. It was like its own form of military structure in a way. It all starts with "Gods has big dreams for you" and then it becomes "give 10% before taxes", working its way down the chain of command. If I was to stay clear of the church "Oh say hang out on my base" where I felt I couldn't be bother by the pastors or long time members, they would then use my long time service buddy to find me and ask about why I wasn't attending their services on Sundays, and tell me that I was an "ungodly" person not answering the calling of God by not attending (Tithing was one of their big emphasis, I wonder why.) To say the least I was uncomfortable with this situation that I was in. After two years of "putting up with it" if you will, I was finally able to get a transfer to a new location. However, that didin't matter since one of the military members from the church coeincidentally got transferred to the same location. I hated it, I felt like my own sense of identity was about destroyed at that point. I felt like a branded cow who took heat for their glory. Sometimes, the things that I would do that were "even remotely bad" were used against me by other members who had really big ears, it was almost like they were waiting for me to mess up to gain leverage on me. The really screwed up thing was that I would be accused of doing bad things that I really wasn't doing by some of the members attending (why do you think that is?) Why should a person feel threatened to the point that they need to move in order to avoid such a group? The other thing is that the people would littorally have the gal to tell me what I should do with my time as well as my earnings. I guess that being a military member made me an easy target, they knew when I got paid, they analyzed my work schedule, they paid attention to who I was around, collected intel from my buddy. They knew when my earnings were going into my bank account and not in their collection baskets, and that angered them.
The thing that really disturbs me is when I recently read about the roots of Morning Star International being traced back to Maranantha Minitries (a group know for its cult-like tactics i.e. recruiting methods, mind control, and the ever famous having people get down on their knees bit.) That sounded very familiar. Let me also testify that the senior party was very defensive and threatened when ever they were questioned about what they stood for. Their anger would show when any member would even hint that they were going to attend another church (hmmmm.) For the record it basically boiled down to if you weren't living the life that they wanted you to have, then you weren't living the life that God had meant for you. But then again, what do I know? "It's all strictly Jesus!" Right.....
My advice "TRESSPASSERS BE WARNED! STAY AWAY!"