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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: LearningPoint ()
Date: November 24, 2008 09:33AM

It's a serious thing to call a church a cult. That's why this church is being looked at under the merely "dangerous" heading. People who have seen Turning Point up close and personal have serious concerns, not because they don't like Turning Point, but because while they love the people they've met there, they know there are problems with leadership's philosopies, doctrines, and practices that are not merely superficial nor minor.

I think there are elements of the way Turning Point does things that are cult-ish, and I even think leadership has some self-consciousness about this and does things (like church in the park) to try to dispell or counterbalance these things. I don't think much of this is done in a sinsiter manner (or I hope it's not), but there are overriding undertones of cultishness--of a sort of overt/covert nature--hard to pin down, but very apparent once you've been inside and then stepped back to look objectively again.

The desire to be so different from other bodies of believers, to distinguish themselves as better than the rest of the body of Christ, to be a SUPER spiritual group of people different from the rest smacks of arrogance at best and cult at worst.

So, no, I will not call Turning Point a cult, but I would not recommend any friends of mine attend there because in my heart, I believe there are practices and mindsets that lean that way, and that is dangerous.

A final note to people who are trying to identify who I am: this forum is not about who is who, but about sharing ideas and concerns about experiences we've had. It's nice that you love the people who are posting here; well done. Love's the bottom line, for sure. But we're also instructed in Scripture to watch our life and doctrine closely. This conversation is a forum for doing that. If you feel you need to ID me and you think you know who I am, please send your messages to my personal e-mail; then you'll know for sure...or not.

Also, my posting where I accused Turning Point of not teaching hermeneutics, I was apparently mistaken. Apparently they do teach it in the final year, but I'm unclear as to what curriculum they are using and what material is actually being presented, and why is it taught later rather than sooner? If students are writing biblical papers, why don't they have this first tool to help them do so with care? I still hold the actual practical application of this in question.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: M&M ()
Date: November 25, 2008 10:13PM

I would like to follow up on the concept of hermeneutics and "rightly dividing the word of truth."

Before saying anything I want to acknowledge that no one does these things perfectly. Having been a Christian 34 years I have been blessed and ministered to by many who have mangled texts and yet there hearts have been right and the idea they were addressing was actually true.

There are two relatively big ideas I would like to challenge that have been taught at TP, one is the teaching about receiving a prophets reward by giving him something in the name of a prophet and second the teaching on being "sent vs. went".

But before that I would like to address a common error that is less significant but illustrates how easy it is to have something that is simply untrue become gospel.

Back in the early '80's someone wrote a chorus called "LIFT JESUS HIGHER''. It went like this....

Lift Jesus higher
lift Jesus higher
lift him up to the world to see
He said if I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me.

Several years back Pastor Mike admonished the church on Friday nights and Sunday mornings that if we genuinely praise God people will come to Christ and he quoted this scripture.

This Sunday Cyndi and Mike made a guest appearance and she quoted this scripture. The admonition being to praise God and that will cause non-Christians to be drawn to Jesus.

In one sense there is some truth to this. When I was a non-Christian I went to a Bible study and they sang simple chorus's and I immediately sensed God was there. There are texts like the Psalm that says God inhabits the praises of His people. I was in Mexico this year with a teen mission group and we visited a church where the worship of God was so heart felt and exuberant that I would imagine that anyone attending would be aware of the presence of God.

A guy named Keith Green years ago noted that when he played the EASTER SONG it wasn't uncommon for people to get their eyes focused on God and healings would take place.

So what is the big deal?

Two things: It isn't what Jesus was teaching and it blocks out what He was actually teaching.

The text is found in John 12:32. It says what the song says, unfortunately the song doesn't include verse 33 in which John tells us what Jesus meant. "He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."

Jesus wasn't giving a teaching on how to worship good and why you should worship. He was making perhaps the greatest theological statement in the history of the world. His death on the cross will allow men to be drawn to him. This isn't being petty. It is the weightiest statement of spiritual truth that has been trivialized into something else.

I would argue though that it isn't just that it is factually untrue, or that it blocks the actual intent of Christ. I believe the teaching that worship is a means to an end is false. We don't worship for any other reason then to acknowledge, exalt, and surrender to the king of kings and lord of lords.

I suspect that when worship becomes a means it becomes performance driven. We try to worship harder and rather then being relationally driven it becomes a work.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Date: November 26, 2008 05:33AM

M&M you bring up and example of how things get so twisted a little at a time to where you hardly notice it, but end up miles away from the truth.

on thing I realized is that Cyndi's ministry is worship and it seems that everyone believes thier ministry is the most important ministy there is, so with that bias they read the scriptures and see things pertaining only thiier ministry not even once questioning whether this is the truth or just wishful thinking.

Turningpoint does seem to be focused on two points worship and giving, both which are good things to do but there is so much more the greatest being love humility is right up there too and grace and compassion.

cyndi teaches to worship with excelence but I notice that she seems to be the judge of what excelence is, and I 'm pretty sure God has a way different criteria then cyndi or anyother human being.

I hear so many times it not about performance at turningpoint and then the next sentence out of the speaker is how we should perform, its crazy,

I do not worship becasue some man tells me to I do not tithe becasue some man told me to. I do these thing becase I love God. Show us how to love God and hear His voice. and we'll become worshipers and givers.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: LearningPoint ()
Date: November 26, 2008 01:13PM

Both of the previous posts are such essential messages for those attending TP (or those who have attended there) to grasp. Thank you both for articulating these important distinctions. I hope readers will take time to look over them again and contemplate them carefully in light of their own experiences at TP.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: LearningPoint ()
Date: November 28, 2008 01:29PM

If you haven't done so already, take a look at the SOMA Northwest video (you'll need about 10 minutes):

A few things to look for/at while you're watching.

--How often do people talk about how awesome Jesus is, and how powerful He is to do the work of His kingdom through His children.

--The John Wesley quote Mike uses (he loves this quote; it is painted on the office wall), I believe, is a powerful impetus/personal challenge to Mike. The emphasis is on what surrendered people can get accomplished, how they can change the world. Again, the focus is not on Jesus, but on human holiness and effort to do this kingdom work.

--Note that the evidence of "good fruit" in the instructors' lives is said to be that their families and ministries are prospering (approximately 4 minutes into the video).

--At the 5 minute 10 second mark of the video, you'll hear a testimony about the blessing of being under the covering of an apostle.

--Associate Pastor Jeff Barnes says that students get to see what an Acts church is like--what it's like to plant churches, heal, deliver, change the face of the world. (Note, he doesn't say Jesus is doing these things; the students are.)

--Watch at about the 7 minute 15-20 second point and you'll see Tony Cunningham teaching intensives.

--Just after this glimpse of Tony, you'll catch a rather shocking/surprising articulation of some strains of Kingdom Now theology by Kim Barnes. (Wickipedia: Kingdom Now theology is a strain of Dominion Theology operating as a small minority within the Charismatic movement. The church, under the leadership of "restored" apostles and prophets, must take over the world and put down all opposition to it before Christ can return.)

This video is probably the best representation of the kind of coersion one feels to become a part of things. It's not just about choosing to belong or not belong. It's about how MUCH you belong, how deep into things are you willing to go? Your value as a parishoner is determined by your willingness to participate at a high level. It's not just that you are valued more for participating; the unspoken message is that you are actually more valuable as a person to leadership and to God as you make good/approved decisions, such as attending SOMA, attending special services, getting under a discipler, etc.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: M&M ()
Date: December 02, 2008 02:26PM

Two of my sons mentioned to me that someone from TP told them I was gossiping and slamming TP. This is the challenge of this forum. The man who wrote that is someone I genuinely appreciate and honor. He has been a great example to my sons. I could say more specifically that is positive about him but I can't do it without divulging who he is. Just as important, he is among the genuinely great fruit that has been produced at TP. He and his family have been greatly blessed by God through TP.

At the core of writing here I have had to search my heart and examine my motives.
I wish I were lying. I hope I am deceived.

I write with the elders in mind. Because they will have to give account. But I also think about the man I mentioned above. He and others who have come to Christ through TP will be deeply affected if TP heads down the authoritarian road.

If in Mike and Cyndi's time of sabbatical they rethink the structure they have designed and they place more genuine authority in the elders and then also submit to outside authority the church will be a blessing for years to come. If the elders each take full account of the obligations they have not to please Mike and Cyndi but to be faithful servants of God they will be a great blessing to Mike and Cyndi.

The alternative is sad to contemplate. I remember the first pastor I had who became an apostle in a similar way to Mike. At one point a local radio station did a series of stories on the church. One of the segments involved a man who was a blue collar guy just like me. He spoke to the reporter about the concerns he had about the church and the direction it was going. One of my friends who attended the church with me had to work with him delivering that week. The pastor had him come forward and they we all prayed for protection in his life that he wouldn't get tainted by that man.

Unfortunately the man was right. The church, which had worldwide impact, is now a furniture store. You can see it on highway 2 on the way to Wenatchee. Many who were radically saved then radically renounced their faith.

To that man or anyone, please pm me if you think I have written anything untrue. I will correct myself on this forum. To others, take the Authoritarian church test that TPR posted. I ask you to please read one or more of the books that are out on destructive churches.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: whatajoke ()
Date: December 03, 2008 05:03AM

In my experiences at RLC, the younger generation is really vulverable to the false teachings of Tony and from reading on here from Mike. Tony and Mike both teach their version of the gospel including what their own definition of gossip and slander is. We have covered these subjects extensively on the Radiant Life threads and I suggest that anyone who thinks this go to those posts and research what gossip and slander really is. Also, read all the scriptures regarding false teachers, measuring the word of man, and false apostles.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: whatajoke ()
Date: December 03, 2008 05:05AM

And let me add...........would the people that are coming here to read the posts be considered "busybodies"? Or would they be considered seekers of the truth? Or would they be judgemental? we can go on and on.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Date: December 03, 2008 05:52AM

On the matter of gossip and slander I believe slander would probably be lieing about someone or makeing something up about them. would you say john the baptist slandered herod because he called him a sinner for marrying his brothers wife. Or maybe Jesus since he didn't say nice things about the pharisies both were deffinatly devisive they drew people away from the religious practices of the spiritual leaders, they didn't submit to authorities except for maybe the true authority our heavenly father and thiers.

My problem is I just cant see where lieing about something either by comission or omission is the godly thing to do not even in the name of protecting someones reputation. a reputation should protect itself with right actions and honesty about wrong actions not covering them up, My bible says God hates liars period. He forgives the honest confession, and you know what ,so do we.

anyone who thinks the things written here are slander are just ignorant of the truth, I wish this wasn't so M M I know what you mean when you say you wished you were wrong you hoped you were decived , its a burden to know the truth about a matter and very painful.

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Re: Turning Point Church World Outreach Center-Tell Your Story
Posted by: Forgiveness_101 ()
Date: December 03, 2008 05:46PM

Well M&M i dont think you are slandering or gossiping at all. Most (although not all) defintions have to do with the word being "false" although on the same point if someone shares something deep with me and i devulge that here cause i am hurt, misguided or otherwise. Then thats another point.

This is a very good point since i believe that people have gossiped on this site, but along with that there is no condemnation and personaly, i just hope they find the forgiveness with Christ.

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