Grace to Who did a good job showing the intro material that is given on the Restoration Process as well as how it is once you are a part of this sham. The interesting thing about the scriptures they use is that they are always somehow taken out of context from the passages they are part of. For instance, Matthew 18:15-20 does nothing to explain the context around which this passage is taken, what do verses 1-14 pertain to, or other passages in Matthew around this chapter for that matter?
It has already been shown in this thread how the Restoration Process ties in with Nouthetic Counseling, which IMHO much of which is inspired by Scientology's doctrines of "Ethics" and "Sec-Checking." A quick research of both pro and anti CofS sites will show what I'm talking about.
I realize that this is not a theology site, so interpreting Scriptures is not in the scope of this forum. So, rather than tell what I think these passages mean, I would like to show what I think they DO NOT mean and how this cult should not be using these passages to justify the way they treat people:
Here's the John MacArthurian "definition" of
Restoration is the process of identifying sin in the life of a believer, helping them to see it, and mending the broken relationship between the person in sin and God. Restoration may also include mending broken relationships between people caused by sin. All believers in Christ are in the process of God making them holy (Romans 8:23–25). This means that all believers are still struggling against sin. The question is not will sin be present on our campus, the question is what will we do about it.
God has given us clear instruction on how to deal with sin in the lives of fellow believers. We desire students to live genuine lives of faith.
In MacA's definition of Restoration we are automatically given an assumption that Christians are constantly in a "broken relationship" with God that needs constant mending. The follower is told God will not hear their prayers, among other things unless this relationship is constantly mended. Where is the sufficiency of the Atonement of Christ? What did the blood of Christ actually accomplish?
We get an explanation that takes 3 verses from Romans 8 out of context, yet this whole explanation ignores verses 1 and 9 of the same passage. There is now no condemnation
for those that have the Spirit. If he would continue with the next verse, verse 26, it says the Spirit helps our infirmities. Therefore, his counselors are taking the place of the function of the Spirit if we are to believe the Romans passage.
Therefore, we call students to follow God’s plan for restoring believers in sin found in Matthew 18:15–20 and in Galatians 6:1–4.
We already discussed in this thread how they like to misuse Matthew 18. It never says to shun a person if they commit a sin 3 times. In fact, if you don't stop at verse 20 and keep reading, in verse 22 it says forgiveness is unlimited. (70 times 7) Christ then gives the parable of the servants to illustrate this principle. If they would take all of Matthew 18, not just those 5 verses, they would see this contradicts Lordship Salvation sharply.
Then, Galatians is a book they should stay out of. Chapter 3 says Paul wrote it to a church that has adopted "another Gospel," which is defined as a Gospel that teaches works salvation. Chapter 6 follows the discussion of the fruits of the flesh versus the fruits of the spirit, and it tells us in verse 18 we are "no longer under the law." I highly recommend reading all of Galatians, not just 4 verses out of context.
We acknowledge that God is the One who ultimately accomplishes restoration in the heart of an individual through the Holy Spirit. He will use His Word as the tool to show sin (2 Tim 3:16–17, Hebrews 4:12–13).
The 2 Timothy passage says the Scriptures make us wise for good works, nowhere do I see it as a license to put people through the process taught in Lordship Salvation.
Hebrews 4 says repeatedly that believers are to enter into a "rest." Again, read all of the verses of chapter 4, not just the 2 they highlight. This chapter also refutes the Restoration Process sharply.
God also has placed Christians in proximity to one another to be involved in the conversational ministry of His Word. Galatians 6:1–14 explains what a Christian should do if they see sin in another believer. They are to restore the individual in gentleness, being sure to remain sensitive to sin in their own lives.
We believe that every believer should be involved in the process of restoration, both as one being restored and one restoring others.
Well, like I said, start at the beginning of Galatians and read it from "cover-to-cover." Then, tell me if it is still okay to treat people this way that are a part of your church. I think a spirit of "gentleness" is hardly what happens here, as we will see:
BUT THIS is what actually happens in John Macarthur
controlled & influenced churches:
They are called "Breaking Sessions"
Breaking sessions are one of the methods used by
extreme groups as a way of "identity destruction ."
Bombard them with accusations.
The basic scenario is to isolate the person and to start
accusing them of various transgressions.
It may start with small things that is easy for them
to admit and then steadily escalate with admonishments of breaking important values
and even of BEING fundamentally bad and shameful.
This process may well be done by a number of people.
The more people and the higher up in the group they are,
the more effective this method becomes.
Few people can ignore accusations flying at them
from all angles and especially from people they have
grown to love and respect.
Keep going until they crack.
The point of this session is to push them past
a cracking point, similar to when a person has a
nervous breakdown and the session may continue
well past the point where the person is huddled
in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and weeping uncontrollably.
In doing this, the group wears down their sense of identity,
in order to effectively destroy their personality and makes
them flee from who they are. Thus this method is literally
a way of character assassination.
When the person has cracked, the next step is
to approach them with kindness, to show that they are
now forgiven and accepted again. They may be hugged and patted.
This is done by a senior member of the group.
This casts the group back into the kind and loving frame
and offers a lifeline to the broken person, who of course
grasps at this straw. Very gratefully, they now listen to and
accept what this person has to say.
In this way, they are now remade in the shape of a
conforming member of the group who is totally obedient to senior group members.
BREAKING THEM DOWN AND REMAKING THEM IN
THE IMAGE OF THEIR LORD JOHN MAC ARTHUR
They didnt learn this from Christ.
Unfortunately, this is more how it happens at GCC and Masters, and other Lordship organizations. This does a lot to tear down the self-esteem to a person. On top of that, to not allow people to see psychiatrists, claim you can cure mental illnesses (which really don't exist and are sin problems), that sin is at the root of all your life problems, etc. How they can put a positive spin on that in their magazines is beyond me.
I am happy I am not the only one coming forward that has gone through these sessions. However, it is still not enough. We need more people to come forward that have been hurt by this. If enough people come forward, more will come forward without fear. Then, eventually, the abuses will stop.