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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: bjw ()
Date: June 02, 2013 11:38AM

Since I am still on their mailing list, I received a copy of the cult's alumni magazine, The Master's Current, this week. I was shocked at all the expansion they are doing and how much they are growing, and I think it shows the urgency of the need to let people know what they really stand for so they can be 'informed consumers.'

A few things in the magazine bothered me. One was an alumni who said the best part of his experience at the college was the Restoration Process. It mentioned how he enjoyed watching God restoring people that he confronted and that how other "brothers" were able to confront him when he was struggling with sin so he could be restored to fellowship. The way it is worded you would have thought this guy would have been into drugs, alcohol, witchcraft, etc. This guy was actually a student body president and wow staffer and probably did very little during his time there that warranted so much confrontation. It was common for people to nit-pick you on every little thing (more entertainment than serving the church, etc.).

The Restoration Process is the most annoying thing about this cult IMHO. The way they can spin it into something positive amazes me. The fact that it isn't even mentioned in the intro material on the GCC website (see earlier in this thread) shows what I mean.

Throughout the magazine there was mention of students and alumni going to other churches to spread the word about GCC/Masters. Some were non-Lordship churches, some weren't. One of their faculty spoke at a Dutch Reformed Church. I have my own problems with this denomination, but that's not in the scope of this thread. They consider their choral groups as spreading the word about their message, and sent them on tour. Like I said, people need to know what they really stand for.

Also in the magazine, one of the faculty from IBEX (the Jerusalem campus of Masters) has released a Bible commentary with online arieal views like Google Earth. Surprisingly they included a plug from a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary for it, not telling people that Masters constantly puts down DTS to their students, faculty, and church members. (at least they did when I was there)

They have recently remodeled the cafeterial to match the California Arts & Crafts Style to match MacArthur's museum just 2 buildings over. It now seems twice the size as it was. I remember they cleared the cafeteria at the end of dinner time one night so the wow staffers could have a meeting in there, which they normally never did. One wow staffer got physically violent with me, picked me up and grabbed me by my t-shirt, and shoved me out the door without allowing me to eat. I guess now they won't need to do that since there will be plenty of room for their meetings.

If you haven't been following this thread I highly recommend you go back to the beginning and read the whole thing. Also, do research and learn both sides of the Lordship Salvation debacle. Look, I have no problem if they want to teach this crap, just be honest and let people know what they are getting into beforehand. It is a free country and I believe people should be able to believe whatever they want. However, it is not okay to deceive people, take money under false pretenses, make people deny medical treatment, attack others to appear better than they are, rewrite the 4 Gospels and publish a Bible that tells you what to believe on each page, breakup families and make people shun each other, get angry and violent at people for not accepting your beliefs, retaliating against people for wanting to leave your group, etc. These things are just morally wrong!

People need to know what these people really stand for before getting into something that is too hard to get out of. If you are in now and are having doubts, leave! Call family or parents for help. Ask for any money back you have paid no matter if deadlines have passed. Do not let them scare you by saying you will go to hell, are not saved, you will be sued, etc. They do not want the truth to get out. He built a museum to himself and rewrote the 4 Gospels into one gospel. What kind of person would do this?

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: gracetowho? ()
Date: June 02, 2013 01:01PM

Here's the John MacArthurian "definition" of

"Restoration"

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. 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 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). 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.

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.

Remake them

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.

gtw?

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: gracetowho? ()
Date: June 02, 2013 01:09PM

Compare these definitions of unsafe groups:

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.[/b:c2d5340e0b]

Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. That is specifically, no democratically elected government by the general membership through boards and officers as established by bylaws that can discipline and/or dismiss the pastor.

No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

The group/leader is always right.

The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader[/b:c2d5340e0b].

Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".

Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.

A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

Ten signs of a safe group/leader.[/b:c2d5340e0b]

A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.

A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.

A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.

A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.

A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.

A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.

A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.

A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.

A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.

A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: bjw ()
Date: June 03, 2013 09:52AM

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:

Quote
gracetowho?
Here's the John MacArthurian "definition" of

"Restoration"

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.
Quote

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.


Quote

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.
Quote

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:
Quote

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.

Remake them

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.

gtw?
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.

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: gracetowho? ()
Date: June 03, 2013 01:28PM

I would like to examine this quote from the John MacArthur
Restoration definition.....

"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 WE WILL DO about it. ( emphasis mine)

By John MacArthur's own admission,
there can never be what he calls
"restoration"

Because according to him,
you are constantly "struggling" against sin.

This clearly defines the duplicite nature
Of John MacArthur's theology,
because you cannot be experiencing
assurance of salvation
If you are still sinning,
but you shall forever be Struggling with sin.

Yikes!
John MacArthur is a theological horror story!

If the Son sets you Free, you are Free indeed!
Stop putting yourselves under his yoke of bondage!

Are you saved by Grace through Faith as a gift
Of God?
Or of Works?
If you think your works can save you
Than you must keep the whole law!

If you are under the Law than you are under the Curse.
Galatians 1

John MacArthur preaches an "another gospel" which
Puts people under a curse.

Paul the Apostal said "let him be accursed who preaches
Another gospel."
Yes that includes John MacArthur.

Jesus said you can hang the whole law on Loving God
with all your being
and loving your neighbor as yourself.

Has anyone here ever wondered why Christian Love is missing
at your church??????

Grace to Who?

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: Lass o' the Glen ()
Date: June 07, 2013 06:17AM

bjw & gtw? --

Kudos to you both for your clarity and courage. If people would only stop and compare JM's teachings against the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD they'd see that JM's teachings do not line up with it. GCC/TMS/TMC seem humanistic in their elevating the doctrines and disciplines of men above the salvic work of Christ on the cross and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It's beginning to look as though JM and his institutions deny the Trinity in their beliefs and practices.

While I'm not currently at liberty to contribute significantly to the discussion here or to the development of any "GCC Survivors" website that may launch in the future, please know that everyone here is in my thoughts and prayers and I'm cheering you on from the sidelines.

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: teacher ()
Date: June 07, 2013 08:23PM

My great hitchback is that I am working alone on the web creation. I am doing all the translation work and although I have got a proofreader he is not "with" me 100% - what I mean is that he is a good friend of my family and a good good christian guy, but people seem to think I'm making things up!! They also seem to think I want to vindicate my family which is totally untrue. If I had wanted that I would have done other things. My Facebook page was hacked again couple of weeks ago from Rome. This is the third time: they basically read my private mail to see what I am doing. In one way it makes me smile coz I haven't done basically anything...yet...and this just emphasizes the fact that these people are not good. I am sure there are good ones amongst the flock and I am sorry they are tied up in this sect, but I am sad that I am pioneering this alone in my country and have basically no support: people are scared. Of what is a mystery! I need some testimonies. You will remain anonymous but I would like to produce material that shows that I didn't wake up one morning and make all this up. I am no survivor nor victim: I am basically the only one in Italy who will speak. And I am feeling alone. However I'm not here to moan - I just wanted to remind you all that I am still working ;)

Peace to all


Teacher

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Godspeed and fight on Teacher!
Posted by: Mark Scheiderer ()
Date: June 08, 2013 05:46AM

Teacher -

For what it's worth: I am the only one who has ever left the headquarters of a small Charismatic/Pentecostal CULT (by the name of End Time Handmaidens and Servants - see my report at [www.eth-s.com] ) who has written about it. I've been told for years ( by people who are still in the cult AND people who left the cult ) to shut up, that I'm bitter, too let God handle it, etc. I IGNORE THEM ALL BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND KEEP ON EXPOSING IT!!

I started exposing it in Feb./Mar.,1992 and the leader finally died on Jan. 13, this year! Now, based on what I see with regard to YouTube views, hardly anyone is watching this cult's videos on the net, while, conversely, hits on my site have increased by 10 times in the last month alone! I think people have lost the fear of "reading a report of someone who is bitter" ( as they had been told for years by the (now dead) leader) and are getting the TRUTH for themselves to judge.

NEVER SHUT UP! NEVER!!

God bless you, and may He put you in touch with like minded people who realize just how UN-Christian MacArthurism is.

Mark

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Re: Godspeed and fight on Teacher!
Posted by: teacher ()
Date: July 02, 2013 03:56PM

Still standing :)
Still physically alone :)
But I will not stop - I am morally compelled to act as a christian, daughter, citizen of the earth!
Thanks for all your support Mark and to all of you who are helping me :)


Teacher

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Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: bjw ()
Date: August 02, 2013 07:51AM

I got a a package in the mail from the cult, as I am still on their mailing list. This time, it has an attractive folder with the museum on the front (the college's Rutherford Hall converted into the "Legacy Room and Welcome Center" as discussed earlier in the thread). The package on the inside contains a letter from MacArthur, a pictorial with 3 alumni on it, and a CD with a sermon from MacArthur ironically called "Love Your Enemies."

The letter is a form letter calling me by name and telling the story of the 3 alumni shown on the package. The first one is named Scott, and he is now the president of Sterling College in Kansas, which is now going to be using the same pattern as tmc. What I can imagine this will mean is it will be ran using MacA's usual principles (psychiatry is evil, restoration process, wow staff, etc.) I'm not too familiar with Sterling College, but I can imagine that once the strictness of MacA's philosophies are incorporated they will be losing some students.

The other two were success stories with the usual marketing dressing. Too bad people don't have a way to know the hundreds of destroyed lives, ruined families, and dropouts from this college.

What bothered me the most about this letter is the ending, where it says that the financial contributions of the donors enable students to continue their schooling who otherwise couldn't afford it. When I was there it was $20,000 per year plus expenses to attend this college. You had to sign a contract for a financial aid package where you would borrow money from numerous lenders, mostly banks that you had to agree to pay back over time on a deferrment basis, meaning they don't start collections until graduation. They had in-house financial aid but it was on a very limited basis and to my knowledge had to all be paid back, with interest. It was normal for some hardcore believers in MacArthur to have to leave the college in tears prior to spring semester because they couldn't get financial aid to be able to stay.

The letter asks you to donate at the bottom, by setting up a monthly charge on your credit card, and also has a blank to set up a place in your will to leave money to the ministry when you die. In exchange you get a copy of the book "The Glory of Heaven," which MacA wrote to refute near-death experiences by coming up with biblical contradictions, as well as descriptions of heaven from the Bible.

My question is, where do these donations go? These so-called tuition grants, even if they are being given, are simply taking money from one pocket and depositing it in the other. I know I never saw them. I wound up having to get my folks to get me out of hock from these people. They threatened me with collections within weeks of me leaving the cult. If the members are paying, then why charge tuition?

Like I said before, if you're not familiar with the Lordship Salvation issue, I highly advise you go back and read this whole thread from the beginning. Learn both sides before giving them any money.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2013 08:08AM by bjw.

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