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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 16, 2004 06:33PM


In the early 80's, there were 3 significant events in Maranatha.

1) In 1980, at a Maranatha board meeting, there was a prophecy, "Put out your baskets." In other words, have workers on campuses all over the country in preparation for a great harvest. Several chapters that had not grown numerically, and that consisted largely of members who were considered stagnant, were closed. The people in these chapters were sent to new or fairly new chapters to provide logistical and financial support, and to create at least the appearance of a full fledged church. It was disastrous on almost all counts. Most of the support people moved back. Meanwhile, many grossly unprepared people were put into the ministry and sent to launch new chapters. Most with little or no training, experience, or proven stability. Many had young and growing families. Many were simply seduced by board, ie, the allure of ministry and leadership, the recognition of an alleged or authentic gift or calling, and of getting in on what God is doing. The anticipated harvest didn't come. They struggled financially because their churches did not have the financial base to support them; either because it was largely students, who usually do not have income outside of educational support from their parents or part time subsistence jobs; or because the church was simply not large enough. They quickly became disillusioned. This is when Bob Weiner developed a reputation for harassing and retaliating against former board members.

2) In 1981, Rose Weiner began to take control of the organization by launching the Forerunner, by introducing Dominion Theology, and by cultivating her reputation as a prophetess.

3) In 1982, Bob Wiener sought endorsement from cult watchers. Maranatha had been accused of being a cult for years. But perhaps drastic measures were not necessary until they went national, ie, the turning point prophesy about baskets. After the cult watchers refused to endorse the organization, Rose Weiner and Walter Walker circulated a word that a spirit of deception was at work during the Santa Barbara meeting. Who called who is not certain. It's possible that they had some type of chemistry and she called him. But probably he called her because of her reputation for discernment. If she had decided to initiate something, she probably would have gone through her husband, as she had always done. One has to wonder, therefore, why a board member would call the founder's wife, who did not have a position on the board, to submit discernment. If she called him, one has to wonder why she did not go through her husband, the founder and leader of the organization. Weiner claimed he knew nothing about it. He almost certainly did, since very little escaped his attention, and surely nothing that significant.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 16, 2004 07:00PM


When the NFL, The Chicago Tribune, and The Jacksonville Times-Union investigated Champions for Christ, they didn't know they were investigating Maranatha Campus Ministries.

Nor did Don Beck know this when he investigated Champions for Christ.

When The Chicago Tribune interviewed Champions for Christ staffer Brad Butts, they didn't know they were talking to a former Maranatha Campus Ministries evangelist and longtime associate of Greg Ball.

The Austin American-Statesman article was basically a combination of information from other sources. In other words, even though Greg Ball and Champions for Christ are both based in Austin, the Statesman did not do their own investigation.

When Current biography did a profile on Darrell Green, they didn't mention that he is on the board of Champions for Christ, that he became a close associate of Greg Ball when he was in Maranatha Campus Ministries, that Darrell Green's pastor, Brett Fuller, was on the board of Maranatha Campus Ministries and is now on the board of Morning Star International [as of May, 2004, Greg Ball is not with Morning Star International, that Darrell Green got hot during the Enis controversy, was quoted in Sports Illustrated as vehemently condemning the NFL investigation, and finally called the NFL. Not one paragraph in the Current Biography connecting Darrell Green to Greg Ball or Maranatha Campus Ministries.

When Sports Illustrated profiled David Robinson and mentioned Greg Ball as converting him, they simply referred to him as "locker room evangelist Greg Ball."

When Reader's Digest profiled Robinson, they mentioned that Greg Ball converted him, but did not give Greg Ball's name. Probably they knew the score but didn't want to spoil their article by creating another controversy.

When the Jacksonville Times-Union followed up on their Champions for Christ investigation by sending a reporter to visit Ball's church, they mentioned that his church is part of the Morning Star International network, but they didn't mention that Morning Star International is a regrouping of Maranatha Campus Ministries leaders, or that Greg Ball and Rice Broocks were major members of the Maranatha Campus Ministries board.

When Newsweek quoted Greg Ball as saying "Love to see 'em, love to meet 'em. But I think the last thing the NFL wants to do is go investigating ministries - and especially one that is this clean," they didn't know they were getting a classic damage control statement from a seasoned cultist.

Christianity Today's March 1990 coverage of the Maranatha breakup did not include (the old) Cult Awareness Network or the American Family Foundation. Nor did they mention front page articles in the Wall Street Journal or the Chronicle of Higher Education. They failed to question whether there was any connection between the Chronicle of Higher Education article and Maranatha Campus Ministries' breakup, both occurring the same month.

Neither Christianity Today nor Charisma revealed during the Champions for Christ controversy that Greg Ball had faced the cult accusation before.

The Wall Street Journal was the only major national media outlet that did not cover the Champions for Christ controversy. Ironically, the Wall Street Journal put Maranatha Campus Ministries on it's front page.

One has to wonder when the press is going to discover that Maranatha Campus Ministries, Morning Star International, and Champions for Christ are all part of the same many headed beast.

In November 2002, Charisma did a cover story on Champions for Christ, but only mentioned the Maranatha Campus Ministries roots of Greg Ball and Rice Broocks . Now why might Charisma avoid investigating Greg Ball and Rice Broocks? Turns out that Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma, was the founding editor of The Forerunner. But sources who know Lee Grady say he has renounced cult practices, but can't do anything because the publisher has ties with Peter Wagner, Rice Broocks' current spiritual father.

More to come.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 16, 2004 08:22PM


"Does anyone have a copy of the passage in Rice Broocks’ book that talks about his time in Maranatha Campus Ministries?" "I have the book--it's in Every Nation in Our Generation. I'll scan it in and send it to you. He tries to come off as being really candid and transparent but it's a total snow job."

Bob Weiner's open letter comes off as a snow job too. And I expect the same from Greg Ball. These people have been in the ministry for decades. They have large organizations. They have influenced many people. They control large amounts of money. They network extensively. They have cultivated thre relationships and endorsements of famous, influential, and wealthy people. They enjoy power, prominence, prestige, and financial comfort. They have indulged in severe wickedness and flagrant, obscene idolatry. They have been in major, longstanding deception. They have been confronted many times. They have viciously attacked, and cleverly and ruthlessly outmaneuvered, anyone who gets in their way, even to the point of tragically betraying their closest friends. Meanwhile, they have repeatedly hyped their outfits as being the most impressive thing the church has seen the first century - God’s mighty army, the insightful and the prophetic, the bold and the dynamic, the cutting edge of what God is doing in the Earth. They have portrayed anyone who doesn’t line up with this version as an instrument of the devil. They have rejected the authority of the scripture and disgraced the ministry, while at the same time portraying themselves as being the Lord's anointed and having the Lord's favor, as well as pronouncing the wrath of God on others. They yell all these things. Then they want to whisper, "I was wrong." I'm not buying it.

Bob Weiner was confronted many times in many capacities many people from every corner . They didn't know the whole story, but Bob Weiner knew the whole story. He told all these people, "There's nothing wrong. The devil is using you. That's why you’re criticizing me." When he makes an announcement and says, "They were right, and I knew they were right, but I hid the truth from them, and I made false accusations against them," then the truth has truly been revealed. He destroyed many lives. There was a lot of politics and intrigue on the board of Maranatha Campus Ministries. His wife often ran Maranatha Campus Ministries through him. And many other problems. He has never admitted any of this. All he has ever said publicly is things like, "I had a tendency to control." When he acknowledges what really happened behind closed doors in Maranatha Campus Ministries, then you take his repentance seriously.

During the entire controversy over Champions for Christ, while the national media was printing many articles, Greg Ball pretended he had never heard the word cult. But he heard the word cult many times before the Champions for Christ controversy. He heard it many times during his Maranatha Campus Ministry days. He also has many other problems. When he holds a press conference and acknowledges that he was a major board member of Maranatha Campus Ministries, and that he used severe cult practices, then you can believe he's serious. If he's out of Morning Star International, he needs to do what Tom did and say, "I realized what was happening and I tried to confront the leadership, so they kicked me out."

A similar problem with people like Charles Simpson, who was the biggest leader of the shepherding movement. He has never repented. Bob Mumford, however, who was also a major player in the shepherding movement, and who was closely associated with Charles Simpson, publicly renounced the shepherding movement and told people, "Return to a Christ centered life."

They corrupt, seduce, exploit, deceive, manipulate, defraud, betray, recriminate, oppress, damage, and destroy. Then they want to make that part of the story a footnote in the history books? There are responsibilities for people in these situations. A press conference, with every major member of the Christian and secular media invited. Followed by a letter to every city and campus newspaper of every place they have ever ministered. That would be more like it.

Sound extreme? Mannassah filled Jerusalem with innocent blood and worshiped pagan God’s in the most obscene, flagrant manner. God sent him to Babylon. In captivity, he greatly humbled himself. God sent him back to Jerusalem. He vindicated himself by throwing the idols over the city wall. Do these men want to vindicate themselves? Never mind mumbling about mistakes. Throw their idols over the wall in broad daylight for all to see.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 16, 2004 08:37PM


That ad hoc committee you served on came closer to dealing with Bob Weiner than anyone ever came, but he did the same number on you that he did on many other people: He had heard it all before, and he had no intention of changing anything. Within a year after Maranatha started, there was a write up in the local paper accusing them of being a cult. Now former Maranatha board members, namely Rice Broocks and Phil Bonasso, are doing the same thing. These people have an insatiable appetite for teaching. For many years, they have been the first to hear the latest teaching. They have been around for a long time, they are well versed, they have had the issues rehearsed for them many times. Of all groups of people, they know the score, and of all groups of people, they have no excuse.

Unless these people renounce the entire routine, unless they acknowledge that they are in longstanding, major wickedness, deception, and rebellion, acknowledge their severely depraved condition, acknowledge that they have known and vigorously resisted the truth for a long time, renounce the rhetoric about themselves, renounce the practice of attacking their critics, acknowledge their cult-like tactics and bankrupt value system, drop out of the ministry, come under competent pastoral care, undergo extensive deliverance, and demonstrate that they have their priorities in order and can display integrity in any given situation, neither you nor any other cult watcher need be fooled again.

BTW: He agrees with this assessment.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 16, 2004 09:02PM

Sometimes the best way to expose the truth about someone is to let them talk about themselves:

HISTORY OF MARANATHA - From the Post-Maranatha Website

Maranatha was a cutting-edge, charismatic campus ministry founded by Bob and Rose Weiner in 1973, which grew phenomenally in the late 1970s and 1980s. The churches planted around the world by Maranatha are having a lasting impact even today.

A youth-focused, revival-birthed move of God, Maranatha was a bright and shining light during this period planting over 100 campus and youth-related fellowships and churches throughout the world and preaching of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His Dominion in the earth. Maranatha's vision was to plant a New Testament Church on every major university campus in the world.

Maranatha Ministries disbanded in 1989 for the purpose of decentralization and diversification of ministry through local churches. Today, roughly one-half of the original 500-plus staff members of Maranatha remain in some type of evangelistic or youth-oriented ministry in a full-time capacity.

HISTORY OF MARANATHA - by Maranatha Indonesia

Maranatha was a cutting-edge, charismatic campus ministry founded by Bob and Rose Weiner in 1973, from a significant revival that had occurred in Paducah, Kentucky primarily among high school students in the early ?0’s. As the need for pastoral care for those who were being saved became apparent, Bob Weiner and his wife Rose established a church in Paducah and named it Maranatha, which means "Come Lord Jesus!" As these converts began to attend colleges in the surrounding region, the vision was birthed to plant other works, and soon there were other Maranatha Churches in nearby cities reaching out to university students with the gospel.

A youth-focused, revival-birthed move of God, Maranatha was a bright and shining light during a period when many campus ministries were afraid of confrontational evangelism and the preaching of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His dominion in the earth. Maranatha, as Gary North wrote in his book Backward, Christian Soldiers? "Are forthrightly proclaiming the crown rights of ‘King Jesus?over every area of life. Students associated with Maranatha are bold in challenging humanism on the campus. They see that God calls His people to exercise dominion (Gen. 1:28), in time and on earth, as His representatives and ambassadors."

Maranatha’s vision was to plant a New Testament Church on every major university campus in the world. Maranatha grew quickly and by 1988 there were Maranatha Churches across the U.S. and in several foreign countries (18 nations). The churches planted around the world by Maranatha are having a lasting impact even today.

In 1986 Bob Weiner laid the foundation for the church in Indonesia, then kept up by Eric Dooley (now he is ministering at New Life Christian Church, Vietnam). Despite much opposition, the church at Jakarta grew and in 1988 got legal acknowledgments from the government as Gereja Persekutuan Maranatha Indonesia (GPMI). GPMI also joined Pesekutuan Injili Indonesia (PII-Evangelical Fellowship of Indonesia).

Maranatha Ministries disbanded in 1989 for the purpose of decentralization and diversification of ministry through local churches. At the same time, there were events that changed the world order, such as the fall of Berlin’s wall, Perestroika and Glasnost.

God had given warnings on the spiritual condition of Maranatha Christian Church’s leadership for days before. Since Maranatha World Leadership Conference 1987, Lord had sent His prophets to point out the steps of growth necessary for this church. As the decentralization took place and the church went into transition period, however, evil spirits came in and destroyed the unity of the church, resulting in the forming of three groups. First, those who opposed Bob and resisted him as the leader of the church. They formed independent organization, such as MorningStar Ministries International. Second, those who did stand by Bob Weiner and received him as a leader. Then, there were those who chose to go their own way.
These things had an impact to the churches in Indonesia, of course. Some were still supportive of Bob Weiner, but most of them joined the MorningStar, and formed Gereja Anak Panah (GAP-Church of Arrow) later. We believe, however, after going through what we saw as a desert, we will someday go hand in hand and be united again.

HISTORY OF THE FORERUNNER - From the Media House website

When The Forerunner began in 1981, God directed a few individuals to start a publication which would reach the young people of this generation with the message of Truth. The method was calculated: to boldly penetrate the minds and hearts of students with biblical truth by invading the most strategic strongholds of atheistic humanism - the university campuses of America. The Forerunner was a lonely voice in a vast wilderness of student apathy and pessimism during those first few months, but the news of a growing conservative movement began to flourish by late 1982. By 1983, thirty-five conservative newspapers had been started on major secular campuses.

The number more than doubled by 1985. Even at the U.C. Berkeley campus, which has long carried the reputation of being the most liberal of academic institutions in the U.S., students were following that trend: One survey proved that twice as many Berkeley students considered themselves conservative as did those in 1971. Today there are hundreds of conservative and Christian newspapers on otherwise liberal university campuses!

All during this time, The Forerunner was addressing issues which were at the center of campus debate. We presented biblical alternatives to Marxism, feminism and welfare statism. We challenged the student audience to re-evaluate the propaganda and liberal bias that they are continuously subjected to in the classroom. We were determined to bring American students face to face with the realities of the Word of God as it applies to modern life and controversial social issues.

This newspaper has gone out like seed on what was originally dry and rocky soil. But over the past fifteen years God has obviously been watering and plowing the ground to make it fertile for a spiritual harvest. The spiritual climate of America's youth is obviously changing: the stolid pessimism of the past is being replaced by a reawakening to traditional values, to patriotism, and to morality.

But we cannot stop here! The war of ideas on the American campus is far from being over. So we encourage you to make use of these articles from The Forerunner!

HISTORY OF MORNING STAR - From the Morning Star website

In January 1981, a young campus evangelist, Rice Broocks, traveled to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to help birth a campus outreach program. It was there his life crossed paths with Phil Bonasso, the local campus director, who had arrived several months earlier to prepare the evangelistic program.

A unique working partnership was formed by the Holy Spirit, and a lifelong covenant friendship was started. Working together in youth ministry, their vision and purpose was clear: win and train future leaders on university campuses in order to change the world for Jesus Christ. An apostolic center was formed in Los Angeles that would later launch many men and women into the full-time ministry.

In the summer of 1984, under God's inspiration, Rice Broocks led a mission team to the University Belt in Manila to start a new campus church program in the nation of the Philippines. Teaming with Steve Murrell, a campus minister from Starkville, Mississippi, a marked move of God took place among the youth. An apostolic mission center was formed there that would begin to touch the nations of Asia.

Over the next ten years, maintaining their emphasis on young people, both works blossomed into church planting and leadership training centers aimed at touching whole cities and nations. Over the next decade, the three leaders remained friends with Rice serving as an apostle to both church planting movements.

In March 1994, Rice Broocks and Phil Bonasso met in Manila to explore ways to work more effectively with Steve Murrell in church planting and world missions. The result of this conference proved to be more dramatic than they could have imagined. It was apparent that the Holy Spirit was uniting them together for the greater purpose of world evangelism. After years of friendship and cooperation, in what has become known as the "Miracle in Manila," the three men merged their ministries and their lives together. Morning Star International was born.

Morning Star International, under the leadership of these three founding leaders, desires to help fulfill the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ through church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

BIOGRAPHY OF BOB WEINER - by Weiner Ministries

Dedicated Christian evangelists Bob and Rose Weiner are the co-authors of twelve Bible study and spiritual growth books widely acclaimed in the Christian market and sold worldwide. Bible Studies for a Firm Foundation, their first study guide, has been printed in eight languages. Rose is also the author of Friends of God, a popular Bible story book for children.

Bob has been an Apostolic Church leader and charismatic evangelical speaker for more than thirty years. In 1972 and newly married to Rose, Bob left his position as youth pastor in Long Beach, California and moved to Paducah, Kentucky, Rose's home. Her father was a Methodist minister, and Bob and Rose felt encouraged in their faith through his preaching. Bob had been deeply seeking God's call for his life. In Paducah he heard it. It was to bring the word of God to college students.

>From one small fellowship at Murray State University in Kentucky, Bob's inspired idea for reaching students grew. He and Rose traveled to campuses across the country, witnessing for Christ, then providing Bible study and fellowship for new Christians. Bob's vision became known as Maranatha Christian Churches and Maranatha Campus Ministries, International. It exploded to include more than 52 fellowships on campuses in the United States and in eight foreign countries.

"The key to Maranatha is Romans 5:17," Bob has said. " '...Those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.' You can be totally committed, but without grace you're in legalism. . .We preach total commitment-but with the grace and the love of God. That's what makes the difference."

In 1989 staying true to this belief, Bob and Rose moved on to found Christian Youth International. In 1991 they took this new ministry to Russia, passing out 200,000 Russian language Bibles, and helping young believers there establish more than 370 churches. Their successes in the former Soviet Union led them to China where through their efforts 2 million Chinese language Bibles were distributed and many churches begun.

In 1997 Bob organized Youth EXPLOSION 97', the largest Christian conference for university students ever held in India. More than 12,000 students attended and more than half that number came forward to accept Christ. Bob has also taken Christian Youth International to Indonesia and established over 44 Christian churches in that Muslim nation.

Today, Christian Youth International maintains offices for the Russian ministries in Moscow, for the Chinese ministries in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and for the International ministries in Gainesville, Florida. As President of Christian Youth International, Bob's visionary goal remains to win one billion souls for Christ before His return.

Bob is an Executive Board member of Charismatic Bible Ministries, Association of International Mission Services (AIMS), North American Congresses On The Holy Spirit And World Evangelism, The Executive Committee for Mission America, and China Harvest and China Campus Outreach. He is a member of The Council for National Policy and The International Policy Forum.

A featured speaker at numerous Christian festivals and youth conferences, Bob has also made guest appearances on the 700 Club, an evangelical Christian television show, and on Trinity Broadcasting Network shows.

He and Rose have four children.

BIOGRAPHY OF BOB WEINER - by Weiner Ministries

Bob has been in the Ministry for over 30 years. He is an experienced leader of Apostolic Church planting movements that have together planted hundreds of churches around the world. Bob, along with Rusty Russell and Eric Dooley, started a movement in Indonesia, the world's largest Moslem nation, which has seen the birth of over 50 churches.

In just the past eight years by the grace of God, he has trained over 50,000 students in the Former Soviet Union and given away 200,000 Russian Bibles and Bible-study books. His students have started over 370 cell churhces in the nations of the former Soviet Union.

Through his distribution of 2 million Chinese Bibles and his ministry training, untold thousands of Chinese have been saved and added to new cell churches.

Bob recently held the largest Chirstian conference for university students in India. More than 12,000 attended and 8,000 were filled with the Holy Spirit.

He is the Father of Maranatha Christian Churches and Campus Ministries. Although they decentralized in 1989, from those roots and his vision, God has raised up many faithful world changing Churches and ministries and sent hundreds of laborers into the harvest.

Bob sits on the executive Boards of many leading Ministries including:

International Charismatic Bible Ministries
Accelerating International Mission Strategies (AIMS)
Executive Committee Mission America
North American Congress On the Holy Spirit And World Evangelism
China Harvest
China Campus Outreach
And is a member of the Council for National Policy ( Unofficial Website) and the International Policy Forum.

Bob's Ministry is marked by the release of Apostolic Faith, Signs and wonders. His vision is to win One Billion souls before Jesus returns!

BIOGRAPHY OF BOB WEINER - by Maranatha Indonesia

Bob Weiner is the founder of Maranatha Christian Churches and Maranatha Campus Ministries Intl. with 47 churches in U.S. cities and 22 cities abroad and campus ministries at 150 universities in 18 nations. Now he leads Weiner Ministries International and is a member of Association of International Mission Service (AIMS) Board of Trustees. He is also the founder and president of Christian Youth International, a leadership training and church planting organization, with offices for the Russian ministries in Moscow, Russia; for the Chinese ministries in Virginia Beach, Virginia; and the international office in Gainesville, Florida. It helps to plant churches and raised up a new generation of leaders for a revived and glorious Church in the former U.S.S.R.

He is the author of Take Dominion, a dynamic book which tells how God’s power can change a person’s life and help him realize God’s destiny and anointing. With his wife, Rose Weiner, he authored many other books and some have been translated to Indonesian. Their Bible study books are used here to impart a firm foundation.

He received Divinity Doctor Honoris Causa from Yoido Full Gospel Central Church, Seoul, South Korea (Dr. David Yonggi Cho). A gifted and dynamic speaker and has extensive experience especially in campus ministry and evangelism, he is recognized by the body of Christ in all the world as an apostle, specializing in leadership training.

In 1984, partnered with AIMS, China Harvest is established to build an alliance of individuals, churches, and organizations who understood China’s need for Scripture. This alliance provides for Scripture publication and helps distribute Bible and Bible study books through networks already working in China. During the first year, China Harvest placed 250,000 Bibles in the hands of Chinese believers. They doubled their goal for the following year, and have established a total goal of providing 100 million Bibles and 100 million Bible study books for Chinese Christians.

In 1996, Weiner Ministries International and AIMS join forces to kick off Global Network of International Student (GNIS). This alliance targets 450,000 people from at least 189 countries live and study at 3675 American colleges and universities. The potential impact of descipling international students is incredible, for they represent the top 5% of their countries?potential leaders. And many of them come from countries in the 10/40 Window and from other nations that restrict open missionary activity. GNIS plans to network churches, ministries and church planters worldwide with these international student leaders to create powerful evangelistic teams. They will plant churches and cells in every university city in the 10/40 Window and other strategic areas.

On January 13-17, 1997, through India Project, Weiner Ministries International held a national conference for Indian students, "Born Again ?7", in Hyderabad. This conference was attended by 12,400 students from many denominations such as Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran dan organizations such as Youth With A Mission, InterVarsity, Campus Crusade and other youth organizations. Besides Bob and Rose Weiner, they received teachings from other ministers, including Rusty Russell, Ulf Ekman and David Shibley. Never before in Indian history, such a great number of students gather together, experiencing the outpouring of God’s power!

As a follow up, on May 1997, they held "Campus Explosion", a leadership school for Indian students who are called to planting church in their campuses.

His wife, Rose, currently serves as an officer on the board of directors of Weiner Ministries International. Together, they established Maranatha Christian Churches in 1972 as part of a youth revival in Paducah, Kentucky. She has helped Bob plant over 100 churches at universities around the world where they train university students to become Ambassadors for Christ on their campuses. Rose is the author of the best-selling children’s Bible storybook, Friends of God. She is known by many as a prophetic voice, and as a woman of great wisdom, insight, and faith.

Bob desires, by God’s grace, to plant one thousand churches (one on every major university campus around the world), to raise up ten thousand full-time leaders, to win one million souls to Christ by the year 2000 and to win one billion souls before Jesus returns.

Bob and Rose Weiner and their four children (Stephanie, John David, Evangeline and Catherine) live in Gainesville, Florida.

HISTORY OF MARANATHA - by (the new) Cult Awareness Network

Maranatha Christian Churches began in 1972 as a campus ministry under the direction of Bob Weiner, formerly a youth pastor for the Assemblies of God, and his wife, Ruth Weiner. Bob Weiner dropped out of the Evangelical Free Church's Trinity College at Deerfield, Illinois and joined the U.S. Air Force. While in the Air Force he encountered Albie Pearson, a former baseball player turned evangelist-pastor, and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Following his discharge from the Air Force, Weiner joined with Bob Cording to form Sound Mind, Inc. to evangelize youth. In 1971 he began to tour college campuses as an evangelist. As a campus minister, Weiner sought to convert students and train them in the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

In 1972 he moved to Paducah, Kentucky, where his wife's father was minister in the United Methodist Church, and began a campus ministry at Murray State University. While focusing on Murray State, he continued to travel as an evangelist and develop other ministries. By 1980 Weiner had established 30 Maranatha Campus Ministries. As members graduated from college, Maranatha Campus Ministries became part of the larger work which was named Maranatha Christian Churches. In Maranatha's early years, each center had a dorm in which converts could live while attending college, but this is no longer the case. Maranatha's work is still focused in the campus ministry and all of the congregations are adjacent to a college or university.

During the early 1980s, a variety of accusations were made against Maranatha Campus Ministries concerning their intense program for training new members. Many of these accusations proved to be unfounded. In other cases program adjustments were made which have ended any controversies. A program of parent-student contact was broadly implemented which reduced the problems which had arisen because of lack of knowledge by parents of Maranatha and the life shared by its new student members.

General meetings of the fellowship are held weekly and most members also participate in small group fellowships. Maranatha Christian Churches are Pentecostal in doctrine. Prophecy is an important practice and is seen as ongoing confirmation of God's present activity in the church. Bob and Rose Weiner have written a series of books published by Maranatha Publications which are used as textbooks in the discipleship training work.

Maranatha Leadership Institute in Gainesville, Florida offers more advanced training for people on a national basis. It often features a variety of charismatic leaders not otherwise associated with Maranatha. A world leadership conference is held every two years. In 1985, Maranatha began a satellite TV network show as a televised prayer meeting in which 60 churches tied together for the broadcast, pray for specific requests phoned in by viewers. There are 7,000 members worldwide and a 150 churches in the United States.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 18, 2004 01:16AM

As some one who has known Rice Broocks, and who knows him all too well, this is one of the most laughable things I've ever read:

by Rice Broocks
Creation House Press
pages 48-54.

In January of 1979, I became a campus minister at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Later, Steve and Phil would both follow. The. ministry we worked with was called Maranatha, one of the few, charismatic campus movements at the time: Although I was met with a lot of challenges and hard work, in the end the excitement and sense of destiny outweighed them all. Looking back, I am thankful for all the lessons I learned-even the painful ones. At first the going was very rough. The ministry in Knoxville was small and somewhat out of touch with the campus it was trying to reach. At times I actually found myself discouraging friends from coming to visit. To put it bluntly, it wouldn't be the church I would attend if I had a choice. An early test occurred when a series of conflicts with the leader of the ministry left me feeling that it really wasn't worth continuing. To make matters worse, I was living in the back of a storefront and wasn't exactly prospering. People were calling me with attractive ministry opportunities in other places. It began to seem that the best thing to do was to accept one of these offers and get away from the pressure I was feeling.
Even though I wasn't very happy with where I was, I didn't want to miss God's will. I prayed and told God, "If this is what you want me to do for you, I'll do it." Suddenly, a profound peace settled around my soul. I determined to put my destiny in the hands of God, and to keep it there. Things really didn't change all that much externally, but something changed inside my heart. The Scripture verse kept coming to me, "humility comes before honor." My breakthrough in ministry was around the corner. It wasn't long before I was asked to go back to Starkville and Mississippi State University and spend a month holding down the fort while the regular leaders left on a summer mission trip. Walter, Greg, Steve and most of the other leaders were going to Canada to help plant a new church. With only eight people there for the summer, there wasn't a lot of risk in putting me in charge. The first thing I did was call the people to prayer. We were going to intercede and give God the best of our time before we went out and ministered to people. Day after day as we prayed, a sense of faith and expectation began to grow in our hearts, and each week our meetings grew larger-from eight students to almost eighty in one month. Many of the young people who were saved and filled with the Spirit would eventually become pastors and leaders. In addition, our ministry to athletes really had its beginnings during that month of breakthrough. It happened in a very unusual way. One day as I waited to get into a basketball game at the university, the Lord spoke to me about a football player who was standing nearby. "He's been praying for someone to come and talk to him about Me. Go tell him you are his answer." The player happened to be African-American, and I don't think he expected the answer to his prayer to look like me. I felt like Clarence, the angel in It's a Wonderful Life, introducing himself to George Bailey, who responded sarcastically, "You look like the kind of angel I'd get." I walked up to him and delivered the message, and the next thing I knew he had given his life to Christ right there on the spot. He invited me to come up to his room in the athletic dorm, and there his roommate got saved. Eventually, many of his teammates were either converted or filled with the Spirit. What happened to those athletes has now spread to campuses and professional sports teams around the world. Stories like these became commonplace. Over the next few years, we saw many great things happen as we reached out to campuses in many parts of the world. From Florida State to the University of London, we held outreaches and trusted God to do miraculous things. While some of our efforts were comical at times, one thing was absolutely true: we were trying to change the world with all our might. Some of my closest friendships were being formed during this critical time. We spent hours talking about how we could make a difference with our lives. Little did any of us realize that the seeds of those dreams would have to go into the ground and die before they could bear the best fruit.

A defining moment was coming for us all. I tell this not to point a finger at anyone or dig up past pain. Instead, my hope is to shed the light of grace on these events and help people look redemptively at any negative experience that may have caused them to lose hope and drop out of the race. One of the great hindrances in fulfilling the Apostolic Mandate that many of those called to make a difference have been wounded in a church or ministry setting and cannot get beyond it. This may explain why the book, The Prayer of Jabez, has had such a profound and widespread impact. Jabez, as most know by now, was born in pain but did not allow his pain to turn him into a bitter person. The Scripture says Jabez was "more honorable than his brothers." It is this nobility that helps us rise above the pettiness of bitterness and allow the love of God to cover a multitude of sins. Bad experiences can also sensitize us in many different ways. In a positive light, they can make us more aware of what not to do. This is critical when it comes to handling the powerful truths of Scripture. Matters like faith, spiritual authority and spiritual gifts must be handled with care. Experiencing extremes in any of these areas makes you aware of the caution and boundaries that need to be observed when putting these important principles into practice. Finally, when we understand the sovereignty of God, we come to grips with the fact that the Lord will use imperfect people and situations to bring us into His purposes and/or mentor. Many people grow up and disdain their past because of the mistakes of their parents or other authority figures. We must recognize that God is still involved in our lives, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. These are the important thoughts I want you to hold in your mind as I relate this difficult part of our story. As I was describing, many wonderful things were happening in the ministry while, at the same time, storm clouds were beginning to gather. Phil, Steve and 1 had joined the ministry of Maranatha after becoming Christians and were drawn to it because of the commitment they preached as well as the power of the Holy Spirit they upheld. Though there were negatives, we knew there was no such thing as "perfect church." The fact that the leaders truly had a heart for God kept us believing that these issues would eventually get worked out. Still, concerns surrounding the ministry began to surface. Many felt that some of its practices were heavy-handed and legalistic. There were also concerns that mysticism had crept in, placing too much emphasis on subjective experiences rather than the Word of God. The latter was a charge leveled against many in the charismatic community from the traditional Church at large. These issues weighed heavily on the hearts of most of the leaders. Mtempts were made to bring about reforms and extricate these negatives from the mix. In retrospect, it was a "coming of age" moment for many of us young leaders to grapple with such important issues. These issues all came to a head at the end of 1989. The organization was dismantled and all its affiliated ministries released to follow the leading of the Spirit as they saw fit. As relieved as we were that the ordeal was over, the following season would prove to be one of the most difficult of our lives. I'm sure that was the case for many others. Yes, I had suffered heartaches after I came to Christ, but watching a ministry end was deeply painful. This pain is inevitable when churches split or close their doors. When relationships fail or when visions die, it can shipwreck the destiny of many. I've spoken to pastors of churches from many diverse backgrounds and the fallout of ministry failure is always very difficult, especially for the young. In the midst of our situation, I remembered Jesus' words to Peter, "I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail." He concluded with a message of purpose and hope: "Strengthen your brothers." It has been said that you learn more in failure than you do in success. That may be true, but only if you get up and keep trying to succeed. Deep down, the knowledge that my calling was not from an organization but from God was undeniable. As Hebrews says, "Hold fast to the beginning of our assurance firm until the end." I was holding fast. My whole passion was to simply see the miracle of salvation that had happened to my family and me, happen to as many people as possible. That motivation kept me going, and it kept me encouraging my closest friends to not lose sight of the Lord in the midst of turmoil. Looking back now, it's obvious that God was orchestrating all these changes for His purposes and everyone's good, hindsight, many of the organizations birthed in the sixties and seventies during the "Jesus Movement" or the Charismatic Movement, majored in zeal and boldness while minimizing theological training. While reacting to "dead religion," the proverbial "baby" was thrown out with the "bath water" Surveying the landscape of many different church and parachurch movements, the result seemed to be a very short shelf life.

As the year 1990 dawned, it felt like the whole world was getting a fresh start. The Berlin Wall had collapsed and a new spirit of freedom and opportunity was spreading. At the beginning of that year, my family and I moved to Midland, Texas, to seek the Lord for direction during this new season. Russ Austin, a long-time friend and pastor of Mid-Cities Community Church, invited us to come and be a part of his team for "as long as we wanted." Though West Texas looked like a wilderness in the natural sense, it turned out to be a spiritual oasis. The people of his church rallied around us like family. I will always be grateful to that church in Midland for taking such good care of us in this critical season. During this time, I began to reflect deeply on the lessons of the past. Reading books, talking to Christian leaders and studying Church history confirmed my sense that none of the problems I had encountered were new. I heard somewhere that, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." There was a hunger to not just learn from the mistakes of the past, but to learn how to build spiritually in a way that would stand the test of time. The more I prayed, the more I realized that, in order to prepare for the future, I needed a deeper and stronger foundation both theologically and emotionally. I wanted not just to know more about God, but to know Him in a deeper way. Loving God more always results in loving people more. God is looking for leaders who are not just bold, but gentle and caring when it comes to His Church. As George Whitefield said, "It is not enough to love to preach; we must love those to whom we preach." The Bible describes David as a man after God's own heart. He not only loved God but was chosen to lead God's people because he would shepherd them with "integrity of heart." The Lord loves His sheep and wants them led by those who love them, too.

With all these things in mind, I enrolled in Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Over the next two years, 1 would be exposed to some wonderfully gifted and godly men and women who helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Christian faith throughout the generations. I had a fresh hunger, almost to the point of desperation, to find the necessary balance, theologically and dractically, that would produce churches and ministries that could bear tasting fruit. This season of concentrated study and reflection was an incredible time of restoration and refueling. I learned as much outside of class as I did inside, through lengthy discussions with professors and other leaders from various theological backgrounds. I wrote in the book, New Apostolic Churches, one of my professors in a candid moment said, "We Presbyterians can build a great fireplace, but we have a hard time building a fire." I responded, "We charis-matics can sure build a fire, but we tend to burn things down." Throughout history there have been countless movements that God raised up to impact the world and fulfill His purposes. At the same time, there has been a cycle of extremism between scholasticism, which in attempting to focus only on the "truth" ends up squelching the life of the Spirit and any supernatural anifestations, and mysticism, which tends to ignore the boundaries of the objective truth of the Word of God and places the emphasis on subjective experiences. Those who kept the right focus on the Apostolic Mandate and avoided the extremes in either direction were able to last longer than others and produce the fruit of the kingdom in the lives of individuals and cultures. This whole scenario reminds me of a runner in a marathon. Along the way, various people offer you water to refresh you so that you can keep running. For some strange reason, many in the charismatic movement tend to forget the race and chase the person offering the water. They make "the refreshing" the focus. If the enemy can't hinder you from receiving the power of the Spirit, he will attempt to trivialize it by tempting you to major on esoteric expressions that ultimately leave the person emotionally stirred, but unchanged. This pattern is repeated generation after generation. My hope began to grow that this pattern could be better understood, and many of the mistakes avoided. God had surely raised up men and women to touch their generations, and He wanted to do this in our time as well. The fire began to burn again in me to touch the world. The problem was that I still felt something holding me back- as if my foot was in a snare. Hebrews 12 tells us to lay aside every weight and the sin that easily besets us, and "run with perseverance the race marked out for us." This weight was my reluctance to start building something and not be able to finish it. What discourages most people from attempting great things for God is this very fear: that what is started will not last. Why begin if it's all for naught? As I began to cry out to God for deliverance, He sent His answer in a very dramatic way.

While attending seminary, I was invited to speak at a conference where a very famous prophet was also speaking. I found myself sitting at this great conference, listening to this man, and thinking about how ironic my situation was: Here I am attending a conservative seminary, studying theology and Church history, and at the same time attending a conference on the other end of the theological spectrum. As I tried to balance this apparent contradiction in my mind, the man of God broke through my conundrum in a dramatic way. In front of hundreds of people, he abruptly said, "Rice Broocks stand up." My immediate thought was, Uh oh, I'm about to have all my double-mindedness exposed. It would be safe to say that my life passed before my eyes. To my utter amazement, he had no words of rebuke. Instead, it was as if he brought out a huge axe and cut away the things that held my feet in the snare. In essence he said, "God pulled you out of one thing to put you into something else; something that will change the world." What I remember most was this phrase: "The things you've seen in the past will seem like beating the air compared to what I [the Lord] am about to do."

Paul instructs Timothy, "My son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. It is the incredible combination of the Word of God as well as the gifts of the Spirit-in this case, prophecy-that enables you to fight the good fight of faith and win. My calling was reenergized by this timely word. A second prophecy would soon come and leave no room for doubt that God's plan for me was unfolding. Ron Lewis and I had launched Campus Harvest, a ministry designed to train local churches to reach students. Our motto was "Revolutionizing Campus Ministry by Mobilizing Local Churches." Each year there were meetings at Duke University that drew hundreds of students from throughout the East Coast. A few months after I received the initial prophetic word, a second word came. I was at Duke helping host a Campus Harvest conference. One of the invited guests'' was Jim Laffoon, a powerful speaker who was recognized throughout the nation as a respected prophet. As he finished preaching one evening, I came up on the stage to close the meeting. Unexpectedly, he grabbed my hand and began to prophesy, "God is going to use you to tie men's lives together into a team that will shake the world." Every remaining vestige of uncertainty instantly evaporated. The fear of the Lord came to my heart. To doubt now would be a terrible sin. With a new sense of faith, it was as if my eyes were opened. I was as excited as a kid at Christmas, expectant as to what God now had in store. In 1994, interestingly ten years after the first "Miracle in Manila," I found myself back in Manila with Phil Bonasso and Steve Murrell talking about world missions and how we could work together. There are times when God's plans are revealed in dramatic ways. In this instance there was no vision, no dream, no audible voice and no cloud. And yet, in some quiet, ineffable way, we knew that the Holy Spirit was directing us to birth a new ministry together. Each of us was very different from the others. Yet our differences in the context of a team would prove to be one of our greatest strengths. Many organizations are founded by a single man with a tremendous vision and gift. But once that man passes away or steps down, the dream tends either to die or to continue on in a half-hearted fashion. But a cord of three strands is not easily broken. We sensed the call for the three of us not only to birth a ministry, but also to model true submission and teamwork.

Phil, Steve and I began to reflect on the common sense of destiny and calling we shared. True covenant is not something you can manufacture. Just as the hearts of David and Jonathan were joined together during a tumultuous time in Israel's history, we sensed that God had joined our hearts as well. "If we are going to make this work, we need to build something strong and well defined," Steve said. "We're going to have to put aside our individual agendas, trust each other and build together." Phil agreed. Both of them then turned to me and said, "We'll join together if you will lead us." My moment of decision had come. With the overwhelming sense of God's call on my life, the fact that God had joined me with these leaders, and the compelling prophetic words that had been spoken, I knew I was truly right in the middle of God's will. It was time to put my hand to the plow, to trust that God had indeed called me to reach the world and to do it with this team. Another "Miracle in Manila" had taken place. That initial agreement we made joined together a group of twenty-five churches that these men represented. Steve's churches were under the banner of Victory Christian Fellowship and Phil's were called Morning Star. After a brief discussion, we decided that our name would be Morning Star international.Looking back, it's easy to see God's hand at work preparing us "for such a time as this." We knew that if the three of us stayed together and guarded our relationship as a team-if we became and remained a true "cord of three strands"-Morning Star nternational would prosper in the kingdom of God. And what was clear to us then, is even clearer now. Something that was lost for us had been recovered: the sense of family and relationship that we had developed in the past. And that wasn't all. There was a deeper sense that something not only sacred but very serious on the heart of God had been recovered. The Bible describes the joy that is in heaven when a lost person repents. When a lost coin is found, it is big news. When a lost son is found, there is a party. When lost vision is regained, there is a revolution. For us it was not just relationships that had been recovered, it was God's heart for the nations. It was and is the vision for the Apostolic Mandate.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 18, 2004 01:29AM

Is this the way it really happened?

by Walter Walker
Journal of the Teaching Ministry
November 1989

You will find that this edition of Table Talk is quite different than
any that I have written be-fore. I usually get my ideas for Table Talk
articles from various situations in which I find my-self. The past two
articles, Authority in the Church - Too Much or Too Little and Grace and
Law represent an attempt on my part to give some clarity and
explanation to the things that the Holy Spirit has been showing the leaders of the Maranatha Christian Churches. Both articles were written texts of
messages I spoke at the last two Maranatha Board Meetings. In Table Talk articles, I seldom mention the circumstances that have provoked my thinking. However, it seems that this month it would be appropriate to depart from that tradition and to be very specific. Last week the leaders of Maranatha Christian Churches got together for four days at the quarterly Board Meeting to make a final decision based on a discussion that had been going on for most of 1989. The decision was to close the International Office in Gainesville, Florida and to dismantle the central organizational structure of Maranatha Christian Churches, Inc. The purpose of this edition of Table Talk is to explain what has happened, why, and where we go from here.

Most of the time when you hear of an organization moving to dissolve
itself, it is either because of dwindling membership or strife between
factions within the leadership. Yet, in this case, the overriding concern
seemed to be God's purpose, His agenda for the 1990s, and the removal
of any hindrances to the advancement of the kingdom of God. To my
knowledge, every leader left with a renewed sense of love and affection for one another. There are two main issues which have been dealt with over the last year. The first is the fact that although thousands of young people have been won to the Lord and helped to develop into strong mature Christians, the youthful zeal, immaturity, and the determination to fulfill the vision has caused a lot of people to be hurt. The leaders of Maranatha determined to deal with these offenses and to do whatever they could to make restitution wherever possible. The second issue has been decentralization. Through much prayer and discussion, the leaders of Maranatha came to the conclusion that the organizational structure was hindering the growth and free expression of the churches, and that the Lord was wanting to do something entirely new. Nobody seems to have a complete understanding of what the new wineskin is supposed to look like, but we have, however, begun to learn a few things.

First of all, sanctification in the life of every believer is a work of
the indwelling Holy Spirit. The primary emphasis of discipleship should
be on nurturing the seed that has been planted within every Christian.
This is done through the preaching of the Word, prayer, fellowship, and
caring for one another. Rules, regulations, and accountability to
others may have their place in some situations, yet we cannot put our trust in these things. Our faith must rest in the transforming power of the
Holy Spirit to conform each one of us into Christ's image. 1

Secondly, the Lord has also shown us that we have to trust in the fact
that every believer can be led by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes a desire
to protect someone from making a mistake will cause a leader to overstep the line in the use of their authority. Though pastors have a
responsibility to God to blow the trumpet if they see the sword coming (Ezekiel 33:1-18), after which they have to back off, insist that each person accept his or her responsibility before God, and let people make mistakes if necessary. It was the discussion of this idea over the last year
that resulted in a change in Maranatha's engagement and marriage policy.2

Thirdly, unity is built on relationships, not structure. From this time
on, the churches that have made up Maranatha Christian Churches, Inc.,
are independent and autonomous churches, Their association with one
another in most cases will probably continue based on long term covenant
relationships among the leaders that have been developed over many
years. Campus ministries with very young leaders grew into local churches with senior pastors and local elders. The organizational structure as it existed and operated was no longer appropriate for the present situation, nor did the leaders feel it could contain the new things that God is wanting to do with each church.

But why not simply reform the existing structure rather than do away
with it? From the beginning we thought of ourselves as the army of God.
That may work for campus ministries, but when campus ministries
developed into local churches, leaders began to realize that the church was also the family of God. To put it simply, the central organizational
structure from the beginning has been very authoritarian. The degree of
reform that most felt was necessary left the functions of the central
organization with such limitations that the leaders could no longer justify
the high cost of maintaining it. The leaders on numerous occasions had determined that things would be done in a different way. Yet, it's hard to unlearn what you have practiced for 17 years. The old way of doing things kept coming back. It had been like cutting weeds on the surface until we all came to the conclusion together that the ax had to be laid at the root once and for all. In time God may desire to raise up some new structure to facilitate our relationships and our common vision. However, nobody seems to know how, when, or even if that might happen. The word we felt the Lord was saying was undo, not redo and that the ground needed to lay fallow for a while.

The determination of each local leader seemed to be to move ahead with
what God was saying to the local elders about building the kingdom of
God locally, as well as, planting new churches and, possibly, joint
participation in missions projects.

I can't help but feel a little melancholy about closing something of
which I have been a part for 15 years; yet, I am very excited about the
prospects for the future. I can see several positive factors coming out
of the dissolution of Maranatha Christian Churches, Inc.

The Spirit of Adventure
I remember in the early days of Maranatha back in Paducah, Kentucky,
when the zeal of the Lord and the love for others caused young men and
women to boldly step out in faith to go and establish the kingdom of God.
Many of those adventures seventeen years later would have had much less chance of getting approved by the Maranatha Board of Elders. By the
time a young person goes through all our current processes for being
trained for leadership, he may have lost the vision or the opportunity to do what God has told him to do. I'm not against preparation and training,
but one of the benefits of dissolving the central structure will be the
freedom in each church to take risks and to be led spontaneously by the
Holy Spirit.

Church Planting and the Great Commission
Anyone who has been in Maranatha for any length of time knows about the great commission; that is, we are to "go therefore and make disciples
of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19). As Maranatha has grown larger, it
has become easier for people to think of themselves as being involved in
worldwide church planting because they have bought into the corporate
enterprise. In other words, they are associated with missions and church
planting because of their involvement with Maranatha Inc. Now, however,
every pastor, every local elder, and every church member has to look at
the great commission for themselves and ask, "What am I going to do?"

Covenant Relationships and Extra-Local Authority:
Every person in Maranatha also knows the principles of building
covenant relationships and of being open to hear what the rest of the Body of Christ is saying. Now that there is no structure that facilitates
relationships and contact with other leaders (perhaps at times
artificially), every leader will have to examine how deep his relationships really are. Sitting in a Board Meeting with a group of men every three months does not constitute a deep relationship.

In the past every church was covered by the central organization. There
is no longer anyone, apostle, prophet, or regional director, appointed
by Marantha to oversee your church. It is now the responsibility of
every group of local elders to establish and maintain relationships with
other pastors and traveling ministers - to determine who will speak into
that local church and with what authority.

Jesus is Still the Head of the Church
From one perspective you might say that we no longer have a union or
association of churches under one authority structure. Maybe it is,
however, that God wants us to see things more from His perspective. Jesus Christ is and always has been the final authority and head of the church. Our union must be based on His common headship before anything else. This entire turn of events has caused me, and hopefully every person in the Maranatha churches, 10 begin to focus on Jesus, the head of the church, rather than our organizational structure. God has probably viewed each church as apart of a union under His Son all along, and that hasn't changed a bit. It has been only three days since the end of the Board Meeting in which Maranatha Christian Churches, Inc. was dissolved, and I find myself not asking, "What is God saying to Maranatha?" but "What is God saying to the Body of Christ?" Already my perspective is getting bigger not smaller.

So for me the most important things have not changed at all. I'm still
going to keep loving God and my family, studying the Bible, and
preaching the gospel. What will change is that, first of all, if I am going to
maintain the relationship with the people I love so very much, I'm
going to have to make it a very high priority and spend some quality time
working on it. Secondly, I'll have to fix my attention more singularly
on Jesus than ever before, and for me both of those changes are very

1. See Table Talk. Oct. 1989. Grace and Law
1. See Table Talk. Oct. 1989. Grace and Law
2. See Table Talk, June 1989, Authority in the Church - Too Much or Too

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 18, 2004 01:53AM


At my former church (Bethel), we have about 3,500 members/attendees. I have attended there for a good 7+ years. Since Rice has took over - especially - there have been hardly ANY MARRIAGES. NOTHING. NADA. ZIP. Steve Hollander assumed the role over college and youth - we found out that he started teaching the college students all of this nonsense that liking girls/guys was a sin. It really confused a lot of the students/20-somethings and 30-somethings. Now there are no relationships. Just loneliness. Everyone is waiting to have the word given to them that so-and-so is your spouse. I will add more later. I will add that Steve Hollander is somehow connected with Rice. Rice was the one that introduced Steve to his wife a few years back. Somehow they are tightly connected from years back. Regarding SH and his messages to Bethel college/youth kids: Stone Cold Steve is still the pastor for the youth and college at Bethel. We (the 20/30-somethings) got wind of his "teachings" to the college kids. He was confusing a lot of them regarding dating. He has since toned-down his message, so I am unsure the present state of the college kids. Still no significant marriages to speak of. Several months ago, I began to push the issue with some of the guys and made them talk openly. I found out that over the recent years at Bethel. Many of the high-profiled single guys were one-by-one being called into meetings with the pastors. They were being called into these meetings to be seriously reprimanded. And do you know why??? Because on Sunday mornings and other events, the pastors (remember we have about 1,500 lol) would spot a single guy having a conversation with a single girl. The pastors would contact these guys individually to set up "meetings" to strongly reprimand them. This continued on - creating this fear among the single guys to even notice a female. For fear of being "called to the principal's office again" (direct quote). I kid you not - NOW a female can walk in naked in the middle of service.... NO single guys would dare look. My apologies. I don't mean to me crude with that statement. That is how bad the fear and mindset has become. Yes, this above statement I verify as I spoke directly with a few of the guys.
So - the result of these last few years of the guys being reprimanded - no friendships even forming. No chance for the Holy Spirit to spark any interest for deeper friendships - let alone a meaningful relationship that could result in marriage. At Bethel - for years now... girls and guys were never allowed to be alone together. I can see the thought-process behind that - yet when the singles are turning into 30-somethings. Ya gotta give the men/women a little credit and freedom. For example: If there was a event that involved a bunch of cars making a trip to the same destination. The leaders would only allow "girl cars" and "boy cars". Folks - I am not talking about teenagers. I used to work as a youth leader. I am talking about these conditions being administered to the late 20s/30s-somethings. When a woman has a task that needs to be performed - that really is more apt for a man to perform it. A Bethel woman will call another woman to help. Why? First - because there is no real connection between the men and women to where a woman would feel comfortable enough to call a "man friend" to assist her. The women have learned to rely on one another. Second - Heaven help the man if he is perceived to even entertain the idea of being alone with one woman - no matter what the circumstances are. Household chore needs to be done??? Good luck to the single women. She is always ignored. MSI doesn't want marriages. A few months back, I asked God what is going on? Why no marriages in my church? Even no babies being born? And longtime friends/acquaitances were "changing" - no one seemed happy - everyone judgmental. No display of the "fruit of the spirit". Very troubling. A few questions led to more answers and more questions and so forth. Our God is about marriages and kids. Our God wants to demonstrate His love - all forms through union of man and woman. So, I knew something was not right in my church. Then I started to research the history and background of MSI leaders: Rice Broocks, Jim Laffoon and others. Started finding initial answers. Seriously evaluated. They discount your own decision-making ability: Jim Laffoon spoke a few months ago this BIZARRE sermon. He spoke about how we should embrace the picture of Jacob and Leah. We should disregard the Biblical picture of Jacob and Rachel. Jim's rationale was that Christ was birthed out of the lineage of Jacob and Leah - and therefore that is what God prefers. He said tht Jacob was deceived by his carnal nature because of his distraction of Rachel's beauty. Jim also stated that if our leaders designate you to marry someone. Then you are to marry that person. It doesn't matter if you have chemistry, passion or even remote attraction to that person. If the people around you feel you should marry. Then you are to disregard your preference, your vision of your future spouse and submit to the marriage. FOLKS THIS IS WRONG: Yes, the lineage of Jacob and Leah produced Christ. However, the lineage of Jacob and Rachel produced some very prominent and key players in this Ultimate Love Story. And believe this: There is a reason why God orchestrated the love affair between Jacob and Rachel. It was to demonstrate the PASSION that Christ has for His Bride!!! The deep and geniune love to where He did everything and anything in order to consummate this love. THIS IS A DEMONSTRATION OF CHRIST'S LOVE FOR YOU. TODAY. You can NOT tell me that Christ did not have any passion or emotions as he simply obeyed his father. How sad to think of that??? And by all accounts: Jacob was deceived by man when he wed Leah. And this is the "picture" that Jim Laffoon is holding up for us to embrace? Regarding my earlier statement of guys getting called for meetings with the pastors. I want to clarify that these were not college boys, but 30-something-year-old men being reprimanded. Second - regarding Jim Laffoon's sermon. That was a sermon that was preached at Bethel back in Feb/March. I would like to add that I have spoken with several couples who were brought together the "Morning Star" way. There was a common thread that I heard from speaking to these couples. One or both of these couples had serious apprehensions when it came to marrying their designated partners. They voiced their concerns to their spiritual authorities. Each case, the SA told the concerned partner that they should disregard their own perceptions of what they had for a mate. They should disregard any "lists" that they may have made of their hopes and dreams of their mate. They should disregard their apprehensions regarding the impending marriage. And that what matter is this person was who God had designated for marriage. That was conversations from several couples. Common thread I found in these married couples. And to respond to lc.20 - the story of the couple I spoke about. They didn't present their inquiries of their perspective relationship to any our pastors - at first. It was their spiritual authorities. Not any of the pastors. Other lay men and women assigned to them. Just wanted to clarify that. And to respond to Really: I have sat under the teachings of the Morning Star leaders for many years. The Bible teachings are becoming more and more obsolete in their sermons. It ends up being rambling progression of thoughts. No one from my congregation has the habit of lining up Scriptures with what one of the pastors spoke about. Everyone accepts everything "by ear"... if that makes sense.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 18, 2004 02:01AM

Kathy Myatt

January 18, 1981 . . . the peak of the pressure and disillusionment that had been mounting for months, if not years . . . or the lowest point in my life of faith and perseverance . . . depending on how you look at it. I got up calmly enough, my plan well determined in my mind, and went to have breakfast with one of my disciples. Having just returned from ministry in Brazil, I had not seen her for months. I felt much warmth, and a kind of maternal love for her, since the day I'd seen her make her decision to become a Christian. She had been single, alone and pregnant, and was tired of being used and confused. I assured her that Jesus would never leave her nor forsake her, and that as her sister in the Lord, I too would love her with His love and help her in any way I could. Now I was telling her that I was going to leave the fellowship we both were in . . . that I needed to sort some things out and be with my family. I knew what she would be told about me after I left, and I wanted to counter those accusations now; to assure her that I did love God and that I did love her . . . but I was afraid to say anything that would seem to discredit the elders and further confirm their suspicions that I was in rebellion against God and their authority. So I hoped she would just remember me and somehow know these things herself, at least someday.

By noon it was time to pack . . . my decision to leave would now be public and the next few hours would be draining, if I could even make it to the plane at 5:00. Katharine looked at me as I walked into the sisters' house and ran up to me with a hug. "I knew you would get an answer from the Lord! He's told you, hasn't He? He's told you what He wants you to do! I can tell by the look on your face that you have a peace. What is it? Are you going to start up a ministry in Columbus or Boulder or where?" I savored the moment that I was about to shatter and then with a sigh and a smile that I hoped would continue to convey peace and assurance, I told her I was leaving for awhile. As I went on to explain what I felt God was saying to me to the other girls in the room, Katharine quietly slipped out and called Mark, the co pastor, to tell him of my defection. He called me to the phone and asked me why I felt it so necessary to leave . . . then with all tenderness and love, encouraged me not to be afraid, not to isolate myself, but to repent, that no one would look down on me, everyone loved and respected me, we all have low times and that is why we need each other . . . I told him I needed to think and would call him back. It was very appealing. His words ran through my mind as I tried to put my things together. Maybe I was overreacting. Sure there were some things wrong with the group, but wasn't I being overly harsh? shouldn't I stay and try to work it out? but I had and they wouldn't listen or budge. It was all my fault, my wrong attitude, my lack of faith, my deception. Not a word of mine had penetrated in the last two weeks other than to provide evidence to them that I had become carnal, soulish, selfish and proud. Obviously I was under a strong spirit of deception that was leading me astray. God wanted to use me in mighty ways since I had such a close relationship with Him so Satan had come against me with great force to keep me from my true ministry in the group . . . somehow I had let Satan have an open door to my heart and now I was to repent and renounce him so I could get on with God's will and be a full time worker in the ministry. This was such a high honor, how could I even think of doing anything else? Yet, after many days of fasting and praying I could not honestly say that God had shown me any sin to repent of and for some reason, I had come to the limit of blindly following directions from the leadership.

But where had this led me? . . . to this black day in which I was packing my things and preparing to turn away from three years of memories, love, friends and a home. Surely this could not be God's will? Still, could I go back to the total submission I had been under? to be told when to fast, how long and what for? to have to get permission to visit my grandmother, or to travel at all? to be instructed in the use of feminine hygiene products to use or avoid, and if not heeded, to be in rebellion against God Himself? Was it true that reading any books by non Christian authors would reap corruption? They taught that whatever one is not willing to give up for God is an idol which will eventually cause the destruction of the believer . . . surely God was worthy of absolute obedience . . . but was He the one requiring all these things or were fallible men and women using His name to demand things He never wanted? And if so, what was the effect on my life? Where I had been happy and joyful in God, now I was rigid and suspicious . . . where I used to serve people for the fun of giving, now I kept track of my "increasing faithfulness" and "potential for leadership" . . . where I used to love God with open affection and awe, now I was scared and intimidated by Him. Could I continue to do this to myself, to Him, and to us? Could I continue to share the gospel and have people come into the group that would bring them into this attitude as well? I had had faith that had witnessed miracles before; now I was so dependent on the leadership and the "proper principles" that my faith had withered. Why was it that I found myself explaining the teachings to new believers so they sounded less harsh, reassuring them that living by these principles was really pleasant and fulfilling? and now that I was up and coming leadership, could I really back up what was being taught by my peers? Yet, being a woman, wasn't I more easily deceived? Maybe I needed to respect the brothers' teachings and not think so highly of myself to regard them as peers at all. Perhaps that was why they felt I had become proud and independent. Could I repent from that? Still, God was powerful. You don't walk out on people just because you disagree with them. What was I doing anyway? Didn't I trust God to take care of this?

The phone rang. It was Mark. He had just spoken to Steve, the other pastor who had been the main one counseling me these past weeks; exhorting me to submission and delivering me from demons. They had agreed my situation was serious and the only possible solution was my repentance, or I would continue to displease and fall away from God. But why wouldn't God tell me this? I used to hear Him so well. Surely if He knew I was sincerely wanting His will, He would tell me no matter where I was . . . how often I had openly admitted my sins, made public confessions. He knew I was open to Him. Meanwhile the pressure was mounting. Mark was waiting for an answer. I was without a job and had only two dollars. My choice was clear: to repent, submit and move to a new state to start a new ministry and forget about my nursing career or further schooling (they said it was carnal) or to take a few days off to think about things away from the pressure. I told Mark my decision was the same. Now the tone changed. Evidently I had no intention of trusting the leadership God had established for me, so there was no use in my staying in the fellowship at all. After all, there is no fellowship between light and darkness. Until I repented, there was no place for me among the committed members who truly wanted to serve God. So it was done. 3:30 pm.

The flight was the most calm, smooth ride I had ever been on. I fully expected the plane to crash and didn't think I'd mind if it did. I felt like Jonah, running away from God. I was certain I was condemned to hell, and that my leaving was a result of my inability to maintain the high standards that the others could. When we touched down and I saw the mountains of Denver, so comforting and strong, and knew my parents were on the other side of the door, my failure overwhelmed me. Twenty six years old and running home like a whipped puppy with its tail between its legs. Where was the victory and abundant life I had been preaching all these years? The smiles, the assurances, the optimism for an alternate lifestyle that was far superior to ordinary life? I had experienced it, but it turned on me. Now what?

How had I come to this place? When did it start?

I had become a "born again" Christian on June 20, 1973 while selling Bible reference books door-to-door. My roommates that summer were "Jesus freaks" who at first repelled me, then drew my admiration. Having always been a kind of "goody two shoes" I had never been impressed by the witness of evangelical Christians who tried to convince me their destination was heaven and mine was hell. Their lives struck me as rather clique-ish, but certainly no holier than mine. In fact, they seemed rather arrogant. But when I lived with Darla and Claudia, I saw quite a difference! They prayed every time they turned around, they fasted because "God told them to fast and pray" and they wouldn't stop until He told them to stop. They witnessed at the most inconvenient times, like when we were getting gas on our way home from selling for 12 hours. They were kind when people were rude to them and they were absolutely convinced that God knew them and was concerned with them on a personal level. How often I heard them praying at night into their pillows that God would find them worthy to be used by Him. I was amazed, curious, finally ashamed. By their example I began to see that my grand goodness was nothing but a sham arrogance and stupidity. I worked to please men, and brought God out on the shelf when it would be convenient or look good. I began to believe I would go to hell and rightly so. As I listened to them, openly now, they described a God who was personal, who loved me deeply and who had provided righteousness for me freely, as a gift. On June 20th, walking down a country road in North Carolina, it occurred to me that my life would be worthless without Jesus Christ. As I embraced this realization I told God I needed His forgiveness, asked Him to save me and gave Him my life for His use and good pleasure. From that moment on I was a different person. I had met the living God and He had saved me! taken me in as His own child! His work on me began immediately. Motives that had hidden behind my "good" behavior came to light. Issues of trust, of obeying Him even if it had nothing to do with the ten commandments. Would I fast when He asked? Would I delay my dinner to help someone I didn't even know? Would I share the gospel on the spur of the moment even if I was nervous or embarrassed? Still His love for me far outweighed whatever He asked of me. He said He wanted us to be either hot or cold for Him; not lukewarm. To know Him and follow Him then meant one was to be hot for God. There was no other option, and I would have none of compromise for One who had done so much for me so undeservedly.

Sadly, my newborn zeal was greatly disillusioned when summer ended and I returned to college life. I visited church after church after church but they all seemed so lifeless . . . so compromising . . . everything went by status quo. It didn't even seem anyone was expecting God to lead them or speak to them.

After a year, I finally found a small band of young people known simply as "the body" whose life and love and being centered around Jesus. I moved in with some of the "sisters" and immersed myself in their lifestyle. Praying, Bible study, witnessing, community meals and teaching nightly. We believed in poverty since "the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head". There were clear-cut roles for men and women; and we all lived as brothers and sisters. No one dated unless they felt "God was knitting their hearts together" into a bond like Jonathan and David had. Ninety nine percent of those who dated married each other within a short time. Over the next three years (1973 76) our group grew so quickly we were awed at God's work among us. We never held outreaches or revival campaigns, but word of our total commitment spread on campus and young people searching for a radical and livable community devoted to God flocked to us. Many felt the typical youth fellowship groups on campus were too watered down and more concerned with having a good time and cliques than they were in following a personal Creator.

There were many errors and difficulties however that arose with this group. Because we expected Jesus' imminent return we did not pursue schooling or careers, but spent our time witnessing so no one would go to hell on account of us. We got our food from periodic "dump runs" (to dumpsters behind stores) so we would not have to use good money to buy food when instead we could use it for printing evangelistic tracts. As people began to marry there was no one old enough or wise enough to deal with the myriads of issues and dilemmas of family life. Arrogance was widespread as we felt we were the only ones truly following God. In 1976 our pastors disbanded the group, to the great sorrow of its members.

Throughout the following year I suffered many losses. I no longer had a church family the one solid thing I had counted on was gone without my consent or agreement. My Brazilian boyfriend with whom I shared a seven year relationship decided he didn't want to get married after all. My goal as a graduate nurse to ease pain and assist in healing was demolished as I watched babies, toddlers and teens die weekly from leukemia and cystic fibrosis. In fact I seemed to bring pain to them by administering the chemotherapy. Friends from the old fellowship began to move away as well to start new lives. I decided my problem was that I was out of God's will so I moved to Lexington, Ky. where I hoped God would show me what to do.

Less than six weeks later I was living with a new set of Christian "sisters" who belonged to a highly committed fellowship as well. What a relief! Loving people, Christian values, goals and direction, leadership and so much loving support! I was assigned to Karen to be my personal "shepherdess". It was her entire responsibility to see that I grew in the Lord. She spent many hours with me, cultivating our friendship and drawing me out. I wasn't used to people caring for me and was very flattered and thankful to God for leading me to this group. They reassured me as well that I must have a very high calling from God since He sent me to them to be discipled. Over the next three years (1978 81) I was groomed and prepared for leadership. Leadership was a top priority quality that Maranatha Campus Ministries worked to cultivate in its members.

Although I had many doubts and skepticisms about many of the teachings I encountered in the group, I was impressed by its radical nature. These people were fully convinced of the call to total commitment to God. Besides, they also stressed holiness, faith, victory, overcoming and zeal. I felt they lacked a perspective of mercy, grace and love and decided God must have brought me to them so I could impart what I had as well as learn discipline from them.

Some of their teachings, however, went beyond the bounds of any coherent theology connected with the real world. They told us that disease, death, poverty, or any "earthly struggles" are simply a result of Satanic curses, demon possession, sinfulness or lack of faith. In one way it appealed to me because now I knew why I had so much pain in my life and could fix it. But I kept picturing the little ones I had cared for in the hospital and could not imagine them being at fault. When I asked questions I was told that God had shown Bob, our leader, these things and we must trust the Lord in him to teach us accurately. I learned that my mind had been totally perverted by the Fall and that a mental analysis was a totally unreliable test of truth. I was to listen only to my spirit to discern good from evil. The more I abandoned my mind and felt truth in my heart, the faster I would grow spiritually. And as I grew spiritually God would reveal things to me Himself and I would also understand better what teachings I now felt were contradictory to the Bible.

Apparently I was unable to divorce my mind completely, and I continued to listen carefully to try to understand and make sense of what Bob taught. I was called by Karen to Bob's house where he, his wife Pat and Karen confronted me. They felt a demonic spirit was keeping me from accepting God's truth unhindered and told me I needed to be delivered of that spirit in order to grow. As they prayed over me, they decided I had a spirit of mind idolatry, critical thinking, a masculine spirit (because I was "analytical like a man and not open and innocent like a woman"). I also was found to have spirits of independence, rebellion and mistrust. To top it off they felt I had a seductive spirit that was causing some brothers to come up and talk to me after meetings. They surmised if it were the Holy Spirit drawing, each female would be talking to a male. (I sorely wanted to suggest the girls smile a little, but was afraid this would reveal another spirit). I found it hard to believe I had all these demons, and when I voiced my objection they pointed out that at that very moment I was manifesting their presence. I was given a choice to repent and submit, or to pack up and leave the fellowship, since rebellion against God cannot be tolerated. I had so many friends in the group, I was anxious to serve God, I had no idea where I could go. I concluded that if they were right, deliverance would help. If they were wrong, it would do no harm. I decided to submit. Once I did, they were so loving and helpful that I actually left that humiliating meeting feeling closer to God. As I left they called out "Are you willing to be retarded for Jesus?" and I answered "Yes!" to which everyone nodded approval. Looking back, I see my conclusion was wrong. It did harm me to submit to this. A precedent was set that my mind was useless, and for the next three years I obeyed blindly without any capacity for self – observation. All self responsibility was abdicated. I had only to submit to be safe.

My lifestyle began to change dramatically as I was indoctrinated into God's "higher plan". We did not date in Maranatha Campus Ministries, as dating was seen to originate from the devil to bring scars and hurts as well as to lead young people into immorality. Since "Adam and Eve didn't date" it was reasoned unnecessary for us as well. God would supernaturally reveal to a believer the name of the one He wanted them to marry. They then submitted this name to the elders for confirmation, which had to be unanimous from the national elder board. Time was given for the other prospective spouse to "hear from God" if it had been confirmed. After a month they were approached to "pray about marriage". With this nudge they oftentimes did "hear from God" and were engaged immediately. No physical contact whatsoever was permitted until after the wedding. If one "heard wrong" as I did, they were delivered of spirits of lust and seduction.

Faith was an important aspect affecting daily living. We were never to complain or speak negatively. We were told that what our lips said, would come to pass. That is, if we said we felt sick, we would become sick. We were to speak faith. If ill, we could say we were getting the victory over it. Medications were looked down on as indications that one was not spiritual enough to have the faith to "stand against" sickness, pain or discomfort without pills. Depression was a sign of spiritual oppression that one could and should be delivered from. Anger was sin; unless it was against outsiders in which it was probably righteous. Tears of sorrow, grief, doubt or fear were seen to glorify the devil; unless of course they were from righteous pain like grief at sin in the world. Our "counselors" or "shepherds" job was to take us back through old wounds, discover the sin or curse that caused them and pronounce healing over us.

Submission to leadership was essential. One submitted first to one's personal discipler (as unto God) and they in turn to the local leaders, who in turn comprised the Board of Elders. Soon after joining Maranatha Campus Ministries, I discovered I was to hear from God on every single area of my life. No area was neutral. If I wanted to visit relatives I had to get permission. If I was becoming too close friends with anyone we were separated. Disobedience was equated with the sin of witchcraft and obviously was grounds for being banned from the group.

Friendships with others outside the group were terminated except within the framework of "evangelistic potential". That is, one could develop friendships for the purpose of witnessing. To "draw life from" loving relationships outside the group was felt to contradict the command to "keep oneself unstained from the world". Other Christians could conceivably fellowship with us, but they had such a lower revelation of God that it was rhetorically asked "How can two walk together who do not share the same vision?" Sometimes the burden of these many sacrifices to live such controlled lives weighed heavily upon us. We were quickly reminded to be thankful to God that He had placed such a high calling on us. After all, God told us in a prophecy that we were His end time army, the Green Beret of His army, in fact. As a reward for our zeal and commitment we had a good chance at being those called to rule and reign with Him in the Holy of Holies. After all, we were baptized in the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, utilized all the gifts of the Spirit and were operating at 100% obedience level. Besides, we knew that Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" referred to the fact that many Christians suffer poverty, disease and misfortune for lack of knowledge of God's provisions for them. This was a crucial reason Maranatha Campus Ministries stressed leadership so much. It was our expectation that in the millennium we would be the ones to "rule and reign" with Christ since we were "100 fold Christians". We would help the lesser Christians along. To walk away from such a destiny was unthinkable.

In short we were an enclosed community of idealistic young people full of vision, ready answers and zeal without knowledge. I began to see this after two and a half years when I went on staff and was sent to Brazil to begin a campus ministry in Rio de Janeiro. I arrived in Brazil in June 1980 and was met there by Bert and Karen a couple who had been sent on earlier to learn the language. I was already fluent in Portuguese since I had been to Brazil several times previously. Bert was to be the primary pastor. I found them to be very sensitive and loving people who welcomed me warmly.

Removed from my Lexington friends who had ushered me into Maranatha Campus Ministries and interpreted difficult teachings for me, however was quite a shock. Living with a married couple I'd never met and being in a foreign country with them began to unsettle me. I felt awkward and out of place. I began to reevaluate what I was doing and why. I worried about my family in Denver who did not want me to make this move and felt a terrible misgiving about missing God in this. I had a strong sense He wanted me to go back to Denver and heal our long broken relationships. Then I dismissed this notion as 'of the devil' since the elders had all prayed and confirmed it to be God's will for me to be in Brazil.

Soon Nick arrived. He was a traveling evangelist with Maranatha Campus Ministries and was to help launch our initial outreach and assist Bert with pastoring a young church in its early stages. Nick was a very dynamic Greek, full of strong emotions, plans and demands. A power struggle developed between the two leaders with Nick the usual victor. I couldn't believe that the fights and manipulations I had thought I had escaped by joining this group were now being reenacted before my very eyes. I began to see that decisions handed down "from the Lord" and backed by His total authority were nothing more than decisions reached after arguments and power plays. When I confronted Nick with my concerns he rebuked me, saying that sisters were to not be questioning the authority of the leaders.

Soon I noticed as well that newsletters sent to our U.S. offices had glowing stories about miraculous healings (a man who fainted in our meeting was proclaimed "raised from the dead") and how Nick was preaching before 300 (chairs, only 11 people were there). In one meeting Nick spoke to medical students and said "when I studied Medicine. . ." I asked him afterwards when he studied Medicine since I knew he had never graduated from high school. He claimed his uncle was a doctor and he had looked at his books once. I further challenged him on this apparent lie and he answered "The Bible says to become all things to all men in order to win the few".

By this time I was seriously disturbed with the growing discrepancies between the Jesus I had met and the one being presented. Holiness and commitment were stressed over and over. But where was holiness in lying and fighting? Love and grace seemed like wishy washy female ideas of no value. After all, we were an Army. Meanwhile I was receiving warm friendly letters from a brother in Lexington, and decided it must be God's will for me to leave and be married to him; so I submitted his name. Much to my sorrow and embarrassment the elders called and said he was getting engaged that night to another girl and that I was to "gird up my loins" and resist the devil and lay down my life for God.

With the outreach fully underway we were living 18 hour days, witnessing, holding meetings, discipling new converts. Money was draining quickly away. I had sold my car to come to Brazil, now the proceeds from that were almost gone. I had one pair of sandals to wear and began to understand the hospitality of foot washing after myself being out on dirt roads in the hot sun all day. With no real cash, and the fact that my visa would expire the end of November, the elders began to question what sins I was committing since "God wasn't blessing me with abundance". I was delivered of a selfish spirit for not ironing Nick's shirts more willingly so he had several to choose from at a time. I had also expressed concern privately to Karen that I had not menstruated in five months. In the deliverance session this was brought out in front of everyone as evidence that I was "withholding" from the group spiritually, even as my body was "withholding its life blood". Once again I repented, but this time it was with a measure of resistance. I fought doubts and questions daily. I spent my day off walking the beaches alone, trying to sort out why a heathen waiter I'd never met before was so kind to me, to reheat my meal I hadn't touched and to give me words of comfort. Why was our life so unloving and harsh? I prayed constantly, but of course tears were impossible. When I finally confessed my doubts to Bert, he told me the devil was after me and that I was no longer to be alone on my days off or anytime. That way they could gird me up.

Now that I was discipling 14 girls myself (who were to obey me as unto God just as I did to my elders), I felt a greater weight of responsibility on my shoulders. The Bible had many things to say about false teachers leading innocent ones into error. When it had just been my life at stake, it didn't really matter. But now it was my job to call others to enter this group and follow the principles we lived by. Could I?…using Jesus' Name?

What about the teaching that God does not know the future? that Jesus paid for our sins in hell and not on the cross? What about the faith teaching? I was a nurse. Could I stand by and watch Jose, a man with a serious heart condition requiring medical attention, refuse to get it because Nick said he was healed? What would be my responsibility if something happened to him? What about when Diane got a head injury from a bike accident and was prayed over and anointed with oil? Only days later, after pus was oozing from her head did they say she could go to the E.R. But were these questions even possible? After all, we were taught that once we became members of Maranatha Campus Ministries we had entered into a covenant relationship with them. To leave the group would be breaking covenant not only an admission of failure, but an act of supreme betrayal. Everyone knew covenant breaking was the worst offense one could commit worse than divorce because it was against GOD.

Wouldn't God just take care of any errors Himself? Shouldn't I just trust God's appointed leadership even if I disagreed with them? Perhaps I did not understand... or was He holding me responsible to hear Him myself even if it contradicted the leaders? But they were men. Wasn't I as a woman more easily deceived? Didn't I as a single woman need their covering?

With these questions in the back of my mind, no money and an expired visa I returned to the U.S. in late November. I had told the brothers in Brazil I felt God leading me to get more money for the ministry there. They confirmed this in the Holy Spirit. I was so torn, yet hopeful that everything would make sense once I got back to Lexington. That was not to be so. Immediately I encountered more control measures. I was told that sisters were not to use tampons anymore since the Lord showed the elders they were unsafe. Since the sisters' house had 8 women and only one bathroom, there was no privacy ever. Even an infringement of this rule would be reported. As a nurse, I resented the intrusiveness on decisions involving something so personal. I also discovered that married couples had to submit to the elders if they could try to get pregnant or not. So now, rebellion against God could even be found here! I decided to test my heart and see if I were in such a lost state as it appeared. I asked to go to Ohio to help with the outreach there for awhile. I knew it would be impossible to witness or read the Bible if I were in real sin. Yet I found my heart quite willing and comfortable with the Gospel and the Scriptures. I talked for hours with my close friend and former shepherdess, Judy. She confided in me some very deep, personal hurts she was going through as a result of the dating revelation (the system designed to prevent pain in affairs of the heart). Yet she continued to believe she was to serve God no matter what the cost was and exhorted me strongly to do the same. I agreed with her words but had come to doubt whether it was God creating such demands and hurt, or if it was men.

Throughout the next days I fasted and prayed and met with Steve and Brenda, then pastors in Lexington. Their five-year-old son sat in on the 'counseling'. Steve was angry and disappointed at my return from Brazil, believing it to indicate a loss of faith. He felt my visa would have been miraculously renewed and money also provided supernaturally, had I enough faith for it. When I shared what I had seen and heard, he declared I had a spirit of pride and was unwilling to yield to the Lord. He felt I had become mediocre and now only wanted to marry and be a rich, wishy washy suburban housewife... that I was no longer under Jesus' lordship and was therefore in danger of losing my salvation altogether. My choice was to repent and then to pray about where next I should go in full time ministry or to rebel and break covenant. I burst into tears. As he had verbally battered me I had been able to remove myself from the room emotionally and mentally. At this last statement I could no longer control the distancing and sobbed in his living room. He was quite pleased, taking this for repentance, and prayed over me and told me to go hear the Lord about my next assignment.

On January 17th I talked with my parents in Denver. I told them of my deep confusion and inability to make a decision. They offered to buy me a plane ticket home the following day so I could think things over away from the intense pressure. My father, who had just become a Christian, read to me from I Corinthians 13. He told me he didn't know all the accusations against me, but he did know I had demonstrated to him the love described in that chapter. Surely something I had been doing must have been right.

Love. It had seemed so unconditional at first . . . so tangible . . . so strong. But now it had become conditional entirely on my behavior. I was not heard unless I was giving the party line. All else was evil. I was no longer a person but a cog in a vast machine. God was not the God we worshipped. The Vision was the god. Everything was to be sacrificed to it. The work was important, not the individuals. We were to dress like overcomers, serve like overcomers, behave like overcomers. We were to have faith, victory, generosity and obedience. Outsiders, especially Christians who did not know us except at a distance, marvelled at us. We were the most dynamic, exciting young people for God they had ever seen. We reveled in our glory. God's Green Berets.

I could not continue in this group and maintain my relationship to my first love, my Jesus. I never thought I would have to choose between serving Him and "breaking covenant" with His people, but that is how it appeared.

So on January 18, 1981, splintered and broken, I walked away from the Vision and into the arms of my God.

-Kathy Myatt-
Denver, Colorado 1983

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: November 18, 2004 02:13AM

Darrell Lucus

As some of you have probably seen, I was burned--badly--by an off-the-wall Christian group in my freshman year at Carolina. I'd been promising to write about it in greater detail.

When I arrived in Chapel Hill in 1996, it was the fulfilment of a dream. I'd set my sights on going to Carolina from seventh grade onward--and now here I was, the first male member of my family to get into Carolina without benefit of his ability to dribble a basketball. It should have been the happiest time of my life--but the first six months of it turned out to be a nightmare, and I spent most of the rest of my time there trying to make up for it. I have an outfit named Waymaker Christian Fellowship to thank for that. I'd first run into them at summer orientation--they were one of just a few groups from whom I'd picked up literature. I didn't think too much of them until I got ready to head to campus for the first time after getting settled in.

Just as I got off the elevator, I heard a voice say, "Excuse me, what is your name?" The voice came from a guy named Perry, who was sitting in the lobby. We struck up a conversation--and it turned out he was the leader of Waymaker. He said he knew God had a plan for me. I was a bit flabbergasted. "How'd you know?" I asked. "God told me," he replied. That should have set off a red flag right there--here was this guy who I hadn't even met before, and he seemed to know more about me than I did. I didn't think too much of it at the time. But there was something else--I couldn't put my finger on it. It was as if something just wasn't right about this guy. I'd been picked on a lot when I was younger, especially in middle school. But somehow it didn't register. I went to a little function they had on Monday, just a few days before the start of classes. Same alarm bells went off throughout, but they were so nice, so welcoming ... I just blew it off.

A week later, I went to church with them for the first time. I thought I was late at first, but just as I was about to walk back to my dorm, a van pulled up. Perry was driving. "Darrell, you coming?" I heard voices in my head saying, Warning--mistake in progress! Darrell about to make huge mistake! Error! But I blew it off as a demonic trick and ambled in. This group was an outreach of Triangle Christian Fellowship (now known as King's Park International Church), a nondenominational church just off I-40 in Durham. It was a madhouse--they were telling us when to raise our hands, shout, clap, etc. And we were practically ordered to cheer after every song. It felt so phony, so stage-managed. That wariness came back. It only increased when I had a chance to take a gander at their statement of faith. It was absolutely fundamentalist. At that point, I thought, that's it, I'm never going back! But I was almost immediately seized by an intense feeling of guilt. It was to be a common occurrence over the next six months--every time I thought about skipping out on church, weekly meetings on Monday night or Bible study on Thursday.

I tried to keep up a good front--but deep down, I was really miserable. I knew something was off about them, but was afraid in case they were right. Plus, they were the only remotely integrated Christian group at Carolina--I think the racial breakdown was 70% white/20% black/10% other. For instance, one Monday night we started singing a song, and Perry made us stop and start all over again because he didn't think we were getting excited enough. Another time, another one of their ministers, a black dude named Morgan, talked about being filled with the Holy Spirit. I went up front when they asked if anyone wanted. Some of my fellow freshmen laid hands on me. They asked me to raise my hands. I did, but all the while I thought, Why am I doing this? I seriously felt like flapping them and taking off. They started blibbering in tongues, and I felt like something was trying to get inside my head. I thought, I don't know who you are, but you're NOT welcome here! I'm convinced now that had I not stiffened then, I'd be just like them.

About a week later, the scales started falling off my eyes. While most of the other Waymakers were at a retreat (in either Tennessee or the western part of North Carolina, I forget), I stayed in town because the football team was playing Florida State in Tallahassee. The football team was one of the surprise stories of the season, and an upset over Florida State would have served as validation. I wanted to stick around and see history. That same weekend, Students for Choice was holding a rally on Franklin Street (Chapel Hill's main drag). I went there--and my picture ended up in the Daily Tar Heel. On Monday night, I was chatting it up with one of the other blacks in there, Loretta. The conversation turned to that picture--and she asked me, "You're pro-choice?" like "pro-choice" was a cussword. "Down the line," I said proudly (most of you know I was strongly pro-choice at the time). She then pulled her Bible out and tried to proof-text me into changing my mind. One of the campus ministers--a guy named Mike, a fellow I really didn't like that much--overheard us and backed her up. "The Bible's pretty clear on this," he said. The last time I felt that small was in middle school.

Fast-forward another week--the infamous Pit Preacher showed up for the first time. He went into a nasty anti-Clinton tirade, and I asked him where it was in the Bible that God was a Repub. He did a Mexican hat dance around the question. So I wrote a letter to the editor that basically said God didn't give a flip about your politics. Loretta saw that letter as well, and told me that I should have known she didn't agree with me. But that wasn't the biggest head-scratcher of the day. That came from another gal in that group, Jaime (nope, not my current wife). We talked about the letter, and she told me that I had to junk any idea that didn't jibe with the Bible, no matter how strongly I believed it. And I wasn't supposed to even think about it either! I told her there was no way I could reorder my mind to think that way. Her response was breathtaking--"This isn't about differences of opinion, Darrell. This is about your salvation!" I later found out that there was only one other Democrat in that bunch, a New Yorker named Christina. Yep, you saw it here--even the other blacks in there were hyperconservative Republicans, almost to the right of Clarence Thomas. Loretta, for instance, a Charleston native, voted for Strom Thurmond in what turned out to be his last campaign. That's like me, a black man from North Carolina, voting for Jesse Helms.

I should have walked out--but again, the guilt came over me. And so it was for most of the semester. I really felt uncomfortable in there, but was afraid to leave in case they were right and it was God's will for me to fall in with them. But it wasn't just the mind games. For instance, there was a constant "us versus them" mentality in there--as if everyone else was jealous of us "because of what we believe." They were also incredibly enmeshed--to the point I could hardly tell where one person ended and the other began. And the way they reacted whenever they saw each other on campus made no sense. They hugged each other, acting like they hadn't seen each other in ages. And I got more than a few dirty looks from them when I wore a Harvey Gantt campaign sticker on election day.

I was ready to walk out after Thanksgiving, but Christina talked me into sticking around. But January was the last straw. One of the girls in there, Ashley, was showering a ton of attention on me--so much that I thought she was in love with me. I'd blown it before with several women and wasn't about to blow it again, so I naturally asked my lady friends for advice--after all, who better knows how to reach a woman than another woman? I eventually asked Jaime and Loretta for advice--and they both said they had to "pray about it and ask God what he thinks." I felt like shaking them--I didn't want to know what God thought, I wanted to know what THEY thought! That episode convinced me that the longer I stayed in there, the more likely I'd lose my humanity. So that night--a few days before the Super Bowl--I cut the cord with them. And so began a long healing process that still continues as I write this.

When I finally walked out on Waymaker Christian Fellowship in January '97--a few days before the Super Bowl--I felt as if I was starting from zero. They'd taken a lot from me. And the strange thing is that I was one of the last people you'd expect to fall victim to them. Here I was, a journalism major and (at least by North Carolina standards) a radical liberal--and I'd almost been sucked into a hyperconservative, hypercharismatic group. I spent most of the rest of the year and the summer before my sophomore year trying to make sense of how this could have happened.

Part of it, I realize now, is that when I became a Christian in my junior year of high school, I'd bought into it out of fear--and they were able to exploit it. The other part was what usually gets freshmen sucked into groups like this--a desire to belong and feel like you count in a campus where more often than not you're just a number. Over the summer, I checked out several books on spiritual abuse. One experience sounded eerily familiar--a girl showering tons of attention on a guy. The guy later realized the girl was "love-bombing" him--showering all that attention with an ulterior motive in mind. That was exactly what Ashley did to me. By the time I began my sophomore year at Carolina, I still had hopes of staying friends with the rank-and-file members of the group. As I saw it, they were victims just as much as I was.

But two things happened between Labor Day and the home football opener with Indiana that made me realize I was kidding myself on that angle. The first happened when I ran into Shara, a girl who I'd seen at meetings a few times and had taken my place as their "problem child" after I left. I'd run into her on campus shortly after I left the group, and warned her about what was going on. She told me she wouldn't let them pull anything funny on her. Well, come the Sunday before Labor Day, and after exchanging a few pleasantries she told me she was saved--and had a couple of guys in that group to thank for staying on her about changing her ways. I believe that had I warned her about the things they'd tried with me, she'd have bailed out. Her blood was on my hands--and now I felt like in order to make it up to her, I had to fight to expose them for who they really were so no one else could get hurt.

The next day, I'd arrived at one of the libraries to file a report for a sports magazine for whom I wrote at the time, and I ran into one of my former compatriots in there, Terri. We talked a little bit, and I mentioned that I was no longer a Christian. As the conversation wore on, she asked for my number. I wondered why--and she said it was in case I ever wanted to go to church with them. It was like all I'd said to her had gone in one ear and out the other. That left a really bad taste in my mouth. I later realized Terri had only asked for my number when another guy in there just happened to show up. It took me until Friday to add it up, but then I realized my now-sophomore friends were trying to wheedle me back into church and catch me in a weak moment. Then they could love-bomb me back into submission. Sorry, but I wasn't playing by that script. I called her up that night--and got one of her roomies, another member of the group named Barbara. I let her have it--both barrels right between the eyes. As I saw it, they were taking advantage of my friendship, and I wanted no part of it.

A few weeks after that, I discovered something that made my hair stand on end. Waymaker was one of the flagship ministries of an outfit called Campus Harvest, a national network of like-minded campus ministries run by the pastor of King's Park. While digging for info on them, I saw King's Park linked on a Web site of former members of Maranatha Campus Ministries, a group I'd read about in several of the spiritual abuse books I'd read over the summer. Maranatha Campus Ministries was founded in 1971 and dissolved in 1989 because of intense criticism over its methods, which in many ways crossed the line into outright cultism. For instance, members weren't allowed to date. King's Park grew out of a campus ministry at Carolina. That ministry was, beyond all doubt, Maranatha's Carolina chapter. I tried to tell some of the people in there--including Perry. I was convinced that if they knew this group's past history, they'd walk. To my surprise, their reaction was "so what?" But Perry's reaction struck me dumb. He was very condescending to me, and tried to make me never speak against them again.

A few months later, the Waymakers brought a guy to campus to preach in the Pit. I went after him and basically chopped him up like a Thanksgiving turkey--something that earned me a front-page picture in the school paper. I later found out that he was a major player in Victory Campus Ministries, one of the organizations with whom Waymaker was affiliated. I thought for sure that would finish them--until I ran into a guy who had been in one of my classes in my freshman year and was now part of them. That made me wonder--how many other people had to be burned before the lid got blown on them? I felt I had to do something--after all, they'd been in business here in one form or another since 1981 (under the Waymaker moniker since 1992). I knew others had been hurt by them in the past 16 years--but I was the first to get out of there and not be afraid to speak out against them. I eventually felt obligated to do something on their behalf besides speak out--I had to do all I could to get these clowns run off campus. But if I ran them before the honor court, I knew they would try to claim they were being ganged up on unless there was hard evidence of their deceptive tactics.

Ironically, they'd given me a window to do it. I got the impression that they thought I'd eventually come crawling back to them. So I figured, give the clowns what they want! Early in December '97, I decided to spy on them--pretend that I'd had a major-league conviction and was now just like them. And they fell for it--hook, line and sinker. During that time, I found out just how off the wall they were. For instance, I found out that they thought it was all right to keep after people about becoming a Christian even when they didn't want to hear it. They rationalized it by claiming that everyone at Carolina thought like them deep down inside--but the reason they get cussed out or get smoke blown in their faces isn't because the person doesn't want to listen. They actually do--but their spirits have been so played around with by the devil that they're completely dead to God's ways. So the only way to make the devil let go is to keep after the person. Sound familiar? That's the same approach they used with Shara. They also believed that you can't trust your mind at all because it's been so screwed around with by the devil that it's totally unreliable--you can only use your heart, as they see it. As one of them told me, the devil can use someone's intellect to "intellectualize you out of a relationship with God." They also believed, much like the Oneness churches believe, that you can't really be saved unless you speak in tongues. That last statement, in my opinion, makes them a 100% cult.

I also discovered they weren't above playing mind games with their own fellow charismatics. The closest parallel I can draw is Pete Rose betting on his own team. One of the first people I met in my "trojan horse" effort, a gal named Margarette, had come into the group in a way that still gives me the creeps now as I think about it. She'd been a member of Carolina's chapter of Inter-Varsity, but felt it didn't do anything for her spiritually. It probably had something to do with her Pentecostal Holiness faith and that there weren't too many people there who were charismatics and pentecostals. She got some literature from a guy in Waymaker, and went to one of their meetings. She felt kind of queasy about it--but then somebody talked her into sticking around and saying goodbye to the others. After this, Margarette was convinced her anxiety was a demonic trick.

Besides that, I was able to find out more details about how Shara had been essentially harassed into becoming a Christian. But the kicker came when they bandied about the idea of running some of their people for student government positions in the upcoming elections. I took what information I'd dug up to the student attorney general's office.

Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done due to a loophole in the code of student conduct that, in a nutshell, doesn't penalize students and student groups for deliberately lying to other students--only to university personnel. But the group was forced to be a little more honest about who they were. I got some satisfaction out of that, and decided to focus my efforts on the court of public opinion. It must have worked because of what happened when they brought Adam Burt, who played for the Carolina Hurricanes at the time, over to speak at one of their meetings. You'd think they'd be able to get a bigger venue for such a major speaker--but they had to be content with the room where they usually met. I happened to walk by there that night, and there didn't seem to be too many more people than normal there. Just before that, they brought a former Power Team member to campus. I briefly disrupted the proceedings by screaming that a lot of the things he was doing--like ripping phone books and busting bricks--were cheap parlor tricks. And again--still in the same room on Monday night. I doubt I was a factor in that, though.

Earlier on, I'd found out that many people who had heard about them more than just in passing had come to some of the same conclusions I'd drawn. Among some of the things I heard were "radical, strict group," "didn't let you get to God in your own way" and "not what I expected."

I continued to speak out against them every chance I got--knowing that eventually there would have to be a day of reckoning. That came early in my junior year.

When I've told people about my experience with Waymaker, I've been reminded that I need to forgive them. I'm trying ... but boy, it's hard. After all, they stole the first six months of my adult life from me. I'm convinced that they know what they did to me was wrong--after all, in all the time I've spoken out about them, they never once refuted anything I said either in person or on the Web. Ever. But at the same time, they've never come to me even once and said, "We know what we did was wrong, Darrell, and we're sorry." Instead, they responded like a bunch of spoiled and immature kids. The worst came early in my junior year.

In the midst of this tussle, I finally was able, with the help of some very supportive friends in Carolina's surprisingly moderate chapter of Campus Crusade, to find my way back to God. I date my salvation from this time, because I realize in my junior year of high school that I bought into a God that was way too distant. I fired that God in '97. And shortly after that, I was filled with the Spirit after running into some Spirit-filled people who weren't anything like the Waymaker/TBN/INSP crowd. In a bit of irony, the night I got filled up, Margarette gave me a call on the phone. Earlier, she'd told me she'd been misquoted in the school newspaper about what it took to be a Christian. I talked with the author, and she stood by her story. I didn't get a chance to read the article until I was at the library one day, and compared it to a letter to the editor Margarette wrote earlier. The tone was the same.

I let this stew over the summer. The most benign interpretation of this was that Margarette seemed to think that now that I was Spirit-filled, I'd believe a Spirit-filled sister over anyone else. Oh, she don't know me very well, do she? I thought. That fact finally dawned on me not long after I arrived in Chapel Hill for my junior year. I'd been taken advantage of by someone I thought was my friend--again! It seemed this was standard operating procedure for the Waymakers, but I'd thought she was better than this. After all, she'd expressed concern about "fanaticism" in the group. But being used in this matter was more than I could take. I emailed her and told her in no uncertain terms that unless she ended this foolishness, I wanted nothing to do with her. That gave me enough of a release to email some of my now-former friends in Waymaker and basically told them the same thing. Not long after that, I got wind of a Waymaker scheme to befriend some foreign exchange students and use that as a way to wheedle them in. I got in touch with the person in charge of the program, and she nipped that scheme in the bud.

Their response? Almost a month later, I received a letter telling me to go to one of the associate dean's offices after class to discuss "a matter" concerning me. It turned out she was the associate dean in charge of sexual harassment cases, and she told me several Waymaker girls had come to her about me. I was flabbergasted. This was way below the belt, even by their standards. After recovering from the initial shock, I surmised that five of the girls in there--Jaime, Margarette, Ashley (now a campus minister) and two others--had tried to use my emails as the basis for these scurrilous charges. They were using this as a way to get me booted out of school and thus silence their most vocal And the timing was very suspect--it came after I ran into Shara on campus and mentioned that I was considering a run for student body president. I believe that they had planned this from the time I stopped their scheme with the foreign exchange students, but wanted to strike when I was most vulnerable. And what better time than during midterms, when at the same time I was trying to grease the wheels for a presidential run? But they handled it very clumsily. Among their mistakes besides the obvious questionable timing, they went in on Waymaker's behalf, not as individuals--and thus robbed Waymaker of a defense. There was no way they could now claim that nobody in Waymaker's leadership knew about this frame-up. Plus, they got Margarette in on the scheme as one of the accusers--but she'd resumed email contact with me just after spring break of the previous year after saying she didn't want to hear from me again.

I met with another dean on Monday to settle this, and found out they made an even bigger blunder--they never submitted any evidence to support their scurrilous charges! My best guess is that they must have thought, They can dismiss one person, but five? I was ready to haul them before the honor court, but the dean suggested the best way to bring closure was to offer to settle. I decided to take the offer--even though I was in a position where I could name my terms to the Waymakers. However, as much as I hated them, I could not honorably deny them a chance to surrender.

One last question remained unanswered. How much had the rank-and-file members known about this cowardly scheme? I started wondering about it when one of them said "hi" to me even though we'd agreed to stay away from each other. That agreement made it very difficult to find out how much they knew and when they knew it. Eventually, however, I found out that they did know--but just spun it as an attempt to smear Waymaker. And none of them even questioned it.

Words fail me even now. I still can't believe eight years later that they'd dismiss such a sordid and underhanded character smear in this manner. But now that I think about it, it doesn't surprise me knowing what I now know about them. As much as they told me they loved me, they didn't care about me at all--all they saw was another notch in their Bibles. And when I didn't play along--well, you see what happened.

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