Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Date: December 04, 2004 07:14AM
KEY COMMENTS FROM THE FACTNET FORUM:
This is how CP Wagner got involved in MSI (Morningstar). First Steve Mureell who used to be a maranatha have changed his ways, have also fired people that are legallistic in his church , this happened after maranatha disband. The whole church, repented of being legalistic. Because he is fruitful, his name is getting known, thats how CP Wagner got to know him. Also since Steve and Rice are friends because of the past. Now since CP Wagner is a well known minister, Steve introduced CP to Rice and Phil NOT KNOWING THOSE TWO ARE ______ (you fill in the blanks). Steve is in the philippines has no idea whats going on here. BUT 2 years ago, he found out Phil is still legalistic and have rebuke him publicly, in the pulpit, in one of the conference.
The media did the "financial thing " at the wrong time, Media should have done it now. Let me tell you why, CP Wagner has a book out, its about apostolic churches. Since MSI is considered as an apostolic church , all these churches are supposed to give 5% of their tithes to MSI. The 5% is used for SALARIES and OFFICE EXPENSE. Instead I see pastors , ministers, people are not getting paid as much they should, we know because we still knows most of the people in there who are struggling financially. Thats why VLI is such a joke.
THEN by the way ski vacation is NOT considered as an office expense OR even a trip to hawaii in the most expensive hotel $$$$ , 2 room by the way for a week. That was the time when Lloyd Manamtam church was destroyed. The worse part, I was told the people in the philippines were praying against Lloyd Manamtam because of the lies they said about Lloyd.
Also I don't know if they are still collecting 5%, I was told its 13% now. But one thing I know is that people who does the MPD, these are people in the ministries that lived overseas or here are told to used MSI , MSI collects the money and send them overseas. The people here get a receipt. of the full amount . while the people at the receiving end, only takes 88% or 87 %. MSI takes in 12% or 13% of their money as fees.
In 1996, after moving to the Washington area from the midwest, we were invited to attend a multi-racial church in the Herndon, Va. The worship style was different from what I was used to and the substance from the pastor,(Brett Fuller) was anything but interesting. I can never even recall him picking up a bible and preaching from it. He normally got his text from websites, print them out, then wave them as if they were the written word. never direct scrpiture. About six months after we begin attending, Jim lafoon and Rice brooks showed up on the scene and I knew something was definately wrong with this picture. They had as much influence over the church as the paster. Soon decisions were being made on the behalf of the chuch, without the church even knowing it. In one instance, land was bought for a new church to be build in South Riding VA, without the church knowing aout it. When people began to talk, Brett told the congregation that he didnt have to ask anyone permission to do anything. He could do what ever he wanted to do, since it was his church and he had the backing of MorningStar. I was very clear to me that Morningstar was running Grace Covenant, that when I found out the history of Grace Covenent, and all its Maranatha ties. Same Maranatha, different name, different year. Still a cult. GG, after reading your post, Im sure we were there at the same time, and I assure you, you are not alone. This church should be investigated by the FBI for fraud.
After attending for over 12 years a former Maranatha Church that renamed itself Hosanna Christian Fellowship,I recently left in a haze of hurt and disillusionment. I experienced alot of the same abusive issues as many of you who have come out of former Maranatha churches/ ministries. The pastor became increasingly power-hungry and authoritative, repeatedly demanding "covenant" loyalty and both privately and publicly rebuking anyone who had any concerns or questions about him or "his" ministry. He verbally assaulted many of us, both privately and publicly, criticizing us, belittling us, and accusing us of things repeatedly that we never did or that were only sins in his twisted perception.
In addition to the abusive authority issues, it has been concretely proven with corroborating evidence and witnesses (more than the Biblically required 2-3) that he has embezzled more than $30,000 over the last few years. He had almost exclusive use of the church checkbook, with his name as the signer. He also evaded taxes by grossly overstating his parsonage usage. Despite the fact that his embezzlement caused our little church to greatly suffer financially, he placed the blame on the congretation, saying numerous times that we were not "bearing enough responsiblity" and that our lack of giving showed the "condition of our hearts".
He also has been arrested for a DUI. He tested positive for prescription painkillers and as part of his probation was forbidden to have any narcotics. He had become addicted to Vicoden and repeatedly obtained the drugs in violation of his probation by keeping the details of his arrest secretive and lying about his addiction in order to obtain Vicoden from church members who were precribed it for legitimate medical and surgical reasons. When he could not get enough of the ddrugs that way, he got it by having a church member steal a precription pad from her doctor ex-husband, and asked her to write illegal prescriptions to obtain the painkillers. She was arrested and consequently disbarred from her law license, as she was caught at a pharmacy picking up the medicine one of the times she wrote the illegal prescription. He had driven her to the pharmacy, but upon seeing from accross the store the police going up to her, he left the scene and left her to get arrested alone. She, of course, never brought his name into the situation, as she was mind-controlled by him to be protective of him.
It also has come to light that he and this same church member had relations that in his own written words "crossed lines" repeatedly.
Additionally, he and this same church member were prayer partners in an intercessory ministry focused on helping pray for people to come out of satanism. It has now been proven that over a 2-3 year period, the church member fabricated over 50 different personas that she would use to contact the pastor via e-mail. These fake persons would claim to be involved deeply in high-level satanism. The pastor would correspond with each "person", leading them to witness to them and counsel them out of satanism. Of course, all the while, the many "satanists" were reality the church member with whom he was praying. The two of them - the pastor and church member - would spend many hours interceding and praying for each "satanist" until each one, via e-mail correspondence, would relate that they had seen the light and were leaving satanism. This was a horribly deceptive and evil thing this church member did, and numerous ones of us in the church repeatedly went to the pastor to tell him that we suspected that these "satanists" were not real people, but were actually the church member pretending to be the satanists. The pastor would refuse to listen. Instead, he would berate us questioning ones for daring to question his discernment and authority and for accusing the church member of something so evil. Well, in February of this year, it was technologically proven that this church member indeed had fabricated each and every one of the "satanists", creating their respective e-mail addresses and maintaining correspondence with the pastor that would create a self-confirming intercessory ministry between her and the pastor, that their many hours of prayer were effectively getting people saved and out of satanism. Myself and another person from our church proved that the IP's of every e-mail address originated from and traced back to the church member's home or work computers. Her work was alerted to her unethical and illegal usage of computers to help perpetrate the falsified e-mails. The computer tech guy at her work was able to, without her knowledge, get screens shots of her keystrokes, concretely showing her fingers typing the fake e-mails. The pastor refused to believe the evidence. Instead, he maintains that he and the church member have been "set up" to make it appear that she fabricated the e-mails. He is too prideful to admit that he was conned and in turn refused to heed others' counsel, thus making him a part of the hoax by his willful blindness.
Yet in spite of all of this - the abuse of authority, the embezzlement, the immoral relationship, the drug addiction and ensuing illegal obtainment of the drugs, and the participation in a hoaxed prayer ministry - he is still in the pulpit. He was asked to step down, which he refused to do. Some of us have left. Some are refusing to see the truth and are continuing to believe his lies. An "apostle" from an international apostolic ministry, with whom our pastor and church have had relationship with, has stepped in at the request of the pastor and a few people in the church. He has now deemed the situation "taken care of", as the pastor gave a generic statement of apology from the pulpit, apologizing for "those he has hurt". He never specifically publicly addressed any of his sins, and has privately either denied or greatly minimized each of his sins. This statement was made 3 months after those of us who left had already left. We have yet to hear an apology from him. I doubt we ever will.
Thanks to Maranatha and other ministries like it who set up a pyramidic hierarchical system where the pastor is above rebuke and correction, he is still in leadership and still abusing his position and those he is under.
The God of Maranatha and other ministries like it, is not my God. My God is loving, humble, and takes care of His sheep. He is full of integrity and honesty. I am thankful that He opened my eyes and pulled me out of the death-filled situation I was in. I only pray those who are left will allow their eyes to be opened as well. It is a sad, grievous situation.
Paul Daniel headed up HP until 2002. He initially wanted to join with Brookes and Co but got cold feet. I believe he did not want to submit to their authority as this was want they wanted as well as the tithing story. However he had an adulterous affair with one of the staff members in our office as well as another young lady. This prompted the existing eldership to appeal to Brookes and Co for help, as he refused to aknowledge his wrongdoing. They then came to Cape Town and encouraged him to "abdicate", he now is living in Durban - I don't know much more then that except that the church membership don't talk about him at all. Quite sad as he started the church and all. Very strong leader. The team now have submitted the church to brookes and co. Its actually very interesting the whole affair. I think Brookes and Co saw it as quite an opportunity to get into africa as the Cape Town church was about 10000 strong at the time.The eldership of Hp also saw MSi as a saviour in the whole mess and I don't believe considered the whole route very carefully.
I was a member of the African arm of the MSI churches. His People Church was an amalgamation of Maranatha (a plant from the States in Johannesburg, South Africa and His People Church of Cape Town. Rev. Paul Daniel was the president of His People International and part of the MSI Apostolic team as well as C. Peter Wagner’s “board” of Apostles. Paul Daniel was senior pastor of His People Cape Town, which grew from 6 members in 1988 to over 8000 in a decade. Various His People churches are strategically situated adjacent to campuses across South Africa and Europe.
After personal research I came to the conclusion that many of these dysfunctions in the church and church leadership were the result of carry-overs in style and ministry doctrine from Maranatha days, character failures of senior leadership, a complete disregard and arrogance with regard to Christian unity and cooperation with other churches on campuses on the high ranking level, an obsession with rank and hierarchy and ladder climbing, authoritarianism, An obsession with destiny, calling and leadership, the absolute authority of senior leadership and a man-pleasing spirit with respect to the senior leadership of MSI, unrivalled professionalism, excellence in ministry taken too far and self-aggrandizement and backslapping of each other on a perplexing scale. Hype of certain favoured ministries such as Champions also was over the top
Rice Broocks, Steve Murrell, Brett Fuller, Jim Lafoon and others visited our church and on each occasion I was deeply unimpressed despite the song and dance around them. In fact, the only one who did make an impression was the surprise and very hushed guest appearance of Bob Weiner in 1997.
I remember when VLI was being enforced in Phil Bonasso church, Nobody wants to take it, no matter how mch advertising they make inside the church, you know how good it was, Even Phil Bonasso's daughter went up and gave testimony about how good it is, nobody wants to take it, just 10 or less people I believe. Finally out of frustration the pastors start announcing that Nobody are allowed to preach the gospel or reach the unsaved until they finish VLI. Then comes another one, NOBODY are allowed to start a bible study until they finished VLI. The Leaders would come hard on the people if you are sharing the gospel. Just literally harrassing them to drop it. As months moved on, People who pass by Leo Lawson class, Leo Lawson teach Inner Healing and deliverance, Leo would have a box inside the classroom sitting on a chair, and ordered the students to cast out demons and send it to the box.
Greg Ball immediete disappearance from the limelight and all we hear from the MSI leaders was he was on sabbatical. A normal leader who would go on into sabbatical would announced it himself. NOT by the MSI leaders. Then we found out later that Paul Daniel, was also announced by the MSI leaders that he was on Sabbatical [note: Paul Daniel confessed having adultery with two young members of his church. The implication here is that Greg Ball fell into sin, or has some problem the MSI leadership does not wish to discuss]. NOW, he does not even exist in the apostolic council. MSI leaders is always counting that in time we would forget the people who are in sabbatical. So if MSI leaders consider a leader in "sin" they would just announced that they are on "sabbatical" ? People here are NOT as guillible as before where whatever the leader say is like FROM GOD. They said it, so I believed it. People now can figure things out that things does not seem right. Whether by scriptures or not. Its In there guts, they knew something is wrong thats called the Promptings of the Holy Spirit .
People do asked questions now. And yet MSI leaders would try to suppress those questions. The year is almost over, So far I have not seen Greg ball stepping back in. I am still wondering if he would even come back in and there is still 2 -3 months to go. Till the sabbatical is over.