Morning Star Intl. Socialogical Cult
I sure appreciate your site and specially the little bit you have on Morning Star/Champions For Christ / Victory Campus Ministries. I was one of the top national leaders in all three of these groups, stationed at the University Of Southern California (I was a former Def. team Cpt. & 10 year chaplain with the football team) and was known for producing thousands of converts over my 22 years with them. In fact, many of the men in top positions within these groups were my "disciple" and I had influenced dozens of others scattered through the NFL and NBA. We were formerly known as Maranatha Ministries until 1989 when it collapsed for many of the same reasons on the issues of misused views on Apostolic authority and methods of heavy handed discipleship. I also have to admit that I was one of the most guilty parties when it came to controlling and arrogance towards other ministries that we were taught were full of compromise. I began changing my views in the early 90's when I started traveling with a group of athletes known as The Power Team and began to be spiritually mentored by Dr. Edwin Louis Cole (Christian Men's Network & Author of Maximized Manhood) I wanted to give you a little of my background to establish the fact that I was on the inside of these ministries and in fact, collaborated with the top leaders (Rice Broocks, Phil Bonasso, Greg Ball, Jim Lafoon) in the formation of their patterns and principles of ministry. I know these guys, I thought like them. I was fired (August, 2002) for standing up against their authoritarian views and for demanding that a number of men be held accountable for the damage they inflicted on hundreds. I do not believe that Morning Star is a flat out cult. There statement of faith is solid. But I do believe that they are a social cult for there application and philosophies of ministry and discipleship. The views Morning Star holds on Apostolic Authority, I believe, is a key structural error in the movement. They have some great people their but sadly they are misguided and despite the good things they produce (evangelism, world missions, leadership training) there is equal potential for great spiritual injury, bottled up potential and mental torment. For this reason, I stand opposed to all they do and would not want to see one person subjected to their ways. Recently two other pastors (Hawaii & Michigan) in Morning Star have left due to some of these same complaints.
Most people in the movement even admit to the errors in ministry but are too afraid to stand up. Particularly, Stand up and hold Phil Bonasso accountable. Phil is Rice's best friend and remains unchallenged. The danger of Phil's influence, in my opinion, is that he influences and controls the Graduate School of Ministry for the organization. In other words, Every potential leader and aspiring evangelist or campus worker, MUST go through this School. It is here were they are infused with the spirit of the Apostolic Authority. Better stated, they are commissioned to pollute other campuses and churches by brining their yoke of slavery upon others.
In His Service,
S. E. N. D.
(Sirotnak Evangelistic Network & Discipleship)
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Old Post 01-14-2004 01:52 PM
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