Pastor Writes In To Say Doug Phillips Is “Incredibly Dangerous”

Hi Jen:

I am a pastor in Colorado and have had the grueling task of “re-discipling” many whose lives (and families) were turned upside down by Doug Phillips and Vision Forum (Tit 1:11). I just wanted to drop you a line and say “keep up the good work.” Men like Phillips must be exposed before they do more harm. My first “red flag” with his organization came the moment I saw (or heard) one of their core beliefs, “the family is the foundational institution of society.”

Nowhere in the Scripture is that ever stated. As a matter of fact, it is blatantly against what the Scripture teaches. Jesus teaches us that it is the church (not the family) which is the foundational institution of society (Mat 16:18; 1Ti 3:15). “It is the city on the hill” which causes the world to sit up and take notice.

Once again–keep being faithful–you are an encouragement to many I’m sure. Men like Phillips rule by intimidation much the same way other cult leaders do, and therefore it takes strong courageous people like yourself coming out against them–before others will be freed also. And let me assure you that what you are doing is biblical. We (as Christians) are to be “exposing the deeds of darkness” (Eph 5). Though there are some things Phillips does which are good–it is the “leaven” mixed in which spoils the whole batch and makes him incredibly dangerous.

Scott Jarrett

Pastor, Sovereign Grace Bible Church

www.sovereigngracebc.org

Note: see Pastor Jarrett’s related article: The Church: God’s Foundational Institution

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247 Responses to “Pastor Writes In To Say Doug Phillips Is “Incredibly Dangerous””

  1. Jen Says:

    RefCal, thank you for that history about Junia/Junias. Don Veinot actually took his information from “Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’” by Timothy Paul Jones.

    I am not at all disappointed to hear that Junia may not be a woman after all, since it does seem odd that a woman would be an apostle. You would think we would have more of a reference to it than this, if it were indeed true.

    Did you leave this comment on Don’s blog as well? I would encourage you to do so.

  2. Mike Says:

    “Don Venoit has been decieved about Junia/Junias”

    Well! That convinces me. Greek grammar is the foundation of society! I can see why this comment was posted here. LOL!

  3. Lily Hill Says:

    I have been following your website and related ones — on both sides — for a time.

    I have had very similar experiences over the past 35 years.

    I can relate to your trauma, your confusion, your experiences to the reactions of people — especially from some Christians, to the character assassination and rampant criticism that’s happened to you — especially from some Christians, and your “stuck-ness” due to Doug Phillips’ not practicing what he preaches and refusing contact so you can reconcile as he has commanded.

    Here are some things the Lord has taught me, if it will help you or any one else reading this. I’m sure you already know some or all of these.

    1. You don’t always get justice from man. The Lord gives justice.

    2. Christians don’t always practice what they preach or what the Bible preaches.

    3. Some people call themselves Christians, but they are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. Only the Lord can really know if they are truly His sheep needing sanctification, or if they are goats.

    4. Patriarchy teaching generally produces tyrants. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    5. Forgiveness sets you free: from the past, from the consequences of the sins and offenses that will come upon those who sinned against you, and from the sins themselves.

    6. Forgiveness also lets God come in and heal, make it all up to you, give you good for the bad, take away the pain, make you happy– even happy it happened, and punish/give consequences to those who sinned against you, in little or big ways. (And only GOD has the power to do all that!!!)

    7. Just because you’re a Christian, it doesn’t mean you can just get up and go on. Severe trauma takes a long time to overcome, even with the Lord.

    8. Even if you’re a Christian, brainwashing and cult teaching, even though “Bible-based,” and cult communities, even though “Bible-based,” are hard to overcome, even with the Lord.

    9. Forgiveness comes from a decision, not from feelings. Decision — “I choose to forgive.” And then you keep telling yourself that as the memories come up. But that’s not the end of it — God heals and restores and makes it up to you.

    10. Forgiveness and healing and working through all this unto peace and joy and wholeness takes a long time. It’s a process. It is layer by layer by layer of bone-grinding, tear-streaked, fear-filled, depressed and depressing work. But it is worth it. The Lord is faithful, and His kingdom is the kingdom of heaven, and He carries the weak in His bosom. There is life beyond. There is light. There is joy. It just takes a lot of work and a lot of time time to get those hints of glory, until you experience them more and more. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. It’s worth it! Keep going! The Lord is faithful!

    11. If someone doesn’t want to be reconciled to you, that’s their choice, and you can’t force them. AS FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, live at peace with one another. I would try to find a church that will accept you, since you’ve tried to reconcile with Doug Phillips and even Little Bear Wheeler.

    12. The abuse in my home life didn’t change will I was under the teachings of Gothard, Powlison, Sovereign Grace, Bob Mumford, etc. They changed with the Lord and by my searching and thinking on my Bible, my counselor’s help, and from the book she recommended — Cloud and Townsend’s book, “Boundaries.” Check it out! What a world of difference! I’ve had some real help come out of that book. Cloud and Townsend are Christians, and my pastor said they clearly have their heads screwed on right.

    13. You are not the only one to whom this has happened.

    14. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.

    15. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. The Lord will keep helping you as you keep asking him to.

    16. There are a lot of Christian sites online for post-cult recovery, including post-“Bible-based” cults. Go to a search engine and type in Christian cult recovery, Christian cult watch, Christian cult abuse, etc.

    *

    I wish to name the men and churches under which I had similar terrible experiences, in the hopes that it will help any one else put 2 + 2 together and come out with 4, and to realize the red flags going up from their hearts aren’t “their flesh” or “the devil,” but God giving them warnings and checks from the Spirit.

    The first was Bill Gothard’s seminar, the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. Bad news. And 35 years later, I’m still suffering from the effects of his teaching, and the terrible trauma and his abuse that his teaching produced in my marriage and family. My Christian counselor is SHOCKED by the teachings in that big red binder. Why was I fooled? That’s a good question, especially I knew my Bible somewhat. “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 NKJV

    From the NET Bible. (Free online. Free to share.)

    Mat 23:13

    “But woe to you, experts in the law 1 and you Pharisees, hypocrites! 2 You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! 3 For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in.

    Mat 23:15

    “Woe to you, experts in the law 1 and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You cross land and sea to make one convert, 2 and when you get one, 3 you make him twice as much a child of hell 4 as yourselves!

    http://net.bible.org

    Next was a church led by Gordon Powlison. I came out of his church many years ago, I am still severely traumatized, and still have nightmares. I am not the only member of my family who has had that experience after exiting his church. Again, patriarchal teaching that has a lot of Scripture, but is so sick and twisted and so full of oppression and brainwashing that my counselor is SHOCKED! Why was I fooled? That’s a good question, especially since I knew my Bible pretty well. “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 NKJV And having had Bill Gothard’s teachings as a foundation didn’t help at all, since Powlison’s teachings take Gothard’s and run with them.

    Next will surprise a lot of people, because the group has a very good internet and book review reputation. It was in a church from PDI, AKA People of Destiny International, AKA Sovereign Grace Ministries. Again, somewhat of patriarchal teaching, although not as bad as other two. But bad enough, according to my counselor.

    It has taken me a year for my counselor and I to barely begin to put me back together from the effects of what happened to my family and me at that Sovereign Grace church — from the dynamics and relationships there, which included mind control, brainwashing, manipulation, guilt, put-downs, twisted death-filled teachings and interpretations of Scripture, the double standard between the pastors’ teaching and practice, from the love of rules made by men. They also turned on me as if it was my fault and from something wrong with me. (Not that I was sinless!) Even when each pastor involved heard the mistakes and failure of the previous ones, the failures and treatment of me got worse and worse.

    The manipulative, guilt-ridden, hypocritical, double-dealing dynamics and death-filled Scripture teaching (also mixed with a bit of the gospel), comes from the top of the Sovereign Grace organization down. It wasn’t just from my local congregation, but also from my experiences with several families and their personal lives and their teachings from the apostolic team on down. Much of what happened in my local congregation filtered down from the top — from the apostolic team, the leaders of Sovereign Grace, and from how top people discipled other people who became pastors. I wish to say that although I found drastic error in the teachings of C. J. Mahaney and his wife, Carolyn Mahaney, I was not treated badly by them personally, other than to experience bad things from the filtering effects of his teachings and attitudes. And I’m finding more and more grievous error since I’ve left that church and that organization, and with the Lord and my counselor helping me to see again and to hear the voice of the Lord again.

    Again, my counselor was SHOCKED at actual words from sermons and outlines, dynamics and conversations I described to her, and things said to me by leaders, including pastors and an apostolic team member and his wife. And it was often the TONES that things were said in that were the worst — guilt-trips, manipulation, downers, put-downs. I was definitely a black sheep, according to them. Why was I fooled? That’s a good question. “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 NKJV

    When you mix a good batch of brownie dough with a little tiny bit of dog poop, do you have wholesome brownies, or toxic trash? When you mix a lot error, manipulative dynamics, and authoritarian policies and mindsets with a bit of the gospel, you get darkness and misery.

    White paint with a drop or two of black added is not white anymore.

    If you want to become a mindless and rigid drone, learning more and more how to pervert the light and life of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; if you want to hear and learn the twisting the Scriptures and living by lots of rules made by men; if you want to be constantly abused from dynamics and teachings; if you want to look a lot older than you did only a few years before; if you want to become more and more closed off from yourself and the voice of God; if you want to have eyes that show less spark and less of your soul than they did just a few years ago; if you want to hurt , trample, ignore, and offend the broken, sick, and downtrodden — then you would probably like the teachings and churches I’ve mentioned above.

    Why am I putting in these details? Why am I naming names? Because I tried and tried to go through the same steps Jen did in contacting these people over and over, and sharing what my grievances and doctrinal concerns were, and I repeatedly got shoved around in the spirit for my efforts. Period. And it was getting treated worse and worse. I took it to the individuals, I took it to one or two more, and then to some in the church. I kept trying until my counselor said I was therapeutically too weak and frail to try any more. She also said, “Why bother? They’ve shown they have no heart to learn, and they’ve shown what they’ll do to you.”

    When Christian or “Christian” people teach publicly, they are subject to public biblical critique, for the sake of the people of God. And the prophets did not mince words when the people of God were being injured, especially in the name of God, and most especially by shepherds of God’s flock.

    Ezekiel 34 — the whole chapter is — is very good for showing the Lord’s feelings about unfaithful shepherds, and how He is faithful to gather the butted and plundered sheep, and find them a good and faithful shepherd like Himself.

    *
    From the NET Bible ( free online, free to share)

    Ezekiel 34
    A Prophecy Against False Shepherds

    34:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds 1 of Israel; prophesy, and say to them – to the shepherds: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the flock? 34:3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the choice animals, but you do not feed the sheep! 34:4 You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost, but with force and harshness 2 you have ruled over them. 34:5 They were scattered because they had no shepherd, and they became food for every wild beast. 3 34:6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over the entire face of the earth with no one looking or searching for them.

    34:7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 34:8 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep, 34:9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 34:10 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; 4 the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, so that they will no longer be food for them.

    34:11 “‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out. 34:12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day. 5 34:13 I will bring them out from among the peoples and gather them from foreign countries; I will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams and all the inhabited places of the land. 34:14 In a good pasture I will feed them; the mountain heights of Israel will be their pasture. There they will lie down in a lush 6 pasture, and they will feed on rich grass on the mountains of Israel. 34:15 I myself will feed my sheep and I myself will make them lie down, declares the sovereign Lord. 34:16 I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them – with judgment!

    34:17 “‘As for you, my sheep, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must trample the rest of your pastures with your feet? When you drink clean water, must you muddy the rest of the water by trampling it with your feet? 34:19 As for my sheep, they must eat what you trampled with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet!

    34:20 “‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says to them: Look, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 34:21 Because you push with your side and your shoulder, and thrust your horns at all the weak sheep until you scatter them abroad, 7 34:22 I will save my sheep; they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another.

    34:23 I will set one shepherd over them, and he will feed them – namely, my servant David. 8 He will feed them and will be their shepherd. 34:24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be prince 9 among them; I, the Lord, have spoken!

    34:25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and will rid the land of wild beasts, so that they can live securely 10 in the wilderness and even sleep in the woods. 11 34:26 I will turn them and the regions around my hill into a blessing. I will make showers come down in their season; they will be showers that bring blessing. 12 34:27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the earth will yield its crops. They will live securely on their land; they will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 34:28 They will no longer be prey for the nations and the wild beasts will not devour them. They will live securely and no one will make them afraid. 34:29 I will prepare for them a healthy 13 planting. They will no longer be victims 14 of famine in the land and will no longer bear the insults of the nations. 34:30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, 15 and that they are my people, the house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. 16 34:31 And you, my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are my people, 17 and I am your God, declares the sovereign Lord.’”

    20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken. 25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.'”

    http://net.bible.org

    I have been praying for you and your family, and for ladies and families in similar situations, whether they realize it or not. I have also been praying for Doug Phillips, etc. I have also been continuing to pray for those who did similar things to me, and for others under their teachings and domination.

    I hope this helps.

    You are free to post and re-post this on any section of your site. Other sites are welcome to refer others to this posting, with the link.

    Lily Hill

    • Alice Says:

      Hello Lily, I don’t know if you will read this because I know it’s an old topic. But I heard today that Gordon Pawlison died Jan 13, 2013. I was looking for an obituary but didn’t find much on the internet and I ran across this site. I grew up in his church and while I was too young to know what was going on, I know Gordon Pawlison hurt a lot of people. I don’t think my dad has ever recovered. Anyways, I thought you might like to know he was dead. I sortof wish he was still alive because I want to punch him. In the face.

      • Amber Says:

        Alice, I am also very glad to hear of his passing, and I know this is an old topic, but Faith Fellowship impacted my family in an extremely negative way. Just wanted to offer some support.

  4. Lily Hill Says:

    About my comment above this one,

    <> —

    I was not even thinking of people already in those churches. I was not trying to put them down. But I guess I did. I was trying to warn outsiders. Well, I was trying to warn insiders, too, but I didn’t realize ’til after my comments were posted that I put a big put-down on them. I tried to have that part eliminated before it was posted, but it was already up on the board. I am sorry for any and all offense or hurt my comment caused.

    *
    Also, I heard Doug Phillips speak in person several years ago at a homeschool convention, and I was alarmed at his teaching, which elevated his opinions of how Scripture should be walked out by everyone up to the level of the Scriptures themselves; I noticed those opinions were rules made by men; and I was very disturbed by his arrogant demeanor.

    It’s too bad, since the teaching of men rising up to love God and love and take care of their wives and children, and to love mankind; and of women loving God and loving their husbands and wives,and to love mankind, is fine. It’s the rest that he has added in that’s too bad.

  5. Lily Hill Says:

    The comment above, to which I was referring as a put down, didn’t post. So, the “put-down” I was trying to “take back,” and explain my motivation for, is below.

    “If you want to become a mindless and rigid drone, learning more and more how to pervert the light and life of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; if you want to hear and learn the twisting the Scriptures and living by lots of rules made by men; if you want to be constantly abused from dynamics and teachings; if you want to look a lot older than you did only a few years before; if you want to become more and more closed off from yourself and the voice of God; if you want to have eyes that show less spark and less of your soul than they did just a few years ago; if you want to hurt , trample, ignore, and offend the broken, sick, and downtrodden — then you would probably like the teachings and churches I’ve mentioned above.”

    I experienced this. I saw this happen in the lives and faces of people in those churches, and I saw it more clearly after I left. I was SHOCKED at the changes in the faces of those I hadn’t seen for only a couple or so years.

  6. Jen Says:

    Lily Hill, thank you for sharing with us. I’m very sorry you’ve gone through so much hurt and false teaching as well, but I really liked your list of the things you have learned. Those are pretty much the same things I have learned as well. I couldn’t have learned them just by reading your list, however. I’m sure God felt that I needed to experience this to learn all those things as well. I pray that you will find the truth in God’s Word and His Word alone.

  7. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Is there a connection between this Sovereign Grace mentioned here and Doug Phillips “mentor”???? Ick.

    From “From the President” at the Vision Forum Ministries website:
    “As a young man, Doug was also discipled by Robert Gifford, a great preacher of the Word and pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, who communicated to Doug a passion for Christian apologetics and the sovereignty of God.”

    http://sgbcva.org/sgcms/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

  8. Lily Hill Says:

    <>

    No connection that I know of, except that there are many similarities in dynamics and teachings.

    Sovereign Grace has had some connections with Vineyard.

    Heavy-handed discipling, many cult or cult-like techniques, “thought police” giving bad vibes and emotional withdrawal if you indicate any disagreement with standard policy and thought, some of the patriarchy, but not as bad as at Phillips’ church.

    I don’t know if it’s as bad at other Sovereign Grace churches as it was in mine, but I can tell you I heard terrible things being preached from the apostolic team and others in the high ups in that organization whenever they came around to preach, and I noticed similar things when some visiting pastors came to preach from other Sovereign Grace churches. The top trains the next-down level, which trains the next-down level, on down to the small group leaders and fathers and mothers in each congregation. So, I can’t expect that a lot of those things WOULDN”T be present throughout the organization, which is spreading worldwide.
    In other words, what’s at the top is actively filtered down to all levels.

    One of the reasons I’m submitting this is there is precious little negative online biblical feedback about Sovereign Grace cluster of churches, and I think there needs to be.

    Yes, the gospel is preached. Some. Sometimes. HOWEVER, there is so much other that is emphasized and lived and promoted that it’s all the other stuff that receives the greater emphasis and the greater weight. The greatest things preached there is rules made by men, mind control (I mean that literally, and my counselor was the one to bring up the term “brainwashing” to describe what was done) guilt, emotional manipulation, and error — in other words, what is REALLY preached and lived is ANOTHER GOSPEL, which is no gospel at all. The overall word I would use to describe my experience there and what was preached is DARKNESS.

    I began to see that people were made into clones from the top down.

  9. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Lily Hill,
    Thank you for your insights. Your comments sound strangely reminscent of my experiences with the New Covenant Churches in the Baltimore area, strongly influenced by Gothard and Shepherding. (My exit counselor knew of the history of my group– Chas Simpson was intrumental in its founding and was attended by Mumfordites. They had close ties to the Vineyard church and we caught fallouts from the Vineyard.

    Sadly, whether talking about Sovereign Grace, Gothardism, Shepherding, Mumford, the Moonies, the JWs, Korean POWs, etc…. its all the same old story. It’s all about control and shame based manipulation. And if you dont trust people and give them liberty, you end up with tyranny and totalism on some level. So sad that this is done in the Name of the Author of Liberty.

  10. Lily Hill Says:

    Further information about Sovereign Grace Ministries and some concerns and some testimonies of bad experiences and doctrinal concerns is found at:

    http://fcov.blogspot.com/2005/11/i-accept-challenge-charismatics.html

  11. Lily Hill Says:

    Cindy Kunsman —
    I’m sorry you had anything similar to my experience. I guess more and more information and resources are getting on the web to help the Recovering Wounded like us, and to hopefully prevent anyone else from being mauled by false shepherds and teachings.

  12. Lily Hill Says:

    By the way, it wasn’t just me who had that negative reaction to that Sovereign Grace church. A young Christian man, a friend of our family, said several years after he stopped attending that same church, “Your church left a bitter taste in my mouth.” Then after a pause, he said, “Actually, it wasn’t your church, it was your pastors that left a bitter taste in my mouth.”

    After I learned more specifics about what the error in doctrine and dynamics was, I related these to him also, to try to help him overcome the effects of the toxins he had been exposed to there, especially since he had also been in counseling with some of those pastors (where what was bad in doctrine and dynamics was intensified).

    He got a confused look on his face, YEARS after he had stopped going to that church, and said in a quiet and confused tone, “Oh. I thought it was only me being rebellious.”

    That’s how things there are twisted so that bad doctrine and dynamics come off to you as just something wrong with you, not them.

    The young man told me each time I told him something knew I’d learned or figured out or heard from my Christian counselor about that church, “Thank you so much. This helps me a lot.” He still looked so confused and helpless, that it was painful to watch.

    Another woman who went to that same church told me in hurt and frustration, “Are those pastors TRAINED to be totally insensitive, crass, and to just give out trite phrases that are supposed to fix everything?!”

    It wasn’t just me.

  13. Lily Hill Says:

    Oops. “new” not “knew” in “something new I’d learned…

  14. Lily Hill Says:

    The reason I posted my comments about Gothard, Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Gordon Powlison on a Doug Phillips page that Jen’s Gems is one of the best-read sites, and these people/groups use a lot of the same tactics and share a lot of the same kinds of teachings.

    I have been searching for a long time for a way to go public about my experiences with them, in order that others might be spared or set free from the suffering that they cause.

    So, that’s why I posted on this site on this page.

    Thanks.

  15. Lily Hill Says:

    Cindy Kunsman — To be very specific, there is no connection that I am aware of between Sovereign Grace Ministries, led by C. J. Mahaney and their apostolic team, and that Sovereign Grace Baptist church you mentioned.

  16. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Hi Lily Hill,

    Thanks for looking into it. I’m half relieved and half disappointed. One starts to get a bit sensitive (or paranoid to the other extreme) about all of these things. You realize that you’ve been duped, and how do you then go about realizing just how much? You lose trust in your own abilities to accurately perceive things.

    Some of the Florida Five affliated did not embrace all of the charismatic stuff (like tongues and “apostolic” ministry), and it was just too weird to recall that same church name.

    Thanks for taking the time to look into it.

  17. Patty Says:

    Lily Hill,
    Thankyou for posting. I am sorry about what you went through. I can relate in many areas.
    The link you gave was excellant on fcov blogspot. I have forwarded to a few people. I am not a cessionist but ‘kissed the charismatic movement goodbye ‘ about 7 years ago after two decades because of abuses. Books like “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” found there way into my hands in the late 1990’s. I can relate to most of the entries on fcov. Sounds like CJ’s coming to the party a little late , but he’ll show up.
    There is a whole psycho-social dynamic in charismatic/pentecostal churches which can be difficult to explain to others unless they are familar with it. Leading by the Holy Spirit which is incredibly subjective can also be incredibly wrong if it is not supported by correct interpretation of the written word is the biggest problem. ( although Jesus spitting in clay to open my eyes is welcome any time.)
    When that is coupled by “thus sayeth the Lord” coming from the mouth of big cheeses with big testimonies can make things worse. When people move around they take their doctrines with them. Like attracts like,so to speak .. until something happens that makes people start to question what they have been taught.
    Very few pastors know how to effectively help people who are victims of DV. I know I used to be a cop. ( gasp … a woman I know) sigh..
    Swallowing a jesus pill doesn’t make people all right and that includes pastors. There is alot of dysfunction in churches and lives of people as a result of our own sin and being sinned against. Church is supposed to be a safe place. People who get moved up in leadership to quickly is also a problem.
    I attended SG a number of years ago for a short time. At that time women were not allowed to lead bible studies; women cannot attend their bible college; I didn’t see alot of networking with other churches around them leading to a type of exclusionism; they are not that charismatic (and this may be because of how women are treated and the Holy Spirit will not move until that gets straight IMO).
    I spent many years in word of faith , while I don’t deny 5 fold gifting I no longer buy into people holding ‘offices’ in that arena. I just do not trust them exclusively,they have to much power and control. True servants give power away.
    Basically I saw where all this was headed- ” been there done that” so I left.
    I know all this is awkward to talk about and it hurts but it is serious business . Those who teach will bear a stricter judgement as they should. Also there is alot of drama when pastors change their positions they need to retract books, tapes etc. Money is lost. Fear of man etc. Lord help us all.
    Am glad you are in a safe place now. Peace to you.

  18. Ellie Says:

    http://fcov.blogspot.com/2005/11/i-accept-challenge-charismatics.html

    This link posted by Lilly Hill has had all comments wiped clean. They were all there up until sometime around the middle of November (2007).

  19. krismum7 Says:

    Ellie, I noticed that too. But I happened to have copied and pasted the lengthiest comment from that site into an email. When I realized that site was down, I checked through my “archived items,” and whaddya know, I still had a copy of that email.

    So I started my own site, where I posted the copied comment. My interest in SGM and my own experiences at that church are simply NOT as bad as those of Lily. But I agree with her in that there’s precious little out there other than glowing reviews of Mahaney’s books and SGM music…when I distinctly sense that SGM has some “irregularities” (for lack of a better word) that should be discussed and explored. So Lily, if you’re still reading this (and others), feel free to give the new site a look:

    http://sguncensored.wordpress.com/


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