De-Commissioned

We’re ex-GCM (Great Commission Ministries) church members who want to discuss problems we’ve experienced in the association’s practices and theology.

Archive for September, 2006

It’s different in there

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 23, 2006

Ah, another evening at Baggersly Manor — hickory crackling in the hearth, a scratchy LP spinning on the hi-fi, and a glass of something expensive at hand. My years in the Great Commission Association of Churches are now nothing but a distant memory. Why revisit them?

Good question. I sense I’m coming at this from a different perspective than the other de-commissioned members. For one, I can’t honestly say I was especially hurt by the Great Commission church I attended. Perhaps the absurdly expensive contents of my wine cellar have fogged my memory. More likely, as my dear wife and companion Mrs. Baggersly would tell you, I’m oblivious to my own emotions.

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Posted in Jim McCotter & Early History, Links | 64 Comments »

GCM is not New Testament

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 22, 2006

Growing up in a GCM home, I believed that GCM was the church as it should have been. That is, the real church of the New Testament. Somewhere I believed the church had gone wrong, and eventually given way to the Godless beliefs and unfounded superstitions of Catholicism. It was not, I was taught, until the Protestant Reformation that things began to get back to the original ideas of Jesus and the Apostles. Ultimately, along came GCM which really took the church back to its original roots. GCM was as close to the apostolic church as anyone could be.

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Posted in Links | 20 Comments »

It’s a Marathon–Not a Sprint

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 20, 2006

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” –I Cor. 9: 24-25

Agatha asked me to write more about why I can’t read Paul’s Epistles anymore. Just looking through my Bible for that verse made me feel a little nauseous. I think it comes back to the ideas expressed in this verse, though (I hope) an exaggeration of its intent.

GCM does church like it’s the 100-yard dash, and everyone’s competing–and everyone’s keeping tabs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Links | 9 Comments »

Your Money and Your Life

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 20, 2006

Many churches that I have attended or visited throughout the years have taught lessons, sermons, given out booklets, etc. on giving. I once asked why there was a big split before we had started to attend the church, and one person told me that people just didn’t want to part with their money for a building campaign. I thought that this was an odd way to think of those who left. I doubted that a faithful attender would leave over a normal building campaign.

And then there was a NEW building campaign. And this is where it got REALLY, REALLY WEIRD.

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Posted in Financial Issues | 49 Comments »

I want to be your friend!

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 18, 2006

I edited this post because I felt that it came down hard on people that I consider to be my friends. And while I think we all sometimes made mistakes and allowed an unhealthy zeal to creep in, for the most part I think people truly meant well.

However, I question why it is that the pastors and members seem to feel so obligated! I can’t understand where this pressure is actually coming from. I think it comes from the early history of the movement, but I am not sure. Anyway, I just want to clarify that I love our GCM friends. I hurts to see people live lives full of feelings of inadequacy and constant movement. So please know that this is not intended to fault anyone.

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Posted in Friendship/Discipleship, Women's Issues | 23 Comments »

Be A Man!

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 18, 2006

It is only in the past few years that I have been able to understand myself. What I like, what I’m good at, what I’m passionate about. Looking back on the years I attended GCM, it simply doesn’t feel like me. I cringe. I want to run away from that memory which seems so untrue to me.

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Posted in Men's Issues | 3 Comments »

My Marriage and Life are My Own Now

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 17, 2006

When I was a member of a GCM church, the prevailing attitude seemed that commitment to the church should be equal to your commitment to God. My husband and I were extremely involved and I thought that this was an admirable state of affairs. I would often sit at home alone on weeknights, while he would attend various meetings and studies. I also had my own meetings and ministries. I thought it was just a necessary sacrifice of time to a good cause.

As the years progessed, I came to feel that my husband was simply gone too much. He felt overinvolved too. As I looked around to the leaders, I saw that as we became more involved with GCM, this overinvolvement would only get worse. It was when my husband was asked to miss part of a very important family event for a weekend retreat, that I saw how commitment to the family really was not the top priority. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Men's Issues, Women's Issues | 11 Comments »

Top 10 Reasons I Left

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 16, 2006

I left a Great Commission Ministries (GCM) church in the midwest in the recent past, but I still can’t read the Epistles without cringing. I didn’t realize the effect the church had on me until after I left.

So, for my first post, I’ll give the top 10 reasons I left: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Links | 23 Comments »

Welcome to De-Commissioned

Posted by graduatedjosh on September 14, 2006

My very first post, well the pressure is on. I’d better type it up in Microsoft word just to insure I get all the grammar correct. I’ll begin with a little about myself, but not too much because I’m staying anonymous. My name is Gene Prince (or maybe it isn’t) and I attended a GCM church for somewhere between one and fifty years. You may laugh at my ambiguity, but after seeing GCM’s over zealous response to past criticisms I’d like to remain safely in the indefinite, electronic world of the internet.

I’m frankly frightened to begin criticizing GCM, but I also feel an urgency to provide commentary and information about this association whose practices have hurt me and many others. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Links | 1 Comment »