In my 10yrs at FCC, 7yrs of which I was on their staff and the last 2yrs on their senior leadership team, I was exposed to a lot of their mind control practices. Here is a list of the major mind control practices at FCC and its offshoots that I experienced. I got saved in April 1995 and shortly after, as I started pondering the need for water baptism, the mind control lies started to begin. The first thing I was taught in FCC was that “All authority is from God; therefore rebellion to authority is rebellion to God.” This statement had many implications: 1. The leaders in the church are infallible and like God (Steve used this to get people to treat him as if he was God. What he said was straight from God’s mouth.) This false teaching does not apply to anyone outside of the leadership of the church, i.e. Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. 2. You begin to ignore your parent’s input and that of others that once held a position of influence in your life, because they are not in the church leadership. The leadership (Steve and the elders) take the place of your parents influence in your life. 3. You will do anything for the leadership of the church including submitting to anything they request. 4. You will second guess and ignore your better judgment just to submit to the leadership of the church. 5. You begin taking the leadership’s statements and comments regarding your life as being the Word of God and therefore God’s plan for your life. This enables the leadership to take the place of the Holy Spirit in your life. 6. You begin to obey leadership’s OPINION on non-moral issues in which they have no real authority to speak into. 7. You obey leadership’s OPINION on moral issues that they are absolutely wrong on, i.e. telling the husband to get a vasectomy after having so many children. (Children are a blessing from the Lord, therefore why would you want to cut off that blessing?)
The truth is, “All authority is from God, but only God is infallible. Man is not infallible and makes mistakes all the time. No one can hear God for you, but you. Leadership is not God and neither is Steve Michael Hall Sr, so don’t treat them or obey them like they are. Another false teaching that is used for mind control and bondage is that FCC and its offshoots are the only churches that are doing Christianity biblically. Therefore to leave is to jeopardize your own Christian walk and most likely your salvation as well as that of your children. To leave means never to get sin out of your life because you do not have the wisdom and spiritual authority of the leadership to help you get free from the bondage that you are in. This teaching leaves you fearful to go anywhere else. It causes you to submit to any abuse, mistreatment, insults and threats. Oh yes, threats were made about employment, events in my life, that of my wife and my children. The fact of the matter is there are churches all over this globe that are doing things in a biblical manner. The truth is there are a lot of churches out there doing things much better than FCC and its offshoots. You will not lose your salvation and if anything leaving FCC sets you free from a lot of bondage and will enable you to walk closer with God.
The other major mind control lie that is taught and has the longest term damage is this (It is a two part mind control): As a Christian your sin separates you from God and that you must work on getting rid of that sin to be closer to God. This fallacy is combined with the over-spiritualization of sin/ improper behavior and the second mind control teaching that was just mentioned. This teaching leads us to constantly strive to be free of any sin. It causes us to constantly feel like we are far off from God and that the leadership is much closer to God than we are. Therefore they are holier, wiser and had a direct connection to God that we didn’t. (There was this fear that God would tell them about sin that you had committed.) This belief leads you to the thought process of, the less sin in my life, the more good works I perform, the closer to God that I will be. This is nothing more than living according to the Law of Moses, this is not a life lived by grace and is absolutely unbiblical, yet taught at FCC. The truth is that Jesus is not far off. He is by your side, yoked to you, staring at your pile of sin that is before you. He looks at you with His arm around you and says, “Boy that is a lot of sin! Son when you are ready, we will tackle it together.” This correct view leaves you relying on God’s strengths and abilities to live your life as opposed to living your life according to your own strength and abilities.
The final mind control practice used in FCC and the offshoots are used to control married couples and families. Husbands and wives were told individually that if their spouse was having trouble with sin, that they were to go to the leadership to get help to set their partner free from the sin. This led to couples who were unwilling to share their feelings and thoughts with one another because they both knew the other one would go to the leadership, resulting in getting rebuked. Times of correction and rebuking at FCC and its offshoots were intense and harsh. This harsh correction led to a fear of correction. Couples were therefore not honest with one another for fear of correction. Their relationship was not a safe zone where husband and wife could be honest with one another. They instead put on a façade of everything being fine. Never being real with one another because they knew they couldn’t trust each other. This weakened the couple not allowing them to overcome the oppression they were under.
These are the major mind control practices taught and used on a regular basis at FCC and its offshoots. This is not all of them, but some of the major ones. I made this list to help assist those in separating the good from the bad that they were taught and to help overcome condemnation. On that particular point, conviction ends at the point of repentance, any bad feelings after repentance is condemnation.
Please feel free to add to this list. I know that I did not cover everything.