Today’s Poll: Has it been hard to trust other Christians?

Posted: September 11, 2011 in Poll, Spiritual Abuse
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Comments
  1. Danna Mcmath says:

    I was never a member of this church and only recently found out about it through a friend. I cannot answer the question about trusting other Christians as it applies to this church; only through my own experiences in the Ponca City, OK and Tulsa, OK areas. I am a Christian, raised in the Lutheran Church in Ponca City. I consider myself a born again Christian that believes in the power of God as well as gifts and miracles from God but I do not attend church on a regular basis because over the years I have found it harder and harder to trust people that flaunt their “Christianity” and yet do not live their lives accordingly. They will let neighbors starve, be sick, and not so much as check on them, to even know their names. I will admit in times of national crisis, I do see organized groups such as the Baptists help with calamaties. But what about the quiet calamaties that happen to church members and neighbors every day? Loss of a job, needing help with school supplies for their children even though both parents are working hard outside of the home, the elderly that must choose between utilities and groceries? The churches cannot see the need in their own churches without a committee meeting even when the signs are obvious that a person has a need. I am glad you were able to break free from this cult and I support you wholeheartedly in your attempts to help others that want and need to be free of it. Your need is great…..but don’t lose side of the fact that your “need” has more than one side, more than one story. That is how cults managed to get established in the first place…..they just swoop in on the downtrodden and offer a way “out”.

  2. Left2YrsAgo says:

    FCC’s “Covenant Group” bible studies are where distrust of Christian leadership should begin for anyone starting out at FCC. At one of my first CGs the leader badgered us for financial information, “How much do you make?” I was stunned he was asking so directly and to make it less awkward without revealing too much I gave him bogus numbers.
    The more CGs you attend, the more the underlining, self serving FCC agendas show their fangs. One entire CG was devoted to reasons on why we are not allowed to trust our parents. During another, when several of us mentioned Christian authors we’d read we were told that the Bible was the permitted reading and made guilty examples to the rest of the group for seeking instruction from those we don’t know. The worst was the CG that had to do with leaders sensing demons within us and only casting them out when each of us admitted to harboring these demons that we had no objective way of knowing we had (mind control anyone?)
    When once I asked why we can’t trust our parents when the fifth commandment has us honor our parents, the associate minister told me afterward to be quiet at the rest of his CGs.
    I quit going. A blessing if you ask me. Since leaving FCC I don’t have a problem trusting other Christians who are friends but I certainly have hesitations with Christian leadership today. I’m vague about my job, living situation, and long term plans and never approach pastors with prayer requests on private issues.
    FCC leaves you ashamed for keeping personal matters private, yet likewise ashamed for anything you reveal. It’s lose-lose, just another one of FCC’s guilt induced mind control tactics. Glad I got out when I did.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Covenant Groups, among other Bible studies are as good of a place as any to begin discussing the sources of distrust fostered within churches under Steve Hal’s leadership.
    My eyes began opening to the abuse within these Bible studies when Chris Tomlinson took over the head pastor duties at Grace Christian Church in Fort Collins. Soon after taking over one of GCC’s Bible studies, Chris Tomlinson began singling out a regular member of ours for missing the past week’s study due to a ski trip he was hosting during his brother’s visit from out of state, even though he had announced his absence beforehand. At the time, always striving to be in agreement with church authority, I didn’t think anything wrong with anything Chris Tomlinson accused him of, which was of mostly not caring. But looking back now, Chris Tomlinson was the one who truly did not care. It was the beginning of a willing effort to mock and bully this member away from GCC. Chris Tomlinson made him feel unworthy of wishing to join the campus ministry. Bible studies only became worse for him, culminating in Chris Tomlinson mocking his glasses and clothing as looking like something “gay people” wear. He eventually left the church and moved back in with his parents somewhere far away. If hindsight doesn’t quite allow anyone to fully realize the determined harm caused by authoritarian ministers such as Chris Tomlinson, contacting this ExGCC member sure did. He feels condemned whenever reading the Bible and is unsure about returning to any sort of church life. I think he drinks too much, and worse, suffers depression instigated in part by the bullying received from Chris Tomlinson. It’s a horribly sad story really, that he was actively devoted to prayer, Bible reading, and church membership only to be run out under belief that it was all his fault. I tried contacting him a few days ago, but his number was changed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chris Tomlinson and his cronies running Grace Christian Church are some of the worst human trash in existance. They are nothing but manipulators and self-serving control freaks who carry out all of their wicked acts in the name of a perfect God who would NEVER approve of acts such as the one described above, or of the way that they treated me and a number of other people specifically. I never knew about this specific incident mentioned above while I was a member there, and it may have happened way before my time, but given how Chris Tomlinson revealed his true colors to me after being there for some time, I can’t say I’m surprised.

      I can’t speak specifically of either FCC or any of the other offshoots since I was never a member, but I can say plainly and clearly, Grace Christian Church is a demonic cult consisting of leadership that has absolutely no business ministering to anyone, especially not college students, who are impressionable and vulnerable. They prey on students in the exact same way that a fraternity does; by preying on their desire to be loved and accepted, and to have some security being away from home for the first time. Then when they suck them in, oh my gosh, they coerce them to cut ties off with everyone else in their life, and into beliving all kinds of garbage that no normal rational person would believe. Worst of all, they misrepresent Jesus Christ every step of the way with all of their coercion, authoritarianism, and bullying tactics, and claims to have special “anointings” or powers unique only to themselves.

      Oh and you don’t dare question the leadership on anything. Doing so means that you have either an “accusing spirit” or “spirit of rebellion.” Sure they believe all sorts of other sins that are pardonable, but criticism of the leadership is not one of them, and it will adversely affect your standing in the organization and perhaps even get you thrown out.

      Someone please tell me, where in the Bible does it say that church leaders are infallable or should be exalted to any god-like status? Or that they are the head of the church instead of Jesus Christ? Or that it’s their place to make personal decisions about your life that they have no business making? Or that they are the ones who are to fulfill the role of the Holy Spirit in your life? Or that they should be the ones to legislate where the Bible is silent? Or that they are the ones that decide when you are ready and to whom you get married?

      The most important thing to remember from all of this is, God plants churches. The devil plants cults. Sadly, many people walk into a cult like Grace Christian Church or FCC or another offshoot, and think that it’s true Christianity. When they experience horrible abuse like the young man mentioned in the above post, they often end up turning away from their relationship with Christ completely, which is something that the devil smiles upon. The devil would love nothing more than to plant a cult to misrepresent Christ, or to infiltrate the leadership of a church to turn people away from Christ in this way.

      Stay strong fellow believers. Our enemy is very clever, and we must pray every day to be guarded from his schemes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for that. Helped me a lot.

      • Terrible churches says:

        Absolute truth right there. I agree with every word. I don’t how these cults get started and how the devil could possibly start them with God being in control, but you’re right. Could we get in contact possibly? My e-mail is lambertgini47@gmail.com. Hope to hear from ya.

    • jonathan zehnder says:

      If anyone can point me in the direction of the person who wrote this it would mean a lot. I am the person that this comment is about.

    • jonathan zehnder says:

      In the story above Chris Tomlinson yelled at me in front of an entire room of people saying “Where were you last week? And why weren’t you in church? If i would have known, i would have dragged you here myself!” That was after my brother flew in from Chicago for a weekend to go skiing with me. He also told me that it was evident by the way my hair was cut that i was trying to hide. He also told me i needed to dress differently because it wouldn’t represent the church well. I really want to find the person that wrote the post about me. I have some ideas of who it might be but i don’t have their phone numbers.

  4. LeapYear says:

    TRUST is entirely a ONE WAY STREET at FCC.
    From day one immediate “trust” is demanded by your personal minister so far as nothing directed by them is to ever be asked about (“So why don’t you like me up till 3AM? I’m in college, I’m studying.”) while no measure of trust is ever afforded you (“who was that girl you were walking with the other day?”) Trust works when it is earned between individuals. When trust is handled as something to be enforced, as it is at FCC, not only is the church leader/member relationship insincere but worse, the church leadership is free to behave intentionally untrustworthily (abusively) because to them trust is deserved solely due to their leadership position. The number of explanations required by my personal ministers seemed infinite: Why did I leave town for the weekend? “Uh, my parents live out of town, isn’t that a self explanatory reason?” Did God give you a word to major in _________? “Well, until God does don’t I still have to declare something?” Do you believe God approves of your skateboard? “WHAT?!?!” Are you a virgin? “Do you really need to know?”
    It was tiring to constantly be in the position of explaining yourself over and over and over and over again. It was the consequence of a church leader never reciprocating the trust they impulsively expected from their members. Rather than leaving right away, as I should’ve, I quit answering anything sincerely, and months later was unkindly told to leave. The Christians worth trusting now are some of the ones that were booted out around the same timeframe I was. We’d run into each other weeks or months later and have basically the same tale about being told we weren’t welcome back.

  5. taylor says:

    1) Why are leaders called spiritual “mothers/fathers”? 2) Are you allowed to have friends outside of this church? 3)Why are people so reluctant to talk about the church while they are members or even AFTER they leave? 4) Since it’s apparent that abuse is going on, why doesn’t anyone shut them down?! They continue to hurt people and no one cares enough to stop it- even at its root. 5) Why does the church not pay their ministers who are on campus? 6) If God is for you, who can be against you? Where is your courage!? 7) If former members are unwilling to stop this abuse, they are just as guilty of the abuse of God’s children. I don’t understand. Please help. No one will answer these questions.

  6. Zach says:

    I was a member of this church for a short time about 10 years ago. It was my first experience with a church/cult and found it hard to explain the psychological/spiritual abuse dealt by Tomlinson and his cult. I was convinced to get rid of my friends, isolate myself, and serve only the church. I realized something was bad wrong when we were having “secret prayer meetings with fake tongues speaking. I did read the bible critically and carefully and really asked God for an understanding for what its message was. Unfortunately for Grace Christian Church and other cults out there ie, Mormons, Jehovah witness, freemasonry, Satanism and any other group that is self serving, self-loving. The King James version of the bible is your greatest weapon against these people. Knowing the word of God will save you from being deceived. You DO NOT need some cronies telling you what the word of God says. My membership with the church ended when I confronted Tomlinson about his false teachings on tongues.

    It is Gods love that leads us to repentance for our sins. Draw close to God and he will draw close to you.

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