Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Kaila White, a reporter at The Arizona Republic is asking former members of Hope Christian Church  to contact her at kaila.white@arizonarepublic.com, 602-616-9790,
or facebook.com/kailawhitaz

Hi,

I write for The Tampa Bay Times. Got a call today that an offshoot of Faith Christian has cropped up at the University of South Florida. Does anyone in this Facebook group known any former students or pastors in the Tampa Bay area willing to share their experience? If so, I would greatly appreciate it.

Send me an email: zpeterson@tampabay.com.

Thanks!

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY would like to hear from students and former members/parents. Please email John Henderson at john.henderson@colostate.edu.

A reporter from Boulder, CO wants to speak to former members of Resurrection Church. Here is her request:

Hi there — I’m a reporter with the Daily Camera in Boulder. I’d like to write about Resurrection Church. Would you mind giving me a call or sending me an email? 303-473-1106 or kutas@dailycamera.com

It’s amazing what hindsight can do for you, especially coming out of a system like FCC.  You feel betrayed, you feel stupid for letting it happen and often times, confused.  It has been incredibly helpful to read books by various authors to help “unravel” the knots that were tied in my head and see things for what they really were.  It’ s frustrating to have been a part of something for so long and not see it, but when you’re in it, you’re stuck.

I’ve been reading a book on leadership that can be applied to anything in life: your family, relationships, church, work, etc.  The latest chapter was on influence and that to be a true leader, you must be able to influence those around you.  One of my favorite quotes from this chapter “True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned.  It comes only from influence, and that can’t be mandated.  It must be earned.”  It always baffled me how Steve propelled himself into this self appointed leadership position, even called himself an apostle, but when you truly consider the impact that healthy churches are having on the world, it is obvious that Steve has little actual influence.  Pastors with influence are ones that people actually WANT to follow…they are not forced, condemned, coerced or judged into following.  If Steve Hall was a real leader, people would be flocking to his church because he has natural influence and would be using that influence to make the name of Jesus prevalent in our world!  The author also put it like this: “Most followers are pretty cooperative when their livelihood is at stake.”  Steve maintains leverage over people but doesn’t maintain healthy and legitimate influence.  Threatening to fire staff workers if they don’t change their musical choices or forcing them to burn poker chip holders because he believed poker wasn’t something Christians should do…just a few examples.

While I don’t write this to defame or smear, it is important to define what true leadership really is.  Steve is a leader of sorts but lacks the influence necessary to sustain his vision.  If Steve had true influence, there wouldn’t be a mass exodus from his congregation every few years and he wouldn’t have lost the 4 elders that he had spent 20+ years working with.  Fear based control and leveraging of power is a short term means to coerce people to participate that ultimately ends with the falling of a regime.  Fortunately for all of us who left, we all had our breaking points, something that made it evident that we had been “dooped” into following a man and a system that was slowly but surely destroying our lives, tainting a healthy view of God and ultimately reverting us back to slavery.  I believe that everyone in this unhealthy system will reach that breaking point because the Grace of God is so much bigger than all of this.  I still pray for my friends that are there, that they will truly look in the Word and realize what is actually happening.

I hope your site helps a lot of people get OUT of FCC and others decide NOT to support those raising support to lead others from U of A into this unhealthy cult-like environment. Steve Halls abuse was devastating to me and the control he has over others in his congregation is sad. He said once that he prides himself on “breaking People down to nothing and then building them up the way he wants them” I thought that was God’s job but his “breaking down” was a bit too much for me as I was at a fragile point in my life when I attended there and lived with his family. I started seeing a local counselor for which I was “rebuked!” The counselor told me that he had heard horror stories of those in this ministry and he was sure that he could not help me until I was willing to get out of that environment. I did. God has healed me. I still have a fear of male authority and being taken advantage of – (I wish I had free slave labor like Steve does!) It felt like Steve didn’t really care about individuals just “HIS agenda” He bragged about being the richest pastor in Maranatha and all that he owned. I would over hear the staff meetings as they bad mouthed all those they discipled who did not “drink the coolade” Personal issues where discussed and comments made about others that should never come out of a caring person’s mouth. Many people in Tuscon saw the same counselor that I did as they encountered the control issues and this counselor referred them to me. One time I went by with one girl to discuss with her roommates the fact that she would not be attending FCC anymore. They asked if they could “still rebuke her!” That makes me cringe! Not could they still encourage her but rebuke her!
Many people who I knew got phone calls to meet them about supporting campus ministers. They knew I had attended there and called me to ask what I thought of the ministry. I just told them my experience and really had no bad feelings anymore about Steve or others. Steve called my current pastor at a different church in Tuscon and asked me not to speak badly of FCC when people were trying to raise their financial support. He said that he had changed and that all was well there. Apparently it is not. I’m glad that youu have this website and that people can stay away from FCC if they are still practicing the same sort of abuse and control.
Christie

This note is from Jeff Phillips          Some of us have already mentioned that there were positives which we gained from our time at FCC. One example of this for me is the teaching Steve gave on the principle of government. Ironically, it was his teaching of this principle and his and Bill’s lack of living out the principle that led me to leave the movement. Let me explain.

 

Steve had heard someone teach on biblical principles and condensed everything into a booklet he called Principle Method for Building a Christian Generation. There were seven principles, one of which was the principle of government. In a nutshell, this principle states that there are four spheres of government: the individual, the family, the church, and the state. Each sphere has its own property and purpose, and there is an ultimate form of punishment in each one. One of the points Steve drove home about the spheres was that the authority in each should not be usurped by another sphere. For example, it is the purpose of the family to educate children. Thus, it is wrong for the state to usurp this role and educate children. Likewise, it is the role of the church to speak the truth of God’s word to the other spheres of government. Thus, it would be wrong for the state to take on this role. This is a good application of the separation of church and state. I believe this is sound teaching and still embrace the principle of government.

 

Unfortunately, in my opinion, Steve and others championed this aspect of the principle in word but not in deed. In Tampa, my second son was regressing in his development around two years old. We were concerned that he might be autistic (he was, and we got the diagnosis a few months later). He could not communicate (he could say a few words, but that is different from communication) and would become very frustrated at times. In his frustration, he would scream a lot. To be sure, sometimes his screaming would be an act of defiance and disobedience, but not all the time. Bill told me that I needed to spank him every time he screamed. At first, I did, against my conscience and to my shame. When I began to push back on this and assert my concern that my son’s behavior was not always rebellious, I began to “get into trouble.” The bottom line is that I felt Bill was not allowing me to exercise authority concerning my own children’s discipline. It felt like it was either his way, or it was the wrong way. This violated the principle that Steve taught us so thoroughly.

 

I asked Bill one time, is it possible to receive counsel from my pastor about a matter of opinion (NOT biblical truth), and then to take that counsel before the Lord in prayer with the fear of God, but then to arrive at a different conclusion/opinion from my pastor. He never answered my question directly. His response was, “You are not going to tell me how to run my church.” When I responded that wasn’t what I was doing, that I was appealing to him, he said, “Nice try.”

 

Another aspect of the principle of government was violated (in my opinion) by Steve as well. As I wrote earlier, the principle states that there is an ultimate form of punishment in each sphere. For the individual, it is hell. The family has the rod. The church has withdrawal of fellowship. And the state has capital punishment. Steve taught that every act of disobedience was to be met with the rod, i.e. a spanking. Yet, this is the ULTIMATE form of punishment in the family. We don’t execute everyone in the state sphere every time a law is broken, nor should we use the ultimate discipline of spanking for every disobedient act of a child. One of my seminary professor has written a great book on this—Wise Parenting: Guidelines from the Book of Proverbs (http://www.amazon.com/Wise-Parenting-Guidelines-Book-Proverbs/dp/1572933526/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314290297&sr=1-6).

 

These inconsistencies in the application of the principle of government gave me one impetus for removing myself from the church in Tampa and the greater FCC movement. Let me just add that if you are married man and have children, there is no one higher than you in authority in your home except God. Never let a man usurp that authority from you. –JLP

Our goal is to assist current and former members of Faith Christian Church Tucson or one of its affiliate churches, connect with other people who were formerly victims of spiritual abuse and who have experienced first hand the heavy handed abuse that occurs in these churches.  You are not alone!! There are hundreds of people who have gone through amazingly dificult experiences and are here to help, pray with you and connect you with resources to get through it all.  Their stories are shared here.  Until this site is fully operational, you can visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Former-Members-of-Faith-Christian-Church-Tucson-and-Its-Offshoots/264869173542893 and begin connecting with others.  God bless you!!