Maranatha Ministries Reconsidered – Steve240’s New Blog

INTRODUCING A NEW BLOG: Maranatha Ministries Reconsidered

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One of the aspects of blogging that Dee and I love most is that we have the privilege of communicating with some really wonderful people.  And sometimes we get to meet them! 

Before we started blogging (almost seven years ago), we would often read comments over at SGM Survivors by Steve240.  Some years ago Steve240 started his own blog, which was critical of Joshua Harris' book I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  No doubt some of you have frequented his blog.  Over at SGM Survivors, Steve240 was an articulate commenter from whom we learned quite a bit.  Once we launched The Wartburg Watch, Steve240 would make insightful comments on our blog.

Several years ago Dee and I had the privilege of meeting Steve240 over lunch. We were extremely impressed with his knowledge of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  We have stayed in contact with him and recently discovered that he has launched yet another blog about Maranatha Ministries.  If you are not familiar with it, you may want to peruse the Wiki article on Maranatha Campus Ministries.  In it you will read about some of the criticism ranging from authoritarianism to dating teachings, to tithing teachings, to criticism received from universities.  The Wiki article explains what eventually happened to the ministry (see excerpt below).

At a November 1989 meeting, after a few years of private conflict about the governance structure of the movement, Maranatha's board decided to disband the organization. The official explanation was that many leaders were uncomfortable with the group's denomination-like structure… However, another factor was intense criticism from the secular and Christian press, as well as former members and college administrators. This criticism had continued almost unabated since the CRI report, and grew especially pointed after the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article … detailing concerns about abusive religious groups on college campuses. (See Criticism and controversy section.)

Many former Maranatha pastors have apologized and repented for the abuses of the organization, either personally or through books, and have asked for forgiveness. In the view of these pastors, dissolving the organization was necessary to allow for greater freedom in Christ. Indeed, at the last international conference held in San Antonio, Texas, in December 1989, Weiner publicly apologized and asked for forgiveness for any abuses anyone suffered from him personally from authoritarianism or from the organization. He also printed a public apology to the church at large in Charisma Magazine in the winter of 1990.

In the break-up, leaders announced that the individual local churches were free to become independent entirely or to voluntarily associate with whomever they chose. Many of the local churches struggled with shrinking congregations and dwindling funds, merged with other churches, or closed. Most of the local churches that survived have different names now.

We are grateful that Steve240 has started a blog on Maranatha Ministries.  Can there be any question that some of their beliefs and practices continue to be manifested in ministries that still exist?

What follows is a brief introduction from Steve240.  We hope you will take the time to check out his new blog Maranatha Ministries Reconsidered.


First of all I would to thank Deb & Dee for featuring my new blog.

As many of you know I have a blog in which I critique Josh Harris’s “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” book. I have pretty much said all there is to say about that book but stay tuned as I may add a few more posts. I also have another blog which I have occasionally written about Sovereign Grace Ministries Issues

The new blog I am writing is something that I feel God has placed on my heart for quite some time, but only recently have taken action. In this blog I am attempting to analyze and propose reasons why Maranatha Ministries International’s (MMI) “imploded.” Hopefully future generations can learn from MMI’s mistakes and hopefully not repeat them in the future.

I am also critiquing the book titled “Raising Jesus,” and especially the book’s title. This book is suppose to be giving the history of MMI, but I see important items left out which I plan to discuss on my blog. I also question how one can claim MMI really “raised” Jesus.

For more information on my blog and what I intend to discuss please read my introductory post here. In this introduction I have outlined a number of questions I have about this group including their contradictory actions which I hope to do future blog posts on.

INFORMATION ABOUT MMI

For those who don’t know MMI was a campus ministry on a number of college campuses that became prominent in the 80’s with a history going back to the early 70’s. MMI had its start in Paducah KY with high school students.

MMI was led by Bob Weiner and Joe Smith. According to some it had quite the start, but at the end MMI imploded. By “imploded” I mean that the group came to a sudden and quick end due to a number of factors. One article that talks about this “implosion” can be found here.

There are some who say the decision to close down the ministry was a necessary act of repentance. Others will say that it never really closed down, but some of the group’s lieutenants basically renamed the group “Every Nations,” with some of the former MMI locations joining this new group.

Here are some additional details about MMI

“Dating Revelation:” MMI practiced what they called a “dating revelation.” It is similar to “courtship,” or “kissing dating goodbye.” In this system one was required to not date (though what was “dating” seemed to be never defined), but to wait and listen for God to show you who your life partner was, and then submit this to your local pastor. This included, according one of Bob Weiner’s bible study books, not spending much time with God’s appointed mate before one married.

Much of this “dating revelation” teaching seemed to be based on Abraham getting a wife for Isaac, and it assumed that finding a wife was done passively. I have a blog entry on this type of teaching here. I question how one can assume that how Abraham found a wife for Isaac was the God ordained way of finding a spouse. If nothing else there are other Old Testament examples of how to find a wife. I also question if Abraham finding a wife for Isaac was being passive like MMI seemed to teach.

Certainly God can and will reveal to us who our life partner is, in my opinion it is ludicrous to believe there is only one way that God has chosen to bring a couple together. Also, the MMI practice that was under the control of imperfect men can and did lead to abuses. I hope to discuss the “dating revelation” and reported abuses later in my new blog.

Under pressure from other groups MMI eventually moved away from this practice toward the end of their existence.

Ties With Larry Tomczak & C.J. Mahaney MMI had ties with Larry Tomczak and C.J. Mahaney going back to around 1978. Larry and C.J. Mahaney would speak at various MMI meetings and Bob Weiner was at least known to speak at the church and denomination that Larry and C.J. led (called PDI at the time). It is my understanding that a little while before MMI’s implosion Larry & C.J. and withdrew their support for the group.

Practicing of the Shepherding Tactics MMI was part of the shepherding movement and practiced much of what was characteristic of that movement. This included shunning, excommunication for disagreeing with leadership, and being “under” your leader’s “authority.”

RAISING JESUS??

One reason for starting this blog, though certainly not the only focus of my blog but is my questioning how a book that claims to cover MMI’s history can be titled, “Raising Jesus: The Story of the Maranatha House.” Perhaps early in the group’s history it might have “raised Jesus,” but as time went on and especially at the end I did not see the group “raising Jesus.” Perhaps the appropriate term as the group went on was “reproaching,” or “misrepresenting” Jesus.

In my second blog post titled, “Do You Hear the People Sing” I write about the sad reaction of so many angry men and women and their emotions after MMI imploded. This includes what a former top leader of MMI describes as “Breaking Free From the Spirit of Control.” If I knew nothing else about this ministry except this sad report I would strongly question how one could title a book, “Raising Jesus.” I also wonder how sad it must make those angry men and women seeing a book claiming that MMI “raised” Jesus.

Pride and Arrogance: One characteristic that I don’t see mentioned in this book is how arrogant/lacking humility both the leadership and group was. For example one of the names that they liked to call

themselves was “God’s Green Berets.” It is interesting that even those former members who seem to want to minimize and/or forget the group’s abusive history don’t question that both the leadership and group was arrogant.

One would think that if this book is about the group’s history then MMI’s pride/arrogance would have been mentioned. I have even done key word searches using terms such as pride, proud, arrogant, lacking humility, and conceited. I also have had discussions with the author both in a private Maranatha Facebook Group and Facebook messages asking where this was mentioned and to date I have not received a direct response. The author appears to be evasive on this point.

I will say that Tom Cooper did a reasonable job of trying to cover MMI’s history, but he sadly left out or minimized some significant events that in my opinion would make one question his book’s title, “Raising Jesus.”

FOR THE RECORD

It certainly has been a long time since MMI imploded. At least some of these men who led this group including Bob Weiner have changed, and they were humbled by the group’s implosion. On the other hand there are some who claim that this group and its practices continued under the name “Every Nation,” which was a new group set up by some of MMI’s top leadership when the group imploded.

God does call us to forgive but not forget. Writing about what happened with MMI and exposing them is similar to how the bible records the sad actions of a number of leaders including David, Saul, Ahab, Jezebel, Judas and Solomon, so we can learn from what they did wrong. Psalm 78 and 106 are examples.

to teach their children,

They would not be like their ancestors-

a stubborn and rebellious generation,

whose hearts were not faithful to him

(Psalm 78:5, 8)

I also realize that hindsight is 20/20. It is easy to look back and indicate what people should have done. On the other hand maybe this analysis will help future groups not fall into the same traps that MMI fell into.

Derek Prince when he withdrew from the shepherding movement stated “we were guilty of the Galatian error: having begun in the Spirit, we quickly degenerated into the flesh.” This sadly applied to MMI. I am also sure that within MMI there was also a lot of “zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

NEEDS

  Please pray that God will lead me in this endeavor.

  Please pray that my blog will help provide healing to those who had a bad experience with MMI and still struggle due to their bad experience.

  Please pray that this analysis will help future generations learn and not repeat these same mistakes.

  I am also looking for any documentation of the group’s history. (There wasn’t much of an internet back then during most of the existence of MMI.)

Comments

Maranatha Ministries Reconsidered – Steve240’s New Blog — 341 Comments

  1. I’m looking forward to following this blog. MMI seems to have been foundational to some of the dysfunction that we see playing out today in church movements. And as a native of Paducah, where Maranantha started, I’m still wondering how profoundly MMI affected the spiritual climate of this area. It certainly impacted lots of lives.

  2. Raising Jesus reminds me of that awful song “Lift Jesus higher, for He said if we raise Him up, He will draw all men to Him”. (They forget the next verse: He was talking of the manner of His death.)
    So the sng is maybe appropriate to the Roman guards raising him up on the cross, but clearly not for Christians.

  3. When I was in-country in the Seventies, the word “Maranatha” was well on its way to becoming an overused buzzword. Including being a popular name for not-a-church “Fellowships(TM)” and Ministries.

  4. For those who don’t know MMI was a campus ministry on a number of college campuses that became prominent in the 80’s with a history going back to the early 70’s. MMI had its start in Paducah KY with high school students.

    By the late 1970s, MMI had apparently not made it to the West Coast. At Cal Poly Pomona (1976-78), the only campus ministries were Campus Crusade, the Navigators, and a local group calling themselves “Studies in the Word of God” that Out-Navigatored the Navigators.

    Intensity was pretty high back then; this was the heyday of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and “Work For The Night Is Coming!!! We Might Not Have a 1978!!! Or even a 1977!!!” Lots of panic bubbling under the surface, lots of End Times X-Treme Christians.

  5. GSD wrote:

    I’m looking forward to following this blog. MMI seems to have been foundational to some of the dysfunction that we see playing out today in church movements. And as a native of Paducah, where Maranantha started, I’m still wondering how profoundly MMI affected the spiritual climate of this area. It certainly impacted lots of lives.

    First Deb thanks for your nice introduction to my post about my blog.

    GSD interesting that you are a Paducah native. The group started out there as I shared. As the group expanded they decided to close their church in Paducah around 1981 when they did a large expansion from the South East. From what I understand there a lot of people around Paducah that came back after the group imploded.

    People in the group question how wise it was to close the original church they had.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    By the late 1970s, MMI had apparently not made it to the West Coast. At Cal Poly Pomona (1976-78), the only campus ministries were Campus Crusade, the Navigators, and a local group calling themselves “Studies in the Word of God” that Out-Navigatored the Navigators.

    MMI didn’t make it to the west coast until 1981.

  7. Holy cow man… Bob Wiener…. Wow what memories, ’bout had a whiplash in the old memory bank. I remember he came to college to speak “one time” and when you mentioned his name only one thing came to mind. That duewd was weird! His running around and being loud… Gosh I never followed him much after that one visit, didn’t want to. Telling some 19-20 year not to date well that’s like having that other “Bob” tell me to run around lot and take cold showers with something he called sublimating… Ya with a 100% failure rate for every guy. Oh gosh…Steve, WOW! So glad that you brought this back up… I hope we learn something. But the way things are going now, I’m not sure folks are listeneing

  8. I am a native of and still live in Todd Co. KY, born in '64. MMI wasn't entirely a campus ministry and there are some leftovers that are still functioning. There are two Morning Star Temples within a 25 minute drive of my rural home. There is also a Marantha church and an Every Nation church located just outside of Ft. Campbell Army post (Not very far from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN). They were all MMI connected.

    When economic times were rough here in my dad cut timber for a while for a living. One of the sawmill owners he worked for was a Pentecostal preacher (he's still alive, but no longer a preacher) at one of the Morning Stars. This sawmill owner has a large family and he would not allow any of his children to marry outside of their very rigid faith parameters. I also knew this man's sister, two of his brothers, and many of his cousins – they were/are SBC affiliated Missionary Baptists.

    MMI started in Paducah …. Mark Dever is from Madisonville …… now, we have Mohler and Mahaney. Please don't let yourselves believe that everything in Kentucky is bad!

  9. Nancy2 wrote:

    MMI started in Paducah …. Mark Dever is from Madisonville …… now, we have Mohler and Mahaney.
    Please don’t let yourselves believe that everything Kentucky is bad!

    Not to mention the seminary in Louisville and the Creation Museum. But, we do have UK and Colonel Sanders and the University of Louis… OK, scratch that last one.

  10. I remember Bob Weiner speaking a few times at CLC. He was pretty wild. I could even sense it back then when I didn’t see other things about SGM.

  11. UK is one of the few things we can be proud of. And I have an appreciation for Colonel Sanders, who led a very colorful life before inventing a fried chicken recipe at the age of 64. And the Kentucky Derby is pretty cool. Bluegrass, Corvettes… There are some bright spots.

    The University of Louisville basketball program… Not so much.

    I recently discovered that Maranatha’s original meeting place was in the church I grew up in. They would borrow the Fellowship Hall on Friday nights, partly because none of the traditional churches would welcome these long-haired hippy types on Sunday mornings. Including ours, I guess. History might have been different if they had.

  12. @ GSD:
    Yeah, U of L is out of the NCAA tournament this year – they were bad boys. There was a big article about them in the Kentucky New Era newspaper last week.
    I live about an hour from the Corvette Museum. One of my former math students was a math wiz that led in building a drone that was used to help assess the damage when the floor of the museum fell through. I go to Paducah occasionally – Gander Mountain and my daughter’s doctor.
    Don’t forget Robert Penn Warren, Bluegrass music, Golden Pond Moonshine, Jeff Davis, and Abraham Lincoln.
    Kentucky has definitely been a commonwealth full of diversity and adversity! I just wish we didn’t have so many cultish religious associations!

  13. I was a member of MMI in Oregon. I will be viewing Steve’s blog with much interest! One thing that bothers me is that even though Bob Weiner apparently apologized to the whole group in a Charisma article in 1990, our group was never made aware of that fact, never directed to the magazine article, and basically remained completely unaware of this message of repentance we were supposed to have received. I can certainly say that it would have healed some things a lot faster– but though I, like many others, remained in the same church after Maranatha disbanded, no one ever told us that Weiner had this message for us. I still wonder why.

  14. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Back during the Vietnam Era, Calvary Chapel had a record label called ‘Maranatha’, and even today, there’s a ‘Maranatha Chapel’, and a ‘Maranatha Radio’ bizz. All located in Southern Cal., and all affiliated with Calvary Chapel.
    Is there any connection with Maranatha Ministries profiled on this thread, or is it purely coincidental?

  15. krwordgazer wrote:

    I was a member of MMI in Oregon. I will be viewing Steve’s blog with much interest! One thing that bothers me is that even though Bob Weiner apparently apologized to the whole group in a Charisma article in 1990, our group was never made aware of that fact, never directed to the magazine article, and basically remained completely unaware of this message of repentance we were supposed to have received.

    krwordgazer

    I believe I still have a copy of that Charisma article. (Learned the hard way about making sure I back up computer data).

    I read that Charisma article around 3 or so years ago when forwarded by someone in the private MMI Facebook group. I would say that I was quite underwhelmed by what Bob Weiner said in that article. He didn’t give what some claim was a full confession etc. It was pretty limited.

    If I find this or get another copy I will forward you what I have. I did hear that Bob was at least sorrowful at the group’s final gathering in TX. Being sorrowful didn’t mean that he gave a full confession. One fairly high ranking leader of MMI told me a few years back that he thought Bob & his wife Rose Weiner were basically in denial about what they had done wrong. After all they had poured their heart and soul into building this group. (Just stating what Bob said).

    BTW, krwordgazer has a blog post with information about her experience in MMI including the “don’t talk about it” mentality.

    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2012/08/dont-talk-about-it.html

    I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this here.

  16. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Back during the Vietnam Era, Calvary Chapel had a record label called ‘Maranatha’, and even today, there’s a ‘Maranatha Chapel’, and a ‘Maranatha Radio’ bizz. All located in Southern Cal., and all affiliated with Calvary Chapel.

    Is there any connection with Maranatha Ministries profiled on this thread, or is it purely coincidental?

    Not sure. At least here in SoCal (Ground Zero for Calvary Chapels), “Maranatha” was a very popular name for a not-a-church Ministry. Like I said, it got to be overdone.

  17. Steve240 wrote:

    BTW, krwordgazer has a blog post with information about her experience in MMI including the “don’t talk about it” mentality.
    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2012/08/dont-talk-about-it.html
    I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this here.

    Not at all, Steve; thanks! And I would love to read the article from Charisma. When I did finally hear about it more than 20 years later, it was held up to me as Bob Weiner’s complete confession and repentance, with a strong implication that therefore we former MMI members had no right nor reason to bring anything up about Bob Weiner ever again.

  18. Nancy2 wrote:

    I am a native of and still live in Todd Co. KY, born in ’64.

    MMI started in Paducah …. Mark Dever is from Madisonville …… now, we have Mohler and Mahaney. Please don’t let yourselves believe that everything in Kentucky is bad!

    You live in a great county my friend!

    Can we add coach Pitino to the bad list?

  19. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Back during the Vietnam Era, Calvary Chapel had a record label called ‘Maranatha’, and even today, there’s a ‘Maranatha Chapel’, and a ‘Maranatha Radio’ bizz. All located in Southern Cal., and all affiliated with Calvary Chapel.
    Is there any connection with Maranatha Ministries profiled on this thread, or is it purely coincidental?

    I wondered the same thing Muff. I went back to a book entitled “God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America” by Larry Eskridge and there does not appear to be any connection.

  20. I went to dinner with Steve when I was in D.C. in the summer of ’14. It was nice to get to know him. I can testify that he takes copious notes and does his research well.

    Glad you are blogging again Steve. I hope after you cover MMI thoroughly you will continue writing about other subjects.

    Deebs, can we classify you as “blog planters?”

  21. Was it a backlash against a rising divorce rate that brought about these weird dating/marriage movements? It boggles my mind to think of marrying someone you barely know because some other guy thinks it would be a good idea.

    I sat through a talk recently where a guy was talking up arranged marriages, like in the old days, because everyone knew what their roles were and it didn’t end in divorce. He figured that was the sign of a successful arrangement.

    Good grief, my grandparents had an arranged marriage. My grandmother met my grandfather the day they married. They were unsuited for each other and incompatible but they were faithful to their vows because that is what you had to do in those days. The ripples of that deep well of unhappiness and dysfunction are still traveling outward. Just because a marriage doesn’t end in divorce doesn’t mean it is healthy or happy. Anyone who thinks it would be an improvement to go back to that is fantasizing!

  22. Muff Potter wrote:

    Back during the Vietnam Era, Calvary Chapel had a record label called ‘Maranatha’, and even today, there’s a ‘Maranatha Chapel’, and a ‘Maranatha Radio’ bizz. All located in Southern Cal., and all affiliated with Calvary Chapel.
    Is there any connection with Maranatha Ministries profiled on this thread, or is it purely coincidental?

    As far as I know (99%+sure) there is no connection between MMI and Calvary Chapel. Calvary Chapel spawned from what I understand a movement that started in Southern California. A lot of contemporary Christian music started there. There was song book titled something along the lines of Maranatha song book.

    From what I have read the Calvary Chapel group is another sad story of something starting well and degrading. As I stated, it seemed to be in the center of a move of God but especially with the group’s now late founder Charles Smith the group deteriorated. Sadly it shows what can happen when men IMO start to trust in themselves after receiving God’s blessings.

    They are now known as being set up along the lines of a Moses model.

    Sorry if I gave too long of a response.

  23. krwordgazer wrote:

    on and repentance, with a strong implication that therefore we former MMI members had no right nor reason to bring anything up about Bob Weiner ever again.

    I found the copy and sent it to you. As I shared previously I was quite underwhelmed by what I read in that article that some people claim Bob gave a full confession and repentance. Please let me know what you think.

    I don’t understand where even if a leader did give a full confession that the leader doing so made it to where you couldn’t bring anything up about Bob Weiner again. God calls us to forgive but not forget. As far as I am concerned Bob Weiner continued in sin for a period of time and thus should be publicly rebuked as Paul says to do regarding elders.

    As people say about history in general, we should study it to learn from it and hopefully not repeat it. What went wrong that allowed this to happen and continue for so long? That is what I hope to write about.

    I will say that you can’t blame this all on Bob Weiner. Certainly Bob’s “co-conspirator” Joe Smith and their lieutenants also had some complicity.

  24. siteseer wrote:

    Was it a backlash against a rising divorce rate that brought about these weird dating/marriage movements? It boggles my mind to think of marrying someone you barely know because some other guy thinks it would be a good idea.
    I sat through a talk recently where a guy was talking up arranged marriages, like in the old days, because everyone knew what their roles were and it didn’t end in divorce. He figured that was the sign of a successful arrangement.

    From what I can tell having studied this and read what I can on this, this was a backlash against the sexual revolution and all the promiscuity that came along with it. Rather than find a way to date properly or with integrity leaders took a more extreme view and labeled dating as bad (though didn’t define really what they meant by dating) and imposed something either the “dating revelation,” “kissing dating goodbye” or “courtship” on the singles.

    IMO in order to justify eliminating dating they painted a picture of all dating being bad and leading to issues and thus creating a false dilemma stating that dating was so bad that the only alternative was to not date and apply their “alternative.”

    A book I would recommend one read is Courtship in Crisis

    http://www.amazon.com/Courtship-Crisis-Thomas-Umstattd-Jr/dp/1943745005

    This author describes courtship as a failed experiment. One of these days I hope to blog about this book and the author’s ideas.

  25. I have also heard that “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” was something that parents who were active and probably participated in the sexual revolution being afraid that their children might do the same thing. Thus they imposed these rules as a way to try and prevent them from making the same mistakes.

    Another way to think of especially the “dating revolution” was it another extension or application of the shepherding movement that was quite controlling of people.

  26. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    I went to dinner with Steve when I was in D.C. in the summer of ’14. It was nice to get to know him. I can testify that he takes copious notes and does his research well.
    Glad you are blogging again Steve. I hope after you cover MMI thoroughly you will continue writing about other subjects.

    Todd

    Thanks for the encouraging note. I have enjoyed reading your blog notes on Sovereign Grace Churches.

  27. siteseer wrote:

    Was it a backlash against a rising divorce rate that brought about these weird dating/marriage movements?

    Courtship isn’t proving to be a remedy for divorce. In Thomas Umstattd’s blog post that I linked to in my previous comment, he says there’s been “a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted.”

    BTW, my former “church” practiced more of a betrothal method, and that’s how I was married. It’s worked out fine for us mainly because we really were crazy about each other. But I won’t recommend it for my children.

  28. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    It’s worked out fine for us mainly because we really were crazy about each other

    And that cannot be obtained from reading books, listening to CD’s or watching Johm MacArthur on youtube!

    Coupled with a good sense of humour, being crazy about each other is the mortar between the bricks. I thoroughly recommend it.

    I’m no fan of how-to books, not even when written by Tim and Beverly LaHaye. One wonders how Adam and Eve coped without all the benefits of modern knowledge and expertise distilled into a weekend retreat at just $300 per person, discount for advanced booking.

  29. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Can we add coach Pitino to the bad list?

    Definitely. Besides his own personal scandal, the U of L men’s basketball team is now embroiled in a scandal. Pitino is doing a CJM and playing dumb!

  30. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Courtship isn’t proving to be a remedy for divorce. In Thomas Umstattd’s blog post that I linked to in my previous comment, he says there’s been “a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted.”

    Umstattd also indicated that a lot of people also weren’t getting married. Additionally he indicated that more men than women left courtship groups leaving a significant shortage of single men.

  31. Steve240 wrote:

    Umstattd also indicated that a lot of people also weren’t getting married. Additionally he indicated that more men than women left courtship groups leaving a significant shortage of single men.

    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.

  32. And Patriarch-arranged Courtship also gives a HUGE advantage to Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Manipulators, and Abusers. The psycho just puts on his Angel of Light mask, turns on the Charm, and manipulates Daddy into giving him what he wants.

  33. John Weaver wrote:

    Bob Weiner went on to work with the NAR. I don’t think he’s really changed.

    I’m guessing here that NAR doesnt’ mean National Abortion Rights! But I’m unsure what it does mean. Can you enlighten me?

  34. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.

    It’s such a painful and awkward time of life, anyway, without adding all of that on top of it!

  35. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    Umstattd also indicated that a lot of people also weren’t getting married. Additionally he indicated that more men than women left courtship groups leaving a significant shortage of single men.
    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.

    Yes– the current courtship movement simply replaced the authoritarianism of the pastor with the authoritarianism of the father. But it seems to me that with regards to “the dating revelation” and the courtship movement– Gothard merely perfected something Weiner invented.

  36. Steve240 wrote:

    Sorry if I gave too long of a response.

    Thanks Steve. Not too long of a reply at all, and I think we can safely say that any connection is purely coincidental.

  37. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Yes– the current courtship movement simply replaced the authoritarianism of the pastor with the authoritarianism of the father. But it seems to me that with regards to “the dating revelation” and the courtship movement– Gothard merely perfected something Weiner invented.

    I am not sure who “invented” this first. According the Tom Cooper’s book it was August 1976 that MMI formalized this though they had a policy going back several years. I believe Gothard’s teaching was earlier. They are quite similar.

  38. siteseer wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.
    It’s such a painful and awkward time of life, anyway, without adding all of that on top of it!

    Thomas Umstattd has a few things to say about how awkward and how unfun courtship is.

    Umstattd is the one that posted going back to rules his grandmother had when she dated at an earlier age. They were basically

    – Don’t date the same person twice in a row
    – You can’t go steady with someone too soon

    When one uses the approach his grandmother had to live by then asking someone out wasn’t the big deal that is in many courtship and “kissing dating goodbye” environments. It is also a good way to guard one’s heart as Josh Harris thought a single person should do. It is hard to be attached to one person when you are dating multiple people.

  39. One other point about the “dating revelation” and its name is that when you call it a “revelation” vs. a “policy” the meaning is quite different. “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.

    Sadly in Tom Cooper’s book he calls it more a “policy” than what it was really called which is a “revelation.”

  40. @ Lydia:

    Well, that was really dumb of him and he should have known better, but I do note that the defendant was convicted in federal court.

    I am not quite ready to toss my Cardinal T-shirt over somebody’s sex life.

    Now if you find out that there is poor academics at U of L, let me know, because I would toss it over that.

  41. Steve240 wrote:

    “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.

    Sort of like this guys “revelation” (he didn’t call it that) that it’s the man’s decision and the woman doesn’t have a say.

    As Bible-believing Baptists who hold to reformed theology, X and I believe that God is sovereign in choosing who will or will not believe in him, having chosen his people before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1), and that his selection is unbreakable and irresistible. If marriage is to mirror this principle, we believe that a woman has no right to select a husband for herself, but that she is to be chosen by a man and marriage is to be an unbreakable arrangement between the man and her father. Based on this reasoning, we have shunned a standard proposal and wedding ceremony, because if I had asked her to marry me (which I did not) then I would have given her the decision to marry me rather than selecting her and taking her myself.

    http://imgur.com/aVn40

    It makes IKDG look pretty tame, doesn’t it?

  42. Steve240 wrote:

    Thomas Umstattd has a few things to say about how awkward and how unfun courtship is.

    It turns finding someone and getting married into “Our Duty to The Party”.

  43. Steve240 wrote:

    “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.

    Outside the Christianese Event Horizon, “Revelation” means “The End of the World, PERIOD”.

  44. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    As Bible-believing Baptists who hold to reformed theology, X and I believe that God is sovereign in choosing who will or will not believe in him, having chosen his people before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1), and that his selection is unbreakable and irresistible. If marriage is to mirror this principle, we believe that a woman has no right to select a husband for herself, but that she is to be chosen by a man and marriage is to be an unbreakable arrangement between the man and her father. Based on this reasoning, we have shunned a standard proposal and wedding ceremony, because if I had asked her to marry me (which I did not) then I would have given her the decision to marry me rather than selecting her and taking her myself.

    http://imgur.com/aVn40

    It makes IKDG look pretty tame, doesn’t it?

    It makes SHARI’A look pretty tame.

  45. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    For those who don’t know MMI was a campus ministry on a number of college campuses that became prominent in the 80’s with a history going back to the early 70’s. MMI had its start in Paducah KY with high school students.
    By the late 1970s, MMI had apparently not made it to the West Coast. At Cal Poly Pomona (1976-78), the only campus ministries were Campus Crusade, the Navigators, and a local group calling themselves “Studies in the Word of God” that Out-Navigatored the Navigators.
    Intensity was pretty high back then; this was the heyday of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and “Work For The Night Is Coming!!! We Might Not Have a 1978!!! Or even a 1977!!!” Lots of panic bubbling under the surface, lots of End Times X-Treme Christians.

    HUG, I remember those days. Young Life was also a Christian outreach on college campuses. Speaking of end times, looking for the Rapture to occur at any moment was the craze. I think Hal Lindsay was responsible for that hype. American Evangelicalism: it’s one fad after the other.

  46. Darlene wrote:

    HUG, I remember those days. Young Life was also a Christian outreach on college campuses.

    I don’t remember Young Life at Cal Poly. Maybe the campus was already claimed by CCC and the Navs.

    Speaking of end times, looking for the Rapture to occur at any moment was the craze. I think Hal Lindsay was responsible for that hype. American Evangelicalism: it’s one fad after the other.

    My writing partner (the burned-out preacher) credits Hal Lindsay & John Nelson Darby with destroying Protestant Christianity in America.

    Other than that, what did all the End Times hype accomplish? Other than a LOT of High-Pressure Witnessing(TM) to get a few more Souls (not people) in the lifeboat? When you have NO future, don’t expect anyone to make plans or have goals beyond the moment or dare anything great. “It’s All Gonna Burn!”

  47. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ GSD:
    Kentucky has definitely been a commonwealth full of diversity and adversity! I just wish we didn’t have so many cultish religious associations!

    I’d still say Texas has you beat when it comes to weird cultish religious organizations.

  48. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Back during the Vietnam Era, Calvary Chapel had a record label called ‘Maranatha’, and even today, there’s a ‘Maranatha Chapel’, and a ‘Maranatha Radio’ bizz. All located in Southern Cal., and all affiliated with Calvary Chapel.
    Is there any connection with Maranatha Ministries profiled on this thread, or is it purely coincidental?

    And then there’s the Maranatha Singers and the Maranatha Gospel Choir!

  49. Steve240 wrote:

    siteseer wrote:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.
    It’s such a painful and awkward time of life, anyway, without adding all of that on top of it!
    Thomas Umstattd has a few things to say about how awkward and how unfun courtship is.
    Umstattd is the one that posted going back to rules his grandmother had when she dated at an earlier age. They were basically
    – Don’t date the same person twice in a row
    – You can’t go steady with someone too soon
    When one uses the approach his grandmother had to live by then asking someone out wasn’t the big deal that is in many courtship and “kissing dating goodbye” environments. It is also a good way to guard one’s heart as Josh Harris thought a single person should do. It is hard to be attached to one person when you are dating multiple people.

    To be honest, I don’t think those grandmother’s rules are all that great either. If you can’t date someone more than once, it can keep natural, healthy friendships from forming, because relationships with the opposite sex must focus on romance rather than just “hanging out” and letting relationships form naturally. I think today’s kids, with fewer rules, are actually handling things better. Most teenagers hang out in groups and form friendships with other teens of both sexes, and if two of them feel it’s becoming more than that, they start “going out,” which is what we used to call “going steady.” There seems to be a lot less competition, jockeying for social position, and shallowness in this arrangement.

  50. krwordgazer wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    BTW, krwordgazer has a blog post with information about her experience in MMI including the “don’t talk about it” mentality.
    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2012/08/dont-talk-about-it.html
    I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this here.
    Not at all, Steve; thanks! And I would love to read the article from Charisma. When I did finally hear about it more than 20 years later, it was held up to me as Bob Weiner’s complete confession and repentance, with a strong implication that therefore we former MMI members had no right nor reason to bring anything up about Bob Weiner ever again.

    Cuz otherwise you’re just bitter! Hey, like the little kids in nursery school used to say: “Sorry doesn’t cut it!”

  51. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Back during the Vietnam Era, Calvary Chapel had a record label called ‘Maranatha’, and even today, there’s a ‘Maranatha Chapel’, and a ‘Maranatha Radio’ bizz. All located in Southern Cal., and all affiliated with Calvary Chapel.
    Is there any connection with Maranatha Ministries profiled on this thread, or is it purely coincidental?
    I wondered the same thing Muff. I went back to a book entitled “God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America” by Larry Eskridge and there does not appear to be any connection.

    Todd, I’ve heard of that book! Then again, back then I was a member of a Christian commune that turn very cultish that began with the name The Forever Family. That Jesus Movement phase sure was off the wall.

  52. Steve240 wrote:
    As far as I know (99%+sure) there is no connection between MMI and Calvary Chapel. Calvary Chapel spawned from what I understand a movement that started in Southern California. A lot of contemporary Christian music started there. There was song book titled something along the lines of Maranatha song book.
    From what I have read the Calvary Chapel group is another sad story of something starting well and degrading. As I stated, it seemed to be in the center of a move of God but especially with the group’s now late founder Charles Smith the group deteriorated. Sadly it shows what can happen when men IMO start to trust in themselves after receiving God’s blessings.
    They are now known as being set up along the lines of a Moses model.
    Sorry if I gave too long of a response.

    There were a lot of Christian communes back then, like the one I was part of. The first Christian commune I encountered was The Jesus People. I remember bumping into members of The Family, otherwise known as The Children of God (Moses David was their leader). Oh, and The Way Ministry where they recruited people teaching them to speak in tongues – for a fee of course. Weirdness with a Christian label.

  53. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It turns finding someone and getting married into “Our Duty to The Party”.

    The Soviet Union used to give the Mother Heroine medal to women who had ten living children. This was a way to encourage repopulation after World War II wrought such devastation. Take a tragedy and turn it into propaganda. After awhile too many non-Russian Soviet citizens were getting the award, and it was less celebrated.

    Interesting to see that the new equivalent in Russia is the Order of Parental Glory, and only seven living children are required, and I gather that the role of men in the production of children is now recognized.

    I do love the name, Order of Parental Glory. Most of us just get a participant trophy.

  54. @ Darlene:
    New Apostolic Reformation. Charismatics/Penecostals.
    Dominionists …… Not meaning to get political here, just sharing info: IIRC, Ted Cruz’s dad is one of them. And Ted Cruz either spoke at one of their major churches.

  55. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    Umstattd also indicated that a lot of people also weren’t getting married. Additionally he indicated that more men than women left courtship groups leaving a significant shortage of single men.
    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.

    HUG, you really do get me to laugh! “Pastor May I?” is what it boiled down to in the Christian cult I was part of. In order for a guy to even begin dating a female, he had to stand up publicly in front of the whole congregation and state: “I’m fully there for Jesus!” Problem was, he couldn’t prove it according to the strict standards. Fact is, no one could meet that standard because “Fully there for Jesus” in cult-speak was: I am 100% faithful to Jesus at all times. You couldn’t slip up – not once. Or your weakness would be paraded in front of the rest of the members. So people would leave to get married and then go back to the group. Only problem was, that was considered backsliding and so they had to start from ground zero by being publicly humiliated for having gone off and gotten married – and then jump through all the hoops to be believed or trusted again.

    Funny…all these little break off groups and cults that began in the 60’s transformed into mini-control centers, each claiming to be the most zealous for Jesus and having been given some unique revelation or calling. We be more special than all those other Christians.

  56. okrapod wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Well, that was really dumb of him and he should have known better, but I do note that the defendant was convicted in federal court.
    I am not quite ready to toss my Cardinal T-shirt over somebody’s sex life.
    Now if you find out that there is poor academics at U of L, let me know, because I would toss it over that.

    Hey, the players have been known to pay good money for research papers. :o) when you see a consistent pattern of college sports celebs enter serious professions outside sports, let me know.

  57. @ Lydia:

    I said poor academics, like Speed School is no good, or A&S is sub par or the law school grads can’t pass the bar. That has nothing to do with sports, or athletes or such. When the academics at U of L becomes bad academics I will turn in my T shirt. I don’t consider sports or their research papers wherever they get them to be academics.

  58. Steve240 wrote:

    Umstattd is the one that posted going back to rules his grandmother had when she dated at an earlier age. They were basically
    – Don’t date the same person twice in a row
    – You can’t go steady with someone too soon

    It must have been the era or something. My grandmother would have been dating in the late nineteenth century, but I think they called it courting at the time. Anyhow grandmother would say not to to take it too seriously too soon because men are like streetcars; just stand still and there will be another one along in 15 minutes.

    I doubt that she would have made that up-probably just adopted it for herself.

  59. Didn’t mean to disparage the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or UofL. It’s sad when the actions of a few athletes tarnish the reputation of an entire university. And it’s also sad that we invest so much time and money in sports, instead of, I don’t know… Educating the next generation.

    I could be kicked out of the state for heresy.

    In terms of Bob Weiner, I don’t think he is widely known across the NAR. He is on the board of Rick Joyner’s church, Morningstar, so he might be better known in those circles.

  60. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    When just saying “Hi!” to a girl equals Commitment to Marry, a guy is NOT going to have anything to do with one unless he is 1000% sure, never mind the ever-growing set of Courtship Rules, negotiations with Pastor or Patriarch father, and “Pastor May I?” every step of the way.

    It's such a painful and awkward time of life, anyway, without adding all of that on top of it! Steve240 wrote:

    One other point about the “dating revelation” and its name is that when you call it a “revelation” vs. a “policy” the meaning is quite different. “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.

    It really ups the dramatic effect.

  61. Darlene wrote:

    American Evangelicalism: it’s one fad after the other.

    YES! What is with that?

    Anyone else remember bumper sticker campaigns like “I found the secret” and “In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned” ?

    Despite all of this stuff, the world just keeps going its merry way, doesn’t it?

  62. siteseer wrote:

    marrying someone you barely know because some other guy thinks it would be a good idea.

    Shades of Doug Wilson marrying a known pedo to a young lady.

  63. I see that Steve mentions “Every Nation Exposed” and I’ve often wondered where the much-needed critcisim for Every Nation Ministries was. After the Maranatha “implosion”, some of the pastors from Maranatha, Rice Broocks, Steve Murrell and Phil Bonasso started a new group called Morningstar. Morningstar claimed to be nothing like Maranatha, it was the hot new “Apostolic Movement” with hip, young churches. But having been a part of one of their church plants, I can tell you that the cult-like control that was exerted over my life for many years, and the damage that still follows me…they were very Maranatha like. They had some scandal around 2006 with a lawsuit from a parent of a teen in the youth ministry, and then a separate incident with an affair between someone in leadership with a younger woman, if I recall correctly, and the organization changed their name in an effort to make a clean start, I guess, to Every Nation Ministries, but changing the name does not change ethos of an organization. My years at Every Nation were years of indoctrination and control.

  64. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And Patriarch-arranged Courtship also gives a HUGE advantage to Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Manipulators, and Abusers. The psycho just puts on his Angel of Light mask, turns on the Charm, and manipulates Daddy into giving him what he wants.

    A recipe for utter disaster if ever I heard one.
    These guys seem to have forgotten how many of these marriages were horrible messes. (Not to mention the number of spouses who “accidentally” consumed quantities of arsenic, cyanide, etc….).

  65. Darlene wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:
    Todd, I’ve heard of that book! Then again, back then I was a member of a Christian commune that turn very cultish that began with the name The Forever Family. That Jesus Movement phase sure was off the wall.

    Darlene,
    Your old group garnered significant print in the book. I believe you would find the book interesting.

  66. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    To be honest, I don’t think those grandmother’s rules are all that great either. If you can’t date someone more than once, it can keep natural, healthy friendships from forming, because relationships with the opposite sex must focus on romance rather than just “hanging out” and letting relationships form naturally. I think today’s kids, with fewer rules, are actually handling things better. Most teenagers hang out in groups and form friendships with other teens of both sexes, and if two of them feel it’s becoming more than that, they start “going out,” which is what we used to call “going steady.” There seems to be a lot less competition, jockeying for social position, and shallowness in this arrangement.

    Bear in mind that this rule was something set for a teenager. You certainly could date someone more than once but the rule (again for a teenager) was that before you dated this person a 2nd time you had to date someone else. For a teenager just starting out I think this is a good idea. Date different types of people and then you get a better idea of what you want and don’t want in a partner.

    If nothing else a big issue I have with IKDG is that it was a “one size fits all” plan for something IMO was designed more for teenagers.

  67. okrapod wrote:

    It must have been the era or something. My grandmother would have been dating in the late nineteenth century, but I think they called it courting at the time. Anyhow grandmother would say not to to take it too seriously too soon because men are like streetcars; just stand still and there will be another one along in 15 minutes.
    I doubt that she would have made that up-probably just adopted it for herself.

    Thomas Umstadtt’s gradmother I recall was talking about dating right after WWII not the late 19th century.

  68. Julie Anne Smith wrote:

    Good for you, Steve. I’m glad to see you blogging about this group. Do you have a Twitter account?
    Thanks, Deb, for sharing this information!

    Thanks Julie

    I have not started “tweeting” yet but that is something I should explore.

  69. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    My writing partner (the burned-out preacher) credits Hal Lindsay & John Nelson Darby with destroying Protestant Christianity in America.

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell with their Moral Majorities, Christian Coalitions, etc. greatly ruined Christianity’s reputation with the public in general. The Catholic pedophilia scandal didn’t help either.

  70. The bible is clear on keeping from sexual immorality. I can’t think of anywhere it addresses the subject of dating. That being the case, where do people get all these rules about dating from? I’ve never read any books on dating, far too late for me anyway. I’ve heard good advice on the issue, but not rules.

    In the light of what Paul says about rules and regulations in Col 2 and their futility in changing behaviour, why write books of rules about dating since by definition they are not going to achieve much?

  71. I attended an Every Nation church in the early 2000’s. All of these MMI practices sound quite familiar and were still in effect!

  72. @ Steve240:

    My mother was dating during the great depression, and this is when her own mother passed on this attitude. I was dating in the early50s when I got this attitude from my mother. Generation to generation.

  73. Steve240 wrote:

    One other point about the “dating revelation” and its name is that when you call it a “revelation” vs. a “policy” the meaning is quite different. “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.

    The best comment I’ve come across on the IKDG “revelation” / “policy” / fad / red herring was on another blog somewhere. It was brief, thoughtfully expressed, and insightful. Unfortunately I can’t remember which blog, much less the name of the lassie who left it, but it was to this effect: It may well have been that “kissing dating goodbye” was right for a young Josh Harris, and that it was the kindness of their heavenly Father to lead that way. The trouble is that sometimes, when God shows us something individually, we get carried away. Now, it so happens that we do have a revelation. But in our enthusiasm and, perhaps, pride, we imagine it to be a much wider revelation than it really is, and that what God has shown us is a teaching for the whole church.

    I think it’s impossible to stress too highly the importance of revelation in the life of the church and in the lives of individual believers, but we’re off out the noo so I can’t say any more.

  74. just say nein to 9Marx wrote:

    I attended an Every Nation church in the early 2000’s. All of these MMI practices sound quite familiar and were still in effect!

    Thanks for sharing. Every Nations claims to be different but when you have such a history you tend to have this in your DNA as the saying goes. Even if you don't mean to be that way you can so easily fall back to that.

  75. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    One other point about the “dating revelation” and its name is that when you call it a “revelation” vs. a “policy” the meaning is quite different. “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.
    The best comment I’ve come across on the IKDG “revelation” / “policy” / fad / red herring was on another blog somewhere. It was brief, thoughtfully expressed, and insightful. Unfortunately I can’t remember which blog, much less the name of the lassie who left it, but it was to this effect: It may well have been that “kissing dating goodbye” was right for a young Josh Harris, and that it was the kindness of their heavenly Father to lead that way. The trouble is that sometimes, when God shows us something individually, we get carried away. Now, it so happens that we do have a revelation. But in our enthusiasm and, perhaps, pride, we imagine it to be a much wider revelation than it really is, and that what God has shown us is a teaching for the whole church.
    I think it’s impossible to stress too highly the importance of revelation in the life of the church and in the lives of individual believers, but we’re off out the noo so I can’t say any more.

    Josh Harris “kissed dating goodbye” due to his having issues such as being too focused on dating. He did this after dating for a while.

    It has baffled me that people have used this as a model what he did due to being over focused on it.

    I also have been baffled that people think what a teenager decided to do should have to apply all ages.

  76. Steve240 wrote:

    Josh Harris “kissed dating goodbye” due to his having issues such as being too focused on dating. He did this after dating for a while.
    It has baffled me that people have used this as a model what he did due to being over focused on it.

    One also notes that St. Augustine of Hippo came to some of his conclusions based on some excesses in his youth and the whole church bought into it and went along it. “It” being even some of his most radical ideas about women.

    So there is St. A and there is Josh H who had ‘focus’ problems and they came up with some radical ideas and people buy into them. IMO it is because that there just may be scads of people who have the same ‘focus’ issues and are looking for help in dealing with their issues. Something comes along then and they grab onto it-like a potential lifesaver to a drowning person.

    Then, seeing this, some people see a way to cash in on it. In other words they spot a market for the idea and preach it and write books and develop curriculum materials for small group study. At the same time some people see a way to be more righteous appearing than other people so they testify about how great it is in their own lives, saying for all intents and purposes that they themselves have got the victory in this area-and have an answer for the personal and social destruction which they have experienced or watched others experience.

    From a woman’s point of view one can get to the point of wondering how many toads you have to kiss while looking for a prince, and perhaps there is a better way. How many times can a heart break before it quits breaking because it is not much of a heart anymore but rather a mass of scar tissue from previous emotional trauma.

    I can see why people do it. I believe it is a trap and a disaster that people fall into, but a clever one in its appeal to quite a few people.

  77. siteseer wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    http://imgur.com/aVn40
    It makes IKDG look pretty tame, doesn’t it?
    Site seer wrote: I am literally stunned.

    Sickening, isn’t it? He bought himself a slave to use for his pleasure, and she is dumb enough to accept it

  78. Nancy2 wrote:

    Sickening, isn’t it? He bought himself a slave to use for his pleasure, and she is dumb enough to accept it

    There ARE women who DO go after Control Freaks & Abusers.
    Harley Quinn Syndrome.

  79. okrapod wrote:

    One also notes that St. Augustine of Hippo came to some of his conclusions based on some excesses in his youth and the whole church bought into it and went along it. “It” being even some of his most radical ideas about women.

    Auggie brought a lot of personal and sexual baggage into his theology. Before his conversion, he was a horndog; after, a sworn celibate. In neither case would he have ever had a chance to interact with a woman as a person; before they were sex objects and afterwards they were Forbidden Fruit.

    And the church took it all as a single package deal instead of showing discernment as to what was serious theology and what was personal baggage.

  80. okrapod wrote:

    So there is St. A and there is Josh H who had ‘focus’ problems and they came up with some radical ideas and people buy into them.

    A couple years ago, Josh H said he had been molested in some way as a kid. The way that can mess up your head (obsession with Sex, revulsion from Sex, or both), I wonder if just like St A, Josh H put a lot of that baggage into IKDG.

  81. okrapod wrote:

    So there is St. A and there is Josh H who had ‘focus’ problems and they came up with some radical ideas and people buy into them. IMO it is because that there just may be scads of people who have the same ‘focus’ issues and are looking for help in dealing with their issues. Something comes along then and they grab onto it-like a potential lifesaver to a drowning person.

    From a woman’s point of view one can get to the point of wondering how many toads you have to kiss while looking for a prince, and perhaps there is a better way. How many times can a heart break before it quits breaking because it is not much of a heart anymore but rather a mass of scar tissue from previous emotional trauma.

    Sadly my experience has been that groups that promote “kissing dating goodbye” or “courtship” single men and women learn how to AVOID relating vs. learning how to relate. You see single men and women in their later 20’s and 30’s that still have a hard time relating and act like teenagers.

    I can understand your problem with wondering how many toads you have to kiss.

    One thing that Josh Harris didn’t do very well was define what he was kissing goodbye. Dating can mean various things.

    https://ikdg.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/what-is-%E2%80%9Cdating%E2%80%9D-and-what-did-harris-supposedly-%E2%80%9Ckiss-goodbye%E2%80%9D/

  82. okrapod wrote:

    Then, seeing this, some people see a way to cash in on it. In other words they spot a market for the idea and preach it and write books and develop curriculum materials for small group study. At the same time some people see a way to be more righteous appearing than other people so they testify about how great it is in their own lives, saying for all intents and purposes that they themselves have got the victory in this area-and have an answer for the personal and social destruction which they have experienced or watched others experience.

    CBMW????

  83. I am overwhelmed that finally Every Nation will be investigated perhaps further in this blog and others. I attended this church during the times it changed from Morning Star to EN.

    The spiritual abuse I went through really messed me up. Even 15yrs later i still have feelings of complete devastation and days i feel humiliated.

    Thankfully I got saved b4 my experiences in this church and could separate evil minded man from genuine God. Many of my friends from this church didnt and many hv walked away from God. Devastating.

    I was date raped by a member in the church. I came 2 the pastors…letting them know what happened and I was told I brought it on myself. They never believed me…taunted me and then backed the guy that forced himself on me as their poster boy 4 their international conference…because he had an “amazing testimony”.

    I was forced to not tell anyone…keep what happen a secret and an indescretion rather than truth. and at 20yrs old wait for aids test all on my own. Scared and alone. Yet they never believed me! The guy ended up proving 2b a fraud just like I tried 2 tell them.

    I went thru terrible abuse from discipleship…they told me I could never hear from God 4 myself. That they were responsible from hearing from God 4 me.

    God eventually made it clear 2 me that the leaders in this church were wolves in sheeps clothing….i knew in my heart i had to leave. But my “discipler” told me if i left i would be walking an “below average…just ok…walk or highway with God” because being under their authority was the highway of holiness. Gods best 4 my life. Without being in this church i would never be in Gods perfect will.

    I met with the pastors and was verbally warned that if I ever spoke up against what I saw as cultic damaging practices that they would come at me with full force of the law.

    I left the church…but spent yrs so messed up thinking that I wasn’t living properly for God. That I wasn’t in Gods will…i would cry and stress out so much about this.

    I was so messed up that i eventually dragged my then husband back into this church…for round 2. I had 2b in Gods perfect will. Typical brainwashed behaviour.

    We were treated like 2nd rate ppl & my new discipler was instructed by the main pastor to stick the dagger in & twist it in her way of discipling me. It was exactly like this.

    The 2nd time was more abuse and humiliation.

    My story has been slimmed down here but our old pastors were known to the overall EN leaders Rice Broocks…Steve Murrell.

    Almost every other pastor under our main leaders has left EN. The abuse of this couple was vile.

    My question is to Rice Broocks…the author if Gods Not Dead. Why did you continue to allow (& still 2day) these toxic dangerous leaders to continue to damage & destroy ppls lives like mine.

    Thankfully i hv my relationship with Christ in tact but what about those young ppl who hv walked away from God because of these wolves?

    Rice Broocks where is ur fear of God? Don’t you know you need 2 make this abuse right with those abused?

    What about a public apology to the thousands & thousands of ppl like me worldwide who suffered and still suffer because of leaders you allowed 2 continue in leadership…who should be pulled.

    Derek Prince had the guts to apologise 4 his part in any abuse. I respect that. That is real leadership.

    They covered up my rape…taunted me about going 2 the police (“if it is true then go 2 the police”) and shamed me. Cutting off all my friends from me…blaming me…humiliating me & not believing my story.

    The God I serve knows and sees everything. EN leaders will be held to account.

  84. Steve,

    I was at the University of Florida when MMI started a campus ministry there in 1977. Although I never joined I had many friends who did. There was both good and bad, help and hurt that resulted, but there was nothing neutral or balanced about it.

    Everything about MMI was radical, loud, and in-your-face. Worship was full volume and emotionally overwhelming, with words about being “the army of God” “kicking in the gates of hell”. Messages challenged everyone to action, to be “God’s Green Berets”. MMI did not end quietly.

    I now attend CLC where PJ Smyth has been hired to be the new lead pastor. It was obvious when I saw the people responding to him that PJ has the same kind of power to emotionally sway a congregation that Bob Weiner had at MMI, maybe in a more refined way.

    I have told several people at CLC that I don’t know whether PJ’s influence will end well or badly. One thing is sure, that it won’t end quietly!

  85. BeenThereDoneThat quoted the following from a frighteningly bizarre document:

    If marriage is to mirror this principle, we believe that a woman has no right to select a husband for herself, but that she is to be chosen by a man and marriage is to be an unbreakable arrangement between the man and her father. Based on this reasoning, we have shunned a standard proposal and wedding ceremony, because if I had asked her to marry me (which I did not) then I would have given her the decision to marry me rather than selecting her and taking her myself.

    Does anyone else feel nauseous?

    Dee, I hope your site has plenty of buckets…

  86. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Does anyone else feel nauseous?

    Yes, it’s quite sickening.

    It is also easily refuted. I acquainted my friend google with the quote, to find it is predicated on marriage being a reflection of absolute predestination a la Eph 1 hyper-calvinism. Predestination has nothing to do with marriage, the link is arbitrarily created.

    And what do they do with A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord?

    Someone really should have taken that clueless apostle Paul to one side and explained, in Greek, the doctrine of predestination to him.

  87. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat quoted the following from a frighteningly bizarre document:

    That “frighteningly bizarre document” also included this little commercial at the beginning:

    As Bible-believing Baptists who hold to reformed theology, X and I believe that God is sovereign in choosing who will or will not believe in him, having chosen his people before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1), and that his selection is unbreakable and irresistible.

    1) Bible-Believing(TM) — first red warning flag.
    2) REFORMED Theology = CALVIN! CALVIN! CALVIN! CALVIN! CALVIN!
    3) Preaching in-your-face about Predestination, Omnipotence, and Soverignity — “IN’SHAL’LAH! AL’LAH’U AKBAR!”
    4) And a totally-arranged marriage, negotiated with the Family Patriarch/Sheikh and a forced marriage for the woman. ISIS would be proud.

  88. Sunshine Saint wrote:

    They covered up my rape…taunted me about going 2 the police (“if it is true then go 2 the police”) and shamed me. Cutting off all my friends from me…blaming me…humiliating me & not believing my story.

    I am so sorry for what you went through. Thank you for sharing your story. May your voice help shine a light into the darkness.

  89. Steve240 wrote:

    Sadly my experience has been that groups that promote “kissing dating goodbye” or “courtship” single men and women learn how to AVOID relating vs. learning how to relate. You see single men and women in their later 20’s and 30’s that still have a hard time relating and act like teenagers.

    I turned 60 last November and I’m still in the position of “have a hard time relating and act like teenagers”.

    Kicker is, I was never involved in the IKDG Christianese Purity Culture, but ended up internalizing all the same tropes and memes. Save yourself for marriage, strong Virgin/Whore Dichotomy, lots of Fifties pop culture influence, women as threats instead of companions — like some sort of fey folk, not-quite-human creatures you associated with at your own risk (and Protect Yourself at all costs).

    Only thing I can figure is the isolation of a kid genius plus probable low-end Aspergers plus dysfunction in parents’ marriage plus no good female role model/examples plus a Sweet Little Angel of an NPD younger brother who could Manipulate and emotionally abuse like ToJo or either of the Douggies and I was his 24/7 hobby.

  90. BoughtTheField wrote:

    I now attend CLC where PJ Smyth has been hired to be the new lead pastor. It was obvious when I saw the people responding to him that PJ has the same kind of power to emotionally sway a congregation that Bob Weiner had at MMI, maybe in a more refined way.
    I have told several people at CLC that I don’t know whether PJ’s influence will end well or badly. One thing is sure, that it won’t end quietly!

    Bought the Field

    Thanks for the comment. What you described about MMI is basically what I remember being at another location.

    With regard to PJ and I am sure the same is true of most influential leaders is that as long as their focus is on and they are in submission to Christ with their actions things will go well. With that said the tendency when ministry success happens is become proud and arrogant and forget their dependency on Christ.

    If nothing else Bob Weiner had a lot of zeal but at times especially toward the end was without knowledge IMO. There was also a lot of the equivalent of “going to Asia” when forbid by the Holy Spirit. The same could happen at CLC.

    I think that is on strong argument for more of shared leadership vs. a group becoming more a personality cult that both CLC and MMI have been or were respectively. Also, God is clear that He won’t share the glory with anyone. When a group starts to move to becoming a personality cult then I am sure God withdraws more and more from it.

  91. BoughtTheField wrote:

    Everything about MMI was radical, loud, and in-your-face. Worship was full volume and emotionally overwhelming, with words about being “the army of God” “kicking in the gates of hell”. Messages challenged everyone to action, to be “God’s Green Berets”. MMI did not end quietly.

    Out-navigating the Navigators?
    Out-acquiring Acquire the Fire?
    Out-destinying People of Destiny International?
    Out-maniacing Teen Mania?
    More Godly than God Himself?

    I suspect their burnout rate was at least as high as the Navigators.

  92. @ Sunshine Saint:
    I’m so sorry for the things you endured and I hear your pain. You will find many here who are aware of such abusive practices and are working to expose them and extend compassion to those who are/have been victims of their tyranny.

    Thank you for sharing and I’ve said a prayer for your comfort and continued healing.

  93. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Does anyone else feel nauseous?

    You know what’s even more nauseous? I discovered where the author of that letter learned his ideas from. There’s a Joseph Beard who blogs at titus25 dot com. There’s a link on the home page to his book on marriage that lays out all the ideas that the author of that letter followed. What’s even more disturbing is that Beard wants to stamp out what he deems to be “feminism” from the SBC. He calls men to action within the SBC to put women in their place.

  94. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Sunshine Saint wrote:
    They covered up my rape…taunted me about going 2 the police (“if it is true then go 2 the police”) and shamed me.

    “GO AHEAD AND SQUEAL, TATTLETALE! NOBODY WILL EVER BELIEVE YOU! BECAUSE YOU’RE THE [bitter] CRAZY KID AND I’M THE SWEET LITTLE ANGEL!”

    And to top it off, Sunshine Saint was just a commoner woman and her rapist was Church Highborn, Pastor’s court favorite with a penis and a (Juicy?) TESTIMONY (that $aved lot$ of $oul$?).

    Anyone remember Douggie of Moscow, his Kirk, and his pet pedo?

  95. Sunshine Saint, thank you for sharing so boldly and I hope you continue to find peace and healing. It’s interesting to me that all this happened to you AFTER the dissolution of Maranatha Christian Churches, during the period many of the former churches re-formed into a new organization called Morningstar (later Every Nation). My family and I stayed in our local church when Maranatha dissolved in 1989, but left the former Maranatha church at the point where it decided to join Morningstar (roughly 2000-2001). We wanted no part of Maranatha again, in any guise.

    I have heard from many who are still involved in Every Nation that it is now a fairly healthy and non-controlling organization. But Morningstar apparently was just as bad news as it seemed to us when we left.

  96. Sunshine Saint wrote:

    The spiritual abuse I went through really messed me up. Even 15yrs later i still have feelings of complete devastation and days i feel humiliated.
    Thankfully I got saved b4 my experiences in this church and could separate evil minded man from genuine God. Many of my friends from this church didnt and many hv walked away from God. Devastating.
    I was date raped by a member in the church. I came 2 the pastors…letting them know what happened and I was told I brought it on myself. They never believed me…taunted me and then backed the guy that forced himself on me as their poster boy 4 their international conference…because he had an “amazing testimony”.
    I was forced to not tell anyone…keep what happen a secret and an indescretion rather than truth. and at 20yrs old wait for aids test all on my own. Scared and alone. Yet they never believed me! The guy ended up proving 2b a fraud just like I tried 2 tell them.

    (portion deleted)

    They covered up my rape…taunted me about going 2 the police (“if it is true then go 2 the police”) and shamed me. Cutting off all my friends from me…blaming me…humiliating me & not believing my story.

    This really a sad case. Sorry to hear all that you went through. I hope that you can find some type of justice and exposure of this. Maybe the Wartburg Watch could share your story and get the exposure there.

    Rice Broocks was one of Bob Weiner’s lieutenants that as I understand basically reestablished MMI under this new name.

    I wish I could say that messing people didn’t occur much but sadly you would hear that a of times about people who left MMI being messed up due to spiritual abuse etc. With so many people being messed up by MMI and the group it spawned Every Nations I am still baffled that one can write a book about MMI’s history and title it “Raising Jesus.”

  97. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BoughtTheField wrote:
    Everything about MMI was radical, loud, and in-your-face. Worship was full volume and emotionally overwhelming, with words about being “the army of God” “kicking in the gates of hell”. Messages challenged everyone to action, to be “God’s Green Berets”. MMI did not end quietly.
    Out-navigating the Navigators?
    Out-acquiring Acquire the Fire?
    Out-destinying People of Destiny International?
    Out-maniacing Teen Mania?
    More Godly than God Himself?
    I suspect their burnout rate was at least as high as the Navigators.

    Oh yes. To this day words like “army of God” and “total commitment” fill me with revulsion.

  98. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Does anyone else feel nauseous?

    You know what’s even more nauseous? I discovered where the author of that letter learned his ideas from. There’s a Joseph Beard who blogs at titus25 dot com. There’s a link on the home page to his book on marriage that lays out all the ideas that the author of that letter followed. What’s even more disturbing is that Beard wants to stamp out what he deems to be “feminism” from the SBC. He calls men to action within the SBC to put women in their place.

    Why doesn’t this guy just move to Mosul and join ISIS?
    Or to Talibanistan?
    (Or if he’s only lukewarm, Saudi?)
    That level of pathological Male Supremacist plus harem polygyny.

    But then, one Loud Crazy with a broadband connection and Website becomes a Mass Movement.

  99. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It may well have been that “kissing dating goodbye” was right for a young Josh Harris, and that it was the kindness of their heavenly Father to lead that way. The trouble is that sometimes, when God shows us something individually, we get carried away. Now, it so happens that we do have a revelation. But in our enthusiasm and, perhaps, pride, we imagine it to be a much wider revelation than it really is, and that what God has shown us is a teaching for the whole church.

    “I have Problem X, so EVERYBODY Must Have the Same!”

    “You can tell when a preacher jumps the shark; he stops preaching about what he’s for and only about What He’s Against.”
    Rush Limbaugh and the War on Drugs, Ted Haggard and Homosexuality, Marky-Mark Driscoll and Wimpy Sissy Men….

  100. Nancy2 wrote:

    siteseer wrote:
    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    http://imgur.com/aVn40
    It makes IKDG look pretty tame, doesn’t it?
    Site seer wrote: I am literally stunned.
    Sickening, isn’t it? He bought himself a slave to use for his pleasure, and she is dumb enough to accept it

    Please don’t assume women in these situations are dumb. Many times they have been raised with constant beatings until they are thoroughly cowed and unable to do anything but swallow the Koolaid.

  101. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Oh yes. To this day words like “army of God” and “total commitment” fill me with revulsion.

    “God’s Green Berets” or “God’s SS” or “Chairman God’s Red Guard”?

    And “God’s Green Berets” has already been taken by the Jesuits.

  102. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Please don’t assume women in these situations are dumb. Many times they have been raised with constant beatings until they are thoroughly cowed and unable to do anything but swallow the Koolaid.

    Like “breaking in a horse” the old-fashioned way.

    “Some — there are losses in every trade —
    Wreck their hearts ere bitted and made,
    Will fight like fiends as the rope cuts hard,
    And die dumb-mad in the breaking-yard.”
    — Rudyard Kipling, “Thrown Away”

  103. Steve240 wrote:

    Sadly my experience has been that groups that promote “kissing dating goodbye” or “courtship” single men and women learn how to AVOID relating vs. learning how to relate.

    Command and control is much less messy than relationships requiring listening and being a servant. Or so it seems until the dead bodies start showing up.

  104. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    It’s interesting to me that all this happened to you AFTER the dissolution of Maranatha Christian Churches, during the period many of the former churches re-formed into a new organization called Morningstar (later Every Nation). My family and I stayed in our local church when Maranatha dissolved in 1989, but left the former Maranatha church at the point where it decided to join Morningstar (roughly 2000-2001). We wanted no part of Maranatha again, in any guise.
    I have heard from many who are still involved in Every Nation that it is now a fairly healthy and non-controlling organization. But Morningstar apparently was just as bad news as it seemed to us when we left.

    Doesn’t the name “Lucifer” mean “Morning Star”?

  105. Sunshine Saint wrote:

    they told me I could never hear from God 4 myself. That they were responsible from hearing from God 4 me.

    This Shepherding was proven so destructive that Bob Mumford had to formally repent of it. Still, it lives on today in new incarnations.

  106. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    total commitment

    If it’s any help, one of my favourite English bible teachers used drily to say ‘The word commitment isn’t used in the bible except where people were ‘committed’ into prison’!!

  107. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Please don’t assume women in these situations are dumb.

    I’ve heard the statement more than once regarding abuse victims “if it was so bad why didn’t they just leave”. The implication being either they are lying or were very dumb. Standing on the outside with a clear head that may seem a reasonable conclusion but now that I have experienced being within a dysfunctional system, I chide myself that it took me so long to recognize it, and I am fairly analytical.

  108. Steve240 wrote:

    Kristen Rosser wrote:
    To be honest, I don’t think those grandmother’s rules are all that great either. If you can’t date someone more than once, it can keep natural, healthy friendships from forming, because relationships with the opposite sex must focus on romance rather than just “hanging out” and letting relationships form naturally. I think today’s kids, with fewer rules, are actually handling things better. Most teenagers hang out in groups and form friendships with other teens of both sexes, and if two of them feel it’s becoming more than that, they start “going out,” which is what we used to call “going steady.” There seems to be a lot less competition, jockeying for social position, and shallowness in this arrangement.
    Bear in mind that this rule was something set for a teenager. You certainly could date someone more than once but the rule (again for a teenager) was that before you dated this person a 2nd time you had to date someone else. For a teenager just starting out I think this is a good idea. Date different types of people and then you get a better idea of what you want and don’t want in a partner.
    If nothing else a big issue I have with IKDG is that it was a “one size fits all” plan for something IMO was designed more for teenagers.

    I guess that’s generally sound advice, but I remember the rat-race that dating was when I was in high school. This new thing kids do of hanging out in groups and making friends first, seems much more healthy.

  109. HUG, yes MMI’s burnout rate was far beyond the Navigators. Probably 10 people a month were kicked out of the ministry in member’s meetings where the people’s sins were openly declared as they were excommunicated. Many left before being publicly humiliated.

  110. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Kristen Rosser wrote:
    It’s interesting to me that all this happened to you AFTER the dissolution of Maranatha Christian Churches, during the period many of the former churches re-formed into a new organization called Morningstar (later Every Nation). My family and I stayed in our local church when Maranatha dissolved in 1989, but left the former Maranatha church at the point where it decided to join Morningstar (roughly 2000-2001). We wanted no part of Maranatha again, in any guise.
    I have heard from many who are still involved in Every Nation that it is now a fairly healthy and non-controlling organization. But Morningstar apparently was just as bad news as it seemed to us when we left.
    Doesn’t the name “Lucifer” mean “Morning Star”?

    Maybe– but Jesus refers to Himself as the “morning star” in Revelation 22:16.

  111. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And “God’s Green Berets” has already been taken by the Jesuits.

    Some of the best thinkers I’ve ever read were Jesuits. I almost got into a flame war with an anti-Catholic bigot over at another blog (which shall remain unnamed). You know the usual spiel. They can’t engage on substance so they resort to false equivalence and smear tactics.

  112. Steve240 wrote:

    If nothing else a big issue I have with IKDG is that it was a “one size fits all” plan for something IMO was designed more for teenagers.

    One thing I have noted on much older threads when these sorts of topics are brought up is I am stunned at how much dating advice for never married adults (or the divorced) over the age of 30 that Christians dish out is about identical to the advice they give to teen-aged children.

    It’s condescending and impractical advice for single adults.

    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.

    So, you’ll see a lot of Christian dating advice gurus instructing single adult men and women to avoid calling each other on the phone, don’t get too close emotionally, and whatever you do, don’t meet for dinner at a pizza place or over a cup of coffee because meeting in a diner always results in sex.

    I’ve yet to figure out how, in a “date in order to marry” culture, such as the United States, I am to ever marry if I am told by Christians to avoid all men – avoid all dating.

    How is segregating single men from single women going to lead to marriage?

    A lot of Christian advice in this area amounts to,
    “just sit around with your fingers crossed and hope that God waves his magic wand and dumps a Mr. Right into your lap.”

    And/or,
    “Just keep up the hope you have an accidental, providential “Meet Cute” scenario with a compatible single adult who finds you cute, like what is shown in Rom Com Hollywood movies.”

    In Christian dating advice there is a lot of, “and don’t meet alone with an opposite gender person, (not even in public), because it will lead to sex.”

    There’s a lot of paranoia in Christian thinking about dating.

    (Christian gender complementarianism plays a part in some of this too, because it relies on untrue gender stereotypes, such as all men are obsessed with sex, cannot control themselves, etc.)

    I’m convinced out the of the hundred reasons why marriage-minded adults who were raised in Christianity still find themselves single despite wanting to be married, it’s due in part to a few of these things I’ve mentioned.

    But anyhow, a lot of the advice given to mature singles about dating and relationships is about identical to the stuff Christian advice to teen-agers.

    And usually written by some 65 year old dude who got married when he was 21 years old and has no idea what it’s like to be single past one’s mid 20s, how different it is.

  113. Bill M wrote:

    ’ve heard the statement more than once regarding abuse victims “if it was so bad why didn’t they just leave”. The implication being either they are lying or were very dumb. Standing on the outside with a clear head that may seem a reasonable conclusion but now that I have experienced being within a dysfunctional system, I chide myself that it took me so long to recognize it, and I am fairly analytical.

    Tell me about it! I often wish that some serious study would be done on this topic as it relates to church. It is not like a job where one has a mortgage to pay. Or a family situation where there are obligations, etc. Church is strictly voluntary these days. It really deserves some psychological study.

  114. @ Steve240:

    Yeah, I’m with you. That God may or may not have revealed to Josh that was what God wanted Josh specifically to do is one thing (that’s all well and good), but what is beneficial or the best course of action for Josh is not supposed to be binding doctrine on all other Christians.

    Nor what is good for Josh specifically necessarily going to be good for all Christians everywhere.

    From what I’ve read about his IKDG book and philosophy, it actually screwed up a lot of singles and their attitudes towards dating and the opposite sex.

  115. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Sometimes, some of these women are conditioned to be that way.

    I ended up with a financially exploitative fiance’ because I was taught that it’s godly and biblical for a woman to meet all of her man’s needs, to be his doormat, keep him happy no matter what, and never have boundaries, be assertive, or get her own needs met.

    So, if my boyfriend wanted to misuse my Visa card, or keep hitting me up for thousands of dollars (that he never repaid), the nice Christian girl thing to do was to allow him to do use me in that manner and damage my bank account.

    Jesus wants women to be demure, sweet, always- forgiving little doormats, allow the man to make all your choices for you and use you repeatedly – that was what my traditional gender role mother believed, and she passed that on to me. I’ve only ditched all that in the last few years.

  116. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Auggie brought a lot of personal and sexual baggage into his theology. Before his conversion, he was a horndog; after, a sworn celibate. In neither case would he have ever had a chance to interact with a woman as a person; before they were sex objects and afterwards they were Forbidden Fruit.

    I think this is one big problems with men who are into gender complementarinsm. They never view women as PEOPLE. But women tend to be viewed as Jezebels, sex objects, harlots, supposed authority- usurpers, etc.

    Women are not thought of in terms as being human beings, with all, or much of, the same desires, needs, fears, struggles, hopes, etc, as men.

  117. Steve…good job. Sorry about the other day. The next time you are in Tysons Corner area lets meet up. There is a lot to fill you in on.

  118. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    I guess that’s generally sound advice, but I remember the rat-race that dating was when I was in high school. This new thing kids do of hanging out in groups and making friends first, seems much more healthy.

    Kristen

    The do all things in groups that SGM pushed even before Josh Harris wrote his “kissing dating goodbye” book I am of the opinion that it was something more designed for teenagers/high schoolers so we are in somewhat agreement there. Then again groups don’t work for all people. My big issue was when they forced people in their 20’s and 30’s to do things in groups.

  119. One other sad characteristic of MMI was what Jim Collins calls (talking about companies) “undisciplined pursuit of more.” After primarily being in the South East, MMI felt “called” to do a major expansion start groups on a number of college campuses across the whole country. In hindsight their doing this IMO resulted in MMI expanding too quickly.
    In order to accomplish this goal, MMI would promote and send out many inexperienced young men as lead pastors of churches/campus groups before these young men were vetted and had time to mature. Placing these inexperienced young men proved to cause a number of problems for the group especially with the group being so spread out so thinly across the United States. It might have not been as much of an issue if MMI had say mega churches where these inexperienced men were working under more experienced pastors but these young pastors were on their fairly on their own. There were also cases where just one person was in charge vs. multiple leaders.

    I have no doubt that this “unrestrained growth” was a major factor in MMI’s demise. I plan to blog on this.

    Their culture also either attracted or allowed to develop leadership that were bullies much like some say the complimentarian teaching sometimes leads to domestic violence etc.

    You could describe the group having a “submissive pyramid.” In this type of arrangement you moved up the organization both based on how well you submitted to those “above” you and how well you controlled those “below” you.

  120. Daisy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    If nothing else a big issue I have with IKDG is that it was a “one size fits all” plan for something IMO was designed more for teenagers.
    One thing I have noted on much older threads when these sorts of topics are brought up is I am stunned at how much dating advice for never married adults (or the divorced) over the age of 30 that Christians dish out is about identical to the advice they give to teen-aged children.
    It’s condescending and impractical advice for single adults.
    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.
    So, you’ll see a lot of Christian dating advice gurus instructing single adult men and women to avoid calling each other on the phone, don’t get too close emotionally, and whatever you do, don’t meet for dinner at a pizza place or over a cup of coffee because meeting in a diner always results in sex.
    I’ve yet to figure out how, in a “date in order to marry” culture, such as the United States, I am to ever marry if I am told by Christians to avoid all men – avoid all dating.
    How is segregating single men from single women going to lead to marriage?
    A lot of Christian advice in this area amounts to,
    “just sit around with your fingers crossed and hope that God waves his magic wand and dumps a Mr. Right into your lap.”
    And/or,
    “Just keep up the hope you have an accidental, providential “Meet Cute” scenario with a compatible single adult who finds you cute, like what is shown in Rom Com Hollywood movies.”
    In Christian dating advice there is a lot of, “and don’t meet alone with an opposite gender person, (not even in public), because it will lead to sex.”
    There’s a lot of paranoia in Christian thinking about dating.
    (Christian gender complementarianism plays a part in some of this too, because it relies on untrue gender stereotypes, such as all men are obsessed with sex, cannot control themselves, etc.)
    I’m convinced out the of the hundred reasons why marriage-minded adults who were raised in Christianity still find themselves single despite wanting to be married, it’s due in part to a few of these things I’ve mentioned.
    But anyhow, a lot of the advice given to mature singles about dating and relationships is about identical to the stuff Christian advice to teen-agers.
    And usually written by some 65 year old dude who got married when he was 21 years old and has no idea what it’s like to be single past one’s mid 20s, how different it is.

    So true. Check out this blog post: http://brazenchurch.com/christian-dating-myths/

  121. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    What’s even more disturbing is that Beard wants to stamp out what he deems to be “feminism” from the SBC. He calls men to action within the SBC to put women in their place.

    Women are already powerless and second class citizens in the SBC, and they are told by the gender complementarian SB men that this is God’s design and intent, and it’s all supposedly very biblical.

    There really is no ‘feminism’ in SBC. So I am totally not getting where that guy is coming from.

  122. Daisy wrote:

    Women are already powerless and second class citizens in the SBC, and they are told by the gender complementarian SB men that this is God’s design and intent, and it’s all supposedly very biblical.

    Here in my town several older large and prosperous formerly SBC churches severed the ties with SBC and affiliated with non-SBC groups, those that are called moderate. One older large and prosperous SBC church stayed SBC and is now preaching/teaching complementarianism. Now here is the thing-the women in that church chose to stay. It was not that there was no place else to go, and it was not that they could possibly have missed the ripples from when the other churches pulled out. They knew and they chose. I am wondering if they were not already thinking along the lines of comp-ism and welcomed the change in the church as opposed to having been lured or trapped into something. I do not see them as persecuted victims so much as I see them as some level of co-conspirators in comp doctrine.

  123. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    I guess that’s generally sound advice, but I remember the rat-race that dating was when I was in high school. This new thing kids do of hanging out in groups and making friends first, seems much more healthy.

    It can be, for sure, there can definitely be benefits to the group and some safety in numbers. But it depends on the group, it can also be less healthy, such as when those groups turn into partner sex exchange vehicles, which is becoming more normative in high school and college groups.

  124. @ Kristen Rosser:
    I was attending a Morningstar church when the name was changed to Every Nation. Sadly, the only thing that changed was the name. I think that the people that you know in Every Nation are probably too brainwashed to know what is spiritually healthy and what is not. It was a total thought control cult, no personal freedom was allowed. It took me years to heal from all the spiritual abuse I took in that “church”. I still talk to some people on facebook about it and none of them can seem to see how poorly they are treated as for many of them its the only “church” they’ve ever known. I pray that everyone trapped in that horrible organization has their eyes opened by the Lord and is led safely out.

  125. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Please don’t assume women in these situations are dumb. Many times they have been raised with constant beatings until they are thoroughly cowed and unable to do anything but swallow the Koolaid

    Okay ….. poor choice of words. Replace “dumb” with “brainwashed”.

  126. just say nein to 9Marx wrote:

    @ Kristen Rosser:
    I was attending a Morningstar church when the name was changed to Every Nation. Sadly, the only thing that changed was the name. I think that the people that you know in Every Nation are probably too brainwashed to know what is spiritually healthy and what is not. It was a total thought control cult, no personal freedom was allowed. It took me years to heal from all the spiritual abuse I took in that “church”. I still talk to some people on facebook about it and none of them can seem to see how poorly they are treated as for many of them its the only “church” they’ve ever known. I pray that everyone trapped in that horrible organization has their eyes opened by the Lord and is led safely out.

    Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case, when Morningstar changed to Every Nation back in the 2000s. However, the people I know who are still in Every Nation are not brainwashed; one woman who is a close friend detailed for me exactly how the changes came to be made that turned her congregation, at least, into a healthy, functioning church. I would say this probably happened somewhere around 2005. I had a long talk with her, and she understands spiritual abuse and knows that she and her church have been through it and have come out the other side. So I can say that at least one Every Nation church, and probably more (based on other people I know), are in a fairly good place now.

    But there may still be Every Nation churches that are run by controlling leaders. Just not all of them.

  127. okrapod wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Women are already powerless and second class citizens in the SBC, and they are told by the gender complementarian SB men that this is God’s design and intent, and it’s all supposedly very biblical.
    Here in my town several older large and prosperous formerly SBC churches severed the ties with SBC and affiliated with non-SBC groups, those that are called moderate. One older large and prosperous SBC church stayed SBC and is now preaching/teaching complementarianism. Now here is the thing-the women in that church chose to stay. It was not that there was no place else to go, and it was not that they could possibly have missed the ripples from when the other churches pulled out. They knew and they chose. I am wondering if they were not already thinking along the lines of comp-ism and welcomed the change in the church as opposed to having been lured or trapped into something. I do not see them as persecuted victims so much as I see them as some level of co-conspirators in comp doctrine.

    It can be very hard to leave a church you’ve belonged to for years. Some women, I think, simply decide their established relationships are too important to risk losing– so they just stay within complementarianism (and often are convinced its biblical).

  128. Steve240 wrote:

    One other sad characteristic of MMI was what Jim Collins calls (talking about companies) “undisciplined pursuit of more.” After primarily being in the South East, MMI felt “called” to do a major expansion start groups on a number of college campuses across the whole country. In hindsight their doing this IMO resulted in MMI expanding too quickly.
    In order to accomplish this goal, MMI would promote and send out many inexperienced young men as lead pastors of churches/campus groups before these young men were vetted and had time to mature. Placing these inexperienced young men proved to cause a number of problems for the group especially with the group being so spread out so thinly across the United States. It might have not been as much of an issue if MMI had say mega churches where these inexperienced men were working under more experienced pastors but these young pastors were on their fairly on their own. There were also cases where just one person was in charge vs. multiple leaders.
    I have no doubt that this “unrestrained growth” was a major factor in MMI’s demise. I plan to blog on this.
    Their culture also either attracted or allowed to develop leadership that were bullies much like some say the complimentarian teaching sometimes leads to domestic violence etc.
    You could describe the group having a “submissive pyramid.” In this type of arrangement you moved up the organization both based on how well you submitted to those “above” you and how well you controlled those “below” you.

    Very true– and many of these so-called pastors were never called to ministry at all. They were simply very good at pleasing the leaders above them. Many former Maranatha “pastors” are in secular careers now and are much happier.

    But imagine being a young Christian whose pastor is a) way too young and inexperienced; b) has no actual call from God to be a minister; c) has little to no leadership training and no idea how to manage or lead people; and d) is constantly told how spiritual and godly he is and given a kind of rock-star status.

    It wasn’t fun.

  129. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    But imagine being a young Christian whose pastor is a) way too young and inexperienced; b) has no actual call from God to be a minister; c) has little to no leadership training and no idea how to manage or lead people; and d) is constantly told how spiritual and godly he is and given a kind of rock-star status.
    It wasn’t fun.

    That was the recipe in SGM, probably with Calvary Chapel too.

  130. Daisy wrote:

    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.

    Sekshul stuff is theeeee most egregious peccadillo there is in fundagelicalism. Your hash is settled, your goose is cooked so to speak.

  131. @ Muff Potter:

    That is if you get caught with another consenting adult. If you’re a pedophile, and or predator with a penchant for the young, some of these same sects will shield you from the police, make the kids you’ve molested ‘forgive’ you, and bend over backwards to ‘restore’ you.

  132. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Please don’t assume women in these situations are dumb. Many times they have been raised with constant beatings until they are thoroughly cowed and unable to do anything but swallow the Koolaid.

    This is heartbreaking.

    “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I guess if you just redefine ‘love’ to mean ‘fiendish control,’ you can make it work… in your own mind.

  133. Daisy wrote:

    Jesus wants women to be demure, sweet, always- forgiving little doormats, allow the man to make all your choices for you and use you repeatedly – that was what my traditional gender role mother believed, and she passed that on to me. I’ve only ditched all that in the last few years.

    Congratulations, Daisy!

  134. Daisy wrote:

    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.

    As an outsider looking on, the whole courtship scene comes off as more sex obsessed than the world.

  135. Steve240 wrote:

    One thing that Josh Harris didn’t do very well was define what he was kissing goodbye.

    Wouldn’t that have limited the audience for his book?

  136. siteseer wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    http://imgur.com/aVn40
    It makes IKDG look pretty tame, doesn’t it?
    I am literally stunned.

    Oh my, I just read that post. Crazy! I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy expects his wife to kneel and his feet and pray to him.

  137. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Todd Wilhelm wrote:
    Todd, I’ve heard of that book! Then again, back then I was a member of a Christian commune that turn very cultish that began with the name The Forever Family. That Jesus Movement phase sure was off the wall.
    Darlene,
    Your old group garnered significant print in the book. I believe you would find the book interesting.

    Todd, I’d be interested in reading that book. I’ve found that most of the info out there on The Forever Family which changed its name to Church of Bible Understanding is not very in depth. It seems they only address the tip of the iceberg, such as doctrinal issues. But usually the more dangerous ideas of the group with its aberrant practices and mind control are barely mentioned.

  138. Nancy2 wrote:

    siteseer wrote:
    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    http://imgur.com/aVn40
    It makes IKDG look pretty tame, doesn’t it?
    Site seer wrote: I am literally stunned.
    Sickening, isn’t it? He bought himself a slave to use for his pleasure, and she is dumb enough to accept it

    Nancy2: You nailed it!

  139. siteseer wrote:

    Congratulations, Daisy!

    Thank you. 🙂 It’s been a huge paradigm shift.

    It’s not always easy un-learning how you were raised, though.

  140. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BoughtTheField wrote:
    Everything about MMI was radical, loud, and in-your-face. Worship was full volume and emotionally overwhelming, with words about being “the army of God” “kicking in the gates of hell”. Messages challenged everyone to action, to be “God’s Green Berets”. MMI did not end quietly.
    Out-navigating the Navigators?
    Out-acquiring Acquire the Fire?
    Out-destinying People of Destiny International?
    Out-maniacing Teen Mania?
    More Godly than God Himself?
    I suspect their burnout rate was at least as high as the Navigators.

    Ah…HUG, I bet my ex-cult group, The Forever Family turned into Church of Bible Understanding (now called Cobu by exmembers) had MMI beat. We had marathon witnessing on weekends, lived communally so there was no getting away from being watched, shunned private ownership of property, shunned all things worldly like television, vacations, celebrations of any kind, attending college – really anything that was in competition with the objectives of the group and didn’t promote its goals. And we had our unique cult-speak just like all the other groups. We were on fire for Jesus like nobody else. 😉

  141. BoughtTheField wrote:

    HUG, yes MMI’s burnout rate was far beyond the Navigators. Probably 10 people a month were kicked out of the ministry in member’s meetings where the people’s sins were openly declared as they were excommunicated. Many left before being publicly humiliated.

    I know exactly what that is like. My former cult practiced public confession and exposing people’s sins. And now I’m thinking of that song, Dirty Laundry.

  142. Nancy2 wrote:

    Kristen Rosser wrote:
    Please don’t assume women in these situations are dumb. Many times they have been raised with constant beatings until they are thoroughly cowed and unable to do anything but swallow the Koolaid
    Okay ….. poor choice of words. Replace “dumb” with “brainwashed”.

    I’ll go along with brainwashed. Or mind control/conditioning.

  143. Darlene wrote:

    I know exactly what that is like. My former cult practiced public confession and exposing people’s sins.

    Enlightened Self-Criticism before Party Commissars.

    And now I’m thinking of that song, Dirty Laundry.

    “Kick ’em when they’re up!
    Kick ’em when they’re down!
    Kick ’em when they’re stiff!
    Kick ’em all around!
    Kick ’em when they’re up!
    Kick ’em when they’re down!
    Kick ’em when they’re stiff!
    Kick ’em all around!”

    I heard that Don Henley based that song on actual run-ins he had with a particularly obnoxious TV news team.

  144. Darlene wrote:

    Ah…HUG, I bet my ex-cult group, The Forever Family turned into Church of Bible Understanding (now called Cobu by exmembers) had MMI beat.

    i.e. Christianese “Can You Top This?”

    “Forever Family”… I haven’t heard that term since the old Hollywood Free Paper used it during the initial Jesus People days.

  145. Darlene wrote:

    I’ve found that most of the info out there on The Forever Family which changed its name to Church of Bible Understanding is not very in depth. It seems they only address the tip of the iceberg, such as doctrinal issues. But usually the more dangerous ideas of the group with its aberrant practices and mind control are barely mentioned.

    Welcome to the world of Christianese Cult Watch Ministries, parsing Doctrine and Theology letter-by-letter while completely ignoring abusive control-freak behavior.

    Just like Calvinistas, all that matters is Purity of Ideology.

  146. siteseer wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.
    As an outsider looking on, the whole courtship scene comes off as more sex obsessed than the world.

    I figured out long ago that Christians are just as F’ed up sexually as everyone else, just in the opposite direction.

  147. Steve240 wrote:

    You could describe the group having a “submissive pyramid.” In this type of arrangement you moved up the organization both based on how well you submitted to those “above” you and how well you controlled those “below” you.

    The Germans have a word for it: Radfahrer — someone who kisses every ***(ed) of his superiors while stamping on the faces of all his inferiors. Spiked boots stamping on faces, all the way down.

  148. Daisy wrote:

    I ended up with a financially exploitative fiance’ because I was taught that it’s godly and biblical for a woman to meet all of her man’s needs, to be his doormat, keep him happy no matter what, and never have boundaries, be assertive, or get her own needs met.

    “Up on Cripple Creek
    She sends me
    If I spring a leak
    She mends me
    I don’t have to speak
    She defends me
    A drunkard’s dream if I ever did see one…”
    — The Band, “Up on Cripple Creek”

  149. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of Christian advice in this area amounts to,
    “just sit around with your fingers crossed and hope that God waves his magic wand and dumps a Mr. Right into your lap.”

    As a guy, I heard the genderflip version of that.

  150. Former CLCer wrote:

    I remember Bob Weiner speaking a few times at CLC. He was pretty wild. I could even sense it back then when I didn’t see other things about SGM.

    Weiner certainly was “wild.” At the time people thought that it was his being on fire for the Lord. In retrospect I think it was more of a zeal for God but without knowledge as the Apostle Paul wrote about in Romans.

  151. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    A lot of Christian advice in this area amounts to,
    “just sit around with your fingers crossed and hope that God waves his magic wand and dumps a Mr. Right into your lap.”
    As a guy, I heard the genderflip version of that.

    As I shared in this blog post:

    https://ikdg.wordpress.com/2008/01/12/issac-rebekah%E2%80%99s-story-proactive-or-passive/

    Maranatha basically took the Isaac/Rebekah story and taught people that you should be passive in finding a mate (Josh Harris as far as I know didn’t teach this but MMI did). As I share in this post you can look at this story another way as being very proactive and when knowing when it was God’s timing to find a mate asking God to reveal that person to you.

    I do seriously question someone using one OT example as the pattern for finding a mate. Another OT example that I don’t see anyone wanting to use as the marriage model is when one prophet married a harlot.

    I would also add that those who teach either the “dating revelation,” “kissing dating goodbye,” or “courtship” have an arrogance about their viewpoints. By this I mean that it was easy to claim that these alternatives were superior to “dating” when they were introduced but now we have actual results of how well they worked. From what I have seen and read none of the alternatives have produced superior results like lower divorce rates, better matches or even more people that want to get married getting married. Especially with respect more getting married from what I have seen it has reduced marriages.

    Despite all of this evidence that these alternatives don’t produce what was claimed, those who promote these alternatives won’t admit this but seem to be stubborn in their claim that it is the better way. It is as if their minds are so closed and convinced that their alternative is superior that they won’t open their eyes and see what actual results it produces. One term for this is called confirmation bias (that something that everyone should read and become aware of).

    Why people continue to promote/impose an “alternative” when the results show it doesn’t produce what was promised is baffling. Then again it is hard for someone like Josh Harris and others to admit that what they had was wrong or needs modification.

  152. BoughtTheField wrote:

    HUG, yes MMI’s burnout rate was far beyond the Navigators. Probably 10 people a month were kicked out of the ministry in member’s meetings where the people’s sins were openly declared as they were excommunicated. Many left before being publicly humiliated.

    That is quite a statement.

    BoughttheField maybe you could elaborate on what people were being kicked out for and what these “sins” were.

    One of the “sins” was disagreeing and questioning someone above you in the food chain. I guess MMI Leadership forgot that they were “imperfect” and thus to disagree with them was questioning what they saw as their God given “authority.”

    I also heard from a former leader that Bob Weiner would get upset at current members who would fellowship with former members that left MMI even though these former members were still following Jesus. It was something along the lines of “breaking covenant.” Sadly this type of action just showed how full of himself and far off from following Jesus Bob Weiner and the group moved.

  153. Steve240 wrote:

    I do seriously question someone using one OT example as the pattern for finding a mate. Another OT example that I don’t see anyone wanting to use as the marriage model is when one prophet marrie

    It’s like saying we could have won WWII in Europe by marching 7 times around Berlin and blowing trumpets!

  154. Daisy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    If nothing else a big issue I have with IKDG is that it was a “one size fits all” plan for something IMO was designed more for teenagers.
    One thing I have noted on much older threads when these sorts of topics are brought up is I am stunned at how much dating advice for never married adults (or the divorced) over the age of 30 that Christians dish out is about identical to the advice they give to teen-aged children.
    It’s condescending and impractical advice for single adults.
    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.

    Daisy

    Especially when you state the “lens of sexual sin” is quite insightful.

    One possible reason that leaders do this and other actions is the Calvinistic teaching of “total depravity” vs. believing we are new creation in Christ and that God changes us to have a new heart to follow him. That is those that believe in Calvinism want to hold to “total depravity” and the “heart is sick” passage from Jeremiah but seem to forget what work God does in us that believe in Him.

  155. siteseer wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    “One thing that Josh Harris didn’t do very well was define what he was kissing goodbye.”

    Wouldn’t that have limited the audience for his book?

    I don’t know if I believe it would have limited his audience or that this was Harris’s motive.

    Sadly there were a lot of people that took “kissing dating goodbye” to mean

    I shared on this blog post:

    https://ikdg.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/what-is-%E2%80%9Cdating%E2%80%9D-and-what-did-harris-supposedly-%E2%80%9Ckiss-goodbye%E2%80%9D/

    Josh Harris did indicate in his latest IKDG “update” message, “Romance Revisited”, that the title of his book was “confusing.” He said that he could have said I kissed “short term premature selfish directionless romantic relationships” goodbye but that would be too long of a title for a book.

    IMO Harris could have kept the title the same but been more clear about what he was “kissing goodbye.”

    One point that someone made on another blog is that Harris did “kiss dating goodbye” after dating for a while and developing social skills with women. Sadly he then came along and told others not to date.

    There was one blog post titled something along the lines of “regretting kissing dating goodbye” and as I recall this person described that he found himself in his 30’s with limited social skills with the opposite sex (perhaps like an awkward teenager). Thus he regretted kissing dating goodbye. That certainly has been an issue with IKDG.

    I say this somewhat 1/2 serious and 1/2 joking. Maybe the intention of some who promote these alternatives to dating is to make men and women so lacking in social skills and being able to meet and relate with those of the opposite sex that it becomes where arranged marriages are the only option? Again I say this 1/2 serious and 1/2 jesting but certainly is a possibility.

  156. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Very true– and many of these so-called pastors were never called to ministry at all. They were simply very good at pleasing the leaders above them. Many former Maranatha “pastors” are in secular careers now and are much happier.
    But imagine being a young Christian whose pastor is a) way too young and inexperienced; b) has no actual call from God to be a minister; c) has little to no leadership training and no idea how to manage or lead people; and d) is constantly told how spiritual and godly he is and given a kind of rock-star status.
    It wasn’t fun.

    Kristen

    That is quite insightful what you said here.

    To put it another way these new leaders couldn’t think for themselves for the most part but did what they were told being basically minions.

    I am sure some if not a lot really had no calling to be a pastor but MMI due to having an aggressive expansion plan forced people into leadership that weren’t called. I imagine a number of the people that left due to questioning MMI’s practices and leaders were the ones called and had the skills to be leaders.

    I reprinted a story on the need to think here:

    https://ikdg.wordpress.com/2007/12/31/a-favorite-story-about-the-need-to-think-for-yourself/

  157. Daisy wrote:

    Everything is seen through a lens of sexual sin, which I find weird and troubling.

    If one defines sexual sin as anything and everything that is not within the framework of heterosexual monogamy for life with the same partner, then the vast majority of the people on the planet have a past and/or current history of sexual sin. So-that gives one a huge audience to preach to. I suspect that is why they aim at that audience–the sheer size of it.

  158. okrapod wrote:

    If one defines sexual sin as anything and everything that is not within the framework of heterosexual monogamy for life with the same partner, then the vast majority of the people on the planet have a past and/or current history of sexual sin. So-that gives one a huge audience to preach to. I suspect that is why they aim at that audience–the sheer size of it.

    Control by guilt trip????

  159. Steve240 wrote:

    I reprinted a story on the need to think here:

    I like this story! After being in a shepherding cult for 23 years, one of the first things we had to learn upon leaving was to make a decision for ourselves without having some leader “confirm” it for us. It was awkward at first.

  160. Let’s not reconsider them. They are a cult that still operate in pockets today and that effed up my life for the 5 years I was with them and the years since. Everyone who escapes that cult finds freedom and truth. Bury them and let them rot.

  161. Steve240 wrote:

    I have no doubt that this “unrestrained growth” was a major factor in MMI’s demise. I plan to blog on this.

    “Unrestrained growth” is the philosophy of the cancer cell.

  162. Steve240,

    Some of the sins that got people kicked out of Maranatha were refusing to obey recognized MMI leaders, refusing re-baptism even when they believed a previous baptism was valid, other doctrinal disagreements, unapproved dating, and of course sexual sin.

    I heard that sometimes a former member’s sexual sin was named publicly, sometimes including enough detail to figure out exactly what kind of sex and with whom.

  163. siteseer wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:

    One other point about the “dating revelation” and its name is that when you call it a “revelation” vs. a “policy” the meaning is quite different. “Revelation” has the connotation that it is something that God revealed and possibly the only way something should be done.

    It really ups the dramatic effect.

    Because theN you’re not just disagreeing with Me, YOU’RE REBELLING AGAINST GAWD!!!!!

  164. BoughtTheField wrote:

    I heard that sometimes a former member’s sexual sin was named publicly, sometimes including enough detail to figure out exactly what kind of sex and with whom.

    Did they use Hubbard E-Meters for Auditing out such juicy details?

  165. StuartB wrote:

    Let’s not reconsider them. They are a cult that still operate in pockets today and that effed up my life for the 5 years I was with them and the years since. Everyone who escapes that cult finds freedom and truth. Bury them and let them rot.

    Not sure what you mean by “bury” but my philosophy is to expose the sins and hypocrisy.

    Under the guise of calling it “gossip” or “slander” to talk about something too many leaders were able to get away with a lot of questionable at best actions.

  166. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    I have no doubt that this “unrestrained growth” was a major factor in MMI’s demise. I plan to blog on this.
    “Unrestrained growth” is the philosophy of the cancer cell.

    In the book I mentioned the author talked about companies that expanded too quickly before they had the resources including talent to manage the expansion. Interesting how that can is also the “philosophy” of the cancer cell.

  167. BoughtTheField wrote:

    Steve240,
    Some of the sins that got people kicked out of Maranatha were refusing to obey recognized MMI leaders, refusing re-baptism even when they believed a previous baptism was valid, other doctrinal disagreements, unapproved dating, and of course sexual sin.
    I heard that sometimes a former member’s sexual sin was named publicly, sometimes including enough detail to figure out exactly what kind of sex and with whom.

    Thanks for the additional information. If you click on my blog link you can send me an email if you want. I would like to talk more.

    I know of one person who was “asked” to leave the group since he had a girlfriend even though he was dating her with integrity as far as I understand. At least with this person asking him to leave (since this person didn’t agree with their policy/revelation) is a lot better than doing a public excommunication for disagreement that you seem to indicate happened.

    When I was in Maranatha questioning a leader was made to almost be the equivalent of questioning God. This was the group where a leader claimed he was “god’s anointed” and to say something bad or question a leader was touching “god’s anointed.”

    It was definitely a conformance type culture where you had to toe the party line or didn’t fit in etc.

  168. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    I reprinted a story on the need to think here:
    I like this story! After being in a shepherding cult for 23 years, one of the first things we had to learn upon leaving was to make a decision for ourselves without having some leader “confirm” it for us. It was awkward at first.

    BTDT: I can relate! I recall the first time I went grocery shopping after leaving the controlling cult. I was so excited that I could choose foot items off of the shelves. In the cult, we had a food pantry where we would pick up the allotted food for ourselves. Oh, and then there was learning to budget, buy a house, buy a car, etc. Decisions, decisions. People in controlling cults learn to shut off their their thinking processes and acquiesce to those in leadership to make decisions for them. It very much becomes like incarceration – just like prisoners in penitentiaries who become comfortable with this kind of living and are afraid to live on the *outside.* It’s called learned helplessness and it’s very effective in controlling and keeping cult members under your thumb.

  169. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    just say nein to 9Marx wrote:
    @ Kristen Rosser:

    But there may still be Every Nation churches that are run by controlling leaders. Just not all of them.

    @ kristen from my view. The main leader Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell….who btw started morningstar are still very much in charge and the ones who hired the cultic and abusive leaders. They knew and chose to allow these dysfuntional evil people 2 continue in abusing ppl. The abusive leaders in my old church were allowed and endorsed by rice to continue and hv been moved into another geographical area of influence.

    Every every nation church idolise rice. Rice needs to stand up publically apologise and act immdiately 2 remove abusive leaders.

    Have u ever wondered why rice has not?

  170. Suneshinesaint wrote:

    Kristen Rosser wrote:
    just say nein to 9Marx wrote:
    @ Kristen Rosser:
    But there may still be Every Nation churches that are run by controlling leaders. Just not all of them.
    @ kristen from my view. The main leader Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell….who btw started morningstar are still very much in charge and the ones who hired the cultic and abusive leaders. They knew and chose to allow these dysfuntional evil people 2 continue in abusing ppl. The abusive leaders in my old church were allowed and endorsed by rice to continue and hv been moved into another geographical area of influence.
    Every every nation church idolise rice. Rice needs to stand up publically apologise and act immdiately 2 remove abusive leaders.
    Have u ever wondered why rice has not?

    Well, I never wondered because I’m no longer in contact with the group after it became Every Nation and I don’t really know the structure. All I know is that the local church here seems to be reasonably healthy and non-abusive. There was an abusive leader at the local church here who WAS removed about 7-8 years ago, and healthy leadership put in his place.

  171. Suneshinesaint wrote:

    Have u ever wondered why rice has not?

    Obviously Rice personally benefits from the existing arrangement.

    “Honor dies where self-interest lies.”
    Kung Fu

    “I don’t want a thing to change
    Now that I GOT MINE!”
    — Glenn Frye, “I Got Mine”

  172. Steve240 wrote:

    Not sure what you mean by “bury” but my philosophy is to expose the sins and hypocrisy.

    “I look for the guys carrying Holy Hand Grenades in their pockets and pull the pins.”
    — some guy getting interviewed about his ministry

  173. Steve240 wrote:

    This was the group where a leader claimed he was “god’s anointed” and to say something bad or question a leader was touching “god’s anointed.”

    Wasn’t “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED! DO MY PROPHET NO HARM!” a favorite verse of Benny Hinn?

    “If you question anything I do
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  174. Daisy wrote:

    Women are already powerless and second class citizens in the SBC, and they are told by the gender complementarian SB men that this is God’s design and intent, and it’s all supposedly very biblical.

    i.e. “Boys Rule! Girls Drool! God Saith!”

  175. Nancy2 wrote:

    It’s like saying we could have won WWII in Europe by marching 7 times around Berlin and blowing trumpets!

    This is what some of the ‘Winning Our City/Neighborhood/Etc for God’ NRA type folks believe, teach and do.

    Often called “Jericho Walks”.

    This is not from an Onion article and I am not making this up…

  176. A ministry that disbanded in 1989 will be your focus?

    Sounds more like a history project

    I met a congregant that went to an Every Nations church and what he described couldn’t have been more different than maranatha. FYI

  177. Hi, I am Tom Cooper author of Miracle at Exit Number 3 and Raising Jesus – The Story of the Maranatha House. I have read with great interest the posts on this blog and others similar to it. I would like to thank those of you that have taken the time to write down and express your thoughts. Blog posts can be very informative in a number of ways and it, often with at least some risk, takes great courage to post them publicly. Both books are available on Amazon and a hardcopy of the Maranatha book is on sale right now and available at https://www.createspace.com/5324295 . One can read for free the first few pages on Amazon and also see a summary of the two books.

    I hope to provide a little more information about the books and the back stories. The book about Maranatha itself took literally years to complete. I scanned thousands of pages of original source documents some of which I had accumulated and quite a bit that was loaned to me by several other people who wanted to help and had access to historical documents and pictures. I also interviewed dozens of former members over the years in an effort to ascertain what they believed to be of significance in the ministry and to hear the stories of how they became involved and eventually separated from the ministry. I also had many conversations with Steve240 over the years and greatly value his perspective. I considered many of his thoughts and comments while writing the narrative. I find him to be quite articulate and informative on several of the topics.

    The narrative was written and rewritten several times as I, with great counsel from trusted friends, tried to decide how a story such as this should be presented. It was anything but an easy call. In the end I decided to present a historical document that could be used by current and future generations as a reference book about the whole of the ministry from beginning to end. This meant that in the final version I would remove the majority of names of the hundreds of local and national leaders so as to avoid unnecessary or unjustified judgement on individuals that are not in a position to defend themselves if necessary.
    You see, I began participating very near the beginning and did so for several years. In addition, depending on how one defines extended family, I had as many as 20 or more that participated at least briefly and several that participated from beginning to the end. So I had many firsthand accounts of events that occurred, personalities, and details pleasant and unpleasant. And, the sentiment was quite divided among several family members and even close friends. Almost all had unpleasant things that occurred and while some felt betrayed others had still a different perspective. And so it was with the hundreds of friends in the ministry. Some very good memories some bad memories and a lot of mixture of both. Each had a story to tell from their perspective at their local ministry. And in many cases the feedback was absolutely positive.

    In my first book, Miracle at Exit Number 3, I addressed several topics of faith yet it is essentially a tribute to my younger brother who donated the gift of life to me in the form of a kidney transplant that occurred now 37 years ago. I also wanted to relate how a family of faith deals with tragic circumstances as with the illness of their children and other everyday hardships. It also contains often funny stories of growing up on a farm in the Midwest and the many stories of family. Ghosts, imminent domain, organ donation, death, and never giving up are some key themes. It also contains a brief history of the Maranatha House which impacted our family greatly. I was involved with Maranatha when my kidneys failed and during the transplant. I am very keenly aware of many concepts of the day including name it and claim it, sin causing illness, demonic possession, and almost all of the others. As it turned out, my life stood in sharp contrast to many of the primary trends of the ministry and of that time period. This caused quite a bit of reflection for many of the leaders and participants at the time.
    The book about Maranatha addresses the evolution of the ministry from a Calvary Chapel type ministry right out of the Jesus movement dedicated to young people of the city to a worldwide ministry. Discipleship, church government, doctrine, international ministry, college evangelism, media, and raising leadership are just a few of the topics the book addresses. Successes and mistakes made in transforming from a small house to a quasi-denomination are pointed out. Partly for the sake of brevity and maintaining the interest of the reader much of the narrative I have accumulated had to be left out of this first book of what may become a series. Initially it was to be a self-published E-book only but because of demand I published a print copy as well.

    The book has been well received as a historical account of the ministry. I took great effort not to offend anyone or diminish their point of view. I attempted to include all perspectives without taking issuer or taking sides. This will aid in forming an objective analysis of the ministry for future generations. Quite a few of the reviews have mentioned thanks for an unbiased account that they can pass along to their children who were too young to know what the ministry was about at the time. Certainly there has been more than ample documentation of critical and derogatory information about the ministry on the internet over the years. So the book is also partly the only response to inaccurate and demeaning conjecture and accusation.

    I hope this aids in the discussion about the ministry. I will probably not post very much more as my schedule does not allow much time for blogging. But, if there is interest, maybe I can set up a question and answer event on Facebook where I can address any questions or concerns about the book. Thank you.

  178. Interesting comment by Tom Cooper. He left the same rambling comment (still not approved) on 3 of my blogs posts.

    I find this interesting that Tom Cooper could write so much and not answer some of my basic questions like how he could title the book “Raising Jesus” despite all the abuses that occurred with this ministry. Wasn’t much of what occurred including the group’s contradictory to a claim of “raising Jesus” especially toward the end? I hate to say this but it is almost like Tom never read the last chapters of his book or forgot what he wrote in these chapters when he came up with the book’s title.

    What about pride and arrogance? Why wasn’t that mentioned in this book that claimed to tell the group’s history? I use to talk with Tom and ask him about this on Facebook until he blocked me.

    Maybe Tom’s indicating that he “took great effort to not offend anyone” is his basic problem. I plan to make a post on my blog analyzing Tom’s long writing. Still it is something that that Tom Cooper has apparently chosen to ignore my basic questions about his book or maybe he didn’t really read my posts.

  179. Steve is not blocked on FB. I did block the instant message feature after seven years for obvious reasons. But I unblocked that as well. He still has the distinction of being the only individual I have ever blocked on IM. His double standard is appalling. I communicated with him privately. He blogs publicly about me personally and my book and then feigns contempt that I or anyone else might take exception or try to elaborate on his public comments. Should one not expect a reply? Go figure.

  180. One more thing for now. Steve Wells as usual is not being completely honest in his posts or his blog. I will not point out all of the mistakes for now but he also leaves out significant facts to lure the reader to his point of view. That’s okay with me since I believe almost all people are able to decide for themselves after they read an objective assessment. Steve Wells knows that the answer to “Why the title “Raising Jesus: The Story of the Maranatha House” is answered in the introduction to the book. It is available on Amazon and all can read the intro for free. I have given him many answers and still more are in the sequel. He has yet, after seven years, to give me even one shred of evidence of any of the couple of topics on which he is stuck. He offers only condescending demands for answers to more of his questions. Every conversation with Steve Wells really is like Groundhog Day all over again. God bless you Steve for spending over half of your life victimizing others continuously with your half-truths, and false accusations. If you have derogatory info on the topic I addressed have at it. I am not defending anyone. But please keep your comments about me, what I have written, and others, whom you do not even know, honest and subject to dispute. I’m sure Steve Wells will continue to demonstrate to you all just exactly why he is so difficult to reason with.

  181. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Steve is not blocked on FB. I did block the instant message feature after seven years for obvious reasons. But I unblocked that as well. He still has the distinction of being the only individual I have ever blocked on IM. His double standard is appalling. I communicated with him privately. He blogs publicly about me personally and my book and then feigns contempt that I or anyone else might take exception or try to elaborate on his public comments. Should one not expect a reply? Go figure.

    Tom

    Maybe I can pass of your claiming I am not blocked due your lack of computer/Facebook skills. I would certainly like to know why I can’t send you any type of message. I do hope you aren’t intentionally lying. You know what the bible says about lying.

    A good number of weeks I sent an email to your aol account asking why I was blocked and sent one again yesterday. Why didn’t respond back those few weeks ago and question what I said?

    This is typical Tom Cooper tactics that I have seen on the private MMI Facebook group. When you mention something he doesn’t like or perhaps wounds his pride he goes on the attack to draw attention away from the issues/questions raised to avoid answering questions.

    Despite how you may justify titling the book “raising Jesus” I am still baffled. You said yourself that “Almost all had unpleasant things that occurred” and even some felt betrayed.” If that is the case was the group really raising Jesus? Maybe early on the group did that but toward the end when they became even more abusive it was more like profaning and misrepresenting Jesus.

    You can also look at even some of the comments here others have made and I again wonder why the title. Most assuredly the group didn’t “raise Jesus.” They may have thought they were but good intentions only go so far.

    What I share here might be old news to you but certainly not to the people here.

    I guess you aren’t going to answer or address my question on pride and arrogance with the group? Where do you cover that in your book?
    I doubt many are reading right the comments (they usually drop dramatically after

  182. Tom Cooper wrote:

    One more thing for now. Steve Wells as usual is not being completely honest in his posts or his blog. I will not point out all of the mistakes for now but he also leaves out significant facts to lure the reader to his point of view. That’s okay with me since I believe almost all people are able to decide for themselves after they read an objective assessment. Steve Wells knows that the answer to “Why the title “Raising Jesus: The Story of the Maranatha House” is answered in the introduction to the book. It is available on Amazon and all can read the intro for free. I have given him many answers and still more are in the sequel. He has yet, after seven years, to give me even one shred of evidence of any of the couple of topics on which he is stuck. He offers only condescending demands for answers to more of his questions. Every conversation with Steve Wells really is like Groundhog Day all over again. God bless you Steve for spending over half of your life victimizing others continuously with your half-truths, and false accusations. If you have derogatory info on the topic I addressed have at it. I am not defending anyone. But please keep your comments about me, what I have written, and others, whom you do not even know, honest and subject to dispute. I’m sure Steve Wells will continue to demonstrate to you all just exactly why he is so difficult to reason with.

    That is quite some allegation Tom your stating I am no being completely honest. It is even more so to state this but then not take time to elaborate prove what you allege. I would like to know what facts he seems to be indicating I am intentionally leaving out. You really shouldn’t say something like this if you aren’t willing to give examples.

    Certainly a lot is subjective. I certainly want the truth. You claim to have access to all this history. If I have something wrong let me know.

    Interesting how Tom can claim I am difficult to deal with when he refuses to answer questions and as a tactic to shift focus has brought up a whole lot of irrelevant issues. This was in the MMI private Facebook group

    I would also remind Tom my blog isn’t just about his book but analyzing what went wrong. Where did these men error and more importantly what can be learned to avoid it happening again in the future. If things were as good as Tom claims early on then what happened?

    I am sure it is hard for some authors to have their writing criticized.

  183. I’m not really interested in getting involved in the conflict between Tom and Steve, but I will say this. The biggest problem I have at this point with Maranatha as it is remembered now, is that many of those for whom the experience was positive, seem to believe that ALL the rest of us should have moved on by now and therefore should just be quiet and not talk about past abuses. This is in fact a silencing technique. People for whom things went very wrong may still need to talk about them–and the fact that the ministry closed over 25 years ago really doesn’t matter! Some people may still have never really gone back and addressed these issues in their hearts, and are finding that now is the time to do so. Some may need to talk now because they find the release of this book by Cooper resurrects issues that they had thought over and done with– but it’s clear to them now that they are still not fully healed. So be it. The way to get healing is not through silencing.

    As for the title “Raising Jesus,” it seems to be to just be an unfortunate choice. For one thing, none of us merely human Christians have ever “raised” Jesus except for Joseph and Mary, who did raise Him from childhood to adulthood. Any other form of “raising,” He is perfectly capable of doing Himself. We can’t “raise” Jesus– we can only follow Him and seek to do His will. To call a book about a deeply flawed, error-ridden human movement “raising Jesus” just seems like hubris to me, and as such is no real benefit to the spreading of the kingdom of God. A title showing humility, compassion and awareness of old wounds would have been a better idea.

    I think Steve’s new blog is appropriate, given the relatively recent release of this book and how it is bringing back to consciousness the history of Maranatha. People who still need to talk about this, or who thought they were done but are finding a renewed need to talk, will find Steve’s blog very helpful, I think.

  184. Kristen

    Thanks for your input.

    When someone states to me that they are “raising Jesus” it means that they are lifting Jesus and his name up. Another way to state this is exalting His name. The introduction of Tom’s book does explain that usage but even if MMI thought they were exalting Jesus and especially toward the end they didn’t do that IMO. If anything their actions gave the name of Jesus a bad name.

  185. Steve240 wrote:

    Kristen
    Thanks for your input.
    When someone states to me that they are “raising Jesus” it means that they are lifting Jesus and his name up. Another way to state this is exalting His name. The introduction of Tom’s book does explain that usage but even if MMI thought they were exalting Jesus and especially toward the end they didn’t do that IMO. If anything their actions gave the name of Jesus a bad name.

    Ok, I can see that usage– but I still think the word “raising” is an unfortunate choice. If it means what you’re saying it means, then it’s Christian jargon, and as such, not easily understood by a wider audience.

  186. Very good points and very well said Kristen. Thank you for commenting. Have you, or anyone else ever heard of the book Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly? It too is a factual historical account and it was a best seller for a while. Of course my book will never be a best seller. That title and the reason for the title also contributed to the discussion about naming the book Raising Jesus. I was somewhat upset with the title Killing Jesus at first. And then I read the book and it seemed to work though I could think of better titles or so it seemed.

    I also considered the discipleship emphasis of almost every ministry. Discipleship when conducted scripturally is a critical part of Christian growth. Some outside speakers referred to discipleship as like raising a little Jesus. The fact that several of the ministries had quite a number of very young children and parents were hoping to raise them to be a little Jesus also seemed to fit the title. It all seemed, including the example I provided in the introduction to the book that Steve just mentioned, to fit pretty well at the time. What are your thoughts about the title Killing Jesus v Raising Jesus?

    The talking point on silencing is another valid assessment from Kristen that I have seen used occasionally and unfortunately effectively by both sides. That is one of the reasons why I was open to discussing the issues with anyone for so many years prior to finishing the first book. And why I am doing this right now seemingly to the dismay of many wonderful contributors to this group. And one of the reasons why I still talk with Steve even now. I have no interest in silencing and encourage anyone to talk as much and as long as they like.

    Kristen makes another good point about healing. This is another primary reason for the book. She expresses my thoughts very well by saying that “some people may still have never really gone back and addressed these issues in their hearts, and are finding that now is the time to do so. Some may need to talk now because they find the release of this book by Cooper resurrects issues that they had thought over and done with – but it’s clear to them now that they are still not fully healed. The way to be healed is not through silencing.” — I could not agree more Kristen.

    I can see where the book has been an instrument of healing for people. Thankfully and once again reviews and comments substantiate this goal. I pray that it continues to be an instrument of healing as people take the time to read and heal. If this book helps even a few to do so then all the work would be worth it. I continue to pray for healing for all that may still be affected in any way.

  187. Just to make the point again, Tom Cooper has again avoided my question about why the group’s pride and arrogance isn’t mentioned in his book. Tom certainly posted a few lengthy comments and made a serious accusation about my blog posts but again has failed to answer my question.

    Maybe Tom was hoping people here would pounce on me like MMI loyalists have done in the Facebook groups where I have asked the same question. That was a usual tactic of Tom Cooper.

    If it isn’t in there why can’t Tom Cooper just admit that?

    I do wonder how much healing a book titled “Raising Jesus” can provide for those hurt by the organization. Then again if you look past the book’s title and read the book it gives a fairly reasonable account of the group’s history though some of the egregious actions have been left out or minimized. Tom in his first lengthy comment mentioned about not wanting to offend anyone in his book. Perhaps that is why he didn’t fully highlight the bad.

  188. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Have you, or anyone else ever heard of the book Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly? It too is a factual historical account and it was a best seller for a while. Of course my book will never be a best seller. That title and the reason for the title also contributed to the discussion about naming the book Raising Jesus. I was somewhat upset with the title Killing Jesus at first. And then I read the book and it seemed to work though I could think of better titles or so it seemed.
    I also considered the discipleship emphasis of almost every ministry. Discipleship when conducted scripturally is a critical part of Christian growth. Some outside speakers referred to discipleship as like raising a little Jesus. The fact that several of the ministries had quite a number of very young children and parents were hoping to raise them to be a little Jesus also seemed to fit the title. It all seemed, including the example I provided in the introduction to the book that Steve just mentioned, to fit pretty well at the time. What are your thoughts about the title Killing Jesus v Raising Jesus?

    Hi Tom,

    I appreciate your kind response to my post! As for the title “Killing Jesus,” yes, I’ve heard of it. It’s another title in a long series of histories of people who were assassinated or who someone attempted to assassinate, such as “Killing Lincoln,” “Killing Kennedy,” “Killing Reagan,” etc. The full title of the book is “Killing Jesus: A History.” So, because it’s in a series where the meaning of the other titles is clear, and because the added words “A History” let the prospective audience know this is about the history of the actual death of Jesus at the hands of others– no, the title is not offensive to me and I don’t find it obscure or unclear as to what it’s referring to.

    If I compare that to “Raising Jesus: the Story of the Maranatha House,” though– it sounds to a prospective reader like this group called “the Maranatha House” was all about doing something called “raising Jesus.” I don’t think “raising” in this context is immediately understandable in terms of “exalting Jesus,” nor do I think the “story of the Maranatha House” was even all about exalting Jesus. That may have been the intention and the goal, but it was far from the realization.

    And for the non-Christian? “Raising Jesus” to the average person browsing Amazon is probably going to be considered in terms of such familiar idioms as “raising Hell” or “raising Cain.” In short, it just sounds– inappropriate. That’s my view.

    As for your statement that discipleship is a critical part of Christian growth, I will agree that it’s a good idea to get new Christians involved in some sort of help and guidance to understand doctrine and practice, and to become involved with a Christian community. But Christians are disciples of Jesus and no one else. Any help that other Christians give is as brothers and sisters only, helping younger brothers and sisters to be better disciples of Jesus. I hope you agree.

  189. Kristen, I believe you are speaking about the priesthood of the believer. I certainly agree with you on that. Please correct me if I am wrong. One of the key themes of the book is that in the beginning the priesthood of the believer was the core belief. But as shepherding and improper discipleship practiced by some, mostly newbies, the priesthood of the believer was left behind. I believe that was a crucial mistake and explain that and shepherding in the book. Rose Weiner said that, to her, getting away from the priesthood of the believer was one of the biggest mistakes. This also answers most of Steve’s questions too.

    I also agree with you on the title and have read a couple of those books. I had the same thoughts but felt that the title would be explained as the reader followed the story. You are most likely correct although I have not heard of any other concerns about the title except from Steve.

    I am preparing a checklist of things that may need to be added, deleted, changed etc… I can even change the title if need be. So if you have any suggestions let me know. FYI I did ask several people and in a couple of groups for stories, comments, good and bad, and for any other thoughts that one might want included in the book. A few people did respond. I did the same with the title. But I will have to accept credit or blame for that. Thanks again for your input. I do sincerely appreciate it and greatly value your perspective.

  190. Thank you Nancy. I read the link that you provided. I certainly can’t speak for Rick Joyner or Bob Weiner. But I can assure you that Rose Weiner and Bob Weiner strongly believe in the priesthood of the believer. I’m not sure that the fivefold
    Ministry or dominion exclude the priesthood of the believer. But we sure saw the consequences of abandoning the priesthood of the believer with Maranatha. I hope that is conveyed well enough in the book. And unfortunately there are still too many ministries that abuse authority.

  191. Sunshine Saint:
    I am so sorry for what happened to you in your MMI/Mornigstar/Everynation group.
    Unfortunately it happens , it happened in our group. The woman with no fault of her own was ostracized, the rape was done by outsider who was a criminal.She was blessed to get away with her life, the group closed her out as having ‘damaged, insufficient faith.”
    In court I heard her testimony, what saved her was her praying after the rape. he heard her pray and left, other women were not spared. He is jail for life, if I am recalling well. still the group closed her out, I spoke up to no avail.

    There are many battered, bruised sheep out there, may healing come through the True Shepherd to them.

  192. I took a look at the preface of Tom’s book. This is all I could find that “explains” the book’s title:

    The student participants would learn to minister boldly and to speak the truth with the love of Christ as they “Raise Jesus” on campus and in cities large and small.

    That certainly doesn’t say much or does Tom Cooper give any more elaboration (that I can find) for the book’s title. Not seeing anything additional I am not sure how Tom Cooper can take so much offense at me questioning the book’s title. It isn’t like Tom Cooper elaborates.

    What would the average reader think when seeing the book title and especially a Christian reader? Wouldn’t they think that this group only did good things and make them think there wasn’t a dark ending to the group?

    When starting my blog I did think to ask was Maranatha raising or “razing” Jesus since the words rhymed but looking up the definition of “razing” I chose not to use that word since I didn’t think Maranatha was that bad.

    I do think that Krisen Rosser expressed it well when talking about the book’s title:

    To call a book about a deeply flawed, error-ridden human movement “raising Jesus” just seems like hubris to me, and as such is no real benefit to the spreading of the kingdom of God. A title showing humility, compassion and awareness of old wounds would have been a better idea.

    Thus I stand firm with questioning how a book that claims to report the history of MMI can be titled “Raising Jesus” when especially at the end it didn’t do that. It sadly profaned the name of Jesus. The group abused God’s sheep.

    To help with healing it would have been quite helpful to record just how arrogant both the leadership and group were especially as time went on. The bible does state that God is opposed to the proud so with the arrogance MMI displayed it is no surprise that the group eventually imploded.

    A person who had a blog out for a while expressing his experiences with Maranatha subtitled his blog “AN ACCOUNT OF A MEMBER OF MARANATHA CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES A SOCIOLOGICAL CULT.”

    The introduction of the book seems to mostly focus on the positive about MMI and mentions little of the abuse that occurred.

  193. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Thank you Nancy. I read the link that you provided. I certainly can’t speak for Rick Joyner or Bob Weiner. But I can assure you that Rose Weiner and Bob Weiner strongly believe in the priesthood of the believer. I’m not sure that the fivefold
    Ministry or dominion exclude the priesthood of the believer. But we sure saw the consequences of abandoning the priesthood of the believer with Maranatha. I hope that is conveyed well enough in the book. And unfortunately there are still too many ministries that abuse authority.

    Just to be clear Tom, what you are saying is that NOW Bob & Rose Weiner believe in the priesthood of believers but during the days of MMI they DIDN’T?

  194. @ Steve240:
    Hi Steve,
    I am thinking as a former member, and one who was on-staff, Tom may not have seen as an outsider, the inner workings of things that have been shown on many blogs and resource sites.

    There was another world that is NOT available to those on the outside, not on staff,but available to those going to regional and national meetings.

  195. me wrote:

    Raising Jesus reminds me of that awful song “Lift Jesus higher, for He said if we raise Him up, He will draw all men to Him”. (They forget the next verse: He was talking of the manner of His death.)
    So the sng is maybe appropriate to the Roman guards raising him up on the cross, but clearly not for Christians.

    I don’t know if Tom Cooper has seen this comment. This person makes a good point and Kristen also talks about this.

    I will have to study this but looking at the passage it appears that the song that says something along the lines of “if I be lifted up” is in error. Tom even quotes this passage in his book.

    This is the passage:

    And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32)

    Jesus already has been lifted up from the earth and thus as he promised is drawing all men unto Him. I am not saying that it is a bad thing to praise and exalt Jesus and His name but this does what the song promises biblical?

  196. The last couple of comments have brought to the forefront of my mind something that was bothering me without my realizing why.

    It’s that “raising Jesus,” in the minds of quite a few people in our larger American culture, is going to sound either like “raising a spirit” or like “raising consciousness.” In other words, this choice of words invokes an image of calling up Jesus as if He were, or could be, a ghost. It also has a certain inadvertent connotation of “raising” what some belief systems call the “Christ-consciousness” within us.

    I understand that these unintended meanings were never considered by Tom or any person giving input into the book. But it might have been a good idea to have had at least some input from non-Christians as to what the title suggested to them!

    The thing is that I started trying very hard about 10 years ago to spend less time in Christian subculture and to stop speaking Christianese. So I have gradually become more aware of what non-Christians mean by words that have become part of Christian jargon.

  197. Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Hi Steve,
    I am thinking as a former member, and one who was on-staff, Tom may not have seen as an outsider, the inner workings of things that have been shown on many blogs and resource sites.
    There was another world that is NOT available to those on the outside, not on staff,but available to those going to regional and national meetings.

    Since Tom didn’t respond and clarify this I thought I would try.

    Tom in his lengthy first comment here indicated that he participated “very near the beginning and did so for several years.” Thus Tom is indicating that for a few years he was a part of MMI. He has also indicated that he has some family members that participated “briefly” and “several that participated from beginning to end.”

    You do make a good point though.

    Tom was personally involved with the group early on when according to his book things were going well and were apparently done in the Spirit. God was doing some miraculous things. What happened was beyond the expectations of and surprised the leaders.

    Unfortunately the group IMO slowly moved away from listening to and obeying God and to doing things in the flesh.

    Tom seems to want to more emphasize how well things were with the group and minimize the bad. This could be due Tom Cooper only being personally involved with the group when things were good and the Spirit of God was at work. Apparently Tom never had first hand experiences with the abuses that occurred especially later or at least the more extreme happenings.

    Even when you have family that experienced that and know others it just isn’t the same. For example you can know someone whose husband abused her but that really isn’t the same as experiencing it first had. The abused wife can share the details of her abuse but not seeing it or experiencing isn’t the same thing.

    Since you were on staff BlueSkyGal I am sure you experienced abuse first hand and at least saw some of the behind the scenes questionable at best actions.

    Tom also has indicated in his lengthy comment that he “took great effort to not offend anyone or diminish their point of view.” If you are trying to “not offend” then wouldn’t that require leaving out reports of the bad? Also, how do you deal with different points of view and reporting one point of view might “diminish” another’s?

  198. Steve240 wrote:

    Tom also has indicated in his lengthy comment that he “took great effort to not offend anyone or diminish their point of view.” If you are trying to “not offend” then wouldn’t that require leaving out reports of the bad?

    Telling half truths to protect the reputations of church leaders is highly offensive to pew sitters. It’s akin to writing a book about Hitler that only focuses on the good things he did.

  199. Attacking the messenger is a callous tactic often used to assuage guilt and diminish the message. It is one of the best silencing techniques and most effective when one has not read a word, or very little, of the document about which they opine. Even more so if they don’t know the messenger and tend to shoot those carrying a white flag. I must admit I was warned that opinions were already set in stone and so I expected nothing less. And I can certainly join in on pointing out the many faults of Maranatha. But my name and my book were specifically mentioned and was being critiqued so I thought you might appreciate an opportunity to communicate with the author and with one who has the scars. Especially since my initial comment was banned by Steve from his blog. I realize most of the conjecture and speculation is done from sincere motives and so I take no offense. I have been happy to participate in many group discussions about the book.

    In my comments one seems to seek silence or brevity so I will try the second. I was on staff for a while and followed from beginning to end. I went to high school and college with many of the leaders and know them and their accomplishments after MMI quite well. I have a lengthy career and training in law enforcement which helps in discerning truth from fiction among many other things. I have raised millions of dollars for local, national and international charities. I am one of the longest surviving organ transplant recipients in the world. These are facts, along with my brother, wife, children and health that Steve has and continues to ridicule and disparage. I could give you an account of his history but I don’t do those types of things. For seven years I have been stalked by an authentic relentless cyber bully. Yes, Maranatha had much more than its fair share of bullies. And as many of my stories relate, I do not tolerate bullies very well at all. And yet I am very happy to be a nobody. Not a victim. Not a celebrity. And I have done quite well and will continue to do so.

    Blueskygal3 said:
    Sunshine Saint:

    I am so sorry for what happened to you in your MMI/Mornigstar/Everynation group.
    Unfortunately it happens , it happened in our group. The woman with no fault of her own was ostracized, the rape was done by outsider who was a criminal.She was blessed to get away with her life, the group closed her out as having ‘damaged, insufficient faith.”
    In court I heard her testimony, what saved her was her praying after the rape. he heard her pray and left, other women were not spared. He is jail for life, if I am recalling well. still the group closed her out, I spoke up to no avail.
    There are many battered, bruised sheep out there, may healing come through the True Shepherd to them.

    =====I am so sorry that this happened. Absolutely horrific. A special place in hell for people that do those things. And, I believe, a special place in heaven for believers so abused. And that goes for anyone, ministry or not, bully or not, that victimizes others including MMI.

    Blueskygal3 on Fri Feb 19, 2016 at 06:04 PM said:
    @ Steve240:
    Hi Steve,
    I am thinking as a former member, and one who was on-staff, Tom may not have seen as an outsider, the inner workings of things that have been shown on many blogs and resource sites.
    There was another world that is NOT available to those on the outside, not on staff,but available to those going to regional and national meetings.

    ==== I completely agree with the supposition, I am sure I would be considered an outsider by some. But my connections and experiences would surprise you I’m sure. I have been to plenty of MLTS”S. I hope you apply that same logic in evaluating Steve’s comments. Most of his subject matter comes from second hand and lesser accounts. He was involved in an atypical MMI campus ministry for a short period during its most tumultuous period. He emphasizes only a few buzz words. He hides his identity on the internet and refuses to answer any questions. He would not even provide the name of his Pastor after repeated requests. Of course I knew it but he still will not answer questions or allow dissenting opinions. Not because he is afraid of some kind of retribution but because he is a cyber bully spreading mostly heinous information. Yet another reason he has been banned at one time or another by most groups and individuals of good will that seek honest and civil discourse. So if this is the kind of insider knowledgeable scoop you are looking for and you think Steve provides it with his blog – God help us all.

    I do appreciate the advice on the title. Though I do wish you would actually use the title when evaluating it. The title is “Raising Jesus – The Story of the Maranatha House.” It is available on Amazon. This would be a very long book review if this much time and analysis is spent on half the title.

    Maranatha is certainly not without guilt. That is clearly stated in the book. I hope you read it but doubt that you will. One question I ask is, all things considered, throughout history, considering the 60s, 70s, and 80’s, on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the worst, where do you place MMI. I would imagine most in this group would be somewhere between 75 and 99. The results, not in the book, would shock and astound you. Maranatha had over 100 national and international ministries in seventeen years. Several of the local ministries had problems. Individuals briefly and in some cases over a period of time encountered the types of issues that you reference in the numerous groups and blogs that are anti-Maranatha. But not all of the fellowships had those problems. And the members experienced nothing of what you describe. That still does not excuse national leadership or local bullies in any way. Again clearly stated in the book. So when you read Steve’s blog pay attention to what he chooses to emphasize. It is a long book, with a story too long for one book, and I hope you benefit from it. And always remember that the coup de grâce was in the Coup d’état.

  200. Steve240 wrote:

    Blueskygal3 wrote:
    Hi Steve,
    I am thinking as a former member, and one who was on-staff, Tom may not have seen as an outsider, the inner workings of things that have been shown on many blogs and resource sites.
    There was another world that is NOT available to those on the outside, not on staff,but available to those going to regional and national meetings.
    Since Tom didn’t respond and clarify this I thought I would try.
    Tom in his lengthy first comment here indicated that he participated “very near the beginning and did so for several years.” Thus Tom is indicating that for a few years he was a part of MMI. He has also indicated that he has some family members that participated “briefly” and “several that participated from beginning to end.”
    You do make a good point though.
    Tom was personally involved with the group early on when according to his book things were going well and were apparently done in the Spirit. God was doing some miraculous things. What happened was beyond the expectations of and surprised the leaders.
    Unfortunately the group IMO slowly moved away from listening to and obeying God and to doing things in the flesh.
    Tom seems to want to more emphasize how well things were with the group and minimize the bad. This could be due Tom Cooper only being personally involved with the group when things were good and the Spirit of God was at work. Apparently Tom never had first hand experiences with the abuses that occurred especially later or at least the more extreme happenings.
    Even when you have family that experienced that and know others it just isn’t the same. For example you can know someone whose husband abused her but that really isn’t the same as experiencing it first had. The abused wife can share the details of her abuse but not seeing it or experiencing isn’t the same thing.
    Since you were on staff BlueSkyGal I am sure you experienced abuse first hand and at least saw some of the behind the scenes questionable at best actions.
    Tom also has indicated in his lengthy comment that he “took great effort to not offend anyone or diminish their point of view.” If you are trying to “not offend” then wouldn’t that require leaving out reports of the bad? Also, how do you deal with different points of view and reporting one point of view might “diminish” another’s?

    Hi Steve-Thank you for your reply to me on this post.
    I had an earlier post that did not come through, perhaps I did not do the steps to publish my post correctly.

    I was talking about an academic method of analysis concerning point of view, namely Ems and Edict. It is used primarily in relation to groups and social studies of them, It is used in social studies, historical account etc. It efficiently considers the ‘inside’, Emic and an overreaching outside view, Edict.

    It came into being from anthropological studies,who wanted to incorporate a more clear, honest, if you will, truth of actuality, competent facts on things.They felt that Edict views were too common and in essence unreliable on the whole. So they centered on asking questions to principals, actual persons in whole involved in their study. They would not do a survey , but a complete view , with data of all involved, big and small, if you will.

    So in essence the booklet in question could be a survey in Edict terms,an opinion of the author view point.

  201. @ Tom Cooper:
    Hi Tom,
    Not sure if you are talking to me or not. Sorry it is hard to tell.

    It seems that you & I both had problems with our first post here. It seems that part has been solved.

    Please consider my earlier response about Emic & Edict viewpoints. I hope that it helps.

  202. Blueskygal3 on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 06:36 PM said:

    @ Tom Cooper:
    Hi Tom,
    Not sure if you are talking to me or not. Sorry it is hard to tell.

    It seems that you & I both had problems with our first post here. It seems that part has been solved.

    Please consider my earlier response about Emic & Edict viewpoints. I hope that it helps.

    Thank you blueskygal3. It does help and was not directed towards you. I hope you keep posting. Interesting types of concepts that I will enjoy learning more about. At some point I would like to give you a more thorough account of my background and see if you would still consider it as an Edict viewpoint. For now you will have to trust that I had contributors to the book and have primary knowledge of the first half of the ministry and secondary knowledge of the rest. I know the warts and the giving. I could relate awesome stories of kindness and generosity but this would not be a receptive audience. Would you agree that I am at least Ems on the book that I took years to write? And if someone is seeking to evaluate the book why would they censor the author? I am sure the resident expert will have the last word on this and everything else.

  203. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Blueskygal3 on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 06:36 PM said:
    @ Tom Cooper:
    Hi Tom,
    Not sure if you are talking to me or not. Sorry it is hard to tell.
    It seems that you & I both had problems with our first post here. It seems that part has been solved.
    Please consider my earlier response about Emic & Edict(Etic) viewpoints. I hope that it helps.
    Thank you blueskygal3.

    It does help and was not directed towards you. I hope you keep posting. Interesting types of concepts that I will enjoy learning more about. At some point I would like to give you a more thorough account of my background and see if you would still consider it as an Edict viewpoint. For now you will have to trust that I had contributors to the book and have primary knowledge of the first half of the ministry and secondary knowledge of the rest. I know the warts and the giving. I could relate awesome stories of kindness and generosity but this would not be a receptive audience. Would you agree that I am at least Ems on the book that I took years to write? And if someone is seeking to evaluate the book why would they censor the author? I am sure the resident expert will have the last word on this and everything else.

    Hi Tom,
    I am working on national tests for students at present short on time. Sometimes as it is translated as Emic and Etic , it appears on google that may help.

    There is also the well told story Sir Walter Raleigh’s story on his writing of history while in the Tower, which is helpful.
    I guess the main point in making an analysis in this case is more data, to be truly reflective.

    I have studying student’s thoughts about Kent Sate .this would involve be the students then and now students in contemporary time view. It would also compare those who were there,and those who were shot. It is interesting to see the the difference in then and now. This can found on U-tube, There papers and presentation made after the fact, or form those who were not principals.

    For example: It would be interesting to hear form Alan Tomlin on his thoughts, etc.

    Tom , there is nothing wrong with your memoir, scholarship is something else, if you will.

  204. Thank you blueskygal3
    Very interesting. BTW I went to high school with Alan and was at the meeting when he was saved. Spoke with him via internet before the book was published and I know how he feels about his experience. I consider him a long-time family friend and took his comments to heart. One of the ones I would not intentionally offend. I tried to keep my opinion about Maranatha out of the book. My opinion would surprise most in this forum. I used a lot of information that was already public but was never compiled into one document. I used a lot of historical data and interviews from others as well as my own personal knowledge of and experience with the group. I do consider my first book Miracle at Exit Number 3 to be a memoir. And I don’t mind if this one is considered a memoir. I has a very limited audience appeal and I am actually shocked there has been this much discussion about it. But like Kent State I believed an accurate historical account would be beneficial. Would love to work with you sometime on Maranatha on the type of assessments you are describing.

  205. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Attacking the messenger is a callous tactic often used to assuage guilt and diminish the message. It is one of the best silencing techniques and most effective when one has not read a word, or very little, of the document about which they opine.

    Tom

    First I am surprised to see you commenting here after the Facebook message you sent me yesterday and what you said about my “friends” here. It was pretty scathing.

    Are you sure you aren’t talking about yourself in what I quote you commenting above? That sure seems to be your tactics. I have seen you attack me like in the secret MMI Facebook group to divert attention away from a point I brought up about your book. Here again you try and use the same tactic do what you can to try and discredit me.

    Take a look in the mirror Tom.

    Tom why can’t you stick to discussing the facts including what is and isn’t in your book vs. bringing all kinds of irrelevant things up about me? It was great your trying to explain why you used the title you did for your book and can kind of understand why you used that title. Why not stick to a discussion about your book and MMI?

    You get upset with me for not answering your question of who my pastor was then when I have repeatedly asked where is pride and arrogance is in your book you are evasive rather than just admit it isn’t there. Then you like to discredit me when I repeat the question and call it “groundhog day.” Interesting how you think it is OK to be evasive but demand answers from me.

    Earlier in a comment you accused me of “not being completely honest” but won’t provide examples to prove your point. That was quite something to say without elaborating to try and prove your point. Are you ever going to do that?

    It sure looks like you can see things in others but not see that you are doing what you claim others are doing. Did you ever read the verse about the log in your own eye vs. speck in a brothers eye?

    Not sure who you are referring to when you said this “For seven years I have been stalked by an authentic relentless cyber bully.” First of all if you are trying to imply that this is me then you need to get your facts straight. We have only been corresponding for approx. 5 1/2 years. Take a look at your Facebook conversations you have had with me (I just did).

    Also why did you say this in your initial comment:

    I also had many conversations with Steve240 over the years and greatly value his perspective. I considered many of his thoughts and comments while writing the narrative. I find him to be quite articulate and informative on several of the topics.

    and then change to

    He has yet, after seven years, to give me even one shred of evidence of any of the couple of topics on which he is stuck. He offers only condescending demands for answers to more of his questions. Every conversation with Steve Wells really is like Groundhog Day all over again. God bless you Steve for spending over half of your life victimizing others continuously with your half-truths, and false accusations

    You said different things different times. Now the latest your stating is am a cyber stalker. Not sure how you could even think or suggest that. Have we had that many discussions to warrant even suggesting that? Weren’t these discussions though we certainly have our share of disagreements.

    Again if you are going to make an accusation like that you should give proof. I am curious why you expressed meeting with me when I was passing through Fredericksburg if you thought I was a cyber bully to you.

    You certainly have a lot of contradictions.

  206. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Thank you blueskygal3

    Very interesting. BTW I went to high school with Alan and was at the meeting when he was saved. Spoke with him via internet before the book was published and I know how he feels about his experience. I consider him a long-time family friend and took his comments to heart. One of the ones I would not intentionally offend. I tried to keep my opinion about Maranatha out of the book. My opinion would surprise most in this forum. I used a lot of information that was already public but was never compiled into one document. I used a lot of historical data and interviews from others as well as my own personal knowledge of and experience with the group. I do consider my first book Miracle at Exit Number 3 to be a memoir. And I don’t mind if this one is considered a memoir. I has a very limited audience appeal and I am actually shocked there has been this much discussion about it. But like Kent State I believed an accurate historical account would be beneficial. Would love to work with you sometime on Maranatha on the type of assessments you are describing.

    Hi Tom-Thank you for your note back to me.

    The point about Kent State was to include those who were shot, telling about those who died on the campus green and those wounded who managed to live , and to consider what wounds they deal with now or have overcome.

  207. Tom

    It looks like you are still reading here. This is the question I have posed to you in this blog entry and in the past:

    Pride and Arrogance: One characteristic that I don’t see mentioned in this book is how arrogant/lacking humility both the leadership and group was. For example one of the names that they liked to call

    themselves was “God’s Green Berets.” It is interesting that even those former members who seem to want to minimize and/or forget the group’s abusive history don’t question that both the leadership and group was arrogant.

    One would think that if this book is about the group’s history then MMI’s pride/arrogance would have been mentioned. I have even done key word searches using terms such as pride, proud, arrogant, lacking humility, and conceited. I also have had discussions with the author both in a private Maranatha Facebook Group and Facebook messages asking where this was mentioned and to date I have not received a direct response. The author appears to be evasive on this point.

    I will say that Tom Cooper did a reasonable job of trying to cover MMI’s history, but he sadly left out or minimized some significant events that in my opinion would make one question his book’s title, “Raising Jesus.”

    Again why isn’t MMI’s arrogance mentioned in your book? Was this due to your not wanting to offend anyone? To me this is a major omission.

    The fact that you have been so silent indicates this content isn’t there but have no idea how to explain it.

    Now regarding your book’s title that included the word’s “Raising Jesus.” Out of curiosity I looked up the definition of the word “raised” and this is what one dictinary indicated:

    1. to move to a higher position; lift up; elevate:
    2.to set upright
    3.to cause to rise or stand up; rouse
    4.to build; erect
    5.to set up the framework of
    6.to set in motion; activate
    7.to grow or breed, care for, or promote the growth of

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/raising?s=t

    These definitions are what come to mind when I saw the title of your book that included “Raising Jesus.” Sadly MMI’s actions especially toward the end were as I said before anything but that.

    I am not sure what else someone would think when they saw a book whose title included those words.

  208. Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Since you were on staff BlueSkyGal I am sure you experienced abuse first hand and at least saw some of the behind the scenes questionable at best actions.
    Tom also has indicated in his lengthy comment that he “took great effort to not offend anyone or diminish their point of view.” If you are trying to “not offend” then wouldn’t that require leaving out reports of the bad? Also, how do you deal with different points of view and reporting one point of view might “diminish” another’s?

    Hi Steve-Thank you for your reply to me on this post.
    I had an earlier post that did not come through, perhaps I did not do the steps to publish my post correctly.
    I was talking about an academic method of analysis concerning point of view, namely Ems and Edict. It is used primarily in relation to groups and social studies of them, It is used in social studies, historical account etc. It efficiently considers the ‘inside’, Emic and an overreaching outside view, Edict.
    It came into being from anthropological studies,who wanted to incorporate a more clear, honest, if you will, truth of actuality, competent facts on things.They felt that Edict views were too common and in essence unreliable on the whole. So they centered on asking questions to principals, actual persons in whole involved in their study. They would not do a survey , but a complete view , with data of all involved, big and small, if you will.
    So in essence the booklet in question could be a survey in Edict terms,an opinion of the author view point.

    The bottom comment was Tom’s response to me questioning writing a book but not wanting to offend anyone.

    I have no doubt you aren’t going to answer my question on your book’s omission of pride and arrogance but maybe you can answer this question. Can you elaborate on what you are saying here? When I Googled the terms you use I didn’t see anything come up.

    I would like to understand what you are saying.

  209. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Thank you blueskygal3

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you, it would and is difficult to fashion a first person historical account that is able to be objective. This is particularly true, if it is on your own group. Consider the well know study of h a historical attempt that Sir Walter Raleigh made while in London’ Tower. Please look that up, I hope you find it helpful.

    One can see why an analytical method was developed for study of social groups, with regards also to history.

  210. Steve240 wrote:

    Blueskygal3 wrote:
    Since you were on staff BlueSkyGal I am sure you experienced abuse first hand and at least saw some of the behind the scenes questionable at best actions.
    Tom also has indicated in his lengthy comment that he “took great effort to not offend anyone or diminish their point of view.” If you are trying to “not offend” then wouldn’t that require leaving out reports of the bad? Also, how do you deal with different points of view and reporting one point of view might “diminish” another’s?
    Hi Steve-Thank you for your reply to me on this post.
    I had an earlier post that did not come through, perhaps I did not do the steps to publish my post correctly.
    I was talking about an academic method of analysis concerning point of view, namely Ems and Edict. It is used primarily in relation to groups and social studies of them, It is used in social studies, historical account etc. It efficiently considers the ‘inside’, Emic and an overreaching outside view, Edict.
    It came into being from anthropological studies,who wanted to incorporate a more clear, honest, if you will, truth of actuality, competent facts on things.They felt that Edict views were too common and in essence unreliable on the whole. So they centered on asking questions to principals, actual persons in whole involved in their study. They would not do a survey , but a complete view , with data of all involved, big and small, if you will.
    So in essence the booklet in question could be a survey in Edict terms,an opinion of the author view point.
    The bottom comment was Tom’s response to me questioning writing a book but not wanting to offend anyone.
    I have no doubt you aren’t going to answer my question on your book’s omission of pride and arrogance but maybe you can answer this question. Can you elaborate on what you are saying here? When I Googled the terms you use I didn’t see anything come up.
    I would like to understand what you are saying.

    Hi Steve, It is difficult for me to understand what I am being asked.

    If Tom is saying , he can’t find ,Emic and Edict, I suggested to him that Tom should try Emic and Etic. The method was from French scholars , so sometimes it is translated to us, English speakers, Emic and Edict.If one is using a hand held computer often a full review of sources are not able to be displayed because of memory space.

    I hope this helps.

  211. Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Hi Steve, It is difficult for me to understand what I am being asked.
    If Tom is saying , he can’t find ,Emic and Edict, I suggested to him that Tom should try Emic and Etic. The method was from French scholars , so sometimes it is translated to us, English speakers, Emic and Edict.If one is using a hand held computer often a full review of sources are not able to be displayed because of memory space.
    I hope this helps.

    blueskygal3

    I was actually asking Tom but looks like he has been quiet today.

  212. Tom Cooper wrote:

    The talking point on silencing is another valid assessment from Kristen that I have seen used occasionally and unfortunately effectively by both sides. That is one of the reasons why I was open to discussing the issues with anyone for so many years prior to finishing the first book. And why I am doing this right now seemingly to the dismay of many wonderful contributors to this group. And one of the reasons why I still talk with Steve even now. I have no interest in silencing and encourage anyone to talk as much and as long as they like.

    Tom

    Interesting how you can claim to “have no interest in silencing” but then took the time to share all this irrelevant stuff about me like being kicked out of the secret MMI group one time (but not telling the real reason or what prompted it like my speaking my mind and pointing out hypocrisy I like I am doing here with the group). Wasn’t your intent to share this as a means to silence me by perhaps embarrassment? Or maybe it was a way to make me look lower in knowledge about MMI than you claim to have since you shared what you thought people would find to be an impressive resume about MMI?

    For someone claiming to not want to silence someone your actions sure seem different.

    BTW I plan to post your comment with my response on my blog as soon as I get the chance to finish writing it.

  213. Tom Cooper wrote:

    These are facts, along with my brother, wife, children and health that Steve has and continues to ridicule and disparage.

    If nothing else this is something I would to see documented as to where I did this and especially his family. This is another allegation that Tom shouldn’t put out there unless he can substantiate.

    In some private discussions Tom has offered an excuse for some of his behavior due to his health and in private discussions with Tom have wondered the same thing. I have also suggested since we have disagreed and I couldn’t get him to even see a basic typo in his book that he ask his wife for her opinion (maybe she could see it) or perhaps his sister (who edited the book) or perhaps his brother in law who is married to his sister who edited the book who had a long history with MMI.

    I still would really like to know how he can say I was ridiculing and disparaging them.

    Again Tom just like your allegation of 1/2 truths, please show me examples of what you are talking about. As you told me in a private message when making a similar accusation that would be “below the belt.” I agree that that type of action would be wrong and I don’t operate that way.

  214. Blueskygal3

    Sorry for any confusion. This (text messages) as is apparent in this group is not the easiest way to communicate back and forth without misunderstanding.

    I am researching Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World. Can you clarify to me what you are asking me to do. Is it read the book itself, understand that Raleigh was fully abreast of the latest continental scholarship or understand the conditions under which it was written?

    You also said — If Tom is saying , he can’t find ,Emic and Edict, I suggested to him that Tom should try Emic and Etic. The method was from French scholars , so sometimes it is translated to us, English speakers, Emic and Edict. If one is using a hand held computer often a full review of sources are not able to be displayed because of memory space.

    I hope this helps.
    ————————–

    I was able to find them and I am still reading with great interest. Thank you again for the info. One of the many things I am finding of interest is this statement.

    When these two approaches are combined, the “richest” view of a culture or society can be understood. On its own, an emic approach would struggle with applying overarching values to a single culture. The etic approach is helpful in enabling researchers to see more than one aspect of one culture, and in applying observations to cultures around the world.

    Would you mind sharing your thoughts about this statement as it applies to the topic of the book?

    Also, I find myself trying to compare the book with comments, posts and blogs by others many of which are overwhelmingly negative. The book, which provides an account of the history of the group from the very beginning to the unexpected end is in some sense a clarification to the emotional and incorrect speculation. How to do assess the book versus blogs and other much smaller accounts.

    Many of the comments from former members also express thanks for the explanation
    regarding the closure of the group and steps done after the official end to officially close the group. Most if not all members at the various campus ministries, other than the individuals attending the final board meeting, were completely surprised. Pastors were asked to provide an explanation to their churches but often the explanation was incomplete. The book clarifies the last cays. Again, thank you blueskygal3. — Tom

  215. To blueskygal3

    This statement in the previous post: How to do assess the book versus blogs and other much smaller accounts.

    was supposed to read: How do you assess

  216. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Blueskygal3
    Sorry for any confusion. This (text messages) as is apparent in this group is not the easiest way to communicate back and forth without misunderstanding.
    I am researching Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World. Can you clarify to me what you are asking me to do. Is it read the book itself, understand that Raleigh was fully abreast of the latest continental scholarship or understand the conditions under which it was written?
    You also said — If Tom is saying , he can’t find ,Emic and Edict, I suggested to him that Tom should try Emic and Etic. The method was from French scholars , so sometimes it is translated to us, English speakers, Emic and Edict. If one is using a hand held computer often a full review of sources are not able to be displayed because of memory space.
    I hope this helps.
    ————————–
    I was able to find them and I am still reading with great interest. Thank you again for the info. One of the many things I am finding of interest is this statement.
    When these two approaches are combined, the “richest” view of a culture or society can be understood. On its own, an emic approach would struggle with applying overarching values to a single culture. The etic approach is helpful in enabling researchers to see more than one aspect of one culture, and in applying observations to cultures around the world.
    Would you mind sharing your thoughts about this statement as it applies to the topic of the book?
    Also, I find myself trying to compare the book with comments, posts and blogs by others many of which are overwhelmingly negative. The book, which provides an account of the history of the group from the very beginning to the unexpected end is in some sense a clarification to the emotional and incorrect speculation. How to do assess the book versus blogs and other much smaller accounts.
    Many of the comments from former members also express thanks for the explanation
    regarding the closure of the group and steps done after the official end to officially close the group. Most if not all members at the various campus ministries, other than the individuals attending the final board meeting, were completely surprised. Pastors were asked to provide an explanation to their churches but often the explanation was incomplete. The book clarifies the last cays. Again, thank you blueskygal3. — Tom

    Hi Tom,
    Short on time, would it surprise you to know that Maranatha was already dislodging in the mid-80’s. Check out what Ulyankee says with her timeline on geo.
    Various Mararantha groups who were now indites were buying churches and locally incorporating.

    Perhaps a short course on factual reporting/investigation would be helpful.
    I am now working two full jobs, but learning on your own is invaluable. Happy Hunting !!!

  217. So everything you were saying is the typical smokescreen? You are not actually interested in factual reporting or Emic and Etic unless it is derogatory. You are okay with blogs but not factual accounts. And you can even evaluate a book without reading it. That’s fine with me. Reminds me of a couple of other people. If you ever do actually read the book I would still be interested in what you think. But for now I will pursue more worthwhile endeavors. Lots of people speak as informed when it is clear they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Enjoy the deception. Great example of how learning on your own is problematic.

  218. Tom Cooper wrote:

    So everything you were saying is the typical smokescreen? You are not actually interested in factual reporting or Emic and Etic unless it is derogatory. You are okay with blogs but not factual accounts. And you can even evaluate a book without reading it. That’s fine with me. Reminds me of a couple of other people. If you ever do actually read the book I would still be interested in what you think. But for now I will pursue more worthwhile endeavors. Lots of people speak as informed when it is clear they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Enjoy the deception. Great example of how learning on your own is problematic.

    Tom

    I asked you to explain yourself with that regard and now you just spew more accusations including your favorite about claiming I haven’t read your book.

    I am not sure what you mean by claiming all I say is “typical smokescreen.” Apparently you aren’t interesting in “factual reporting” based on what I have seen you accuse me of here but then provide no proof.

    I doubt you will ever answer my question about arrogance being in your book.

    It sure has been interesting the behavior you have shown here.

  219. This is why you are so unbelievable Steve. The comment was not addressed to you. If I read her comment too fast she will let me know.

  220. And by the way interest and sales of the book have gone up since your recent posts and attacks on me. Thank you for that. Your mental health issues as a cyber bully are exposed and obvious. Thank you for that too. I have no more interest in you. I suppose increased sales are because people are looking for the truth. They will read the book and form their own conclusions. But people know that a lot of this was 40 years ago. You may be the only one who cares. Please get a life. Have you ever even been to Paducah?

  221. Tom Cooper wrote:

    So everything you were saying is the typical smokescreen? You are not actually interested in factual reporting or Emic and Etic unless it is derogatory. You are okay with blogs but not factual accounts. And you can even evaluate a book without reading it. That’s fine with me. Reminds me of a couple of other people. If you ever do actually read the book I would still be interested in what you think. But for now I will pursue more worthwhile endeavors. Lots of people speak as informed when it is clear they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Enjoy the deception. Great example of how learning on your own is problematic.

    What??? Sorry for sounding De Niro, but are you talking to me? LOL
    If so you are meshing forms and using them as adjectives. You ask for some help, a good writing class on expository thought could help, I would think, as you
    asked my thoughts.

    Emic and Etic is a purposeful contrasting of viewpoints to bring forward to the reader facts/ discussion and data for their review. This is how it is done. Let them decide, be open for review, all else is a memoir , fiction or as they say lavender writing made for an audience to just accept and not actively review.

  222. blueskygal3

    I read your post too fast and arrived at the wrong conclusion. And I have not found a way to edit posts. Please accept my apology. The taunts, threats, and ridicule from one individual in this forum unfortunately taints the group. But I do appreciate your input. I admire you for working two jobs. I did that quite often and know the drain.

  223. Tom Cooper wrote:

    This is why you are so unbelievable Steve. The comment was not addressed to you. If I read her comment too fast she will let me know.

    Tom

    I would suggest that next time you quote the person you are talking to.

  224. Tom Cooper wrote:

    And I have not found a way to edit posts.

    There isn’t a way to edit posts once you’ve clicked Post Comment – many Wartburgers wish there were! But there is a built-in way of citing a previous commenter, which is to select the text in their comment and then click the button at the bottom of the comment labelled Reply w/Quote (select the text to quote then click this button). Just clicking the button labelled Reply will create a citation link.

    This would, I have to say, make it much easier to read your comments. As it is, it’s hard to tell when you’re quoting from someone else (and whom) and when you’re responding.

  225. I found this in a book written by Bob & Rose Weiner (Bob was the leader of MMI) titled “Bible Studies for the Preparation of the Bride.” The copyright was 1980.

    This was on page 2:

    God continually spoke of Israel as a rebellious “stiff necked” people who were continually providing Him in the wilderness journey, doubting His power and His love and resisting leadership of His Spirit. The continued to resist Him …Stephen … told the Jews that they were “stiff-necked” and uncircumcised in heart and ears always resisting the Holy Spirit. … Acts 7:51

    It is sadly ironic that Bob & Rose could write such words like this but then sadly IMO resist the leadership of the Holy Spirit and more so as time when on. Sadly it looks like they were more hearers than doers of the word here.

    As I Cor 10:12 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”

    If nothing else future groups need to learn from this and especially leaders need to remember that there is trap of knowing something but not actually doing it. At the time they were IMO resisting the Holy Spirit I am sure if confronted they would have denied they were doing that.

    There were at least 2 prophetic warnings given to MMI that they apparently in arrogance ignored. At least one of them IMO set the pace for the group’s demise. Again IMO, Bob Weiner and other leaders became “stiff necked” just like they warned about in their writing.

    Just for the record I am sure it wasn’t just Bob Weiner who resisted the Holy Spirit but also Joe Smith (co-leader) and the lieutenants working for these two.
    How sad. I have seen other examples where one leaders talks about the priority of unit as outlined in Philippians but whose recent actions lead to large denomination split with many churches leaving the “family of churches.”

  226. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    And I have not found a way to edit posts.

    There isn’t a way to edit posts once you’ve clicked Post Comment – many Wartburgers wish there were! But there is a built-in way of citing a previous commenter, which is to select the text in their comment and then click the button at the bottom of the comment labelled Reply w/Quote (select the text to quote then click this button). Just clicking the button labelled Reply will create a citation link.

    This would, I have to say, make it much easier to read your comments. As it is, it’s hard to tell when you’re quoting from someone else (and whom) and when you’re responding.

    Thank you so much for this information Nick Bulbeck. I have played with it before but it did not look right and since we can’t edit I did not risk it. But with your advice I first clicked reply and then highlighted your comment and pressed reply w?quote. Now I will cross my fingers and hope it turns out right. If not I will keep trying until I get it right. Thanks again.

  227. Steve240 wrote:

    How sad. I have seen other examples where one leaders talks about the priority of unit as outlined in Philippians but whose recent actions lead to large denomination split with many churches leaving the “family of churches.”

    A family can have only one Paterfamilias/Patriarch.

  228. Steve240 wrote:

    Tom was personally involved with the group early on when according to his book things were going well and were apparently done in the Spirit. God was doing some miraculous things. What happened was beyond the expectations of and surprised the leaders.

    Unfortunately the group IMO slowly moved away from listening to and obeying God and to doing things in the flesh.

    Entropy set in.

    Like a bureaucracy slowly degenerating from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.

  229. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    There isn’t a way to edit posts once you’ve clicked Post Comment – many Wartburgers wish there were! But there is a built-in way of citing a previous commenter, which is to select the text in their comment and then click the button at the bottom of the comment labelled Reply w/Quote (select the text to quote then click this button). Just clicking the button labelled Reply will create a citation link.

    I think it is great that one can’t edit after they have posted something. On Facebook in especially the private MMI group I have seen post some pretty scathing comments (some directed at me and my questioning opinion) only to take them down. When one can’t take down a comment quickly it should make one think a little more before posting.

  230. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Entropy set in.
    Like a bureaucracy slowly degenerating from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.

    Interesting take on what happened. As a group gets bigger and institutionalizes then this is usually bound to happen. Also, MMI got on quite a quick expansion program despite a prophecy against doing just that.

  231. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:

    Tom was personally involved with the group early on when according to his book things were going well and were apparently done in the Spirit. God was doing some miraculous things. What happened was beyond the expectations of and surprised the leaders.

    Unfortunately the group IMO slowly moved away from listening to and obeying God and to doing things in the flesh.

    Entropy set in.

    Like a bureaucracy slowly degenerating from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.

    Don’t disagree with you Headless Unicorn Guy. I’m sure it was that simple for a lot of similar groups. If you read the book you might find a more complex set of explanations that led a group formed out of the Jesus movement and became a world-wide quasi-denomination to close. Pride and arrogance was certainly a part of it as Steve has pointed out. You will find other issues as well that led to the demise of a ministry that had such sudden success and dealt primarily with college students. The fact that this was essentially the first of the largest spirit-filled campus Christian organizations historically and world-wide is one of the things that makes this story different from any other. It did take years to reach the tipping point. And suddenly hundreds of full-time and part-time staff were jobless. Part of the book deals with the hardships the closing had on families and families that in some cases had invested years into ministry. Very devastating to all. And shocking to those in both Christian and secular circles with whom the ministry had earned respect as well as detractors. If you do read the book I would be interested to see what additional observations you might have. And always remember that the coup de grâce was in the Coup d’état

  232. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Part of the book deals with the hardships the closing had on families and families that in some cases had invested years into ministry. Very devastating to all. And shocking to those in both Christian and secular circles with whom the ministry had earned respect as well as detractors.

    If you want to talk about devastation you should also include all the sheep that MMI Leadership abused in the wake of their ministry. I am sure there were enough that it took a while to recover. It wasn’t just the MMI staff that suffered.

    You mention it took a while for the “tipping point” to happen. A shame that MMI Leadership couldn’t have woken up way before it was too late to take corrective action. Of course being able to do that would have required humility and a fear that God could (as he eventually did) the calling, blessing, etc. God is many times patient so we don’t see the immediate effects of what is done but then if the behavior continues we reach a time of reaping the consequences.

  233. @ Steve240:
    Try to keep up Steve240. You keep going back to the same laments. I have already mentioned that. And it is covered in the book. Groundhog day.

  234. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Pride and arrogance was certainly a part of it as Steve has pointed out. You will find other issues as well that led to the demise of a ministry that had such sudden success and dealt primarily with college students.

    You know, it’s pretty clear there is bad blood going back for a while between Steve240 and Tom Cooper, but I also see that Tom has now agreed that there was pride and arrogance involved in MMI’s demise, which was one of Steve’s concerns. I don’t think there is really a disagreement that the dissolution was very difficult for the staff, or that many of MMI’s practices were abusive to the members (and also, I believe, to many of the lower-ranked staff).

    Maybe I’m interfering too much in seeking to get this old hatchet buried, but it does seem like there are grounds for a cease-fire.

  235. @ Kristen Rosser:
    Kristen Rosser wrote:

    You know, it’s pretty clear there is bad blood going back for a while between Steve240 and Tom Cooper, but I also see that Tom has now agreed that there was pride and arrogance involved in MMI’s demise, which was one of Steve’s concerns. I don’t think there is really a disagreement that the dissolution was very difficult for the staff, or that many of MMI’s practices were abusive to the members (and also, I believe, to many of the lower-ranked staff).
    Maybe I’m interfering too much in seeking to get this old hatchet buried, but it does seem like there are grounds for a cease-fire.

    Completely agree with you Kristen. You’re not interfering I appreciate your input. I have actually taken many of Steve’s comments to heart. And I tried to include his perspective in the book. I understand where he’s coming from.

  236. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Entropy set in.
    Like a bureaucracy slowly degenerating from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.

    One other thought is leadership thought their group was so called as to be invincible. Something along the lines that God would never judge us or we are so on fire and the right track and couldn’t possibly be missing God.

    It is kind of along the lines of a teenage driver who thinks an accident just can’t happen to him.

  237. Steve240 wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:
    Part of the book deals with the hardships the closing had on families and families that in some cases had invested years into ministry. Very devastating to all. And shocking to those in both Christian and secular circles with whom the ministry had earned respect as well as detractors.
    If you want to talk about devastation you should also include all the sheep that MMI Leadership abused in the wake of their ministry. I am sure there were enough that it took a while to recover. It wasn’t just the MMI staff that suffered.
    You mention it took a while for the “tipping point” to happen. A shame that MMI Leadership couldn’t have woken up way before it was too late to take corrective action. Of course being able to do that would have required humility and a fear that God could (as he eventually did) the calling, blessing, etc. God is many times patient so we don’t see the immediate effects of what is done but then if the behavior continues we reach a time of reaping the consequences.

    Hi Steve,
    From my viewpoint and the meetings with other staff, local and regional, there was after Dee Dee Tillman,a great fear about being sued and having more students deprogrammed. This caused the building programs and local incorporation , this was early 80’s.

  238. Steve forgive me if this has been covered…but for those of us younger how has MMI affect the landscape today? How has its theology influenced current movements?

  239. Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.

    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…

  240. @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:

    Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.
    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…

    The two houses where the ministry started are still there by Paducah Tilghman High School. They are private residences. The church building bookstore, and women’s staff house have been razed for development but the grounds are still empty. Paducah is where the ministry operated for seven years before moving the international office to Gainesville. In 1981 the Paducah ministry which was still the foundation of the movement was closed. I propose that this is the first major mistake. By cutting off the roots the ministry was sealing its doom IMO. They closed the other senior ministries such as Memphis, Murray and Martin. This was done along with closing several other ministries deemed not to be campus ministries or campus ministries that were too small to provide funding for dramatic new growth. I was opposed to the dramatic growth as were five others that were pastors on staff. Their viewpoint was voted down and another period of rapid growth began in 1981-1982. Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position. The staff did grow to approximately 300 or more overseas and US mainland. Many more had come and gone over the years. The ministry in Paducah had great respect but also detractors. Yes it was horribly difficult to watch as many of the Paducah people that had left for campus ministry burned out and returned with, in some cases deep scars, to Paducah. I spoke with many. There was brokenness, anger and in some cases despair. There was no Church in Paducah to return to. And many of the staff from the first big expansion were originally from Paducah. Not all of the campus ministries had staff housing but quite a few did. The uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training. Paducah played the major part in this IMO. And in the book I describe these events and imply that the closing of Paducah was a precursor to the closing of the ministry.

  241. Tom

    I think GSD was asking how many people MMI was say at its peak. You shared a lot of history (mostly in your book ;-)) but not the statistic. So you are saying the highest staff level they were at was 300 or so?

  242. Eagle wrote:

    Steve forgive me if this has been covered…but for those of us younger how has MMI affect the landscape today? How has its theology influenced current movements?

    Eagle

    Thanks for your compliment and listing me on your blog roll.

    To answer your question as I shared in this post some of MMI’s lieutenants when the group imploded arranged to have some of the local chapters form a new group that would eventually be called Every Nations. Especially a while back there have been reports that this group basically practiced the same abuse that occurred within MMI.

    To answer your question about the group’s impact just like people talk about being “slaves” to how their parents brought them up and how they are so likely to repeat the same practices with their children I am sure there is a lot of that. The bad practices that MMI taught both leaders and members sadly I am sure has been something that has continued. As you know, for things to change you really have to admit and be conscious of the bad practices you have learned to change.

    This may explain why Every Nations and perhaps other groups that have evolved from MMI continue to practice and repeat at least some of the mistakes that were done in MMI. Despite even their claim to be different, what you learned especially in your youth is so hard to stop and you tend to revert to it. Especially when MMI was the only church you have ever been in then it is so hard to change.

    With Sovereign Grace Ministries in their early years when the leaders there were also young, they pretty much wouldn’t listen to any counseling from older more experienced and seasoned pastors. Sadly MMI did the same practice which I am sure continued with Every Nations or at least with Every Nations during its early years.

    Hopefully the body of Christ can learn from what was done wrong wrong with MMI and foresake what was wrong but use what were their better practices. One significant step in change is to admit their is a problem and that things were done wrongly. Sadly with MMI I don’t see a lot of that especially with many of the top leaders.

  243. Steve240 wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:
    Part of the book deals with the hardships the closing had on families and families that in some cases had invested years into ministry. Very devastating to all. And shocking to those in both Christian and secular circles with whom the ministry had earned respect as well as detractors.
    If you want to talk about devastation you should also include all the sheep that MMI Leadership abused in the wake of their ministry. I am sure there were enough that it took a while to recover. It wasn’t just the MMI staff that suffered.

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    @ Steve240:
    Try to keep up Steve240. You keep going back to the same laments. I have already mentioned that. And it is covered in the book. Groundhog day.

    Tom I am not sure what your motivation for repeating your assertion of “groundhog day?” Perhaps you think it will silence me? Not a chance though I think we are basically are going to have to agree to disagree. Also, as I thought I previously shared my comments may be “groundhog” day to you but certainly isn’t to my target audience.

    I am assuming that by your assertion of “groundhog day” you are claiming what I shared and quoted in this comment is something in your book. If so, I really question this. I am not seeing where you mention the sad impact that MMI had on regular members or people that were involved for a period of time. By this I am talking about the people that MMI basically to use a phrase “chewed up and spit out.” From what I understand these people’s lives were devastated with some being so turned off to Christianity and at least some to never come back to Jesus.

    In most of my discussions I have had with you (private Facebook discussion) you seem to have a lot of empathy for the MMI staff that were suddenly out of jobs and the Paducah people that had no local church to return to in Paducah after MMI imploded. What I have not seen is much if any acknowledgement of the devastation the group did in their wake to regular members or people that spent some time in the group. Why not acknowledge and admit all the devastation that MMI sadly though I am sure well intentioned did?

    When checking your book for this I did find this near the end of chapter 30 titled “Abadonment, Disillusionment, and Shattered Dreams”:

    Those days are remembered with great fondness by many who helped to build the seemingly unbreakable bonds of love.

    I am sure a number wouldn’t use the term “great fondness” and refer to is more as like a prison sentence served. Reading the title of this chapter one would think that coverage of this side of what MMI did would be mentioned in this chapter. Why wasn’t it mentioned?

    If this other side that talks about the devastation MMI created is in your book please share where it is. I am not finding it just like I couldn’t find the pride and arrogance that now you seem to be admitting it isn’t there. Unfortunately the hard copy of your book doesn’t have page number so can really only reference a chapter.

  244. Steve240 wrote:

    It is sadly ironic that Bob & Rose could write such words like this but then sadly IMO resist the leadership of the Holy Spirit and more so as time when on. Sadly it looks like they were more hearers than doers of the word here.
    As I Cor 10:12 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”
    If nothing else future groups need to learn from this and especially leaders need to remember that there is trap of knowing something but not actually doing it. At the time they were IMO resisting the Holy Spirit I am sure if confronted they would have denied they were doing that.

    To “try to keep it up” and have another “groundhog day” as Tom Cooper has encouraged me to do 😉 here is one other thought before I do my real job.

    I am going to expand on what I quoted.

    With Bob Weiner and other leaders I wonder what transpired when they were doing their daily devotions such as reading the bible, praying etc. That is assuming they did those like they taught the regular members should practice.

    If these leaders were truly seeking God and they were open to listening to God in their devotions one would have thought God would have shown each of these leaders that something was wrong with their actions and have been able to share with the other leaders and effect change. That obviously didn’t happen. Were these leaders even really seeking God and what God wanted in their “devotions” or doing these “devotions” arrogantly?

    Perhaps it was along the lines of their telling God this is what we know you want us to do so we are going to do it? One example might be the equivalent of “going to Asia” when forbid by Holy Spirit as the Apostle Paul was told and Paul obeyed.

    I have no idea what their prayer/devotion life was both individually and as a group but we do know they missed God. Both the “spirit of control” and MMI’s implosion pretty much confirm MMI Leadership missed God. Thus MMI leaders apparently not humbly seeking God for direction is a major factor in their demise. How sad that Bob & Rose who taught to seek God and not resist His Holy Spirit apparently forgot their own teaching! I a say this with sadness and almost weeping.

    For example with the reported heavy handedness that was reported with Bob Weiner. What were Bob’s devotions like the next day? One would think that if Bob had been open to listening to God, God would have revealed to Bob that his actions were wrong and Bob could have repented early on. This obviously didn’t happen.

    The same could be said for the many other lacking actions that occurred leading to MMI’s implosion.

  245. @ Steve240:

    Steve240 wrote:

    Tom
    I think GSD was asking how many people MMI was say at its peak. You shared a lot of history (mostly in your book ;-)) but not the statistic. So you are saying the highest staff level they were at was 300 or so?

    I am not the one that can provide exact numbers as to the number of staff at the apex. I can only give a estimate in the form of a best guess. I arrive at my estimate based on the number of staff listed in one of the Forerunner newspaper’s circa 1988 and ball park figures from senior leadership. And it depends on what one considers staff. There were full-time staff, part-time staff, and volunteer staff. Families with children may have one or both parents considered part of the staff. And the numerous ministries overseas had missionaries from the States Plus local paid and unpaid volunteer staff. So at the apex I believe that there were probably quite a bit more than 300 people that would be considered staff of one kind or another. Plus there were lots of other leadership positions within the local churches that might not be counted on the national level. But there is no doubt that over the 17 year history hundreds and hundreds and probably over a thousand of individuals served in leadership positions as full or part time staff and volunteers. I believe GSD was also alluding to the fact that the ministry started in the small town of Paducah and grew to become a worldwide ministry. And as such this was both a source of pride for some and regret for others. Is the church in Paducah had not been closed: if the church had been allowed to grow and surpass its greatest apex: in my opinion it would have continued the traditions and values that founded the ministry it would have been a treasure even to this day. Btw I was asked to take over and pastor the church when it was closed by maranatha. I did not and went on to other things. No regrets. Lol

  246. Thanks guys, the 300 number is really helpful, but your thoughts on the Paducah church are also intrigueing. I have to admit that I don’t know much about that church, and never attended there. Was it thriving at the time it was closed? Did Maranatha close it despite decent attendance?

    I remember the building, shaped like a barn, with a large multi-colored window facing Lone Oak Road. It was raised, and the property sat empty for years, until recently when it was filled in to make the site level, and an eye surgery clinic was built there.

  247. @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:

    Thanks guys, the 300 number is really helpful, but your thoughts on the Paducah church are also intrigueing. I have to admit that I don’t know much about that church, and never attended there. Was it thriving at the time it was closed? Did Maranatha close it despite decent attendance?
    I remember the building, shaped like a barn, with a large multi-colored window facing Lone Oak Road. It was raised, and the property sat empty for years, until recently when it was filled in to make the site level, and an eye surgery clinic was built there.

    For the first few years the Paducah church was the main force providing human and financial resources for growth and expansion. MLTS was held monthly in the building the first year 1975 and about every two months in 1976. So the development of staff was primarily at the Paducah church. A chapter in the book discusses the evolution of the ministry from a youth group that met in a house to the New Testament Church that it became. The process including how to recognize elders and deacons etc… type of church, and how they arrived at the decision to go to the shepherding form of discipleship is also elaborated on. In 1978 a campus ministry was opened in Gainesville, Fl and thoughts began to move the international headquarters from Paducah to Gainesville. This process evolved over a couple of years. Members of the Paducah church were told to pray about what campus ministry they would be moving to. The leadership and several families and singles moved to Gainesville to be a part of the church or international ministry. So the Paducah church which had given so much was striped of its leadership, financial resources, and most of its members. It slowly added and subtracted members before the final close. I was at the final meeting in the church when the remaining members were told to leave the building. The lease was up and there will be no more services. I describe the scene in the book. There were enough former members that stayed in Paducah to form another church led for awhile by a former deacon and then a former pastor. And there was another spinoff church that formed and was active for a few years that some former members returning from the mission field attended, but neither resembled or had much love for Maranatha. Hope this gives you a picture of what happened. Let me know if you think of other specifics of interest.

  248. Steve240 wrote:

    To answer your question as I shared in this post some of MMI’s lieutenants when the group imploded arranged to have some of the local chapters form a new group that would eventually be called Every Nations. Especially a while back there have been reports that this group basically practiced the same abuse that occurred within MMI.

    ChEKA changes its name to OGPU which changes its name to NKVD which changes its name to KGB. Each ballyhooed as a new group free of the corruption of the former name.

    But whatever the name, it still makes its liquidation quota, filling the mass graves of GULAG without interruption.

  249. Tom Cooper wrote:

    There were enough former members that stayed in Paducah to form another church led for awhile by a former deacon and then a former pastor. And there was another spinoff church that formed and was active for a few years that some former members returning from the mission field attended, but neither resembled or had much love for Maranatha.

    I think I was a member of one of those churches. There was a distinct effort to avoid some of the excesses of MMI, which was largely successful. However, there were other issues.

    Tom and Steve, I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share, especially about the dynamics of MMI’s Paducah roots. Especially since its probably not of interest to anyone other than myself. MMI was a passionate bunch, and that level of passion still remains.

  250. Tom Cooper wrote:

    @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:
    Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.
    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…

    Tom’s response to GSD:

    The two houses where the ministry started are still there by Paducah Tilghman High School. They are private residences. The church building bookstore, and women’s staff house have been razed for development but the grounds are still empty. Paducah is where the ministry operated for seven years before moving the international office to Gainesville. In 1981 the Paducah ministry which was still the foundation of the movement was closed. I propose that this is the first major mistake. By cutting off the roots the ministry was sealing its doom IMO. They closed the other senior ministries such as Memphis, Murray and Martin. This was done along with closing several other ministries deemed not to be campus ministries or campus ministries that were too small to provide funding for dramatic new growth. I was opposed to the dramatic growth as were five others that were pastors on staff. Their viewpoint was voted down and another period of rapid growth began in 1981-1982. Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position. The staff did grow to approximately 300 or more overseas and US mainland. Many more had come and gone over the years. The ministry in Paducah had great respect but also detractors. Yes it was horribly difficult to watch as many of the Paducah people that had left for campus ministry burned out and returned with, in some cases deep scars, to Paducah. I spoke with many. There was brokenness, anger and in some cases despair. There was no Church in Paducah to return to. And many of the staff from the first big expansion were originally from Paducah. Not all of the campus ministries had staff housing but quite a few did. The uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training. Paducah played the major part in this IMO. And in the book I describe these events and imply that the closing of Paducah was a precursor to the closing of the ministry.

    My response:

    Hi Tom= I am disagreeing with you on some historical and cultural points ,here.

    Since 1978, we were getting all our messages and leadership form Gainesville. We were even sent there to be schooled as the ministry saw our gifts.

    More that once we were chided for not being able to live in sunny Florida by top leaders . The quote was “What kind of sin did you do , to keep you here. he,he” It was hip, to be at the headquarters. I don’t see Paducah as leading as when the address in Gainesville was given for all the couches are their incorporation papers, in 1977.

    In 1978 MTS ,Maranatha Training School meetings in Sept. were all held in Tennessee in Murphysboro, Papa Doc’s and other meeting places were used.

    It was a natural shift of a business relation of the churches to each other. Maranantha was not at that time into community churches.

    I would also disagree about the ‘best, mature” leadership coming from your city and as you see it taken from the small town of Paduach to capitol cities of other, states, and major campuses. Some of those leaders from Paducah called themselves as failing, failed and many left the ministry or were pushed out in a sort of take=over, if you are viewing what occurred over time.

    The largest amount that we had international and stateside was about 5000-5700. We did exaggerate numbers; laughing saying we were’ evangelically speaking’.

  251. Steve240 wrote:

    As far as I am concerned Bob Weiner continued in sin for a period of time and thus should be publicly rebuked as Paul says to do regarding elders.

    That he signed up early as an apostle in Wagner’s ‘New Apostolic Reformation,’ would indicate that he learned little to nothing from the Maranatha experience. (The ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ – NAR – is just another Ponzi-style Amway scheme for power-grubbing religious knobs.)

    These folks never go away, they just move on into a new ‘ministry’ through which they can continue pursuing power and fleecing their flock.

  252. Tom Cooper wrote:

    I certainly can’t speak for Rick Joyner or Bob Weiner. But I can assure you that Rose Weiner and Bob Weiner strongly believe in the priesthood of the believer.

    What people believe is evidenced by what people practice.

    When leadership uses their claim of spiritual authority to overrule/control major life decisions – marriage, return to school, move, vacations, financial giving – they negate their statements of “beliefs” by their actions.

    I was not a part of Maranatha, but I was in the shepherding/discipleship movement. And Maranatha was just a variant of that false teaching.

    The belief in the priesthood of the believer is easily swallowed up by the ever-present emphasis on obedience, submission, and authority.

    With the whipped-cream topping of “deception” and “sin” rapidly followed by God’s judgement should you fail to submit your priesthood of the believer to their authority over you.

  253. @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:
    Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.
    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…

    Tom’s response to GSD:

    The two houses where the ministry started are still there by Paducah Tilghman High School. They are private residences. The church building bookstore, and women’s staff house have been razed for development but the grounds are still empty. Paducah is where the ministry operated for seven years before moving the international office to Gainesville. In 1981 the Paducah ministry which was still the foundation of the movement was closed. I propose that this is the first major mistake. By cutting off the roots the ministry was sealing its doom IMO. They closed the other senior ministries such as Memphis, Murray and Martin. This was done along with closing several other ministries deemed not to be campus ministries or campus ministries that were too small to provide funding for dramatic new growth. I was opposed to the dramatic growth as were five others that were pastors on staff. Their viewpoint was voted down and another period of rapid growth began in 1981-1982. Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position. The staff did grow to approximately 300 or more overseas and US mainland. Many more had come and gone over the years. The ministry in Paducah had great respect but also detractors. Yes it was horribly difficult to watch as many of the Paducah people that had left for campus ministry burned out and returned with, in some cases deep scars, to Paducah. I spoke with many. There was brokenness, anger and in some cases despair. There was no Church in Paducah to return to. And many of the staff from the first big expansion were originally from Paducah. Not all of the campus ministries had staff housing but quite a few did. The uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training. Paducah played the major part in this IMO. And in the book I describe these events and imply that the closing of Paducah was a precursor to the closing of the ministry.

    My response:

    Hi Tom= I am disagreeing with you on some historical and cultural points ,here.

    Since 1978, we were getting all our messages and leadership form Gainesville. We were even sent there to be schooled as the ministry saw our gifts.

    More that once we were chided for not being able to live in sunny Florida by top leaders . The quote was “What kind of sin did you do , to keep you here. he,he” It was hip, to be at the headquarters. I don’t see Paducah as leading as when the address in Gainesville was given for all the couches are their incorporation papers, in 1977.

    In 1978 MTS ,Maranatha Training School meetings in Sept. were all held in Tennessee in Murphysboro, Papa Doc’s and other meeting places were used.

    It was a natural shift of a business relation of the churches to each other. Maranantha was not at that time into community churches.

    I would also disagree about the ‘best, mature” leadership coming from your city and as you see it taken from the small town of Paduach to capitol cities of other, states, and major campuses. Some of those leaders from Paducah called themselves as failing, failed and many left the ministry or were pushed out in a sort of take=over, if you are viewing what occurred over time.

    The largest amount that we had international and stateside was about 5000-5700. We did exaggerate numbers; laughing saying we were’ evangelically speaking’.

    Thank you blueskygal3. I know you have the direct history there that few have. I would love to collaborate with you on the whole history and fill in some of the blanks. I got a lot of the info for that period from the campus newspaper of the time. The grand opening for the Gainesville church was April 10-24, 1978 and I cover that in Chapter 15. But I did not find specifics about the International office move so I had to leave that mostly open. I agree with you that Weiner and other leaders were in Gainesville preparing for the IO move way before the grand opening of the Gainesville church. If you have any dates or stories let me know. I can eventually make corrections and add new details to the book if it is worthwhile. Chapter 9 talks about the beginning of MLTS – Maranatha Leadership Training School and its progression from the first year 1975 to Kentucky Lake and to Tennessee and Papa Docs and beyond. worthwhile. I can send you a free copy if you would like to review and make suggestions. I know what you mean about what sin have you done? I was not one to toe the line if you remember. If people did not like it so what. That’s one reason its is sometimes difficult in groups such as this for me to understand how some people can be so gullible over and over and then cry wolf forever and ever. Please feel free to encourage, inform and/or disagree.

    @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:

    I think I was a member of one of those churches. There was a distinct effort to avoid some of the excesses of MMI, which was largely successful. However, there were other issues.
    Tom and Steve, I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share, especially about the dynamics of MMI’s Paducah roots. Especially since its probably not of interest to anyone other than myself. MMI was a passionate bunch, and that level of passion still remains.

    Also to GSD: I did not fully answer your question about why they closed Paducah. The public response was there was not an international airport and it was not a campus ministry and the town was too small. There were a couple of other reasons but not public. blueskygal3 probably knows what I am speaking of.

  254. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position.

    One policy that top MMI Leadership came up with was that they would ask for contributions to start new churches on various campuses. Then rather than give this money to the new church starting up MMI would consider this a “loan” that the new church would be forced to pay back. Though I am sure it was well meant, this imposed a burden on these new starting churches that it made them hard to survive.

    I heard that even after one local church left MMI having not fully paid this debt MMI demanded that the churches in the region repay this debt.

    From what I saw, MMI tried to get a lot of their support from students who didn’t have that much income with their pushing the tithe and offering message and how God will bless you when you give. I am sure there was a lot of push to try and get more giving including pressure on people. At least later some of the pastors I heard raised support by getting people to sponsor them which makes more sense.

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    he uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training.

    One thing that you didn’t mention is how in at least some cases MMI put a large demand on students time who were in the ministry. This excessive time demand resulted in many of the students in MMI not being the best of students. Tikkie mentioned this and his experience with this in his blog.

  255. At Blueskygal3

    To continue my previous response to your comment, the one area where I may disagree and would like to discuss further is the leadership that came from Paducah. You may see them as failed while others see them aa getting out. The new normal waa much more like the sterotypical view of the ministry – rude and dominering. And in the end the motives and betrayal were a surprise to some but not all. When I talk to the Paducah guys that got out primarily because they did not like the leadership and the direction the ministry was going as it was straying from its initial vision. And the 5,000 to 5700 number was heard as early as 1982 I believe. I do use that number for committed members occasionally. Not counting overseas. What is you know Maranatha left a footprint all across the country and ministered to thousands over the years. Obviously not effectively in some cases.

  256. @ Steve240:
    Steve240 wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position.

    One policy that top MMI Leadership came up with was that they would ask for contributions to start new churches on various campuses. Then rather than give this money to the new church starting up MMI would consider this a “loan” that the new church would be forced to pay back. Though I am sure it was well meant, this imposed a burden on these new starting churches that it made them hard to survive.

    I heard that even after one local church left MMI having not fully paid this debt MMI demanded that the churches in the region repay this debt.

    From what I saw, MMI tried to get a lot of their support from students who didn’t have that much income with their pushing the tithe and offering message and how God will bless you when you give. I am sure there was a lot of push to try and get more giving including pressure on people. At least later some of the pastors I heard raised support by getting people to sponsor them which makes more sense.

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    he uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training.

    One thing that you didn’t mention is how in at least some cases MMI put a large demand on students time who were in the ministry. This excessive time demand resulted in many of the students in MMI not being the best of students. Tikkie mentioned this and his experience with this in his blog.

    I think you nailed it this time Steve240 Well done my friend. My only exception at first glance is that the students at Tikkie’s campus may have been less than average in his day and time but historically the ministry produced some of the best students on most of the campuses. Maybe not the smartest but good students. Mixed bag at best.

  257. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    A couple years ago, Josh H said he had been molested in some way as a kid.

    I have not heard this. Did he give any particulars, like, did this happen in the church? It seems like he led a very controlled and sheltered life is why I ask.

  258. I was not involved in Calvary Chapel or MMI. It seems like “prophecy” played a big part in these groups?

  259. Tom Cooper wrote:

    At Blueskygal3
    To continue my previous response to your comment, the one area where I may disagree and would like to discuss further is the leadership that came from Paducah. You may see them as failed while others see them aa getting out. The new normal waa much more like the sterotypical view of the ministry – rude and dominering. And in the end the motives and betrayal were a surprise to some but not all. When I talk to the Paducah guys that got out primarily because they did not like the leadership and the direction the ministry was going as it was straying from its initial vision. And the 5,000 to 5700 number was heard as early as 1982 I believe. I do use that number for committed members occasionally. Not counting overseas. What is you know Maranatha left a footprint all across the country and ministered to thousands over the years. Obviously not effectively in some cases.

    My response to Tom

    Please, please read carefully, if you re-read you will see that you have me in stating that “You may see them as failed..” I never said that.

    You need to make this right. You are putting me down as you say others do.

  260. Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:
    @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:
    Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.
    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…
    Tom’s response to GSD:
    The two houses where the ministry started are still there by Paducah Tilghman High School. They are private residences. The church building bookstore, and women’s staff house have been razed for development but the grounds are still empty. Paducah is where the ministry operated for seven years before moving the international office to Gainesville. In 1981 the Paducah ministry which was still the foundation of the movement was closed. I propose that this is the first major mistake. By cutting off the roots the ministry was sealing its doom IMO. They closed the other senior ministries such as Memphis, Murray and Martin. This was done along with closing several other ministries deemed not to be campus ministries or campus ministries that were too small to provide funding for dramatic new growth. I was opposed to the dramatic growth as were five others that were pastors on staff. Their viewpoint was voted down and another period of rapid growth began in 1981-1982. Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position. The staff did grow to approximately 300 or more overseas and US mainland. Many more had come and gone over the years. The ministry in Paducah had great respect but also detractors. Yes it was horribly difficult to watch as many of the Paducah people that had left for campus ministry burned out and returned with, in some cases deep scars, to Paducah. I spoke with many. There was brokenness, anger and in some cases despair. There was no Church in Paducah to return to. And many of the staff from the first big expansion were originally from Paducah. Not all of the campus ministries had staff housing but quite a few did. The uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training. Paducah played the major part in this IMO. And in the book I describe these events and imply that the closing of Paducah was a precursor to the closing of the ministry.

    My response:
    Hi Tom= I am disagreeing with you on some historical and cultural points ,here.
    Since 1978, we were getting all our messages and leadership form Gainesville. We were even sent there to be schooled as the ministry saw our gifts.
    More that once we were chided for not being able to live in sunny Florida by top leaders . The quote was “What kind of sin did you do , to keep you here. he,he” It was hip, to be at the headquarters. I don’t see Paducah as leading as when the address in Gainesville was given for all the couches are their incorporation papers, in 1977.
    In 1978 MTS ,Maranatha Training School meetings in Sept. were all held in Tennessee in Murphysboro, Papa Doc’s and other meeting places were used.
    It was a natural shift of a business relation of the churches to each other. Maranantha was not at that time into community churches.
    I would also disagree about the ‘best, mature” leadership coming from your city and as you see it taken from the small town of Paduach to capitol cities of other, states, and major campuses. Some of those leaders from Paducah called themselves as failing, failed and many left the ministry or were pushed out in a sort of take=over, if you are viewing what occurred over time.
    The largest amount that we had international and stateside was about 5000-5700. We did exaggerate numbers; laughing saying we were’ evangelically speaking’.

    To Tom:
    Here is what I wrote, you are being disingenuous.
    With the amount , it was not actual , if read carefully we added to it.

  261. @ Blueskygal3:
    Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:
    @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:
    Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.
    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…
    Tom’s response to GSD:
    The two houses where the ministry started are still there by Paducah Tilghman High School. They are private residences. The church building bookstore, and women’s staff house have been razed for development but the grounds are still empty. Paducah is where the ministry operated for seven years before moving the international office to Gainesville. In 1981 the Paducah ministry which was still the foundation of the movement was closed. I propose that this is the first major mistake. By cutting off the roots the ministry was sealing its doom IMO. They closed the other senior ministries such as Memphis, Murray and Martin. This was done along with closing several other ministries deemed not to be campus ministries or campus ministries that were too small to provide funding for dramatic new growth. I was opposed to the dramatic growth as were five others that were pastors on staff. Their viewpoint was voted down and another period of rapid growth began in 1981-1982. Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position. The staff did grow to approximately 300 or more overseas and US mainland. Many more had come and gone over the years. The ministry in Paducah had great respect but also detractors. Yes it was horribly difficult to watch as many of the Paducah people that had left for campus ministry burned out and returned with, in some cases deep scars, to Paducah. I spoke with many. There was brokenness, anger and in some cases despair. There was no Church in Paducah to return to. And many of the staff from the first big expansion were originally from Paducah. Not all of the campus ministries had staff housing but quite a few did. The uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training. Paducah played the major part in this IMO. And in the book I describe these events and imply that the closing of Paducah was a precursor to the closing of the ministry.
    My response:
    Hi Tom= I am disagreeing with you on some historical and cultural points ,here.
    Since 1978, we were getting all our messages and leadership form Gainesville. We were even sent there to be schooled as the ministry saw our gifts.
    More that once we were chided for not being able to live in sunny Florida by top leaders . The quote was “What kind of sin did you do , to keep you here. he,he” It was hip, to be at the headquarters. I don’t see Paducah as leading as when the address in Gainesville was given for all the couches are their incorporation papers, in 1977.
    In 1978 MTS ,Maranatha Training School meetings in Sept. were all held in Tennessee in Murphysboro, Papa Doc’s and other meeting places were used.
    It was a natural shift of a business relation of the churches to each other. Maranantha was not at that time into community churches.
    I would also disagree about the ‘best, mature” leadership coming from your city and as you see it taken from the small town of Paduach to capitol cities of other, states, and major campuses. Some of those leaders from Paducah called themselves as failing, failed and many left the ministry or were pushed out in a sort of take=over, if you are viewing what occurred over time.
    The largest amount that we had international and stateside was about 5000-5700. We did exaggerate numbers; laughing saying we were’ evangelically speaking’.

    One thing I am pretty good at is admitting when I’m wrong. Not that it happens a lot but I have had a good deal of practice. In this case blueskygal3 you are absolutely right and I was wrong. Read to fast again. I work from my phone to much and that causes problems. You did not say that and it is never my intention to put you down or anyone else for that matter. Please accept my apology/ Some of the young men did see themselves as you said. You were not saying that you saw them this way. I have kept up with most of those that left early so to speak. All have moved on to the 21st century and like almost all of us simply want to be recognized for our accomplishments after Maranatha. For some reason this reminds me of a story about my rescue dog that I will save for another day.

  262. @ Blueskygal3:
    Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:
    @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:
    Not to interrupt the discussion, but as a Paducah native, I was wondering… How big was Maranatha at its apex? I’ve read of “hundreds” of staff, numerous campus houses… Hard to imagine, knowing that it started very small.
    There are few physical signs of Maranatha left in Paducah, and some people were helped. But there are still so many scars…
    Tom’s response to GSD:
    The two houses where the ministry started are still there by Paducah Tilghman High School. They are private residences. The church building bookstore, and women’s staff house have been razed for development but the grounds are still empty. Paducah is where the ministry operated for seven years before moving the international office to Gainesville. In 1981 the Paducah ministry which was still the foundation of the movement was closed. I propose that this is the first major mistake. By cutting off the roots the ministry was sealing its doom IMO. They closed the other senior ministries such as Memphis, Murray and Martin. This was done along with closing several other ministries deemed not to be campus ministries or campus ministries that were too small to provide funding for dramatic new growth. I was opposed to the dramatic growth as were five others that were pastors on staff. Their viewpoint was voted down and another period of rapid growth began in 1981-1982. Though mostly successful, the rapid growth drained finances and placed in key leadership positions young men and women who in some cases did not have sufficient training for their position. The staff did grow to approximately 300 or more overseas and US mainland. Many more had come and gone over the years. The ministry in Paducah had great respect but also detractors. Yes it was horribly difficult to watch as many of the Paducah people that had left for campus ministry burned out and returned with, in some cases deep scars, to Paducah. I spoke with many. There was brokenness, anger and in some cases despair. There was no Church in Paducah to return to. And many of the staff from the first big expansion were originally from Paducah. Not all of the campus ministries had staff housing but quite a few did. The uniqueness of this evolving into the largest spirit-filled campus ministry is that college students are only committed for one to four years unless the choose to stay. Hundreds graduated with awesome spiritual training and education and spread out across the country. They joined other churches, became leaders in their communities including politicians, lawyers, judges, nurses doctors accountants engineers professional athletes and almost every other profession you can find and cherished the opportunity they had to be immersed in Christian training. Paducah played the major part in this IMO. And in the book I describe these events and imply that the closing of Paducah was a precursor to the closing of the ministry.

    My response:
    Hi Tom= I am disagreeing with you on some historical and cultural points ,here.
    Since 1978, we were getting all our messages and leadership form Gainesville. We were even sent there to be schooled as the ministry saw our gifts.
    More that once we were chided for not being able to live in sunny Florida by top leaders . The quote was “What kind of sin did you do , to keep you here. he,he” It was hip, to be at the headquarters. I don’t see Paducah as leading as when the address in Gainesville was given for all the couches are their incorporation papers, in 1977.
    In 1978 MTS ,Maranatha Training School meetings in Sept. were all held in Tennessee in Murphysboro, Papa Doc’s and other meeting places were used.
    It was a natural shift of a business relation of the churches to each other. Maranantha was not at that time into community churches.
    I would also disagree about the ‘best, mature” leadership coming from your city and as you see it taken from the small town of Paduach to capitol cities of other, states, and major campuses. Some of those leaders from Paducah called themselves as failing, failed and many left the ministry or were pushed out in a sort of take=over, if you are viewing what occurred over time.
    The largest amount that we had international and stateside was about 5000-5700. We did exaggerate numbers; laughing saying we were’ evangelically speaking’.

    To Tom:
    Here is what I wrote, you are being disingenuous.
    With the amount , it was not actual , if read carefully we added to it.

    Okay on this one I have no idea what you are talking about. You must be more specific please.

  263. Tom Cooper wrote:

    The new normal waa much more like the sterotypical view of the ministry – rude and dominering. And in the end the motives and betrayal were a surprise to some but not all. When I talk to the Paducah guys that got out primarily because they did not like the leadership and the direction the ministry was going as it was straying from its initial vision.

    Well, this is interesting. It sounds as if there was a lot of tension between Paducah and Gainesville, between the roots of MMI and what it became. Paducah is a quaint little place, with a veneer of southern politeness. And if you fly out of the airport, there are two gates, and you can fly to Chicago… Or Chicago. Did this tension contribute to the closure of the Paducah church, and the hard feelings that followed?

  264. Tom Cooper wrote:

    historically the ministry produced some of the best students on most of the campuses. Maybe not the smartest but good students. Mixed bag at best.

    I don’t think the ministry “produced” these students– because I was one of them, and I managed to be a good student despite Maranatha! It took Herculean effort to get good grades with Maranatha’s huge demands on our time. But I was an overachiever.

    Maranatha tended to attract overachievers. This is why it had many good students. It didn’t “produce” them.

  265. In fact, many times I was made to feel guilty for the time I DID spend working on schoolwork instead of being out inviting people to meetings, etc. I did dutifully attend all the required Maranatha meetings (and there were many!). But whenever it wasn’t actually required, I worked on homework. In fact, I had almost no life outside school and Maranatha. Thanks to my parents, I didn’t have to have a job. That made a difference too.

  266. One more thought. As we reconsider MMI, this seems to be the central issue. We all seem to agree that MMI helped some people, especially early on, and harmed some people. So…

    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?

    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    From what I’m hearing, the thing that MMI shared with other organizations that the Wartburg crew has studied is authoritarian leadership. The ideas of spiritual authority, oppressive shepherding and “covering” seem to have been foundational, and resulted in a top-down hierarchy that protected the leadership from accountability to those who were being led.

  267. @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    The new normal waa much more like the sterotypical view of the ministry – rude and dominering. And in the end the motives and betrayal were a surprise to some but not all. When I talk to the Paducah guys that got out primarily because they did not like the leadership and the direction the ministry was going as it was straying from its initial vision.

    Well, this is interesting. It sounds as if there was a lot of tension between Paducah and Gainesville, between the roots of MMI and what it became. Paducah is a quaint little place, with a veneer of southern politeness. And if you fly out of the airport, there are two gates, and you can fly to Chicago… Or Chicago. Did this tension contribute to the closure of the Paducah church, and the hard feelings that followed?

    My reply:

    When I say The new normal waa much more like the sterotypical view of the ministry – rude and domineering: I am talking about some of the newest leadership that was raised up through the ministry and had no ties to or love for the Paducah flagship. They may have and apparently still do resent the fact that Paducah gets credit or blame for so much but I don’t think there was any tension.
    And the Paducah people did not resent Gainesville. They were generally sorry for the ones that had to leave. The extreme egos were seen more in the apostles and evangelists maybe and less so in the pastors and who generally only wanted the best for their local ministry despite the encumbrances.

  268. @ Kristen Rosser:
    Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    historically the ministry produced some of the best students on most of the campuses. Maybe not the smartest but good students. Mixed bag at best.

    I don’t think the ministry “produced” these students– because I was one of them, and I managed to be a good student despite Maranatha! It took Herculean effort to get good grades with Maranatha’s huge demands on our time. But I was an overachiever.

    Maranatha tended to attract overachievers. This is why it had many good students. It didn’t “produce” them.

    Kristen Rosser wrote:

    In fact, many times I was made to feel guilty for the time I DID spend working on schoolwork instead of being out inviting people to meetings, etc. I did dutifully attend all the required Maranatha meetings (and there were many!). But whenever it wasn’t actually required, I worked on homework. In fact, I had almost no life outside school and Maranatha. Thanks to my parents, I didn’t have to have a job. That made a difference too.

    My reply:

    I think that is a common sentiment Kristen. Thank you for sharing it. I experienced that in a small way too. I will add that perspective to any updates I might do to the book. One of the things that makes it difficult to analyze a group such as this is the fact that one cannot always confer their own experience to anyone or everyone else. There were campus ministries that were completely different from one another. And there experiences were different. One shoe does not fit all so to speak. I have served in the non-profit sector including different churches on numerous occasions and heard the unfortunate term GIGO used not only in the non-profits but corporate and public sectors as well. One could say that MMI had good and also troubled people that committed to the fellowship and became better as a result. But, by its nature, like any non-profit MMI attracted its share of individuals that came to the ministry with serious problems and left with the same issues often looking for someone to blame. Not uncommon in any organization.

  269. So there might have been some tension in the leadership, maybe in terms of style, or culture? But it also sounds like there were differences between… Let’s call it labor and management, between the pastoral troops on the ground and the apostolic leadership moving people around. Which would be consistent with an authoritarian structure.

  270. Pingback: Was Maranatha Ministries Fundamentally Flawed or Just Did Some Inadvertent Harm? | mmireconsidered UNITED STATES

  271. GSD wrote:

    One more thought. As we reconsider MMI, this seems to be the central issue. We all seem to agree that MMI helped some people, especially early on, and harmed some people. So…
    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    You pose a quite interesting question. I actually used your question to start a new blog post:

    https://mmireconsidered.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/was-maranatha-ministries-fundamentally-flawed-or-just-did-some-inadvertent-harm/

    People who have ideas can either post their comments on my blog post or here.

    I posted on thought on my new blog post.

    If you post on my blog I am working so may be some delay before I approve your comment.

  272. @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:

    One more thought. As we reconsider MMI, this seems to be the central issue. We all seem to agree that MMI helped some people, especially early on, and harmed some people. So…

    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?

    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    From what I’m hearing, the thing that MMI shared with other organizations that the Wartburg crew has studied is authoritarian leadership. The ideas of spiritual authority, oppressive shepherding and “covering” seem to have been foundational, and resulted in a top-down hierarchy that protected the leadership from accountability to those who were being led.

    Great question GSD. Chapter 8 in the book discusses discipleship, shepherding and how the group decided to incorporate the policy’s. I think it is important to note when considering answers to questions that would effectively blanket the entire time period that shepherding was not practiced in the beginning or at the end but quite a bit in between. It also contains this quote from Rose Weiner. “In more than a few instances, the practice and application of the shepherding model, nullified the priesthood of the believer, an essential belief of the organization. When this occurred it was wrong.” These sentiments of “unintended consequences” have been shared by many if not all former leadership. Especially the ones responsible for incorporating it. They believed it was a mistake. “We were young and looking for direction, but there were no bad intentions.” In December 1985, Derrick Prince, one of the original proponents of the shepherding movement, announced that he had changed his position and now believed that the shepherding movement had been in error. He later met with the Weiner’s to explain his evolution of thought. This and other obvious flaws led Maranatha to see the error of the Discipleship and Shepherding ideas.

    The book describes the journey from nothing to quasi-denomination. Everything, doctrine, leadership, discipleship, training, vision, values, finances had to be decided from scratch. And the ministry was not static. It did change begrudgingly in some cases but did often change. It was not connected to or affiliated with a denomination or any other organization. All fairly unique for an organization that grew this large. The study of Maranatha as the book points out is an opportunity to discover the errors and to possibly use the successes that can come from ministry as a blueprint. And hopefully not repeat the errors.

    Former Maranaatha churches have and still do hold reunions all across the country organized by what some would call the former sheep. They worship, laugh and fellowship remembering good times and bad. This does not mean that they were not exposed to the authoritarian style mentioned. Just confirms that many former members deeply appreciate the experience, education and friendships and hold no regrets or grudges. There are quite a few social networking groups, somewhat like this one except mostly positive, with hundreds of former members who still maintain friendships. They have benefited for a lifetime from the unique and in depth training and education that was to this day one of a kind. So it was not all bad or all good. Much like any other church or organization one has good experiences and bad. Learn from both but don’t let either define you. As I mentioned earlier, after 40 years there is a lot of impressive fruit that came from the ministry and was highly successful afterwards. I am certainly not defending the ministry, participants, or leadership, and strongly condemn any and all abuse, I simply am trying to offer a moderation of extreme viewpoints. Some disagree. Many many more do not. One must look at the whole and hopefully, only then, make their decisions about the success or failure of the ministry.

  273. Thanks everyone. I have enjoyed the opportunity to interact with this group. I do keep up with the WW and hope to do this again after the next book. I need to get back to the new century and the new millennium. Working on another book about MMI from last millennium and updates to the current book in addition to all other responsibilities. Also, don’t forget about my first book: Miracle at Exit Number 3, available almost everywhere including Amazon. Once again thank you. You have been great.

  274. GSD wrote:

    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    I think the answer is almost certainly: Yes.

    As a more general contribution to the thread:

    Like Kristen, I’m not going to try to mediate between Tom and Steve; that’s not possible at a distance even were I invited. Nor am I directly familiar with MMI. However, I am very familiar with the “restoration movement” (actually a number of different movements) that flourished in the UK at about the same time. I’m struck by several parallels between it and MMI.

    For one thing, there was a book written about it. Written by one Dr Andrew Walker and first published in 1985, its full title was Restoring the Kingdom: the radical christianity of the house church movement. As with Tom’s book, it had a two-part title and it was generally known by the shorter version – Restoring the Kingdom. This was a reference to the widespread belief in the new churches springing up that the historical denominations had abandoned Christianity but we were restoring it. Whether we were is actually something the book attempts to shed some light on. Walker himself was/is Russian Orthodox, and a sociologist by trade. So the book is certainly no starry-eyed puff piece. On the other hand, it is no vindictive hatchet-job either. In fact, it has been very well-received as a fair and balanced history of what was at times a controversial movement.

    Lesley and I were both involved in restoration-style churches for over 10 years, from when we first became Christians while (separately) at university to when we were finally “dis-fellowshipped” in the usual manner, with which most of you are sadly familiar. Specifically, we joined what was then Covenant Ministries International (CMI), founded by Bryn and Keri Jones, although the church in Glasgow from which we were ejected had left CMI by then so that the CEO could establish his own “apostleship”. And my comment here is not all about sitting on the fence. I don’t hesitate to consider him a false apostle, and I am well aware of what that means.

    But we saw, and experienced first-hand, BOTH very good things AND very bad things. The former: the company of people with far-reaching confidence in God’s ability and willingness to do great things in and around us. The latter were the usual effluvia associated with shepherding doctrine (I have to say that I’ve never come across allegations of child sex abuse within CMI). We came across some exaggerated (“evangelistically speaking”) claims within the movement, especially in Glasgow, but we also came across some exaggerated accusations levelled at the movement from without. A good / bad tree can only bear good / bad fruit, but the mistake some fall into here is to treat a movement of thousands of people as one single tree. In fact it’s a whole mixed woodland, which both grows and attracts all kinds of stuff.

    Back to the books of history. If you were badly burned by a restoration-style church, your dominant emotion towards the movement might be anger. You might be right: there are things that God gets angry at and we should too – if we don’t, we are not being “mature” but arrogant, overfed and complacent, like the people of Sodom – this from Ezekiel 16. (My life’s work is with the poor and unemployed, and believe me: I do not despise a victim’s anger.) In that case you might be disappointed that Walker’s Restoring the Kingdom doesn’t get as angry as you do. Now, I haven’t read Tom’s book, so I can neither praise nor criticise it, and I certainly don’t know whether it is negative or positive in the right kind of proportion. But I can tolerate both its (full) title and the idea that it is not polemical.

  275. I live in Paducah and was a part of a church for 20 years whose leadership had roots in Maranatha. I am thankful to God for being a part of this church, I have grown spiritually and my relationship with God has become richer. But the warfare in this church was unbelievable and we prayed often about the root of discord coming out of Maranatha. When I have read about the excitement about Jesus that was birthed here in Paducah through Maranatha, I was blessed to see what God wanted to do but man put his hands to and it went awry. I am praying that the seeds of passion, love for Jesus that were planted will at the God time come forth in this community. I pray all the time for healing for this place – so many who love God here and are not active in the faith community. Prayer and forgiveness are keys to God turning for good what the enemy meant for evil!

  276. GSD wrote:

    One more thought. As we reconsider MMI, this seems to be the central issue. We all seem to agree that MMI helped some people, especially early on, and harmed some people. So…
    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?
    From what I’m hearing, the thing that MMI shared with other organizations that the Wartburg crew has studied is authoritarian leadership. The ideas of spiritual authority, oppressive shepherding and “covering” seem to have been foundational, and resulted in a top-down hierarchy that protected the leadership from accountability to those who were being led.

    Yes, this quite true about Maranantha Ministries, it was an authorization group.

    When I was on staff, we kicked a girl out of the group for watching “TV”, in reality she did not “fit the mold”, if you will. A member of the church was raped, and it was thought by the leadership to have “incorrect, faulty faith “for allowing this to happen.She was raped by a fellow student in her building that had murdered other women. Our Church ostracized her.

    About helping , I think not as it was in realty abusive. It was like mixing the scared and the profane, like the parent that says they love you but beats you for the smallest complaint. It did not reflect God’s true Kingdom, if you will.
    It was more similar to the church in Revelation which was the one that God hates, the Nickholatian Church. The one that beats down, suppresses the laity. It is quite a harsh warning in the Word.

  277. Tom Cooper wrote:

    @ GSD:

    GSD wrote:
    One more thought. As we reconsider MMI, this seems to be the central issue. We all seem to agree that MMI helped some people, especially early on, and harmed some people. So…
    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?
    From what I’m hearing, the thing that MMI shared with other organizations that the Wartburg crew has studied is authoritarian leadership. The ideas of spiritual authority, oppressive shepherding and “covering” seem to have been foundational, and resulted in a top-down hierarchy that protected the leadership from accountability to those who were being led.

    Tom response to GSD:

    Great question GSD. Chapter 8 in the book discusses discipleship, shepherding and how the group decided to incorporate the policy’s. I think it is important to note when considering answers to questions that would effectively blanket the entire time period that shepherding was not practiced in the beginning or at the end but quite a bit in between. It also contains this quote from Rose Weiner. “In more than a few instances, the practice and application of the shepherding model, nullified the priesthood of the believer, an essential belief of the organization. When this occurred it was wrong.” These sentiments of “unintended consequences” have been shared by many if not all former leadership. Especially the ones responsible for incorporating it. They believed it was a mistake. “We were young and looking for direction, but there were no bad intentions.” In December 1985, Derrick Prince, one of the original proponents of the shepherding movement, announced that he had changed his position and now believed that the shepherding movement had been in error. He later met with the Weiner’s to explain his evolution of thought. This and other obvious flaws led Maranatha to see the error of the Discipleship and Shepherding ideas.
    The book describes the journey from nothing to quasi-denomination. Everything, doctrine, leadership, discipleship, training, vision, values, finances had to be decided from scratch. And the ministry was not static. It did change begrudgingly in some cases but did often change. It was not connected to or affiliated with a denomination or any other organization. All fairly unique for an organization that grew this large. The study of Maranatha as the book points out is an opportunity to discover the errors and to possibly use the successes that can come from ministry as a blueprint. And hopefully not repeat the errors.
    Former Maranaatha churches have and still do hold reunions all across the country organized by what some would call the former sheep. They worship, laugh and fellowship remembering good times and bad. This does not mean that they were not exposed to the authoritarian style mentioned. Just confirms that many former members deeply appreciate the experience, education and friendships and hold no regrets or grudges. There are quite a few social networking groups, somewhat like this one except mostly positive, with hundreds of former members who still maintain friendships. They have benefited for a lifetime from the unique and in depth training and education that was to this day one of a kind. So it was not all bad or all good. Much like any other church or organization one has good experiences and bad. Learn from both but don’t let either define you. As I mentioned earlier, after 40 years there is a lot of impressive fruit that came from the ministry and was highly successful afterwards. I am certainly not defending the ministry, participants, or leadership, and strongly condemn any and all abuse, I simply am trying to offer a moderation of extreme viewpoints. Some disagree. Many many more do not. One must look at the whole and hopefully, only then, make their decisions about the success or failure of the ministry.

    My- reply-Blueskygal’s reply:

    Hi Tom-
    I fear you are sugar-coating and ‘lavender writing’ here.

    You have mis-quoted me twice , both times with a strong retort to me, included after the reversal of what I actually said. It was the total opposite of what I said, it appeared to me not by accident, as the first time it occurred, you said to Steve when he noted what had happened, in essence =’don’t worry she will correct me.’

    This is in my opinion like riding rough-shod, very much like well known Mararanatha authoritative tactics. I think you wrote only what you see as good, and hide the truth, or twist what others say, as you did with me.This then becomes propaganda. Then you glide over your slander to me, with a small ‘oh I did it again.’ If you are indeed writing a historical account showing both sides, some changes would be needed on your part.

    Considering what they said about conditions today in your reply:

    As you note that MMI reunion social pages are an ongoing concern, I consider what just happened to Steve on one of those social sites you write around. In actually only people who will post what the party line are allowed to stay on, if one strays , they are kicked out and blocked. No discussion or descent is permitted.

    It sure looks like nothing has changed, there were lawsuits and broken lives that don’t seem to count for much in your meminstant writing.

    There are huge records of discord that are the bullet’s eye for Maranatha Ministries/Morningstar/ Every Nation/ discussion on both sides. These last named groups are MMI newest incarnations. They can be easily found on Factnet, Rick Ross site and by just googling.

    Most incandescent point missed is that it was not a group the Moose, or the Optimists but people that said , ‘God said this to about you’ to young baby Christians to order to control them in careers, marriage partners , and in always wanting them to take the ‘party line.” . There are many warnings in the Word about what will happen to those who offend ‘these little ones “. That is to speak little ones that were abused by leaders who followed their view of God’s Word in Jesus name.One young man maimed his private parts after some ‘words’ from leadership that I knew, that does not even get talked about in your tome.It is not even on your Horizon.

  278. Blueskygal3 wrote:

    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    Actually (as often is the case when I’m presented with ah “A or B?” binary question, my answer is “both.” Or to make it more complicated (as it was):

    I think MMI was a fundamentally flawed organization, but that the harm it did was often inadvertent and based on bad organizational models (such as shepherding, but certainly including more problems such as heavy patriarchalism, overemphasis on political solutions to kingdom issues, an us-them mentality, and so on.) The huge difference between what Maranatha wanted to be, and what it actually was, was largely rooted in these bad practices and attitudes.

    But there was also the fact of what Maranatha wanted to be — a movement of young people wholly committed to God and one another. THAT is what God was able to use, and that was indeed used by God for good.

  279. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Former Maranaatha churches have and still do hold reunions all across the country organized by what some would call the former sheep. They worship, laugh and fellowship remembering good times and bad. This does not mean that they were not exposed to the authoritarian style mentioned. Just confirms that many former members deeply appreciate the experience, education and friendships and hold no regrets or grudges. There are quite a few social networking groups, somewhat like this one except mostly positive, with hundreds of former members who still maintain friendships. They have benefited for a lifetime from the unique and in depth training and education that was to this day one of a kind. So it was not all bad or all good. Much like any other church or organization one has good experiences and bad. Learn from both but don’t let either define you. As I mentioned earlier, after 40 years there is a lot of impressive fruit that came from the ministry and was highly successful afterwards. I am certainly not defending the ministry, participants, or leadership, and strongly condemn any and all abuse, I simply am trying to offer a moderation of extreme viewpoints. Some disagree. Many many more do not. One must look at the whole and hopefully, only then, make their decisions about the success or failure of the ministry.

    The friendships I formed in Maranatha do indeed endure to this day, and I am in fact part of a group of former members which meets once a year for a reunion, where we discuss both bad stuff and good stuff from the past. However, I must say that most of the good stuff has to do with the friendships themselves, and most of the bad stuff has to do with Maranatha itself.

    I will admit that the way we were all gathered together into one big old ex-fraternity house, the way we did everything together– ministry, work, study, play — formed a kind of community I have not experienced before or since. The fact that most of us were college kids, our lives and ties still largely unformed, also contributed to this communal feeling.

    But I also must say that since I was a Christian before I joined Maranatha, and thus cannot credit Maranatha for my initial encounter with Christ or my relationship with God– the vast majority of what I learned in Maranatha, I no longer believe or hold to. The foundation in Christ remains, but that was there before Maranatha and would have remained without them. But the reconstructionism, dominionism, prosperity gospel, shepherding, right-wing politics, patriarchalism, over-mysticized “spiritual warfare,” and the conflating of American Southern cultural norms with holy living– all of those were things I cannot thank Maranatha for.

    I still appreciate the emphases on prayer, holy living and commitment to God and the saints– but I have found that in non-Maranatha churches as well. So those things that were best about Maranatha were hardly unique.

    I find that I still tend to feel resentment when ex-Maranatha members focus so much on all the supposedly good things (which still, let’s face it, were tainted with spiritual abuse and authoritarian control), that they seem to want to sweep under the carpet all the stuff that was harmful and just plain wrong. And I also no longer seem to be able to talk to many former members (fortunately, this doesn’t apply to the ones I still know personally) who are still very much enmeshed in some of the things I have left (such as right-wing politics, often with no interest in hearing other points of view).

    That’s why, after trying to be part of a Facebook former Maranatha group, I had to leave it behind too.

  280. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    But the reconstructionism, dominionism, prosperity gospel, shepherding, right-wing politics, patriarchalism, over-mysticized “spiritual warfare,” and the conflating of American Southern cultural norms with holy living– all of those were things I cannot thank Maranatha for.

    I also wanted to mention: legalism, more-committed-than-thou one-upmanship, and spiritual pride that we were better than all those other “lukewarm” Christians out there.

  281. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    Blueskygal3 wrote:
    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?
    Actually (as often is the case when I’m presented with ah “A or B?” binary question, my answer is “both.” Or to make it more complicated (as it was):
    I think MMI was a fundamentally flawed organization, but that the harm it did was often inadvertent and based on bad organizational models (such as shepherding, but certainly including more problems such as heavy patriarchalism, overemphasis on political solutions to kingdom issues, an us-them mentality, and so on.) The huge difference between what Maranatha wanted to be, and what it actually was, was largely rooted in these bad practices and attitudes.
    But there was also the fact of what Maranatha wanted to be — a movement of young people wholly committed to God and one another. THAT is what God was able to use, and that was indeed used by God for good.

    Hi Kristen,
    Don’t know how this happened , bu this was not my question.I did not ask it.

  282. Kristen, that’s a great blog post… Thanks so much for sharing it. Can I post a quote from your #11 Good Thing You Learned from Being in Maranatha?

    “11. The Kingdom of God is not about hierarchy but about humility. It’s not about authority, it’s about an attitude of yielding, one to another. And it’s not even really about leadership– it’s about God taking the lowly (which means every human being) and raising them up to Christ. There really is no such thing as an elite group of His children.”

    For me, that really sums it up.

  283. Blueskygal3 Blueskygal quoted GSD who wrote:

    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    I realize now that it is a very binary question, and the correct answer is almost certainly “yes” to both. Because MMI wasn’t a person — it was a collection of people, who were themselves noble and flawed at the same time. In a simpler form, I was asking whether Maranatha was mostly good or bad. Probably the wrong question. Maybe the better question is, what was Maranatha’s main flaw, the thing which finally destroyed it, and how can we avoid that in the future?

  284. GSD wrote:

    I realize now that it is a very binary question, and the correct answer is almost certainly “yes” to both. Because MMI wasn’t a person — it was a collection of people, who were themselves noble and flawed at the same time. In a simpler form, I was asking whether Maranatha was mostly good or bad. Probably the wrong question. Maybe the better question is, what was Maranatha’s main flaw, the thing which finally destroyed it, and how can we avoid that in the future?

    GSD

    How we can avoid this happening in the future is a big reason I have for starting this blog. I do have concerns with people including Tom Cooper revisionist type tactics with regard to MMI but my main focus is trying to understand what happened so that hopefully future leaders can use this understanding and hopefully avoid them.

    Despite how much we talk about and how much we expose that was done wrong by MMI obviously won’t change what occurred. It is “spilled milk” or to use another cliche “water already under the bridge.” With that said it isn’t right to tell only the good while seeming to hide the bad actions of MMI.

    Maybe you could share some of your comments like this on the blog page I have set up?

  285. GSD wrote:

    Maybe the better question is, what was Maranatha’s main flaw, the thing which finally destroyed it, and how can we avoid that in the future?

    I think Wade Burleson’s blog post hits the nail on the head: the main problem with Maranatha, like that of many similar movements today, was authoritarianism. Everything they did was done through a matrix of power structures, and everything they taught and believed was viewed through the same matrix.

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/01/our-problem-is-authoritarianism-and-not.html

    This is what caused the focus on verses like “obey your leaders and submit to their authority” (which, it turns out, is a huge mistranslation of that verse), and on the story of the Roman centurion who told Jesus, “I am a man under authority, with men over me.” Maranatha encouraged the rank-and-file believer to take authority over Satan and his works, while simultaneously teaching that believer (especially if she was female) that she was was under a seemingly unending string of spiritual authorities, with Bob Weiner at the top.

  286. Kristen Rosser wrote:

    @ to Blueskygal3:
    Sorry, Blueskygal3. I know it was GSD who posted the question, but the system said it was you!

    Hi Kristen,
    As you can see, one is able to change the body of a quote.
    I hope this helps !!

  287. GSD wrote:

    GSD wrote:
    Was MMI a basically good organization that inadvertently caused harm to some people?
    Or was it a fundamentally flawed organization that God somehow used to do some good amidst the bad?

    I realize now that it is a very binary question, and the correct answer is almost certainly “yes” to both. Because MMI wasn’t a person — it was a collection of people, who were themselves noble and flawed at the same time. In a simpler form, I was asking whether Maranatha was mostly good or bad. Probably the wrong question. Maybe the better question is, what was Maranatha’s main flaw, the thing which finally destroyed it, and how can we avoid that in the future?

    Hi GSD,
    To ask why MMI was derailed from the task of showing God’s Kingdom to the World at large and in our lives, this would be the question.

    How do we leave God’ path that the Word says is narrow, and in some translations say ‘hard’. Were they even on that path? I am considering that the doctrine of ‘Latter Rain’ was the input behind the dynamics of the group.

    If one looks at WIKI page on ‘Latter Rain’ discussion, which has been somewhat curtailed by MMI/Morningstar/Everynation communication specialists, please check out a later in time version found by clicking on tabs at the top.try 2013=2010.

    Maranatha believed and we were taught that , ” we,the believers were ‘little gods’ “. We could speak things into existence, following the many tenets of’ Latter Rain ‘movement to the letter.

    Our pastors, leaders followed what William Branham wrote and taught, in unison with Ken Copeland. This doctrine was read from the pulpit,where we learned that we were, “Joel’s Army” and it was up to us to make God’s Kingdom come and come quickly, hence the rush to built it.Those slow or not ‘with it, so to speak were cut out. In word’s of another blogger, they were not, “the sharpies,” that is the elite of the campus. This was a prevalent thought, so much so that one could recall here on these pages lately Tom Copper ‘s review of the students on one campus as not being very good,see Tom’s post of Feb.24, 7:07.

  288. For the open minded reading these posts keep in mind the motives for the ones that attack me personally. I am trying to be silent but my name and the book keep being the subject of malicious and false accusations. I began posting here because the author of the blog in question would not allow me to post on his blog. My name and the book I wrote was specifically being targeted but I was not allowed to respond. When I responded here I was attacked yet again with malicious and false accusations. I think it is a good representation of why MMI had so many problems.

    Two of the most recent, I will call them errors, came from the self-righteous one. She said “One young man maimed his private parts after some ‘words’ from leadership that I knew, that does not even get talked about in your tome. It is not even on your Horizon.” She also said that the incident involving extraction of a member was not in the book.

    She is completely, and probably intentionally, wrong in both cases. Absolutely false. Both of these topics are covered in the book. The authoritarian nature of the ministry and almost all of the topics discussed here are covered in the book. She obviously passes judgement on things she knows nothing about. She has not read the book and yet condemns it. I was here because I seek the viewpoint of all. That was true before I wrote the book and after I wrote the book. This is typical behavior. Condemn and attack even if you have not read the book. And if you read the blog posts of the blog in question here you will see that it is strictly polemic. Yet the self-righteous one approves his tactics and polemics while at the same time trying to convince readers that she is honest and knowledgeable. Anyone who has read the could not make the numerous false accusations written in some of these posts. Some of you have been fair and I thank you for that.

    I did expect this from her and the blog inventor. And though I apologized for perceived misquotes you will never see or hear her or the blog inventor apologize or admit error to anything. So I will be silenced again and allow them to elaborate on my book and accuse me of being insensitive to their plight. Yet anyone who knows me knows that is not true. And remember, as the blog inventor has said many times, he has personal knowledge of only a brief period of the seventeen year ministry. I fear that is the case with others as well based on their assessments and comments. Notice that they keep bringing up the same topics over and over in every forum indicating limited knowledge. Then they condemn a complete history of the ministry.

    I will ask once again. If you don’t want to read the book that’s fine with me. But if you discuss the book as though you have read it and mention my name or accuse me falsely, I may not remain silent. And if you read the blog posts in question here remember that they are the very definition of polemic. And the blogger does not allow the author of the book to comment or correct his errors. I will try to remain silent but anticipate some vicious response with numerous false accusations.

  289. Tom Cooper wrote:

    And remember, as the blog inventor has said many times, he has personal knowledge of only a brief period of the seventeen year ministry. I fear that is the case with others as well based on their assessments and comments.

    Hi Tom, I don’t know if any of this was directed at me, but I was in Maranatha from 1981 until it closed in 1990. That’s roughly half of the seventeen years. So I do know what it was like for those of us in the rank and file, in the branches which were started in the big 1980-81 push. My personal experience is of three branches: Eugene, Oregon (which was shut down in 1985 ); Corvallis, Oregon (which is where the Eugene members went when the Eugene group shut down), and Seattle, Washington (which is where we went once a month for MLTS for many years).

    I do know what I’m talking about.

  290. Not directed to you Kristen. I do realize you know what you’re talking about and value your input as I do the others. I hope you realize that I know what I’m talking about. And if others could concede that point without ridicule then we can actually have a decent conversation. Thank you for responding in a respectful manner.

  291. And Kristen, I don’t think that I have ever taken exception to your comments or anyone else’s comments. You are relating your personal experience. I have no reason to doubt and I have no desire to disagree with you or anyone else about what they experienced. I have not disagreed with the blog inventors statements. Just the personal attacks. He was even attacking the title of the book. Am I not supposed to respond?

  292. Tom Cooper wrote:

    For the open minded reading these posts keep in mind the motives for the ones that attack me personally. I am trying to be silent but my name and the book keep being the subject of malicious and false accusations. I began posting here because the author of the blog in question would not allow me to post on his blog. My name and the book I wrote was specifically being targeted but I was not allowed to respond. When I responded here I was attacked yet again with malicious and false accusations. I think it is a good representation of why MMI had so many problems.

    Tom I thought you were gone for good on this blog as you said. I guess welcome back. 😉

    Interesting how you talk about “false accusation.” You have falsely accused of at least two significant things which I have asked you to give proof/examples and still haven’t done so. Interesting how you can again throw stones and see the speck in my eye but then forget about the log in your eye.

    I am remiss in posting your comment (that you placed the same one at I think 3 different blog entries of mine). I will this weekend post your comment with my responses. As long as you play nice (which sometimes you do and other times you don’t) I will allow you to post comments on my blog. On my blog I won’t tolerate the false accusations you have done here.

    Tom Cooper wrote:

    I did expect this from her and the blog inventor. And though I apologized for perceived misquotes you will never see or hear her or the blog inventor apologize or admit error to anything. So I will be silenced again and allow them to elaborate on my book and accuse me of being insensitive to their plight. Yet anyone who knows me knows that is not true.

    Again interesting to hear this from the person who claimed in one comment on this blog that he is rarely wrong.

    It is also something for you talk about others not being willing to apologize or admit. You still really haven’t admitted that you left out the arrogance/pride that MMI blatantly exhibited out of your book. You kind of maybe admitted this.

    Unless you can prove the accusations you made about me, especially the one where you said “along with my brother, wife, children and health that Steve has and continues to ridicule and disparage” then you need to apologize for saying that.

    An you wonder why I am not that open to allowing you to post on my blog.

  293. Steve you can not be serious. You have admitted to stalking me for at least six years and it will be much longer before long. I have answered many of your questions. Don ‘t pretend otherwise. If you read the book and you can not see the arrogance/pride that you talk about constantly inherently in the book then you are hopeless. Of course there was pride and arrogance. Much like your bully tactics. You fit in well with all of what you criticize them for. I got out you got in. You said you did a word search and could not find the words pride or arrogance. But specifics are there even if those particular words are not. How many times have I asked you to write down and send me information to put in the book. You never have to this day. How many times have I told you that I considered the things you told me when writing. Your viewpoint is in there. Yet you have never sent me even one thing that could be included in the book or even now. I got your perspective from the six or more years you have ridiculed me. It looks like you are increasing your tactics of bullying and false accusations. I will be happy to add the words pride and arrogance even just to satisfy you. Tell me more words you insist on adding. You still would not be happy and would still find fault no matter what I do or say. I am not interested in your blog or posting there. But please stop the constant attacks on me. And try not to be polemic when writing your critiques of the book, I think everyone would be happy if you would just do that. But I’m not holding my breath. Experience with you has proved who you are and what you are doing. You have done this same thing to others. I apparently am the only one that attempts to listen to you.

    Seriously? You said this: “Again interesting to hear this from the person who claimed in one comment on this blog that he is rarely wrong.” Steve you are making another intentional attack while attempting to lead the reader to a false conclusion. That seems to be all you do. Of course there was humor in that statement. I hope you are the only one who read it that can not recognize humor. But you would take exception no matter what. I have not criticized your experiences or beliefs. Just your behavior and false accusations. And I have tolerated that longer than I should have.

  294. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Steve you can not be serious. You have admitted to stalking me for at least six years and it will be much longer before long. I have answered many of your questions. Don ‘t pretend otherwise. If you read the book and you can not see the arrogance/pride that you talk about constantly inherently in the book then you are hopeless. Of course there was pride and arrogance. Much like your bully tactics. You fit in well with all of what you criticize them for. I got out you got in. You said you did a word search and could not find the words pride or arrogance.

    Tom

    You are hopeless. LOL

    I would like to know where I “admitted” to stalking you. Maybe you need to go back and reread my words. I questioned the number of years you claimed I was stalking you since your number of years was longer than we had even been corresponding on Facebook.

    So much for having any credibility. Also as I commented before for someone who claimed I stalked you it was interesting you had this to say about me “I also had many conversations with Steve240 over the years and greatly value his perspective.”

    With regard to your book and your claim it covers arrogance, look at what I said in this blog post and the key word search I did. Nothing with those terms. Perhaps one could read into some of the stuff what you now seem to answer but shocking those words which typically are used to describe pride/arrogance were non existent.

    I do find this amusing that after all this time you finally give me an answer on arrogance in the book instead of ignoring the question or trying to shift focus.

    I guess you aren’t going to comment on what you accused me earlier when you said ““along with my brother, wife, children and health that Steve has and continues to ridicule and disparage”

    I guess the conversation between us is like Groundhog day. Maybe that is what you meant.

  295. Nice try Steve but you have strayed again. You are the only who will not answer questions. You would not even answer the name of your Pastor. Don’t expect any more answers from me until you are honest and answer at least a few of the questions I have asked you.I do agreeyou have no credibility. And the 6 plus years you have stalked me us longer than you were in Maranatha. Of course you have been doing this to others for at least 20 years. Rage on Steve.

  296. @ GSD:

    UK is one of the few things we can be proud of. And I have an appreciation for Colonel Sanders, who led a very colorful life before inventing a fried chicken recipe at the age of 64. And the Kentucky Derby is pretty cool. Bluegrass, Corvettes… There are some bright spots.

    The University of Louisville basketball program… Not so much.

    I recently discovered that Maranatha’s original meeting place was in the church I grew up in. They would borrow the Fellowship Hall on Friday nights, partly because none of the traditional churches would welcome these long-haired hippy types on Sunday mornings. Including ours, I guess. History might have been different if they had.

    Tom’s response
    GSD I have taken the time to read some of your posts on other topics within WW. I am quite impressed I appreciate your insight on so many different topics. And you ask good questions about the topic of MMI. I hope I can answer most if not all of you questions over time. I would be happy to give you my email address and telephone number if you ever want to talk in depth. One area we certainly have in common is the 8 time national champion Kentucky Wildcats. I have cheered for them since I was a young boy. Dan Issell, Jimmy Dan Conner, even Rupps Runts. Hoping Willis’s ankle heals quickly. He has made an impact this year in spreading the court.

    One thing I did notice that you may be interested in. You said “I recently discovered that Maranatha’s original meeting place was in the church I grew up in. They would borrow the Fellowship Hall on Friday nights, partly because none of the traditional churches would welcome these long-haired hippy types on Sunday mornings. Including ours, I guess. History might have been different if they had.”

    I’m certain that was another group. The Maranatha House began and met in a house across from Paducah Tilghman for several months and then leased a church building off Lone Oak Road until the Paducah ministry was closed. These are the only two locations where the ministry met in Paducah. I think you would find that the book brings forth facts and the first several chapters deal with Paducah. I also had ties with ministries at UK, Eastern, Western, Morehead, Owensboro and several small groups in and around the Madisonville – Bowling Green area. Kentucky Proud.

  297. Tom Cooper wrote:

    Nice try Steve but you have strayed again. You are the only who will not answer questions. You would not even answer the name of your Pastor. Don’t expect any more answers from me until you are honest and answer at least a few of the questions I have asked you.I do agreeyou have no credibility. And the 6 plus years you have stalked me us longer than you were in Maranatha. Of course you have been doing this to others for at least 20 years. Rage on Steve.

    Tom

    If anything it looks like you are changing the subject. One thing that should be apparent is how you seem to mix up and get confused about was said here. You accuse me of things that if you had gone back and checked the discussion you would know weren’t true. I hope you weren’t this careless with facts when you wrote your book.

    I am curious who you think I have been doing (whatever that is) for at least 20 years. I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Beside wanting you to give proof of your accusations I really can’t think of anything I want you to answer. I also had thought you left this discussion to go write another book.

  298. This is awesome Steve. It sounds like you really have changed your tactics to be more sensitive. If you have quit misrepresenting the book and me then my work here is done. And you can go back to your super secret trolling. You are still trying to silence me though. I’ll be sure and run the next book by you first.

  299. Tom Cooper wrote:

    I have a lengthy career and training in law enforcement which helps in discerning truth from fiction among many other things.

    LOL Tom

    I doubt we will ever see eye to eye. It is nice on here vs. the private MMI Facebook group where with our discussions all your friends there typically would defend you no matter what you said and jump on me even when I have valid points. It is also nice that things can’t be so easily taken down like on can do on Facebook.

    It is interesting how you mention your career and training above in law enforcement. One thought I have on the tactics you have displayed here with me where you make various accusation including claiming I said certain things and done certain things is I am guessing they were what you learned in your law enforcement training such as when you interrogate a suspect. (I admit have no idea what you actually did in law enforcement.)

    Isn’t a typical interrogation tactic to tell the person you said something even when you know they didn’t? Your behavior here sure seems to resemble that. It is a great way to mess with a person’s head especially when there isn’t something in writing or as the case with a law enforcement interrogation only the person doing the interrogation has access to the recordings. I imagine another tactic is change how you act from being warm and friendly to being quite hostile and combative which you have shown here.

    Your training is showing. You may not even realize what you are doing with your having spent so long of time in law enforcement. This is just a possibility but your actions sure appear to be this way.

    Now off to enjoy a nice Saturday.

  300. Tom Cooper wrote:

    @

    One thing I did notice that you may be interested in. You said “I recently discovered that Maranatha’s original meeting place was in the church I grew up in. They would borrow the Fellowship Hall on Friday nights, partly because none of the traditional churches would welcome these long-haired hippy types on Sunday mornings. Including ours, I guess. History might have been different if they had.”

    I’m certain that was another group. The Maranatha House began and met in a house across from Paducah Tilghman for several months and then leased a church building off Lone Oak Road until the Paducah ministry closed.

    Hey Tom, a quick response. The information about the Maranatha kids being ostracized from the traditional churches in Paducah came from my mother, who is a native, and who knows about half the city. So of course, it represents her perspective, but she’s pretty sharp.

    The information about Maanatha’s early meeting places came from another friend of mine, who was there in person. He told me the story of the Friday night meeting where Bob and Rose Weiner visited for the first time. This meeting was being held in the Fellowship Hall of Grace Episcopal Church, on Broadway in Paducah. I’m guessing the group wasn’t called Maranatha at the time, but it did evolve into Maranatha. My mother also remembers them meetingat Grace, and at times finding their way into the sanctuary (which is a beautiful example of church architecture, by the way — Google it!. There was some controversy over their use of anointing oil, while praying over people in the sanctuary. Apparently they would use it in mass quantities, and it would get into the carpet.

    From what I’m told, the group moved their meeting place to Broadway Methodist Church, soon thereafter. Apparently, Rose Weiner’s father was on staff at the church, maybe an associate pastor. This might help explain how the Weiners got to Paducah in the first place. And being Methodist, and knowing how they move their ministers around, I’m guessing they were natives of Paducah. Which might explain their willingness to move the headquarters to Gainesville. But that is all conjecture on my part.

    The house across from Tilghman happened after all of this. And I was wondering, where was the Maranatha house in Murray? By the time I got to school there, it must have been gone. Just curious. And I will read your book, as time allows.

    I apologize for all the detail, but this as personal relevance to me. A Global Campus Ministry started in the Fellowship Hall of the church I attended as a child. And I had absolutely no clue that it happened. Knowing something about how it began, about the passion and the hope and the faith, makes the rest of the story that much more tragic. To know people whose lives were traumatized by their involvement with Maranatha, to see how the ministry ended, and to know how it still affects the spiritual climate in Paducah and Murray and Martin etc, drives me to understand what the real problem was. And to avoid making the same mistakes again.

    The past is the past. Time to learn from it, and move forward.

  301. @ GSD:
    GSD wrote:

    One thing I did notice that you may be interested in. You said “I recently discovered that Maranatha’s original meeting place was in the church I grew up in. They would borrow the Fellowship Hall on Friday nights, partly because none of the traditional churches would welcome these long-haired hippy types on Sunday mornings. Including ours, I guess. History might have been different if they had.”
    I’m certain that was another group. The Maranatha House began and met in a house across from Paducah Tilghman for several months and then leased a church building off Lone Oak Road until the Paducah ministry closed.

    Hey Tom, a quick response. The information about the Maranatha kids being ostracized from the traditional churches in Paducah came from my mother, who is a native, and who knows about half the city. So of course, it represents her perspective, but she’s pretty sharp.
    The information about Maanatha’s early meeting places came from another friend of mine, who was there in person. He told me the story of the Friday night meeting where Bob and Rose Weiner visited for the first time. This meeting was being held in the Fellowship Hall of Grace Episcopal Church, on Broadway in Paducah. I’m guessing the group wasn’t called Maranatha at the time, but it did evolve into Maranatha. My mother also remembers them meetingat Grace, and at times finding their way into the sanctuary (which is a beautiful example of church architecture, by the way — Google it!. There was some controversy over their use of anointing oil, while praying over people in the sanctuary. Apparently they would use it in mass quantities, and it would get into the carpet.
    From what I’m told, the group moved their meeting place to Broadway Methodist Church, soon thereafter. Apparently, Rose Weiner’s father was on staff at the church, maybe an associate pastor. This might help explain how the Weiners got to Paducah in the first place. And being Methodist, and knowing how they move their ministers around, I’m guessing they were natives of Paducah. Which might explain their willingness to move the headquarters to Gainesville. But that is all conjecture on my part.
    The house across from Tilghman happened after all of this. And I was wondering, where was the Maranatha house in Murray? By the time I got to school there, it must have been gone. Just curious. And I will read your book, as time allows.
    I apologize for all the detail, but this as personal relevance to me. A Global Campus Ministry started in the Fellowship Hall of the church I attended as a child. And I had absolutely no clue that it happened. Knowing something about how it began, about the passion and the hope and the faith, makes the rest of the story that much more tragic. To know people whose lives were traumatized by their involvement with Maranatha, to see how the ministry ended, and to know how it still affects the spiritual climate in Paducah and Murray and Martin etc, drives me to understand what the real problem was. And to avoid making the same mistakes again.
    The past is the past. Time to learn from it, and move forward.

    My response to GSD:

    Thank you GSD for your response and elaboration on the matter. That clarifies for me what you were talking about. I agree with you and your mom and your friend. Here is the thing. There were meetings at the Episcopal Church. Most of the time as it applies to Maranatha they are referred to as organizational meetings. I included those in my original draft. I spoke with some individuals who were at those meetings and they too considered them organizational meetings for what would become the Maranatha House.

    There was an established group from Nashville that was conducting actual meetings and worship at the same time. I will have to look back at my notes to give you the name of the group. And they were a hippie group. The Weiners were definitely not hippies. They were looking to expand to Paducah and ultimately decided against it. That essentially left it open for the Weiners. After speaking with my contacts that were there I decided not to start the book with those organizational meetings and to not include names for reasons you have previously mentioned. Most people who know are familiar with the beginning of Maranatha consider the start as a rally at the Methodist Church as you will see in the excerpt from the book that I will provide to you in this comment. Other blogs and commenters have been all over the board with inaccurate information about when, where and why the ministry started, even getting the year and city wrong. I hope I provided conclusive evidence to correct inaccuracies. If, after you read my excerpt below, you feel that it is not accurate or could be written differently please let me know.

    I will also have to refer to my notes to give you the exact year the Murray fellowship closed. I sometimes get in trouble when I go by memory. The Grace Episcopal Church is beautiful and basically just down the block from the Methodist
    Church. BTW Rose Weiner was lifelong Methodist and the group was patterned after Wesleyan youth groups and to some extent Campus Crusade.

    Your other questions will, I hope, be answered below. When you speak of the spiritual climate and reaction to the ministry, I am wondering if you are talking about when the ministry began or after it left Paducah. I don’t dispute your belief but you are sincerely seeking the truth and I hope you will understand that not all the info in bad and consider and respect others viewpoints as well. Not necessarily mine because I have not shared my thought on the issues. I address the cities reaction in chapter two and will add a little of that later. I am not posting on my blog any longer and apologize for taking so much space here but you have excellent questions and I completely understand your interest since you discovered it ostensibly began in your church.

    Chapter One
    Humble Beginnings

    The Maranatha Christian Center, established in Paducah by Bob and Rose Weiner, held its first services on Saturday October 7, 1972. It was established as a nondenominational youth center for the young people of the area.
    In February 1972, the couple traveled to Paducah from Long Beach, California to lead special services for the youth of the community at Broadway United Methodist Church where Mrs. Weiner’s father, Doctor Henry Russell, was pastor.

    Hundreds of people attended the three day youth rally with about 150 making commitments to Christ. Dozens of baptisms were conducted in the church swimming pool and a “Jesus March” was held down Main Street in Paducah. Bob made quite a first impression on the establishment, and the Weiners received encouragement from several prominent people within the community to move to Paducah and operate a youth center.

    The couple left for an evangelistic tour in Sweden and Norway, along with five hundred others, after the Paducah meetings. While in Europe they prayed about the opportunity of moving their ministry from California to Paducah to establish a youth center.

    They believed they were being called to Paducah from California to follow a faith walk with the Lord and to continue to nurture the budding revival. There would be additional conversations with local pastors and other community leaders before the final decision was made.

    On Monday, June 26, 1972, “Time Magazine” published an article entitled “The Jesus Woodstock”. It described the week long historic event that occurred the week before in Dallas, Texas. An excerpt reads:

    “Something historic is happening here,” flashed a sign on an office building in downtown Dallas. Historic, maybe. Big for sure. Across-and well beyond-the city last week, more than 75,000 gospel-preaching young people and adults were jammed into hotels, motels and private homes, camping out in warehouses, truck terminals, school gyms and even the county jail.

    They had come from every state and 60 countries for an International Student Congress on Evangelism called EXPLO ’72. Addressing the first evening rally in Dallas’ Cotton Bowl, Billy Graham set the tone of the meeting for the cheering crowd:

    “We are here to say to the world that Christian youth are now on the march, and we’re going to keep marching until millions of people are brought into the kingdom of God!”

    EXPLO was the creation of Campus Crusade for Christ International, an evangelical organization headquartered in San Bernardino, California, and founded two decades prior by former Businessman Bill Bright. The gathering was scheduled to culminate on an uncompleted freeway with a rally featuring singers Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, which was expected to draw up to 150,000 people.
    Bob Weiner was among the tens of thousands who attended EXPLO 72 and had taken the message to heart. He and Rose were aware of the struggle for the hearts and minds of young people which was raging in cities and on college campuses.
    After more discussion and prayer, the Weiners made a final decision on moving to Paducah. A few weeks after EXPLO 72, the couple attended a Youth for Christ rally in Chicago and then returned to Paducah where the Maranatha story would begin to unfold.

    Two houses across from Paducah Tilghman High School were found to be available for the new ministry. One house would serve as the youth center, and a house next door served as the Weiner’s residence.

    Parents and businessmen pitched in donating time, money, and materials to remodel the house to be used as the center. Plumbing supplies, lumber, paint, furniture, and labor were donated by area businesses. Students from the Vocational School provided electrical and carpentry work.

    In the first few days of planning, earnest money of $1,000 was raised towards the $29,000 mortgage. A large auction was held October 14, 1972 at the Civic Center Plaza to help raise additional money for the mortgage. Contributions from individuals, churches, and ministry participants provided monthly support for the operating expenses of the ministry.

    Bill Bell, a friend of the Weiners from California, joined them in Paducah to assist in operating the center and serve as a full-time counselor. He was a tireless worker with a warm smile and great patience. Through his wisdom and counsel many received salvation and healing.

    With renovation nearly complete, leaflets were distributed announcing the grand opening of the Maranatha Christian Center on October 7, 1972. The center was referred to as the “Maranatha House” for many months. The name would change as the ministry expanded to include Maranatha Campus Ministries, and Maranatha Ministries International.

    Students met at the house each weekday morning before school for prayer and Bible study. One service began at 7:30 and another at 8:30. A Bible study was also conducted at the house each afternoon. One room of the house was used as a Bible lab where students could read and listen to recordings of the Bible. The house was staffed 24 hours each day for students who wanted counseling or just wanted to talk.

    The Weiners did not initially receive a salary or support from the Paducah ministry and, in the beginning, all staff was unpaid volunteers. Their ministry had already been receiving contributions from around the world, and in order to maintain financial accountability, they had established an affiliation with World Missions Inc., headquartered in Long Beach, California.

    All contributions in support of their ministry were sent to World Missions where they would be recorded. Likewise, money contributed to support the youth center were also forwarded to World Missions and then returned in full to the ministry in Paducah.

    All decisions concerning policy and spending at the youth center were made by a local advisory board. The two houses were deeded to World Missions Inc. in January, 1973 from a physician who was a member of the advisory board.
    Bob and Bill led meetings at the House. Rose contributed with scripture verses and analysis of issues which all young people encounter.

    Neither of the three believed that this ministry would be a long-term commitment. Paducah was a small town in the rural heartland of the country with a population of around 33,000. It was thought that the ministry in Paducah would remain local or regional.

    The Weiners had bigger dreams that included ministry to youth at college campuses and in larger population centers. At some point, they believed, the three would move on to other endeavors. They could not have imagined that this would be the beginning of a ministry that would expand across the country and around the world reaching countless numbers of people with the message of the gospel of peace.
    In order to help spread the message of the Gospel, the ministry published several newsletters, pamphlets, and newspapers over the years. In a 1975 article printed in the “The Overcoming Life” newspaper, Weiner discussed the move to Paducah and the start of Maranatha. “I couldn’t believe the Lord had anything for me in a little place like Paducah,” he recalled. After arriving, he understood the need and helped establish the youth center.

    “The Lord made available two houses across from the high school, one for a youth center and the other for our home. I believed He would bring in the money, and He did, every penny!”

    Regular meetings were established at the Center. Tuesday nights were set aside for Bible studies taught by Bob and Bill. One of the series of studies was entitled “The Fundamentals of Faith.” Another, used for years, was entitled “Firm Foundations.”

    Saturday nights were a time to bring friends and acquaintances who were new to the ministry. At the time, attendees sat on the carpeted floor during the meetings. Sunday afternoon services were added to the schedule for a while. On Sundays, chairs were set up for parents and others who may have not attended previously because they didn’t want to sit on the floor. It was a time to bring the parents so they could see what had changed their children; their children who suddenly only talked about Jesus.

    Some of the people who attended meetings at the Maranatha House were active in their local church, and the Maranatha meetings were scheduled so as not to conflict with traditional church services. The number of young believers quickly grew.

    The meetings were quite different from what most people of the area had ever experienced. If parents were expecting the kind of traditional outreach of a local church providing young people a place to congregate, they would have been dismayed.
    What they found was a warm and friendly environment. But they also received the challenge of their lives. Make a decision. Repent of sin, be saved today and become totally committed to God. Be a part of the solution to the challenges of this generation of young people. Discover God’s love for you and through Him prepare yourself spiritually, physically, and mentally for the present and future challenges of this life.

    Young people were drawn to the House for a variety of reasons. Many had been invited by friends. They enjoyed the music and the casual environment.
    The House had no pews or chairs to sit in, the crowd was too large. So everyone sat on the green carpeted floor. You could come as you were. No need for a shirt and tie. There was no organ or piano. Bill would lead singing while playing a guitar. Bob often joined in with a tambourine. There was no church bulletin, no formal order of worship, no hymn books, no projection screen, and, it seemed, no time limit.

    But the heart of the message never changed. Make a decision today. Serve God with your whole heart. Hold nothing back. Be an example of the love of Christ. The crowds responded as they encountered, often for the first time, the amazing love and healing that accompanies a personal relationship with a present, living God.

  302. Steve240 wrote:

    Maybe you could share some of your comments like this on the blog page I have set up?

    Hey Steve, I’ll try to make some comments as I have time. My tablet has stopped working, so I’m having to do all my blog stuff on my phone. it’s not optimal.

  303. Hello I've ready most of your comments and need help. My boyfriend of 6.5 years broke up with me and told me it was because he wanted to completely delicate his life to God, love him fully and trust in his plan. He then stopped hanging out with his friend, isn't talking to his roommates, one of his roommates overheard him talking about being late for his Pick up soccer game because of his "home church service" running late, he's not sleeping, he's gone 7am-12pm, he doesn't workout or watch sports anymore (he was the college starting QB for 2 years), he only hangout with his new friends he met on his mission trip from Brazil and one of the girls on the trip works at Maranatha Christian Reform Church and I know he's attending masses with her.

    This is all happening on the West side of Michigan. Do you think my boyfriend could be in the cult? If so what do I do? His roommates, 2 best friends from home and pastor know as much as I know and I'm meeting with his mom over lunch. PLEASE help me a week before we broke up we were talking about how excited we were to move back home after we graduate (we go to different schools) and he was telling me we would be engaged in the next 2 years and then a week later broke up with me PLEASE PLEASE help idk where else to turn for advice.