I'm really trying to work out where it went wrong. Because I'm still trying to work out what exactly happened. Was it all egos as you suggest?
And I don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water. And neither has Jeff Hammond.
Good question. No, it wasn’t necessarily all egos. There was undoubtedly a time where God’s Word was the foundation of all that happened, and the message was strong and compelling.
But bubbling away was the clamour to get a cut of the action. Think of how many young people went to ‘bible school’. There were scores of people driven to be God’s vessels but also tied up in this was ambition. And the goal was literally the holy grail. That’s pretty big stuff, and it’s tied in to the power that was abused by those who achieved the mantle of exercising it.
While the message to the great unwashed (like me and my partner and loads more) was one of redemption and salvation and living the Christian dream, there was a very unattractive sub culture of those who wanted to drive the bus, not just sit in a seat. As things grew, especially after ‘Bro’ was defrocked as a person who would nowadays be fronting the royal commission on abuse in churches, the monster grew and ate its own.
How many GOOD women and men and families were mutilated by untrained megalomaniac type middle managers in Vic’s fantasy land construct?
Jeff Hammond may well have it right. Which goes to show how badly wrong it went with the swamp people.
Anyone who has been through rehab or detox from these amateur practitioners can tell you that the whole thing is a sham. It doesn’t mean that the pretext they use isn’t real or viable, only that their construct is clearly based on the ego of one or a few men at the top. And their sycophants.
Where are the women in this? Where are the female leaders? Subjugated. Because that’s what weak men do, they remove 50% of the opposition, it makes their job easier.
And that’s the story, quash as many as you can, slash the challengers, abuse the vulnerable, win at all costs. Even the ‘great’ right hand men have been fodder for the meat grinder. What does this say about the fundamental message of salvation? Nothing at all, that’s the confusing bit. Lots of us say, ‘but they’re preaching the word of God, how can it possibly go wrong?’ Well it has gone wrong. And the important bit is to recognise that it’s better not to be involved with people who hijack something as important as spiritual salvation.
But this is only my opinion. The existence of the empire of the swamp proves that it’s a success story. But some of us who have been burned by the bile and base behaviour of these individuals would feel differently.
Maybe once, a long time ago, they may have have a desire to see the Word preached but not now. BCF is a toxic cesspool of unhealthy groupthink behaviour. I agree with Robocop - BCF is not a success as is proven by their continually shrinking numbers and reduced number of meeting centres both in Brisbane and Queensland as a whole. The only area where BCF is successful is keeping people under control with cultish group behaviour and building an empire of cash and assets for the Hall family - nothing more nothing less. Look at the winners and losers - The Halls are winners - lots of cash and comfortable living (so long as you overlook the long list of Hall family excommunications). The Losers - all the people of the flock who have been fleeced of their money, and all the families who have lost spouses and children (of which there is a long and terrible list of destruction).
Ray J Snr came with a message from the Latter Rain movement which occurred in Canada in the 1950s - something new in Australia but eventually sidelined by most of the Pentecostal denominations - and not given a second glance by the Protestant ones! To this he added the teachings about the Tabernacle - the book by someone else was written before he started preaching it. Add to this a few other so called Present Truth teachings which were also borrowed from here and there. Finally he, his mistress and the 2IC were excommunicated when their extensive liaisons were found out and the leadership transferred to a narcissistic meglomaniac.
The NM then re-arranged the teachings to the point of heresy and placed himself at the top of the peak and almost untouchable. And of course, like his predecessor, made sure he and his family could have a lifestyle than we would all like to aspire to - only while we were paying tithes on our gross income and tithing on the tithe (I knew people who did this and it sent them broke) and tithing every pay rise (the first fruits of the increase) or profit on a sale of anything (not in the offering bag but straight to the big man) there was no way the plebs could attain to that sort of lifestyle.
I think most of it was always wrong. There were times when I cannot deny God moving in people's lives and there were many good times as a community when we looked out for each other and showed care and concern. Until you leave ... And then there is nothing. And doesn't that say something about the whole set-up?
I agree with your comment that we cannot deny God moving in people's lives at the Christian Fellowship, however this may well be in spite of Vic Hall and not because of him! There is no doubt that there are a lot of bible believing God fearing people at the Christian Fellowship. However it would also be fair to say there are a goodly number of these people who operate under a very judgemental and religious spirit. This fact is in evidence and proof that when person no longer wishes to attend the Christian Fellowship, all pretence of Christian love dries up very quickly and is proven to be conditional love. ie you will receive our love if you keep coming along - if you leave - no love or fellowship.
I would highly recommend a book called "Twisted Scriptures" that is available from Koorong. The book very clearly lays out the errors of CF teachings. When reading the book you would think it was written specifically about Vic Hall and Ray Jackson Snr, however Twisted Scriptures was written in the United State about the discredited "Shepherding/Discipling Movement" some decades ago. It is highly probably that Ray Jackson Snr and Vic Hall use Twisted Scriptures as their "play book"!
What is revealed in Twisted Scriptures is that all the "special visitations" and "revelations of present truth" experienced by Vic Hall have all been done before decades ago in the USA! There is nothing new under the sun.
Another very valid point that you highlight is the excessive lifestyle lived by the CF high leadership at the expense of the followers. I know of many many people who have gone broke whilst giving their all to the CF leadership in faith (I am talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in giving for some individuals). If you contrast Jesus example to his followers that Christian leaders need to be able to wash the feet of the sheep in humbleness, not fleece the sheep as the CF leaders do. The CF leaders have long quoted the scripture where leaders are worthy of double portion thus justifying their excuse for taking money off people. However Pauls words to the churches say that Paul himself took nothing from the people he visited or taught but rather provided for himself with his tent making business!
I thought maybe (as some of our previous links have gone in the changeover) putting up this link again of Roger Williams. He, in my humble opinion makes some cogent and appropriate comments on the teachings and practices of the Swamp People. His observations on how the spirit is perverted and distorted and becomes something else is salient in light of discussion of doctrine.
http://realityrevelations.com/2010/03/2 ... it-part-1/
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