When we encounter the equivalent to the 3rd Reich AND the gestapo as well as das fuhrer, it IS tough.
I don't minimise any of what you wrote.
Lord bless each hurting person who has discovered the need to exit.
Remember we CANNOT do it on our own.
During this time of 'guru headship', as I call it, because of my struggles with my gurus (local elder and his henchmen) concerning their directions to pointlessly sacrifice my career, they shut I and my wife down almost entirely in terms of Christian service as well.
Allowed contributions in home fellowship at MCF (Melbourne Christian Fellowship) were limited to confessions about the application of the latest word on our lives. We needed weekly CRISES about the state of our sin and walk as pertaining to the current word. Needless to say I sat like a dummy in those meetings for almost 25 years because I had nothing to offer in that vain.
Deep down I knew that I was being shafted by 'marred headship' as they called it. But I couldn't admit it to myself or ask for help because of the culture of silence.
We were not 'called forward' in anything after 2000 when we were kicked out of youth work. Imagine, sessions with these guys for 10-15 years every 3 or 4 weeks AND ONLY BEING TORN DOWN EVERY SINGLE TIME!
My wife's introduction of craft nights were one of the most pure, simple and no-agenda offerings we made. And the most successful from that entire region. Ladies were coming alive. Women who came to nothing else came to that. It was edifying. But the guru elders shut it down when the elder's wife came along and heard one example of 'gossip' (it wasn't even that, it was caring concern).
Shut down. An offering from our own home.
My wife and I also championed a great outreach: a camp-like 'family fun night'. But it was hijacked by the gurus and given to two other couples (the usual two) who had stated they really disliked the idea. But no, it went to them and was announced as 'coming from their hearts'! Everyone knew this was garbage (my sister and brother-in-law and his family walked out never to return that night because of the lies) but no one apologised to us and we just accepted it as more marred headship and tried to help but it fizzled out, being run by unenthusiastic managers as they were.
Earlier I had brought in four of my friends and when they wanted an outline of the word I stupidly asked if I and another friend could give them an outline of the BIble over a few evenings. No! Of course. The elder hijacked it again and instead talked for 4 hours over two nights about one micro-topic: that Moses face shone when he came down the mountain. We all thought this was crazy.
10 years later, with the same elder, I and my wife suggested starting a Sunday School in the same area. What? And who would run it? You?
This is who I lived with for 25+ years. I kept telling myself it was tough love I needed and that I was some sort of ultra-sinful sub-standard Christian. Now we know that those men were walking around with a spirit of Antichirst the size of a football (The spirit of Antichrist is when you can't see Christ in our flesh 1 John 4:1-3).
It didn't matter what we did. It was always 'no'. For 30+ years in fact.
I and my father were asked to write a TEXTBOOK on creation science for the youth. After 3 years it was ready, with huge numbers of unique insights, and it was described by many as having been written with 'such humility' but the eldership team described it as 'having no life' and cancelled the project. It was meant to be a TEXTBOOK for goodness sake! And it did make the science and Scripture accessible and interesting. The UK creationists even thanked me for some of my insights. But no sign of Vic-isms rendered it 'lifeless' of course.
It turns out all they wanted were more gurus that could talk their mantra like robots and . . us plebs. No thought of 'building up the Body of Christ' to function! I can only come to one conclusion: that these men were probably the most insecure I have ever come across.
So not only did they insist I hugely under-achieved in my career (and actually made me unemployable and completely destroyed our finances and my mind and joys), they destroyed our nascent Christian ministries as well!
What kind of sickness is this?
It proves a point painfully clearly - when you're in Vic's domain, you do only as Vic does. If you won't do ministry in the Vic-dictated way... then you don't do ministry. Any ministry you attempt to do will be branded as 'rebellious' or 'out of the headship order' or 'working against fellowship' or 'being delusional' or... well, the list of bloody stupid excuses they have goes on and on forever.
Brother, I encourage you - don't be broken just because they did this to you. I am sure God will give you greater ministries - works of faith so brilliant that their radiance will put the whole wretched RFI network to shame.
Whose Ministry is it?
Let me emphasise it more...
Whose Ministry is it REALLY?
If we are using the concept of "Being in Ministry" for self-aggrandisment purposes - and to be honest folks, I admit to having done so, though not recently - then we are doing so for ALL the wrong reasons, aren't we?
- You know what I mean, I'm sure;
Business cards, name badges with one's "rank" upon them, all that sort of stuff, you know. Verbal introductions of you to large and small groups of people, to hang with baited breath on your every word...
- I did have one name badge made for me by a label engraving company in the 1980's that was the opposite colour scheme from the Latter-Day Saints' missionaries badge they proudly wear, and I used it as a talking point for engaging people in chatting about NOT considering Mormonism - in the street! At the time, I felt that was acceptable, but when it broke in about 2000 I threw it in the bin!
- It was black engraving on a white background, and it said "Ex-Mormon Elder" !
Because He bestows it.
In Matthew's gospel somewhere, Jesus says "You have not chosen ME, but I have chosen YOU and ordained you... etc etc..."
And really, when someone in their misguided way takes something from you that really belongs to God, who are they actually stealing from?
I would venture to suggest that they are robbing God of His servant and that servant's "credentials", wouldn't you?
May I add a rider to that...
But only if God called them in the first place
Does that also help with a wee bit of encouragement?
We are standing against the enemy, my brothers. Please feel encouraged.
What is not of God can only be from those who are opposed to Him.
We all know that while the Lord is the universal fix-it man, HIS timing can not be pre-empted by anyone.
Remember there was an era when these same people used to teach quite correctly about presumption being a sin the whole era in which we live is tarnished, tainted, call it what you will.
Please remember I am on your side!
But we can't keep second guessing ourselves. Better to do good (as per Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good) than nothing.
We hear only DIMLY while we are here so what God loves is us working TO OUR BEST ABILITY by the Holy Spirit, His word shining as a lamp the path, prayer, love, and His still, small and usually dim voice (1 Cor 13:12 We see only dimly now . .).
If God spoke to us clearly non-stop we would be nothing but robots. In-between hearing Him, God obviously wants US to put OURSELVES into our serving. That's the huamn-side of the equation that MCF lost. They went for 100% control and knowledge and ZERO humanity and love. It is love (1 Cor 13) that we operate by in our serving that covers a multitude of sins.
Did Jesus operate like a robot? NO He sought His Father each day early in the morning. The remainder HE WORKED. Who created the parables? Jesus, not the Father. Otherwise the Father would have come down Himself. The parables and His teachings were an expression of Jesus on behalf of the Father. Jesus was not just a robotic mouthpiece.
It's the same for us (except in very special circumstances as described in Scripture).
Mostly there is lots of US in our serving that makes it different if I do it or if you do it. But the same spirit.
The tainted theology at MCF (Melbourne Christian Fellowship) that led to all this is a theology of control by people based on the idea that this makes it 'more real and less mystical' which undoubtedly has some support in Scripture. 'He who cannot love His brother cannot love God' etc.
So it was control by people, but none of the people themselves could minister according to their skills and graces but only by control. Except perhaps at the very top where we watched them lord over us like showmen.
At the end of the day there is very little Scriptural support for the type of control MCF/BCF tried to enact 1993-2010.
were used ENDLESSLY to support elders telling us what to do in our private lives (at threat of loss of salvation) and ELDERS BEING THE FACE OF CHRIST. But these Scriptures don't even come close to saying that! If anything they are saying the opposite! God is shining light and knowledge to us DIRECTLY into our hearts!!!!For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:6
When the epistles discuss 'obedience', when there are examples it's obedience to GENERIC Christian living or if it is specific edicts and judgements by an elder about a specific person it's about their IMMORALITY - not because they like water sports or want to do a postdoc or start a business.
In Acts 15 when an 'edict' was brought out to the Gentile churches it was summarised in a few points: Abstain from sacrificed foods and idols and if you do that you will do well!
In Titus and 1st & 2nd Timothy (books written to leaders) there are no instructions to keep tabs on the jobs and interests of your flock!
In fact no one in the book of Acts ever 'ran to fellowship'! They ran to Christ and salvation! Not psyching-out sessions.
When the apostles got too busy it wasn't because they were having a dozen meetings a week PSYCHING OUT THEIR FLOCK! It was because they were busy looking after widows and wanted to get back to the study and teaching of the word!
In short: the life of the early Church LOOKS NOTHING LIKE life in XCF churches!
It is another gospel they are preaching. What an abomination.
And they said it was less mystical! Nothing could be further from the truth. Because it was believed they had this 'sight' is was like CLAIRVOYANCE! A session with these men was like attending a seance. You knew they were going to see straight through you with their 'eyes' and it HAD to be the Lord (except when it was 'marred headship').
Of course it was all claptrap and presumption and judgement. What rubbish. What sin.
What possible motivation on BCF's part is there for all of this? Jeff Hammond suggests they are just pawns in Satan's hand. Probably true, but what wayward step led them into his hand? It must be a Spirit of Antichrist against the congregation, not seeing Christ in us'?
But why given that Scripture clearly states we see 'dimly for now' (I Cor 13) would they go for this idea of finding whatever you need to know just by talking to an elder? I think Vic's desire for perfection and control and preeminence led him astray and it beat his need for Scriptural support.
And Vic needed to try and one-up Ray Jackson Snr with his revelations.
Just my two bits.
As far as MCF is concerned it seems to me the elders here are just like teenagers seeking pop-stars because they have this UNQUENCHABLE thirst for 'new words'. When Ray Snr failed they had nowhere to go because Christ isn't enough for them.
Men of MCF & BCF: we have the gospel ALREADY! We don't want it re-interpreted every Easter! We don't need any more books thank-you!
Your logical thinking and wordsmithing ability are of immense value here in "debugging" their modus opersndi. May I suggest without your PhD studies and experiences you wouldn't have lifted as many lids off what you have?
Thank you for your posts. They make sense, and you cover your exposes jn a way that should be helpful all round
I have had a lot of time to think about it and have needed to get it down clearly and identify root causes. I have read through the NT about 6 times in the last year trying to find if there is the slightest hint of MCF/BCF theology in there!
There isn't of course.
Also talking about twisted "theology" the current restoring my soul devotional writings (typically a cut and paste from the Hall et al writings) continue to push their "theology" of messenger and present truth emphases (over and over again!) For my thinking this rationale is the biggest danger for leaders/elders (young to old) to fall into lording it over people. If you read their last few days of this they continue to push this barrow. It really does feel like they've notched this stuff up another gear!!
If you have present truth and you're a messenger then you can say anything to anyone. In a setting of faithful and loyal serving people then you have a recipe for serious spiritual abuse. The MCF and TCF abuse of the congregations are classic examples. I can't believe those places haven't emptied with the abuse of people's faith, trust and charity under the control of "obey the messenger". Yet the writings seem to continue to request all accountability from the followers and none from the so-say leaders. It's breathtaking to read!!
Surely a Heavenly Father, Saviour Christ and the help and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit along with the priesthood of all believers (friends, family, neighbors,community etc) is sufficient spiritual input and fellowship into our life without requiring a special category called "messengers". I'm no theologian so please correct me if I'm wrong.
When one thinks critically about it all, it really looks like beating their own chests and nothing like feeding and tending sheep. It's creating titles and positions whilst rejecting the real work at hand.
Truth is, Vic has always fantasized about holding apostleship, and having the (he presumes) power and authority. He has always desired control. I remember, in 2015, just a week or so before he orchestrated my downfall, he was on one of his boastful rambling sessions with the 'reference group' (Vic-speak for 'the local dictators') of Ipoh, and he said in a manner most boastful and with not a speck of humiliation whatsoever, 'If I speak with the word gifting of an apostle, and my actions are as those of an apostle, am I not an apostle?' and he proceeded to grin with utmost satisfaction and lean back in that same smug self-satisfaction - more so because he saw no resistance in the faces of all of us as we foolishly accepted his conceited statement.
I'm quite sure that in the xCFs and for all of RFI, for that matter, what's going on is a huge powermongering game. Vic 'the Vicious Hall' Hall is at the top of this deadly food chain, and he's happy to be there.
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