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watchmanwakes

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John Macarthur's cult network offers a type of counseling to its membership called Nouthetic Counseling. The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) states that its counseling method is a "model of biblical counseling."  NANC is now called The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and according to the ACBC website, three of the five ACBC Training Centers within 300 miles of Los Angeles are The Masters College, The Masters Seminary, and Grace Community Church.

Christians with first-hand knowledge of these three ACBC Training Centers have described Nouthetic Counseling as faulty, cultic, and "an aberrant counseling method." (See Christian Testimonies)

What is Nouthetic Counseling?  Is it a model of biblical counseling? Why is it offered by John Macarthur's ministries? Is Nouthetic Counseling a method for manipulation or mind control?
bjw

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The ACBC thing sounds like it may be a front group, since 3 out of 5 of the training centers are at the 2 headquarters of the cult in Santa Clarita and Sun Valley, which are fairly close to each other, both in the LA area. This is a big moneymaker as some get 6 year masters degrees in this counseling, getting the undergrad degree at the Santa Clarita campus and the grad studies in Sun Valley, with most students doing at least one semester at Ibex (Macarthur's college in Jerusalem, Israel).

With this in mind, it is not unheard of going into debt $100,000 or more for this degree.

My opinion is it is not biblical because it is based on a misinterpretation of Matthew 18, taking the first 3 encounters of synagogue law out of context, ignoring the 70 x 7, or unlimited forgiveness. The premise is all problems in your life are your fault and caused by unconfessed sin in your life, which you can get rid of by confession to your counselor, who picks apart your life looking for unconfessed sin. Also, you have to produce fruit by topping your last progress, getting better and better each time, or that is considered sin. So, there's really no way to ever come out ahead, creating an impossible standard.

Each sin is usually called "stumbling," 3 of which means you are to be "treated as a pagan or a tax collector," which is what other cults call shunning, and Scientology calls disconnection. There are actually similarities between Nouthetic counseling and Dianetics, which is Scientology's counseling. Also, both require a suicide waiver to be signed, as the press has documented 3 suicides resulting from failures in Nouthetic counseling. One being Rick Warren's son of Purpose Driven fame, the other 2 being members of MacArthur's church, Ken Nally and Angelica Ericsson.

An independent third party sits in on a session taking notes, and these are shared with church and/or college officials. I actually had the witness and counselor yell at me once because I had nothing to confess. "Grace to Who"on the Cult Education Forum had a similar experience, calling it a breaking session. I'm not sure if that's the official term for that or not though.

If you want to see the standard the person being counseled is held to, it is printed in the back of the MacArthur study bible as a list called "Character of Genuine Saving Faith," which is basically a list of about 20 items that must be constantly expanding in your life for you to earn salvation, which in theological terms is called "Lordship Salvation."

If any friends or family disagree with the theology, you are to hold them to the same standard, giving them 3 chances to repent or you shun them. When it is used in this manner, or outside of a counseling session it is called the "Restoration Process." I hope this helps. If anyone has more questions feel free to ask.
watch-pray

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Reply with quote  #3 
BJW, can you explain what you mean that Nouthetic Counseling is "based on a misinterpretation of Matthew 18, taking the first 3 encounters of synagogue law out of context..."? How exactly do the counselors misinterpret Matthew 18? And what are the first 3 encounters of synagogue law?

I guess I'm surprised that TMC can get away with this type of abuse. Do the students just accept the invasion of their privacy, the screaming sessions and shunning without question? What about their parents?  Do some students privately object and discuss their objections with friends?  Sharing objections with friends instead of counselors is probably considered rebellion to authority.

Also, I noticed there are two co-ed dorms on campus. Does this make it difficult for the students to maintain the high moral standards required by the school?  Seems like it could be a stumbling block for at least some students.
bjw

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Reply with quote  #4 
Sorry, it wouldn't let me quote you, but I will try to answer each question in the order you asked them.

The Matt. 18 issue is somewhat complicated but I will do my best to try to explain it, as it is the point where many theologians feel Lordship Salvation departs from mainstream Christianity. Under Old Testament law, prior to Christ, it took 2 or 3 witnesses to convict someone of a crime, as in Deuteronomy 17 where it mentions how to convict a murderer to be stoned to death. The debate is with how much of this is to continue today and what in the law was fulfilled in Christ. In Matthew 18, right after the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus tells them how to get a fellow believer who trespasses against you back into the fold. This is where they take verses 15 to 20 out of context. They merge the idea of forgiving someone who has sinned against you, and getting them back into the fold, with old synagogue law. Nouthetic counseling is based on using this to convict people of sins against the church, bad thoughts, or other sins that are allegedly robbing you of fellowship with God. The idea is you only have problems in your life if you have unconfessed sin, which means God is currently not listening to your prayers, or you are not producing enough fruit in your life, meaning you are not showing enough evidence you are saved. This then places you on the lordship treadmill of constantly trying to show evidence.

Matthew 18 is really about love and forgiveness. Jesus gives the parable of the lost sheep to show these verses are about forgiving friends who wrong us, which is in the first 14 verses. Right after verse 20 Jesus tells Peter forgiveness is unlimited, which nullifies their view of shunning someone for 3 sins. Toward the end of the chapter is the parable of the servant, which shows we should be willing to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Reading the whole of Matthew 18 in context shows how they are misinterpreting these verses to fit their doctrines.

To answer the next question, people do accept the abuse, but only because there is a lot of conditioning that occurs first. It is a very slow mind control process, people are not given everything at first, otherwise they would reject it. They are first very cleverly convinced of how intelligent MacArthur is, how well he knows Greek and Hebrew, given introductory materials that slowly introduce the topics, introduced to conspiracy theories about psychiatry, introduced to nouthetic counseling usually through the restoration process doctrine, shown how other churches teach a watered down salvation. Looking back I can tell how the whole love-bombing process worked and how I was being brainwashed. After researching cult mind control on the cult education site I can see how it worked. Much of it is through very aggressive peer pressure, as wow staffers go out and befriend a certain number of new recruits, then report back things you say about your hobbies, things they can use to push your buttons, etc. Within the first six weeks of living with these people you have probably already succumbed to the restoration process to confess sins, and may have started full fledged counseling. I noticed there were some kids who would break off ties with their families because they wouldn't accept something about the theology. It is a very sinister process and happens so fast you often don't realize it. The people commiting the abuse believe it iis part of list 3, which tells them to guard their gospel.

As to sharing things with friends, that is only allowable if it is under the restoration process. Otherwise, you have to make sure it is someone who shares your views and is not wow staff, as wow staff will pretend anything to get more info out of you they can report.

The coed dorms you mention, I believe Hotchkiss, Smith, Slight, and Oaktree are coed. The 2 dorm style ones are divided down the middle by a large lobby, so they are really like two buildings with a large divider. The other 2, slight and oaktree, are apartment style and one side of the building is for men, the other for women. So, the only true coed rooms are the few set apart for married couples. The problem you mentioned has happened, but not because of any problem created by the dorms. These problems are usually dealt with through the restoration process and nouthetic counseling.

I hope this helps and was a good answer to your questions. Feel free to ask anything else you would like me to clarify.
watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #5 
BJW,

You mention how The Masters College employed practices like Nouthetic Counseling, Shunning, and the Restoration Process and you have made it clear that none of these practices are biblical.  Do you know if the Grace Community Church members in Sun Valley were/are also subject to these mind control methods or was it just for TMC students?   
bjw

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Yes, GCC uses nouthetic counseling as the only acceptable therapy for their members and they are also expected to implimemt the restoration process. So, no, it was not just the college that did these things.

In fact, after the Sunday night service at GCC they would have nouthetic counseling interns offering free sessions to whoever wanted to go backstage, as the interns need so many hours of practice for their degree.

Even members who don't attend counseling sessions are expected to be held accountable to someone for their sins, even if a small group leader or accountability group leader. The person must be "more mature" than you, and you confide in them about any sinful thoughts or actions. He reports it to the church if it happens again, and after a third time you go through a shunning process until you improve.

This was done at the churches in the LA area where MacArthur's students were doing their internships, and I understand it happens at MacArthur's satellite churches as well. For further examples of this, see the posts by "Grace to Who" from Cult Education Forum. She describes these things going on at her church that was taken over by Macarthur's goons. The part about the "breaking sessions" was particularly interesting.
watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #7 
A few years ago I attended GCC's Sunday night sermon a few times.  I know from these visits that to Macarthur's right is a prayer room where maybe 2 or 3 men and a woman will meet the Christians who need prayer or counsel after the sermon.  Do you believe that these men and women who work in Macarthur's prayer room are all trained Nouthetic Counselors?  I have wondered what is required of a man or woman who is allowed to meet people for prayer.  It seems to me that they must be fully on board with the program to be given this work.     
bjw

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yes, this is probably what this is for. Back when I was there they specifically said biblical counseling, but it more than likely serves the same purpose, they just might be wording it differently. They more than likely are interns in the nouthetic counseling program.
watch-pray

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It seems obvious that John MacArthur's Nouthetic Counseling is based on Scientology's Dianetic Auditing? How did that happen? I think the hidden connection between Scientology and John MacArthur's global organization is Scottish Rite Freemasonry. MacArthur's family connections to the Scottish Rite are already documented:

http://watch-unto-prayer.org/macarthur-6-freemasonry.html


The source of Scientology is also in Scottish Rite Freemasonry. According to John Daniel's book Scarlet & The Beast, the origins of Scientology was Aleister Crowley's OTO which started in Great Britain and later established a lodge to Pasadena, CA. Crowley was a 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason, British intelligence agent, founder of the OTO and initiator of L Ron Hubbard.

http://www.friendsofsabbath.org/Further_Research/e-books/Two-Freemasonry.pdf

Excerpts from Scarlet & The Beast:

"Maury Terry, and American investigative journalist, tells in 'The Ultimate Evil' how the O.T.O. got started in our country:

"After internal dissension, elements of the Golden Dawn more or less merged into the Ordo Templi Orientis. Aleister Crowley won permission to head a British OTO branch, and the teachings of the OTO entered the United States with Crowley in 1916, during World War I in Europe.'


"Later, during World War II, Crowley helped establish an OTO lodge in Pasadena, California, and OTO branches subsequently sprouted in a number of U.S. cities, including New York and Houston. In effect, a loose network was formed and already functioning via occult shops and bookstores, newsletters, ads in the underground press and other methods.'


"THE O.T.O. AND THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY [The following is quoted from 'Scarlet and the Beast,' Vol. 1, pp. 433-434.] After Crowley's death, Freemason L. Ron Hubbard acquired the O.T.O. leadership in America. Robert Anton Wilson, co-author with Timothy Leary of 'Neuropolitics' in 1977, explains that 'Hubbard's system is derived largely from Aleister Crowley.... Hubbard was a member of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis in the 1940s; and Hubbard later...invented a system which seems, to those of us who know both, very similar to the system taught by Crowley in the O.T.O.

"Hubbard was initiated into the O.T.O. in 1944 by Aleister Crowley himself. After Crowley's death, the O.T.O. was headquartered for a time in Hubbard's Church of Scientology. In 1992 'The Auditor,' the journal of Scientology, reports that there are 146 Scientology centers worldwide, with 54 of them in the United States and Canada alone."

http://www.lermanet.com/scientology-and-occult/scarlet-and-the-beast.htm


The International headquarters of Scientology, called Gold Base (an alchemical term used in Masonry), is located in Hemet, CA, 100 miles SE of Los Angeles. Prior to Gold Base, the international headquarters was in Saint Hill Manor, Great Britain, where “L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, bought the mansion from Sawai Man Singh II, the Maharajah of Jaipur, in 1959. He lived there until early 1966.”  The current president, David Miscavige, joined the Church of Scientology in 1971 and moved to Saint Hill Manor UK with his family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Hill_Manor
 

 

According to Wikipedia, Hubbard purchased Gold Base in 1978 as an attempt to replicate the Scottish Highlands, which is the territory formerly held by the Scottish Clan MacArthur.

 

“The Church of Scientology acquired the property, which had formerly been a resort called Gilman Hot Springs, in 1978. It had previously been a popular Inland Empire vacation spot and spa established in the 1890s but went bankrupt in the late 1970s due to changes in American vacation habits. Bought for cash in great secrecy by the Church, using the alias of the ‘Scottish Highland Quietude Club,’ it has since been developed and expanded considerably.”

 

“There are around 50 buildings on the property, many built in a mock-Scottish Highlands style.”

 

“The south side of the base is primarily used by Golden Era Productions, the Church of Scientology's in-house movie studio. It includes a 74,000-square-foot (6,900 m2) studio in the shape of a Scottish castle, which was built in 1997–98 at a cost of $10.8 million to serve as a production facility for the Church's training and promotional films and videos.’

 

“A number of ‘Staff Berthing’ blocks are located a few hundred yards away, housing around 1,000 members of the Church's Sea Org. In keeping with the base's Scottish theme, each building is named after a different Scottish clan and bears its crest.”

“The Church claims that Hubbard ‘had a fascination with all things Scottish [and] chose the Gilman Hot Springs property after discovering it while scouting filming locations that looked like Scotland’. It was acquired in conditions of extraordinary secrecy. $2.7 million in cash was paid by the new owners, who called themselves the ‘Scottish Highland Quietude Club’.”

"‘Bonnie View’, Hubbard's $9.4 million mansion at Gold Base.”

 

Exterior of "The Castle", the movie studio built at Gold Base in 1997–8 in the style of a Scottish castle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Base

bjw

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Reply with quote  #10 
It has been proven Hubbard was a follower of Aliester Crowley and Jack Parsons, and was briefly involved in the CIA mind control experiments called "Operation Artichoke." Hubbard's own son testified in court that some of Scientology was derived from black magic rituals spread out over long periods, I think there's a video of it on Youtube somewhere.

Dianetics, Hubbard's original work, is based on aberative and regression therapy. In pop psychology terms, that means you have things from the past stored in your mind that are causing you problems in life, and the only way to be cured is to go back through your life and go over these earlier incidents, and talk about them to your counselor until they no longer cause you any pain. Eventually a person is said to reach a state of "clear" and have no more problems, then they can become power of matter, energy, space, and time, and I believe a ufo creation story is revealed to the person at that point as well.

This is very similar to Nouthetic Counseling's method of going through past events, looking for unconfessed sin, and restoring a person to a condition where God will again hear their prayers and they will be in full fellowship with God and the church while being cured of mental problems or life problems in general. It's almost like they just dressed up Dianetics with a Christian perspective by removing the reincarnation and ufo elements and replacing them with a Christian theme.

Some more similarities are the high costs of training, shunning or disconnection used as punishment for transgressions, not being allowed to affiliate with those who disagree with or have left the group, "breaking sessions" mentioned earlier are similar to Scientology's "sec check" practice, and also ignoring those with psychotic or mental breakdowns as having sin problems (this was seen in a link I posted in the first topic on how they treat add and schizophrenics, as well as Ezzo's treatment of crying babies). Also, the wow staff structure and the way people have to report on one another seems like it may have some origin in Hubbard's Sea Org structure and what Scientology calls "knowledge reports."

So, I think watchpray did a lot of good research and I think we are just scratching the surface of this topic. It may definitely reveal more about the mind control used by MacArthur.
watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #11 
Watch-pray,

Excellent research in connecting L Ron Hubbard with "all things Scottish."  And you have shown that it is entirely believable that Scottish Rite Masonry is the hidden connection between Scientology and John Macarthur's global organization. 

bjw

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Since this thread was started later than the original thread on MacArthur, I wanted to post this link on this thread so the material is available here. I highly recommend reading both the article itself, as well as what the people post underneath. Some seem to be former members, and some quote some very alarming info, such as quotes from Jay Adams that seem very similar to L. Ron Hubbard's "Introspection Rundown " doctrine.

http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/05/02/intro-to-nouthetic-biblical-counseling-and-its-founder-dr-jay-e-adams/

I am not sure about what else is at this site, but I found this article very revealing. I think reading the posts the people make it shows not only the Scientology connection, but also may explain a lot about why they were so quick to accept Gary Ezzo. Also, this is where I first found out about Rick Warren's son commiting suicide.

If you stumbled onto this site through an online search and are considering this counseling, please read this article and the posts under it very carefully, and seek valid medical treatment for any condition, mental or otherwise, as they may be a sign of a serious condition. These people are not legitimate trained professionals that they claim to be and this counseling is simply a mind-control technique designed to rope you into slavery to a cult. Remember, they have no real training or authority over you, ultimately it is your decision. Also, read about the failures this counseling has had, including a malpractice suit by the parents of Ken Nally.
watch-pray

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The following comment on the Wartburg Watch forum reveals how Matthew 18 was altered by Jay Adams so the pastors and elders usurp the authority that God gave to the church body.

Quote:

The first time I was introduced to Jay Adams speaking was a video streaming of his talk at Jeff Noblitt's church. It was a conference for young pastors about church discipline.

I was appalled at what he taught and he lost me when he ADDED a step to Matthew 18 that was NOT in the bible. He added that we are to take it to the elders before we take it to the entire church. Sorry but that is not in there. He claims it is inherent in that passage.

And the young men just ate it up. I wrote him off after that.



Matt. 18
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

God may have invested the responsibility for church discipline in the church body as a whole to insure that powerful elders could not substitute their own agenda for
God's Word.

The Wartburg Watch exposes a lot of abuse in churches and denominations. So it's not just MacArthur's church and institutions but churches everywhere seem to be attacking the sheep and protecting the goats.  There is a reason for this, I think, because the denominations and churches across the board have been infiltrated by organized Freemasonry. Masons usually hide their affiliation and many function as intelligence agents in the churches. They also work their way into positions of church leadership and then run the church like a cult. They gather information on Christians and persecute those who oppose their departure from God's Word. Years ago I was in a denominational church where the entire elder and governing boards were comprised of Masons and the head elder was a private detective. One deacon's children were involved in incest, yet he remained a deacon while the elders knew of it. I learned all of this after the church split over abortion when the youth leaders taught against it. Incest and abortion were acceptable to the Masonic leadership, which only paid lipservice to the Word of God. So it's no coincidence that church leaders are ignoring God's Word and the churches are like cults today.

 

watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #14 
It's possible Nouthetic Counselors can function as spies and that NANC may have ties to the intelligence agencies.  I have read that the first psychiatrists were intelligence operatives (spies) and psychotherapy is a great way to learn of people's very private business and a way to influence their private life to their disadvantage.  A wife, for instance, who goes to a therapist (and possibly even without her husband's knowledge) may spill all kinds of secrets that may threaten her husband's and their livelihood if the therapist was to use this secret info against them in some way.  And I wouldn't assume that anything that was said during NANC counseling was ever actually kept in confidence.  So what a great way to potentially spy on and to influence Christians by setting up a counseling org that trains men to enter churches to hear all kinds of very personal matters.  And similarly we see even in these small church groups the constant exhortation by the group leader (some of whom may be NANC counselors) to the group participants to be open and to expose their innermost thoughts and feelings....  Don't trust man!  Why should a Christian trust a well-paid NANC counselor who functions like some in-house church shrink when they have God's word?  And just as the Rockefeller controlled seminaries train men to influence and to control and to destroy Christians from the pulpit, NANC can train men to spy and to influence adversely under the guise of Christian counseling. 

Now NANC has since changed it's name to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).  And ACBC's address is now the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville, KY.  The SBTS is the main seminary for the SBC which is controlled by Freemasonry ande which is an NGO of the UN with Special Consultative Status.  And the president of the SBTS is Al Mohler who leads two NGO's of the UN (he is also the Vice Chairman of Focus on the family [a UN-NGO]) and has signed the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration.  So I believe this is even more reason to distrust your church's NANC/ACBC trained counselor.
watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #15 
The following from The Brainwashing Manual by L Ron Hubbard shows that political operatives/"therapists" hostile to Christianity seek to usurp and to destroy the authority of Christian ministers in handling the "mental condition" of those under their influence.  (Click here to read the Brainwashing Manual's parallels in Scientology.)

CHAPTER XIV

THE SMASHING OF RELIGIOUS GROUPS

You must know that until recent times the complete subject of
mental derangement, whether so light as simple worry or so
heavy as insanity, was the sphere of activity of the church and
only the church.
   
Traditionally in civilized nations and barbaric ones the priest-
hood alone had in complete charge the mental condition of the
citizen. As a matter of great concern to the psychopolitician this
tendency still exists in every public in the Western World and
scientific inroads into this sphere has occurred only in official
and never in public quarters.
   
The magnificent tool welded for us by Wundt would be as
nothing if it were not for official insistence in civilized countries
that "scientific practices" be applied to the problem of the mind.
Without this official insistence or even if it relapsed for a moment,
the masses would grasp stupidity for the priest, the minister, the
clergy when mental condition came in question. Today in Europe
and America "scientific practices" in the field of the mind would
not last moments if not enforced entirely by officialdom.
   
It must be carefully hidden that the incidence of insanity has
increased only since these "scientific practices" were applied.
Great remarks must be made of "the pace of modern living" and
other myths as the cause of the increased neurosis in the world.
It is nothing to us what causes it if anything does. It is everything
to us that no evidence of any kind shall be tolerated afoot to
permit the public tendency toward the church its way. If given
their heads, if left to themselves to decide, independent of official-
dom, where they would place their deranged loved ones, the
public would choose religious sanatoriums and would avoid as if
plagued places where "scientific practices" prevail.
   
Given any slightest encouragement, public support would
swing on an instant all mental healing into the hands of the
churches. And there are Churches waiting to receive it, clever
churches. That terrible monster the Roman Catholic Church

still dominates mental healing heavily throughout the Christian
world and their well schooled priests are always at work to turn
the public their way. In the field of pure healing the Church of
Christ Science of Boston, Massachusetts excells in commanding
the public favour and operates many sanatoriums. All these
must be swept aside. They must be ridiculed and defamed and
every cure they advertise must be asserted as a hoax. A full fifth
of a psychopolitician's time should be devoted to smashing these
threats. Just as in Russia we had to destroy, after many many
years of the most arduous work, the Church, so we must destroy
all faiths in nations marked for conquest.
   
Insanity must be made to hound the footsteps of every priest
and practitioner. His best results must be turned to jibbering
insanities no matter what means we have to use.
   
You need not care what effect you have upon the public. The
effect you care about is the one upon officials. You must recruit
every agency of the nation marked for slaughter into a foaming
hatred of religious healing. You must suborne district attorneys
and judges into an intense belief as fervent as an ancient faith in
God that Christian Science or any other religious practice which
might devote itself to mental healing is vicious, bad, insanity-
causing, publicly hated and intolerable.
   
You must suborne [sic] and recruit any medical healing organiza-
tion into collusion in this campaign. You must appeal to their
avarice and even their humanity to invite their co-operation in
smashing all religious healing and thus, to our end, care of the
insane. You must see that such societies have only qualified
Communist-indoctrines as their advisers in this matter. For you
can use such societies. They are stupid and stampede easily.
Their cloak and degrees can be used quite well to mask any
operation we care to have masked. We must make them partners
in our endeavour so that they will never be able to crawl from
beneath our thumb and discredit us.
   
We have battled in America since the century's turn to bring
to nothing any and all Christian influences and we are succeeding.
While we today seem to be kind to the Christian remember we
have yet to influence the "Christian world" to our ends. When
that is done we shall have an end of them everywhere. You may

see them here in Russia as trained apes. They do not know their
tether is long only until the apes in other lands have become
unwary.
   
You must work until "religion" is synonymous with "insanity".
You must work until the officials of city, county and state govern-
ments will not think twice before they pounce upon religious
group as public enemies.
 
Remember, all lands are governed by the few and only pretend
to consult with the many. It is no different in America. The
petty official, the maker of laws alike can be made to believe the
worst. It is not necessary to convince the masses. It is only
necessary to work incessantly upon the official, using personal
defamations, wild lies, false evidences and constant propaganda
to make him fight for you against church or against any
practitioner.
   
Like the official the bona-fide medical healer also believes the
worst if it can be shown to him as dangerous competition. And
like the Christian, should be seek to take from us any right we
have gained, we shall finish him as well.
   
We must be like the vine upon the tree. We use the tree to
climb and then, strangling it, grow into power on the nourish-
ment of its flesh.
   
We must strike from our path any opposition. We must use
for our tool any authority that comes to hand. And then at
last, the decades sped, we can dispense with all authority save
our own and triumph in the greater glory of the Party.

bjw

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Reply with quote  #16 
This is a good find, and I think it is further proof that GCC and it's college and satellite affiliates are not simply one minister's use of "biblical" hermeneutics to bless us with long lost biblical "truths," but is a carefully crafted mind-control scheme to take control of not only the people it happens to snare, but Christianity in general. Even before I knew of these things, if you check what I was saying at the cult ed forum, I always knew in the back of my mind this was far too elaborate of a con to be thought of by simply one person.
watch-pray

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Reply with quote  #17 
The Brainwashing Manual Parallels in Scientology is a gold mine of information. I see many parallels between Scientology and John MacArthur's brainwashing operation. Here are just a few:
 
Fair Game

“In Scientology sanity is measured by the degree of agreement with Scientology. People regarded as ‘critical’ of Scientology are considered as ‘anti-Scientology’ and are labeled as ‘anti-social personalities.’ Hubbard wrote in the book Science of Survival that such people ‘should not have, in any thinking society, any civil rights of any kind.’ From this outlook came many policies, including that of Fair Game, one wording of which instructed that ‘enemies’: ‘May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed.’” (p. 5)
 
Forced Confessions

“The [Rehabilitation Project Force] places special emphasis on ‘confessional’ counseling. It’s ‘axiomatic’ to an ‘RPFer’ that he or she has done lots of bad things and has many evil intentions. It is accepted that the RPFer will recall and confess these things. This includes misdeeds from the RPFer’s pre-Scientology life as a ‘Wog,’ plus specialized Scientological misdeeds, such as having ‘unkind thoughts about LRH,’ and also a vast supply of evil intentions and misdeeds from degraded earlier lifetimes...

“The individual is reduced to an overwhelmed and subservient state, and in that state, repeatedly expected to ‘demonstrate errors in himself’- errors that must be there. One extreme form of ‘confession’ is called “gang bang security check.’ In 1994 Stacy Young, a former Sea Org member, wrote of her experience:

    “Two very large, strong men… locked me in a room and interrogated me for hours. During the interrogation, they screamed and swore at me. They accused me of all sorts of crimes against Scientology. They demanded that I confess to being an enemy agent.” (p. 41)

The Cult = God/Salvation

"Punishments from Scientology to Scientologists have the added significance of being administered to persons who believe the source of that punishment is the ultimate authority on all things having to do with the mind and spirit. Scientology promises infinite pleasure to those who cooperate with it, and infinite pain to those who don’t. It also has access to the membership’s private thoughts and personal experiences through detailed counseling files, and has a history of using personal counseling information in any way that it deems furthers its own ends.” (p. 42)

http://www.lermanet.com/exit/manney/BrainwashingManualParallels.pdf
watch-pray

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Reply with quote  #18 
The Brainwashing Manual also reveals the real reason behind the anti-psychiatry crusade of L Ron Hubbard:

"John Sanborn was the editor of several of Hubbard’s Dianetic and Scientology books, and an editor of Scientology publications during the 1950s. He left Scientology in the early 1980s. In 1986 he recounted the inception of the Brainwashing Manual:

“I suggested it. Just kidding around on his front porch [on] Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. Talking about how are we going to ‘get’ these psychiatrists. I said, ‘What we need to do is take over their subject. What we need to do is put out a manual of psych-military something or other… as coming from the Communists, and then put a lot of psychiatry in it.’

“And we’re sitting there, with our chairs tipped back on the front porch, tipped up against the house, with our feet up on the railing, and all of a sudden he comes down on his chair and he grabs me.

“And I thought, ‘I’ve had it.’

“And he said, ‘That’s it!’

“Then he disappeared into this little front room which was sort of a bedroom and study, and you could hear him in there dictating this book.” (p. 9)

I suspected this was the motive and strategy of Hubbard and also John MacArthur. They were/are not really anti-psychiatry, because they seem to practice psychoanalysis (Dianetic Auditing/Nouthetic Counseling) and teach courses on applied psychology.* What they've done is to co-opt psychiatry and pervert its techniques in order to abuse rather than heal people.

*One ex-Scientologist wrote: “It might be surprising to hear that some of the low-level courses in Scientology are well-designed applied psychology classes, but this was my experience, and behind the scenes, were one of the most corrupt organizations...”
disciple

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Reply with quote  #19 
I have a BA in psychology; one of my close friends has a PhD in psychiatry. From what I learned in psychology and what my friend is practicing, I don't believe the existence of 'Christian psychiatric counseling.' We have the science of medicine, but we do not have the Christian science of medicine. There was absolutely NO counseling in the first churches, but praying for the sick and the troubled. The Holy Spirit is the only qualified counsellor and teacher. The Bible says a truly born in God has the anointing from Christ. Those who need men's counseling are NOT yet born of God, they should be treated as non-believers who need help.
Conclusion: the counseling industry in church is totally unnecessary.
Callie

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Reply with quote  #20 
My ex-church, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (rents from the Seventh Day Adventists in Sunnyvale, CA) is headed by a Master's College & Master's Seminary graduate, Cliff McManis. 

McManis is as brutal as John MacArthur. Cliff McManis and the GBF pastors/elders, his personal friends that he selected for these jobs and are all 'yes men' (Sam Kim, Tim Wong, and Bob Douglas) believe in this grossly incompetent form of counseling, Biblical/Nouthetic. 

They have NO training and their "counsel" consists of screaming at people, demeaning them, saying something isn't important, that there shouldn't be a problem, and going off on tangents. 

Examples:
* The Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley pastors/elders wasted huge amounts of members' time on meeting about all of the drama and problems caused by one woman church member. In their meetings with me the GBF pastors elders drew on a chalkboard about gossip, etc. I had to act interested.  They had COMPLETELY missed the point.  This woman is a practicing alcoholic. All of her drama was caused by alcoholism. She should have been under the care of a physician who should have directed her care for alcoholism. 

Instead, she didn't the proper care she needed. She was ultimately harmed, her children were harmed, and church members were harmed.  The GBFSV pastors/elders even made some members go to apologize to her for the harm she caused them! 

The real issue - substance abuse/alcoholism - was NEVER dealt with!

*The Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley pastors/elders demanded meetings based on the accusations of a woman church member who is a dyslexic that other members were "lying" about events and that they had "never taken place."  The woman church member can't work and gets a check from the government due to her disability.  She lives with a family member. 

Dyslexia is a genetically inherited brain disorder that isn't just a reading problem, but a memory problem: both short-term and working memory are impacted.  In her case it is severe.  She refuses to get medical care or go to support groups for her disability. She says that "Jesus could cure [her] dyslexia if He wanted to."  OK, that hasn't happened, lady. Jesus gave you medical care and support groups - go!

The GBFSV pastors/elders then accused other members, like me of lying. 

*Countless other FAILS by these incompetent pastors/elders with ZERO training who have done so much damage to so many peoples' lives. 

If it all really works...throwing Scripture verses at things...why do they (and John MacArthur and Jay Adams the founder of this form of counseling) all wear prescription glasses for their vision problems?  Why not just throw a few Scripture verses around and be cured of vision problems?  Why not confess that "sin" is causing your vision problems?

I have never seen a bigger bunch of dangerous whacks than all of these people.

Callie

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Reply with quote  #21 
Somewhere in this thread someone mentioned these groups that you are supposed to attend at a church that is run by the MacArthurites.  Info about you is gathered and turned in up the chain to the pastors/elders.

That was EXACTLY my experience, and that of other ex-members, at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (renting from the Seventh Day Adventists in Sunnyvale, CA at present).  GBFSV is headed by a Masters College/Seminary graduate, Cliff McManis.  McManis is constantly flexing his authority, accusing people of being 'unsubmissive' for asking any questions, telling church members that they're "destined for Hell" and "not one of us", and lying about members before the entire church and ordering their harassment, excommunication and shunning. He did to two other godly Christians before me (one woman for leaving the church and refusing to return because she thought he and they were nuts; another man/doctor for dissenting/thinking - he's a friend of John MacArthurs, and finally me for discovering a sex offender at church (their friend), and not having the pastors/elders dictate every area of my life.

In my early years at GBFSV, pastor Cliff McManis screamed at me in an elder's meeting about why I wasn't going to all of these activities and a weeknight Bible study. My reply: I work and I commute. I'm not home in time."  These relentless demand to have everything in your life be centered around the church is cultic.  It is brain washing.  And yes, what we said was reported up the chain of command. 

My former Bible study leader, a man incapable of independent thinking and who drinks the Kool-Aid, was recently appointed an elder.  Of course he was, he has no spine. 

So many people left this coercive church before then.  They didn't say a word. They would have been disciplined.  But it now makes sense.  They saw the damage adding up. Kudos to the people who spotted it right away and walked out the door before the sermon even finished.  
bjw

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Reply with quote  #22 
Since we are in the process of debunking claims made by "controlled opposition" sites, I wanted to post something refuting a claim made by a poster that has posted here and at another site claiming Jay Adams is the one that developed the ideas for Nouthetic Counseling, which was later expanded upon by John MacArthur and Wayne Mack. 
Jay Adams wrote his book Competent to Counsel in 1970 introducing the ideas for his counseling, but did not develop his so-called treatment for schizophrenia until 1976, which is:

“Don’t accept the claim that a person is “out of touch with reality” unless some organic cause for “catatonic” behavior has been detected. Counsel the individual as if he is in touch with reality. If what you say is threatening enough,*** he will respond. Try to learn what it is he is attempting to avoid. Investigate each case to discover what is behind it, and counsel accordingly.”

*** For instance, “If you will not talk or take care of your personal needs, we will have to leave you here to soil your underwear and deficate [sic] in your clothing.”-end quote

So, Adams suggests a breaking session followed by the restoration process, and then leaving the person in isolation until they decide to snap out of the schizophrenia and stop avoiding the alleged sin that is causing it.  The person will even be left to soil their clothing.

This is very similar to a doctrine developed much earlier than this in the Church of Scientology published by L. Ron Hubbard as the "Introspection Rundown" in 1974, but from accounts of former members of Scientology was in use much earlier when Hubbard ran the church headquarters from a cruise ship named Apollo, as people were treated by forced confessions and isolations.  The Introspection Rundown is specifically meant for psychotic breaks, such as would occur with schizophrenia.  So, Hubbard developed his counseling when Dianetics was published in 1950, Adams was not published until 20 years later.

You can google the court case for Lisa MacPherson, who developed schizophrenia and was checked out of a mental hospital by Scientology officials, since all Scientologists sign an advance directive saying they refuse psychiatric treatment.  She was isolated at Scientology's headquarters for 2 weeks without food or water and was found dead, dehydrated, and covered in feces.  Scientology had put her through auditing sessions (confessional on a lie detector), and locked her in a room where she couldn't leave, and she was talking to people who weren't there while refusing to eat.  Scientology's treatment for schizophrenia is no different than what was suggested by Jay Adams in the above quote.  It doesn't end there, as there are more similarities between the two, such as both see psychiatry as in a conspiracy to destroy religion.

So, this is even further proof, despite what they have been saying, that these ideas did not originate with Jay Adams, and counseling cults were prospering in the 60s and 70s, meaning Adams had fertile ground to build on, adapting the craze for Christianity.  Both of these cults build on Regression Therapy that was advocated by early psychology thinkers like Freud, and have been rejected as harmful by most modern therapists, who now advocate an approach that focuses on the present and not worrying about the past or future.  Regression therapy is now seen as dredging up old memories that, instead of getting it off your chest, can actually cause more harm than good.  However, cults want you to submit, and confessing to them is a big part of this.

watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #23 
BJW, Are you saying that the roots of Nouthetic Counseling are to be found in Dianetics/Scientology? 
bjw

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by watchmanwakes
BJW, Are you saying that the roots of Nouthetic Counseling are to be found in Dianetics/Scientology? 
Yes, these methods, particularly the regression style therapy, confessionals, disciplinary program, and treatment for psychosis like schizophrenia were done by Scientology first.
watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #25 

The following was written by Watch-Pray on this forum:

It seems obvious that John MacArthur's Nouthetic Counseling is based on Scientology's Dianetic Auditing? How did that happen? I think the hidden connection between Scientology and John MacArthur's global organization is Scottish Rite Freemasonry. MacArthur's family connections to the Scottish Rite are already documented: John Macarthur: Freemason.

 

 

bjw

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Reply with quote  #26 
Also, Hubbard borrowed many concepts from Aliester Crowley and Jack Parsons, and they along with Hubbard were members of an offshoot of Scottish Rite Masonry called Ordo Templi Orientis.  There is a concept called "magical memory" in OTO that is very similar to techniques used in Regression Therapy.  This concept of perfecting the self over a period of time is common to all of these organizations, and I noticed nouthetic counselors used this always telling you that you are "a work in progress" and your obedience will increase over time and you will show more and more good works as you are perfected.  Hubbard has a concept in Scientology called "stats" that is similar where your previous progress must be topped by your next progress in order to advance.  The "suppressive person/pts" concept in Scientology is also very similar to MacArthur's "restoration process."  (I believe they developed the doctrines first, then shoehorned Bible verses to attempt to prove them, like Matthew 18 for their "restoration process.")

OTO and Scottish Rite have a very similar degree structure based on the kabbalistic tree of life.  So much time has elapsed since the 1940s that it is hard to tell who is still affiliated with what, but it wouldn't surprise me if behind the scenes something was going on we don't know about.  With Scientology and Nouthetic Counseling, there is way too many similarities for it to be coincidence, from the logo having two pyramids for TMC and Scientology both, and the similar concepts that keep popping up in the counseling and procedures.  I started studying about Scientology once my therapist told me he saw the similarities, and I keep learning things about it that still keep surprising me.
watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjw
Also, Hubbard borrowed many concepts from Aliester Crowley and Jack Parsons, and they along with Hubbard were members of an offshoot of Scottish Rite Masonry called Ordo Templi Orientis. 


"According to Hubbard's son L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., his father considered himself to be the successor to Crowley when Crowley died in 1947; he believed that he had taken on 'the mantle of the Beast.' Hubbard told his son that Scientology actually began on December the 1st, 1947, the day Aleister Crowley died." (link)

Taken from The Satanic Elements of Scientology:

"Scientology also teaches that Jesus Christ, the whole Gospel story, and Heaven are implants designed to enslave man, and that only Scientology has the way to free humankind from the enslavement of Christianity or other religions and religious beliefs."

Taken from John Macarthur: Mainstreaming Paganism in the Church:

"It is difficult to resist the suspicion that John MacArthur is promoting Masonic ideology, which values “freedom of conscience” and the “pursuit of individual happiness” above all else and therefore views submission to God as abject slavery. John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracyin fact describes the initiation ritual of Freemasonry as setting the initiate free from the “slavery” of “submission” and “false religion” (i.e. Christianity), and disclosed the Masonic plan to abolish Christianity altogether: 

It was then discovered that this and several associated Lodges were the nursery or preparation school for another Order of Masons, who called themselves the ILLUMINATED, and that the express aim of this Order was to abolish Christianity, and overturn all civil government...

 

The candidate is presented for reception in the character of a slave; and it is demanded of him what has brought him into this most miserable of all conditions. He answersSocietythe StateSubmissivenessFalse Religion...

 

“It surely needs little argument now to prove, that the Order of Illuminati had for its immediate object the abolishing of Christianity.” (John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy, pp. 60, 110, 124)



kr2726

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Reply with quote  #28 

I am certainly no fan of John Macarthur, yet it is deeply disturbing to me that the body of Christ has bought the chemical imbalance myth, which was invented to sell drugs.  An excellent documentary which addresses this subject is http://www.youtube.com Making a Killing the Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging.  It is stated in one of the comments about that mental illness can be neurologically substantiated by a brain scan.  

Unfortunately, that is not true.  In the above documentary psychiatrists are interviewed going to a convention. They all admit that if a patient comes to them saying they're depressed or hearing voices, there IS no blood test or brain scan that can document it; psychiatrists simply prescribe drugs--and many (if not most) are also taking pharmaceutical kickbacks.  This is big business.

In the eighties psychiatric units had group therapy, and psychiatric nurses who wrote contracts for patients (especially suicidal patients) to sign. But that wasn't financially lucrative, so a Dr. Joseph Biederman (a Harvard child psychiatrist who was later found to have hidden more than a million dollars in pharmaceutical kickbacks) invented the bipolar fad, and antipsychotics use took off, especially for children, and especially for foster children, 8 million of whom are being destroyed on antipsychotics while their doctors take pharmaceutical kickbacks.  These drugs, phenothiazines, bug-killers, de-worming agents, shrink the brain and cause permanent memory loss and inability to feel love (an apathy syndrome).

Go to http://www.propublica.org Dollars for Doctors to find kickbacks Medicare doctors are receiving, or http://www.cms.gov Open Payments for all Big Pharma payments to doctors.  Dr. Peter Breggin has been called "The Conscience of Psychiatry," and is perhaps the only reputable psychiatrist whose opinion can be trusted. Another excellent documentary is http://www.youtube.com Depression is Not a Chemical Imbalance and Here's the Proof.

It deeply saddens me that the body of Christ seems to scoff at the reality of demon possession and oppression. We're all "mentally ill" with "chemical imbalances" now in our advanced civilization (Jesus obviously didn't know about chemical imbalances when He thought He was casting out demons).

Yes, I'm being facetious, but the Lord has led me through many valleys in my 61 years, and I've learned that Satan and demon possession/oppression are realities, and we open the door to him through the occult (Ouija boards, and even something so seemingly harmless as astrology), and unrepented of sin as well, is an open door.  Please watch the above documentaries I posted as well as look up Dr. Peter Breggin.  God bless.




 

bjw

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Reply with quote  #29 
The "Making a Killing" documentary you are mentioning was funded in part by the CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights) who runs a museum in Los Angeles called "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" that blames everything from slavery, the holocaust, and the Salem witch trials on psychiatrists.  The CCHR was started by two members of the Church of Scientology, who believes the bodies of psychiatrists to be inhabited by aliens from the distant planet of Farsec.

I have a cousin who suffers from schizophrenia and thanks to his medications is no longer hearing voices and is driving and holding down a full-time job.  Leaving him in isolation as suggested by groups like GCC or Scientology is not the way to treat this, as he would still be going into catatonic states and hearing voices without his meds.

Sure there is corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, just as much as there is in any industry that involves money.  Doctors were paid to prescribe antibiotics for infections until they were no longer effective.  Some antidepressants are more effective on some than others.  People have had brain scans to prove the chemical imbalance hypothesis, pet scans:  https://source.wustl.edu/2002/01/low-serotoninreceptor-levels-linked-to-depression/ 
 http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pet-scan/multimedia/-pet-scan-of-the-brain-for-depression/img-20007400

I am also myself a success story of psychiatry and was able to bounce back from what I went through in this cult thanks to the medication.  I have taken two medications to help me recover from what was done to me there.  Having people yell at you to confess sins until you have nothing, and abuse you physically does a lot to your self-esteem and ability to function.

To say depression, anxiety, bpd, schizophrenia or any other mental illness is caused by demon possession, sin, or anything other what can be cured through medicine is dangerous.  The Bible shows the symptoms of demon possession, and it is nothing like what is treated by mental health today, and I am thankful God has given us doctors who are able to treat us.  I have known people who have had these illnesses and they are not demon possessed, living in sin, or athiests.

Also, the "inability to feel love" line was used by MacArthur when I was in as well, and I can assure you it is not true.  I have taken antidepressants off and on for years at a time and feel plenty of love, I am a high school math teacher so I am not suffering in the memory loss department.  My family certainly agrees I feel love.  Please do not listen to people who know nothing about what they are saying.  

Jesus healed people from demonic possession, but it had nothing to do with what people at mental health clinics are suffering from, I have not seen one person experience that kind of behavior at a clinic I have been at.  These anti-psychiatry groups all use the same lines, and Scientology, Jay Adams, and John MacArthur have taught dangerous doctrines that have caused suicides. 
bjw

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Reply with quote  #30 
Oh, and Joseph Biederman is a Scientologist (believes Jesus was a pedophile, see other thread), and Peter Breggin's wife was a Scientologist when most of his anti-psychiatric rants were done.  Breggin is still obviously on the side of CCHR, so he probably left because of disagreements with the Miscavige version of Scientology.  These people are not Christians and do not believe in demon possession, and have an agenda in promoting a non-medical approach to brain disorders.

I'm all for using love to treat sadness, loneliness, etc. but these are not clinical disorders.  If any of these Scientology or Nouthetic Counseling techniques cure anything, they were not clinical disorders affecting the brain.  If Ken Nally or Angelica Ericcson would have had psychiatry they would probably still be here today.  Lisa MacPherson, the schizophrenic who was treated by Scientology using a treatment advocated by both Jay Adams and L. Ron Hubbard to isolate the patient, was starved and dehydrated to death while being left in a catatonic state.

I'm sorry I'm so harsh but I have seen this cult harm way too many people with nouthetic counseling, and Scientology's influence on it cannot be denied.  You even quoted 3 Scientology related sources in your post.
bjw

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Reply with quote  #31 
Sorry, I typed in Biederman's name when I meant Breggin.  Biederman is the one they harp on for taking kickbacks, funny CCHR criticizes someone for taking kickbacks, they don't even tell you they are funded by a corrupt religious organization.  He did not start an "antipsychotic" fad, these drugs were a Godsend to people like my cousin who can now work for a living and no longer have his life ruined by schizophrenia.  I have also met bpd sufferers that have benefited from them. 
Acts1711

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Reply with quote  #32 

Hi,

I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

I am fairly certain that my marriage has been severely damaged by the teachings of John MacArthur.  I know that my mother-in-law and father-in-law have been brainwashed by a lot of John MacArthur's false doctrines, and have attempted to push their false doctrines (Calvinism and other stuff) upon my wife and I.

They have been EXTREMELY pushy and intrusive, and simply refuse to mind their own business.  I definitely see aspects of John MacArthur's nonsense in their personalities (since they practically worship MacArthur)

BUT...

I think they also lean on the teaching of Bill Gothard, Douglas Wilson, and other extreme patriarchal authoritarians.

I read a number of posts on another forum (authored by bjw), and I would have some questions for him, if he is willing to talk about it.

I wanted to start a new thread, but it says I'm not authorized to do so.

Do I need make a minimum number of posts before I am allowed to start a new thread?

Also, I want to hear more about Nouthetic counseling. I think this may be the agenda that my in-laws are attempting to impose upon my marriage.

Again, MacArthur isn't the only negative influence upon my in-laws, but he is one of the main ones. And I think that there are some common denominators that would tie him in with Bill Gothard, Douglas Wilson, etc.

Also a TON of legalism and behaving like holier-than-thou Pharisees.

Anyway, I would love to chat with people here and get more info.  Please let me know how I can start my own thread.

Thanks!

 

watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #33 
Hi Acts1711.  Welcome to the forum.  BJW is an active user and would be willing to answer your questions.  This thread includes Nouthetic counseling.   What would you like to discuss for your new topic? 
Acts1711

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Reply with quote  #34 

Thanks, watchmanwakes.

I guess I would like to ask about the legalism which seems to go along with the Calvinism.  My wife and I recently left her parents' small church, in which her parents are leaders.  Everybody at the church appears to be a John MacArthur worshipper / John MacArthur clone.  It's as if these people are all trying to outdo each other when it comes to being an imitator of MacArthur.

And I think that it manifests itself in the following ways:

1. Gossiping about / slandering other churches:  They are just not as good as "us"

2.  Extreme legalism - boasting about how you have never had a drink of alcohol in your entire life

3.  Rules, rules, and more rules:  Thou shalt not give out candy to trick or treaters on Halloween because it is satanic

4.  Control of others / Lack of boundaries:  Always butting into other peoples' lives and being the "purity police" to each other.  Sticking their nose where it doesn't belong, and refusing to honor boundaries.  Making up (and enforcing) a bunch of rules.  Condemning things that aren't even sins.

5. Patriarchy / Authoritarianism - Seems to be related to Bill Gothard / Doug Wilson / Vision Forum and so called "biblical patriarchy"  But it really seems to relegate women to a second class status.  (Note: This may or may not be as pronounced in John MacArthur's church - I don't know.  But I think, based on what I've read, that his views would give rise to the other 4).

I think my wife's parents' church is cultish, and I'm glad we left it.  I will never go back.

BUT, I think that my in-laws have taken this cultish mentality and have tried to force their views / opinions on me / us, even when it is unwarranted or un-asked-for.  (My wife is somewhat codependent, and afraid of her parents, so she puts up with their bad behavior and unwelcome intrusions into our marriage.  But I think my in-laws lack of boundaries is directly related to their cultish religious fanaticism.  Note: I am a Christian, but I don't think we should legalistically be making up extra commandments, and imposing them upon others.  Example: Thou shalt not give out Halloween candy).

My wife hides a lot of things from her parents (despite the fact that she is 36 years old), and seems to be afraid of them.  The things that she hides from them are not sins in and of themselves.  But she would get a lecture about how "ungodly" she is, if her parents ever found out.  I don't want to live the rest of my life walking on eggshells.  If I want to drink a glass of wine with dinner, I feel I should be free to do that.  When my wife's parents come to visit, my wife often says, "Quick!  Hide the wine!" etc.

Neither my wife nor myself ever gets drunk, but we do like to drink wine on occasion.  But my wife seems to be completely terrified of her parents, and they still think they have authority over her / us.  It is driving me nuts, and I think that a LOT of it has to do with John MacArthur and his strange teachings  (Bill Gothard is a big influence as well, I think)

Anyway, it just seems that my in-laws are the most arrogant, perfectionistic people that I have ever met.  And they seem to be excellent at boasting about how morally superior they are to other people - as well as finding faulty with me / us, and giving a ton of unsolicited advice.  A massive Pharisee spirit seems to be present in them.

Wondering if some of the former MacArthur church members have experienced the same (or similar)

Also wondering if nouthetic counseling is designed to be inappropriately intrusive.

Thanks!

watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #35 
Acts1711,

You are making good observations (consistent with what many in Macarthurite churches have reported) and you are asking good questions.  I'd like to see how bjw responds first.   
bjw

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
I am fairly certain that my marriage has been severely damaged by the teachings of John MacArthur. I know that my mother-in-law and father-in-law have been brainwashed by a lot of John MacArthur's false doctrines, and have attempted to push their false doctrines (Calvinism and other stuff) upon my wife and I.
End Quote.

This is sad and it is not the first marriage I have seen damaged by this cult.  I met one guy who's wife left him because he no longer believed the doctrine, and he pretty much lost half of everything he had.  Parents have also shunned their children or have been shunned by their children.  MacArthur's doctrine of the "restoration process" involves shunning someone after three attempts of getting them to repent, which includes involving church officials.  I have also met people who have to keep their doubts secret from their family members.  This is one characteristic that makes this a cult.

Quote:
They have been EXTREMELY pushy and intrusive, and simply refuse to mind their own business. I definitely see aspects of John MacArthur's nonsense in their personalities (since they practically worship MacArthur)
BUT...
I think they also lean on the teaching of Bill Gothard, Douglas Wilson, and other extreme patriarchal authoritarians.
End Quote.

Correct.  All members in churches that have accepted MacArthur's Lordship Salvation are expected to be held accountable for their sins and "fruits" produced by one or more members that are deemed to be more spiritual than they are, or a nouthetic counselor.  The individual personality is eventually stripped away and replaced with the cult personality with very little room for privacy.
 
John MacArthur is viewed as a genius that has been blessed by God with an extreme amount of knowledge, that the Christian church today is in a state of apostacy teaching a watered-down gospel (they call "easy believism" or "cheap grace") and MacArthur has been charged to bring it back to the way it should be, his knowledge was given to him by the Holy Spirit and since two people with the Spirit cannot disagree if you do not accept his doctrines you do not have the Spirit.  You mention other teachers here, there is a whole network of churches around the world that have bought into this and more than likely the teachers you mention have.  When I was there they flew in teachers from around the USA, like Ray Comfort, Don Whitney, Jerry Bridges, and others to speak at the chapel services.
The "patriarchal" aspect is true to an extent.  There are women in the organization in positions of authority, but they are non-clergy positions.  For instance, some department heads at the college have been women at times, and MacArthur's executive assistant is female.

Quote:
I read a number of posts on another forum (authored by bjw), and I would have some questions for him, if he is willing to talk about it.
End Quote.

Sure, any time you would like to have a discussion on here I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.  I went through a lot with this cult, but I hope the Lord can use my experiences to help others recover.  I usually log on here at least once a day.

Quote:
Also, I want to hear more about Nouthetic counseling. I think this may be the agenda that my in-laws are attempting to impose upon my marriage.
End Quote.

The members of the cult are not allowed to receive psychology or psychiatric treatment, and the cult views psychiatry as a Satanic agenda that is trying to sneak evolution into Christianity.  The way they try to prove this is through the anti-religion rantings of early psychologists like Freud, whose techniques are not even accepted by today's mental health practices, and these views prey upon the ignorance of people who do not understand what it is that mental health clinics do, and the scientific research it is based on that has nothing to do with evolution.  For example, one argument MacArthur likes to use is that "psyche" means "soul" proving that psychology is the evolutionists substitute for religion.  This is easily proven false if you consider that the soul was called "psyche" by the ancients who believed a trichotomist view of the spirit of man.  If you picture man like a car, you would view the brain as the soul which is like the motor of a car, the spirit is the invisible you which is the driver of the car or operator of the motor, and then the body is the third component that reacts.  Most in the cult don't realize psychiatry uses brain scans to diagnose mental illness and how to treat it so people can live normal lives, like my cousin I mentioned in an above post that has schizophrenia, he can now do things he could never do before the medication.

So, you could really say this is a counseling cult similar to Scientology, and you can see in the above posts how Scientology has influenced some of their teachings.  The counseling is a big part of the mind control.  It breaks you down by telling you all problems in your life are your fault, you may not be saved, God won't hear your prayers if all sins aren't confessed, and you are badgered over and over until you confess more and more sins.  It is no wonder you have to sign a waiver first before the counseling.  The real reason they don't want you seeing a psychiatrist is they would recognize this immediately as a cult.  I highly recommend checking out all the above material in this thread on the counseling and if you have anymore questions feel free to ask.  The counseling is one of the more dangerous parts of this cult.

Quote:
I guess I would like to ask about the legalism which seems to go along with the Calvinism. My wife and I recently left her parents' small church, in which her parents are leaders. Everybody at the church appears to be a John MacArthur worshipper / John MacArthur clone. It's as if these people are all trying to outdo each other when it comes to being an imitator of MacArthur.
End Quote.

First of all, John MacArthur is not actually reformed and is not really a true Calvinist.  To really understand Calvinism I recommend maybe reading watchmanwakes site on it as well as some of the history of Calvin, and how he was a murderer, child abuser, and dictator.  The way he governed the colony he ruled over will show why he developed these doctrines and how they justified his attrocities and treatment of the people under his stewardship.  As a caution, most Calvinist are not aware of who John Calvin really was, and if you hit them with this material all at once they will respond with anger, as the reformed denominations have used a revisionist approach by not teaching the history of their founders.
 
As for MacArthur's use of Calvinism, he uses some in his early doctrines, like how the "sovereignty of God" doctrine is similar to Calvin's predestination but it changes it to put more burden upon the believer, I'll try to look up a link to some of these doctrines for you for research purposes.  The dispensationalism and zionism MacArthur espouses puts him out of the reformed camp.  His theology is a hodge podge of various theologies to get people hooked, then once hooked it clamps down where you must agree with MacArthur exactly.  So, they want the Calvinist to feel welcome in the early stages, as well as the dispensationalist to feel welcome, and the arminian would feel welcome because the lordship position is not "once saved always saved."  You hear testimonies from people all the time saying they came to a point where they realized they were not saved and asked Christ into their life for real.  There is never any real assurance of salvation, unless you are constantly increasing your works.  MacArthur has managed to get an audience with the Reformed crowd at conferences and such, but has criticized them when in front of his own "lordship" crowd.

Quote:
  And I think that it manifests itself in the following ways:
1. Gossiping about / slandering other churches: They are just not as good as "us"
 
2. Extreme legalism - boasting about how you have never had a drink of alcohol in your entire life
3. Rules, rules, and more rules: Thou shalt not give out candy to trick or treaters on Halloween because it is satanic
4. Control of others / Lack of boundaries: Always butting into other peoples' lives and being the "purity police" to each other. Sticking their nose where it doesn't belong, and refusing to honor boundaries. Making up (and enforcing) a bunch of rules. Condemning things that aren't even sins.
5. Patriarchy / Authoritarianism - Seems to be related to Bill Gothard / Doug Wilson / Vision Forum and so called "biblical patriarchy" But it really seems to relegate women to a second class status. (Note: This may or may not be as pronounced in John MacArthur's church - I don't know. But I think, based on what I've read, that his views would give rise to the other 4).
End Quote.

To respond:
1.  Correct.  MacArthur divides Christianity into two camps: Lordship Salvation and Non-Lordship Salvation.  They print materials constantly slandering other churches and beliefs, and witness to other Christians trying to convert them since only the lordship churches are believed to be saved.

2.  Correct.  I noticed this as well.  They will tell you how worldly you are, and an entire exclusive class of more "spiritual" people is created that rule over and mentor all others.  It is clearly a pyramid shaped structure with everyone wanting to be on the next step.

3.  The rules are very strict.  In my time there at the dorms there was no television allowed.  Everyone is trying to confront you or call you out for disobedience, which begins the "restoration process."

4.  Right, it is a feeling of superiority they get when they can point out  others sins and have others confess sins to them.  Ironically enough, they see this as one of the evidences of their salvation, and when it happens to them they hate it but feel it is the only way to avoid going to hell.  Their God is impersonal, constantly looking to punish sin and turns his back on you and won't hear your prayers if you make mistakes.

5.  To their credit, they are not as anti-feminine as other groups, but women cannot serve in clergy positions, only as teachers, department heads, executives, etc.

Quote:
I think my wife's parents' church is cultish, and I'm glad we left it. I will never go back.
BUT, I think that my in-laws have taken this cultish mentality and have tried to force their views / opinions on me / us, even when it is unwarranted or un-asked-for. (My wife is somewhat codependent, and afraid of her parents, so she puts up with their bad behavior and unwelcome intrusions into our marriage. But I think my in-laws lack of boundaries is directly related to their cultish religious fanaticism. Note: I am a Christian, but I don't think we should legalistically be making up extra commandments, and imposing them upon others. Example: Thou shalt not give out Halloween candy).
My wife hides a lot of things from her parents (despite the fact that she is 36 years old), and seems to be afraid of them. The things that she hides from them are not sins in and of themselves. But she would get a lecture about how "ungodly" she is, if her parents ever found out. I don't want to live the rest of my life walking on eggshells. If I want to drink a glass of wine with dinner, I feel I should be free to do that. When my wife's parents come to visit, my wife often says, "Quick! Hide the wine!" etc.
End Quote.

Yes, it is a cult and if you view the lists by experts like Steve Hassan and Rick Ross you will see it meets all of the criteria and even has some of the characteristics of counseling cults like Scientology.
If your in-laws are in this cult they are following the process of giving you three chances as mentioned earlier.  They see it as their responsibility.  They must spread the doctrine continuously to be saved, as part of the second and third list in "Character of Genuine Saving Faith" as printed in the MacArthur Study Bible.

What you describe sounds typical as in other families I have seen get estranged because of this cult.  Sometimes it is best to not put everything out on the table at once because you want to maintain a relationship with those you love.  As I said in another thread, I can't remember which one, sometimes the best approach is to be inquisitive and ask questions to get the person thinking instead of laying a bunch of negative opinions out at once.  Like asking them their opinions on different beliefs and what they believe about it.  Then, maybe, take it up a notch with a question like, "well, if the blood of Christ forgives all of my sins, why should I have to confess to a counselor or find someone more spiritual, why can't I go directly to God with my questions."  When the subject of God not hearing your prayers comes up (they misuse some verses from I John) you can eventually do a study reading all of I John with them to show what it really means.  The lordship beliefs cannot be proven from the Bible and are proven by "hopscotching" through Bible passages and misinterpreting Hebrew and Greek words.  They don't realize MacArthur is not the only teacher who uses Greek and Hebrew to prove doctrines, and some raised in the cult sometimes wake up a little or at least get their faith in MacArthur jarred when they see others doing it, sometimes better.

It's sad you have to hide things from your own family and that an organization that cares more for money than families is getting in between your relationships.  I will definitely keep your family in my prayers.

Quote:
Neither my wife nor myself ever gets drunk, but we do like to drink wine on occasion. But my wife seems to be completely terrified of her parents, and they still think they have authority over her / us. It is driving me nuts, and I think that a LOT of it has to do with John MacArthur and his strange teachings (Bill Gothard is a big influence as well, I think)
Anyway, it just seems that my in-laws are the most arrogant, perfectionistic people that I have ever met. And they seem to be excellent at boasting about how morally superior they are to other people - as well as finding faulty with me / us, and giving a ton of unsolicited advice. A massive Pharisee spirit seems to be present in them.
Wondering if some of the former MacArthur church members have experienced the same (or similar)
Also wondering if nouthetic counseling is designed to be inappropriately intrusive.
Thanks!
End Quote.

You will find that they deeply frown on alchohol consumption and will use it as an excuse to start the restoration process or get you in the counseling to stop the consumption, even if it is in moderation.  Also, as you know, they are very intrusive into your personal life.  MacArthur's cult is very similar to the Pharisees of New Testament times, as it adds a ton of requirements to the Gospel, while being very judgmental and hypocritical.  I definitely understand what you are going through.

You are correct about nouthetic counseling, it is designed to be intrusive.  In addition to being mind control and a way to break down the self-esteem, it is also a way to gather information about you that can be used in the future.  Information is often passed on by counselors, and will eventually reach the top levels of the executive ladder if they think you are someone that will be a problem in the future.  I myself was threatened with info I confessed.
 
If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.  I will keep you in my prayers and I hope your family situation improves.  The more people come forward is the fewer people they will be able to hurt.  Stories are coming in as far away as Italy on this forum, and it would be nice to see it grow and more people will know the truth.
bjw

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Reply with quote  #37 
I know these links have been given elsewhere on this forum, but for the convenience of this discussion I thought I would post them here so Acts would have access to them for research purposes:
GCC's introductory definition of "Lordship Salvation":
https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/lordship-salvation

GCC's introductory anti-psychiatric propaganda:
https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/sufficiency-of-scripture

GCC's twisting of John Calvin's original "predestination" into the lordship "Sovereignty of God" doctrine:
https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/sovereignty-of-god

GCC's view of women:
https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/role-of-women

The Restoration Process:
https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/church-discipline

I hope this helps.  Also, remember these are only introductions meant to lure in Christians, and remember these doctrines become much stricter if you join the organization.  If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
Rosie

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Reply with quote  #38 

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience.  As a naive, new Christian, I sought "counsel" from my church.  My former church offers nouthetic counseling. 

After God saved me, I realized my life was a mess.  I turned to my church.  I thought my church could help.  I tried their "counseling" for more than 5 years. A hand full of so-called “counsellors” later, I found myself in a dark, downward spiral of confusion, depression, & despair.  I was encouraged to stay on a treadmill of striving & doing, constantly questioning, & doubting myself.  I wanted so badly to believe my "counsellors" had the answers.  I trusted them & thought they wanted to help, so I kept on.  I shouldn't have.  That was foolish.  

Though my aim is not to speak against anyone in particular, it would be unkind & unloving for me to remain silent.  The nouthetic counselors I encountered lack compassion, love, & concern.   Their "counsel" was shaming, burdening, cold-hearted, soul-numbing, & delusional.  I wondered why my "counselors" used a strictly selected list of commentators & writers.   An extremely narrow list of "like-minded Christian authors" were strongly suggested to "help" with Spiritual growth.  I should have seen I was being talked down to, told what to think, & told how to feel.  My sins were magnified, broadly named, & harshly confronted.  I was condemned; not encouraged, given time, or support.  The sins others were actively committing against me were greatly minimized as though they were nothing.  I was discouraged from addressing them & instead instructed to focus on my own sins, that this was God's will for my life.  Being told to smile, pray more, submit more, find joy in this (IN THIS! - meaning, while it was going on), is absolutely maddening.  Wrongly, I was told I was sinning by not being joyful while abuse was happening.  I was told to "just forgive, get rid of my bitterness, be content, you're depressed, oh you're angry.  You need to repent."  When I shared I experienced flashbacks, I was told I was being selfish, focusing on myself & not on God.  I was told moving forward should be simple, just take my thoughts captive & apply Philippians 4:8.  This type of counsel is disturbing & wrong.  

When I questioned my "counsellors," they didn't hear me.  Instead of listening, they quickly defended themselves, spinned it back onto me, & dismissed me.  I'm sure if you've never experienced this type of treatment, it might be hard to understand what I'm talking about.  It's confusing, for sure.  They are word-twisting masters.  

Others have strikingly similar stories about their "counseling" experiences with their nouthetic counselors.  I've concluded the most help we can safely expect from nouthetic counsellors is equivalent to fishing tips or recipe exchanges.  They are not adequately equipped or trained to handle real-life problems, much less, reports of abuse.  I hate that people seeking help from the "church" & God's Word are being further hurt instead.  They beat people over the head with their Bibles & use Scriptures ripped out of context.  They believe their "training" trumps real-life experience.  Minimizing, ignoring, & quietly looking the other way should never be an option when abuse is reported.  They position themselves high above others & lay heavy burdens on already weary shoulders.  Their delicate egos, their cut & dried rules, & their cold-hearted procedures were more important than helping a worn & battered soul.

Woe to them.  I think they all should be under church discipline because people have earnestly gone to them to settle matters & they won't listen.  They think they're above all & the only right ones.  They're not.  They're unapproachable.  

Why wouldn't my church refer hurting people out to real, certified, trained counsellors for help?  What is their real motive?  Could their pride be in the way of admitting something is out of their league?   If their so-called "counseling" ministry is intended to glorify God, why not trust the Holy Spirit to get a person the right outside help?  Are they so arrogant to think the Holy Spirit will only use them to speak about solutions to people's problems?  I've found more comfort & encouragement in my independent study of God's Word & use of non-Christian resources relating to abuse.  God uses it all in the believer's life.  

I pray God will put a stop to the lies being told through nouthetic counseling & the “churches” that promote it.  I'm absolutely convinced without a doubt the so-called "Biblical counsel" I received from my former “church” was not in fact Biblical, but kept me in a cycle of abuse, confusion, chaos, & despair. 

If you're seeking counsel, be aware of the damage nouthetic counseling can cause.  If you're unfamiliar with nouthetic counseling, please look it up & make an informed decision for yourself, especially noting their training.  If you even think you're in an abusive relationship, please seek help from trained, certified, competent professionals.  It takes a lot of courage to speak up.  How others respond when you confide in them powerfully impacts your progress (or lack of it).

Thank you for reading my story.  Please feel free to share it if you believe it will help someone.  

watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #39 
Rosie,

Thank you very much.   It looks to me that nouthetic counseling is another instrument for mind control.  Some have likened it to Scientology's auditing sessions and its requirement that sins need to be probed and confessed to another person also is consistent with mind control.  Just the fact that John Macarthur is an important promoter of nouthetic counseling means that it can't be biblical or be any good for those being "counseled."   
Noelle33

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Reply with quote  #40 
Reading these stories just makes me sick to my stomach but it also gives me comfort that it isn't me, it is them.  But what do I do about it?  I watched a video about Hillary who I don't like but it sounded just like a Macarthurite narrating.  It said the reason she has all these illnesses is because she is a liar and claims to be Methodist but kills people.  While part of me agrees up to a point, (you reap what you sow) if I accept this as truth it means that every child who died of cancer and all of my dead Christian relatives are in hell.  They give the impression that all illness, unhappiness, etc is YOUR fault because you are not saved.  If you were, you wouldn't get sick.  Really? So all illness is actually a consequence of the sick person's sin.  Has John M. never been sick a day in his life?  Is he "growing" in his faith and topping himself every Sunday?  Or does he just keep harping on the same old "Lordship Salvation" every week?  Is he never going to die?  Old age is a form of illness and he is 77. How did that happen? It must be some unrepentant sin in his life.  My sister told me I wasn't saved because I have problems and take medicine.  She has problems and takes medicine.  But that is okay because she takes a hormone pill and believes she shows "fruit" though I've never seen it.  My niece's last words to me after prying into my personal life and asking the same question 5 different ways hoping to trip me up were "I love you and I always will."  That was 6 years ago.  I haven't heard from her since.  She graduated from TMC and moved to India.  As a Christian, how do I help these people?  They think I am lost and I think they are lost.  I am terrified of church. I miss God I have no friends Christian or otherwise and I want to go to church really bad but I want to go to the church of yesteryear before everything either got watered down (do whatever you want and you are still saved, all paths lead to heaven) or this new Macarthur form of religion.  I don't want to end up like my sister.  I also looked up lordship salvation on Wikipedia and it had Macarthur all over it and said it started in the 1980s which is about the time my sister began to change.  I was sure of my salvation for years and now I don't know what to think.  The devil is the author of confusion and MacArthur has me so confused he must be of the devil.  It seems all he does is make people question their salvation.  Not examine themselves and try to do better.  He just makes me feel like giving up because my best will never be good enough.  If I am going to hell anyway, why try?
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watchmanwakes

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Reply with quote  #41 
Noelle33,

When you first believed in Jesus Christ your sins were washed white as snow, you were justified and accounted righteous before God, and you were given the gifts of the Spirit: a new heart along with peace, joy, and life eternal.  Now that you are a redeemed, born again, child of God (and bride), justified by God's grace through faith, will you now attempt to remain justified before God by your works?  Macarthur teaches a works-based salvation, but we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.  Then as we grow in fellowship with and in love for our Father and his Son and as we abide in Christ (the vine) we will be fruitful. 

Though he may at times chasten his children, nothing can ever permanently separate us from the love of our Father in Heaven.... 

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:38-39  
bjw

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Reply with quote  #42 
Rosie and Noelle,
Both of your stories brought back memories for me.  If someone out there is reading this please do more research before placing yourself into these people's hands.  I'm glad you both have the courage to share your stories.

Noelle, having family out of the country it must be a difficult situation, and your only hope may be to learn all you can on both sides of the argument and try to show why nouthetic counseling is not a proper treatment or that lordship salvation is biblical.  This will be much more difficult to show.

I will keep you both in my prayers, keep us posted on your progress.
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