watchmanwakes
The Macarthurites Took Over a Church in Italy
 
by Deborah Gilmore
 
 
Introduction
I have been thinking lately that I want my children to remember me as a woman who did not let herself be silenced and stood for what she believed in. Over the years I have seen a lot of disrespect in the world for human life. At times this occurs in the church as well. I am no perfect person, far from it. I am a broken person and this is a small part of my story. If what I have written can serve to comfort just one single person, clarify someone’s mind, answer one person’s question, give a little hope it will all have been worth the tears, pain and confusion I have experienced, and no doubt will still experience, throughout the years.
 
My Family
My parents were missionaries in Italy for over 50 years (John and Maureen Gilmore). As far as I was concerned the church they pastored was a second home and most of the people in it were my second family. I can truly say I loved that church and its congregation. I think this made things more complex when the story I am about to tell began.
 
The beginning of something strange
My dad was nearing 80 and he was realizing the time for him acting as full-time pastor was probably coming to an end. His idea was basically to remain in Italy and act as mentor to a new pastor (to be chosen and appointed by my dad, the church and of course the mission through prayer) in order to help him wisely lead the church he had before him. I remember there were two or three “candidates”. I had already moved away but I was in touch daily with both my parents and followed the situation from afar and also from a different perspective. At a certain point something undefined, to my mind, began to take place. I can’t put my finger on it. But it began. The situation became unclear, complex and totally out of hand. The final choice was made without my dad’s approval or opinion really – I think the Mission discussed things with some of the men in the church: in a way my father was cast to one side. I felt I was an insider looking on from outside. It was a very strange feeling. There was one candidate left I guess. I don't know what happened exactly to the others. 
 
The Mission, with which Daddy and Mummy served, had always stated, verbally, they could remain in the flat, the Mission’s property, for as long as they needed and wanted. My parents did not have another house. They had given all their lives, as well as money, to the church and for the spreading of the Word. Daddy had never received support from the church itself. The Mission paid a minimum wage on a monthly basis. I know we lacked nothing but did not navigate in gold. A rather different scenario from other 'missionaries' today. The Mission owned the house they lived in as well as the church property. Although my parents did not pay rent they covered all expenses of the flat they lived in, such as light, gas and so on by themselves. The church looked after its own administrative expenses through the collection: tithing was encouraged but not forced. 
 
Near Christmas 2009 (I believe that to be the year) daddy received an e-mail informing him that as from January 2010 his role as pastor would terminate and the house would be put for sale. There were financial difficulties in the Mission.That was what he was told particularly with regard to the house. A new pastor would take his place.The only candidate left of course!
 
I think this was one of the biggest blows my parents had ever had: basically they had nowhere to go. The Mission had no pension scheme for its missionaries, so they basically lost everything. Just like that. The emotional blow was the strongest. It left us all speechless. Helpless, I sought for help in my church family back in my home town; amongst those people I had known for years and who had known me in the good as well as in the bad days. I wrote to quite a few of them asking them what was going on, what they thought about if and so on. It was so strange. It was as though I could not communicate with them.  If I had to represent that phase I would describe it as trying to make my way through a very thick fog while wading through a muddy swamp. It’s hard to explain. 
 
My parents became isolated. When the new pastor was appointed my father was not even invited to the induction service, although he was living a 5-minute walk away from the church itself. It just went that way. I could no longer recognize people and a ‘system’ I had known for years.
 
The End
Mummy and Daddy left alone one night by car. They had thrown most of their belongings away not knowing exactly what was going to happen next. They came to live with us for a while and then rented a small apartment. 
 
In the midst of all this I can really say there were and are some wonderful people. During the last, complex months in Italy some people in the congregation attempted to find accommodation for my parents, however at the time we did not know that my mother, in particular, was having severe health problems and the whole situation of stress and hurt was too much for her to bear. I guess for some she was being unreasonable, but as the years have gone by it has become clear to me that if they had remained in Italy their psychological suffering would have been too much for them to cope with. I want to acknowledge this because I am grateful of the support they received at the time and do not want it to go unnoticed. The financial support of two sisters in Christ also allowed them to live independently for a short time since these lovely ladies paid my parents’ monthly rent whilst they lived in the same city as myself and my family. To these people goes my gratitude.
 
Sadly my mother’s health had a rapid decline and this affected my father too. When we were no longer able to look after them in our home nor were they able to live in their flat, they had to move into sheltered care. Their conditions are worsening. The Mission never got in contact with them again. Erased.
 
Action
Taking one step back. I had heard of John Mac Arthur and of his ministry, his organization, his literary works. The new pastor had been one of his students in The Master's Seminary. He had followed his teachings. He was already located in Italy working with Mac Arthur's Theological School.
 
Having come from a family where I had been taught to respect others, to communicate with others, to not do evil, I thought I would be able to openly communicate and thus possibly find some answers to clarify points that to me were totally unclear. I thought I would be helped to understand. Of course I wrote to the Mission, I wrote to Mac Arthur himself, to the new pastor… I wrote quite a lot! Initially I attempted to express my feelings but was ignored. Totally. I tried to get some reaction by stating that such treatment of people is shameful. The only answers I got were basically to keep quiet. And these were usually either from people I did not know or else from people I knew who possibly felt guilty? I was never abusive. Blunt yes, but verbally abusive never. Looking back only one or two felt my pain.
 
I used my Facebook page as well as snail mail and e-mail. Of course I was criticized by many and supported by few. I never received any answers from the Mission, nor from Mac Arthur and other people linked to him. I really wanted to know how you can reach the point of leaving two elderly people with nothing on the basis of what? I don’t even think some of them even knew of the existence of my parents! I wrote to the church back in my home city. I got an answer. The new pastor sent me a letter signed by himself and some men in my dad’s ex-church who had known me since I was a child, telling me basically they wanted to live in peace but have nothing else to do with me. The letter also blamed my father for not having been available for a meeting on request. The reasons for this format of taking over a pre-existent church in this way are unknown to me. I do not even find it humanly acceptable let alone under a 'religious' point of view. To my mind there are no valid excuses either.
 
Confusion
The congregation was told to have nothing to do with me and although some tried to stand up for me they were verbally silenced. Of course I could not be present since I live kilometres away. I was given the information in bits and pieces - the people who did so were very scared of what might happen to them if they were discovered!
 
It was as though fear had taken over. People were scared and aggressive, they had changed.
All this was puzzling. I could not put my finger on what was wrong but I knew I was missing an important piece in the puzzle. This was not a regular Christian scenario: it was a big mess. I could perceive fear, rebellion, confusion. I myself was confused.
 
Once I read that sometimes our pain and sufferings are so great that we are unable to pray; that is when God reads our hearts and hears the words that not even we can say. I reached that stage. I have reached it many times. I shall no doubt reach it again in my life.
 
A glimmer of light
One day I sat at the computer as I had done so many times before. I had searched for that missing piece in so many ways, certain that it was out there somewhere. I googled: John MacArthur Sect. 
 
I don’t know why I actually typed that last word, but I did. I still remember that moment: pages opened before my eyes! (Macarthurism) That doesn’t happen with all Christian organizations you type, thank God. Some of them have been mysteriously taken down.
 
In that very dark moment of my life I received an answer. It was a painful, unexpected answer, but it was the start of an important part of my life: a decision to take a stand which I knew would be more than hard but which I must take.
 
I was able to see certain kinds of things that would happen in the future to the church which my parents had lovingly pastored: the whole Mission was absorbed by MacArthur’s organization; the name of the church was changed slightly; many of the old members either left or were sent away; the Sunday School was taken over with the use of MacArthur materials. And the list could go on endlessly.
 
To this day….
I have been accused of being judgmental, of being vindictive. I have obviously been put on the black list and written off by many. I have heard so many pathetic excuses concerning my parents’ last days in Italy like “They didn’t answer the phone.” Or “They didn’t answer the doorbell.” No one thought of slipping a loving note in the letterbox! Or of asking themselves how they may have been feeling. Where was the empathy, the love, the understanding?
 
I have found that in life we tend to make excuses especially when we know we are at fault. Compassion and humility go together. They are not easy to nurture. I have had different people tell me that we must leave everything in God’s hands. I fully agree with this last statement, but I have also been taught that God uses his people to do His works and when we can no longer do anything, He steps in. This is what I believe: active Christianity not passive.
 
Now what….?
So why am I writing this? Is it to pay someone back? To make personal events public?
Not at all. I have been very careful in being respectful and not breach anyone’s privacy.
However, I do not want anyone to be treated like my parents were treated. I do not want this to happen again to anyone in the Christian world. That is the first point.
 
Secondly, I think that Christians should be aware of many of the dangers in MacArthur’s organization. There is a lot of material available on the internet (certainly not written by me!). You may agree with it or disagree but it is there and and you are free to weigh everything personally.
 
 
Pay heed to what your children are seeing, what they are learning: they are our Christian future! Pay heed to what you are being taught and learning too. This of course goes for me as well!
 
Thirdly I am sure there will be “victims”, if there are not already, in the future. People who will be confused, who will have been shunned, who will have a broken spirit and suffer psychologically, who will not agree with all that is taught and will try to take a stand. To those of you who may be in this position I just want to say that there are people who want to help you, listen to you and understand you to the best of their ability. 
 
People who have truly suffered are not out to hurt others. Be aware of what is happening in the country of Italy. Ask yourself if you are happy to be part of a group/church/organization in which people are allowed to be treated in such a way. Do not be passive. Choose knowingly.
 
And in closing…
Lastly, I want to say that in this long journey I am meeting and have met so many amazing people who have uplifted my spirit. I have not lost my faith in God. In fact as the years go by I have come to understand and see how we are placed in the right place at the right time for the right purpose. It’s up to us to make it worthwhile or not.
 
I have tried to write facts. There are of course many other things which I have not said. All I want is for people to stop and think if all this is good. There are so many broken people out there and I am amongst them. Through our brokenness I pray God can bring some Light. This is my story.
 
Editor's Note:
 
Deborah Gilmore's father's church was taken over by John Macarthur's Italian Theological Academy which is a branch of Macarthur's The Master's Academy International (TMAI).
 
Click here to learn about TMAI's globalist leadership. 
Click here to learn about TMAI partnering with foreign governments.
Click here to learn about TMAI's connections to the UN.
Click here to learn that TMAI's principal financier is/was a Governor of the Council for National Policy, a CFR front.
 
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Emma Vidal
Hi Deborah, I've been reading this article and I am really amazed. I'm from Spain and this is a very similar situation to the one I have lived here. I would like to be in contact with you, it it is possible. I think is important everybody can know how MacArthur works.
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watchmanwakes
Hi,  I haven't heard from Deborah in years.  Last time I contacted her she was living in England.  The Macarthurites aren't biblical Christians (with their Lordship Salvation for one) and so it shouldn't be surprising how poorly her parents were treated by them.  Feel free to let us know about the Macarthurites in Spain.  You could reply here or make a new topic if you care to.  God bless. 
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Emma Vidal
Thanks for the information. I'll do it. It may take me some time because it is difficult to remember everything and write it down, , but I'll do it because it is important everyone knows. Thanks again.
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Emma Vidal
Here is my article explaining how the MacArthurites are acting in Spain. I hope it may be of help and help people to open their eyes. Thanks.

The Macarthurites Took Over a Church in Spain

 By Emma Vidal

A while ago I read this interesting article about John MacArthur’s modus operandi. I was shocked. It was exactly what had happened to my church in León(Spain)!!
http://johnmacarthur.forumchitchat.com/post/the-macarthurism-cults-rapid-reproduction-via-church-takeovers-10065816?pid=1307889683

A few weeks ago, I read this other article by Deborah Gillmore:
http://johnmacarthur.forumchitchat.com/post/the-macarthurites-took-over-a-church-in-italy-10065903?pid=1312324292

And I realized that we had something in common: MacArthur has appeared in our lives and lots of things have changed. I decided to share my own experience, just as Deborah did, so that people can know the facts.

I was born in a Christian family. My father has been one of the elders of the church in León (Spain) for more than 40 years. This church is about 150 years old.  It started in difficult times in Spain, passing through periods of persecution due to the dictatorial regime we had for forty years, but now, we have a time of freedom.  Many people have worked hard all along the years to build and keep the church, with ups and downs, like in every other church. In the 70s the church moved to a building which many of the members helped to build (even me, as a child, I remember myself cleaning and doing everything I could).

In the 2000s, one of the youngsters of the church, D. R., went to study at the Master’s seminary and graduated in 2004. Then, he came back to León, his home country, to “serve” in the church. Little by little, he was getting in charge of more ministries and in 2010, he was ordered Elder.

Then, things began to change in such a slight way that we didn’t notice. Worship meetings were different. We belonged to a Brethen church where the members can participate and share what God has set in our hearts. Suddenly,  we weren’t allowed to do that. There was a strict order or liturgy that we hadn’t had before. No participation, no freedom to do anything, even to choose a song. Then, another young T.M., who was in charge of the worship group, went to the same seminary in USA.  One day, I learned from him that the songs we sang every Sunday were sent by him from USA…we were absolutely under control.

D. R. spent 17 weeks preaching about how to give offering!!  After that, the way of offering and the destiny of the offers changed. No more money for missionaries or for external needs, but for D. R. and the church itself. When I asked him how much he received from any institution (I wanted to know in order to give offering in a responsible way according to what he had said), his answer was: “I won’t tell you how much I earn”.

In a few months, another man from the same seminary came to León, R.V. and he became an Elder too.  D.R. said he was here to help in the Berea Seminary they had here (we didn’t know anything about the Seminary, but they were installing a Branch of the American MacArthurist seminary in my city). Some time later, another one from the seminary came, G. P.  The one in charge of the worship group also came back after finishing his studies in the Seminary.  So, there were 4 of them in the church. The old Elders, like my father, were left out in a diplomatic way; “emeritus” they called them.

The members of the church asked for a church meeting to get informed about these changes. They said: “No”, even though the rules of the church said one of these meetings had to be held at least once a year and we hadn't had one in 15 years.

If you asked anything to the elders, D.R. (head of pastors, according to himself) put a barrier between the elders and us, preventing the other elders from answering, and only saying that the answer was agreed by all of the elders, but not allowing the others to talk.  However, I knew that not all of them agreed or even had heard about the issue.

Even the preaching changed. First, the preaching changed in the time. The preaching had to last at least 1 hour and not less. Second, the preaching changed in the method. Expository preaching only.  Then, and the most amazing, the preaching changed in the content. We went out of every meeting with fear, doubting about our salvation, thinking that we may not  have been saved because our acts were not good…(Lordship salvation)!

Years ago, the local government granted a piece of land to us in one of the finest and most strategic areas of the city free of charge, but we were fearful and cautious because we knew that even though the land was free, to build a new church was economically out of reach.

But after the return of D.R., he decided to build a new building for the church on that land.  He used to tell us that a person from USA was willing to double all our offerings and there would be a deadline. So, all the members tried to offer as much as possible so that the unknown American man would double it.  After years I realized that it was a marketing technique (the more we gave, the less he had to give in order to acquire the building). Nowadays, the building is finished.  We don’t know exactly how much it cost, but it is about 2—4 million euros!!!!!  An amount which was impossible to gather from the members of the church, so you can imagine who has been the main investor…

The members of the church who didn’t agree or who didn’t understand the things that were happening decided to write a letter to the Elders asking for an explanation.  Their answer was to talk to us individually, never as a group, and we were called to repentance.  Finally, in a church meeting, we were excommunicated and expelled from the church! They told the other members not to talk to us, not even to greet us and to break any relationship with us.  Imagine our feelings…division of the church and broken bonds even within our family…

We had to leave the church, despite the fact that the building (I mean the old building, before the new one was built) was ours.  We had worked there, I was baptized there, I was married there.  I had attended every meeting since a child there.  I had been a teacher in the Sunday school there…

We started to meet in the house of one of the members (we were about 40 people expelled), then, a different church let us use the local of their building (we are really grateful for it) and three years ago, we rented and used a new place in which we gather. A real blessing! They keep the old building which they want to sell.  It is an empty building now, but we are not allowed to gather there…Last fall, they moved to the impressive new building, (the cathedral!!!).

As an example of this breakdown, when we had baptisms as a new church, one of my nephews was baptized. Some of his friends, who were still members in the other church, came to the event, and after that, they were reprimanded for attending the baptisms and left out of every ministry. Obviously, they left the church. Even my father, who is still in in that church, attended his grandson’s baptism in our new church and he also was reprimanded.  I think, from that moment, because he was retired as an Emeritus Elder, it was too rude to expel him from the church.

Nowadays, they own the old building (which is not used at all) and the new one (the cathedral) and a camp place which former British missionaries gave to the church years ago.  At first, it was a blessing place where children, families, and many people could go to spend some days in a spiritual retreat camp, but today they only admit people who are under their “spiritual umbrella”.  Berea Seminary (the Branch of the Masters Seminary) took place there, and now it takes places in the “cathedral”.

According to them, this is their target:

"----Berea: Training the next generation of pastors in the Iberian Peninsula
Since 2010, Berea has worked to train men to preach Christ and His Word in Spain. Our students come from all parts of Spain and even Portugal. These men are mainly pastors, elders, preachers, and church leaders who are already serving in their local churches and lack the adequate biblical training.

"Berea's goal is to equip the next generation of pastors in the Iberian Peninsula to understand, explain, and apply the Word of God in order to preach Christ and edify His Church.

"Pray that the Lord will raise a new generation of pastors who preach the Gospel of Christ and establish biblical churches for God's glory.-----"

However, their real goal is to spread their cult to other churches and to take over other churches, because, according to them, “they are not healthy churches, they (Master's Seminary) are the only ones who preach the healthy doctrine”.

All this situation has been really sad. When I read Deborah Gilmore’s article I noticed lots of similarities and I decided to tell everybody my own experience.  Sorry for my English. I might no have expressed myself properly.  If you have any questions, I am willing to answer you.
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