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Hard to leave/look at the facts

A number of people have been with GGWO for 10, 20 and even more years. They considered GGWO their "final" destination for a local church here on earth. In the beginning everything looks so good at GGWO and you feel "home" so to speak - seemingly a true evangelical Christian Church. No doubt, there are many, many people in GGWO that are very loving, kind and have the same intentions like we had: to study the Word of God to get to know Jesus Christ and to share Him with others and being in a fellowship of like-minded folks - simply put our desire was genuine Christianity. We appreciated the acceptance, the friendships, the apparent sincere concerns and encouragements, and the hoped-for teaching of the pure Word of God.

Think about how shocking and devastating it was when certain odd things happened and the true colors of GGWO were shown. And as we were indoctrinated to give "Grace" in every situation and to just keep quiet, pray and let God take care of situations, lots of things were never mentioned again, because we obeyed our "leaders" which were CHS (Carl H. Stevens) and other influential pastors. And they used the Word of God to condition our minds to be obedient. And when something happened once that might have been alright and we'll let it go as there's no perfect church -- we give "Grace." Then if something happens twice, alright then, lets give "Grace" again, but if it's an ongoing thing for over 35+ years and it's not hearsay, but fact and absolute reality and it goes on and on and on, then people start to ask questions, and that's exactly what thousands of former GGWO/TBS people have done over the years. Remember, that key GGWO/TBS folks have left GGWO over last few years - these people were pillars of the church and have been with GGWO for some 20-30 years. It's a gigantic step to leave GGWO after such a very long time.

The ones who left had good reasons to leave and it often takes years to come to the final decision to leave as usually God will provide a way of escape. Meaning, many don't get up and leave GGWO just like that overnight, but they pray and ask God to do something in their lives regarding the issues at hand for many years as they continue to believe the best. And then God comes in and provides the way of escape - in many cases God is gracious and takes these people out of the "church/ministry" somehow as He answers their prayers.

Many who left GGWO never talk about GGWO in public or even privately - they've been hurt and so on. They don't want to be reminded of the many painful years at GGWO. And also, at GGWO we all have been conditioned not to talk about things because it has been taught us that no matter if a matter is true or not, you don't tell it to others as supposedly you violate 35 major Bible doctrines and the judgement which should the guilty party should receive, will in turn supposedly fall on you if you tell and even if you utter your concerns. Don't say that these kinds of threats which are established in the mind over many years, and that this kind of fear is not abuse and cultic behavior? If GGWO didn't have anything to hide, then such weird out-of-context doctrines would never be emphasized.

True, the Bible teaches against gossip, maligning, backbiting and so forth, but this forum is not about that at all, even though some posters do that. But there are hundreds of dear people in GGWO right now who are hurting and who have mixed feelings because they think they themselves are deceived because they have the thought to leave GGWO, because they also see what is going on in GGWO and what it really is. But these folks are still afraid to leave GGWO because then they may step out of the geographical will of God or out of the perfect will of God, and perhaps their salvation years ago may have not been genuine after all if they leave the "ministry", and of course they supposedly will lose all rewards throughout the many years they've been with GGWO.

THESE ARE THE FEAR-FILLED AND FALSE DOCTRINES OF GGWO, which by these doctrines alone identifies GGWO as a cult. Because there's mind control in a very subtle way. Many probably don't know much of the details of what goes on behind the scenes in GGWO, because the average GGWOer is never there when there are "special" discussions and "certain" arrangements made. I was there at many such "meetings" and I know for a fact how it works. And whatever CHS says is final and it is "applauded" and "agreed" to by the Yes-crowd who are mesmerized by their leader as he supposedly has all the ultimate truth and as he is supposedly "anointed" regarding everything he says and does.

And there are many, many issues that haven't even been discussed on this or any other forum, which would shock you right out of your infatuation with GGWO. Many critics of this web site display the obvious signs of being a GGWO mind-control victim. Children have been abused and when it was brought to the attention of P. Baker (principal of GGCA) he just laughed his head off and said the typical GGWO statement that he could do nothing right now, but we'll be praying about it, and give Grace and let God take care of it. And the same happened when it came to money issues in GGWO - people never got their money back and I'm not talking about a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars in the various cases although these disputed amounts are more frequent, but we've seen where the issue were tens of thousands of dollars and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then you had the $7 million in Lenox in 1987 (there's an official court documentation about that whole case and there's extensive evidence). CHS was accused and found guilty of undue influence. There are also many issues in GGWO we will never hear about, because of the hush-hush policy and the typical secrecy about this and that which creates mistrust.

If, for instance, somebody in the leadership had a one-night stand and repented of it and it was an isolated case, nobody should bring it up again and it's completely forgotten. But if someone had an ongoing affair and the particulars of Paul Stevens' affair are very disturbing to say the least, and even if he repented, for a while this "pastor" needs to take a break and get some issues cleared up with God, and not take the next plane to the next conference and preach the Word of God there. And he shouldn't be on radio and not a pastor for a while just for the purpose of getting some healing and to deal with the issues. Because otherwise he'll be a repeat offender and the whole Lang incident shows the pattern of a potential repeat offender, if he hasn't been washed with the Word of God in that particular problem/sin area. Sexual sins are always devastating and Proverbs tells us that these sins destroy the soul.

But GGWO is filled with cover ups, because of their supposed "Grace" application in daily life. It sounds so good and it's usually perfectly fine if it's a minor case here or there, but if it's repetitive behavior over many, many decades then something isn't working right.

In the Bible we still read about David as he had an affair with Bathsheba and we still read that David arranged the murder of Uriah, and yes we read the David was a man after God's own heart, but we don't hear God say in His Word after He told us about the things which David did: now let's forget about it. Instead it's on record for all eternity as the Word of God will stand forever. So deal with that if you're so excited about not uncovering certain devastating issues. And there are many more instances in the Bible that tell us what so and so did. So why don't you ask God why He didn't keep this and that thing of a biblical character quiet, but shared it with everybody. We of course know, it's to explain His Mercy and Grace and the miracle Grace can perform in a person as a result if we as His people simply receive His Grace as a free gift.

And although there are many beautiful people in GGWO and there's no doubt about it, and there are a number of really honest upright godly Pastors in Greater Grace and its branch ministries, it doesn't change the practice and certain doctrines of GGWO which is absolutely fully-fledged cultic - the obvious signs of a cult. A true Grace Church based on the prinicples of the Bible does not instill fear in its members, and it will never invade the believer's privacy between that believer and God, but GGWO does. A true Grace Church will build people up as the leadership at such a church shares the pure Word of God. And such a true Grace Church will provide the ability to the believers to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There will be no threats or fearful doctrines in a true church of God.

Like some stated, they said that CHS most likely started out with sincerity and with the best intentions. But perhaps he jumped into the ministry too early without the proper education and without the proper checks and balances. It can be exciting to start a new little church or work of God and then have a certain measure of success as the crowds came, and then in a desire to keep them coming and bring "fresh" gems from the Word it's very easy to get off track. CHS himself said that in his early years as a preacher he at times went too far to the left and then too far to the right, and it's alright because it's a process of growing.

As you know CHS is extremely paranoid and in his case his paranoia started at a very young age. His dad died when he was only three years old, which is a terrible experience, then when he went to school and even into his early teenage years the Stevens family with the hard-working widow - mom was very, very poor and the other kids laughed at young Carl because of that. Needless to say that CHS went through a lot as a little boy in Maine and he has been scarred, and my heart goes really out to him. And it was such a privilege when he met the Savior and was earnest in studying the Word of God and in sharing it with others. But we also know how psychologically success works and it often cannot be comprehended by the person who is blessed with the early success in life. It's the prosperity test which so many desire and most people fail it. And as a young pastor your church is growing and then you don't want to lose what you have and you work on extending your success and controlling your success or you could call it blessing instead of success if you like, and you try desperately to keep it and to even create more momentum.

The result is that self-preservation is a driving force. There's nothing better than to taste success and receive a load of blessings, but there's also God who wants to draw us closer to Him and in the midst of success we often withdraw and then God does something about it. Anyway, to keep the success going, there's a tendency to begin controlling people and since CHS has had never real training in the Word of God, but only his own studies, although he consulted commentaries, etc., and then he had no real quality checks and balances in the beginning, the wheel of deception just began spinning and over the years you end up with the cultic doctrines that you find today in GGWO and which have been in GGWO/TBS for decades.

Then add a few "fanatics" to it who elevate the person (in this case CHS) like in the case of every celebrity to a pedestal and you got the whole package of cultic behavior. And as people often don't have a genuine identity in Christ, they fall for a human leader or an organization who/which apparently provides a type of identiy they can take on and relate to, instead of deriving a genuine identity from Christ. Let's not forget that many in GGWO or the former TBS around the late 60s and early 70s came out of the Flower-Power era, the Jesus movement, who were drug addicts, and who were eagerly searching for an identity. Jesus said that, if He (Jesus) be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him.

Just something to think about and to see things objectively. Nobody should be trashing GGWO or CHS, but instead look at the facts and how things really are.