The purpose of this post is just to warn other people about this particular church. In my attempt to get help addressing a moral / ethical issue with a church member who has cheated me out of a sizable amount of money, (for me) I discovered some very disturbing things.
The only response I got back in the end was that is between the person and myself and I could not expect any help from anybody in the church. There is a concept taught today in modern churches that when you have an issue, like mine, that you confront the person and if they wont respond in a moral / ethical way you get other members of the church to mediate the situation.
Resorting to legal means when the person has everything tied up in Corporations is a worthless effort. You can not collect even if you get a judge to make an award in your favor.
In the process I have listened to the first 17 of a 33 set of CDs published from the pastors sermons on Marriage Counseling. I have heard some very disturbing issues that go against what I have been taught in other churches. Some of the material taught is right on but much is not either.
One of the first things I was told members are required to do is to learn about the Free Masons, and denounce them through a prayer process. Here is a quote from somebody I know who did the Breakthrough to Joy program where they do that process from what I can tell.
"I did not know much about the Masons until I said the Free Mason prayer on the website at oaksofrighteousness.org. It is under Free downloads, then Free resources and then Prayers. I read through it with my group leader at church and it helped. The pastor of this ministry said that early death and epilepsy are by products of this"
What I find when I look for information about the Free Masons fits what I have always seen with the Masons. That being they are a benevolent organization, which is highly respected. But not by these folks, in this church. In fact that website is out of New Zealand which I find strange in itself.
I have not gotten to hear it yet but I have been told they practice talking in tongues. Anything I have ever heard about that is it is a cult thing. I did hear a lady do that once and it was totally weird. The following website pretty well confirms what I see as being what this is all about. There are many other websites you can look at too.
The pastor is very dogmatic about demanding you tithe 10 percent to the church. The words he uses, are so intimidating, at least to me, I simply can't believe it. Part of a persons way of tithing in most churches can be accounted for by them volunteering their time too. That is not what I have gotten out of what he says here. I also take exception to his dogmatic stance that you can't give to your own choice of a charity to count as part of your tithe.
In my searching for some help with my issue I couldnt get any response so finally I sent an email to every pastor on their contact list challenging them with the same ideas I am posting here. I didnt get even one response to that challenge. That leads me to conclude the pastor has to have these people under so tight of control they are afraid to question anything he says. They are like the people who followed Jim Jones namely kool aid drinkers is all I can conclude. That is scary.
I firmly believe we will see a lot more of that behavior when what people like those at Calvary Church in Costa Mesa Ca. teach. That being we are in the end times and in the middle of the seven year Tribulation period. Since nobody was ratputred yet we have to conclude that will now occur at the end of the period rather than before. The problem I see is that so many people buy into this that they are not planning for the rest of their lives properly because they believe they are about to be taken out.
We are no closer to any of that coming true than we were 2,000 or 10,000 years ago. This is also what I find disturbing about having a President of the Country who might make his decisions based on Bible prophecy, as stated in the Book of Revelations and made so popular by the Left Behind series of books. George Bush being our current version of such a President and we have at least two in the current political race who are just as scary.
Most "Born Again Christian" churches bad mouth others such as the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists and others, even the Catholic Church as being cults. Do you know that the Church of Scientology put, by far, more volunteers into disaster areas like the Sumumi and Katrina? They have a trained force of 60,000 volunteers, which is more than the United Nations Peace Corp, the Americorp and the Peace Corp combined? Yet they are deemed to be devils. Well something stinks in my opinion when this is going on. I checked out Scientology and I am not interested in joining them but they are not bad. Any group who does good things for other people is not bad and the ones who badmouth them should just "shut up already".
I have checked out other belief systems such as what the Unity Church teaches, and the Church of Religious Science which is an offshoot of Mary Baker Eddy's teachings. The "Course in Miracles" is said, by some pastors, to be the very worst book you can read. However it is all about loving your fellow man so I happen to like it. It follows the teachings in the bible certainly.
Most churches up until the last decade or two didn't believe in Psychologists. They all said if you just pray harder and longer all your problems would be taken away. Sadly nothing can be further from the truth. Thank god for People like John Townsend & Henry Cloud and Dr. Dobson and his "Focus on the Family" organization. They have finally woken up to get people some real help that they need and don't get from just "praying harder and longer". I heard that same thing said basically, the other day in a group at Liberty in fact.
Because of all that I have seen, and heard about, I choose not to get any more involved with this church as I think it is as close to a cult as I have been exposed to. You can do what you want but just be warned is all.