COGIC's culture of cover-up: deep and destructive

I came out of my mother’s womb into the Church of God in Christ, so I am intimately familiar with COGIC pride which now to me is a surreal existence not unlike seeing a peacock in a zoo. There was a time when I would go to war to defend the “image” of the church and its “sainted” leaders. I was taught to defend COGIC’s leaders and image at all costs and I did because I was severely ignorant and believed what I was told.  But the years and God have pulled back the curtains on the truth and for me and perhaps thousands of others who have awakened from our church-induced slumber and scripture based fear (touch not mine anointed) of speaking out against the latent evil being covered up in our birth church, we rejoice to see the day when holiness again becomes not a cliche but a lifestyle in the church.

That being said, here’s the story of one woman who experienced first hand what you are up against when you and your situation finds itself against COGIC’s cover-up culture. This poignant piece by Cherrie Mackey should stand as both a warning and a wake up. A warning to the wolves and sexual misfits roaming the church that heaven is shining a light on you and you will not escape God’s justice. A wake-up to every person in COGIC who knows but says nothing. Your fear and silence will help destroy the church Bishop Mason’s “Yes Lord” helped to build. Just like God destroyed the temple in Jerusalem the Jews symbol of national pride, he will also dismantle the symbol of COGIC’s pride. 100 years mean nothing to him when sin is tolerated in the camp. And running to St. Louis wont change anything. Trust that.

An Ungodly Silence
by Cherrie Mackey

As a born-and-bred (but now former) member of the Church of God In Christ, how do I begin to wade through the quagmire of alleged abuse detailed in the Dallas Observer’s February 23, 2008 “Bible Girl” section? What’s left to say about a man so obviously sin-sick and possibly even emotionally unstable? I could express my righteous outrage and indignation, but so what. I could verbally tar and feather him, but I’m sure that’s already being done. I could try to deconstruct his psyche in an attempt to understand all that transpired, but I’m afraid that would take more space (and education) than I have.

Rather than go any of those routes, I just want to ask a question: How in God’s literal name did this man ever get away with this?

Based on the allegations — which, by the way, I’m persuaded are true — how did such a seemingly perverse, delusional and damaged individual violate so many for so long? Exactly how did this sin prosper?

Don’t use up any extra brain cells trying to come up with an answer. I already have it: Good men stood by and did nothing.

Clearly blame belongs squarely on Allen’s shoulders for his own actions. That’s a given. But as a leader in a highly visible, well-respected, organized body of religion, where were the overseers of the overseers? Where were the regulations, reprimands and victims’ avenues of recourse?
Where was the spiritual discernment? This church was known for its “prophetic summits” — why didn’t any of the “prophets” discern that something was very wrong in the Allen/Shiloh camp?

Paul instructs us not to even dine at Red Lobster with those who are sexually immoral yet call themselves believers. How, then, can you explain the turned heads, averted eyes and coins-over-character mentalities that had to be present?

I partly blame the denomination. Yes, the grand ol’ Church Of God In Christ. You simply can’t defend a religious institution that shields abusers and criminals, actually providing them a haven of sorts to carry out their sick activities. Just ask the Roman Catholic Church. On the other hand, with a great respect and appreciation for my own roots in the Church of God In Christ and the many family members I have who are still affiliated with it, how can you completely disregard and discount an institution with such an auspicious beginning and rich spiritual history? (Bishop C.H. Mason and the Azusa Street Revival.)

I’m not sure how to square that all up, but I ask the question because I myself experienced exactly this type of ig’nint-on-purpose behavior by church officials, although it didn’t involve the same kind of abuse. I was once married to what is known in the denomination as a “minister of music,” and after only a short while in the marriage, he impregnated a fellow choir member while simultaneously being unfaithful with a local pastor’s daughter. You read that right. He had a girlfriend in a church down the street while one of his own choir members was carrying his baby — and his faithful (okay, clueless) wife was sitting at home praying for everybody.

We’ve heard this type of scenario before though, haven’t we? It’s not really new or surprising anymore.  But here’s the salt in the already-gaping wound: when these circumstances were brought to the attention of our pastor — who I had previously admired, trusted and believed in as a man of integrity — he did nothing. Not only that, he already knew. The same man who had counseled us before we married, had us over for swims in his pool — that same good man seemed to take a boys-will-be-boys attitude and, to my knowledge, didn’t do a thing to remedy this sick situation.

You have to understand that being removed from ministry or “silenced,” especially in the wake of moral turpitude, is (or used to be) a strict guideline of the Church of God in Christ. As a teenager I can remember many a public testimony being shut down in mid-sentence because of a lifestyle that didn’t match what was being testified of. Yet my ex-husband was allowed to continue to serve not only locally but also on the state level in this denomination. He kept right on tickling the ivories and rocking the organ bench while the aiding-and-abetting pastor kept right on “hooping” and the enabling saints kept right on shouting.

You think it had anything to do with the fact that my ex-husband was, indeed, a very talented musician and that hell would freeze over before some Churches of God in Christ would go without their “shouting music”?  If you do, then that means some innocent individuals were literally sacrificed on the altar of the Hammond B-3 just so the saints could keep dancing to the beat.

To my knowledge, the pastor never confronted or counseled my ex-husband. He certainly didn’t counsel or comfort me and I don’t know what, if anything, was ever said to the other women. I can almost guarantee, it was nothing.

It wasn’t just me and my circumstances, either. There were abusers and other marital infidels on his ministerial roster and he knew about them, too.  And in at least one case, I personally know he did nothing.

I remember lying prostrate on my face, getting carpet hairs up my nose many a night. Crying out to God til’ I was literally hoarse. Putting ice packs on my eyes many mornings just to be presentable at work. It really was a nightmare.  But personal pain aside, the thing that haunted me most was that question…”Why didn’t he do anything?” After all, the Church of God In Christ was supposed to be the bastion of holiness, the place that put a serious premium on righteous living to the point of legalism. Why didn’t my pastor do something?

No, I didn’t expect him to rescue me but I did think he would stand up for what was right.  And lest you think I’m some namby-pamby who goes church-hopping after a tribulation or two — that wasn’t me.  As a young woman I had always been active in the church, even up to the national level myself, and I had been approached and almost accosted by other Church of God in Christ men many times. As an attractive young Christian woman with a naive earnestness to serve the church and its leaders, I didn’t realize I was a goldfish in a barrel full of sharks. Traveling evangelists extending hotel-room invites, husbands winking and flirting, pastors passing illicit notes, hugs that lasted too long, leering and lascivious looks — sharks. But I always ignored them, chalked it up to the weakness of a few less-than-committed men, and kept on keeping on in Jesus’ name. So I was not without experience or a point of reference when it came to sexual harassment in the church.

Put those past experiences together with the illegitimate baby and girlfriend drama and I simply became sick of the whole patriarchal, bullying bunch of ‘em and at that point I started writing my own little book of “Exodus.”

After many tears, much praying and not a little anxiety, I unceremoniously left the Church of God In Christ.

So this is the way sin prospers — because we don’t challenge it. We don’t question it. We keep our mouths shut in the name of “not doing the prophet any harm.” Or, we allow ourselves to be intimidated by “you can’t judge me.” Or, the skeletons threatening to break down the door of our own closets have got their bony fingers around our necks in a chokehold.

I must admit, I was hesitant to even submit this commentary. Went so far as to discuss it with my current pastor because even though my experience was years ago, I didn’t want to “out” anybody. I had been conditioned, just as the Allen victims were, not to “put my mouth” on the men and women of God. But again, this is how sin thrives — when good people do nothing.

So let the chips fall where they may. I challenge you to challenge sin. All the time. Every time. Even if you have to start with yourself.  By all means, start with yourself. If we don’t, the Sherman Allens of religion — not just of this denomination — will continue to shipwreck the lives of weak, vulnerable and hurting women and unlike me, some may never recover.

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35 thoughts on “COGIC's culture of cover-up: deep and destructive

  1. thats an interesting piece. I remember hearing my mom talk about a pastor here in MI. He was the state president of the evangelist department, and for those of you familiar with Detroit, his church was over their on Joy Rd. by the Southfield Freeway.

    Anyway, my mother said this particular pastor could preach heaven down and he could raise an offering! Anyway, it was later found out that he was raping his daughters and beating his wife. My mother knew his wife and sai she stayed black and blue, but would try to cover it up with makeup. And two of his daughters had got pregnant by him and he forced them to get abortions.

    His eldest daughter went to his bishop (this bishop is deceased now) but he didnt do anything. She later went to the police and he was arrested. It was said that on the day of his sentencing, he came into the court room dressed in his clergy collar carrying a pulpit bible. The judge told him that she wasnt thinking about his collar and that he shouldve been thinking about that bible before he raped his daughters and beat his wife, she gave him life in prison.

  2. I also do think adult women should take responsibility for their own actions. Being “tricked” or “talked into” sleeping with the pastor isnt the same as forcible rape!

    Yes the pastor in question is wrong for cheating on his wife, but an adult woman who willingly slept with the pastor cant equate it with being raped. Sure, she might feel bad about it, and the pastor probably ran game on her and made promises to her that he had no intentions of keeping just to get into her pants, but that isnt the same as forcible rape.

    Someone may say the pastor took advantage of the woman, for instance, if she came to him for counseling and they end up sleeping together, but it takes two to tango. If the pastor didnt force her or intimidate her into it, then it is not rape and its not a legal issue. The woman in question is just as responsible.

    GCMW: C11, until you can cite some cases, please refrain from all the hypothesis. We get it you want to bring balance, but let’s concentrate of justice in real cases that are before us. The victims deserve that, not more hypothetical wrangling.

  3. it is a legal issue…pastor/parishoner equals counselor/counselee in the eyes of the law…the responsiblity to maintain ethical conduct lies with the pastor…

  4. True djenk. What I was trying to get at is that they seems to be more of a rush of justice in the legal department than that particular case.

  5. ^i wasnt talking about your comment…i was addressing C11’s comment about it not being a legal issue…you are exactly right..it is a shame that the legal system has to be involved because people are more worried about maintaining the church’s “image” in front of the world and keeping the money rolling in…

  6. Would any of you feel sorry for me if I let Sherman Allen paddle me because I thought he was the mand of Gawd, when all I had to do was not let him paddle me?

  7. Are there warning signs to these behaviors? I just can’t believe God would allow these things to happen, and there be no indication that something was amiss. These kind creep into the houses of “silly women”, so obviously discernment, maturity, and other things like common sense are missing. But is that the pervert’s fault, or the prey? Or both?

    Clearly, scripture would not support a man raping a woman or man, or woman doing the same, but are there biblical accounts of God allowing that type of tragedy to occur to test your love for him? And what warning signs are there to signal something out of order before you wind up in the bed with someone?

    And don’t take this inquiry out of context, I’m not saying blame yourself and you should be ashamed. But you have to consider your own actions in light of the circumstances. Were your own decisions that gave rise to the situation (any situation) wise ones?

    Someone help me understand.

    GCMW: P28, are you addressing something or someone in particular? If so, you may need to make that known.

  8. What I got from the story has nothing to do with a woman having sex with anyone but her husband being unfaithful while the “Bishop” of the church new about and didnt do anything.

    If the leaders are carnal there is surely a strong possibility that the congregation will follow, it only takes a little leaven to leaven the whole lump. That being a lay man I think as far as scripture is concerned.

    If the leaders focus on the leaders (touch not mine anointed, etc) and not Christ it is easy to see where people can be lead astray, you hear that enough you are sure to believe that you are cursed if you ever say anything while the Pastor is abusing you! For the record every believer in Christ is The LORDS anointed, “we are a royal preisthood”.

    Lets remember Eli’s sons also, as they were abusing many women due to their office and God held them accountable (he killed them) more so than the women.

    God bless!!!

  9. I also understood that Cherrie Mackey has had to deal with a lot of undesirable attention from male church leaders.

    I would also like to say that scripturally speaking Church leaders seem to have a greater responsibilty as they are to show the way. Lets remember that Paul said follow me as I follow Christ. If you are named a “Bishop” (I wish people would stop abusing these titles)this is what the bible says you should be like.
    1 Timothy 3
    2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;……

  10. Oh my bad djenk. I personally never been in a church with such gross misconduct going on. I personally would felt compelled to publicly say something. My heart just breaks when I hear stories like these.

  11. As a word of instruction for anyone in any church fellowship, if any person or if any leader is not exhibiting the stated fruits of the Spirit and your Spirit does not bear witness with their
    Spirit that they are a child of God…that is a red flag!
    You have been warned. Stay away. Cease the conversation. Stop the relationship.
    The Spirit of God will bear witness with you if someone is amiss with the Word of God. The question may be: do you want to adhere to it and “walk alone” or do you seek felllowship or companionship at such a terrible cost.
    When good men and women cover up so they can stay in fellowship…sin will abound. Until people are willing to take a principled stand on the revealed Word of God about suspect conduct and calling it out as such…regardless of being ostracized…sin will continue in the camp.
    Too often, we seem to value being in a group as far more important than individual moral behavior. We want to be liked and be “in.” And to do so, we turn our heads when we see evil or sin
    staring at us. No one wants a cruxifiction…only warm applause and party invitations.
    People of God..take a stand in the name of Jesus and He will protect those who are His. That protection may involve calling the police and also leaving that fellowship.But so what. Do it.
    You may save someone’s life and prevent these wolves from devouring someone else who is not as knowledgeable as you in the matters of the Word of God.
    Take a stand and quit hoping for your flesh to be pampered by being liked by everyone.

  12. Lafe, I agree, that is maturity but many times it is the weak who are prayed upon. What do you do when it is a child or a babe in Christ? It is the Leader show should be watching our for their souls.

  13. Lafe, I agree also. In addition, consider…

    There are weak people in the church. That is an inescapbable fact. Not all are strong and not all are mature as much as we want or even demand that they be. Some, even after they are warned will still fall victim. However, the weak are not to be preyed up, they are to be protected.

    Community is a double-edged sword in that we are told to be united. But unity also becomes a trap to silence and punish us should we be under wrong leadership. The weak are told to declare their strength. Let the weak say I am strong. We are warned that ravenous wolves are among the flock. The bible tells us to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation. And all is to be considered when situations like this happen.

    I tell my children all the time to watch out for people whose sole goal is to manipulate them. But that doesnt mean my job as a father is done cause I told them.

    But if a person does not handle things for themselves, it is primary responsibility of the shepherd (watchman). The shepherd is charged to watch for the souls of the people, not destroy them. I find no excuse for the ones intentionally derelict of their duties. Like David did when the bears and lions come around to destroy the flock, they should be killed, not allowed to kill and then be rewarded. But what happens when the very person you think should protect is the lion, the wolf or the bear? And pretends to be a shepherd.

    Remember, God pronounced a woe (Jer 23:11, Zech 11:17) upon Shepherds who scatter the flock, not the flock who wander into the traps laid by wolves like Sherman Allen.

    To me, this is the biblical context. That does in no way excuse women who seduce men into sex. That does not include those who are in fully consensual sexual arrangements. In God’s eyes whether criminal or not it is just as egregious. Crime doesnt make it more sinful, just adds another dimension of justice to be meted out.

  14. This is a brave sister for sharing her story. I pray that others will speak up and stop covering these rapists. I was raised in a different church, same sexual abuse. It was horrible for some of the young ladies. And the church covered every last one of these perverts. I have problems with my mother now, because she knew what was going on and did nothing. Even today one of the pheophiles calls her his mother!! I blew a gasket when I heard him say that and confronted her. She has no answers for me because acceptance of the church is more important than acceptance from her own flesh and blood daughter.
    And to c11, stop blaming the victim-these demonic spirits are very strong and you don’t know all that was done mentally and emotionally to these women. They need our prayers and support, not to be torn down by those in the Body of Christ~

  15. Lafe, you have really hit the crux concerning the things that “PARISHONERS/CONGREGANTS” should be doing: looking to God’s Word and examining the fruit of those in one’s surroundings. If just 10% of the general “church” population would do this, it would put to an end all the antics that pass for “holy activity.”

    The group mentality that you noted is one that is quite strong, yet if any one of these “fellowships” were closely examined, one would quickly conclude that nearly all of them are superficial. Yes, every person has a inherent need to belong. That will never go anywhere. The problem of people trumping the truth and righteousness of God & His Word for all manner of group gatherings and wanting “to belong” is emblematic of the non-stop promotions for “conferences,” “workshops” and the like. I have stopped visiting StreamingFaith, Christianity Today and Charisma behind those ridiculous ads! NOWHERE in these gatherings is the Word of God exalted, let alone examined, to truly address and cull courage from His Word for people to stop the travesty that is befalling COGIC.

    I walked away from two independent WOF “churches” after seeing with my own eyes the level of manipulation, neglect and abuse (not sexual that I am aware of) that was allowed to flourish w/the “congregations'” blessings. Even as people were made aware of the endless travesties there, the standard activity of running defense for the wicked in exchanged for “being liked” continues forth as the norm. Being away from people, especially while being unemployed, does not necessarily feel good. However, I would rather endure the lonliness now for greater spiritual manifestation than continue to fool myself into believing I am loved among a bunch of vipers and partake in their punishment later. My reading Proverbs 1: 20 – 33 (along w/other scirptures) to convince me to stay away.

  16. Amen Pastor Foster!!

    You know we must rememeber what the position a leader holds in the Church, you must LEAD! thats the whole point. What has happened here is not a struggle as far as sin but an abuse of power, this is predetory behavior. You know the devil goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, this is what is happening here! Lafe, these men will not go after a woman in the Church who they know is mature, you best believe that!

  17. I want to ask Pastor Foster and others out there to think about from this point. Before I present the simulation, all us of commenting KNOW the word about wolves and what is right from wrong. Too many times, the victims or those preyed upon get TOO MUCH share of the blame and not vice versa. I believe most commenting agree here.

    The problem is HOW to apply the scriptures plus what is Caesar’s law to these type of situations. Now, myself being in corporate america for 15 years and now new to the federal government. I must say, that the World has MUCH BETTER systems, guidelines, rules and regulations and procedures to handle disputes: sexual harrassment especially than the Churches doo! Most people willingly refuse to date someone they work with because if the relationship turns sour….legal problems or revenge could apply. The best policy is to be PROFESSIONAL day in and day out. Now there are wolves that get protected in the world too, but eventually a strong person has to be willing to risk all to take on a wolf.

    Now if the world can regulate(at least try to) itself and has legal procedures in place to protect people from sexual harrassment, gender/race/age/sexual orientation/etc etc. discriminations…WHY CAN’t the Churches in America who are suppose to be the LIGHT of the world, do the same?????

    Perfect example: The first day you are on any new job, whether federal govt or corporate–a new employee signs documents about protecting company assets and the employer gives the new employee a bill of rights or points of contact for ALL of their needs, benefits, present and FUTURE! How many Churches or ministries do that? Even in this day in age, Churches must do BACKGROUND CHECKs, Criminal investigations! Say what Elder EnochWalked, yes do background investigations into a person’s past! Time out for taking a man’s word! Those days are over UNLESS YOU have a THUS Saith the LORD!

  18. N’Catina,

    Wow!

    I would suggest trying to start a group with likeminded believers. where 2 or 3 are gathered Jesus is in th midst. I understand your where you are coming from as I feel that way now however God still wants us to gather toghether to enourage and edify one another.

    Its very sad, the situation in many churches

  19. Paul, I do have contact w/a few choice people though not w/the frequency I would desire.

    I do tune into a twice-weekly online broadcast by way of apostasywatch.com where I do have “virtual” contact w/people that have their head on straight concerning the Word.

    I also meant to put the word “love” in quite from my last post. The crap that goes on in the so-called church is anything but.

  20. N’Catina, Thats good! you never know what God can do with a small group. If you dont mind me asking where are you located?
    God had put it on my heart to gather with people who want to stand and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ! I am tired of Church as usual!

  21. Just a slight corrective note to Paul N….the phrase, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them…does not refer to churches or small groups. That particular verse is found in the midst of church disciplinary actions and it underscores the fact when church discipline is meted out, Jesus was co-signing their deliberate acts (assuming it is along Biblical lines).
    When read contexually, that/those verses will interpret themselves as to the prior verses that it/they is/are attached to.
    We already know that Jesus said that he would never leave us or forsake us, so this verse is not controlling as to the presence and power of Jesus to be with his Church.

  22. Thanks Lafe, I looked it up, what would be your opinion on this commentary?

    John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

    Matthew 18:20

    For where two or three are gathered together…
    This seems to be said in opposition to a Jewish notion, that a number less than ten, is not a congregation F1; whereas, though the number is ever so few that are met together to pray to God; or to hear his word, attend on his ordinances, or do the business of his house, or transact any affair that is for the glory of God, and the good of souls, in my name, says Christ; that is, by his authority, depending on his assistance, calling upon his name, and making use of it, and seeking the glory of it:

    there am I in the midst of them;
    presiding over them, ruling in their hearts, directing their counsels, assisting them in all they are concerned, confirming what they do, and giving a blessing and success to all they are engaged in. The Jews, though they say there is no congregation less than ten, yet own that the divine presence may be with a lesser number, even as small an one as here mentioned F2

  23. i visit your website every several days and had no idea you had pulled my story/article and posted it on your website!

    even though the story is almost 20 years old and the article itself is a couple of years old, perhaps it will still help, encourage, embolden, or empower somebody.

    that was my prayer when i wrote it and it remains my prayer today.

    thanks for re-circulating! be blessed!

  24. Cherrie,
    Trust that your words are not boxed by time. When I read it, it was as it you had just penned it. I was honored to post it here, and even moreso that you check in on us every once and a while.
    Please know that YOUR labor is not in vain and the Lord is not unjust nor is he asleep.

    blessings and peace!

  25. THERE IS A DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL POLICY IN COGIC. THERE IS A SPIRIT OF PRIDE AND TOUCH NOT MINE ANNOINTING PROTECTION OF SOME OF COGIC PASTORS. FOUNDER MASON’S YES LORD, AFFIRMATION NEEDS TO BE REVISITED BY COGIC. COGIC HEAD LEADER BISHOP BLAKE TROUBLES ME BECAUSE HE IS TOO SILENT ON SINS THAT IS AFFECTING HIS STATE AND THIS COUNTRY SUCH AS HOMOSEXUALITY, DRUG USE AND GANG VIOLENCE. THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IS VERY DEEP INTO GANG VIOLENCE, HOMOSEXUALITY, DRUGS, AND MARIJUANA USE BUT I NEVER SEE BISHOP BLAKE PLAY AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THE MEDIA OF DENOUNCING THESE PUBLIC ILLS, NOR DOES HE ACTIVELY DENOUNCE THESE ILLS IN THE CHURCH. I AM NOT JUDGING HIM, JUST QUESTIONING HIM.

  26. I HAVE ANOTHER COMMENT. I REMEMBER AS A CHILD IN MY COGIC CHURCH WHEN OUR ORGAN PLAYER MOVED TO ANOTHER STATE. WE NEEDED A MUSICIAN SO OUR PASTOR AT THAT TIME, GOT A NEW ORGAN PLAYER. I REMEMBER THIS GUY LOOKING VERY FEMINENT AND GIRLY. LOOKING BACK TODAY, I AM SURE THAT HE WAS GAY. HE ONLY PLAYED AT OUR CHURCH FOR A FEW MONTHS BUT I DID SEE HIM PLAY AT OTHER CHURCHES. IN ANOTHER CASE, TODAY, MY WIFE AND I KNOW OF A COGIC ORGANIST WHO WAS ARRESTED IN A GAY PUBLIC BATHROOM SEX STING THAT WAS PUBLISHED IN OUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER. IS THAT MAN STILL PLAYING IN COGIC CHURCHES, YES. I AM NOT CONDEMNING COGIC, THEY HAVE BUILT ME UP SPIRITUALLY AND HAVE BEEN A BIG PART OF MY FAMILY HISTORY. I JUST DON’T WANT TO SEE IT GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION LIKE SOME OTHER DENOMINATIONS.

  27. Melvin I asked those same questions and he swore up and down in Memphis (see below video) this year that “of course he’s against gay marriage, homosexuality, abortion, etc. But where’s the proof? COGIC proclamation? A leader of his position should be leading not being silent. Anyone can search and you’ll find scant if any public reports where Bishop Blake has spoken out against these issues. Some say he does it all the time at West A. I looked there (on his site) but I dont see anything of the sort. What are we supposed to do: join West Angeles to find out?

  28. i really admire your boldness but i dnt agree with u leaving the COGIC. Holiness is right by it self u cant blame the whole church for your pastors action. You have to let the past go if you want to make it to heaven. Bishop Mason paved the way for us now it is up to us to live the life. Im from a small town and im been taught true holiness. We dnt believe in church hopping God is soon to crack the sky the question is will u be ready. So dnt take it the wrong way but u left the church the wrong way.

  29. To: AChapman

    I’m assuming your post was relative to my story, “An Ungodly Silence”. I, too, was taught the ills of church-hopping and I was never looking for that Pastor to “rescue” me. On those points, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    But I not only disagree with, but am offended by, your surmising that I “left the church in the wrong way.” As the Shepherd under which all those members had placed the care of their very souls, I fully expected that Pastor to put a stop to those he allowed to serve in the pulpit and choir who were so blatantly and boldly practicing sins of infidelity, adultery, and physical abuse.

    It was not that I blamed the entire organization for one Pastor’s actions and it was only after much prayer, many tears, and not a little anxiety that I left the COGIC. Why? Because I simply could no longer support and seed into an institution absolutely mired in traditionalism and legalism and what I deemed “patriarchal terrorism”.

    But you’ll be glad to know I have definitely let the past go. I’m spiritually healthy, whole and healed and have been for years. I’m in ministry with a Kingdom-minded mentality that manifests itself in service and most of all, I’m happy with Jesus alone.

    Yes, Bishop Mason paved the way for true holiness and quite frankly, I think he would be grieved to know how the COGIC has digressed. It sounds like you have developed that same cult mentality I witnessed and almost succumbed to myself. But I challenge you — no, I dare you to allow the Truth of the Word to set you free. I dare you.

  30. To tell you the truth, AChapman’s comments smack of the callous insensitivity so common in COGIC. What’s worse, I used to think the same way. If you leave COGIC you have backslid. I had no concept of the kingdom of God or the body of Christ. I lived in a COGIC born-COGIC-bred world which taught us were were the only church that was right. That sort of misguided pride in one’s denomination (which by the way Bishop Mason DID NOT foster) is indicative of why the denomination has lost its bearings on holiness.

  31. GCM, I have took time daily to read through these threads and as I did so, I concluded that ALL DENOMINATIONS carry elements of evil because they were all created by man. Nowhere in scripture are there any specifc references, or endorsements therein, concerning the various and still growing number of denominations on the current landscape. Inherent within the scripture concerning the shortcomings of anything man does or creates, all of these denominations–COGIC included–have taken what is supposed to be joy in worshipping God and have made it into a worthless, leagalistic, paternalistic, abusive entity. The only difference with this demonination, other than the catholic “church” and a few others is that the sexual and other scandolous skeltons have not yet fallen out of the closet for public viewing.

    I also found AChapman’s comments to be personally offense, lending to the wide stereotype that all Christians are to be subservient to all powers, under all conditions, under all circumstances. I left two “non-denominational ‘churches'” in part because the “leadership” became intoxicated in its own power and did so to the irreparable harm of the congregants. To that end, AChapman and others need to examine themselves for, among other things, compassion and the discernment to decipher leadership according to scripture versus dominonism practiced among cults.

  32. N’Catina, my sentiments exactly, the denomination thing is all you have said.

    AChapman are you saying that it would be better for Ms. Cherrie to stay? what is your scriptural reference for someone staying in a Church where the leadership is unholy? I more see God telling us to move on! I mean, we are taught not even to eat with a person who lives like this.

    Truly, leaving a denomination is not leaving the “CHURCH”, “THE BODY OF CHRIST”

    I pray God delivers you from denominational bondage, thats what it is.

  33. Ms. Cherrie, I would like to commend you for leaving actually, from experience it is so hard to pull away from emotional attachements even when you know you should. More than anything else I think as Christians need to be in healthy relationships (as much as possible, it is after all what Jesus is talking about.

    Its one thing to have to struggle in the world but we would hope that our church would be a place of refuge, love, acceptance, encouragement.

    Ephesians 4:15-17
    15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

    17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

    How on earth could this have happened in this church?

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