After around three good years (see Part I), in 1987, I started realizing that MCF had some genuine semi-cultish ways:
1. The elders seemed aloof. And we almost worshiped them, especially the top dogs. But wasn’t it supposed to be a Priesthood of All Believers? And a truly multiple eldership without top dogs?
2. My local knowledgeable elder & his kindly wife seemed surprisingly difficult to impress. And wanting to hold everything tightly to themselves. But weren’t they supposed to be ‘building up the Body of Christ to minister’ (Eph 4)? Contrary to most of the young people, I knew our word backwards after having researching it, and brought four of my friends in (almost unheard of). But when I wanted to give them Bible Studies this eldership couple treated me, frankly, like an idiot and insisted on doing it themselves, and really poorly. I also expressed interest in playing piano at home-group and got no interest from them or opportunity to train.
3. The joke that the preachers’ kids got all the opportunities seemed to be true. But New Testament Scripture and Proverbs warns against partiality so clearly!
I slowly began to close down. It seemed everything was always of one day in the near future but never visible. Imagine how I felt another 30 years later, still there and treated the SAME way! For goodness sake, all we wanted to do was contribute! But these elders and couples, even three years later, treated us young people like idiots.
4. I started hearing about the way the elders and congregation spoke of people who left. And it grieved me. I knew the stories they told were exaggerated and had two sides.
5. They had a frustratingly anti-education sensibility. How silly! The Apostle Paul and at least, Luke, came from educated backgrounds! Were my studies going to get in the way of my ever helping out?
But I put all this down to ‘nothing’s perfect’ and I’m too young and quiet anyway.
The communion meetings in general were a bit all over the place, but generally edifying and the homegroups were great sharing from all and the Bible Studies were solid.
The youth was cliquey but I had a good enough group of friends and loved the homegroup.