Although life at MCF (Melbourne Christian Fellowship) with your guru elder was like being thrown to the lions, that’s not what I mean.
I’m talking about life in general at MCF.
The elders and up-coming leaders all could talk this lingo they had learned from Vic Hall’s Biblically-unsound books. We used it too, but not as confidently.
Words like ‘self-naming’ and ‘laying it back’ and ‘the brethren’ and ‘heaving’ and ‘thanksgiving offering’ and so on. All in normal conversation.
The real games was in watching the partiality. Elder’s kids and other ‘in’ ones seemed to go from strength to strength in their careers and businesses, stewarding them. The elders would give testimonies from the pulpit about how their kids were being promoted ahead of their colleagues because of whatever. And they all seemed to have businesses on the side if not full-time.
All whilst we were being banned from the slightest stewardings of our careers or businesses or ministries.
In church itself, at MCF, two types of things would happen all the time:
- The best candidate for every job was always chosen. What’s wrong with that? Well is that really ‘going to grow and strengthen the Body of Christ if it’s always a special few? No way. And the special few were genuinely highly talented speakers and preachers and teachers. But gave no room for any of us to do anything but clean toilets.
- An odd choice was made. What’s wrong with that? It was always an elder’s kid or an ‘in’ person. Partiality which the Scripture speak against vehemently.
It’s really not that we wanted to ‘draw to ourselves’ or take over. We just wanted to contribute as members of the Body of Christ, and sometimes not with a an apron on.
Even when we were essentially the best candidate, or the origin of an idea, we still never got a shot at anything. It felt like a horrible, twisted game when the local elders announced the Family Fun Night that ‘came from the hearts of a lovely couple’. Could that really be us? It was our plan and hearts’ desire. But of course not. It went, as usual, to the same two couples who do everything. And they disliked the idea!
Of course the sessions with your guru elder were a game. Would you be banned or blessed? It really depended on what you looked like. And how much it sounded like you wanted to do your plan. The more you wanted it, the more you were banned.
I went t othese meetings totally honestly because I wanted God’s decision. If I wanted to do something because I loved it, I confessed that. But this didn’t auger well for my life or employability.
In one case, during a session, as I was crying after a banning from starting my business, my elder pointed at me and said to his henchmen:
That’s a man with blocked goalsDavid Bonham (about me, to his henchmen) 1998
A compassion-less game. All whilst his high school drop-out sidekicks, standing over me, were allowed to run their businesses!
But I noticed that the ‘in’ crowd expressed almost no interest in anything they did.
Steve Anderson once told me that he had no interest in AV.
That was a lie. I’ve seen him loving the upsides and AV-ness of running his businesses.
MCF was a horrific, ugly game that the Yes Men played. And we watched, as my father saw in a vision last month (October 2019).
Another game was them getting you to think that you were running a program. And then right at the end after call ons and call offs and call ons, they announced, with a grin, that it had no budget.
A last example of games and unnecessary competition comes from an Easter Camp down in Warnambool. My ‘lovely’ elder David Bonham, came to tell me he wanted to put my name forward as a potential future leader. But he couldn’t. My unsettledness in accepting my bannings, from career and business and wanting to ‘name myself’ meant he couldn’t. And not only that. i needed a ‘conversion experience’. Where do I get one of those David?
It was a horrible, nasty and wasteful place.
Unless you liked being trodden over by your friends and leaders.
Or being asked to do everything you hate and being told not to offer to do what you know you can do.
What a waste of humanity.
And it all came to nothing
After all these games, for more than two decades, nothing ever came of any of it! It was utterly pointless.