If BCF (Brisbane Christian Fellowship)/MCF (Melbourne Christian Fellowship) wanted to clean up their, frankly, cult-like act, and for all intents and purposes . . re-join Christendom, what could they do?
I would humbly suggest BCF/MCF should not expect God to continuously ‘pour out’ new revelations on an annual basis beyond the gospel that Christ died for us. Instead, become expert at practising the core of Christianity and, sure, enjoy a few revelatory tidbits on the side.
I suggest to BCF/MCF congregants that that ‘religious pressure’ to ‘come up with new stuff’ is the CAUSE of all the problems at BCF/MCF. Vic Hall is, in essence, always trying to one-up Ray Jackson Snr and Offiler in the next ‘revelation’. No need. We’ve got the gospel already and Offiler’s approach is an extremely sensible framework for interpreting Scripture.
John 17 makes it clear: the ‘great ingathering’ will be fulfilled as us Christians love each other and are unified. That’s what we need to work towards! Re-watch the Jerusalem Passion.
There’s no Scriptural evidence for any promises for fundamental new revelations. Certainly no guarantees.
God may enhance a few things in these last days including understanding of End Times. Us bookish Bible scholars (I count myself as one) will always come across mini-revelations. It’s cool and edifying and useful. Like interesting understandings of what the different parts of Israel’s journey represent (Sojourn in Egypt, Wilderness, Promised Land, Captivity, Restoration). Or fascinating facts like it was exactly 41 years (which exactly equals one prophetic ‘last’ hour) between the resurrection and the Fall of Jerusalem. Fascinating. Cool. If we apply it in pattern to the 2000th anniversary of the resurrection coming up in 2029 then it means that, maybe, our last ‘hour’ is about to start in a few years . . All interesting and beneficial. But it’s not the core gospel.
But rethinking salvation again? Come on BCF/MCF!
That it’s through the Blood of Christ and the cross will NOT change! Nor our going on to be more like Christ by taking up our crosses and being transformed by allowing God to renew our minds.
This will NOT change by some new revelation.
Be content with what is written.
Do not go beyond what is written:
“Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.1 Cor 4:6
Never again, claim to be THE lampstand or THE messenger to the Church or THE ‘bowl’ or source of anything. If you have something good. Share it and let others decide. Never claim exclusivity and keep people attending in fear.
Jesus warned us not to listen to such claims:
People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.Luke 17:23
You saw wonders of apostolic administrations – whether past or present or future – and . . thought it was you!
Messenger ‘Guru elder’ Word
There is no evidence that God gives elders special insight into how we should each live our SPECIFIC lives. Elders do NOT have near-clairvoyant ‘sight’. BCF/MCF’s interpretation of 2 Cor 4:6 is HOPELESSLY WRONG:
“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”2 Cor 4:6
Here (read the context) there is NO indication that apostles or other messengers to us carry anything more than the general . . and wonderful . . gospel message that Christ died for us!
That is why you need some careful ‘bookish’ people.
To extrapolate this to expecting special sight for our daily or important decisions in life is reading between the lines (see 1 Cor 4:6 above where we are warned NOT to do this!). This teaching was always dangerous for obvious reasons, destroyed people’s lives because it’s simply not true and minimizes our need to seek the Lord in prayer, spirit, transformation and Scripture. Not to even mention circumstance.
And there is no culture of ‘pairing off’ with elders to seek advice, It’s just NOT there in Scripture. Neither as a teaching NOR as a culture. Yet that’s how we lived together. Hearing from a guru! Sickening.
Vic Hall is seriously culpable for this heretical, horrific messenger ‘guru elder’ word.
Individual elders are seriously culpable for carrying out such nonsense so literally as to PRESCRIPTIVELY ban people from their plans and dreams with hell-fire, loss of salvation, as the result of disobedience.
This whole expectation of ‘sight’ from elders led to ridiculous and dangerous levels of presumption.
It was always a REALLY STUPID teaching Vic. Repent. Now. Read Charles’ visions of you Vic.
To assume that an elder would always be ‘tuned in’ when making such controlling demands of people.
Similarly, the word on naming is just a way of pigeon holing. Once an elder ‘names’ someone’s ‘nature’ or ‘capacities’ it was hard for them – or the poor soul named – to reverse it. Grow up MCF/BCF. This naming stuff is really dumb. Horrifically judgemental and a damaging practice of delinquent literalism.
Shunning, partiality & judgments
Shunning ex-members, even ones who are still Christians, and banning them from interaction with family members is horrific and a nasty twisting of Scripture. So many people shunned were nowhere near practices of these sins described in 1 Cor 5. Instead shunning was a way of scaring people to not leave BCF/MCF and go to another church! And it was/is practised too literally and widely.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.1 Cor 5:9-11
BCF & MCF also practise debilitating partiality, to the extent that only ‘really in’ people get to do anything useful. Even after 20-30 years! And anyone expressing a desire to do some sort of ministry got banned from it! Grow up! Give people a go. Pull the weeds out later.
It got to the point that no matter HOW hard you tried, you could not contribute anything substantive – apart from dishwashing – at MCF for example.
Priesthood of All Believers
Bring back biblical Priesthood of all Believers.
Be Berean again. Check the word taught. No more ‘Fathered Word’ business.
Read and quote your Bibles. Be balanced in teachings.
Don’t force feed one-tracked teachings from Vic Hall books.
Let the congregation minister.
Let there be instruction from the congregation at ‘Body Ministry time’, not just prophecy:
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.1 Cor 14:26
It’s so clear that teaching should come from the congregation in an UNPLANNED-by-the-elders way.
Repentance & restitution
BCF/MCF need to apologise to a lot of people.
For a start check out this TINY list I personally know of.
And, in some cases, pay restitution. Some people lost family. Many their sanity. Some their employability, opportunities, finances or houses. All of us our freedom and plans. Some of us all of the above. It would be appropriate to pay the worst affected up to $200K (e.g. myself & Helen Pomery). I’d suggest MCF/BCF should pay out at least $10M from asset holdings to around 200 affected families, like $50K each (sell off some land or something). It’s still MINISCULE compared to what you did to us. Just the mental pain. But it would be a nice gesture demonstrating taking accountability. It would help us get our lives back together.
You must see your leader Vic Hall for what he is (until he repents): an egotistical control freak with a religious spirit. We have given numerous examples here.
You must demote the ‘Yes Men’. And those that proclaimed harsh demands.
You must promote the ones who love the Lord but question as a good Berean.
You must promote some ‘bookish’ people. Not just smooth talkers (like Richie) or everyday folks (like Wes Hutchinson). Promote some thinkers and researchers too. People like the gospel writers Luke and Matthew and Paul the Apostle himself, all a bit research-y.
As I always said, if you had Wycliffe or Tyndale Or Wesley or Offiler in your congregations they would be the guys washing the dishes all the time. From experience, you would trample them because they um and ah. Too awkward. Too scholarly. Not touchy feely enough for us. You did that to me for literally 30 years. You need to grow up! Babies.
A clean break
MCF and BCF. It’s time to clean up your act. This is just a partial, yet really sad, list.
Then change your name. You’ve dirtied the name ‘Christian Fellowship’ to such an ugly point.
Make a clean break.
Why listen to me?
So many of us still love your beginnings!
And I was, in the presence of the full congregation, prophetically declared a ‘Pillar in the House of the Lord’ by Ray Jackson Jnr in the early 1990s and have remained true to that calling.
I’m just holding up my end of the bargain. Read Jer 1. Jeremiah is the only ‘Pillar in the House’ in all of Scripture! His job was to warn the elders and the princes and cry out to those in the courtyards, of . . what? Deviations from the Word of the Lord.
That I have done.
Not always perfectly. But, within the constraints of my humanity and my BCF/MCF-caused losses, including decades of uncalled for tramplings, humiliation and waste, like Jeremiah, I’ve done my job. Complaints. Doctrinal & cultural corrections. Testimonies to back it all up. Only truth as it happened. Warts and all.
David wrote many Psalms full of lists of complaints (eg: Ps 76-80).
These are my Psalms of Complaint.