I think for most of us who left Wayman's World there were breaking points. One of those breaking points for me had to do with the strange concept of legalism. It related to what Jesus said about straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.
In total contradiction of Paul's teachings on believers being allowed to have their own convictions about certain things, the fellowship came up with screwy media rules. These rules were so retarded that they are hard to describe to a non fellowship thinking person.
The Apostle Paul clearly taught that it was the strong brother in Christ who could partake of wine, for example. He made it clear that the weak brother should not judge the strong brother, as the strong brother should not judge the weak brother. He talked about making people stumble over issues of food and drink. The fellowship leadership took this and totally twisted it. Paul was talking about insisting that a person who thought certain foods were unclean should eat those foods. Or a person who thought it was a sin to drink any alcohol should drink wine. The fellowship leaders said that it meant that you could not drink at all, because it would cause the weak brother to stumble. They never addressed the idea of making a vegetarian stumble by eating meat, which would follow the same logic.
So, they came up with the screwy media rules based on the same twisting of Scripture. The doctrine went, if you go see Little Mermaid, the weak brother and sister will go see Deep Throat. You were sinning against Christ and causing the weak brother to stumble. So NO going to the movies, no having video equipment in your home, and no owning a TV. This became a rule for anyone in public ministry.
As it is always the case with legalism, this produced massive hypocrisy in the leaders. They would avail themselves of cable and pay per view TV in motel rooms. They would even rent motel rooms for the specific purpose of watching certain movies, and would sometimes take the whole family. They would then brutally enforce their media rules on the people in their churches.
Several things really bothered me about this. One was that leaders were in motel rooms all the time, and most times if you walked in on them they had the tube on. The other was that they could afford to take their family to a motel room to watch movies, while most of their people could not. They also had the kind of schedule that allowed them to do that. And what really got me was all this exampleship doctrine, stating that going to see a movie in a public theater was an evil example, but watching movies in motel rooms was a great example to the people. Really?
I remember confronting some of these guys about this and asking them, would it not be more likely that someone would watch questionable movies in the privacy of a motel room, rather than go to a theater? The answers varied. One man told me that he was always sure to take his kids with him and that this would prevent him from watching anything dirty. I asked, what about after the kids fall asleep? He gave me a blank stare. Another told me that he just didn't talk about what he watched and was careful not to use movies in his sermon examples. Another accused me of being legalistic for asking things like that.
The final thing that got to me about all this was the demand that we throw people out of ministry for something like going to the movies. I had seen my pastor continue in his position, without missing a beat, after his wife was caught in adultery. I had seen men who had divorced their wives and remarried, preaching meetings all over the fellowship. I had seen men who, as pastors, had committed adultery being immediately recommissioned to pastor. I even saw such a man pioneer the first fellowship church in Australia. Now I was supposed to throw someone out of a music group for going to see a family film? Because they were a bad example?
I saw through the whole lie that pastors and leaders in the fellowship were held to a higher standard. Some of them had church equipment at their houses and were watching all kinds of stuff while enforcing these so called standards on their people. When I decided I wasn't going to play this game any more I was on a collision course with the leadership. I was finally confronted when I let my Bible study leaders vote the movie rules out of our church.
That was one of my breaking points. Does anyone want to write about one or more of theirs?
Here is a post by budomanche posted on Escape From the Fellowship.
[Does anyone want to write about one or more of theirs?]
Mike Mastin asked me one time would I come to his house and put his dog down. The poor thing was old, blind and could hardly feed
itself. Not Mastin...the dog. I felt so honoured that the leader of the entire Australian fellowship had invited me to his house to perform this service, albeit a sad one for the dog.
As I was leaving my curiosity got the better of me because being
truthful, I was pretty ignorant of the politics that were being played out in Beechboro at the time. I told him although I was probably imagining it, I couldn't help but sense Tilli and Hounslow were hinting at things during sermons and leaders meetings. I couldn't believe the sudden reaction that came over him, it was the Nebuchadnezzar syndrome being played out in front of me. I only wish I could portray the anger and hatred that accompanied his words.
After all those years of listening to him telling us just to be faithful labourers...after all it's God that builds His church. He just wants us to be the vessel. Well he totally lost it. Ranted and raving how HE had built that church from the ground up. How He had set the foundations and established the relationships and now Tilli, Hounslow and others were pulling the rug from underneath him. He was so flushed with anger.
I looked at his hands half expecting his fingernails to grow and
waited for him to drop to the ground and start chewing the lawn.
I think that was then that my naivity started to enter into the real
Here is a post by George Potkonyak posted on Escape From the Fellowship.
[Mike Mastin asked me one time would I come to his house and put his dog down. The poor thing was old, blind and could hardly feed itself. Not Mastin...the dog.]
I saw Mike only once when he visited Sydney. He looked more like a top-notch director of one of those multi-national companies. Walsh nearly fell on his face before Mike in worship.
A vision of one of those middle age Norman fighters, with a spear in his hand and sitting on a horse just refused to leave me. This guy was just sitting on that horse and apparently posing. I realise that the vision was about Mike: he was a phoney.