Sunday, April 15, 2012

Living Faith Christian Fellowship is a Cult


Looking across the board at the different ministries and organizations that have outlined the characteristics of a cult, they all agree on the following points.  As we go down the list I will explain how they do or do not apply to Living Faith Christian Fellowship. 

  1. Not allowed to question.  Yes - Members are expected to be "teachable", which we quickly learned meant not questioning.  Notice how their literature and website clearly states they welcome all "teachable" people to join them?  Be prepared to sit back and listen, and should you question, just smile and nod because Mark Bullen is ALWAYS right.
  2. According to leadership, all members that have left were not truly wanting to be disciples.  Yes - There is clearly no acceptable reason to leave this fellowship unless you "want the world" or were not truly wanting to follow Christ.  Every ex-member is a rebel that could not submit to authority.  Any sign of not wearing a head-covering or wearing a cowboy hat only confirms to them that the person that left was ungodly to begin with.
  3. Being told you must attend their church to be savedYes - You must be identical in belief and practice to be a true believer.  This means wearing a veil, not a cap; wearing a vest or smock, not a cape; homeschooling, not private schooling; etc.  Living Faith Christian Fellowship will not offer communion to or take communion with any other group because they are the most biblical, and godly, church that they've found, another confirmation that they are a cult.  Therefore, you can only be saved if you attend Living Faith Christian Fellowship.  There was even a family that lived out of the area that had been offered communion at one time, but when they were taking to long to move to Brookfield, they were then denied communion.  They were not in any known sin, yet still denied communion.  (Despite this warning sign, the family still continued with their moving plans.)
  4. If you want to leave, you are told you will go to hell.  Yes - Not only will you go to hell, but you will take your family with you.  Once you are a communion taking member, you can never leave.  There are no churches to move to because they have no sister congregations and don't accept anyone elses practices.  Forget moving anywhere, if your elderly mother in New York needs you, forget it.  The cult of Living Faith Christian Fellowship IS your family, friends, everything.
  5. Being rebuked for the way you greet one another or how you respond to leadership.  Yes - There is a certain proper way to do the Holy Kiss.  If you do not greet another member as "brother" or "sister" it is seen as a personal offense.  My 3 year old daughter was labeled an unhappy child because she was shy around all the people at church and stayed pretty quiet and subdued.  My husband was labeled angry because he didn't plaster a smile on his face all the time. 
  6. Putting down other churches and building themselves upYes - Wednesday night Bible study is devoted to how they are more biblical than other churches.  The Mennonites are considered the enemy, as well as the baptists.  Their "Blue Book" is all about how their belief is better than other churches.
  7. Financial records not open to viewing.  Yes - The church is not an established non-profit or religious groups.  The church does collect tithes and offerings, but the records are not made public and are all managed by the bishop, Mark Bullen.
  8. Constantly asking for your money.  No - This is the one characteristic of a cult that I honestly can say they are not guilty of.  However, Mark Bullen is constantly reminding the members of how he takes on the extra heating and cooling costs and the costs for adding onto his house so the church can meet there.  It was always a curiosity to me that he made it sound as if he was footing the bill for everything, even though people were paying tithes and offerings.
There are many other points I could have made, but for the sake of brevity, I shall end here.  The conclusion is pretty clear that Living Faith Christian Fellowship is a cult.  If you're ok with this, go ahead and join.  But handing over your decision making power and faith to another person can have a devastating impact on your family.  Many people, sadly, can say this was their experience.

28 comments:

  1. Another thing I told mark before we left was the only authority he has over me is the authority I gave him. LOL! This was the only time I've ever seen a blank look on marks face. The only time he was left dumbfounded without response or reply! Much truth in that statement!!!

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  2. Hi again, I touched on this on your other comment a bit, but you're absolutely right! But remember, it doesn't matter if there is any truth in that statement, because you were out of line in saying it. LOL I have to admit I did see my husband make him stammer a couple of times, but I never did get to see the blank face.

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  3. There are many inaccuracies concerning LFCF and Mark Bullen in your comments, Noelle.
    We will see if Truth is really your aim as I point out some of these.
    First, because it directly concerns me, your comments in point #3 about the “family denied communion”. If you would like to know the truth I will be happy to share with you why I willingly elected to abstain from communion as a visitor. It was Brother Mark who invited me and my wife to partake in communion before we ever expressed our intentions to join Living Faith or before I had even decided to do so. It was not until after one of the members threw a fit over it that I opted to no longer take communion on our visits. I told Mark that I did not wish to be the cause of any dissension and thought it best that we no longer partake on our visits. That member, by the way, is no longer with LFCF nor did he remain in the area, and is by all accounts a rebel against the Word of God. I know you have no knowledge of this since you were not even there when al l this transpired, which makes your accusations even more grievous.

    He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. (Proverbs 18:13)

    LFCF’s established church policy is “closed communion”. I knew that before we ever visited the first time and had no problem with it.
    The “taking too long to move to Brookfield” statement is almost laughable considering we had no intentions of doing so through the entire episode.
    Because Mark actually asked me, someone who was not a member of the church, nor as yet having expressed any intentions of joining, to partake in communion, basically nullifies most of your points on this thread.

    Whether you think LFCF is a cult or not is irrelevant. The question is, is it Biblical?
    You have offered neither Scripture nor biblical precept in which LFCF or Mark Bullen is in violation. Those who despised the Truth made the same accusations of Paul.

    For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
    Acts 24:5-6

    Addressing each of your points, if you will allow it.
    1. Not allowed to question? Do you mean you were not allowed to ask questions or that the answers you received were not palatable to your tastes? Were your concerns expressed persuasively and according to Scripture? If not, why would you expect anyone to toss out solid and foundational ideals they believe to be based on Biblical principles, precepts and commands? Were your “questions” answered Biblically? If so, the problem is yours, not Mark’s. If not, please give us some examples.
    As for Mark Bullen being ALWAYS right, his own testimony demonstrates the absurdity of this. He readily admits that he was wrong about many things, and had to change along his pilgrimage. If you think he is wrong about something, have you presented a Scriptural defense of your position? If not then why would you expect him to think he is wrong, since his beliefs are based on Scripture? If he is speaking according to the Bible he IS right.
    Or would you disagree with that?
    And considering your accusation that Mark thinks he is ALWAYS RIGHT, is it at all POSSIBLE that you just MIGHT be wrong?
    (cont)

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    1. Hello, Jeff. I applaud you for using your real name and not simply anonymous.
      The truth is indeed my aim, but I do however recognize that there can be misunderstandings, and that sometimes events, actions, and words said can are not received as they were intended.

      As I answer your comments I will do my best to see from your point of view that you are happily at LFCF and you see me as attacking your beloved church and minister. I am sure you in no way are actually trying to talk down to me or any of the other readers here and do not mean to be coming across as rude, disrespectful, arrogant, or condescending. You are merely trying to set the record straight and make sure no wrong is being done, but sometimes how we say things online comes across rougher than intended since we cannot see the person. 

      #1 – Though I was repeating what I was told by other church members, it appears that information was incorrect concerning your reasons for not participating in communion. I again applaud you for being respectful of Mark and trying to avoid any controversy.

      As far as taking too long to move, I am again repeating what I was told by other members. This is relevant to discuss because it does lend to the feel a person would have upon becoming a member of the church. Misinformation was, in my experience, repeated and run with, often resulting in misunderstandings such as this.

      Just as I repeated false information, it is also possible that you are commenting on my reactions to events that you also were not present for. We are both basing some of what we say on what we have been told by Mark and the other members that, apparently, is not always correct. I shy from quoting scripture so as to avoid endless religious debates, but I do feel the one you cited is good advice for everyone concerned.

      Though LFCF does not feel it is relevant that they are a cult, many others do. Whether the practices are biblical or not are beside the point. It is the behavior and way of thinking of the leader and the members that makes it a cult. If I were to cite scripture, you would just cite another one back, what’s the point?

      I’ll address your points as you addressed mine, of course I will allow it. The only thing not allowable on this site are profanity or affiliate links. The only comment that has ever been removed merely mocked another person’s comment and offered an affiliate link. It did not offer anything of value, as your comments do.
      1. The acceptable questions that were asked were answered with scripture and very well, others were ignored, and the remainder were met with scorn, in similar fashion as your comments on this blog. I would more say it went that Mark did not care for my husband’s explanation of things and could not find it palatable. So when it didn’t work to his liking he would make a public spectacle and resort to name calling, a practice that I understand you find acceptable, but many tyrants have used it to keep more weak minded people quiet so they too do not suffer embarrassment. Perhaps my husband will post a letter that he did give to Jesse and Mark stating his position about a matter that did include scripture, yet my husband was still called a “cry baby,” that may even be on tape somewhere. And I certainly have been wrong, as I stated earlier.
      Let me in this case take it one step further. Not only is Mark always right, his children are too. So make sure not to cross them.  But it doesn’t matter if Mark is wrong or right, he is the bishop and should be obeyed, isn’t that scriptural? Same as with your husband and other authorities, right? Well another reason we left was the lack of respect for law and authority, we desired to live according to all the word, not just the parts that made for a quiet submissive church body.

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    2. Noelle why are you even putting things on here that you have heard from other people. Is that not gossip or and slander?? That is a sin!! You are not acting like a godly women by doing that. From what I have been reading you do a lot of slandering and gossiping. And a lot of it is from what you have heard from other people. Granted some of it is from what you have said is from your own experience.

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    3. Dear Kelly,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your comment. I must confess that these days I rarely check the email account associated with this blog. Tonight I found your comment mixed in with 278 unread emails!

      You made a very good point Kelly. And actually Jeff had made it before you. In reading my reply I do notice that I never actually made an apology, just an admission of error. I do feel badly and apologize to you, Kelly Paul, Jeff Wallace, and any other readers that I repeated what I was told by the other members of Living Faith Christian Fellowship that turned out to be inaccurate. I was repeating gossip and that most certainly is a sin and I feel badly for it. Though I did not state any names when saying it, what I was told was still inaccurate, and I suppose I could have gone straight to Jeff Wallace and verified it before posting.

      This does cause me to reflect on this post and my response to Jeff Wallace. I am kind of cringing and feeling yucky inside recalling the amount of gossip that takes place in that fellowship. The purpose of this blog is to allow people considering moving to be a part of Living Faith Christian Fellowship to hear from former members and to validate the experience of other former members.

      There really is no way to give an inside look into Mark Bullen's church without making clear the rumor mill it is. Just after lunch this past Sunday we were discussing whether or not we would go to evening service. We had a laugh to ourselves remembering that at Living Faith Christian Fellowship if you didn't go to service and didn't let someone know, the next time people saw you they'd repeat back whatever story had flown through the church about why you weren't there. We quickly learned to ALWAYS check in to avoid any trouble.

      I believe that most of what I have said is my very own experience. Even the repeating of gossip is my own experience, because it was said to me. The gossip is used to control the members, in my opinion. It is a passive-aggressive means of sending messages to people within the fellowship that someone is not happy with what you are doing, wearing, or not doing.

      I'm not sure where I have slandered anyone, but I suppose I could see how you could think I have. It is difficult to listen to another persons opinion or experience when you are in disagreement with them and not feel that they are just simply wrong and therefore ungodly or slanderous. There may have been better or different ways I could have gone about telling my story and raising awareness, but I still haven't thought of any, maybe someday something will present itself. For now I'll have to stick to the truth of my experience and let the readers make up their own minds, as you have done.

      Thank you, Kelly, for using your name. That immediately earns you great respect in my book. I used to know a Kelly Paul in Oregon and then they moved to Kentucky, wouldn't it be funny if that were you. If so, tell Jason, Sammy, and that baby girl of yours hello, I always enjoyed our times of fellowship together.

      The fullness of God's grace and mercy to you, me, and all the readers tonight. May God show us all his way and may we be willing to listen.

      Thank you again,
      Noelle

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  4. 2. Not only according to the leadership, but also according to those who are zealous for the Word of God, are those that have left not disciples. We speak of those violated SCRIPTURAL principles; principles which are rightfully held by LFCF as mandatory for not just LFCF membership, but “Church” membership. Most of these people departed from “the faith” and their subsequent lives are fraught with destruction and yes abject worldliness. Including those “founding member” mentioned by Dodson in another post.
    “Let her be covered” (1 Cor 11:2, 6) is a Scriptural ordinance. You apparently have a different idea.
    “Any sign of not wearing a head-covering … to them that the person that left was ungodly…” We are talking about people who rightly saw this truth, agreed with it, embraced it, and latter threw it off.
    Anyone willingly in violation of the Word of God is, yes, ungodly.

    And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1 John 2:3-5
    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12
    To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20

    It is our contention that those who have left are indeed no longer striving for the faith once delivered, no longer clinging to holiness. Not because they have left this church, but because they have departed from the faith. If this is in error, please point out the cases of those who are still on the narrow way.

    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
    Titus 2:11-12

    3. is an outright lie. Anyone who has heard any of the preaching or read the website or other materials knows that this is a fabrication. How many times have you heard the phrase, Noelle, “As long as they are walking in all the light they have?” Of course we believe that mature Christians will walk a very similar way as we. We believe this is the right way according to Biblical command, precepts and principle. Once again, how is LFCF in violation of Scripture?

    4. is inaccurate. Most of those who have left ARE on their way to hell. Not because they left LFCF, but because their lives prove they are on the broad road. And the door is open for discussion to EVERY person that has ever left, to sit down, open the Bible and test our differences in the light Scripture (This is open to ANY serious enquirer). This offer has been made to all who have left and has been rejected by every one. Including you and Jason. I know you despise submission, Noelle, but anyone who does not submit to Scripture is in danger of judgment. Do you disagree with that?
    (cont)

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    1. 2. I disagree that those who have left are no longer disciples and their lives are “fraught with destruction” and “abject wordliness”. My life is certainly not fraught with destruction and though it is probably more “worldly” than yours, I do not see anything unbiblical about it. There are many who could make criticism of your life if we chose to and I find your singling out of the Dodsons disturbing. This displays another quality of the church that lead to my family’s departure, the idea that they are perfect and everyone else is soooo lost and depraved. They may dress “godly”, but the character and things done in secret do not always jive with the Holy Joe costume.

      In my case I had been covering for years, even when not connected with a group. But I became so horrified at the reaction I was getting from the locals in this area as a result of how they had been treated by LFCF, that I found it best to remain covered during religious meetings only, a very difficult decision for me. When I lived in Florida I’d get people asking me for prayer when they saw my covering and dress, they same in Kentucky, once in Brookfield it was entirely different story. The people in this area have been so abused religiously by the plain people, it saddens me.

      Those who are zealous for the scriptures pertaining to the head-covering would see any person not wearing one as fallen away. I agree that Paul tells women to wear a head-covering, but I also see that he gave allowances for not if it is causing contention. And it obviously has become a very contentious subject.

      However former members are seen as having fallen away even before they take off the head-covering and stop dressing plain. Simply having left the church is rebellion against Mark and is therefore rebellion against God and will be judged, Mark has made that very plain.

      3. Jeff, it is not a lie, it’s the truth. Anyone reading the website or listening should attend Wednesday night or any other time and listen to how Mark and the members speak. And I quote, “All of Brookfield is going to hell.” So the meaning I guess is, “We’ve witnessed to all of Brookfield, they’ve had the light, they’re not walking in it, so they’re going to hell.”
      4. This is mostly taken care of in #2 and also in #1. There was a time for discussing scripture when we were still a part of LFCF. But as I said the reasons this church is a cult are not that it is unbiblical, so much that it is abusive. Enquirers are only considered serious if they see things Mark’s way. Your comment that I despise submission is a perfect example. You don’t know me well, so how would you know? But it sets the tone that if I don’t do exactly what I’m told, and if I do question, I’m not considered serious or I’m rebellious.

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  5. 5. is just plain silly. We often refer to each other by first name, without using “brother” or “sister”. We often use “brother” and “sister” in conjunction with a name. Oooh, and sometimes we even use simply, “brother” and “sister”. How cultish!!
    I have been a member over a year, I have known Mark for over 7 years and I have NEVER been taught this mystical, secret way to do the holy kiss to which you refer.

    6. Wednesday nights are devoted to prayer, Bible study and discussion. Of course differences of doctrine are bought up. (Surely you are not saying this is wrong, considering this entire blog is devoted to how your belief is better that LFCF, though we have yet to see any Scripture to support your belief.)

    7. A question. Do you mean that Mark never offered you a printout of church demographics? What are you talking about? In every church I have ever attended, I don’t think I have ever demanded financial statements from the pastor. If you don’t trust the church with your tithes, what in the world are you doing there? This type of accusation is generally used by those who don’t pay tithes anyway.

    8. Whether you like it or not, Mark does foot most of the bill for the costs of running the church, and I have never heard him complain about it. Sure there is a paltry sum from tithes and offerings, but it doesn’t cover expenses.

    Finally, I believe anyone with the discernment of a rock could read through this blog and see the glaring Biblical inconsistencies.

    Can you offer any proof for the accusations you have brought forth against LFCF and Mark Bullen, along with the Scriptural refutation for any of the teachings presented by LFCF?

    Someone asked if the accusations of Noelle can be verified or denied. I would be happy to answer every accusation of un-Biblical conduct, if Noelle doesn’t delete my posts.

    Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
    Acts 24:13

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    1. Once again, Jeff is overreacting and instead of discussing this with the charity of Christ, he uses hostile sarcasm (I believe anyone with the discernment of a rock...) and emotionalism rather than solid Biblical references.
      1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

      2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

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    2. 5. I am in agreement that it is silly. I never heard any person that was a member addressed without brother or sister. At one point my husband called someone by their first name and the person took offense that he did not say “brother” and I also heard a wife correcting her husband once when he failed to address my husband as “brother” Jason. And the holy kiss that is taught is not secretive, but there is instruction on how to perform it. If I remember right it is even addressed in the blue book.
      It’s a wonderful way to make people feel accepted and welcomed into your group.
      6. I’m sorry, I’m not exactly sure what point you were addressing here, maybe I’m misunderstanding. But on Wednesday nights differences are rarely brought up, when they are, Mark sets everyone straight.

      Let me be clear: This blog is in no way devoted to my “belief is better that (sic) LFCF”. This blog is about my experience at LFCF and gives validation to the reasons other people left the church as well. The only biblical matter I addressed in any way was the veil and I did so without scripture because I was more attempting to give another side to the teaching. And I have no intention of getting into a scriptural debate at all because this has nothing to do with the Bible, it has everything to do with the need for control and the need of people to feel a part of something, which is the main reason, I feel, for the existence of LFCF.

      7. Churches regularly make their financial records available to attendees. And we did tithe, so sorry, can’t demonize me there either. This post was about the signs of a cult and does LFCF fit or not. He does not make his records available so it fits another sign of a cult.

      It is also to Mark's advantage to foot the bill and tell everyone how much it costs and how much he does. It comes in handy when families try to leave or after they have left it's one more thing he can say he did for them and how ungrateful they are.

      8. This is a good example of how people are treated when raising questions at LFCF. If you don’t see things their way you must not even have “the discernment of a rock.”

      Thank you for your well thought out comments. I’m sure many will take them to heart in their search for a church home.

      Grace to you and your family,
      Noelle

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  6. Typical antinomian retort. No substance, no discourse, simply more anti-biblical ranting.
    Your twisting and misuse of 1 Cor 13 is an accusation against God.
    Was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah charity?
    Was Noah’s flood charity?
    Was Paul’s rebuke of Peter charity?
    Was the striking down of Ananias and Sapphira charity?

    I have much charity in the rebukes I have here posted (Pro 6:23). It is my desire that they repent and follow the Jesus of the Bible (1 Jn 2:24). You however offer hatred by trying to comfort them in their rebellion. Don’t boast in that you can copy and paste two verses out of the Bible. The devil himself uses Scripture divorced from its comprehensive context in order to deceive. (Gen 3, Matt 4, 2 Cor 11:14)

    I have asked more than once how LFCF is in violation of Scripture. If 1 Cor 13 is to be invoked, do so here. Let all who have accused LFCF come forth, show their “charity”, love us, and bring us the Word of God.

    btw, Sarcasm is good. It literally means “rending the flesh” which is just what needs to be done here. The flesh expressing itself on this blog NEEDS to be mortified (Romans 8:13).

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    1. Jeff,
      You are illustrating the exact reason why it is futile to give any scriptures. They will be dismissed as a twisting of scripture or a "typical antinomian retort".
      You are very well learned, anyone can see that. Those that are looking for scriptural scholarly supremacy will inevitably be drawn to your fellowship.

      I do disagree that sarcasm is good and I could give a few scriptures to support my opinion, but it still remains just an opinion. Sarcastic people tend to be bitter and dissatisfied, so I think it should be used sparingly, bad habit to get into.

      You can post as much as you like. Your comments are thought provoking and interesting. However, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from the appearance of belittling the other readers. Most are genuine seekers of truth that are sincerely trying to walk with God, a quality I admire very much. Whether they are babes or mature, who knows? So why not handle things as gently as possible in the hopes of edifying them and possibly gaining a new member for your church?

      Most are women anyway, and you know how sensitive we are :)

      I think that's all the comments I can find, if I missed one, I'm sorry, it was not intentional, they just kind of came in a flood! I don't check my email too often so if you write and don't get a response for a while, I'm just busy with one of the many more enriching activities I choose to spend my time on.

      Enjoy the cool weather, isn't it a blessing?
      Noelle

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  7. Thank you in advance if you allow this post to your blog. I would like to say first of all that it saddens me that your experience at LFCF has turned out to be so negative. My family, like yours and most everyone else that has come here is usually responding to a prompting from the Holy Spirit to have a deeper closer walk with Christ and a strong desire to be obedient to the Word of God. If there is divorce and remarriage in your life you will inevitably hit walls in the majority of conservative true Bible following churches because of their erroneous teaching on the subject and the idea that Jesus was fixing/changing the Old Testament law.
    After listening to LFCF sermons on line or by tape and reading all the literature written by Mark Bullen that I could, I came to visit the church personally. In fact I visited more than once which was not an easy task considering the 1000 miles and leaving behind a wife and 5 children to do so. This process is available to ALL that are looking this direction without any demands or pressure to come here. I believe it was the same process that you and Jason used.
    As for my family and me it has been the right choice! We have been here over three years now after coming out of a charismatic background in North Carolina. The truth of Gods word is being preached and taught consistently. Its not always what my flesh wants to hear but it is the truth and that demands a response...obey or disobey. May God help us to obey. Our congregation is made up of a lot of different personalities. Many of us would not have been friends in the world but the common thread of striving to follow the word of God has brought us together with grace and forbearance. “Iron sharpens iron”
    My experiences with Mark Bullen have been positive. I find him and his family to be caring and compassionate people and, I am glad to say, unwilling to compromise the truth of Gods word even if it meant being alone in the middle of Missouri.
    There are local people who are either members or attending and with Gods strength we pray there will be more but location does not jurisdict whose heart God is working on and we do encourage anyone anywhere to look, listen, ask and visit.
    I can assure you that Mark Bullen had nothing to gain personally by opening the doors to my family and I. We brought with us a lot of wrong ideas, a lot of wrong interpretations a whole past life of worldliness. But that God may be glorified through the evidence of a life that is changing and the fruit of walking in the light that we have, he has shown us true love, (not a love of just total exceptance) and forbearance and has become a dear friend and brother in the Lord. He is my pastor and spiritual authority as defined in the Bible not because he demands it but because that is the authority structure God has put in place and he (Mark) and I and the rest of the congregation desire to be in line with Gods Word.
    It is not my desire or purposes to pick apart all that is said in this blog nor do I feel a need to respond. It is my desire however to present a different side of LFCF, a side from a member with a little time under his belt. I would never be so complacent to think we are the only church or the only ones that will be saved. I will say this is the most serious, God fearing Bible based church that I have found. We as a church would love to find a like minded church somewhere that we could be in common union with.

    Thank you. Randall Tarrant

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    1. Good Morning Randall,
      I wish we were corresponding under different circumstances, we always enjoyed our visits with you, Jennifer, and the kids. There is no reason to delete your comment as it does not include profanity or any affiliate links, those are the only 2 things not allowed :).

      Thank you for offering your perspective and doing it in such a respectful manner. The attitude you and Jennifer carry goes a long way toward helping families that are wishing to be a part of your church and helping them to feel welcome.

      Hope all is well with your family,
      Noelle

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  8. I appreciate the Christian and compassionate attitudes used by Noelle and her husband. Randall gave good example too. Jeff needs to check his tongue and his anger with Jesus.

    Noelle, and all: I appreciate the efforts here to bring the fullest sense of the story of this group that seems to have nothing but trouble. The fruit or lack thereof of the LFCF will be a its testimony before Jesus. I have met no less than 6 families who left that group and can say that their experiences are similar to Noelle's and her husband's. Negativity rather than the positive encouragement of true Christianity is a sure sign that something is greatly amiss.
    By their fruits we will know them.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,
      Thank you for your comment. I try hard to offer my side of events without being adversarial, and I still think it's possible that the truth remains somewhere between what Mark says and how I see things.

      But I do hope I can have love in my heart and show the love I experienced from God. Sometimes I do get negative myself, but I just never want to become the unmerciful servant, and so I try to keep before myself my imperfections that God has forgiven me.

      Grace to you, and yes, we will all be known by our fruits. :)
      Noelle

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  9. Jason and Noelle,
    I do not know you or anyone involved in this blog nor the writers in defense of this church. I have read the entire blog and all the comments back and forth. My only comment is from Acts 5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. God is very merciful and very few are following His commandments and even fewer are following them perfectly. If by chance these people are sincerely following the Lord and you call them a "cult" because they want to meet with Mennonites?????? want to be modest????? wear a veil on head????? or have a belief about the role of men or women different than yours?????? Is slander the answer?? What if in their imperfection, they are appreciated by God in this very wicked world???? Could not your time be spent helping someone turn to the Lord instead of keep people from joining a "church" that may be more "strict" perhaps than you desire. It seems that if God's people are fighting each other - Who will fight the devil??? If they are wrong, they will stand before the same Judge that me and you will stand before. But, If you by chance are wrong, you will stand before the Judge for coming against His work. Just something to think about as a third party. One other thing, you say many times that you are not bitter or unforgiving - would someone who seeks the best interest of others really go to all the trouble that you have to make such statements as a "cult." Do you not again drag the Lord's name into the mud and cause His work to suffer?? Are there not enough wicked, perverted and deviant people out there who thrill to see two "sincere" seekers at each other throat?? I am using anonymous only because I am of a different faith and don't want to get involved. Just passing thru.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      You do bring up some important points, some that I have considered long and hard. I am impressed with your knowledge of the Bible and understanding of what the goals of Christians should be for someone that is not of the faith.

      Most people that have come and gone from Mark's church do just determine to go on and put it behind them. My thinking was along the lines of that not everyone continues with the Lord after leaving Living Faith Christian Fellowship, in realizing that Mark is quite possibly turning sincere seekers AWAY from the Lord, I felt it was of value to maybe provide a forum for people that have interacted with his church so seekers could continue their journey with Mark or go another direction. I have never stated here before, but I will now, that I believe mark has created more atheists than disciples.

      As a side note, you commented that he wants to meet with the Mennonites. Please understand that he does not want to meet with the Mennonites, he considers them to be the enemy. His intention is to "show off" his followers to the Mennonites at their tent meetings, etc. This is not meeting nor fellowshiping with them.

      The amount of negativity on the blog is troublesome to me. But it is a testament to how deeply people feel about not so much the beliefs of his church, but how people are treated while participating in it.

      Thank you for your input, but I truly believe that unless you've been through it, or sat with people who have, you cannot understand. Please pray for everyone that has come and gone, is still there, and those searching.

      Perhaps we are completely in the wrong. But, as I've said before, it is only slander if it is not true. And nothing I nor other former members have pointed out has been refuted by a current member. They dance all around my points and attack my character and motives rather than responding to what I wrote.

      My intent is not to have a scripture war. I rarely find fault with any of Mark's teachings, including modesty, women, headcovering, etc. In no way am I trying to promote a DIFFERENT belief. My experience is here for anyone to see and judge if they think the teachings are being taught and lived in the right spirit. But what speaks louder than anything are Jeff Wallaces posts. No further input from me needed.

      Grace to you,
      Noelle

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    2. I couldn't have said it any better Anonymous! That is exactly what I was thinking!

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    1. Thank you for your comment and I appreciate the time that went into it. But no affiliate links are permitted within comments. Thank you :)

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  11. Noelle,
    I too was blessed by meeting the Tarrant family. I was there the day they moved there. It was nice to read something wrote by Randall even tho i disagree with the group (church). Noelle ,God bless you in the work you are doing here. I just wish it was around when I was thinking about joining. Life would have been very different for me and my family. It has taken us 3 years after we left the group (church) to get our lives back to where they were when we left. we literally sold every thing and made it back to Idaho with $20 in our hand. I will say this...... Marks church was the reason I study the bible so much today. Grace is a wonder full thing.

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    1. I'm not sure, but I think we may have looked at your former house. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it had only just sold and I was so disappointed.

      I remember searching and searching online thinking that if people had had bad experiences, surely there would be something online about it. But now I can see why there wasn't. When you're done with LFCF, you're just done, and you want to move on. There have been so many times we've wanted to just delete the whole blog. But then I think about the effect that our short 3 months there had on our lives. How it spawned conflict between my husband and I that we had NEVER experienced before and, like you, how much money we lost in the process. There should at least be some sort of warning sign for searching families.

      We're in a good place now, so in the end I'm happy with our choice to come to Missouri. Grace is a wonderful thing and I depend on it daily and need more of it for myself and to extend to others. That's why this blog is hard, it extends grace to some, but in a sense is also condemning. *ugh*

      Thank you for sharing with all of us and affirming that there is life beyond the Bullen church!
      Noelle

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  12. I am an outsider here but wanted to offer a fresh perspective as such. Since we are all one Body, it is incumbent upon all of us to hold onto sound doctrine. As I read scripture that declares the characteristics of one who is converted, I notice a distinct resounding theme......one who has died to himself. That person does not try to lord over. That person considers another better than himself. That person places himself as last and serves his fellow man. That person looks to the needs of another before his own. That person is submitted to the Body. And that person desires to please his Heavenly FAther by setting the same example that our Savior set for us.

    The instructions for a church are found in 1Cor 14..."when you come together.....". What follows are the commands for our gatherings and anything else is false. You will find no example in the NT church of a single man in charge or a group of men in charge. Oh yes, you can cite the passages on elders/deacons but you need to look further into the Greek to understand the meaning of these words. An elder is simply elder in the faith. These offices serve the Body. They do not have authority over any.

    If a man in charge or a group of men in charge were what our Father intended, Paul would have simply told the Corinthian church to hire a pastor. Or he would have sent Timothy or chosen a man from among their group, a person of authority. But he did not do that. He understood the words of Messiah when He instructed His own disciples. Remember when they desired to know who was first in the kingdom? Y'shua directly refuted the belief that to have a man in charge or a group of men in charge is a pharisitical model.....clearly NOT what HE taught or modeled.

    You all are talking about head coverings as part of your fellowship and if you would look beyond the CUSTOMS Paul is talking about to understand the meaning, you will find he is actually speaking on authority. The head of the man is Christ and the head of the woman is man. Although for the woman, we find more scripture to further explain this to us. The wife submits to her OWN HUSBAND. A wife does not submit to another man other than her own husband as this would be considered unfaithfulness by YHWH since the marriage is a picture of Christ and His church.

    Reading on, if the man covers his head, meaning if he places another authority other than Christ over him, he dishonors his head. He dishonors Christ. Why? Because this would violate the commands for how the Body is to operate. THe man answers only to his Heavenly FAther. He has no other "head".

    1Cor 14:26When you come together, each of you(AM) has a hymn,(AN) or a word of instruction,(AO) a revelation, a tongue(AP) or an interpretation.(AQ) Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.(AR) 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

    29 Two or three prophets(AS) should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.(AT) 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.(AU) 33 For God is not a God of disorder(AV) but of peace(AW)—as in all the congregations(AX) of the Lord’s people.

    I know this is foreign to the modern day church model but this is the only "church" that is spoken of in scripture as a real church. It is contrary to what our flesh thinks. It certainly will only work with a group of true born again Saints who have surrendered their own will. What we are modeling is a false church at best and at worst......well probably better not to say.




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    1. Hello mln,

      Thank you for taking the time to share.

      For the most part I try to avoid scriptural debate, though I know I have mentioned the veil in another post. Mostly as a way of pointing out that Paul's hope was for unity, not in the end a doctrinal debate.

      You identify yourself as an outsider and you certainly do have a different perspective as such. Mark does cite the passages concerning the different offices in the church to support his stance on the subject and from the early Christian writings, it seems like he can find some support for them. That is how early on the church ended up with the Pope, I imagine.

      Most readers here have studied fairly extensively the scriptures and many of us have different opinions on the various subjects, but I suspect we're all fairly conservative when it comes to matters of faith.

      My prayer for all of us is that we persevere and follow God and that we all may experience peace in our way. Let's encourage one another in faith and avoid debates. I think there is even a scripture floating around out there to support that ;).

      Grace to you,
      Noelle

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    2. Good reminder Noelle, however, didn't Y'shua, Paul, Peter, and all the prophets make sure that the truth of YHWH's word was proclaimed amidst all the distortion? How is unity possible unless we are all on the same page? Why would we run from the debate when we know there is one way and one truth? Certainly we need to be respectful as we search His ways but when these issues are not allowed to be debated (or examined as scripture commands us to do) we end up with several thousand denominations and even more false teachers leading flocks of misinformed sheep. That is the problem I was trying to identify. The reason Mark even has a following or why other "marks" are gathering a following is because they are not allowing debate. They are not submitting their words to be examined and the Body of Messiah is lazy and doesn't understand their role. These aren't my interpretations. Read the verses I sent. Study the format of "church". And most importantly we reconcile all scripture before we make truth statements. Anyone using the offices of elder/bishop/deacon as an excuse to be in charge, lord over, or place themselves in authority (head) between man and YHWH is a direct contradiction of the words of Y'shua. Doesn't that bother anyone?

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  13. cont.

    All Saints are to participate in a church gathering. All gifts are to be used by everyone. All who teach or interpret scripture are to be examined right then and there for adherence to scripture. Isn't this what the Bereans did to Paul? Isn't this the model set by Christ in Matt 23?

    Then we have the famous "women should be silent" passages. I wrote about this on another topic but basically, everyone needs to understand that Paul is reading back to them their own letter (see chap 7). Verse 36 starts with "what?" (missing from most translations) and proceeds to chastise them for such nonsense. How do we know this? Well, didn't our FAther set Deborah in charge of Israel? Aren't many women used throughout scripture for teaching purposes? Isn't prophecy going to be poured out on women as well (Joel 2)? Also, and most importantly if you don't believe me, go find the "law" Paul is supposedly referencing. You won't find it in the bible but you will find it in the Talmud, the teachings that Christ came to destroy.

    Lastly, verse 37 is very important. 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet(BD) or otherwise gifted by the Spirit,(BE) let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. ...............This is not optional. These are not just suggestions for how we format a "church". This is serious! I daresay that any violators (after knowing this) are in the same category as a false teacher. Scripture teaches us that it would be better to not even know our Savior than to slander and misrepresent Him. That person is "worse than an unbeliever". Now, I'm not sure how one can be worse than an unbeliever but I am sure I don't want to be in that category.

    I pray we all get off our little pedestals, come down a few notches and study the scriptures for ourselves. If you hear false teaching, call it out right then and there. REQUIRE those who are speaking to be surrendered Saints and adhere to sound doctrine. Don't continue one more day with your false beliefs. Lay them down and take on the very life of Messiah. Anything less is a distortion for your own gain.

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