Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mark Bullen is a Cult Leader


There are many men doing the work of God and leading a church.  Sadly, some cross over from pastor to cult leader.  I don't believe that Mark Bullen ever intended to be a cult leader.  My personal opinion is that he has an interpretation of the Bible that he believes is right and then imposes his EXACT belief on Living Faith Christian Fellowship, not intending to be abusive or intimidating, just believing himself to be more right than anybody else.

The following warning signs are from the Ross Institute, experts on cults and how to identify them.  I will give examples of how Mark Bullen fits each and every one.
  1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. - The keyword here is meaningful.  Living Faith Christian Fellowship presents itself as a brotherhood.  But in reality Mark Bullen is not just another brother.  He is the bishop and final say in EVERYTHING.  Any attempt to disagree with him is met with intimidation and excommunication.  He calls the "brothers" meetings and keeps everyone accountable.
  2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.  As stated in sign number one, disagreement is not tolerated.  If you question a new rule you are called rebellious and divisive.  My husband dared to question why boys and girls can play together inside and not outside and he was labeled a rebel.
  3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.  Budget, audit, financial statement?  What are those?  Records are not disclosed even though church members tithe and give offerings.
  4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.  Mark Bullen uses fear of the world to get families to move to Brookfield and he uses that same fear to get them to stay.  He teaches the end is coming soon and the families must be prepared for the persecution that will arise.  There is also the general everyday fear of your children being "lost to the world" if they do not have a church such as his to attend.
  5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.  We were told we were deceived and rebellious for leaving.  During every church service former members were mentioned, always as having really wanted the world.  They are certainly labeled as evil and worldly.  Mark Bullen mentioned them so often, that we knew the names of most of the families that had come and gone before us, even though we had never met them!  He says the only valid reason to leave is if he is shown that something in the church is not biblical.  How can you do that when HIS interpretation is always right and you're always wrong!?!  That goes back to sign #2. . .
  6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.  Once we left the church we, we ran into former members almost daily, and we all shared the same experience.  The little details were different, but we all left due to Mark Bullen attempting to control the beliefs, clothing, behavior, and lives of his members.
  7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the leader. Not until now!!!  Before moving we had diligently searched for first-hand accounts of former members, finding nothing.  After we left Living Faith Christian Fellowship we understood why.  The emphasis during my husband's final conversation with Mark Bullen was how we were responsible for the opinion of God's church and not making it look bad.  His final speech was so well said, it made us think of how many times he's said it before.
  8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".   I know I felt like my behavior and that of my entire family was being constantly watched and evaluated.  One member once told me that my 14 month old daughter needed more "discipline" because she was fussing during service.  (Church was in the middle of her morning nap, of course she was fussy!!!!)  Another told me how unhappy my 3 year old always looked.  (She was very shy around all those new people.)  My husband was said to be angry looking.  (I agree, that beard made him look awful!)  I can't imagine all the stuff they said behind our backs, I know they certainly had a lot to say about everyone else in the church!
  9. The leader is always right.  Mark Bullen is ALWAYS RIGHT!  On the Living Faith Christian Fellowship it says he is looking for "teachable" people.  This means "only come if you will do everything MY WAY because I'M RIGHT."
  10. The leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.  I got very scared when I was talking about a great series I had found on creationism vs. evolution and another member put an end to the conversation simply by saying, "Well I'm not sure what Brother Mark would think about that?"
Cult leader sign #10 is probably my best reason for leaving Living Faith Christian Fellowship.  Does a person need to run every single program they watch, every thought they think, every decision they make, past their pastor?  Should I have to worry about every word that crosses my lips when in the presence of another church member in case it doesn't meet the approval of the leader?  I'm very sad to say, that is how Mark Bullen operates Living Faith Christian Fellowship.

38 comments:

  1. Hello Noelle,
    I have been emailng back and forth with Pastor Bullen and Sister Angela for almost a year now. They have both always been very gracious in answering my questions about plain living and worshiping as the first century church did. Honestly, I was ready to send them a tithe next week and I happened to come across your blog site today. Wow! Now I believe I have some praying to do as I clearly think you make some valid points.
    If I may ask, were you able to find another church home? I hope so. I am currently not going anywhere to worship as I cannot find a church that isn't all about entertainment and "easy believism".
    Thank you for your posting your experiences.

    Blessings,
    Deborah

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    1. Good Evening Deborah,
      I love your name, that's my oldest daughter's.

      Mark and Angela ARE very gracious in answering questions, it's another draw to their church. You should be aware, however, that they do have what is called a honeymoon stage and until you are a full member they are guarded in their responses.

      We do fellowship with a group of people, though it is fairly informal. We do have communion together, though not weekly, and we function as a brotherhood and don't require a uniform belief.

      It is exciting to read the early church writings and to long for what seems to be a more genuine church experience. We too have found the mainstream church experience disappointing because of the emphasis on entertainment and the free for all atmosphere.

      Do you have any children? If you home-school sometimes you can find a group and from there often you can find a home church. All the people attending may not all practice or believe the same as you, but the groups that require uniform belief and practice are really only perfect on the outside.

      Have you ever given them a picture for the prayer board?
      Noelle

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  2. Hi Noelle,
    Thank you for your thoughtful response.
    Our children are all in their twenties and thirties, so the nest is empty so to speak.
    I like the idea of a home church but as far as I know there isn't anything available like that here. My biggest issue is with my husband as he enjoys the program driven, praise and worship churches. I do think the Bullen's gave me sound, biblical advice when they suggested I remain reverant and gracious to my husband in this regard, always using Scripture to give an appeal. Of course that is right and I did appreciate the reminder. Sadly, you aren't going to hear that from many preachers these days.
    In the last few days since initally reading your blog, I have listened to a few more sermons from LFCF, and you are spot on about the mentioning of families who have left the fellowship. They are all "lost" now. REALLY??? What an assumption!
    I don't know anything about a 'prayer board'.
    Thank you for your compliment about my name. I like it, too. Recently I began a study in Ancient Hebrew and have discovered more about the meaning of my name. Very cool. A wise choice for your daughter's name :)
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Deborah

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  3. What has drawn you to the Bullen church as opposed to the Mennonites? They share many of the same beliefs and practices as LFCF, though they are not a home church.

    There are also other brethren groups, but many do hold the Eternal Security doctrine. But they do often meet in homes, wear head-coverings, and have a more subdued church meeting.

    Do you wear a head covering? I'll stop peppering you with questions now. :)
    Noelle

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  4. I'm enjoying our converstaions, so you can pepper me with as many questions as you like :)

    You ask what drew me to LFCF. Actually, I came upon the site quite by accident one day when I was chasing links from modest clothing sites. I have studied and have a great respect for the Mennonites, and thought it was a Mennonite church website. Of course I discovered fairly quickly that it was not, but I did really appreciate some of the solid teachings from the Word. Over the last few years I have come to know that much of what I have learned from the churches I have attended is erroneous.

    We live in an area heavily populated with Mennonites and Amish. Last year we were invited to attend a service at a Mennonite church but at the last minute (almost literally) my husband decided he didn't want to go. I have been told (by Mennonites)that since both my husband and I have a divorce background that we could never become members in one of their churches. My husband was greatly insulted by that and I just felt sad :(

    Two of my female co-workers belong to a small Apostolic church and have invited us to visit. They wear only very long dresses and skirts, 3/4 length blouses, no jewelry or makeup, but do not veil. When I asked them about veiling they said a woman's hair is her glory and why would you cover your glory? They also believe a woman's hair protects her family AND God's glory. What??? Does God glory need to be protected? That makes NO sense to me. Anyway, no, I currently don't veil but am sincerely studying the Word in regards to it and getting input from sisters who do.

    Sorry this got so long. Your eyes are probably glazing over now! I really appreciate your responses as I'm quite sure you are a very busy young mamma with little extra time.

    Bless you,
    Deborah

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  5. The weather isn't too great right now, so I have a little extra time :)
    I respect the apostolics and others who believe the hair to be the covering AND do not cut their hair. Not meaning I disrespect people that don't cover, but I mean to say that the scripture can kind of be read either way, and the attempt to break the norm and follow the Lord is always commendable. (I will be doing a post on the covering soon.)

    One thing I've noticed about churches that veil, is they have all sorts of superstitions about it. They all seem to have stories about mystical happenings related to whether or not a woman was wearing a cap, veil, bonnet, long hair, etc.

    The only people that I've conversed with and enjoyed visiting that did NOT have weird stories were the Holdemann Mennonites (Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.) By the way, they would accept your marriage, unlike other Mennonites. They are also some of the most warm and caring people you will ever meet.

    They are not perfect, and neither are their beliefs, but the ones we have met with have a very sweet spirit and humility we find lacking among other plain churches. Yes, they do believe themselves to have the true belief, but so do all the plain groups, hahaha.

    Have you ever visited with them?

    I hope your search for fellowship is not straining your relationship with your husband. It can bring a lot of division between spouses, and that is so sad. (I will also have an article on this and the treatment of women in the Bullen church soon.)

    Grace to you,
    Noelle

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    1. Cheery greetings in Jesus name,
      Years ago my former husband was taking a graduate class at Moody Bible Institute's southern campus in St. Petersburg, FL. We stayed at a mobile home court that a Holdeman Mennonite church owned and rented out to Moody students and their families. The price was right and the mobile homes were spotlessly clean.Their only requirements were that students not smoke or drink alcohol and that only modest attire be worn when you were at the court. Of course no one had any trouble respecting their wishes.
      I met and spoke to the owner's wife and a few of the young moms. I was very impressed with the behavior of their children. Everyone was so gracious and helpful to us! I recall thinking that it would be so pleasant to belong to a group of believers who were genuinely humble and had such a love of the Lord.
      Honestly, yes, my searching for fellowship really is causing some problems between my husband and me. I look forward to your upcoming article on this and on veiling.
      Take care :)
      P.S. I'm going to check out the "official" Holdeman website to learn more about them. Perhaps I can find out if there are any Holdeman churches in my area where I could visit.

      Blessings,
      Deborah

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    2. Hello Noelle,
      For the last several days I've done some lengthy research on the Holdeman Mennonites. Guess what? Former members left the church for the very same reasons people left LFCF! So, while I did appreciate and agree with much of what they believe (just like I do in regards to LFCF) I don't think I'll be looking into visiting one of their churches. Sigh... :(
      Just thought you might be interested in what I discovered.
      Take care and God's blessings.
      Deborah

      P.S. I see you used to live in KY. We moved to KY 4 years ago. LOVE the accents and the food!

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    3. Hi Deborah,
      Sorry I haven't gotten the posts done I promised you, I've been down for a few days.
      I TOTALLY understand what you're saying about the Holdeman's, there are a lot of people who have written about how they were told to "just trust the church" and put aside their doubts, that was a big deterrent to my husband and I. Your observation was excellent, but I did go ahead and write a post about the differences between them and LFCF.

      Where do you live in Kentucky? I sure miss it, but not the windy narrow roads! We mostly ate Amish cooking while we were there, so I can't say I miss the food, hahaha.
      Peace to you and hubby,
      Noelle

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    4. Hi Noelle,
      I appreciate your list comparing LFCF and the Holdeman Mennonites. There are some significant differences.
      We live in Bowling Green. After four years of Iowa winters my California raised husband said enough is enough and we moved to KY! For sure, the winters here are very, very mild compared to Iowa. I have to laugh when an inch of snow is forecast and the natives here are just terror stricken. They have NO clue what a good, old fashioned blizzard is like.
      I know what you mean by winding, narrow roads. Any time I have to drive on them my prayer life improves! YIKES...
      Our favorite Southern dishes include biscuits and sausage gravy,fried apples, BBQ shredded pork on hoe cakes, cheesy grits and Derby pie. Yes, they are all low calorie :) We still aren't fond of catfish or greens. Or okra. I don't care if it's fried or not, it's still nasty.
      Hopefully you are feeling better now.
      It's so hard when you are a busy mom with little ones and you're not well. I remember :)

      Grace to you,
      Deborah

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    5. We lived over by Paducah, you could see Cave in Rock, IL from the top floor of our house. Our first winter here was VERY mild, it was a blessing since we were just getting settled into the new farm. I've been through a few snow storms in my life, but never a full-blown blizzard, yet. :)
      After living in the Deep South with my husband a while, I've finally started to fry foods! I now fry chicken, potatoes, make sweet tea, and I LOVE fried green tomatoes. I'm still not fond of grits, but if you put enough cheese in them, they're good. Okra is definitely nasty!
      Did you have a chance to look at the link I posted on the FB page about being alone in your convictions? The writer is pretty conservative and like many of us has felt isolated because of her beliefs. I think if more of us had relationships, even if they're by distance, with other more like-minded believers, we wouldn't be as tempted to pick up and move. Maybe just visit :)
      Feeling much better now, and so is Jason and the kids, thankfully.
      Have a great Mother's Day! How many kids do you have?
      Noelle

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    6. Happy Mother's Day Noelle :) Praying you have a restful and healthy day.

      I have four children; one daughter (oldest) and three sons. My daughter has four children ( 16,14, 10 and 8 yrs. old) and my oldest son and his wife are expecting their fist child in November. Hurray! My husband has one child (32 yrs.) a son, from his previous marriage but he disappeared over a year ago and we are afraid he's dead. LONG story and very tragic. It's hard for me to even wrap my thinking around the whole situation and my heart aches for my husband.

      I did read the article on your FB page about being alone in your convictions and was comforted. Thank you for posting it. One blessing about being older (I'll be 58 next month) is that you care less and less about what others think of you. It's quite freeing.

      Thank you again for this blog. I so enjoy reading your posts and look forward to your insights on veiling and other subjects.

      Blessings,
      Deborah

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  6. We too have come to know the Bullen family and some of the people in the church for about a year until recently. However, the Lord has guided us in another direction. It is not your place to share about their church, rather it is your husband's place to do so. Where is he? Why isn't he the spokesperson on this matter? If he were led by the Lord to speak on such a matter publicly, then it would carry so much more weight.

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    1. How have you gotten to know them? I mean, just via e-mail and a few visits, or do you know them personally? Can you varify or truly deny Noelle's accusations?

      I am asking, just as one who is most recently looking into joining this church and cam across this site.

      We are past Mennonites with divorce in our past, so we are used to structure, which some may call legalistic...

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    2. Hi Anonymous,
      I'm not sure if Hadassah follows anymore, so I just thought I'd offer what I know. She never did make it out for a visit, that I know of.

      I appreciate the difficulty you are having finding a church that is accepting of your past, I encourage you to press on and not allow your desire for a conservative fellowship lead to the destruction of your marriage.

      My intention is never to make accusations, but to plainly describe my experience and observations of my time at this church. You very well may have a better one than I had, but I do have to say that my experience has been replicated in the lives of others enough times to assure me that I am not exagerating.

      Hope all things go well with you.
      Noelle

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    3. Anonymous, I can answer EVERY accusation of un-biblical conduct (that is, if my posts are not deleted). It is all a bunch of hogwash by someone who refuses Biblical “structure”.

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    4. Hi Jeff,
      Just to make sure you don't have to worry. I do not delete posts unless they include profanity or affiliate links. The only posts that has ever been deleted was because he merely insulted another person's comment and left an affiliate link. Johannes is welcome to contribute any comments he wishes, but they will be deleted if they include links to any other site or profanity.
      So you can feel free to make assumptions about my refusal to do whatever and call it names, and I won't delete it. And remember, this blog is not necessarily about things being biblical or not, it's about if they are abusive and wrong. Mark's church is still by and large one of the most biblical I have ever seen, I'm glad you feel comfortable there. :)
      Have a good day,
      Noelle

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  7. Hi Hadassah,
    It's good to hear from you, I believe you were doing phone church while we were there, but maybe I'm mistaken. I have always loved the name Hadassah, it's one I never got to use for my daughters though. :) I'm glad you and your husband have found a place your family is comfortable with.
    Your concerns about me speaking out publicly are very well understood. I can say that before every post I have thoroughly discussed everything with my husband and I have his full support. Most of what I write is actually my husbands words, I just happen to be much better at typing than he is. I've always been his secretary. :)
    But, may I ask, is there actually anything wrong if I were to present my experience with a church that happened to be very stressful to my family and destructive to others? Shouldn't we try to help other believers and spare them from heartache?
    Grace to you and your family,
    Noelle

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  8. Hello Noelle. Have you heard of the Dodson family? We are one of the 5 founding families of LFCF, the 1st family to move into the community & also the first family to leave! It took us 5 months to realize that everything you said in your blog was true. It was true back in 2002 & 10 years later it's still true. It took the other founding three families a few more years to see it, but Thank God better late than never. I've seen so many families move in only to move out 6 months later. I've known mark for over 20 years. He has lost every church he's ever started (& believe me there are many). This loss of control over and over again has bred this Dictatorship. Marks arrogance is his downfall. I told mark 10 years ago right before we left his church "The only person who can prove mark wrong is mark ." The man is blind & his ditch is too deep for him to ever see the light. Thankfully not many follow him there. I'm glad to see your one of them! Keep up your proactive approach!!!

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    1. Of course we've heard of you! Most of what Mark talks about are the families that have left! lol I don't remember the details of your story, but I definitely remember your name. Mark would disagree with you on losing the church, he maintains that there have never been any splits or anything, people just decide to leave.
      The current group he has actually might stick because there's some fairly interesting history to some of the families that if we had known we would have avoided the group altogether. There are families there now that are ok with the control because that's what their into and how they run their own families.
      Another member would say, "He only has as much control as we give him." And he was right, but he was always scared to say anything so Mark continued to get the control.
      Thank you for your comments and if you have anything else that would help add to the discussion, please, comment away!
      Do you still live in the Brookfield area?
      Noelle

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    2. Dear Mr. Dodson,

      Seeing you know him so well, may I ask.... How many families go to his church and is there anyone who has stayed since its inception?

      Do you feel his "rules" are ungodly or out of balance of God's Word? How is he different then a Mennonite church?

      Is it more how he treats people?

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    3. Dear Anonymous,
      I'm not sure how much the Dodsons follow, but I do know at least one of the answers to your questions so I thought I'd reply.

      "How many families go to his church and is ther anyone who has stayed since its inception?" As for how many currently attend, I can't be certain for now, but when we left last year there were 8 families which included the Bullens, their son & his wife, Mark's mother, and 5 other families. Since then I do know one more family has moved here from out of the area.

      0 families remain since its inception. Mark has started over several times. Jesse is the longest standing member at this time and was appointed deacon just after one of the many disbursals.

      From my understanding of former members accounts and I do know for myself, it does have very much to do with how he treats people. The specific issue that may have arose could have had to do with a rule, but it was actually how he handled the situation that would drive people away, which is what happened to us.

      How he is different from a Mennonite church is a recurring question that I have now decided to write a post about. Stay tuned.

      Grace to you and your family.
      Noelle

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  9. How long were you and your family at that church? Where do you attend now?

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    1. We were physically a part of the church for 4 months and attended by phone and listened over the internet for several months before that, how many I'm not exactly sure. We attend a loose knit home fellowship. We welcome anyone. We've all kind of had bad church experiences and are looking to focus on recovering from them and going forward with Christ and leading our children right.

      Hope you find what you're looking for and are blessed :)

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  10. I know a dear sweet family that began their journey to plain Christianity on their own. They lived elsewhere and moved to MO to be in the Mark Bullen group. At the time they did not know how much of a cult it was. They had read the website and asked many questions of Mark.

    But Mark's answers did not jive with the reality of his attitudes and practice. Once the family was there for a few months, they started noticing a spirit of darkness, control and hyper criticism. The wife of this dear family suffered from a chronic and painful illness and often had to beg off participating in some of the group activities because of her pain. The snide and nasty comments toward the wife from Mark and his favorites were forthcoming. This poor woman with a documented medical condition was called lazy, selfish, and disobedient by Mark and his favorites. The sweet family left after less than a year.

    Mark claims this family was there to "sponge" off of him and his church (notice how Mark calls it "his" church, not God's church). Yet this family never missed a collection plate and were always willing to help with its other family members. After leaving this cult, the sweet family has gotten rid of the internet and refuse to look at other groups again. They live quietly and home church now.

    The lack of compassion, the bigotry and severe control freak personality of Mark is a witness against his group. I hope and pray others avoid this group as they will have their Christian walk hurt by this cult.

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous, for posting about that family. My heart hurts for them. My family also went there as plain people. In my experience, mark made many comments about members, even his favorites, and other plain groups. Mark makes the claim about most everyone that I know that left, came "to sponge off him and his church."

      For example, Mark did give us $1000 to cover moving expenses. He said he does that for every person that comes, and it's typically $800 to $1000. On the check it said "gift from the church." But he does throw it in your face later about "all he's done for you."

      Well, the move did cost us well over $6000, not to mention the costs of buying a house you probably wouldn't have if it hadn't been for his group. If he'd just be hisself from day 1 and not give visitors and new people a honeymoon stage, a lot of dissatisfaction and disappointment could be avoided.
      Jason

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    2. Anonymous, did you hear Mark say these things?? I know the family you are speaking of. My daughter was going to that church at that time. I don't remember anything being said like that about her.

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    3. Dear Anonymous,

      You do make a good point that we should only be careful to repeat what we are absolutely sure we heard. I do not know the other anonymous (this strikes me as funny, "other anonymous").

      The only comment I would have is that the Angela I knew I could not possibly imagine her being snide or nasty. She did say a couple things here and there about a person or two, but it really did seem to be out of concern for distress she had seen me in about a certain situation. So I may have inadvertently caused her to say it, and it was certainly not nasty, I found her observation, though unfavorable, to be hitting the nail right on the head. And I feel she was reluctant to say anything.

      Mark, on the other hand, when speaking with my husband, though never with me, did not shy from saying EXACTLY what he thought of any person. This can be a good trait in a person, kind of honest in a way. But, I feel if he is not willing to be as direct with that particular person can be a kind of gossiping. It also seemed a way, in my opinion, to make clear to the other people what he didn't like about other members so that you could tow the line yourself. But again, many of the things he did say were hitting the nail on the head. Possibly it was just more a question of should he have been so frank about people with them not being present. The Lord knows his heart and that's truly what matters, not what I have to say about it.

      All that being said, I don't believe non-members, even their family members, can really understand the dynamics of Mark Bullen's church. Everyone behaves differently when non-members are around. It's not a drastic difference, but it is most certainly different. There was even the teaching of "not bringing shame to the Lord" by saying derogatory things about Living Faith Christian Fellowship or to ever leave it.

      Thank you for your participation in this blog, your comment is appreciated.

      Grace to you,
      Noelle

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    4. the story is still the same. What Anonymous wrote is the same thing that happens to all that join and leave. Its a sad circle. I want to find a way to spread this blog to all the ex members I know and to all those that are searching for and think they have found the church. I am in touch with about three families that have left. I does my heart good to see you and your husband reaching out!! God will bless you for it.

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    5. Thank you WML for your feedback and your blessing. Our desire is not so much to tear down Mark and what he feels he is doing, but to get to know people like you and put out another side of the story.

      Spreading the word, I believe, will help to validate so much of what all of us that left experienced and also give a chance for us all to warn those that are thinking of joining.

      For some it may be the right move, it seems there are some families that have fit in just fine. But they have to be prepared to fit into the culture they will experience after they, most likely, leave family and friends and sell everything to live in the middle of nowheresville to "submit" to a very authoritarian leader.

      All your comments are appreciated and I look forward to more. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.

      Noelle

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  11. Wow i find all of this very intersesting. as an EX member of that Group (church) myself. Me and my family attended there for three years.

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  12. This is my first post as I just came across this blog. I am an ex member as well. I can verify that everything in this blog happened to our family as well.

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  13. Hello, this is Matt Bullen, Mark's older brother. My father mentioned this blog to me tonight and I was previously unaware of it so I came to see what it was about. I have read oh so little but can quickly surmise that the same things that my family and I experienced working together with Mark and Angela in ministry nearly 25 years ago are still going on today. I am saddened and pray for my dear brother who lost his way many many years ago. Please pray that they will return to the gospel someday. Blessings.

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    1. Hello Matt,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond.

      Given that you have known Mark and Angela the longest, do you think they are sincerely just trying to build a perfect church? Or is his goal to control people? This is something I think about from time to time and possibly only someone that has known him as long as you could give perspective.

      Thank you for such a heart-felt and prayerful comment.

      Grace to you,
      Noelle

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    2. Blessings Noelle,

      Just now saw your response. I truly believe that they are sincerely trying to build a perfect church and are totally blind to how far they have strayed from the gospel. Mark was always supremely stubborn and sure of his rightness from a child and I don't know what it will take for him to be broken and desperate enough to return to simple faith and trust in Jesus but I pray for that.

      Grace to you as well.
      Matt

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  14. I'm glad I found this site. I stumbled upon LFCF/Mark Bullen's site after googling the subject of marriage, divorce, remarriage. I too have sought fellowship amongst more conservative brethren and have saddened to learn Mennonites are not accepting of folks with divorce and remarriage in their lives. There are many things which ring true for me on the front page of LFCF and it makes me concerned that maybe I myself am being led astray in bad doctrine. I listened to a sermon in which Mark questions the authority of scripture, or rather the correctness of the KJV even though he claims to uphold the KJV and TR. Again, in his testimony page there are many quotes made by him which seemed very odd. Almost Hyles Anderson odd, and no marvel, he did come out or was of the IFB movement and Hyles is famous for having folks line up with his way or the highway. I have found many good articles about Hyles through Steve Van Nattan - but again, Steve is cut from the same clothe in many ways. He boldly states that any remarried person will only get things done, if they ever are getting anything done, under the power of Satan. It strikes me as very similar in doctrinal fallacy, with similar ex-members, etc. as the IFB "cult" although I wouldn't lump all IFB churches as cult. There is an IFB support group on facebook. Looks like I'll keep searching, just me and the Lord until I am called home. It just makes me sad to not have fellowship like I hope/wish/believe is possible. Never the less, while searching for various teachings about marriage divorce and remarriage the Holy Spirit reminded me of Luke 16:15. I don't need to meet the standards of some congregation, be it Mennonite (1 Cor. 1:12-15) or other. I have always held that worship is not limited or maybe even found in "church services" but rather in holy living, and in God's word (Ps. 96:9, John 4:24). God bless you brothers and sisters, Trust in the Lord!

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Thank you for your comment. Forgive me if my delay in replying only helped to strengthen your feeling of being alone.

      As you can tell by the comments and posts here, you are certainly NOT alone. Many of us have had a longing for deeper fellowship with like-minded believers and we all somehow ended up visiting Mark's website. I think my husband would agree that most of what we saw on the front page and elsewhere touched something in us. I'm sure if I were to visit his site there would STILL be things that would tug at me.

      Not everything about Mark's church is wrong, at least that is my feeling. It's just that the things that were wrong made it not a safe place for our family. My heart is still saddened when I hear news of yet more division and families leaving. But it does reaffirm that the need to control nearly everything about the followers is a recurring theme.

      Perhaps we should start a support group on FB, hadn't thought of that before and maybe it would be a good thing.

      Many times we have been told that any feeling of being right in our marriage is of Satan. My favorite has always been the anonymous letter that appears in the mailbox, hahaha. As long as we're alive "Followers of Christ" will debate doctrine and pick apart each others' lives, sadly, I have concluded.

      What would be exciting to me is if we could all encourage one another to press on, as you did in your comment. Thank you! Too true that our goal should be to worship the Lord through holy living. Good reminder to myself and us all.

      Bless you too, and hope to someday run into you again. You're not alone, truly, you're not.

      Grace to you,
      Noelle

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  15. I ran across this site a few weeks back, and even tho I have never attended Marks church, I do have a large collection of his teaching series on cassette from a few years ago.

    Just listening to the tapes & checking them with the Bible showed me that there was a defined sport of Judging that just did not jive with what was posted on the site.

    As for the divorce & remarriage comments, if we claim to follow the Word of God, then Jesus was very clear about remarrying & divorce....no matter what we think is right, Jesus should be the final word in everything we do.....and yes, I am divorced with a living spouse.....

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