Saturday, April 21, 2012

This Church Could Be for You


Living Faith Christian Fellowship could be the church for you if you agree with Mark Bullen that:
  • All schooling besides home-schooling is sinful
  • Women should always wear a head-covering (veil not a cap)
  • Belief in eternal security damns you
  • Living Faith Christian Fellowship is the most godly and biblical church in the world
  • Women are the property and possessions of men, first the father, then the husband
  • Boys and girls after age 6 should not play together outside so the girls can learn to be shamefaced
  • You spend a lot of time talking about how ungodly and mislead everyone else is
These are several of the cardinal beliefs promoted by Mark Bullen.  A couple are apparent by listening to the sermons on his website and reading the literature.  But to really get the full run down on the beliefs and practices of Living Faith Christian Fellowship you need to be present for Sunday School, Wednesday nights, and hear what is said before and after his sermons.  Bear in mind also that they don't completely let their hair down around non-members so it can be tough to REALLY get a feel of how things operate until it is too late.

    12 comments:

    1. Ok, I read all your blog entries, I recently discovered them online, but I do sense a spirit of animosity and rebellion on your part.

      However, I am taking your blogs seriously, for I do not want to make the mistake that others seem to be making.

      1.How would say that Marks church is different then a Mennonite Church?

      2. All Mennonite/Amish churches have a "dress code" how is it different in his church, that would make it more of a dictatorship vrs. modest apparel application?

      3.Do you know of any other "conservative, head covering " church that accepts the divorced?

      4. What is meant by " You don't recognise me without my "cape" dress that is"?

      5. You mentioned, how a movie or documentary you saw had to get Marks approval... and like country music...How is that different then Amish/ Mennonite who never watch tv or listen to no music?

      6. Do you believe the Mennonites or Amish are cults and why or why not?

      Just a person with a serious inquiry....

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      1. Hi Anonymous,
        I'm sorry for the perceived spirit of animosity, that was not my intent. I can assure you that I have no feelings of hatred nor do I wish anything but good to the Bullens and the other families at their church. My attempt is to show plainly in straight to the point language what my experience was so that there may be a balance between Mark's website and his portrayal of former members. Contrary to what he says, no matter how we may currently be living, we did not "just want the world", as I heard so often while attending of former members, but I feel we do have valid reasons for not being in fellowship with him. And yes, I am in rebellion against Mark, if I were not, I would be attending his church still. After his treatment of my husband and hearing how he spoke to my husband during their last phone call (it was on speakerphone) my decision was to be loyal to my husband, the biblical head of my family, over someone that was using his self-appointed authority to abuse others, as I saw it.
        #1 I will be covering in a post.
        #2 & 3 Were covered well by Jason
        #4 Is just a little joke :) I no longer wear the Cape dress that is typical of Amish and Mennonites, some may not recognize me without it. It was originally meant to imply that one is a super-hero on the side, hardy har har.
        #5 Jason covered well, but I'd like to add that my best friend is Amish and enjoys many country songs that we sing together. She may have heard them in the grocery store or with a driver. Mark would consider this worldly.
        #6 Jason again covered well.
        Sorry I didn't reply quickly, I hope this is of help. Maybe you can imagine me smiling when you read so there's not so much animosity. I don't know where you live, but it would also probably help to meet us so you get a better feel.
        Grace to you,
        Noelle

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      2. My wife has been taking care of this site, but I as her husband, was the one that actually prayed a lot and studied and fasted, made the decision to leave with my family. I will testify I did not force her, if she wanted to stay she was welcome to, but she was also seeing the things I was seeing. Because I am a true believer that her salvation is just as important as mine and she cannot make it to heaven on my coattails, she would have to also do it on her own.

        Now knowing my wife as good as I do, I do not see her as having animosity, meaning she does not hate them or wish bad for them. I know that both her and I prayed for them the church and their people, we wish no harm to come to them. We just feel that Mark Bullen's arrogance can cause people to make bad decisions spiritually and financially that can turn people into arrogant ungodly people.

        I have a saying, "Don't judge someone just because they sin differently than you." We'd be sitting there on Wednesday nights listening to everyone, including myself, judging other churches and other groups because they don't wear headcoverings or wear they do jewelry. But I didn't feel I was condemning them to hell because they were not following the most biblical church "that he knows of", as Mark would say, I just didn't understand why people didn't follow things that I thought were so clear in the Bible.

        I guess what got me was when I made it pretty clear that I was not wanting to join a group that was of the cult mindset that believed they were the true church and then it wasn't a month into our joining when Mark told me they were not in communion with ANY OTHER GROUP and we could never move anywhere and join somewhere else because nowhere else has it as biblical as he does and practices the same as him "that he knows of" and we would be excommunicated. But in his defense, he did say that if I ever found one that was more biblical and godly he would change to be like them, but he does not know of any and doesn't think there are any out there.

        And is my wife in rebellion? Well I feel my wife is not in rebellion to our savior, I feel she is just like most people I find that are striving to find what God wants us to do and to follow and obey. So if she is in rebellion to Living Faith Christian Fellowship, so be it, but when it comes to our savior, I don't see it.

        Me and my wife did spend around 2 years of our life living with the Old Order Amish. I did get to know a lot about their beliefs and stuff, the one particular Amish group we was part of, I do not feel they was a cult in any way. I just feel they had rules and regulations you agree to to be a part of the church. There is not just 1 man running it, they pick through voting and lots for their bishops, deacons, and ministers and from what I know of the Mennonites do it much the same. Mark Bullen has appointed his self as bishop and Jesse was appointed as deacon by Mark, which is very different than how the Mennonite would do it.

        Some other differences are the Mennonites celebrate Christmas and Easter, different than mainstream churches, but they do celebrate them. The Mennonites are non-resistant whereas Mark once said, "You have to kill them before they kill you." But you would not hear that in a Sunday sermon, that was said on the last Wednesday night we attended.

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    3. Continued. . .
      Mennonites do not vote or get involved in politics. Mark and many of the church members not only vote, but attend political meetings and go door-knocking for candidates like Ron Paul. I'm not saying either way is wrong, I'm just saying it's different.

      The Mennonites keep Sunday as a sabbath and do no work, Mark observes it as the Lord's Day, which it is. No matter what you would not see Mennonites working on anything, with the exception of cooking or church preparations, on Sunday. And certainly not wiring your office, fencing, or working on automobiles which I have witnessed members doing, I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just showing the difference between a Mennonite church and Mark Bullen's church.

      A Mennonite church is ususally with a certain conference that they are accountable to. Mark Bullen is accountable to Mark Bullen. Mennonites also send their children to church private schools and sometimes to public schools if they don't have their own set up yet. It is clear on Living Faith Christian Fellowship's website and their tracts that homeschooling is considered to be the only option for Christian families. I'm not saying I disagree with it, but that is something that's different between the Mennonites and the Bullenites.


      There is the obvious difference that the Mennonites do not allow divorce and remarriage for any reason at all. Obviously, in my studies, they are in the wrong. Can't you see Jesus says there is no divorce saving for fornication? Well even our savior says there's a reason and if the Mennonite can't see that that's the release of a covenant and you're allowed to move on and be remarried and the new covenant with that person is binding, I don't know what to say for them. But they are allowed to believe whatever they want. Mark Bullen allows divorce & remarriage, I don't know of any reason he wouldn't accept it. I don't think he'd allow it once you're in his church, but I don't know what he'd really do with that.

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    4. Continued again. .

      The major similarities are a supposed separation from the world, headcoverings, and if you leave or are excommunicated you go to hell until you come back and repent to the church. Neither one believes in eternal security or once saved always saved mindset.

      In my experience I feel the Mennonite, the general population, the ministers and bishops and all do show more love and caring towards those they would consider lost. That's my opinion.

      #3 Yes I do know of headcovering groups that would accept divorced and remarried, the Holdeman Mennonite and there is another decent sized group that would welcome divorced and remarried out in Oregon and they are a headcovering group. And that minister would most likely be able to help find other groups. There is a small group I've found in Tennessee that are open to the divorced and remarried and one Old Order Amish in Missouri that allowed a divorced & remarried couple to join. Keep in mind that with the Amish it takes 4 or 5 years to be allowed to join, they just don't just let you right in.

      #5 Many of the amish and mennonite, the newer ones that we're comparing Mark's group to, do listen to music. There are many different kinds of mennonites so I can't speak for all, but there are some that have full bands in their churches just like in pentecostal or charismatic churches, but they would be dressed just like other mennonites with the plain clothes. With these groups they set a community standard that people agree to, and it's set by the group. Mark decides what is ok and not ok for everyone, but granted in some groups the bishop will hold firm to some things they won't allow. But usually that bishop was voted in by those same people.

      I don't feel all mennonites or amish are cults just because they have rules and regulations. But when you start making strong statements that one man has everything down pat and if you don't go to his church and do it his way you're going to hell. One man in the church said that a cult is about whether you believe in the trinity or not, well I think that could be part of a cult belief but there are a lot of other things that can make it a cult. Like one man being on the pedestal, making comments that he came up with the most godly, most biblical teachings, some of the stuff reminded me of Mr. Armstrong saying he was a prophet and stuff. There is an Old Order Amish group that I know of that I would consider a cult, he broke off from a community and moved 50 miles down the road or whatever and the people that moved with him considered him the head and really believed that his word was it. The man's sons and one of the members snuck back to the old community and shaved off the beards of the members and cut women's hair as retaliation because the other group was telling them they were falling away and going to hell. When groups start getting to believing they're above the law and they use the one man's visions and things to do things like that, obviously they're confused and it's a cult mindset to do things like that.

      Well, I am Jason Ragas, and I approved this message.

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    5. Well Praise God! Thank you, Jason.

      This is the same person that wrote the questions... Thank you for your reply, you explained things well.

      We were from Florida and moved to Western NC, I asked those questions because we can not find any plain church that doesn't tell us we must separate and Marks was the first... and when I found your site, my bubble popped!!

      Guess, I just wanted to make sure this wasn't just a grumbling ex member..

      But I am heading the warning.

      So.... my email is peters_helpmeet@yahoo.com can you send me contact info to any plain covered church that you know of around here or that might know of one around here?

      Thank you

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    6. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Jason, you mentioned a small group in TN and an Amish church in MO that had allowed a divorced & remarried couple. Can you give more information on what towns in TN and MO? I would be interested in finding out more about them.

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      1. Hi Anonymous,

        Sorry it has taken a little while to respond. The group in TN I believe Jason was talking about is led by David Black. I'm pretty sure that is who he was talking about. My concern with that group is that although Mr. Black does not have a problem with allowing in remarried couples, members of his congregation do. As of 2 years ago he was not willing to push the issue with them and allow people to be members, but I do believe you would be welcome to attend for as long as you like. Is this something that you would still consider?

        As for the Amish group, I'd have to check with him. The one that jumps to my mind allowed a couple that had been attending for 20 years join, and then the church split. From what people tell me there were many more issues beyond this disagreement. So hopefully things have settled down.

        Where are you and how far are you willing to move?

        Blessings in your search,
        Noelle

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      2. Noelle, I'm sorry but I haven't been able to get my response to post but I'm trying again. I would like to know where David Black is and also the Amish group. Distance isn't that important. We can accept fellowship without membership. Please respond with any locations, addresses, church names, member names or whatever you have that might be helpful. Thanks.

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    7. I have never visited Mark b's church. I won't say if I agree or not with everything expressed. I agree that the sun will rise tomorrow and men are created differently than women. Period.

      I wouldn't scorn if I was in your position. God scorns the scornful. I was in a choir in a college once and we had to wear a certain VERY ugly choir outfit. The men had to stand separate from the women. Did I complain or mock or scorn the "demands" of the leader(s). No.....

      Please look up scorn in the bible and see what it says before it is too late. Sometimes our children pick up on the scornful behavior and they end up doing the evil things we would never approve of or appreciate.

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