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National Shepherding Movement - Discipleship Movement - Promise Keepers Warning:

Promise Keepers shepherding Warning: churches of Christ are among the last ones to be damaged by the Discipleship Movement movement. Promise Keepers and the National Shepherding Network

David Lipscomb University promotes Lynn Anderson one of the promoters of the Promise Keepers Discipleship or Shepherding Movement.  Read some notes that sound like the Wicca of Anderson's writings.
Lipscomb Summer Celebration 2008: Randy Harris, Gary Holloway and Rhonda Lowry: Growing Deeper: a look at contemplative spiritual.  You may be interested in learning about the occult for your church.

Vision 2000 at Madison Church of Christ was to facilitate the PRE-VISION to radically restructure from "school of the Bible" to "theater for 'holy' entertainment.

Most CONCENSUS meetings are to Infiltrate and Divert to the FACILITATOR'S plan.

Hear Erasmus, the Priest, Warning against Confession

"Where did the modern authoritarian discipling system come from? Who dreamed up this pyramid scheme of a young evangelist controlling the lives of converts so that they grind out huge work quotas and big number baptisms? What are the roots of this system?

"This particular form of authoritarianism largely ran its course in other religious groups and has been abandoned. There is a large body of literature full of warnings and criticism of this authoritarianism as it has been tried by others. The fact that it has been tried by others is rather embarrassing to those who thought that someone in the churches of Christ invented this approach. The reality, however, is that churches of Christ are among the last ones to be damaged by the discipling movement.

The modern promoter is the Saddle Back "Purpose Driven Cult." This movement introduces music little by little until both the BIBLE and the PREACHER are rooted out. Tithing is promoted to turn the church from "synagogue" or school of the Bible into an avowed "Theater for holy entertainment." Making a Spectacle of the church is financed on the backs of the widows and working classes. Discipleship is the purpose of the church but this means to TEACH THE WORD AS IT HAS BEEN TAUGHT. There are no human schemes able to replace Jesus Christ as the One and Only Master Teacher and Song Writer.

Notes From The Discipling Dilemma, Roots of Modern Discipleship: And a Brain Washing Site

"The first root of the modern discipling movement may be found in the Roman Catholic Spiritual Directors of the

fifth century and later throughout Roman Catholic history. The Spiritual Director system operated in monasteries and convents for many centuries.

Those being trained were told to reveal their most secret thoughts to their Spiritual Director and submit themselves totally to their Spiritual director's decisions as to what is good and evil. This is essentially what is now called a "discipling relationship.

"A second root of the discipling movement is to be found in Pietism/Wesleyanism. Early in the Reformation, such men as Spener, Franke, and Zinzendorf

wanted to breathe new life into ice cold state churches.

See the Cursillo/Walk to Emmaus Revival of the Catholic Sabbath Eucharist Movement.

The Sabbath is intimately related to the ancient Pagan Saturn (Satan) worship under different names perhaps beginning in Babylonia.

Erasmus shows how this Catholic Shepharding or confessional worked in his day. The "private confessional" became public property of you crossed the Monk or didn't "contribute."

"John Wesley was impressed by Spener's use of small groups (collegia pietatis) for this purpose. This influenced him to establish

Methodist societies within Anglican churches. "
"These small groups soon came to see themselves as a
church within a church.
They believed that they had
achieved a higher level of spirituality than that experienced by other Christians. 

"This is similar to what happened when Crossroads-trained campus ministers went into churches of Christ throughout the nation and started using the discipling approach. The "Soul Talk" group became a church within a church. Those involved in using this approach

saw themselves as being superior to the "lukewarm" or "dead" members [Complimentarians] who were not involved in the discipling ministry.

They thought of themselves as being the "faithful remnant." [Assimilated at Willow creek]

They sought perfection through rule-keeping and thus demonstrated pietistic tendencies toward legalism. Such a spirit leads to divisiveness.
........ It produces end-runs around good elders.
........ It tempts toward elitism and a kind of self-importance.

"A third root of the authoritarian approach to discipling can be found in the writings and influence of Watchman Nee. He is the favorite theologian of many modern charismatics.

"Nee taught that each person must have a "covering" in the Lord. He used that term for a person who has delegated authority, who must be obeyed unconditionally,

and who must be imitated. He also taught that
Christians must confess their sins to the person who is their "covering."

Jerram Barrs explained that the doctrine of "covering" means that ideas, decisions, and lifestyle must be covered by someone higher in the chain of command; thus the "covering" gives instructions on many secular matters and not just on matters of faith.

"A fourth root of the discipling movement is found in certain parachurch organizations.

The term "parachurch" is applied to evangelical organizations with no church affiliation or sponsorship. [Cursillo or Walk to Emmaus in its Episcopal form]

"The last root of the discipling movement as it has appeared among churches of Christ is seen in the charismatic movement. This movement developed outside traditional denominational structures. Similar doctrines had been taught earlier in Pentecostal denominations such as the Assemblies of God, the Church of God, and the Pentecostal Holiness Church. In the late 1950s, however, a Neo-Pentecostal charismatic movement began.

"A dispute is taking place over issues of authority and discipleship.

Powerful figures in the movement have built up a chain of command linking many local groups around the country to themselvesDiscipleship involves submission to the shepherd as he points the way-and points out flaws in behavior. . . . Those being discipled must consult with their shepherd about many personal decisions. In some cases, shepherds forbid marriages, reject school and vocational plans, demand confession of secret sins. .

Some travel to Ft. Lauderdale to receive training directly from Mumford and his colleagues. (Read Nashville, Atlanta or D.C.).

[While Bob Mumford saw this eventially as destructive, people like Rubel Shelly still quotes him favorably about Accountability Groups. Click to this link there will be several articles]

"Every characteristic of discipling churches that sets them apart from other churches of Christ can be traced, directly or indirectly, to one or more of these influences discussed above. Others who have tried this approach, however, have rejected it. In a recent conversation with a leader of Maranatha Ministries, I was told,

"What you are experiencing in the Church of Christ is what the charismatic movement vomited up." Maranatha Ministries is a campus movement built along the lines of the shepherding movement.

"The Discipling Dilemma, Chapter 8: Roots of Modern Discipleship Movement

"They are militant in evangelism, charismatic, and authoritarian in the personal lives of their members.
Their growth may exceed that of any similar movement--even that of the Crossroads/Boston churches. It may be more than an interesting coincidence that the headquarters of Maranatha Ministries is in Gainesville, Florida, not far from the Crossroads Church of Christ where the discipling movement was first introduced to churches of Christ.

What about discipleship? If that term is used to mean being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and recognizing that He has all authority, then the term is proper as one of many terms that describe the Christian life.

If that term is used to mean the kind of authoritarian discipleship / shepherding movement that ran its course in various denominations in the 196Os and 197Os, then Carl Wilson's advice is appropriate. In 1976, this Pentecostal author warned that certain leaders claim

authority that puts them between Christ and the people. He said that these leaders take control of the personal lives of their members by giving all sorts of orders with no biblical support at all.

He concluded, "If the people of the churches concede to the clergy the right to make decisions of life and doctrine apart from the clear teaching of scripture,

it will inflict the deathblow to disciple building in the churches, even as it did in the early church."

Churches of Christ need to learn from what other religious groups have already experienced. They tried the discipling approach and rejected it. Churches of Christ should also reject this approach. It's time we called disciples Christians again.

Whoa! But we ain't charismatic, you say. Well, let's check. If your Shepherding team or musical ministers or Musical Praise Teams are using talent, self-composed songs, modern complex harmony, amplified sounds, vizualization of "spirit" through the appearance of the performing clergy then you are under a charismatic attack.

If your preacher substitutes loud and motion and threats instead of a calm presentation of the Word as it hsa been delivered then you are under a charismatic attack.

Any effort to sell "spirituality" as some feeling of goose bumps, fear or anything to approach you through your bodily senses then you are under a charismatic attack. Everyone needs a "new song book" to turn singing from teaching to praising:

From New Wine in Worship
For several years, God has been preparing what we could call a new song book...The new song often reveals the need for healing within. Through the words of these songs the Holy Spirit touches these sensitive areas of our lives. To some the words even seem too intimate to sing. [Note: all styles of PRAISE SINGING flow out of ancient, superstitious paganism. "Churchy" music is identified as EROTIC and emasculating--just right for SHEPHERDING.]

Others who have experienced disappointment and pain from those they have trusted, sometimes find it difficult to give themselves with complete abandon even to the Lord. Those who are emotionally damaged may appear to be in control and seem almost emotionless. Others may have excessively powerful emotions that are hard to control. Both are conditions of bondage that hinder our freedom and intimacy with the Father. The songs can offer a way to freedom. [Those at the Tower of Babylon thought that their songs had magical power]

Past generations have sometimes had difficulty allowing God to release them into new dimensions of His Spirit, newly recovered truth, and new aspects of relationship with Him. While fully appreciating what God has done in the past and retaining all truth, let us sing out the new songs that express our closeness to a close God. From a Toronto Blessing Site

J S O'Malley Also Defines Shepherding as:

"A term applied to the teachings and persons coming from the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Shepherd's Church. Sometimes referred to as the Shepherding Movement, it represents a specialized group within the charismatic movement that arose in the early 1960s. It also has older roots in the Pentecostal movement that began in the United States in 1900. The principal teachers in the movement have been the leaders of the Fort Lauderdale congregation, including Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, Don Basham, Ern Baxter, and John Poole.

The official name of their organization is Christian Growth Ministries, and
its major publication is
New Wine magazine.

The concept of discipling is related to the goal of encouraging and measuring growth in Christian discipleship through the behavioral change that would result from a consistent application of biblical principles to personal and corporate Christian living. According to Mumford, the shepherd is to nurture discipleship through a three - part program,

including baptism by water,
discipleship by a man "commissioned by God,"
and acknowledging
the abiding presence of Christ
with the shepherd (or disciple maker)
and his disciples.

Mumford advocates avoiding spiritual independence

that would lead to religious anarchy
in favor of embracing the yoke of Christ as a symbol of discipleship.

In a typical Discipleship community,

household fellowships
gather in closed weekly meetings.

Often the leading shepherds in a community have been directly trained by one of the above - named leaders.
The members are often obliged to
submit to covenantal norms, such as

tithing, (Note: a sure sign of legalism Click Here)
to the authority of the community

(which also may have authority in the area of male - female relationships),
and the requirement of job - holding for all but married women.

Tithing is part of the RESTORATION of Judaism which is a restoration of Babylonian, end time "religion.' Yesterday's Sermon Today (1/07/02): Rubel Shelly. Do we literal eat and drink Christ or do we eat the Word which IS Spirit and IS Life?
See the Background to BABYLONIAN TITHING being promoted at Madison Church of Christ by C. Bruce White.
("Kregg Hood")

("Tithing - Malachi")

("Restoring the Babylonian Tithe")

("Bruce White: Jewish and Gentiles Tithed in the Church?")

("The Rainbow Pledge of God's Grace")

("Tithing, Clergy Robbing Laity")

("It Is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive")

("Falling from Grace through Tithing")

("I Corinthians 16:2") 

"The leaders of Discipleship Movement have extensively expressed their views on their roles.

They are frequently concerned with the integrity of the shepherds, especially their motivation to serve God uncompromisingly (Note: total committment or "outta here.",

and with the need to develop disciplined Christian leadership for shepherding communities that can withstand moral oppression and economic havoc from the contemporary society.

Not seeking to found a new denomination, they emphasize the realization of the kingdom of God that transcends existing ecclesiastical structures.

They often picture their role in military terms, as captains of the Lord's army.

They expect opposition from the contemporary society and often pray for divine strength to endure in the midst of an alien world.

See Rubel Shelly endorsing Mumford the FATHER of the discipling dilema now fueling Tulsa Workshop etc.

Before Rubel Shelly uses Bob Mumford as alternative authority let us note that:

"Bob Mumford's ministry has been to prophetically proclaim and teach the sufficiency of Christ Jesus and His Kingdom in a manner that promotes reconciliation and unity. Bob seeks to bring about personal spiritual change and growth in the life of every believer without undue reference to denominational distinctions.

Take Another Look At Guidance

"Take Another Look at Guidance provides biblically-based counsel about how to find and follow God's guiding path through life. That council has proven sound for more than 20 years the book has been in print. Some of the chapter titles are: Luck . . . or Happenstance?, Knowing the Will of God, The Holy Spirit Speaks, and Signs and Fleeces.

"You will also learn about the three harbor lights of Guidance:
Word of God
Holy Spirit

Suggested Donation $8.00.

More Bob Mumford [dead link]

"In 1970 five prominent charismatic leaders, Derek Prince, Don Basham, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson and Ern Baxter, electrified the Christian world by announcing that they had entered into a covenant of accountability with each other.

To avoid falling into temptation, they were going to meet regularly and hold each other accountable for their Christian walk and life decisions.

"This new movement, called "discipleship" or "shepherding", attracted thousands of followers, who willingly submitted themselves to be accountable to their spiritual leaders in all matters, including finances, dating and marriage, career choices, and where they lived and attended church.

"Human nature being what it is, thousands of lives were ruined as their spiritual leaders took advantage of them, forcing their hapless "disciples" to give up their Christian liberty and power of decision-making, subordinating their personalities and talents for the good of the larger group. (church is an assembly or synagogue: it is not a family on earth)

In 1985 the famous five founders of this movement announced that their covenant of accountability was not working out and they were breaking it up. They have been apologizing for the abuses of this movement ever since.

"However, the concept of accountability keeps popping up in various circles, under new guises. Some men's movements are urging their followers to meet in small groups for the purpose of holding each other accountable.

There is no shortage of would-be "disciplers" circulating in some churches and Christian movements, looking for spineless "schmoes" who are willing to be "discipled" and let someone tell them what to do with their lives...

"As Baptists, we are people of the Book, followers of that the Bible teaches. Therefore, we should reject these notions of accountability, discipleship and shepherding that are being hatched in charismatic and interdenominational circles.

The Machiavelli FAX of Life Resisting Change  (From:Faith Matters)

I have added links to Machiavelli's Prince to assist you in understand the "Volkish" revival and the universal methods of change:

Machiavelli Prince Ch3-Ch6-Ch7

For comparison we will not some of Hitler's message about how to organize the "human" material (emotional) to be used by the elite (the rational) with music being important:

Hitler: Völkish State: Supporters (emotional) and Leaders (Intellectual)

Mein Kampf Vol 2, Ch5, Ch8, Ch11

A chief biblical text for the movement is the reference to pastor - teachers in Eph. 4:11, which designates for them a man "called and equipped to give oversight and care to God's people."

Discipling is seen as a comprehensive word that denotes a God - given authority.
Each shepherd understands that he is to give account of his stewardship to the
chief shepherd.
Just as Jesus regarded few of the professional religious leaders of his day as true shepherds, so the

leaders of the Discipleship Movement often

find unacceptable the ministry of those who are exercising ecclesiastical authority over people in their day.

This criticism recalls that of Christian sectarian leaders in past history, such as Montanus, the Spiritual Franciscans, the Anabaptists, and the radical pietists.

The criteria for effective discipling also include the avoidance of selfish preoccupation with power and personal status, in line with the admonition in 1 Pet. 5:1 - 6. In addition, there is the responsibility for shepherds to equip the saints for ministry. This involves instructing and admonishing each member in public and in private.

Discipleship communities include those designed for celibate persons and for families. Covenantal norms frequently include poverty, or the renunciation of self - centered aims and self - provision, and yieldedness,

or obedient reliance upon God
submission to the headship of the community leaders
through whom Christ is to rule.

In addition, communal sharing of lives and possessions is often emphasized, in accordance with Acts 4:32. Such communities view themselves

as living on the frontiers of Christian commitment, although evangelism may be limited to shepherds,
who are regarded as being spiritually mature. Common activities in discipling communities include corporate worship, prayer meetings, and the Eucharist; administration of these group activities is under

the authority of an apostolate, a term that often refers to the total group of shepherds in a given community.

See the Walk to Emmaus and Cursillo Parallel

In 1975 response to the Discipleship Movement precipitated a controversy within the charismatic movement as a whole as several charismatic leaders, including Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network, expressed public disagreement with the Fort Lauderdale group. In December of that year a representative group of pastors, teachers, and leaders met in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a theological and pastoral evaluation of the controversy. This group agreed that much of it had resulted from poor communication and misunderstanding, and that the real differences that existed were within the bounds of the variety permitted in the body of Christ. Subsequent charismatic leaders' conferences have been held, such as the Oklahoma City meeting in 1976, that have sought to achieve reconciliation among the parties to the dispute.

Some critics do not believe that the Discipleship Movement is operating according to biblical principles,

pointing out that Scripture teaches all Christians should submit to one another (Eph. 5:19 - 21).
Some oppose the amount of control exercised by shepherds over such matters as the choice of a mate and the decision to have children.

The movement is not always regarded by these critics as a cult, since it accepts the essential beliefs of Christianity, including the Trinity, Christ's incarnation and resurrection, salvation by grace through faith, and authority of Scripture.

However, it is objected that the hypersensitivity and secrecy often to be found in the movement, even to the point of

disallowing discussion of its doctrines and practices with others outside the group, tend to raise questions in people's minds.

Others have questioned the tendency of the movement to separate itself from the concerns of the historical church. These objections notwithstanding, the significance of the impact of the Discipleship Movement upon the charismatic movement remains. Notes from J S O'Malley

Bibliography. C Farah, From the Pinnacle of the Temple; R J Foster, A Celebration of Discipline; M Harper, A New Way of Living; D Hartman and D Sutherland, Guidebook to Discipleship; W A Henricksen, Disciples Are Made, Not Born; R A Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life; J S O'Malley, The Mystique of Godliness: Bishop John Seygert and the United Methodist Heritage; J C Ortiz, The Disciple; R G Tuttle, The Partakers; D Watson, Called and Committed: World - Changing Discipleship.

Hey, you will know it when it hits you in the face. See some notes at:


Martin Luther defines the true Shepherd

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