Monthly Archives: September 2016

//September
30 September

Why won’t Stanton confess its own public sins?

By |2019-04-11T06:35:43-06:00September 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|6 Comments

Stanton teaches that private sins require private confessions, and public sins require public ones. Thus, if a person runs a red light, they are in public and must confess that sin publicly before God will forgive them. This is, of course, completely foreign to the scriptures, but that is what Stanton teaches. But what about sins committed by the church body as a whole? It turns out that the whole idea of enforced unity through May Week is a two-edged sword for Stanton. If their unity is so commendable on good things, when they're wrong, isn't it a liability? Isn't that a collective sin that can bring the whole ship down? You can't have it both ways. Let's remember that May Week is essentially a church council. Starting [...]

28 September

Striking at the root of the tree: The hypocrisy of Merie’s withdrawal

By |2019-04-11T06:40:30-06:00September 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|31 Comments

If I were to ask one question of Stanton members, it would be this: Did Merie ever make herself right from her withdrawal for sowing seeds of discord and causing division? Here is her letter of withdrawal from 1958. (Mainline churches actually leave a paper trail for their disciplinary actions, unlike Stanton COC, which prefers to keep its business under the cover of secrecy.) To me, this is the question that strikes at the root of the tree of the Stanton sect. According to Merie's own teaching, the mainline churches didn't "lose the candlestick" until sometime in the mid-70's. This means her withdrawal was put into place by a church that even she recognized. Now remember that by Stanton COC teachings, even unjust withdrawals need to [...]

27 September

Reconciling with our good, good father

By |2019-04-11T06:41:16-06:00September 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|21 Comments

Have you ever thought about why God would choose to refer to himself as our father? I think it's because that relationship is one we all intuitively understand, whether we had a good father or not. I did have a good father, although he recently passed away. Many were not so fortunate to have good earthly fathers. But just about all of us can picture in our minds the ideal of what it means to be a good father. Even if you didn't have one, you know what you wanted—wished for—cried out for. A dad who was firm, but at the same time, gentle. Kind, but willing to tell us when we're wrong. Willing to give advice, but not wanting to crush our spirit or [...]

24 September

Should I use the word “cult?”

By |2019-04-11T06:41:45-06:00September 24th, 2016|Uncategorized|95 Comments

Well, it seems I've crossed some sort of tripwire I didn't know existed between civil discourse and hate speech by using the word "cult" to describe Stanton, and apparently I'm now labeled as vicious, cruel, vindictive, bitter, bloodthirsty, a vigilante, oppressive and tyrannical according to commenter Martin Luther. Wow, tell me how you really feel! I know, and hopefully you do too, that all these things are untrue, but I'm hopeful that after reading this, you will at least understand my heart a little better. You may not agree, but agreement is not a condition of brotherly love. Remember that? I have to say I was a bit shocked by this over-the-top denunciation. I consider Martin Luther a friend, although we've never met. I know who he [...]

20 September

Tackling the hard job of living Christlike

By |2019-04-11T06:42:11-06:00September 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|7 Comments

Ever notice that when your kids really don’t want to do something, they will find anything and everything else to do before getting to the undesirable job? Forget the kids, I do this myself. Sometimes the hard tasks get postponed for something else that might truly be a good thing to do. Even a great thing to do. Nevertheless, the good becomes an escape to avoid the better, and easier wins out over harder. When this happens in our Christian walk, the ivory tower of Christianity ends up trumping real life. Process trumps results. So it can be if we become preoccupied with doctrinal issues (by that I mean "what is the correct opinion on XYZ issue?") to the exclusion of the hard job of [...]

19 September

Confessions from Donna Bennum

By |2019-04-30T09:49:22-06:00September 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Donna sent me the following letter addressed to the people she knew during her time as a teacher in the cult. I'm publishing it here to help her reach out to them, whether they are still in the SCOC or not. Wow, thank you Donna. This took a lot of courage--the spirit of Christ is very evident in your life. Confessions from Donna Bennum Confessions concerning those I sinned against while a member of a specific sect of the church of Christ, from January 1978 through August 2014. I was baptized into this sect in January 1978 in Des Moines, Iowa. My husband (Bill Bennum) and I, we're married in April,1978. We were sent out to help grow a congregation in 1981, to Springfield, Il. We were there for [...]

16 September

The victim-shaming has to stop

By |2019-04-11T06:44:30-06:00September 16th, 2016|Uncategorized|3 Comments

As the father of four daughters, I have to say how stunned I am at the lack of empathy among teachers for the victims of sexual abuse in the cult—and this is from the very top of the "teacher" hierarchy. I have often commented to my wife about the lack of empathy in the Stanton COC. An underlying failing of the sect is a culture that is completely lacking in self-awareness; the inability to put oneself in another's shoes, even for a brief moment. This relates to the topic of judging—in order to dismiss a victim of abuse, you must judge them as bringing it on themselves. But more on judging another time. I've found empathy to be one of the most rewarding life-skills. Not [...]

14 September

Overcoming your fear of leaving – by Debby Stevens

By |2019-04-11T06:54:43-06:00September 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|128 Comments

For anyone who has been thinking about leaving any of the Stanton CoC groups, but has been frozen by fear, Debby Stevens shared some very well-written thoughts from the heart yesterday that you need to read. I had people emailing me asking to put her comments into a single post so they don't get lost in the comment rotation, and I agree. My favorite quote: "If you leave the group, it doesn't mean you have left God. Actually, you may be leaving so that you can continue to follow Him, and Christ." Thank you, Debby, for sharing. I have something on my heart and it's been there for awhile, and I'd like to share it if ones will bear with me! It wasn't just one [...]

13 September

Rabbis, Teachers, and Freedom of Conscience

By |2019-04-11T06:56:03-06:00September 13th, 2016|Uncategorized|23 Comments

Where do our rights, like the freedom of conscience, come from? The Bill of Rights? Government? Church leaders? The Bible? God? The real question is do they come from God or from man? If from man, they can be taken away, because what man has a right to give, he has a right to take away. If our rights, on the other hand, come from God, mere mortals cannot take them away. Politicians, kings, and despots may come and go, and may very well infringe on those rights. But they lord illegitimate authority, not God-given authority. The rights that unprincipled men usurp, in a proper worldview, can still be returned to their rightful owners by rejecting the usurpers. This is the concept of “natural rights.” [...]

8 September

The hypocrisy of the murmuring charge

By |2019-04-11T06:59:07-06:00September 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|9 Comments

The charge of murmuring is an easy weapon in the hands of Stanton teachers and preachers to strike fear into the hearts of the flock should they get the crazy notion of disagreeing with them. The cleverness of the charge is its easy adaptation to any situation. Nearly any disagreement can be twisted into an accusation of so-called "murmuring," complete with vivid imagery of Korah leading his insurrection against Moses. "We must keep the church pure," they say. Indeed. Pure of reasoned discussion and honest inquiry. Pure of anyone who dares seek truth more than the approval of men. Of course, God did actually speak audibly to Moses and put him in the position of being his spokesperson, and Korah did actually lead the people [...]

3 September

My story, by Tracy Geautreau

By |2019-04-11T06:59:45-06:00September 3rd, 2016|Uncategorized|64 Comments

My name is Tracy Gautreau and I was a member of the Stanton, Chino and San Antonio Church of Christ for nearly 30 years before I left in November of 2005. Where to begin? I was baptized in December of 1977 into the Stanton Church of Christ. I was 17 years old, believed in God, but was totally ignorant of the Bible and had never heard of the Church of Christ before. I was dating my boyfriend John Gautreau at the time. John was baptized 6 months after me and we were married in December of 1978. In 1983 we had 2 sons and moved to Chino CA to help start the church there. 1996-now with 9 children, we left our home and moved to [...]

1 September

When the revolutionaries become the establishment

By |2019-04-11T07:01:04-06:00September 1st, 2016|Uncategorized|36 Comments

Back in 2013, an anonymous commenter left the following quiz in the comments: Today's Quiz: Who wrote the following quote? "The members of the church have a right to question and ask for Bible answers from those who are doing the preaching. But this is considered almost tantamount to heresy by the preachers of today; and if a member persists in such he is usually slandered and called a trouble-maker...We should know our Bible and we should be ready and willing to take a stand for the truth. We are commanded to 'contend for the truth.' But this can hardly be done seeing that the church is ignorant and the preachers are content to have it so. Individually and collectively we should take scriptural stands upon all [...]