A Response to Pieter Lombard of New Covenant Fellowship (NCF)

Writing a blog like this is never easy. It draws a line between you, and those you used to consider friends. I lay my thoughts, opinions and self before everyone here to read. It is placing yourself in a vulnerable position to write the things that I do. One thing that I always do is be honest, and I expect the same from my opponents. The bible is clear on dis-honesty:

Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much“.

Recently comments were made on this blog that shocked me. Not because of the content, I welcome an opposing view and I responded in turn, what shocked me was a level of dis-honesty that should never be associated with someone claiming to be a Christian. Once the veil of dis-honesty is removed, we are left with a bleak picture of what NCF is all about.

I am not a pastor, or a missionary. I am a man, with no special office besides that of being a born again Christian. I believe that as a born again Christian we are all Priests, in direct commune with God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2: 9, Hebrews 7:17). I am what I am, imperfect and here before you.

Pieter Lombard’s Deception

A commenter by the name of “I Love Jesus” made two comments on the 12th August. The comments pushed the Authority of eldership, and that it is unbiblical to rebuke, or expose such elders.

I responded to this poster and showed him that the view he was promoting was one sided because indeed the Bible calls us to rebuke and expose (Titus 1:13, Titus 1:9, Ephesians 5:11, 1 Timothy 5:20). You can view the posts here that were posted by “I Love Jesus”:

http://bit.ly/r1a9CU
http://bit.ly/qzkKnF

My response can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/nS31d8

At this point, a new poster entered the discussion by the name of “jesusgate”, accusing me of being an angry person. It is very clear by the way that jesusgate wrote that he presented himself as a different person than I Love Jesus.  The response I made can be seen here: http://bit.ly/nAca0L

After the poster commented on me being an angry man, he started spewing off other insults such as:

For a cessationist you certainly are quick to claim God spoke to you which i find a bit contradictory.

Come, i dare you to claim the status Ezekiel…..

Hay Forced to Hide, even a bitter, fire spewing cessationist is expected to embrace God’s delegated authority.

Forced to Hide, you are deleting my post’s as well as some of your own. You are good at re-writing history my friend. Crafting your website to suit your own needs is off the chart unchristian.

I noticed something strange, although jesusgate presented himself not to be I Love Jesus, the IP address of the poster was the same. It was at this stage that I decided to investigate the poster some more.

Below is a snippet from I love Jesus, and I have blurred out the IP address for security reasons. Needless to say, the IP address lead back to Pietermaritzburg, which happens to be the town that I live in.

Click to enlarge

I then decided to take the posters email address and see who he was on Facebook, the result of the search brought up this individual:

https://www.facebook.com/pieter.lombard1

We went through the wall posts and found this.

Remember, this is the email address related to I Love Jesus!

The other poster has the following email

Click to enlarge

A simple search on facebook brought up this profile:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000776130617

Reading this profile wall we thought that they were the one and same persons….. then,  we found this on the wall Heavens gate which as a recap is the email address related to jesusgate

I called the NCF church office and confirmed that Pieter Lombard had worked on the Production of Heaven’s Gates and Hells Flames in the Imbali site. The above wall post confirms that the poster had worked on the production. I also confirmed with the NCF office that the Cell Phone number listed on  wall post above from the jesusgate was the same as Pieter’s Cell Phone number.

The lies keep coming

Pieter goes further spinning a web of lies that he cannot dig himself out of

In this post http://bit.ly/pGFaTz Pieter states the following:

I have belonged to an NCMI relating church for many years and i am shocked by the bitter words i have read in this website. I left a “traditional” church who excommunicated my father for asking them to use grape juice in stead of real wine for communion because there were many alcoholics in the church. I have found great freedom and an ever deepening love relationship with Jesus under the guidance of the people you so demonise.

Ok, thanks for that insight Piet, so you have been a member of a NCMI relating church for many years. Lets look at another quote located here http://bit.ly/pBqHGK:

I would not mind being an active member of the church you have your vendetta with. At the moment i am in a baptist church. What church are you in young fellow?

I follow Jesus my friend, you are the one confused about which church you attend. Why lie, what are you trying to prove. Your continued lies are simply disgusting.

I desire to be an elder one day, which is a noble desire. When you get to lead people you gain insight in to scripture that would have been just words to someone who has always followed, such as yourself.

You are already an elder! One more twisted lie – Again I ask, What are you trying to prove?

…..Besides this i hear they gave quite a sum of money to the central baptist church when it fell on hard times. Besides this i hear the lead pastor’s father in law is a pastor in a traditional church.

You still making yourself out to be unrelated to NCF! You did not hear, you apparently know (Those claims are still to be confirmed)!

Who is Piet?

Pieter Lombard is an Elder at NCF church, Pietermaritzburg. This can be confirmed here:

http://ncfchurch.org.za/the-team/
Look for Piet and Penny Lombard.

He has served on the Eldership team for the last year.

What does this mean?

The comments the person was making was perhaps understandable from someone who did not lead people spiritually. It could be simply put down to ignorance, but with the revelation that Pieter is in fact an elder, we have to look at what he said in that light, and understand what this Elder is saying about the Authority of the church offices.

I honestly get the impression that, while prayer is the correct biblical response (letting God do what He does) some people at your church have taken matters in their own hands. Clearly going to court is not biblical and clearly setting yourselves up against leadership is not biblical.

How is it not biblical to rebuke, and expose leaders who are teaching a Gospel, or doctrine that is contrary to that which the Lord Jesus gave us? See : Titus 1:13, Titus 1:9, Ephesians 5:11, 1 Timothy 5:20 

I desire to be an elder one day, which is a noble desire. When you get to lead people you gain insight in to scripture that would have been just words to someone who has always followed, such as yourself. I know what it takes to lead and love a small group for years and I have amazing respect for those who lead hundreds and thousands. By your own admission you have never lead people so I don’t expect you to understand a word I am saying.

I don’t really need to say more here. Pieter is saying that when you become an Elder (or leader) you gain insight into the bible that you could not have had before. He tries to discredit me, telling me that I won’t understand what he is saying because I have never lead. Is this the doctrine of NCF? Does NCF promote a Spiritual hierarchy as I have always claimed. This serves as evidence of that.

The way Forward

Besides penning this post, I will be emailing and tweeting all NCF elders that contact details can be obtained. I will also be posting the link on the NCF facebook page. This serves as a open letter of disapproval with regards to the dishonest actions that Pieter Lombard has committed on this site. How is a church (The Universal Church) supposed to grow in an environment where a leader lies to try and discredit an opponent. The doctrine discussed on this site does not address key doctrinal points, but rather denominational points that I have a heart for. I see his dishonestly as totally unnecessary in this regard, or in any regard for that matter (even if he is talking to a Muslim or Jehovah’s Witness).

Look at the followig quotation from Pieter http://bit.ly/okRo06:

Elders should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers

He should take his own advise, because the example he has set here is not in line with his own words.

Look at this quotation where he calls me a Heretic. I ask you now, who is the heretic?  http://bit.ly/qv8cvr:

I have never come across more divisive words than i have in this website. If you were my flock Tit 3:10 would apply.

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44 comments

  1. Oh Dear!!!, O.o seriously the next NCMI LTT needs to have a session on the benefits of honesty, “teh internets” and IP address. Tyrone, and now this guy. How embarrassing.

    NCMI is such a small group, the only people posting here must surely be those who left and those who are there.
    Funny how all the elders check on the site, I’m pretty sure I saw Rob Rufus, posting under a pseudonym a few year back, promoting himself hehe how “Rob Rufus” of him. 🙂 I love Rob, such a cheeky crazy guy.

    Why are all these elders checking this site?

    I pray for change in NCMI sporadically, there are still people trapped there that I love.

  2. “When you get to lead people you gain insight in to scripture that would have been just words to someone who has always followed, such as yourself. ”

    ALARM BELLS any-one? Really…… NCMI elders understand things no-one else can? Really? Can you say “Cult”?

    Think about it….

  3. Do you go to church? I don’t think someone who goes to church goes out of their way to make a web site like this unless you think you’re saving orphans … or something like that

    1. As most people that have left a abusive church system, I find it hard to settle into a new church. I attend many churches, and my relationship with Christ is as strong, if not stronger than when I left NCMI.

      You comment seems to suggest that a relationship with God is depedant on going to church, and that even perhaps riotousness is dependent on it. If you did not say that, you would not have said: “I don’t think someone who goes to church goes out of their way to make a web site like this”.

      Is that really what you think. Is a church membership needed? Do you have to have yourself covered by a pastor, elder and Apostle in order to be a good Christian? Does it not matter that I have pastors from many reformed denominations that are but a phone-call away if I need guidance?

      And about the orphans, I have 7 in my house right now. Strictly speaking they are not orphans, they are abandonment and neglected. I sorry that I could not fulfill your sarcastic picture 100%

    2. And sorry that I showed that a NCMI pastor is dis-honest. It must be totally un-biblical of me, right? There must be some major verses in the bible that indicate that a elder is above doing wrong and that the people who blow the whistle (who don’t even recognize the person as a elder) are Satan’s minions placed on earth to spread discontent? It must also be true that the numerous testimonies of people hurt by the system are false, and in fact Satan himself plugged in his broadband and penned the comments himself?

      I am within my biblical, and human right to pen what I have. Perhaps you should call NCF and ask them how Pieter became a Elder, seeing that the a biblical requirement is that the elder “should be beyond reproach”? Don’t shoot the messenger, what I have presented on this post is fact, like it or not!

  4. Hi “Forced to Hide”,

    I kind of regularly try and keep up to date with what you’re doing and occasionally look to throw something in there to hopefully give you a little bit of thought.

    Looking over your two recent posts above there are a few questions I have.

    Firstly, you talk of testimonies around people that have been ‘hurt by the system’ (which is obviously NCMI, I gather) as some sort of validation that an entire group of churches, pastors, leaders, whatever else is abusive. One of the reasons why a blog like this is under such question, I think, is because you generalise about an entire grouping of (possibly) hundreds of thousands of people. In many ways it’s the same as when an atheist argues that all Christians are self-righteous what-nots. It’s just not possible that every single person, leader, whoever else who is involved with NCMI is abusive and all the many things you’ve spoken about here.

    Secondly, why is it that good testimonies about NCMI, such as mine, are completely disregarded? Why do they count less than negative testimonies? I have been involved with and worked with and are friends with numerous NCMI leaders through two churches for the past eleven years. It’s been nothing short of amazing in every good way. Does such a testimony and the numerous others not count for anything?

    You seem to have a heart for orphans and I think that’s awesome. The reality is that your blog would seem to me to be far more edifying if it dealt with the subject of taking care of the poor, orphans etc. and encouraged Christians to get involved with that. Perhaps some theological stuff around that. Instead your blog is dedicated to pretty much condemning an entire body of people stretched across the world that relate to something called NCMI which is made up of numerous leaders who each have their own style and way of leading things, some styles which may rub you up the wrong way, but that’s just because you either don’t know them well enough or the two of you genuinely don’t get along.

    There’s nothing wrong with not getting along with someone and admitting it, in my opinion, until you put up a whole blog condemning them just because you don’t like the way they speak, spend their money, or lead. Yet many within those churches have no issue with how they speak or lead or whatever else. Why is that? Are they deluded? Tricked? Lied to? Power hungry? Or perhaps just not as touchy? I’m only asking honest questions.

    If your issue is on theological grounds then I think there are still numerous problems. For example, you’ve accused NCMI of teaching certain theology, like “dominion / kingdom-now theology”, when NCMI as a team do not teach this theology (I think that within eleven years of being with them I would have heard it at least somewhere in the mix). You seem to be a cessationist, fair and well, although I’d be interested in hearing if you were a cessationist before you went to an NCMI church and if so why on earth you went to a non-cessationist church; or if you became a cessationist afterwards and if that was sparked by a genuine Biblical conviction or from experiences you didn’t like?

    If your issue with NCMI is that it has an evangelical-pentecostal mix in terms of theology, why is your blog dedicated to just NCMI? Why not also the thousands of churches stretched across this planet who hold to similar theological convictions? Why not a blog dedicated to debunking such convictions rather than discrediting people personally? I would find the former kind of blog much more edifying.

    A lot of questions here and I could go on, but then I’d fill up your page 🙂

    1. Firstly, you talk of testimonies around people that have been ‘hurt by the system’ (which is obviously NCMI, I gather) as some sort of validation that an entire group of churches, pastors, leaders, whatever else is abusive. One of the reasons why a blog like this is under such question, I think, is because you generalise about an entire grouping of (possibly) hundreds of thousands of people. In many ways it’s the same as when an atheist argues that all Christians are self-righteous what-nots. It’s just not possible that every single person, leader, whoever else who is involved with NCMI is abusive and all the many things you’ve spoken about here.

      I do not generalize about an entire group of churches. I have never stated that every NCMI church is bad, and I believe that within the “Movement” there is the possibility of churches being “on track” with God. Seeing that NCMI is largely charismatic I will oppose the charismatic element within the churches that follow the charismatic belief system. I however believe that Charismaticism is NOT a salvation killer, and this belief that I hold would be based entirely on my interpretation of scripture. I have never tried to put down Charismaticism on this blog, but when a gift is performed outside of the scripture authority guidelines, I will have my say. Let’s take the church I attended. I could name bad pastors and good pastors. Some were in between. Some that I thought were good in fact turned out bad etc…
      It could also be argued that every Mormon is not bad, or that there are a few saved JW’s.

      Secondly, why is it that good testimonies about NCMI, such as mine, are completely disregarded? Why do they count less than negative testimonies? I have been involved with and worked with and are friends with numerous NCMI leaders through two churches for the past eleven years. It’s been nothing short of amazing in every good way. Does such a testimony and the numerous others not count for anything?
      I absolutely do not dis-regard your testimony. I would love to get the name of the church you attend. Again, the fact that there are good churches within the NCMI movement is not disputed. I have to comment however that the Apostles and Elders you have come into contact with through your involvement in your (probably great) church could be putting on a face for you. Do you think you can simple judge the heart of a person when they are a guest speaker? Do you think sitting down and the dinner table and eating a meal together gives some special insight into the hearts of men. Grant Crawford was my elder. I know that he is well loved within the NCMI community. He is loved by people in his own church. The problem with Grant is that once you fall out of favor (as in question his authority) you are messed within “his” church. Grant asks elders in his employ to submit their bank statements to him so he can see where you spend your money (This was confirmed during a sermon by Mark Wimble when he testified to it). The testimonies that I have received, both here in in email are from people who have worked closely and been covered by NCMI eldership. They had a church life with the people who you have only met.

      You seem to have a heart for orphans and I think that’s awesome. The reality is that your blog would seem to me to be far more edifying if it dealt with the subject of taking care of the poor, orphans etc. and encouraged Christians to get involved with that. Perhaps some theological stuff around that. Instead your blog is dedicated to pretty much condemning an entire body of people stretched across the world that relate to something called NCMI which is made up of numerous leaders who each have their own style and way of leading things, some styles which may rub you up the wrong way, but that’s just because you either don’t know them well enough or the two of you genuinely don’t get along.
      There’s nothing wrong with not getting along with someone and admitting it, in my opinion, until you put up a whole blog condemning them just because you don’t like the way they speak, spend their money, or lead. Yet many within those churches have no issue with how they speak or lead or whatever else. Why is that? Are they deluded? Tricked? Lied to? Power hungry? Or perhaps just not as touchy? I’m only asking honest questions.

      We have been pushing our heart for orphans on the internet. This blog is not about that. I’m sure that is fine for me to do many things on the internet. This blog is not about condemning Christianity or the Universal Body of Christ. I think as a Christian, if I feel that there is a problem, I would be wrong to be silent. The blog was also intended as a means of my self-healing. A venting of what I felt to be wrong. When I found that so many people had had the same experiences as me, the blog evolved. I got on with most of the elders that I attended church with. Recognizing heresy, hurt and false prophesy is not getting rubbed up the wrong way, it’s called discernment. I do it because I feel I must. Get Tyrone to contact me and commit to meeting the challenges of healing the hurt people within the body, and fix the issues that I, and many others have raised, and I will bring this blog offline. I have attempted contacting Tyrone by the way. He indicated that hurting people is not “his heart” and I should not contact him again.

      If your issue is on theological grounds then I think there are still numerous problems. For example, you’ve accused NCMI of teaching certain theology, like “dominion / kingdom-now theology”, when NCMI as a team do not teach this theology (I think that within eleven years of being with them I would have heard it at least somewhere in the mix). You seem to be a cessationist, fair and well, although I’d be interested in hearing if you were a cessationist before you went to an NCMI church and if so why on earth you went to a non-cessationist church; or if you became a cessationist afterwards and if that was sparked by a genuine Biblical conviction or from experiences you didn’t like?

      The problem has not been theological but more social. People at NCMI hurt other people all the time, without remorse. If a church however does not love (the greatest commandment) they are guilty of heresy. Or if a church puts great focus on the epistles, yet does not focus on the Gospel, they are guilty of heresy. You go to a Jehovah’s Witness church, you will be preached Daniel until it comes out your ears. The reason is that the church is focused on biblical prophecy. In a NCMI church, you will mostly be confronted with Corinthians, which is because in its self, it builds up and strengthens their system of belief.
      I was raised in a cessationist church. After leaving the church for some years, I decided to join NCF. At the stage of joining, I was pretty non-religious and was open to the possibility of Charismata. I prayed for the gift of tongues, I prayed for revelation and I admired those who were gifted. That was until I started to understand the gift in the biblical sense. This was not the sense that I was raised with, not the “stay away from the happy clappys” rhetoric that was preached to me when growing up. It was a biblical understanding that there were simple rules laid out in the scripture regarding the gifts. The gifts of tongues for instance is not to be spoken in mass, no more than 3 at a meeting, and there is ALWAYS supposed to be a translation given. At NCF they speak in the 1000s and I recall only one meeting when they called for a translation. I also witnessed a sense of “out of control” spirituality, where people were moving beyond the Charismata and into realms of spiritualism, and a major focus on demonism that was scary. The happy high they received at church was not cutting it any more. They needed to get their high more. There were Christians being delivered from demons every single week, drooling, kicking and screaming. The eldership then indicated to the church that it was not biblical, yet elders like Russ Kain continued the practice behind closed doors. I was uncomfortable with this. It was part of my reason for leaving. Only after leaving did I truly dwell into the subject, and after my study, I am proud to call myself a cessationist.

      If your issue with NCMI is that it has an evangelical-pentecostal mix in terms of theology, why is your blog dedicated to just NCMI? Why not also the thousands of churches stretched across this planet who hold to similar theological convictions? Why not a blog dedicated to debunking such convictions rather than discrediting people personally? I would find the former kind of blog much more edifying.

      The blog is not dedicated to the Char/Pent because I am not an Apologist. There are plenty of well-educated people to take that on. The blog is about the issues at NCMI because the issues are NCMI specific. I am sure that other Char/Pent churches share in many of the issues that NCMI do, this I do not deny, but I would rather stay focused here.
      I have not discredited people directly in any major way. I have posted ludicrous quotes by Rob Rufus, I have question Tyrone’s extravagant lifestyle, but I suspect that is not what you are referring to. You are more than likely referring to the post that this comment appears on. I posted this open letter because Pieter Lombard was mis-representing himself, and spewing heresies as an elder of a church. He however did not want people to know that he was an elder. I needed, for the sake of truth to reveal this. What Pieter did was wrong, dishonest and not fitting of someone who claims the title of elder. I emailed and messaged a link to no less than 12 of his churches elder, and to Tyrone Daniels himself. I have yet to receive one reply or apology.
      Thanks for you post. It was refreshing to have someone post with a clear head, and ask honest questions.

      1. ” Seeing that NCMI is largely charismatic I will oppose the charismatic element within the churches that follow the charismatic belief system.”

        On what basis are you opposing a charismatic expression of Christianity?

        ” I have to comment however that the Apostles and Elders you have come into contact with through your involvement in your (probably great) church could be putting on a face for you. Do you think you can simple judge the heart of a person when they are a guest speaker? Do you think sitting down and the dinner table and eating a meal together gives some special insight into the hearts of men. Grant Crawford was my elder. I know that he is well loved within the NCMI community. He is loved by people in his own church.”

        As I’ve said before when commenting on this blog, if you’re going to quote scripture as you have done before, then lets use the whole council of God?

        What about this: John 8: 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

        Matthew 7: 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

        3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ”

        “Forced to Hide” you’re dishing out heavy-handed commentary. Are you in a place to have God give it back to you one day? Is your life in a position to highlight these issues?

        Your own comment says you don’t attend a church specifically, but here you are writing about Jesus’ church. It lacks credibility in my mind.

        “. I think as a Christian, if I feel that there is a problem, I would be wrong to be silent. The blog was also intended as a means of my self-healing. A venting of what I felt to be wrong.”

        Its not about being silent its about the way you handle things you disagree with. The bible is clear that if your brother is sinned you go to him directly. Using the Internet as a means to discuss these issues is not the right medium.

        Furthermore we get healing from Christ as He takes us on a road of sanctification and by walking with leaders. Look how Paul went to Peter, James and John with his calling.

        Venting on the Internet is not the way to get the healing you need.

        I was at NCF for three years and I can’t say I agree with your assessment of Grant Crawford, the Wimbles etc. I also think your thoughts on the moving of the Spirit does not fall in line with Scripture.

        “I posted this open letter because Pieter Lombard was mis-representing himself, and spewing heresies as an elder of a church. He however did not want people to know that he was an elder. I needed, for the sake of truth to reveal this. What Pieter did was wrong, dishonest and not fitting of someone who claims the title of elder. I emailed and messaged a link to no less than 12 of his churches elder, and to Tyrone Daniels himself. I have yet to receive one reply or apology.”

        Have you met Pieter on this, have you met the elders there? The way you have gone about this is aggressive and antagonistic. I don’t know if your evidence is conclusive enough, but even if it was 100% correct, the way you’ve gone about it is going to result in people not wanting to deal with you because of your aggression.

        If you champion truth you make this a legalistic thing. And even if we don’t refer to the Old testament and come into the New, Jesus said the law was summed up in to commands: Love God and Love your neighbour.

        Do you actions show love? Have you been gracious and treated people with honour when you interact with them. Your blog doesn’t come across that way.

        And so even if you are right in every way about NCMI, the churches and people you reference, the WAY you have gone about it completely undermines anything you are attempting to achieve.

      2. “Recognizing heresy, hurt and false prophesy is not getting rubbed up the wrong way, it’s called discernment. I do it because I feel I must.”

        Not always, it depends on context. People do get hurt because they’re rubbed up the wrong way. We know this with our kids – we might look to discipline them in a certain way that we think is right, but the way we do it actually hurts them for a myriad of reasons, one of which is where they are currently in their emotional state etc. and we have completely miscalculated on how we should handle the situation. Our hearts are for them, we love them, but we’ve miscalculated on how to do that in the given situation.

        You say heresy is when a church fails to love, fair and well, but love and grace swing both ways. The challenge for hurt people to deal with is the challenge of still loving and showing grace to those that have hurt them. I’m no stranger to hurt, including in a church context, so I don’t speak ignorantly. So if you fail to love people in NCMI, you are guilty of heresy yourself. It’s a reality that Jesus said by the measure we judge so we will be judged (Matt 7:2). I don’t mean to be argumentative, but that’s a conviction of my heart.

        “People at NCMI hurt other people all the time, without remorse.”

        People at every church hurt people all the time, because I think there’s a reality to saying that people hurt people all the time. It’s all part of the package. Both in church and outside of it we have to put into practice our own loving of others.

        “In a NCMI church, you will mostly be confronted with Corinthians, which is because in its self, it builds up and strengthens their system of belief.”

        This is where I think your use of language needs to be refined, if I can be somewhat candid. Earlier you’ve said you don’t think EVERY NCMI church is bad, but by saying ‘In a NCMI church, ….’ you’ve generalised your statement to include every NCMI relating church. This is just an example of why you probably have to keep explaining that you don’t mean EVERY NCMI church 🙂

        As to the gifts you find there are always people abusing them, which is why Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in the first place, to prevent the abuse of the gifts, but not to condemn their use outright. No doubt there were also people you knew that didn’t overdo it in the gifts. I myself speak very little in tongues, but I believe the gift has merits. I don’t see 1 Corinthians 12 or Romans 12 to be an exhaustive list of gifts either. But my point is why always harp on the negative? If 50 percent of people abused the gifts, 50 percent of people didn’t, so why focus only on those that abused the gifts?

        “Get Tyrone to contact me and commit to meeting the challenges of healing the hurt people within the body, and fix the issues that I, and many others have raised, and I will bring this blog offline. I have attempted contacting Tyrone by the way. He indicated that hurting people is not “his heart” and I should not contact him again.”

        But herewith lies what I think is a major problem.

        I don’t really see it as Tyrone’s job to go around pastoring hurt people within autonomous church bodies. It’s outside of the scope of what he has been ordained to do. The theory behind NCMI’s model is that churches are meant to be autonomous with the elders of those churches being the highest governmental and pastoral authority of those churches. NCMI team guys only carry any authority over that church through invitation and relationship – unlike a denomination, their authority is not automatic and it can only really stretch to the elders.

        When a ‘church’ decides to relate to NCMI (and admittedly the language is wrong, it’s really the elders of a church that decide to relate to NCMI, not the whole church, but with the church deciding to put themselves under the accountability and leadership of those elders, the church members are relating in a secondary way) they’re saying they want the team guy(s) they are relating to to speak into the way they govern the church and hold them accountable. Ultimately, though, it is still the elders who must implement whatever the team guy suggests and the elders who are responsible for the life of that church.

        I think Tyrone is placed in a sticky position when he hears reports of a relating eldership team who are governing a church where people are getting hurt. He is probably in an even more sticky position when someone from that church contacts him asking him to do something about it. Behind closed doors he may suggest to those elders, by their invitation, to sort out the problems but if he went and decided to sort out the problems himself then he is exercising an authority that he actually doesn’t have, not by right or by invitation. If he does that then NCMI might as well become a denomination.

        Many people criticise this model and that’s fair and well. I like the model. You don’t, it seems. That’s OK, I don’t mind having a debate on whether the model is biblical or effective or not. And the model certainly needs to be refined as people learn. But the way in which that discussion would / should take place should / would look very different to the kinds of discussions we are having here. Here we are criticising people – whether it is in their personal capacity or whether it is lumping them all together. You’ve said the problem is social but that makes it very difficult to ever resolve. I don’t think it will ever be resolved either because social problems can be very subjective after all.

        I don’t believe it is Tyrone’s ‘heart’ to hurt anyone, as he stated, and just like my example above where it is not our heart to hurt our children, so it is not his heart to hurt anyone. But people sometimes get hurt for a million reasons that are not even the fault of the person who hurt them but more the result of genuine miscalculations, misunderstandings, personality clashes etc. I’ve found it important to remember that I want grace from my elders and it’s therefore my responsibility to give grace to them as well.

        “I have not discredited people directly in any major way. I have posted ludicrous quotes by Rob Rufus, I have question Tyrone’s extravagant lifestyle, but I suspect that is not what you are referring to.”

        I’m not quite sure how the post on questioning Tyrone’s lifestyle is not discrediting Tyrone himself directly? (P.S. I wasn’t too interested in the Pieter Lombard story. He may have made a mistake or been the victim of his emotions, or someone else in his own household might have posted from the same computer in an effort to defend him, etc. As I said above, I believe that if we expect grace from elders we ought to also give grace to them. But I actually don’t know anyone at NCF. Secondly, Rob Rufus no longer relates primarily to NCMI and is not on the NCMI team anymore.)

        Oops, almost missed this:

        “I have to comment however that the Apostles and Elders you have come into contact with through your involvement in your (probably great) church could be putting on a face for you. Do you think you can simple judge the heart of a person when they are a guest speaker? Do you think sitting down and the dinner table and eating a meal together gives some special insight into the hearts of men.”

        I hear you and there is always the reality that people are putting on a face, wherever we go. If I become suspicious of everyone and if I keep an idea in the back of my head that they could be putting on a face, I will more than likely (a) start believing that they actually are when they aren’t, or (b) pretty much go insane. That’s really no way to live. I’ve lived with a suspicious mind before and am thankful that I do no longer. If people are putting on a face that doesn’t take away from my responsibility to love them and serve them as best I can in Christ. They are ultimately accountable to God, who will judge their heart. And he will judge mine just as well.

  5. Ryan, I was in NCMI for over 30 years – i was there from the BEGINNING of NCMI. We were part of everything in the church. I was involved in all the camps, the kids camps, children’s church, youth group, worship team, home groups, I taught at the Bible school that we had, I was a deacon and well on my way to becoming an elder.

    My experience of NCMI was generally a very good one, till we decided to leave and support a new church plant. Things went from bad to worse. Long story, no time to write it all here! The ‘elder’ had a lone ranger complex and basically destroyed what was a beautiful church with wonderful people – they have all (but for three of them) have left now. And, it’s like Forced to Hide said above, lies…. lies were spread about us (me and my wife) and we were not even given the right to defend ourselves or present our side of the story! So the ‘almighty elder’ lives to fight another day with a church a quarter of the size of what he started with and no-one else in any leadership capacity while the hurt lay outside asking for help. 8 years in a community, this church has been, and still nobody knows about it and nobody from that community goes there…. trust me, it’s not the people in the community or the church that are the problem. It’s the leader.

    I have now been out of NCMI circles for a few years and still have friends in NCMI churches around the world. We now see NCMI from the outside, as ones being involved for many many years to ones now looking from the outside in. Things become clearer when you are able to step back and take another point of view. Please understand, I am not anti-NCMI, but I won’t go back either. I think people in NCMI must find it hard to read what people have to say about NCMI churches but there is truth in a lot of what is being said. I think that those inside NCMI cannot actually evaluate a blog like this because they have NO idea, they’re still in a little comfortable christian cocoon called church.

    The problem here, for me, is not so much what NCMI is teaching – although I do question some of their ideals. It’s the leaders who are abusing their authority in church – and Ryan, it’s happening in a LOT of NCMI churches worldwide, trust me I know! They are bent on performance-based Christianity and the people in the church are worked hard to attend all meetings, ‘support the vision of the elders’, prayer meetings, rallies, conferences, Bible school, evangelism, and whatever the current fad is that seems to grab the attention of the youth. People are leaving churches in droves because of the leadership of those churches. Again, the NCMI team will not make this public knowledge but check it out for yourself and you will see how many churches are leaving NCMI….there must be a reason!

    NCMI’s refusal to set records straight, to sit down and talk things out, to even acknowledge that a leader has done anything wrong is a showcase for their ignorance towards people that have been genuinely hurt in an NCMI church and all the people really want is an apology and some healing. I have yet to see an NCMI leader in any capacity apologise to someone or admit they made a mistake. The people elevate elders to celebrity status and the hierarchy in NCMI churches these days seems very strong and well-structured. So much so, that anyone who dares question the authority of an ‘elder’ is deemed divisive and rebellious where they actually might have a valid point!

    I get where Forced to Hide is coming from, albeit a strong and perhaps arrogant stance he is taking. I don’t necessarily agree with all he says but he’s still my brother in Christ. I understand what he is trying to do. I wish NCMI would “man up” and address the situation head on and show that they are not afraid to talk things out and seek resolution and peace because, frankly, a bunch of Christians arguing and fighting with each other gets everybody nowhere and does nothing to show unity in Christ!

    In my mind, it’s not so much theological issues that are causing problems in NCMI, it’s the leadership and this hierarchy that is abusing its power over people who have the same revelation, the same standing as anyone else in Christ. I have travelled to many countries and been in many different NCMI churches overseas and SA. I speak from experience and what I personally have experienced.

    I am not attacking anyone, I am not judging anyone. I’m saying there are issues and NCMI will not deal with them. And those in NCMI refuse to see issues, they’d rather expel people than deal with issues. I have seen so many people dealt with harshly simply because they did not agree with NCMI leadership, simply because they went against the flow in search of truth and answers. These are just genuine people who have questions and are working out their salvation.

    There are cracks in the floor and ceiling but NCMI prefers to paint over them rather than fix them. For that reason, I will not go back to a NCMI church. All my friends in NCMI are too busy with church to have time for me. I never get to see them anymore because they’re always at some meeting or doing something for their church.

    Look, there are some good churches out there. But something is wrong in a lot of NCMI churches today and, until they actually have the guts to stand up and address this, more and more people will be hurt in NCMI churches around the world.

  6. Ryan, I know this page must be a thorn in NCMI’s side and NCMI would love to have it taken down or changed to not be about NCMI. It comes up on a google search in the top hits for NCMI. So I understand your reason to try to guilt and manipulate Forced to Hide to take the site down.

    Having been involved NCMI for many years 10+ it has been very sad for me to watch them not grow or learn from mistakes. This is something all humans should be able to do with their lives. I hope this site stays up and I also hope NCMI leaders can read all the many testimonies and learn and are able to apply change.

    The NCMI supporters never confront the issues brought up but just say the same thing, over and over again, that people are bitter, that people should get out and do something, that people should join a church etc etc. God is not afraid of the truth and the truth doesn’t hurt God. Truth is the only way forward. Honesty works. The testimonies on this site are honest.

    Ryan, every elder in NCMI that I have ever met, (and this is many) believes that they have special wisdom that no-one else has. This belief is typical in cults and not typical mainstream Christianity. Do you really believe that?

    Do you think lying (happens all the time in NCMI) to *protect the work* is okay?

    How about making people to go to so many meetings they don’t have any time to do a single act of kindness (motivated by love not trying to get someone to go to your church or give more money) or meet any-one other than church people? Do you know that in many mainstream Christian churches people go once a week and have many friends who do not attend their church? They are out enjoying and loving the world with no strings attached.

    How do you feel about people from other faiths or no faith at all who are kind to whoever they come across, feeding orphans and involved in humanitarian causes. Living the way Jesus said to live. When NCMIers dump friends who don’t go to their church and are told not to contact them. When all their time and money goes to building a “church” and funding buildings and flights and trips for elders.

    How about the practise NCMI had of meeting with leaders from other denominations not to love and support them but to try to recruit them to join NCMI. I have been in prayer meeting where we were instructed to pray for more churches to join NCMI. 😦

  7. Hi Miss Anon, I’ll address your questions to me directly

    “God is not afraid of the truth and the truth doesn’t hurt God. Truth is the only way forward. Honesty works. The testimonies on this site are honest.”

    And so is my testimony 🙂

    “Ryan, every elder in NCMI that I have ever met, (and this is many) believes that they have special wisdom that no-one else has. This belief is typical in cults and not typical mainstream Christianity. Do you really believe that?”

    I’ve never met a single elder, and I know many very well, that believes that. Not one, ever.

    “Do you think lying (happens all the time in NCMI) to *protect the work* is okay?”

    No, yet I’ve never encountered lying to protect the work.

    “How about making people to go to so many meetings they don’t have any time to do a single act of kindness (motivated by love not trying to get someone to go to your church or give more money) or meet any-one other than church people?”

    Let me tell a brief story. I have not experienced any pressure from the elders to attend every single meeting in all the years I’ve been involved. In fact, the pressure comes from the deacons usually, not the elders. When I brought up an issue of busyness with a lead elder he asked me in honesty why I thought I needed to attend every meeting and told me that the elders didn’t expect that. That’s when I realised that every time I ever received any guilt trip about not being at a meeting it always came from certain deacons.

    I’ve never been exhorted to make anyone come to the church and give more money. Ever.

    “Do you know that in many mainstream Christian churches people go once a week and have many friends who do not attend their church? They are out enjoying and loving the world with no strings attached.”

    You would need to unpack what you mean by ‘no strings attached’. Are you saying you think it’s Scriptural that someone just ‘goes to church’ on Sundays or whenever rather than gets involved in the life of that community?

    “How do you feel about people from other faiths or no faith at all who are kind to whoever they come across, feeding orphans and involved in humanitarian causes.”

    I’m not quite sure how this fits but I think that’s great and God judges the heart, but there is a reality that we should still bring them the Gospel as they are in need of salvation as much as everyone else.

    “When NCMIers dump friends who don’t go to their church and are told not to contact them.”

    Never experienced that.

    “When all their time and money goes to building a “church” and funding buildings and flights and trips for elders.”

    My experience has always been that the elders fund their own trips from their own finances. If I recall at one stage one trip a year was financed by the church and I think there were certain stipulations on what kind of trip it had to be.

    As to the issue of funding buildings, the fact is that I’ve seen many churches within NCMI using their money for alms giving, providing for the poor, buying groceries for those who can’t afford, and a myriad of other things. I also find that most of that is not advertised or mentioned in an effort to not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, as Jesus commanded us (Matt 6:3).

    “How about the practise NCMI had of meeting with leaders from other denominations not to love and support them but to try to recruit them to join NCMI.”

    I’ve never heard of that and I know many elders very well. Are you sure the entire NCMI leadership did this? You call it a ‘practise’ of NCMI but was it really an official practice? Was this some form of official value / policy?

    “I have been in prayer meeting where we were instructed to pray for more churches to join NCMI.”

    And I haven’t 🙂 Plus, it’s probably good for you to bring in more context.

    I think that kind of illustrates one of my questions here. My experience sounds very different to yours. Does that not count for anything? Why do you think we have had vastly different experiences?

    I’m asking honest questions here.

    Lastly, it’s good for me to probably mention that I don’t see the elders in a perfect light and have seen elders make mistakes in many ways. However, I’ve also seen elders learn from those mistakes and do better next time. I’ve never had any elder insist that I see them perfectly but rather the very opposite – a plea to remember they also make mistakes. I’ve also heard that preached from the pulpit.

    “So I understand your reason to try to guilt and manipulate Forced to Hide to take the site down.”

    Why do you feel I’m trying to guilt and manipulate Forced to Hide?

    1. Hi Ryan, I am super busy at the moment and have not had time to address your first comment, although other people seem to have addressed it, I will still reply.

      I just want to point out that I have never said that all NCMI churches are rotten. I have made that point clear many times. I’m not sure what church you attend, but there is a chance that it is a good one, among the bad. The problem has always been that NCMI does not “deal” with the churches that are bad but rather protects them, at the expense of the congregation. I’m also sure that you have met many elders, but I am certain that you have not become a “congregant” in these elders churches and the abuses first hand.

  8. @Miss Anon

    I think if you’re going to make such strong statements you can at least come out with your real name.

    Ryan makes a a very valid point. The fact is that NCMI does not exist. It has no headquarters, it is not registered as an organisation.

    That makes interacting problematic because there is no organisational stance or policy.

    Having been in several NCMI relating churches and I attended several Bloem LTTs.

    One of the biggest challenges that NCMI relating churches found was that a) the team often had varied opinions on any number of issues and b) the team seemed unable to combat the NCMI culture that sprang up.

    Many of the things that @Miss Anon has mentioned would never be endorsed by many team members. The problem is that people in NCMI relating churches began to embrace a culture that sprang up as a result of people not correctly catching the heart of team members.

    Helpful phrases like friendship before function become institutions or laws in some peoples minds for example, which was never the intention.

    Furthermore relating churches have always be autonomous and you can never take what happened in a relating church as reflective on an NCMI position (whatever that is as defining it is almost impossible).

    @Marc I think this is what makes your blog problematic. In some ways, what you’re doing is reflecting on that culture and its variances and while many of them are unhelpful to use an NCMI phrase, they’re not necessary reflective of the heart of team members.

    I think if you’re going to quote scripture then you need to take the who council of the Word too.

    For example: Gal 5: 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

    verse 15 to me relates to the way in which we talk to each other.

    Or what about:

    1 Timothy 4 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

    What about going directly to your brother when he has sinned against you (instead of airing it on the Internet?)

    I think that there is a place and scope to work through the church’s issues in an online context, but there is a way to do it too. We are still his bride and anything we do should be for the advancements of the church.

    To me this blog has more a feel of pulling the church down than building it up. We need love, humility and patience to walk into the future of what Jesus has for us. None of us are prefect and I think working through some of the challenges we have around the church is better done face to face with leaders than on a blog on the Internet.

  9. @Marc

    “NCMI does not “deal” with the churches that are bad but rather protects them, at the expense of the congregation”

    There’s your problem. There is no NCMI. NCMI does not deal with anything. Team members were always invited into churches on the basis of relationship. And they submit their teaching to the local eldership.

    It is a reality that the team simply was not big enough to cope with the amount of churches relating and therefore team members battled to build relationship with a lot of churches and vice versa.

    I’m not sure you understand what NCMI was under Dudley Daniel and what it has become either.

    It makes commenting on the movement problematic.

  10. Ryan, as you are IN NCMI you will naturally defend them. I would have too, tooth and nail! But there is too much evidence of hurt people and too many consistencies in churches all relating to ncmi that provides enough evidence that something is not right!

    I have personally met many elders who feel they are superior, or have that little bit extra than others… I have. Trips overseas have been funded by the church, the people, not the elders – I have more than enough proof of this.

    You’re very lucky Ryan to not be expected at every meeting. Most of my friends in ncmi churches are so busy with their church we never see them! In fact, I realised that I was so busy in church all those years ago, I never got to make any friends in the workplace or even with my own neighbours because we were always at church! I could not even reach out to the people we needed to because I was busy ‘praying for the city’ or something like that rather than actually doing something in the city. I was out 5 or 6 nights a week with church, doing church stuff. I was alienated from my family and wondered why people had such negative views on christians and church. Now I know.

    Miss Anon makes perfect sense, I wonder if we went to the same church! haha

    And Steve, don’t come with this ‘ncmi does not exist’ – that’s called passing the buck. LOOK at most ncmi-relating church websites.. they all say we relate to ncmi, we belong to ncmi, we link with ncmi… etc… So, please, it exists! There are headquarters and there is a leader….

    Dudley started this Leon and Gert and they truly believed ‘friendship before function’ – but that dream has long faded.

  11. Miss anon : “When NCMIers dump friends who don’t go to their church and are told not to contact them”

    That is true. Happened to us and many other friends of ours and other people we know. It’s awful! Beautiful friendships in God destroyed because of the need for control by the elders in churches. People are not stupid, and can think for themselves. They don’t need to be controlled.

  12. Ryan, Steve…. take a step back ….. and listen to the voices…. listen. There is truth there from those no longer involved in ncmi. Listen for a minute and then think, what would you do if it was you?

    1. As per my post below, I am not longer at a NCMI relating church. There are many things I disagree with when it comes to the NCMI team and its structure.

      I just don’t think this is the way to discuss them. All I have tried to do here is point out what I don’t agree with because I don’t think that NCMI deserves to take flack for things it is not. Dudley pioneered something that brought freedom to thousands of us.The least we can do is honour him and the NCMI team for what they are and not knock them for things they aren’t.

      If you want to take it further, take it up with them.

  13. @Outsider.

    I am no longer in a relating church and have not been since 2007. However, I was at New Covenant Church Bryanston for several years which is where it all started and I know quite a bit about the movement.

    Your latest post is a perfect example of what I was talking about. I know what it is like to be busy all the time at church. There were some weeks at NCCB where I was busy six nights a week.

    But then I realised I was getting absorbed into a culture. I had elders tell me specifically that I did not HAVE to be at every meeting and don’t bother coming to church if I was sick — rather stay home and get better. If I needed time out I was encouraged to take it.

    Maybe the elders at NCCB could have done more to counter the culture that sprung up. What you speak about is a culture that has developed in some churches, but I don’t remember it ever been advocated by Dudley/Tyrone or the team for that matter.

    Yes you are right that many churches say they are NCMI relating, but that does not mean NCMI exists as an organistion. It does not. There is a leader of the team, Tyrone.

    But as things have evolved and many churches are choosing not to relate, what has changed? Well perhaps their participation in NCMI team related events because those churches are still (and always were) autonomous.

    As a team, the group of leaders will stand before God just like the rest of us for the decisions they made, but there is no such thing as a NCMI elder or an NCMI church. NCCB and NCF were two of the first relating churches and I have been apart of both. They are definitely autonomous and the two had nothing to do with each other while I was there.

    I’ve been hurt in every church I;ve been in and as my lead elder says, if he hasn’t offended anyone he can take them outside and get it over with.

    We need to address the issues at play with the people concerned. If people want to discuss the problems they personally have with the NCMI team, let them do it with them. Venting here only tarnishes the body of Christ which our Saviour would never be happy with.

    If like me, you’re not in a relating church anymore and you don’t want to take up the issues with the NCMI team, then leave them alone in my opinion.

  14. Thanks guys. I’ve realised this site is stressing me out. Steve, thanks for your reply. Ryan, don’t worry about replying. This is my last post and last visit to the site. I don’t think any resolutions will come from this debating. Peace to you all.

      1. Amen brother Outsider. My last post as well. I will pray for peace for you and ask for your prayers as well

  15. Hey Outsider I understand. I only visit every so often for this reason. I totally understand all you are saying and i am glad it is written here for people to read and hopefully think about.

    I am not going to debate line for line but did want to answer 2 points.

    1. About NCMI not existing. How fortunate for those who wish to tell/suggest/manipulate people what to do but then not take responsibility for their actions!!! A perfectly unaccountable system ready for abuse.

    2. The people I am talking about were team guys. So to say that team guys would never do this is untrue.

    And for what it’s worth there are some NCMI elders who decided to think for themselves, and use commonsense and reason. But they are too few and far between.

    Whatever Dudley learned years ago, should not have ended there, learning should never stop. To stick to doing what Dudley said 30 years ago is to retard your growth by 30 years.

  16. Hmm okay, here is some scripture.

    The parable of the sheep and goats….

    34Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’

    Also about being salt and light….

    “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. either do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. ”

    —-

    My model for living Jesus way is to love and care for the world’s people. Not to get them to come to church but just purely because God loves them – so give them the time, love and respect they deserve.

    To be salt and light IN the world.

    To grow…. and use my brain, use Jesus teaching, my conscience and reason to become more Christlike.

    —-

    And here lies my disappointment with my time in NCMI, and why i plead with people to think about the things people say on here.

    While i was there i had no time for anything but church meetings and church friends. It was rare or nonexistent for people to have friends outside church. All my money and the churches money went toward the church. Going to the nations meant going to an LTT. really? that apparently is helping “the nations.”

    How do you love the world if you don’t know them? understand them? and spend time with them? How are you salt and light hidden under a church roof, trying to devise ways to get people you don’t know to come in?

    How do you grow if you can’t hold a differing opinion, adapt to the times and use reason? Or cling to 30 year old ideas?

    When thinking of a church “model” I would say people need to be able to do these things.

    Many churches do give people the time and freedom to do these things and I think in that way there are many workable church models that suit all kinds of different people.

    NCMI can be a workable church model, they just need to chill out.

    The abuses of leadership come from an over obsessive desire to build a church in a very narrow and controlled way.

  17. Miss Anon,

    “NCMI can be a workable church model, they just need to chill out.”

    I find most guys that I know perfectly chilled about things. As I’ve said in a post before, any pressure I’ve experienced has come from deacons, not elders.

    And there is the reality of different temperaments. Some people are able to manage a lot of events and still make space to see people outside of church, others can’t. How one manages this needs to be worked out, just because you might have a different temperament doesn’t mean the temperaments of others is wrong (or yours is wrong, either).

    How do you grow if you can’t hold a differing opinion, adapt to the times and use reason? Or cling to 30 year old ideas?

    You would need to be careful here. How much should we ‘adapt to the times’ as opposed to following scripture regardless of the times?

    As to differing opinions, even guys on the NCMI team have differing opinions. And herewith a challenge for you – so NCMI guys have a different opinion than you in some matters, it seems. Is there anything wrong with that? Why are you allowed to have a different opinion but not them? 😉

    As to growing and changing, in the last five years I think there have been some significant changes in the way the NCMI team do things. I don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve been involved in an NCMI relating church, but careful it’s not you who’s stuck behind the times 😉

    I’m not being argumentative here, but simply also saying things to make you or other people think as well.

    The abuses of leadership come from an over obsessive desire to build a church in a very narrow and controlled way.

    It seems to me, based on your post, that you have no problem then with the model (saying it’s a workable model) but the issue boils down to the people involved. And then, we get back to the point that it might only be certain people who are excessive, and then there is the issue of whether or not those people just hold different opinions to you and whether it’s fair to say that people with a different opinion are wrong or right.

    If we’re going to weigh it with scripture then we have to balance being salt and light with Heb 10:25 (do not neglect meeting together) and Acts 2 (daily they met together in the temple and in homes, devoting themselves to apostolic teaching). How do you see these two scriptures I’ve quoted?

  18. Hi Ryan, I actually don’t “weigh” things with scripture usually just common sense, I only gave scripture because you asked.

    The scriptures you have quoted don’t make sense to me in the application of a church group in 2011 meeting daily and devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles. It’s also certainly not the only way things have been done in bible or church history. It was what was done during one short period defined by a certain environment and set of events.

    Different people have many thoughts on the “meeting daily” idea you have quoted. One being that it was wrong and inward looking and this is why persecution came and sent people out into society to do what Jesus asked them to do. The ultimate aim of this persecution may have been to get these people out of their inward focus and out into the world.

    Jesus asked us to love one another, help one another and tell people about his proposed ways to live and eternal life etc. (this list could be long 🙂 )
    This simply cannot be done if you meet at church/with other believers daily.
    You cannot love your wife/husband if you are out at meetings every night.
    It they were there during the day they could not hold down a job to earn money.
    Would their children ever see them?

    To meet daily seems foolish and unhealthy to me. It might even attract persecution/correction because ultimately God wants us to learn to do the right thing.

    They also “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching”
    Given that many were new believers and had never heard of all that Jesus had said and done, it seems reasonable that they would be keen to learn more.
    The bible as we know it, had not been written, or any books about Jesus life.
    The OT was not available to everyone, women (I believe were not allowed in the temple to hear the scriptures read.
    I don’t even know what the literacy rate was back then, could they all even read?
    Were there newsagents, tvs and book stores? iTunes?
    It seems that the ONLY way to learn would be to listen to the apostles.

    However today we have access to the bible, many books, churches where people preach, blogs, and all sorts. Apostles are not our only source of information. Many of us have been believers for more than a year.

    I’d like to suggest that people were devoted to hearing the message. Not the apostles, nor did they think apostles had magic “inside info” you can’t get elsewhere – just information about Jesus. They simply wanted to hear about Jesus. And this was the only source of info.

    I think they were devoted to learning, not devoted to apostles teaching and i think you can set apostles up as something they are not cause stress and hurt all round if you get this wrong. Apostles would be under huge stress to be perfect if people were devoted to THEIR teaching.

    I didn’t go to bible college so have not really studied NT times culture, so a few guesses in the above!

    I am seriously not into finding the perfect model. Jesus said that HE will build his church. It’s not any-one else’s job. To try to do Jesus’ job seems like a stressful idea to me.

    The other week I was invited to a lunch, a group of ladies (friends), turns out that some were Christian, some Muslim, a Buddhist and others (athiest perhaps.) Their plan is to host lunches to raise money for putting children in China through school. They loved, supported, laughed, encouraged, connected and enjoyed each other. At the time i thought “this is like church” and what I think is that this is “Jesus’ church”. He’s just building it everywhere and any way He likes.

    Quibbling about “models” seems like a waste of time.

    How about you? Do you think we must get the model exactly correct? Meet as often as possible and devote ourselves to Apostles?

  19. Hi Miss Anon,

    I appreciate your engagement but there are a number of problems with the way I see you approaching the Bible. In answer to your questions I think my thoughts around that will be made clearer.

    Do you think we must get the model exactly correct?

    No I don’t because the Bible doesn’t provide answers to all the nitty gritties, so no one will ever have the perfect church model, but it does provide some basic principles which, when applied, appear to produce the best fruitfulness regardless of the context and the time.

    I believe the church needs to know how to work in its context and time but the basic principles outlined are given to us by God as those are the principles that will always work in any context and time. You seem, to me, to take an extreme view when you apply too much common sense. Yes, God has given us common sense but he’s also given us His Word and His Spirit, and we ought to weigh them together. I’m all for common sense but not common sense alone.

    There are certain things that are biblical, certain things that are not biblical, and certain things that are abiblical. Having a church name, for example, is abiblical – it’s neither wrong nor right and seems to work in our context. But to think that we should all get by on our own and ‘just have a relationship with Jesus’ without being plugged into a church I see to be highly unbiblical. Or, to put it another way, to make an effort to meet as often as possible is more biblical because God must have put those words into the book of Acts, and into the book of Hebrews, for a reason if we are to believe the Bible is inspired by God himself.

    I would also see not having a relationship with Jesus or letting that relationship work only through a church as unbiblical. It’s about balance.

    “Meet as often as possible and devote ourselves to Apostles?”

    It’s the apostles teaching we are to devote ourselves to, which is not really possible unless one is engaging with apostles and in relationship, but it’s not about being a loyalist it’s about ensuring you have accountability, encouragement, love, support and all the sort of things that come with a church community. Iron sharpens iron and three strands are better than one.

    The idea that the Acts church was inward looking in reference to Acts 2:42 (where they met daily) simply can’t be true in light of the context of the actual scriptures quoted. The result of their being together and having everything in common resulted in tremendous generosity (vs 45) and the Lord adding to their number day by day (vs 47). Persecution actually came much later.

    They met together at the Temple (a bigger and more formal meeting) and then also in homes. To say ‘meet as often as possible‘ doesn’t mean ‘don’t meet anywhere else with anyone else.’ One can’t be irresponsible with their marriage and unsaved friends, but I’ve never heard any preaching that encourages irresponsibility in those areas.

    The labourers are few but the harvest is plenty. The simple fact is that, in our culture, less people are inclined to labour in the church community – rather looking to be entertained in some way or another. The idea of ‘community’ is not exactly a popular idea in Western culture, even though there is a lot of lip service given to it. This is precisely why the only few that are prepared to work can sometimes be overworked as there is simply no one else prepared to work.

    “At the time i thought “this is like church” and what I think is that this is “Jesus’ church”. He’s just building it everywhere and any way He likes.”

    I disagree. Firstly, church is a people – a community – not an event. Secondly, I don’t think Jesus’ church (his bride, his people) includes Buddhists. I think Jesus will build His church His way, but there are basic principles in the Bible that allow us to know if something is His church or not – such as whether Jesus is Lord or not in a given community. With Buddhists, Jesus is not Lord.

    The problem when we begin to neglect gathering with the saints is that we can often go two ways – either we become highly judgemental of others, or we become highly pluralistic, seeing everyone as part of the Body of Christ and eventually believing that all roads lead to heaven. I see the same two things happen time and time again because people aren’t coming under an accountable community and sitting under any form of scriptural teaching. So they really come up with their own ideas on things and begin to criticise the church as evil, corrupted, out of touch, and so on. It seems to me that this is the way things are going at this blog, and that’s just a candid and open observation.

    1. Some relevant points, Ryan.
      I have found that I have been blocked from posting for pointing out inaccuracies in postings from Forced to Hide.
      One cannot debate accurately when the blog is not administered with honesty and integrity.

  20. There are many opinions expressed in this forum, which each person is entitled to. However, there are also glaring inaccuracies, which I would like to believe are ill-informed rather than twisted to try to prove a point. I mention three as they are likely to cause offence to those who were involved and need to be presented truthfully. So after careful thought, I have decided to mention the facts below. Bear in mind, I know the people involved personally over many years so it is not hearsay but it is what happened.
    Firstly, in the reply to Freedom Fighter, Anon Writer makes two sweeping statements: 1. An elder’s wife committed suicide and 2. a deacon had an affair.
    In the first instance, the man was not an elder and his wife had a mental illness which at times rendered her very depressed. She was a wonderful woman and the husband is a tremendous person. I find it repugnant that you would attempt to gain support for your views by using a tragic death due to mental illness. I can say that when well, she was an inspiration. So you do not have any idea of the dynamic in that home or how many have been helped by that family.
    In the second instance, there were attempts made to dissuade the man from his course of action but he persisted. He is no longer a member of the congregation.
    Both of these events are tragic adn not a cause to gloat for Christians.
    Then there is the Piet Lombard story. It happens to be so that the postings were written by Piet initially and then by a friend from Pretoria who was visiting. So actually all your efforts to spin a story to suit your views seem rather ridiculous to those of us who know the facts.
    I will save you the trouble of “sleuthing” my identity by using my name. I live in Pietermaritzburg and have attended NCF for over 20 years, the same congregation you frequently mention. I have no recollection of seeing either of you at NCF and, contrary to what you might like to believe, NCMI is not affected by your blog. In fact NCMI is growing as God blesses, not because of us but because of Him.
    Christians need to find the place where God wants them and then put their efforts into extending God’s Kingdom where he has placed them Respect other congregations and accept that we are not all identical in the way we do things; but every Christian should strive to keep unity in the body.
    Some people will not feel NCMI is their home, which they are entitled to feel, and they can then find another congregation where they feel at home. In the same way, those who are feeling at home in NCMI are not wrong.
    I hope that those who are truly seeking the truth will get some perspective from this. I do not intend to comment further in this blog as I do think it to be something of a revenge mission. I say this having carefully read some of the articles.
    I suggest that Christians rather spend their time constructively and avoid this blog in the future.
    Feel free to try and discredit my statements, Forced to Hide. It will not alter the truth.

  21. I see that my post pointing out incorrect statements in your blog, for example the “Dear Freedom Fighter” and “Piet Lombard” posts was quickly removed. It appears that you do not like the truth to spoil a “good story”.
    This confirms the lack of honesty and credibility of this site.

  22. @ Ryan – when Buddhists and Muslim people are following how Jesus says to live better than NCMI leaders it should be cause to stop and think. Think about why Jesus came, it was not to get every one to join a church, it was how to live, it was about what counts in heaven. It was about loving people not excluding them. Jesus church is those who follow his and Gods ways. It’s bigger than NCMI

    @ Paul, keep drinking the cool aid. NCMI growing? Most NCMI churches that I know of have left!
    Piets “friend” wrote his cOmments? Bah ha ha. Really how can you say this stuff when you know and so does everyone else that you are lying!

    Unfortunately because of the culture of blind obedience and ambition in NCMI people, especially leaders are at a place where they lie, and fully expect to be believed. NOw that is scary.

    For those who have recently left, good luck to you, enjoy life thinking for yourself, its actually a much safer place to be eternally. Love life and those around you, make your own choices, don’t get brainwashed again. Be honest, how nIce is it to be free to just be honest!!! Best feeling ever. Enjoying picking and connecting with friends of your choice. Enjoy the freedom of not being under the judgement of NCMI. Don’t be hard on yourself from falling into the trap of being part of a cult, especially if you were born into it and was never given a choice. Life is good on the outside.

  23. Although I did not intend to comment further on this site, I have a few comments to make in this, my final post.
    Firstly, I acknowledge that Forced to Hide showed integrity in allowing my previous post. My purpose was to bring context. On that point, I thank Steve for his kind words and am glad he understood the purpose of the post.
    Miss Anon: To address your points.
    Cool Aid? I prefer fruit juice.
    In common with many other denominatons, NCMI is growing according to people I am in contact with in different parts of the world. For you to know people who have left is not unusual, given your hostility to NCMI. Two sayings come to mind: “Birds of a feather flock together”, and “misery loves company.” On the other hand, I am aware of many recent as well as longer-term members who are very happy in NCMI.
    You say I know I am lying. Actually, quite the opposite. You have no evidence to disprove my statements but choose to hurl insults instead. I think that a person should be sure of their facts before calling someone else a liar and that they should also have the courage to say it to face-to-face (if possible) or at least not to hide behind a nom de plume on the Internet.
    You claim to be free and happy, yet your continual repetition of this makes me wonder – are you trying to convince others or yourself?
    People hurt people, unfortunately, but Christians are called to serve God and build people up. I hope you soon find peace.
    I will not post again, even if untrue, unfounded allegations recur. I have come to realise that it is generally the same few people posting and that most attempts at debate degenerate into arguments, which do not seem to be read by many people, with often vague claims and generalisations.
    In closing, the wonderful reality is that God is in control and that He loves us and wants the best for us. In developing a closer relationship with God we will find joy and purpose.

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