Editors note: Tikie now discusses some of the false teachings given by MCM leadership. The larger point is not the teachings themselves, but rather how these teachings were used to reinforce the power of the leadership and to extend that power down through the MCM hierarchy of elders, pastors and sheep. These tactics are common amongst sociological cults: set the leadership up as infallible; ensure that their directives are seen as coming straight from an unimpeachable source, and then make it impossible for their followers to confront, or even question, the leadership’s actions or motives.
The False Teachings of Joe Smith
Prophets and Apostles
At the rest of the Maranatha services that week Joe Smith cited the fact that MCM, just like the first century church, had apostles and prophets anointed by God and filled with the Spirit.
And, he stated, there was a clear reason for this.
“My brothers and sisters the Bible says that God’s church is ‘built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone,” said Joe, quoting Paul in the book of Ephesians.
“And any true church, any overcoming church, any church that is the real Body of Christ therefore must have apostles and prophets or it has no solid foundation. So these fake, watered down, Christian have no real foundation; for without leaders anointed with His Spirit they cannot demonstrate God’s power and His Word.”
Joe frowned, and then paused, and then looked up at us for at least a minute, his head turning slowly back and forth as he gazed out at the congregation from the stage.
In response to this the whole congregation seemed to lean up, on the very edge of their seats, to see what Joe would say next.
Then suddenly Joe’s face broke into a broad smile and his eyes lit up like a kid seeing a birthday cake with candles and he shouted, “But praise God His Spirit has given His church, His new work on earth elders, apostles, and prophets to provide a firm foundation! AMEN AND AMEN!!”
The congregation then broke into loud applause with shouts of, “Praise God and Hallelujah,” while Joe stepped back and took a long drink of water from a glass on the podium.
Then he leaned back over the podium and raised his hand palm up and just as suddenly as the crowd had erupted with their approval- it once again became silent.
“Therefore my brothers and sisters you can take comfort that God is directing His work through His anointed elders, not those appointed by man’s power, and that, because of this, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God that is doing his work today!” As he finished a slow smile, and a look of satisfaction, spread across his face while the music kicked in and the ushers began collecting the offering.
Only true Christians will rule and reign with Jesus
Joe Smith, that week, also taught us that how we, God’s Green Berets, would, “Literally rule the Nations as Princes,” since we were now, “The Sons and Daughters of God”. We would literally (and he meant physically) make, “The wicked bow before us after His return,” Joe told us.
“So church you see that the old dead mainline churches’ idea of namby pamby Christians sitting round on clouds, strumming little golden harps, and singing their little sweet songs for eternity is a lie from hell! But, my brothers and sisters, it is clear that if you want to rule and reign with Jesus then you have to be an overcomer in today’s world!”
Joe quoted First John, “Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Christ is righteous.”
And then he combined it with this admonition from Ephesians, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
“Note brothers and sisters the phrase ‘parents in the Lord,” said Joe.
“Who are your parents in the lord?” he asked us .
Then quickly answering his on question he stated, “Well Jesus clearly tells us that we must be willing to leave our father and mothers… so the apostle Paul cannot be referring to your earthly parents.”
“No it is very clear from the Word that your parents in the Lord are your shepherds who provide for your spiritual safety,” Joe continued.
“So flock you see that if we practice that Christian righteousness and if we obey our parents in the Lord then we will rule and reign with Jesus as the Sons and Daughters of God when He returns.”
“Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Can you say AMEN CHURCH?… WE WILL RULE AND REIGN WITH HIM AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HIM IF WE SIMPLY KEEP HIS COMMANDMENT!”
And the place went berserk as music kicked in and we all joined in singing John Saw the Multitude of the Overcomers and soon the crowd spilled out into the aisles dancing that MCM Hebrew jig in their excitement of learning that they would rule and reign with Christ.
But despite my addled state much I had heard that night concerned me. And even as I was dancing in the aisle with my new found Christian brothers and sisters I was troubled by Joe’s pronouncements.
For Joe made had it clear that those who were, “Not in right standing with Christ could not, and would not, be Sons and Daughters of God”.
And who, or what, determined if a person was or was not in right standing with Christ?
It seemed clear as to who determined a sheep’s standing with Christ; Their shepherd and the elders that were over the shepherd…right on up the line to Joe Smith, Bob Weiner and Bob Nolte: the Apostles and Prophets of MCM.
And the what that a sheep did to keep their standing with Christ seemed to mean obeying God’s word as given by the elders of MCM.
Those were serious long term issues that I should have been worried about at a that point.
But there were actually more pressing issues that evening I had not considered yet; my job as President of my frat.
Because things were heating up at the frat.
And I would soon learn that I could ignore my duties as frat president for only so long.