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Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Joshua S, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Joshua S

    Joshua S Member

    New Zealand
    Hi all.

    I've been thinking about possibly joining Gloriavale when I've finished my studies, etc. but I'm just not sure. As I live in New Zealand, I'm very close to the Christian Group. People call it a cult and wrong but I don't see it as a cult. I can only see the truth. This world is full of sin. They intend to cut that out by forming a group away from the sinful world. A group fully dedicated to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. People that have left have said many things about how they did and didn't like the group. If you leave a group full of Christians who don't follow the outside world due to the sinful nature, you are basically disobeying God. Essentially you are technically entering into a world where the temptation for sin grows.

    I don't want to be hated for this opinion or my consideration. I just want advice please.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

    Here is what Wikipedia says (for whatever that's worth)
    Gloriavale Christian Community - Wikipedia

    My big concern is how hard it is to leave and how they treat those who leave. If wiki is accurate, these are cult-like behaviors.
  3. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

    New Zealand
    When I first heard about this group they were called the "Cooper-ites".

    I was appalled to hear about the cultic nature of the group and the degree of control the leaders exercise over the folks in the group.

    “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ “But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant...

    So when I heard about this for the first time, I felt a real indignation inside and prayed quite passionately against the control.

    That very night a prominent family escaped and the father eventually became an elder in our church.

    I never mentioned this to him and he is unaware of the matter to this day.

    I cant stress enough to stay well away - It may appear appealing, but the Holy Spirit will never control lives like that.
  4. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    The great commission is to go out into all the world and make disciples of every person. To join a closed Christian community that cuts itself off from the world is contrary to the command of Jesus to go into all the world to make disciples for Him.

    It is not for me to make comment about the nature of the community, and there is nothing wrong with joining a Christian community for fellowship, support, and teaching. and I guess Gloriavale is great for that. But remember the label on a container of rat poison. 99.6% of the material is great food for rats, and that's why they are attracted to it, but the mixing in of the .4% of the poison will kill them stone dead. The community will welcome you with open arms and you will feel much love and acceptance from them, and that will lull you into a false security. But you will find that some of your central beliefs about the great commission and the finished work of Christ will be challenged and compromised and you might find yourself trapped in a religious system based on works instead of faith.

    Also there are some very pretty and attractive young girls there, and you could, before you know it, paired off with one of them, married with a family, and then it will be almost impossible to leave without serious heartbreak as you would be alienated from your wife and family if you did leave the community, as many have sadly testified..

    When it happens (not if), then remember that I warned you on this thread.

    To shut yourself away from the world so that sinners never hear the gospel from you is contrary to what Christ requires us to be and to do in the world.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  5. Redwingfan9

    Redwingfan9 Well-Known Member

    United States
    The problem with Gloriavale is that they disobey Christ's commands in the Great Commission. By hiding away in a compound shut off from the world, they are unable to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. They're committing the same error that various gnostic groups and papal monks have made over the centuries, the notion that hiding away from the world will some how prevent sin and get one closer to God. It's a fiction, as evidenced by Neville Cooper's conviction for sexual abuse in the 90's. (Cooper was the founder of Gloriavale, he later changed his name to Hopeful Christian) There have also been allegations of rapes, beatings and other crimes at Gloriavale. Point being, you can hide from the world but sin is in the heart from our birth, the environment we're in doesn't change that.

    Beyond all of that, the notion that dress and technology stop at some arbitrary point in time is completely devoid of Biblical backing. The Amish and Mennonites have the same problem, wanting the clock to stop at some year in the distant past with dress and technology stopped for all time. I'm all for modesty in dress but that doesn't equate to dressing as though it's still the 18th or 19th century. Women don't need to dress like prairie muffins in order to be Godly and modest.

    Finally, the Christian life is not about being controlled by the Church. The level of control in cults like Gloriavale is appalling. We are not called upon by God to live a communal life, Acts certainly doesn't teach that. Furthermore, while we are called to submit to the church in all things Godly, the Church is not given power over God's people such that it dictates their day to day affairs. In other words, the Church only controls in matters of theology and sin. It doesn't decide what crop you plant or what job you take, unless it involves sin in some manner. (obviously taking a job in pornography would be cause for church action while taking a job as car factory worker would not)
  6. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

    United States
    Joshua I respect your reason for wanting to join this group. If it was an intentionally temporary experience to equip young Christians for service, I would say it might be a good thing. However, Jesus sends us out into the world to bring the Good News of Salvation in Christ Jesus. We are in the world but not of it is the coined term from the High Priestly Prayer in John 17:

    John 17: NASB

    13“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

    20“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

    Therefore, my best advice is to find a ministry which equips young evangelists to (1) go out into the world and preach the Gospel making disciples for Christ and baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (2) develop the gifts God has blessed you to serve His church.

    Finally, look up some of the history in the US revivalist generation of the mid to late 19th century. Good meaning Christians created communes to do just what you explain...isolate the Christian from the sinful world. They all failed for one reason in my opinion...we still have these mortal corrupt bodies which war against the flesh and not realizing that, some of these communes redefined sins and some went into apostasy and some ended up being sexually promiscuous. Why? Because the communes had one thing in common...there were still sinners there.

    Also, see what I quoted from Jesus. He continues to be our Advocate, our Mediator with the Father. He still 'prays' for us, although now seated at the Right Hand of the Father, He intercedes for us. He has not stopped doing that and won't stop as He still bears the pierced hands and feet which is a constant reminder of His redeeming work and victory over sin and death.
  7. Abraxos

    Abraxos ...

    New Zealand
    They remind me of that movement that came out of the Anglicans, the Puritans and the Society of Friends aka the Quakers. They too believed that they needed to remove themselves from the world because of sin, but they saw everything as pagan. Wedding rings are pagan, circles are pagan, triangles are pagan, squares are pagan, musical instruments are pagan only allowed to sing acapella, etc. Gloriavale isn't much different. And it seemingly isn't so free from the temptations of sin that they try to isolate themselves away from. I'm sure you have heard the saying that 'we are in the world but not of the world' meaning that sin is not something that anyone can escape from regardless of whether you plan to join Glorivale or not. All are sinners and fall short of the glory of God, yet devotion to a sinless life comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Be it a Gloriavale member or a monk in a monastery, none are no different.

    Generally speaking, people are inclined to hang around people who feel they are culturally/socially and morally compatible with, and who is to say you shouldn't join them? Personally, I think they're harmless like the Amish.
  8. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member

    I would prefer joining the Amish if I needed to be amongst a separated community of Christians but how would you evangelize if you separate yourself from others?
  9. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

    New Zealand
    I might say that I am generally pro-community and this is a natural was to relate especially when those of faith are driven underground through persecution. As the clock of history ticks on, I expect a return to this mode of Christian living as folks tire of the failing structures of the modern church, and want to return to a more biblical lifestyle. As many have said, real spirituality thrives in the real world where sinners are... This is what Jesus did and copped a lot of flack for it. So any community should not form on the basis of separation from sin.
    I don't see Gloriavale as a healthy community.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  10. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

    New Zealand