"Something's Happening" Provides Inside Look at GYC's Founding Story

Thanks for the promise, Rachel. What I’m hoping is that there will be more information as to what is being taught… both in the way of theology and of practical applications. From what has been said so far, it is plain to see that the enthusiasm is built on the familiar assumptions of what we know as LGT. Does the author of the book go into this at all?

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Kevin…in no way is Spectrum “Self-Supporting” in the adventist classical use of the term. I would know because I was at one and I doubt that you have been.

Your reasoning is faulty in regards to the LGT aspect of GYC as you are presenting it in grander and milder terms than it is in reality. Just because you are painting it with broad brush strokes as:

doesn’t make it so. You are promulgating a particular theological stance that is simply NOT mainstream nor traditional Adventism not matter how many times you say it or post a thousand “proof” texts! And if I had a young child at this point and time I would NOT want them to embrace your particular strain of theology- I would much rather they use their God-given mind to think for themselves.

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Graeme, you can get a good idea by looking up the various Conferences they have held. I don’t have the urls handy, but I know that there are many of the meetings that are available for watching on-line. Listening to very many is probably more time consuming than you care to spend… but you can get the flavor by a little random sampling… and the lists of speakers and subjects will tell you a lot more.

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Are you talking Headship and Righteousness in Christ alone?

I read the book about a month ago. Ms. Logan’s review of the book is very good.

The standard for all historical writing, in my opinion, is the collection of Lyndon Baines Johnson books written by Robert Caro. Ms. Ocsai’s writing in some places is uneven, beset with various grammatical errors, dripping with syrup, and insufficiently comprehensive in focus and detail. But there is a Caro flavor in her writing that suggests to me that she is a star in the making. I eagerly anticipate her future works. What I especially liked about the book is that I, too, found it to be an interesting read and finished it in one sitting. She is even-handed and fair to everyone, including Dr. Pipim. I sensed no bias, score-settling, bitterness, or a grinding of an axe in her chronicling of events. She establishes that GYC is a grassroots movement. The various stories that she tells persuade the reader that the founders and leaders of GYC acted under the Lord’s guidance. It is too bad but not necessarily puzzling that GYC withdrew support for the book. Most people in their ignorance do not realize that a hagiography is less flattering than an honest historical account that does not shy away from discussion of flaws, missteps, and conflict. Ms. Ocsai is deserving of our thanks and admiration. I recommend her book.

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Regardless of your words, you’re a sermon in shoes.

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Tell it like it is Paulson! You hit a tender spot.

Isn’t it interesting how some of the Blog frequenters seem to malign GYC but admit to having never attended a GYC Session? Haven’t you observed that when a more conservative subscriber makes an observation regarding an event or program promoted by liberals the liberals almost invariably insist that if you didn’t read the book or listen to the sermon in question you have no business commenting. The old double standard it seems.

This last Session has talks, I believe, on the 'Net. I listened to much of the Streaming of the most recent weekend and found them right on!
In The Grip of Truth

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IF…you don’t have to go if you can read their materials/watch or read what KP says. No brainer.

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Kevin has been more than helpful in introducing the fundamentals of the mind set of GYC… He is defended it as a merit badge morality within an Ark of Safety defined by a 19th century enthusiasm with a strong John Wesley impact. Justification is seen as a kick start, while Sanctification is the real thing. Christ is acknowledged as having the jumper cables. The Holy Spirit is the primordial juice…But perfection is my accomplishment. It is a Jack Horner enterprise.Thanks to Kevin’s strong influence.

I am reaching the fullness of life. My hope is built upon nothing less that Jesus blood and Righteousness. I highly rrcommend it.

I am still the lad, sitting on the side of an army cot, inthe midst of a shooting war after binding up the wounds of the injured and comforting the dying, Reading the Gospel according to John. Or the Psalms. safe in the arms of Jesus. I bring nothing to the table but my need. God brings nothing to the table but His Son. yet He covers my head with oil, my cup runneth over. praise God from whom all blessings flow. Tom Z

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I’m so glad you mention how GYC shares “common passion for our Bible-based, Christ-centered, distinctive teachings and their amplification in the Spirit of Prophecy writings.” That is exactly what The One Project shares too. They should do a joined conference.

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I think you hit the nail on the head. GYC would never have taken off without the support of ASI, and both being very conservative, it was only a matter of time until the two joined forces.

As with so many life situations, what you need to do in order to understand the dynamics, is simply… follow the money.

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If I know anything at all about human nature, I reckon there are unfortunate stories yet to be told. Pipim was involved in GYC for many years before his fall from grace. But the reality is, a leopard does not change his spots - the now known instances of his abusive and rapacious behavior are unlikely to be the sum total of his misdemeanors. I would bet money that stories will yet emerge, of impressionable and vulnerable young women in the GYC movement who were abused by him, before his proclivities came to light.

I can only hope that such tragic events will serve to highlight the fallacies on which this type of movement is based.

Kim, what is very sad is your apparent assumption that those who believe what Scripture teaches about character perfection do not “think for themselves.” You set up a false contrast between people who embrace “my theology” and those who think, as though the two couldn’t possibly be the same. Objective witnesses to this conversation will recognize the unfairness of this assumption on your part.

Regarding Last Generation Theology and your belief that it is neither “mainstream” not “traditional” Adventism, I urge you to consider the words written some years ago by Anglican scholar Geoffrey Paxton, in his 1977 book The Shaking of Adventism. After having reviewed over a century of Adventist literature, he wrote,

“The doctrine of the perfecting of the final generation stands near the heart of Adventist theology” (Paxton, The Shaking of Adventism (Wilmington, DE: Zenith Publishing Co, 1977), p. 114).

Here you have the words of a non-Adventist whose theological leanings were much closer to your own, from all I’ve seen you write on these blogs. Yet coming from an outside perspective, he clearly recognized the prominence and dominance of Last Generation Theology throughout the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The GYC movement offers plain and clear evidence that thousands of young people in the North American Division and beyond are indeed thinking for themselves, and thus rejecting the experience-driven, doctrinally indifferent, open-ended spirituality they see all around them in the contemporary church—at least in the developed world. I suspect it takes far more spiritual and intellectual independence for a young person in contemporary Adventism to embrace the GYC spirit than to accept the mindset of Spectrum and groups like the One Project.

And speaking of the latter, Tony Parrish’s comment that GYC and the One Project promote the same theme can easily be exploded by anyone who observes and reflects on the content of these respective gatherings.

Regarding Phil’s comparison of Rachel Logan to Robert Caro, I would much rather—as a lifelong historian—be compared to Robert Dallek, whose biographies of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson do not betray the iconoclastic spirit which I fear drives so much of Caro’s writings. Like Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Robert Caro gives every evidence of having a bone to pick when you read his writings. Other critics have offered the same appraisal.

With too many in both the church and the secular political arena these days, nothing is sacred anymore. Objective reporting is certainly desirable, but the iconoclastic mindset indulged by so many is far less helpful when considering movements and historical figures. Even that term “hagiography” bothers me at times, as I have seen it applied—for example—to such sterling biographies of President Kennedy as Arthur Schlesinger’s A Thousand Days. Schlesinger doesn’t eliminate from his history those negative features of the Kennedy presidency; he frankly acknowledges them. But to call his book “hagiography” is really going too far.

GYC too has had its mountains and valleys throughout its saga, and any careful account of the movement’s growth and progress would acknowledge this as surely as does Schlesinger’s biography of President Kennedy. But as in Schlesinger’s case, those much closer to the rise and growth of GYC have much more credibility in writing about the movement than someone who has not, to any significant degree, shared its journey.

This use of key text to support a thesis is a very dangerous tactic. There is no context. Adventists are quick to point that out when anyone references Paul on the Sabbath. But here we have Kevin giving us a basket load of isolated reference with no context.

One might ignore the critics of Adventism from without, but there is a distinguished list of serious scholars from within. Ballinger, Canright, Numbers, Rea, Veltman, Ford. What is notable is that the issues that form the basis of much of the critical comment form the theological base of GYC… particularly those of Ballinger, Canright, and Ford. Theologically Ellen White took a step beyond John Wesley on final perfection. GYC is making that their hallmark.Basically their position is far to the right of even the first Brinsmead. The sad point is, this indoctrination is being imposed upon the young uncritical minds of Adventism. Tom Z

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Jesse, think of the fundamentals of the Christian faith that are routinely attacked on these Spectrum blogs, apart from the issues you bring up.

  1. The Biblical creation story (with evolution often promoted in its place)
  2. Biblical miracles (often scoffed at by a number of regular blog participants, if you keep track).
  3. God’s right to judge and punish the wicked (you will notice folks here speaking of how cruel it would be for God to drown the whole world in a Flood).
  4. Biblical sexuality (and not just on the gay issue, but sexual purity outside of marriage altogether)

There have been at least two prominent articles on this site in the past several years denouncing Biblical standards of sexual abstinence outside of marriage. One was called “The Purity Myth,” the other “The Problem With Purity.” Check them out for yourself, and see if my assessment of them is unfair.

When you regularly follow discussions here as I do, you soon realize that not only is distinctive Adventism under attack on this site, but any number of well-established Biblical principles acknowledged by the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians.

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Tom, I challenge anyone reading those verses I have cited on the perfection issue, in context, to let us know where I have violated their context in any way. Total victory over sin through God’s power here on earth is a consistent Biblical theme, in both Testaments. I know you don’t believe it, like the other naysayers you have cited from different times in our history, but that is where we sincerely differ.

Kevin I have reviewed the New Testament references and stand by my comments. Perfection is imputed not imparted. At the end time God’s people will face the same temptation as Peter, to acknowledge or deny their Lord. those who acknowledge Him shall be declared righteous and sealed. Tom Z

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Wrong again, Tom. The following three passages, among countless others, belie your claim:

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1).

"“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down imagination, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:4-5).

None of these verses speak of forensic, imputed righteousness. Every evidence on the surface and in context is that the righteousness being described is imparted. “Fulfilled in us,” “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,” “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”—none of this language sounds forensic to me. It sounds very real, very visible.

Let the objective observers of this exchange, the young especially, consult their Bibles and decide for themselves.

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I think that there is a group of smart people who manipulate the whole GYC case. They are rich (ASI) and they have some extremist teachers doing the indoctrination. Kevin is one of them, and he even presents himself as pastor.

That smart group is engaged in targeting the youth, taking advantage of their inexperience and naïveté. The youth know nothing deeper about the SDA history, and they won’t learn much about it at those meetings. Do you think Paulson is going to disclose to them all those issues that we had to dig hard to uncover ourselves? No way Jose!

Clearly the idea was (is) to get a “tabula rasa” and write on it only what is “in the plan.” LGT appears to be the theological foundation of the indoctrination strategy targeting this extremely vulnerable group.

What a difference between the GYC and the ONE! The former takes brains and shapes them according to a pre-planed indoctrination strategy, within the context of a limited/selected intellectual material. The latter takes brains and empowers them to work by themselves in the context of a broad vision of all intellectual materials available. It all reminds me the big contrast between the Soviet and the American mentalities.

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Kevin, what I think is truly sad is what you teach regarding “Perfection” because I have known people who have required therapy because of it. I don’t regard it as anything but a dangerous “theology”.

I accept that you do not feel the same but we are both expressing our own viewpoints here and the casual “observer” can make their own conclusions. I have absolutely no issue with that and that is exactly what I am hoping/praying for.

What you offer is given to inexperienced young people. I do not have to counter your statement because I believe,in time and as they gain experience in the “real world”, the youth will come to the right conclusions themselves. Over time, you will lose them because they will see what “perfection theology” is all about and it is not all that you have presented.

Kevin, I believe that God- not the so-called “Last Generation Theology” is in control of my life. I have no fears as I go about my life because all that I need truly comes from Him.

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