Friday, August 20, 2010

The Mission of Under Much Grace

Welcome to Under Much Grace!

Revised and updated, August 2010

Because so many earnest Christians still remain ignorant of the phenomenon of cultic social practices within Biblical Christianity, I hope to educate and hopefully spare others the pain and tragedy that I have endured. Most Christians have no knowledge of the techniques of thought reform and psychological manipulation employed by legalistic Christian groups, so this site purposes to inform as many people as possible of the cultic nature of these otherwise Christian schools of thought.

I am a survivor of many years of Spiritual Abuse at the hands of the remnants of an aberrant Evangelical Christian group with ties to Charles Simpson of Christian Growth Ministries (a disbanded groups of Charismatic who fostered the movement in the early 1970's). Although the philosophy of the group
was recounted and renounced (the most famous participant of whom was Derek Prince), many churches who ascribed to their focus on "authority and submission doctrine" continued in this false teaching. My group, of the New Covenant Churches in the DC/Baltimore corridor was also strongly affiliated with the ministry of Bill Gothard, another false teacher who focused on submission and patriarchy within the home and church. Prior to my involvement with the New Covenant Churches in Maryland, I was predisposed to manipulation by cultic tendencies in the Pentecostal and Word of Faith movements. It was an easy transition into what I later learned was called the Shepherding/Discipleship Movement.

Of special interest to me is the increased interest and acceptance of "Family Integrated Churches" which promote the traditional idea of family as central to the restoration of Christianity within Western Civilization. I am deeply disturbed by this trend because groups such as Vision Forum headed by Doug Phillips promote the family but with rigid, legalistic standards of acceptable conduct. These extra-biblical standards are dangerous in my opinion but are marketed and widely accepted by many unsuspecting Christians as Biblically sound and orthodox.

The tactics and practices used and promoted by Doug Phillips via the Vision Forum vehicle correspond to cultic practice and thus create a hegemonic and neo-gnostic belief system. Because of the strong focus on their own version of patriarchy ("patriocentricity" as some have named it to distinguish it from legitimate patriarchy), it is the opinion of many that the sequela of this system present a very real danger to women. Having attended a local Orthodox Presbyterian Church in San Antonio with Doug Phillips and his followers prior to the founding of his own church and through my long history of participation with Howard Phillips' Tax Payers/Constitution Party, I draw upon a unique history that includes both the roots of Christian Reconstruction and the ideological predecessor of submission doctrine to address what is now known as the so-called "Biblical patriarchy" movement.

May we all pray fervently for this false teaching within Biblical Christianity to finally cease, for all teachers to make themselves accountable to the larger body of Christ and for all such abuses within Christendom cease. May each believer do all that God bids them to speak and act against spiritual abuse, legalism and blasphemy of God's Word. May the church recognize the difference between true unity through love for the brethren, distinguishing it from uniformity through legalism. May we all become one as Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, but may it not be via the means of thought reform and coercive manipulation.

Link HERE to read more about my personal testimony and my spiritual abuse experience.

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman

Cynthia is a nurse, naturopath and seminary graduate with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, including the study of hypnotherapy for both chronic pain management as well as its efficacy in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups, the recovery process from thought reform, and PTSD associated with such involvement.

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