How Not To Make “Disciples”
Chet Lowe is going to be the new pastor of mega-Calvary CC South Bay.
Chet Lowe was also the founder of the “discipleship” program Patmos which was described in an article here by a former attendee….
“Almost immediately I thought this program was insane. I could see the signs of psychological manipulation. They would not allow contact with anyone outside of the program. Isolation. They exhausted us emotionally, physically and spiritually. We were exercised to exhaustion, indoctrinated by “Moses Model” leadership, expected to constantly move our belongings, through injury, sickness and extreme fatigue. We were not allowed to shower, brush our teeth, eat at times for several days, slept in small tents in the pouring rain, made to march around in animal feces with sheets covering our bodies like Muslim women and had peanut butter smeared in our hair for almost a week. Then the verbal assaults and abuse were just terrible. Chet would have each student to his home for a night for one on one attention. This is where he would tell them that God told him that they were supposed to do this or that because he was a prophet and God was using him to speak into their lives.”
Despite my best efforts to draw attention to these alleged abuses (as well as the ones from another Calvary Chapel favorite, Potters Field Ministries) nothing was done and few cared.
If I had accused Lowe of embracing “critical race theory” the outrage would have been palpable…but protecting children and young people has never mattered much to a sect seeking victory in culture wars…even if it meant sacrificing a few kids for the cause.
What does it mean to form “disciples”?
It simply means helping people become followers of Jesus.
Followers of Jesus are those living out the Sermon on the Mount and living in sacrificial love towards the world and other believers in whatever vocation they have in the place God puts them.
It means learning to accept suffering and rejection for doing so while still blessing those who are cursing you.
Jesus never had a military style boot camp for believers and neither did the Apostles.
No, these techniques came out of the darkened, turgid minds of sick men who love to exercise power over vulnerable people…the exact opposite of what Jesus would do.
They are not constructed for people to learn to follow Jesus, but to be in emotional and spiritual bondage to twisted men.
The fruit of these programs are broken people who now struggle to find Jesus at all.
Those who work in or promote these projects are anti Christ in the truest sense of the word.
You would think the church would root these grifters out and shut them down.
Instead, it supports and promotes them.
Then…they wonder why young people and older people with sense…are leaving these churches.
They’re just following Jesus…who left a long time ago.
That’s what it means to be a disciple…