Master's Commission is not a cult, but it is very seriously not without flaw.
All denominations have perennial issues, weaknesses, and corporate sins. There is not one single denomination that is free from brokenness. Most Christians will recognize and affirm a realized eschatology. That is, Christ's kingdom was inaugurated with his coming to earth, but we still await his return and the "final day." "The kingdom has come," and "the Kingdom is coming." "The already but not yet." Because of this, we are still sinners. The world is still broken. Death and sin are current realities. Yet, at the same time, God proclaims that those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved and that we are perfect--NOT by merit but by participation in Christ's perfection. He was perfect for us. We CANNOT be perfect. We are weak and broken sinners who call upon the name of Jesus, and he is our only grace and salvation.
With that being said: the church eagerly awaits Christ's return and the establishment of the new heavens and new earth. The Assemblies of God--like every other denomination--participates in this reality. We all get things wrong, and when observing the historical movements of the church, we find our blind spots. An excellent summary of the evangelical movement can be found in "The Fabric of Theology" by Lints. The Assemblies of God is rooted in a tradition that has reacted against historical/cultural problems.
In their reaction, certain theological emphases were highlighted, and, when they become emphasized at the expense of other foundational realities for Christian faith, new issues arose. Some of these issues include: emphasis on the personal relationship with God, the movement of the Holy Spirit, heightened favor for emotions, signs/wonders, etc. Because the personal aspect has been granted such a high place of authority, there are not too many checks and balances for the A/G, which invites manipulation (as well meaning or unintentional as it might be, it invites manipulation nonetheless). God gave us a family, a history, the church universal. To ignore our predecessors is haughty. It is a kind of "chronological arrogance." It is to think that God was not present, alive, and acting throughout history, and, instead, He has blessed our generation in a way that He didn't with the ignorant Christians of the past. Also by emphasizing the personal over the corporate aspect of the faith, we don't allow for accountability. Instead, we have established our authority as the privileged of God. Further still, there is nothing to keep our leaders in check. Lastly, by emphasizing the personal relationship/movement of the "Holy Spirit" as our source of authority, we undermine the Bible. Those who claim to believe the Bible but do what is contrary to the Bible in the name of the Holy Spirt are not acting according to God. There is a reason that He gave us His Word.
These are some of the caricatured issues that the A/G faces. Now, Master's Commission is well-meaning program of the A/G. It is intensive. When something is intensified, the strengths as well as the weaknesses are intensified or blown up. I attended Master's Commission in FL in 2007. I hated it. I hated it because I didn't have wise people keeping me in check. I followed good, biblical principles, but, because they were blown out of proportion and not kept in check, I burnt out. It is good when we are not holistically healthy to react. The complaints about Master's Commission often deal with the fact that the mind and body are not being cared for in addition to the heart and the soul. After all, we are to love God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. We are holistic creatures. Causing an unhealthy division between them--subverting the mind and the body because the heart and soul are given precedence--is wrong.
Master's Commission has it's strengths. The program in which I was involved allowed for me to take accredited college correspondence classes, so I was able to earn credits towards my BA. Memorizing scripture actually has greatly been to the benefit of my spiritual life throughout the years. I learned what not to do in ministry by participating in MC. There can be great community at MC, and let us remember that people are of eternal value in God's sight. I was able to hone creative gifts that I can now use for the edification of the church. MC taught me how to proclaim the Word and share faith (I know there has been flack about having the emphasis on trying to convert others to the faith. This is the case with many AGers but not all. I know that if someone is going to come to a saving knowledge of God, it will be through God's grace. So, if friends hear the word and don't come to Christ, I respect that. I'm called to share, not to manipulate, coerce, or convince.) There are other good things besides. My point is that MC is not all bad.
Master's Commission is not a cult. It is a bunch of well-intentioned Christians who are seeking to glorify God, but, because they are broken (like all other Christians), they have their own corporate sins to which they will be held accountable.
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