Australian churchgoers were warned last week to beware of "a secretive group operating in their midst."
The warning came after the excommunication of 15 elders of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Camberwell Victoria over their links to the Fellowship, a sect accused of wielding strong control over its followers.It will be interesting to watch this unfold ... based on past experiences with denominational heirarchies, I'm tempted to trust "the Fellowship," before I'd auto-support the leadership of a mainline denomination anywhere in the world.
A statement read to the Trinity congregation by Presbytery of Melbourne East clerk Kevin Childs before [the] morning's service said the elders had been banished for their conduct as Fellowship members and their failure to address the situation.
The statement said the presbytery of Melbourne East - which oversees the running of member churches - ... urged others to stay away from the group. "Presbytery counsels all members of the church of Camberwell that, for their own welfare, they should dissociate themselves from the group known as the Fellowship," the statement read.
Trinity minister Philip Mercer, who is not a Fellowship member, told his congregation the news would be "grievous and distressing" to many.In other words, expect to hear more from down-under.
He reminded them they were in a house of prayer and said appeals would be lodged against the ex-communication. "Please understand that what you are about to hear is not the final word on the matter in so far as these decisions are subject to appeal," he said.
Former Trinity minister Robert Humphreys first complained to the presbytery about the Fellowship in 1989, and two books have been written about the group.According to Scripture we can expect factional fights such as this until the Lord returns ...
One of the sacked elders, who refused to be named, said he would continue to attend church and would appeal against the decision. He said there was lots of misinformation about the Fellowship but refused to explain the group's function.
For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.Full story >>>1 Corinthians 11:19