Saturday, October 10, 2009

Christian Assemblies International: Approach with Caution!

Anybody who has had any involvement with Christian Assemblies International knows what a culture of judgement, finger-pointing, pressure and fear feels like, living life inside a pressure cooker. They denied that this was the culture and atmosphere that they created and argued that rebuke and discipline were scriptural and only ever administered with love in the Assembly, in order to keep brethren on the straight and narrow path. They would argue that any sense of paranoia, of fear, of depression was down to the individual members not taking any disciplinary measures in the correct spirit. In other words it was their own fault.

People's faults, sins and wrongdoings were often publicly exposed. These ranged from matters of failing to complete Assembly jobs properly, or on time, or at all to more serious 'sins' which were often very personal and sensitive. Nothing was kept secret. You could expect your deepest darkest secrets to be brought into the open for all in the Assembly to know and take heed. Punishment for these matters also ranged from being fined or having to do extra practical work to being sacked from an office or being put out of fellowship for a time. Again, CAI made no apologies for this. They always maintained that this was scriptural and how God demanded his church to be run.

Around 3 years ago, it transpired that the General Overseer of Christian Assemblies International, Anthony Scott Williams had committed some serious indiscretions that had hurt a number of members of the Assembly, over the entire span of the life of the Assemblies existence. He was removed from office for a short time before being fully reinstated and criminal charges have been brought against him, details of which can be found by following the links below. However, apart from this, every effort has been made to protect Scott to keep him in office and to protect his status. On the other hand, little or sympathy or support has been offered to those hurt by his actions and the people within the organisation who have pushed for this have been removed from office, expelled from the Assembly and had their names and reputations disgraced.

The purpose of this blog is not to point the finger at Scott for the sin he has committed. The law is dealing with that. This is to show how the organisation has hung its own members out to dry in order to save the position of its leader. You can draw your own conclusions from this but to me it undermines the whole reason for the Assembly's existence. It seems to me that it is not to serve God's purpose, to bring people to Christ but to provide their leaders with power and position and, dare I say it, wealth. The posts on this blog will provide evidence to show why I think that this is the case. It is my hope that anybody involved or who potentially could become involved with Christian Assemblies International consider the information, when making their own decisions.