These are people’s experiences in the C3
Icarus says of their experience:
[…] Finance is sore spot for me because it was a false C3 prophesy and encouragement which ultimately lead to my family becoming bankrupt and falling apart. It’s complicated, but C3 walked away without recourse, and a small fortune as they had demanded 10% of investment funds raised for a project, which was paid. Needless to say C3 did not step in to help my family when we didn’t have a cent. Ironically because the project ran out of funds, which wouldn’t have been an issue had C3 not taken 10%! Anyway as I said it’s a complicated story and it’s a long time ago now but I will never forget, all I can do is try too warn people that C3 willuse false prophesy as a tool to bleed more money out of you.
Source: Icarus, Patheos – a tale of two Houston’s, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/11/03/patheos-a-tale-of-two-houstons/#comment-12393, November 11, 2014 at 5:12 am.
‘Sally Meyers‘ says of their experiences:
There was a messy business at the Mt Annan Church over a family who left around 1999. If my memory serves me, the children attended the school, and the father worked, unpaid as a tradesman on the church property. When he asked for wages, all hell broke loose. It resulted in a church split, as the Pastor disciplined the father for rebellion in front of the congregation, while the fathers children were present. It got messy, because another high profile couple came to their defence. The wife was the press secretary for the local member who was the Finance Minister, and her husband was on council. The families left; but not without a bitter split in the church, which all began with money. I don’t know where the families are, though I do know there was sadness for couple who came to their defence. The husband died, and she ( sorry can’t remember her name) left the area. I was at the Campbelltown church which is how I know about it. Yeah everyone knew about it.
Source: C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 2) Sex, Money, Power, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/2012/09/21/c3-penrith-scandal-part-2-sex-money-power/#comment-1990, September 21, 2012 at 8:41 am.
‘Sue Smith‘ says of their experiences:
After finding this website and reading these comments Iam so glad I escaped them [C3]. I was going to one of their churches for a number of years and had assisted in youth ministry. Upon having two sudden deaths in the family not one person from that “caring” place even called me to offer their condolences. At the time I was deeply upset, how could Christians behave like that. I felt like I had passed my use by date and from their actions (or lack of) I could only conclude they are users, manipulaters and money hungry. Now I thank God they treated me like that and I escaped.
Source: Church Leaders Speak Out, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/church-leaders-speak-out/#comment-2313, November 3, 2012 at 9:17 am.
‘Nathan Digeaux’ says of their experience,
[…] I’ve attended the church before it became a C3 and that’s part of my ongoing disappointment. It was a thriving church full of life and a lot of us put in time and money in and served faithfully and gladly. I’ve seen the assets squandered and Jude Blaney exhault himself.
I don’t attend now. I have promised myself not to because its not good for me. (And I won’t be visiting this site again either). I was going because of a misplaced sense of justice and to try and be there for people. But now they’ve all (all but a handfull) moved away.
The church has now sold the old building and use some of the money to buy a new venue – smaller and grubby.
I don’t believe C3 is a cult. But I do believe Jude Blaney is practicing spiritual abuse.
Thanks for maintaining this website – it has helped me greatly. See ya!
Source: Nathan Digeaux, C3 Scandals, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/c3-scandals/#comment-21401, August 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm.
Champ145 says of their experience:
[…] I speak as someone who was a committed member of C3 for over 15 years – inside the movement and in a variety of roles and across a number of local churches. I read the posts on this site with intense interest – much of what I experienced in C3 is stated here over and over again – which leads me to believe my issues with C3 were not personal but they are systemic to the movement. That’s kind of comforting.
If you grew up as a child in C3, have parents that are in C3, were given a filtered view of C3 through your parents, all your friends go to C3, know nothing but C3… is there the chance that you might have had a sheltered and narrow development?
Is there the chance that you view might be incomplete? I see you reacting on a very emotional level. It seems that the criticism found on this website is totally at odds with your mindset – it must seem to you perplexing and incongruous.
A common response of cult members is to completely dismiss criticism of the movement and in particular the leader. I’m not saying C3 is a cult but it has definitely showed cult-like traits for the past 10+ years. Movements become cults and eventually self destruct because they cannot objectively self-assess or take in criticism from those outside who have perspective (or those inside who have perspective). Invariably cults seem confident, decisive and arrogant.
Notably cults develop strong defensive techniques. Check out how the Kong Hee saga is being handled – this will obviously backfire on the movement causing major embarrassment and setting the movement back.Often one of the last defences is when the leader moves into being a seer – Phil Pringle has prophesied that Kong will not be jailed. (Personally I think this act will negatively affect Kong’s chances of keeping out of jail – just imaging what the judiciary think about that being splashed over the media! Not wise Phil – Kong’s lawyers would nave appreciated Phil’s little contribution.
There is also Jude Blaney situation and C3 Marion – traincrash waiting to happen.
Unfortunately C3 fits this cult-like profile. It comes down to a flawed concept or style of leadership.
The best thing for you would be to do some critical analysis of your own – in particular thinking about the leadership style in C3. Does it empower people? is there nepotism? Does it use authority in an abusive and controlling way? How is money used? Is there a warped sense of entitlement in the leadership group?
There are far more people who have been members of C3 who are now outside the movement than people who are in. That is a FACT for the Australian churches. What could a balanced and fair minded person conclude from that? Why does this site exist and is read by many people inside C3? Why do C3 people react so extremely against criticism? What does that say about the personal maturity and integrity of the leaders and the potential longevity movement itself?
Source: Champ145, C3 Asheville Scandal – The Wolf & The Ostrich (Part 8), C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/2013/11/29/c3-asheville-scandal-the-wolf-the-ostrich-part-8/#comment-11901, 2014/02/20 at 8:52 pm.
Sean L says of their experience:
I have some understanding on what you went through. By God’s mercy, several years ago, God delivered me and my family from a C3 “church.”
[Backstory: In my early teens, I was introduced to charismatic-Pentecostalism. After graduating high-school I went into the US Navy, continuing to attend these kind of churches wherever I was stationed. After the Navy, a business venture brought me to southern California, where I met my wife; she’d been raised Roman-Catholic and had left to attend a mega-site church in north San Diego county. I was already attending C3 San Diego, when I met my future wife, and I asked her to check out the church I had joined. So, she started attending C3 with me before we were married. We married after completing their pre-marriage program. My wife and I, and eventually our oldest child, were very involved volunteering, what C3 heavily promotes as “serving full time in the house of God.” For years we served as usher, door greeter, and restroom attendant. Since the C3 pastor was searching for a building suitable for his vision, each meeting needed to be set up, from rows of chairs, to the stage, podium, and band area. You can imagine how many dedicated volunteers were needed every Sunday, Wednesday, Friday for Kidz church, ect for set up and breakdown. We were faithful tithers. We committed yearly for their “Rise and Build” campaigns. Bit by bit, the Word of God written in Scripture began to convict us of the bad doctrine coming from the pulpit. Bit by bit, God’s Word began to awaken in us, a growing sense of dismay. Hesitantly, I began to test the pastor’s sermons to Scripture. There were many unscriptural things being stated regularly from the pulpit. Initially I would think of excuses for the pastor’s words. But the Holy Spirit was causing me to go back to the Bible again and again. I had a good relationship with the pastor, and had exchanged e-mails with him in the past. But there was a point where the man I had so deeply respected, was no longer interested in talking with me via e-mail or in person. When I finally approached the pastor about his teachings, I was told my family and I needed to leave, we were no longer welcome.]
That was a very difficult time for me, and my family. But I am thankful to God for it. After continuing to search God’s Word AND sit under god-fearing teaching [such as John MacArthur], my understanding became clear — the C3 pastor was a false teacher leading a false church.
So then WHY did I end up at a false church, giving to a false church, following and believing a false teacher, and being happy the whole time I was doing it? It was because I TESTED NOTHING. I grew up in the Pentecostal/Charismatic church since I was a child. Everything taught from the pulpit, in Christian books, or Christian TV, I accepted and believed. This led me to being deceived and deceiving others.
So I encourage you to:
(1) Do what the Bible commands us to do: 1 Thess 5:21, 22
(2) These verses show why God commands us to test everything: Jer 14:14; Mt 7:15; 2 Pet 2:1; Jude 1:4; Gal 2:4; Mk 13:22; Col 2:4; 2 Cor 11:13-15
(3) These verses show that we (you, me) are responsible to ensure we’re not being deceived: Mt 24:4; Mk 13:5; 2 Thess 2:3; Jer 29:8; Eph 5:6,7; Rev 2:2
(4) These verses show we cannot just believe a pastor because they’re popular: Jer 5:31; Is 30:10; Jer 29:8; 2 Tim 4:3; Lam 2:14; Jer 6:14,8:11,23:17; Ez 13:10
(5) These verses God warns us if we do not test all things: Jer 29:31; 1 Tim 4:1; Rom 16:18; 2 Tim 2:17,18,4:4; 2 Thess 2:11; 2 Pet 2:3,17; Jer 27:10,15
I encourage you as you do these things starting now and going forward it will keep you from error. As you apply the Word of God to what you had been taught and experienced, you will find, as I did, you were taught and believed false teachings.
Regarding being hurt, the realization that you had been lied to, wasted time and money, and therefore not wanting anything else to do with God or church. I understand your feelings, but do not mistake what happened to you by the false pastor and his false church by attributing it to God and His true Church. The false pastor does not belong to God and his false church is not God’s either. So you have experienced something that is not of God.
Pringle is deceived and deceiving others. (2 Tim 3:13)
The pastor is deceived and deceiving others.
The elders/board are deceived and deceiving others.
The CGLs, ZGs are deceived and deceiving others.
The people attending the church (regardless of how friendly, nice, loving, etc they may be) are deceived and deceiving others.
And all of these people from Pringle on down are being deceived by the master deceiver himself – Rev 12:9; Gen 3:1
Only because of God’s mercy upon you, you are no longer a part of it – being deceived and deceiving others.
On Judgment Day, God will deal with them if they do not repent. (Rev 20:11-15) As for us (you, me) we too will give an account of ourselves before God.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)
– Each person will face God’s judgment for their own sin
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27)
– God enabled Jesus to pay the penalty of our sin
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)
– Our response
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)
– Belief in Jesus = proof is a life of trust & obeying God’s Word (the Bible)
Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21)
If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. (1 John 2:4)
– And after giving our life to Jesus, as we read/learn God’s Word and learn to live according to it, we then ask for forgiveness each time we sin
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
I encourage you:
(1) Begin reading, studying, obeying, meditating on the Word of God. Begin to listen to right teaching. Some that I listen to are:
(2) Find a Bible teaching, verse-by-verse, no frills, church. I’m sure before you bought stock in a company, you did your due diligence researching thoroughly about the company before you invested. How much more, when it comes to our spiritual life? Do your due diligence researching thoroughly a church before you begin investing/attending it.
Listen to these messages, they will help you understand what to be looking for in a church and pastor:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (2 Cor 13:14)
Source: Sean L, CHC Confessions, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/2014/01/02/chc-confessions/#comment-10499, January 3, 2014 at 4:12 am.
Simeon says of their experience:
I can completely identify with what you went through. I was heavily involved as you were; we gave to the building fund (admittedly it was our decision, but the constant push for money is outrageous). I accepted what was taught. I always went along with the money teaching, but every time they talked about tithing being New Testament and Jesus telling the Pharisees they should keep doing it – I never felt comfortable with that, because there is no future reference to it.
I’ve seen the same happen to friends in the church – burned out until there was nothing left, paid very little.
I’ve seen lots of people leave; in fact I am watching one family being torn apart right now – not entirely because of c3, but what I believe is an addiction or something to it.
Having read many, many of these posts, it has finally occurred to me that this kind of thing is widespread throughout the movement. Admittedly it’s not every c3, as I know some good plants. But to see the same treatment of people, the same doctrine issues, the same (it seems) global push on money – all I can assume is it starts at the top and works its way down.
It’s sad really; the c3 I went to was alive and pumping when I first started going there. Then I don’t know what happened. They just wanted to be “big” – the big church (which is usually only 1/2 full), the push on money, the glitz and glam, the nepotism – oh believe me, I could post a whole article here. It angers me to my bones the way family members get treated like royalty and everyone else is a commoner. I’m sorry but that’s the truth and most people will tell you that in certain churches that’s how it operates. It’s truly disgusting. I would open up more except we may get a lawyers letter…
There are a few local churches I am considering attending. But at the moment I just couldn’t be bothered. I’m growing more than I have before and I’m not attending. I know what Hebrews says, but other than that, my walk is going up and on.
Source: Simeon, CHC Confessions, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/2014/01/02/chc-confessions/#comment-10569, January 7, 2014 at 2:04 am.
M says of their experiences,
I attended C3 Auckland for a few years. I became uneasy with what I started to hear from the pulpit, sick of the pressure to give money, and began to question why all my friends were leaving the church.
I almost walked out when during the offering talk, one of the “pastors” (and I use quotation marks because one of my personal bugbears is their insistence on calling anyone in some sort of leadership role, as well as their spouse, a ‘pastor’ despite having no formal theological training… but i digress) says from the pulpit “there is no reason today why you should be poor. The only reason why people are poor is that they are either lazy, or don’t have enough faith”.
Final straw was when Phil Pringle came over to speak. There had recently been a massive “Rise and Build” push and the church had a new huge building, but alas, no huge projector to go with it! Only two projectors from the old building, which looked so small now on the huge back wall of the new building. So the big money push that night was to raise money for a new $30,000 projector. Because that’s what God wants for the church, right? And Pastor Phil made a huge deal about how he was personally going to put the first $1000 down right there, “and I believe you will get this new projector by the end of the week”.
And I’m thinking, really? I’m pretty sure God doesn’t care stuff all about a projector. But that is what it is all about at C3. Its about the “movement”, whatever that means really. Its about “5 ways to a better life”, “7 keys to financial freedom”. Its hype. I’m sure that a lot of the congregation, and many of the leaders, are well intentioned. But from my own understanding of who God is, I’m not sure its what he would have wanted.
Source: M, Church Leaders speak out, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/church-leaders-speak-out/#comment-26514, November 7, 2014 at 9:43 am.
Tracey B says of their experience,
I went to a C3 Church in WA and the Pastor spent a good amount of time going on about tithing. He made me feel it was a sin not to give 10% to God. My family and I simply could not afford to tithe all the time. We have now left the church and because we weren’t big tithers nobody cares, yet when another member left the church the Pastor called him up to come back. This member was tithing $100 a week of course the Pastor would try and get him back.
Source: Tracey B, C3: they really do know how to separate you from your money…, C3 Church Watch, https://c3churchwatch.com/2014/09/18/c3-they-really-do-know-how-to-separate-you-from-your-money/#comment-26472, November 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm.