Counterfeit Christians:
How Klemzig transitioned into Paradise
(and on into 'Influencers')

 

Preface

A good many years ago - more than I care to remember (it would have been the early 1990's I suspect) I came across a tract written by a man who published it from a post office box across the border in Victoria. I had been sent it by a friend, another dissatisfied Charismatic (or maybe wannabe pentecostial) who realised (as did I) that there were teachings which did not ring true. This page is not about teachings per se, but practices and behaviour exhibited by leaders who ought to have known better.

Eventually these aberrations taken to excess caused a mass exodus a few years later from what became the largest church in Adelaide when false doctrine was wilfully taught, and the retirement of the most senior (at that time) minister accredited by the Assemblies of God in Australia was helped because of his apostate teachings. The next National president of AoG in Australia was plagued by the sexually abusive behaviour of his father and one of his assistant ministers in Sydney. One has to wonder at the culture of these mega-churches and their staff in this regard. There are plenty of pages on-line which discuss these matters more eloquently than this site.

To put things in perspective, a brief note about me might be useful as you may be thinking "why is this chap making waves, and is something that happened so many years ago important? I'll let you decide if it is important, and ask you to keep the phrase "integrity of those who claim they are representing Christ" as you read on. In 1956, after emigrating to Australia, I had joined what has been called a "cult church" by a group of "cult-busters", who I got to know quite well as a result of being "cast out" by them for what in the military circles with which I had associated for several years after the end of World War 2.

I had been reared in a military family and was used to being told what to do, when, and seldom "why" or "why not". This training conditioned my tortal obedience to the head guru of the time, be he the "Commanding Officer" (or even a miserable corporal), or the "prophet" (a good name for a head honcho) of the church I joined. who we were informed had issued an edict that "When the prophet speaks, your thinking has been done".

Now when I joined the Royal Air Force in 1953 as a trainee pilot (aircrew), coming from a privileged family background, I was automatically appointed an officer (because I was a "gentleman", the two being mutually associated.

An officer is taught to think, to reason, to evaluate tactics, all the sort of thing that an "other rank" - who just did what he was told, because any attempt to discuss "why's and wherefores" was tantamount to mutiny.

Now, the British government was so close to insolvency because of years of war, that on completion of my flying training, I was "remustered" to a ground trade and lost my officer status, for the rest of my National Service two-year liability.

Consequently on discharge in 1955, I was largely "conditioned" to accept all that I was told, without question. Hence my acceptance in 1965 of a gospel which when analysed closely some 20 years later, rather obviously bore little resemblance to the actual teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and I set about re-discovering Christianity and going from church to church.

Perhaps I should explain how "cult-busters" define a cult within Christianity. The key is whether or not the group claims that the organisation is important to your eternal salvation, and if you step outside their doors, you are doomed for the rest of eternity, a very, very long time. Yes that fitted the people - lovely people who feared their version of God, as had I - with whom I associated. No it was not the people Terry Basheer describes so well in his tract "Counterfeit Christians". It was another organisation. No, it wasn't the Watchtower Bible and Tract Sociert, a religion founded by an American judge, either. That is not the purpose of this page. The cult-busters I listened to were an Australian lady from Brisbane, Jan Groenveldt, and a couple from Western Canada weho had to move across the border into Washington state when the draconian Canadian vilification laws were introduced, making is a federal offence to point out errors in teaching in belief systems - these brave people were Keith McGregor and his wife. Thankyou to all three of you.

The page is about "Counterfeit Christianity" - which exists in many forms right across the board. There are, I believe, many people with a desire to follow Jesus of Nazareth's teachings, but get tied up in their understanding what thinking Christians (and there are many of us who struggle with trying to stop false "controlling" teachings being pushed, often referred to as legalism because these well-meaning folk try to write a rule-book with many "laws" they teach you have to follow, obey, and believe. One of these is, of course, the concept that you are saved to a better heaven if you become de-facto Jews, and are racist if you disagree... the apostle Paul has a name for them - he calls them "Juda-isers"..

I need make this quite clear. Most people in major cults reject the concept of God on their recognising untruth being peddled, and then walking away. I am not one. I accept the Jesus I mentioned as what one of his apostles nearly tweo thousand years ago described as "both Lord and Christ". This means the Lord of my life, because I accept Him as God's messenger at the time appointed for Him to come to this earth. And I accept Him as the "Christos", the "Messiah" for whom the Jewish people who were at one time chosen by God to carry the "keep-alive" flame of His roadmap ever since human beings lost their direct access to Him in the garden "planted eastward in Eden" in the fertile part of what was known as Mesopotamia.

Terry Basheer's tract is about how a regular pentecostal church (that wanted to get bigger) was prepared to avoid the legal requirement of paying real estate commissions, and insisting that a church member pay these enormous costs himself, something which bankrupted his business, lost him his house, destroyed his family, and showed just how unscrupulous the board of the Klemzig Assemblies of God (and the newly created Paradise Assemblies of God) were.

I'll leave his 3rd edition print run to explain the details of how they swindled this church member.

The nine pages of Terry's bit of history are scanned from the original document, and are jpg images. Please just click on the front cover (left-hand) image above and the first page will open in a new tab or window (according to how your browser is set up). Then click on the links below to open each of the seven following pages...

page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6 page 7 page 8

A very sad tale, made even sadder by the fact that undoubtedly the leadership of the then Klemzig Assemblies of God believed they were doing "the right thing".We should carefully consider that just because someone says they are a Christian, does not mean that they behave as one, even if they hold an exalted position of responsibility. Often they behave as though being an "elder" (or whatever title they hold) gives them the right to trample on those "beneath" (in their opinion) themselves. Remember George Orwell's famous novel written in 1946, called "Animal Farm" where Napoleon the pig promoted the concept that "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others".

I am reminded of what on the face of ite seems a silly joke... "Just because you are standing in a garage does not make you a car". True, though, isn't it? Many would agree.

Jesus said... "If you do it unto the least of these (my people), you do it to me" That is my paraphrase.

 

Created on 16th March 2015
Updated on 3rd April 2015