Thanks everyone for your comments on the last post. It was really helpful for me to get some perspective and reaction from others who have no investment in the situation.
As Jamie mentioned in his comment, this church shouldn't necessarily be vilified. We were involved there for many years. There are quite a number of people who esteem this church as one of the best they've ever been a part of in their life.
I ask myself how so many intelligent, mature Christians can rationalize something like the last post as acceptable behavior in a church. But in answering myself, I remember the dynamics of buying in to the teaching and vision.
How can something like this happen without anyone raising an eyebrow?
Well, begin with a group of people who have been in community with one another for over twenty years. The real strength of this church is the true love that many of the members have for one another.
The strong relationships have produced a desirable, yet difficult to penetrate social group. Those who are a part of the group conform to the teaching to maintain their acceptance and inclusion.
As the government of their church has become more authoritarian, they are gradually conforming to an unhealthy system where diversity of opinions is no longer allowed. What happens to those who are "unteachable" has been demonstrated.
Those who do question what is happening must weigh the price of leaving. Acceptance in the social group requires submission to the false teaching. Leaving will cost inclusion in the group which they have enjoyed.
This is not an evil church that most of you would run from if you visited. It is actually a group of wonderful God-loving Christians who have gradually come under false teaching and authority. They don't see it yet, and they don't want to hear that something might be wrong at their church.
I have let go of worrying about when and how this will work out. It is not my responsibility. While I do care about the people that are there, I also believe it is their responsibility to discern and choose concerning their situation.
Most of my friends there will probably not be targeted like the person in the former post. They are the desirables. It will be the difficult people who will experience the most blatant abuse. However, even if they aren't targeted, the desirable people will be affected by their submission to a false and toxic system.
While I find myself uniquely positioned to understand the dynamics involved in this situation, I also find myself sequestered from involvement in the outcome.
Like all false teaching, the real danger is that it is cloaked in so much good.