Destiny Church revolt/split – Destiny disaster?

Destiny Church is in turmoil. Again.

When is the last time you heard of a pastor walking out of the pulpit and out of the church?

It happened in Brisbane’s Destiny Church (founded by Brian Tamaki) this weekend. Andrew Stock had been the minister at the Destiny Brisbane church plant for three years.

Destiny Church ministers and leaders are heading to its Brisbane branch after more than half the congregation – including its pastor – walked out.

Bishop Brian Tamaki, who founded the church in New Zealand in 1998, is expected to be among those heading to Australia this week after the resignation of Pastor Andrew Stock.

Members of the Destiny Church in Brisbane, who were at Sunday’s service, contacted the Herald yesterday.

It is believed Pastor Stock – who has been at the Brisbane branch pulpit for about three years – withdrew from his role because a newly introduced covenant went against his beliefs, a member said.

“He decided it was time [to withdraw as pastor]. He believed the covenant was wrong. It is simple – if you know you are sinning, you don’t want to be preaching from the pulpit.”

The member said the covenant told members to “give it heaps” as they worked towards a $3 million project which included building a $1.3 million budget to go towards putting Bishop Tamaki on TVNZ every morning, from Monday to Friday.

The covenant also encouraged members to go without coffee, takeaways and Sky TV for up to seven months to help give more in their church tithes.

The church member, who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions, said up to 70 people of the just over 100-strong congregation followed Pastor Andrew Stock, after a four-minute speech, as he walked out of the church with his family.

Destiny has always been controversial and it appears the covenant which included members buying a 300 dollar covenant ring was the last straw. New Zealand and Australian media are abuzz with the news, twists and turns and Destiny excesses. A PR war is in full swing and Tamaki who among other things, teaches and lives the prosperity gospel, says media always twists his words. He appointed himself bishop and his word is law. Destiny is a group of independent churches.

I like what Throng NZ has to say.

The questions I’d put to Brian Tamaki would be very different. I’d ask him who Jesus Christ was/is, what was Jesus Christ’s message and what are the most important Christian beliefs?

Get him to talk about the centrality of the Christian faith and this is where Christians will be able to discern if his teachings are in line with mainstream Christian beliefs or not. Christians and their leaders should be the ones judging Brian Tamaki, not the media who generally are completely ignorant about the real issues at stake here.

(For reference: I have strong reservations and concerns about Destiny Church and Brian Tamaki’s leadership.)

Destiny Church has tried politics, men’s conferences which drew wide spread criticism, social programs, runs a TV program, sells lots of Tamaki and church products. Andrew Stock (left) has already replaced by Phil Kingi, the Brisbane church congregation was largely ex-pats. It remains to be seen if the disappearing Brisbane congregation can be replaced.

Destiny has established 19 fundamentalist churches in New Zealand and has been referred to as a cult of personality.

Destiny Church – wiki
Religion News Blog – timeline of Destiny Churches/Tamaki stories

Previous BDBO posts

The cult of Brian – Destiny Church members take oath of allegiance
Destiny New Zealand plans it’s promised land – Destiny City

NZ and Australian blogs are leaning in favour of Andrew Stock walking from the pulpit and out the door; such as Kiwi blog, Social Justice, No Minister, Thinking Matters, Brian Edwards, Cultwatch, NZ. Others are fully committed to Tamaki such as My Place

Update: This is on a Destiny  website where  Tamaki and his pr department blame the devil for critical media coverage. When a leader thinks they are God or God-like and operate  a closed system, you begin to see sociological and theological characteristics of a cult.

Sociological warning signs:

authoritarian leadership patterns
loyalty and commitment mechanisms
lifestyle characteristics
conformity patterns (including the use of various sanctions against those who deviate)

Theological warning signs:

embracing of a particular doctrine system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian Faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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9 Responses to Destiny Church revolt/split – Destiny disaster?

  1. Stuart says:

    …..which included members buying a 300 dollar covenant ring

    Show me the money!

  2. Therese says:

    Been thinking lately about Jesus saying that if we have faith like a mustard seed we can tell this mountain to be cast into the sea – a mountain of flesh and religion, which included the phariseaical religious system of Jesus’ day. How would the Lord answer that prayer? By magic? No, I don’t believe God works that way, He doesn’t need to. He has created the earth and heavens and everything in them – wouldn’t it more likely be through an earthquake or volcanic eruption? Maybe what we’re seeing here with the Destiny Church is the beginnings of an earthquake that will send this mountain crashing down into the sea. Maybe we’ll see similar earthquakes or eruptions in other groups that are nothing but mountains of flesh and carnality ‘in the name of Jesus’ that need to crumble apart or melt away as well…hope so!

  3. Cynthia says:

    I refuse to tithe to any church, period! I live in Houston, TX USA in the “Bible Belt” where church is all about money and the building fund. I fell for that for a while. The heirarchy spiritually abuses the member while taking their money – Jesus would never do this to believers. I attend church but I give money to worthy causes that are not “church”. Ministers have no right to get rich, when Jesus himself did not even gain financially for his message and his Gospel. If Jesus did not sell the Gospel, isnt’ it anti-Christ for ministers to sell it to get rich? There is a difference between employing someone full time to write sermons and run a church, and a person who uses Christ’s Gospel to become filthy rich. Christ never meant for this to occur. but then, Christ did not attend a church – churches were invented 300 years after christ by the Pagan Romans who used the church as a political machine to gain monarchy over the world, which will re-occur in the end times. Jesus was Jewish and he did not have an adult membersship in a particulalr Jewish synagog either – he taught in the public areas of the Temple grounds and made NO MONEY. I share the Gospel with others for FREE, which is what Christ called us all to do – you have a mouth and you can read? Tell people what Christ did. That is what Christ meant when he said “go into all the world and share the Gospel”. That is what we all should do.

  4. Therese says:

    Amen, Cynthia – wish I had wised up to the truth of what you are saying years ago! I want my money back, every last penny – to give to those who are actually sacrificing or suffering for the gospel, and to those who really need it! I’m so upset with myself for wasting so much of my money and time to do nothing but help spread what is essentially a false religious system, the daughter of Babylon, and make rich religious celebrities richer.

  5. mirele says:

    I was pretty gobsmacked by the screenshot from the Bishop Tamaki website. To me, claiming you’re the physical manifestation of God is absolutely heretical according just about every interpretation of Christianity I’ve ever read about. I mean, doesn’t that run smack into Colossians 1:15? (“He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”) I would think this would be an absolute dealbreaker as far as considering someone a Christian, but since I’ve been an agnostic for a few years, things might have changed and this is now acceptable among Christians? (Don’t throw shoes at me, I know it’s not acceptable, I was trying to be funny.)

    One of my online friends lives in .nz and she says that not only does Destiny get a tax exemption, but it gets millions of .nz $$$ a year because Destiny’s an Urban Maori Authority [community service provider to the Maori]. She also tells me the churches have electronic funds transfer / point of sale (EFT/POS) machines and members are given forms to request an automatic 10% EFT withdrawal out of their bank accounts.

    Destiny also apparently monkeyed around with trying to get its hand on political power in .nz by having its members vote as a bloc in the “Destiny Party.” My friend says the party’s disbanded, but the “Family Party” has appeared in its place. Right now, Auckland is considering combining its various local councils into a super city council, which explains the following billboard from Destiny, adorned with (as she describes it) “his big ugly face”: “A Super City Needs A Super Church.”

    I also see that Destiny pastors are required to sign a contract: “In that contract, it said if they were to withdraw as a pastor they were forbidden to pastor at any other church for two years and their new church could not be less than 50km from a Destiny Church.” I wonder how well that contract would stand up under law….

    This would be a good organization to meet a swift demise, but my friend says that Brian Tamaki is a lot like L. Ron Hubbard, and we still have Scientology around, don’t we?

  6. Hopesome says:

    The ministry is prostituting itself for money

  7. Brent says:

    I was part of two church splits. One in a Baptist Church and one in the COC movement. The first one eventually led to the church closing, the second one the church still stays small.
    I know of church splits in every denomination in various places around the country, some unknown and some very public.
    I find it funny that people find it unusual that churches, full of people, some with rebeliuos spirits and some with good intent, disagree with their leader against biblical principles and go and do something else. Mind you, even the early church had disagreements. So if we use the logic of some people above, a split in the early church must mean it’s not of God either?
    Such narrow minded people we are in NZ to critisize and yet belong to demoninations that defy the word of God like the Baptist one I belonged to that votes in ministers/pastors directly against biblical principles. Nowhere in the bible is democracy a way of electing leaders and in most cases these pastors come to churches they never built in the first place.
    And don’t even get me started on tithing, which I thankfully did learn in the Baptist church. So many Christians now are tightfisted self centred money grabbers who with their small incomes and $5 a week giving are greedy in heart in comparison.
    NZ Christians really have no idea, and when persecution finally comes in the years ahead, few will remain in the faith. That will be the biggest splitting in the real church.
    Those that remain will be those who sacrifice in the small things now. When all money and assets are stripped from Christians, most will fall away as they trust their money more now anyway. But I think tithers, who understand giving plus adding on top will know God provides because money was never a problem for them in the first place.
    It’s not what you give Jesus will look at, it’s what you kept and used it for.

  8. brisbane church says:

    It’s really not that great to hear a story that kinda destroying the image of the said church on where the alleged pastor assigned. But it’s still the public’s right to know on what happening on a certain public’s concern.

  9. Jim Gratan says:

    This is just the tip of a huge problem in all churches
    throughout the world.
    NONE are really Christians but just following religion.
    Religion is the most dangerous thing in the world
    and responsible for more pain and suffering than any other thing.
    It has always been that way and will always be the same.
    Avoid churches like the plague and keep your sanity.

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