the Spirit Watch
First Church's Discernment At Work - "Weigh Down Discontinued"
This was an actual announcement on a church website found on the Internet in late 2002. It was said to be a pastorally authored statement on why the church was withdrawing from participation with the Weigh Down Workshop. We've changed the name of the church but are reposting their announcement to provide an example of why the "mere Christianity" of Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship has been soundly discerned by the Christian Church as being found sorely wanting: we recommend that those who care about their Christian faith and want to hitch it to the Weigh Down bandwagon in an effort to lose weight consider this concise and uncompromising stand that one church against the wiles of Remnant Fellowship's deceptive recruitment practices:
First Church began the Weigh Down Workshop program in 1997. Since then dozens of area participants have benefited from weight loss and healthier lifestyle changes. First Church sponsored several of the 30,000 weight loss groups among 60 denominations of which Weigh Down Workshop once boasted.
However, First Church has discontinued all Weigh Down programs for significant and disturbing reasons. We would have discontinued earlier if we would have discovered what we now know or if other enlightened churches would have informed us about Weigh Down. There are still many churches in our area participating in the program; therefore, we believe it is important to share what we have discovered in the past few months for the sake of those churches which still may be uninformed.
In January, First Church offered Weigh Down Advanced to those who had completed the initial diet program and desired to continue losing weight or keeping it off; however, group members expressed growing concerns over the course’s philosophical content, and they decided not to use the videos. Recently, several members attended a Weigh Down seminar led by Gwen Shamblin, founder and leader of Weigh Down, which confirmed that the diet program has become a platform for recruiting people into Remnant Fellowship, a religious group accused of professing non-christian beliefs and encouraging people to leave their home churches and even families if necessary to join this supposed "true church."
Therefore, both Weigh Down Workshop and Weigh Down Advanced programs have been discontinued by First Church. The reasons for this decision follow.
Gwen Shamblin publicly maintains her disbelief in the Holy Trinity: "I believe that Jesus and God are two separate beings." Jesus Christ is viewed as neither co-equal with God in power nor in glory. The Holy Spirit is described as an attitude. As an example, Weigh Down Advanced videos change the lyrics of "Holy! Holy! Holy!" from "God in three persons, blessed Trinity" to "God over all and blest eternally." You may read her statements at www.wdworkshop.com/wdw/wdwfa
Despite profusely quoting Biblical passages and using common Christian terminology (e.g. Lord, Savior, Son, Christ) Jesus Christ is never declared as God the Son nor affirmed as a personal Savior but appears as a created being.
Shamblin’s videos, tapes, and printed materials emphasize a "works theology" with heavy emphasis on repentance but little about forgiveness and nothing on salvation by grace through faith in Christ. She scathingly attacks the Christian doctrine of grace as a lie whereby demons work through churches to create care-free attitudes toward sin.
Shamblin obviously utilizes Weigh Down Advanced as a means to indoctrinate people into Remnant Fellowship, a religious group claiming to be a remnant of called-out believers forming the "true church." Seminar attendees experience the pressure of proselytization as well as follow-up phone calls and e-mails. In the Weigh Down Advanced materials she boldly attacks Christian pastors and churches as "the counterfeit church" and "the prostitute church" and encourages people to leave their home churches to join Remnant Fellowship (Tape 10, Side B). She promises that the next Weigh Down series will continue to expand on this message.
First Church refuses to affiliate with or endorse either Weigh Down or Remnant Fellowship. We encourage other Christian bodies to carefully study this issue and make appropriate decisions. For information about the Weigh Down controversy and theological statements about Remnant Fellowship, log on to hoyweb.com/faq/wdw. First Church will offer an alternate weight management program this fall.
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