Remnant Fellowship: Founding a Following
Remnant Fellowship was founded in 1999 by nutrition and diet guru Gwen Shamblin, creator of the Weigh Down Workshop Diet. Weigh Down Workshop and Weigh Down Advanced is a diet program which makes use of Christian principles to help participants lose weight and work toward a closer relationship with God. Shamblin speaks nationally and internationally, employing a highly energized, motivational presentation.
Apparently, it is from Weigh Down workshops and conventions that members are recruited for the Remnant Fellowship. They get "caught up in Mrs. Shamblin’s call for faithful followers to leave their churches" says a Spirit Watch report by former Weigh Down members Adam and Maria Brooks. Remnant Fellowship began with a small group from Shamblin's former church and say they have reached a membership of 130 Fellowships, in U.S. cities, Hawaii, Canada, and the Bahamas.
Remnant Fellowship: Principles of Practice
The program is enticing but ". . .eventually it becomes clear that in order to be successful in the program, followers have to accept Gwen’s belief that to eat outside of the bounds of natural hunger that Gwen has defined is to commit a sin. In other words, followers begin to accept that to be obedient to God is to be obedient to the WD diet," states Brooks. Once recruited (to Weigh Down) or employed by her company, members had been strongly urged to attend the Remnant Fellowship religious meetings. The Spirit Watch report goes on to say that in time, those who do not attend have been dismissed, resulting in a religious discrimination lawsuits.
Additional testimonies report Remnant's practices are:
- To downplay scientific and medical community data on diet (this gradually creates mistrust in "outsiders" and loyalty to Shamblin).
- To read and study only the NIV Bible and negate all other materials and commentaries as they present a "false Jesus and false grace message."
- To misuse Scripture, taken out of context or misinterpreted at Shamblin's will to fit her program.
- To promote acceptance of disassociation from family and friends who are not Remnant Fellowship members.
- To realize all other modern churches are counterfeit churches.
Most alarming are The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry findings: "Ms. Shamblin denies the Trinity, the true deity of Christ, and the personhood and true deity of the Holy Spirit. She is teaching false doctrine about God. This is such an important issue that Thomas Nelson Publishers has canceled the next weight-loss book by Shamblin. She has been removed from the Women of Faith web site."
They add, ". . .the problem with this diet is not in the diet itself but in the association with the false doctrine taught by Gwen Shamblin. She denies the Trinity doctrine. In her article Teaching the Trinity, Shamblin says 'I believe that Jesus and God are two separate beings. I believe that Jesus is our Lord (referenced hundreds of times), and God (referenced approximately three times) is God, but I believe that the God of Jesus is God the Father. Jesus is not God the Father.'"
Remnant Fellowship: A Bad Apple in the Barrel
Remnant Fellowship's doctrine on the triune God, foundational in Christendom, should set off an alarm in any true believer and student of the Bible. Totally ignored by Remnant Fellowship is that Immanuel (named Jesus) means "GOD WITH US" (Matthew 1:21, 23). Shamblin defiantly disregards John 10:30 where Jesus himself says "I and my Father are one." (See also John 17:11.)
Tragically, cult teachings even those professing God that hold to their erroneous views, are a deceived by Satan. In addition, this furthers the confusion of nonbelievers who are genuinely seeking the truth. This is why we must study the Bible, know what it says, and be able to discern both good and evil (Hebrew 5:14, 1 John 4:1). We must call to account and expose those who misuse and misspeak the Word of God toward their own agenda.
Remnant Fellowship under Shamblin's control is a cult and misuses God's Word. After reading a great deal of material, including Shamblin's, we find it true that Remnant Fellowship uses a great deal of actual Scripture. However, much of it is taken out of context and twisted. Erroneous comments are added that present subtle deceptions. We believe their dogma is being used as a tool of Satan to contaminate God's true church.
www.spititwatch.org/remnantwatch.htm; www.equip.org/free/DS570; www.carm.org/features/weighdown.htm; www.remnantfellowship.org; www.apologeticsindex.org.
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