Subject: Permission to reprint letters and contact former COBU brethren
Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 06:12:21 -0400
From: Chris Hirtler
Yes, please print my last letter and print this one as well. I would like to see how many other brethren are out there and remember the way things were at the beginning and how they coped after leaving. I'm sure we all have comparable experiences. Another brother who I've recently contacted and met with called COBU in NY and was told by two members that they NO LONGER PREACH THE NEW BIRTH.(This occurred only within the last week, today is 10/1/98). Having been a GET SMART GET SAVED - er, this is a sign to me that Stewart has turned away from Jesus. Jesus gave him gifts which cannot be appreciated unless witnessed in person and used Stewart to give us the "finest of wheat". As the brother with whom I just recenly met with said, "the feeding stopped in '78". That is why many of the bible studies were so watery later on - he stopped feeding us like he had been. There was a marked difference in the early and later bible studies. I noticed a big change in Stewart and the fellowship after his first wife left him and I think it planted a seed of bitterness in him which tool a long time to germinate. When I left, I noticed the gifts that Jesus gave me would be taken away gradually. There were some sudden changes, but for the most part the Holy Spirit allowed me to still continue with them, perhaps because He is faithful when we are not. My own reaction to Stewart's overt backsliding is that he was alone and unapproachable for so long, and not tolerating any criticism, he finally couldn't bear up to the difference between how he was living and the true Gospel. I must say that Stewart was never, ever harsh with me and always tried to help me so I bear him no ill will. However, I do hold him accountable for the excesses that he permitted to go on, of which we are all familiar and don't need any further embellishment or description. And of which I was part of.
There is much more that needs to be said and shared among all of us survivors. I very much want to understand just what is the right and the wrong in all this experience. The rub is that I'm left with a big question as to how do we actually serve Jesus once lambhood is over. How does one continue without falling into the same compromises and frivoloties I see the goofy church christans doing without exception? And then how does one not resort to Moses? There is no pat answer otherwise we would have it down already. I know that if I were to say and live all that I see, I would be alienating everybody around me in a big hurry, christians included. Again, there is so much that needs to be shared now that we can "speak freely". The computer age can help us to accomplish this. And I would especially want to hear from brethren who lived in the Princeton house with Stewart who have any direct klnowldge about an event where a sister named Joy Eiery found something or witnessed something so upsetting that she had to be calmed down by Stewart. The information I have is patchy and I want to know what took place exactly.