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Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 16:00:50 EDT
Subject: [x-cobu] Naming:Church/Cult (Again) 

In a message dated 4/20/01 1:44:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Mr. O'Rear is right!!
While true I developed a relationship with Jesus and
was removed from a bad situation personally, COBU
was and is a Cult.. and I personally have stated many
times I can't believe Stewart didn't know what he was/and
is doing.
Does this diminish the personal relationship any of
us had with God?  NO!!
We were taken advantage of!!  Pure and simple.
Mr. O'Rear if you are reading this..
one of the things I've mentioned long ago,
and I still think it to be true (hope I don't get
anyone too upset with me).. is that the main reason
many want to believe in "the good ole days" is to
shield themselves from the humbling reality that
they/we were in a CULT!!
Carol Stutts  >>

And my reply, now that this is a year old, is still the same, so in
discussion we can disagree, and no need to get "upset."  Discussion is part
of why we have this List.

The Forever Family was a house church, and it developed (de-evolved, if you
will) into an abusive church, then it eventually became a cult.  ST was a
human man, who, yes from the beginning, made some really crummy choices
toward sin that he justified, and yes, deceived us into accepting or at least
tolerating.  But most did not have direct contact with him. 

Then, as time went on, he became more and more evil, probably, in my opinion,
because he did make a profession of faith, then backslid (when this happened
is pretty near to the beginning of COBU because of his lust for Gayle). In
attaining his goal for Gayle, and in dumping Shirley, he was still
unsatisfied, and in surrendering his will to the seven demons who came back
in when he turned from God, he became at least seven times worse, which is
when he went for money.  In getting money he was still insatiable, as the
real lust in demons is for souls, so he is now into personal power, which is
why I fear for the lives of those IN in case of a Kool-Aid scenario.  I also
believe as Jesus prayed "forgive them for they know not what they do" about
the Pharisaical religious leaders, there is probably a measure of ST that
doesn't know what he is doing fully, although he knows he is a liar, thief,
fraud and deceiver.  But I think the demons have him so deceived personally
that he has no conscience, so he is letting them make disciples for hell
blatantly now. 

But in saying this, I feel the FF was a church, then the Cobu became a
"church that abuses" because in its beginning it was still teaching about
salvation through Christ, then the more and more works orientation was piled
on, all kinds of stupid rules and formulas, then it did become a cult, where
the theology is just rotten.  Jim and I left about the time it was actually
becoming a cult, when I would put it at an abusive church.  Without ST, it
would have still been a church, however unconventional, or IF ST had not
backslidden, accepted his responsibilities towards his wife and family and
allowed Jesus to change him.  But he was lured and enticed by his own
desires, which to me shows the very deviousness of sin, that it could happen
to anyone, in any place of "power," and maybe there are some who would be in
denial about that.
(I think Chris Blaise might agree with me on this, as he had a "vision" to
that effect).

Let us not forget that we are not the only group to have had this similar
degeneration process. Bible based groups today exist in all of these phases. 
That is scary to me. Maureen and Beth have a voice in this, as should we all
if we see "stuff" in our churches.  I've said things in church before to
voice concern about not wanting to see too much "program orientation" over
personal relationship with Jesus, and people think I am "just coming from my
fears because I have been hurt."  Well, duh, "once bitten twice shy," right? 
We have learned all this in hindsight now, but didn't know more than what our
gut (or you could say the protective voice of the Spirit looking out for our
best good) was telling us IN (and we were conditioned not to listen!)  Group
dynamics are part of the battlefield of the struggle we are all in, until we
are w/Jesus.

I will not change my views on this, it is a timeline thing.  (Just as the
school I went to became Trinity International University, I was there when it
was Trinity College, not TIU, although I know this is a positive, not a
negative example). I don't deny being taken advantage of, (so you can't say
I'm 'just in denial'); I think I get misunderstood because people don't
listen to my specific points because they have a generalized view.  It was
given to mankind to name things, and personally semantics means something to
me.   I do not fully disagree with Mr. O'Rear, but I can't agree with him
100% either.  And maybe I had more "good olde days" than some others might
have! I got out before many of you, and I found a good husband in this x-boo
man... LOL.
Nancy C.