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Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 00:24:09 EDT
Subject: [x-cobu] Response to Barry/Experiment

Okay, here we go, let's clarify.  I am not going to back down that the
original group of young people (who happened to get deceived by ST) were
wrong in wanting to form a group of Christian people who wanted to band
together to witness to people and see them become like-minded Christians. 
That was the experiment. 

Personally I have taken heat here before for saying I wish God would just
take ST "out" even now, I don't know why God lets him live! - and I think the
FF would have still gone on without him, and maybe would have "fizzled" as a
bunch of old hippies, but without ST it would never have turned into the
monster it has become.  Now maybe others have a point that ST (whatever you
want to call him) began evil, or maybe as some say he began "good" and got
messed up, lured and destroyed by his own temptations and indulgences like
any other human, then it led to demonic, whatever.  MY POINT IS that the
Forever Family, the unity of the original ones, totally apart from ST (which
can only be hypothesis, I admit) was NOT a bad thing.

Those people (even us), loved the Lord Jesus Christ, were saved by Him alone,
wanted to see others saved, and THAT is the experiment I am talking about. 
It was a noble idea, and I am still for church planting, and yes, people are
going to be very human in their circumstances. Sometimes a new church works,
sometimes it gets messed up, mostly because of leadership.  But even some
young leaders, filled with the Holy Spirit, do not have to have seminary
degrees to lead people well.  With a degree from a Christian college, the
baptism of the Holy Spirit personally, three years as a pastor's wife in a
"traditional" setting, (since being out of Cobu), I still feel I too can say
that.  Otherwise, nobody should ever do something "new." Tradition is not
"all that" either.  Training is always good, but can even stifle leaders at
times; it often bogs down missionaries especially (with student loans to pay
back too!)

If there were only "bad" in Cobu, none of us would have stayed any time at
all.  It is just too simplistic to say it was always "hellish" indeed, there
were some wonderful times between us as brethren, as young people, and this
is not "mythology."  It is extremely unfortunate that what has happened did
at all, but it does not negate the truth that we were idealistic CHRISTIAN
young people, the majority, and to say any less is to insult the memory/honor
of those who suffered for their faith IN. (MHO) 

I am not trying to propagate a memory that would lead anyone to returning,
God forbid.  I am just saying that apart from ST it was a noble experiment of
young people who wanted to band together for each other's good and to have a
safe haven in (our) generation where ideas on religious subjects could be
shared along with food, etc.  Most of us needed that. Even the ones still
sought out later (the sincere homeless) needed that.  What happened was our
needs were manipulated by ST.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I think God reaches into various people
groups in terms and ways that are indigenous to each, and the idea of the FF
was part of the 70's.  (You had to be there I guess!)  God was using
"hippies" to reach "hippies" and such we were; not many of us were of noble
birth, as the verse goes.  We were mostly "counter-culture" people. 
Tradition obviously still doesn't appeal to most here.  (I took heat for just
talking about Lent!) Without Traill, I still think it had merit.
And you know that Lewis Grizzard quote "even a fool can have an opinion..."
so call me a fool if you wish.  We each risked something to be part of what
we thought was a greater good.  We each took a leap, an experiment.  There
just wasn't any water in the pool when it came to ST.  But with Jesus there
is abundance for our thirst.
Nancy C.