---- Original Message -----
From: "Robert San Pascual" <bsp15@juno.com>
To: <sharpen@egroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2000 7:23 PM
Subject: [sharpen] the role of sisters
 

> Steve, I don't agree with the rest of Jim's paragraph that you referred
> to below regarding the role of brothers and sisters (I won't get into
> that again -- I still have some scars from last year [smile]), but I do
> agree with him that God is neither male nor female. I believe that when
> God refers to Himself as our Father, He is using a figure of speech. It
> seems to me that He took something that we were familiar with, parent
and child relationships, and used it to communicate to us some truths about
> himself. God is spirit (Jn. 4:24), and I don't think spirits have
> genders.
>
> When God created male and female, He created both in His image. It's my
> opinion that He made males to reflect certain characteristics about
> Himself and females to reflect others. One gender alone could not
reflect enough of the traits that He wanted to communicate.
>
> In Christ,
> Bob San Pascual
>
>
> Brother Jim,
> Don't mean to be too disagreeable but regarding your comment: "Besides,
> God is not male. Or female." While God is not a man or a woman, Jesus did
> teach the disciples to pray "Our Father"... and Heb.12:9 says we should
> "subject ourselves to the Father of spirits and live." Too many other Old and
New Testament references about God being our Father to list them all here.
> What exactly did you mean?
> Yours in Christ,
> Sola Scriptura,
> Steve
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Message: 3
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 09:02:42 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

Hi, Steve,

When I use the term "figure of speech," I don't mean that the truth God
is trying to communicate through that metaphor, simile, or other figure
of speech is any less true or important. By referring to Himself as a
Father, God is indeed attempting to communicate to us something about His
attributes. In biblical times, the term "father" would have communicated
authority, strength, provider, protector, teacher, etc.
 Jesus called God Father rather than God or God Almighty to show that He
had a unique relationship with Him and that Jesus' identity as the one
and only Son of God was and is unique.
 I don't address God as Mother because there are no examples or commands
to that effect. However, He does have certain attributes that He
communicates more clearly through the example of females than through
males. Paul understood this when he used the word mother as a simile in 1
Thess. 2:6-7: "As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,
but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little
children."

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
 

Brother Bob,
I think there is something a bit deeper here than just a "figure of
speech".Particularly the verse in Heb.12:9-'Father of spirits' seems to be
referring to quite a specific attribute of God.
And in John 17, Jesus addresses God as Father at least 6 times. Why
didn't Jesus just address Him as God or God Almighty?
And look up the salutations of the letters in the NT.
Why not address God as Mother, if Father is just a figure of speech?
What say you brother Herm?
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
-
===========================
Message: 4
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 08:35:07 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: Hebrews 6:4-8

Herm wrote:
Hi Bob, When you say preformed doctrine about assurance, what do you
mean? By your words you seem to say that I didn't carefully study assurance,

Bob's response:
I didn't mean to imply that you "didn't carefully study assurance." I
certainly have a lot of respect for your knowledge of God's Word and
desire to obey it. Let me try to clarify what I meant.
 When I approached this passage, I resolved to try to be as objective as
I could, not allowing what I previously believed about assurance to
predetermine the meaning of the passage before I began an in-depth study
of the passage. I didn't want to say, "Because I believe in eternal
security, therefore this passage must not apply to Christians. It's
either hypothetical or speaking of unbelievers." That approach would have
boxed me in before I even started grappling with the text. I would have
already ruled out one possibility (that Christians can commit apostasy)
even before examining that possibility. One commentator wrote that most
who approached this passage looking to find what they wanted to find did
just that. He was referring to subjectivism, the error I sought to avoid
from the outset.

Herm wrote:
I think however, the issue that we mainly disagree about is 1) the
definition of a born again Christian 2) what is grace & salvation? Is saving grace
for everyone; or only for the elect? When can eternal life not be eternal? &
what does God promise to those who are given salvation? 3) What is the
atonement?Who did Christ die in the place for,
as a substitute? 4) Lastly what are the scripture passages in the context
that support sound doctrine of this? These questions must be answered
before
we come to the conclusion
that a person who is truly saved can lose his salvation. Do you agree?

Bob's response:
1) I believe that a born again Christian is one who has been regenerated
by the Holy Spirit and has received Christ as Lord and Savior. 2) To me,
grace is God's reaching out to sinful people to pardon and receive them.
Salvation is the result of grace -- it is the reconciliation of sinful
man to a holy God on the basis of Christ's substitutionary sacrifice.
Salvation has a past, present, and future aspect. 3) The atonement is
Christ's substitutionary death on behalf of the elect. It is applied by
the Holy Spirit when one is regenerated and believes. 4) I don't
understand what you mean by the first part of #4. I don't agree that
these questions must be answered first, and this is where we disagree. We
disagree on the approach, the methodology. I believe each text must be
approached individually. The meaning of text A must not be determined by
the meaning of text B BEFORE studying text A. Each passage has to be
studied individually, then the conclusions drawn from the separate
passages can be integrated to form a doctrinal position.

Herm wrote:
I myself studied this question for quite some time, that is, the
scriptures pro & con & the conclusions of both positions.
My early years as a Christian I believed & defended the teaching of one
can lose his salvation, for a total of 8 years. I believed this even after I
left Cobu for 2 years. I actually strongly asked a brother to leave our fellowship, who believed this
so-called doctrine of demons. I would gladly share my conclusions to these questions & I hope that you
would share your understanding of them. For I believe that what you truly
believe & understand determines your behavior. (ROM 12:1-2) & therefore
is very important.

Bob's response:
I can tell you have studied and thought about this doctrine carefully, as
have I. As I alluded to above, I have held a Calvinistic view of
assurance for the past 10 years perhaps. I believe, however, that one's
doctrine has to be constantly open to critique and modification when a
biblical text calls for it. This does not mean being swayed by every wind
of doctrine (Eph. 4). To me, listening to God's voice as I read and study
His Word means being open to His guidance and correction and not trying
to make each passage fit my doctrine. I'm speaking for myself only and
not implying anything about you or anyone else. I do concur that one's
beliefs determine one's behavior and is very important.
 Now that I've answered your questions, I'd like to pose some to you.
What do each of these phrases from Hebrews 6 mean: 1) those who have once
been enlightened, 2) who have tasted the heavenly gift, 3) who have
shared in the Holy Spirit, 4) who have tasted the goodness of the word of
God and the powers of the coming age. 5) Do the above phrases describe
believers or unbelievers? 6) If you believe that the passage is
hypothetical, then what was the point of giving such a dire warning when
the author knew that his readers could not commit apostasy?

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
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Message: 6
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 11:01:37 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

Right Bob SP - and in our culture the imagery of Father that once was honored
is now mocked, repeatedly, always, and it undermines authority.  Respect for
parents is especially mocked, ala Bart Simpson and so many others.  "parents"
is reduced to the teenage slang "the 'rents."  All you "paying rent" to keep
these kids know what I mean...
Nancy C.
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Message: 9
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 15:22:21 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: a little bit of everything:

Instead of replying to each individual letter, I'm trying this:
(it isn't that long, but if it's tiring - don't miss John D's quotes
near the bottom
These are in the order that they were originally received in my box.

Mark T wrote:
My reference is Romans Chapter 14.  I hope I have not tried to be
influential in changing your mind.  Some sisters wrote and said they like my
approach. It is not a major issue, like all the other major points of
Christianity,okay?
Steve S wrote: (and this would be sort of my answer so I copied it...)
I see nothing wrong with trying to persuade others
of what you believe if it is the truth.

Mark L wrote:
Their fathers may well
have been unjust or cruel, but this hatred of them corrupts these
liberals because of the commandment to honor thy father and mother.
Tom responds:
God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.  What formed
these people God understands. Reminds me of people who came from the same
"bad" neighborhood - one goes to prison for life and one is a great success.
Why? God knows.  Or as Roseanne Barr said long ago "All these murderers for a
defense say, 'Oh, I was abused as a child'.  Well I was abused too,
and I feel like killing every minute; but I don't do it!" (which means
they really have no excuse or justification for doing wrong, but for their
"wrong"  thinking - can we really know why and what makes them tick?)  For we are
all the sum total of our life experiences...    Or, at work, I continue to
wonder about the person who puts the label on the tray right next to the words:
"LABEL ON OTHER END"  15 years ago I said scientists searched
to find out what was going on in their brains.  Their conclusion:  Not
much.

Mark L. writes: It sounds like any of us with old fashioned opinions are
something less than what you are!
The whole liberal attitude is to see something wrong with you for seeing
something wrong with them.
Tom's answer:
What, you see something wrong with them?  It can get into the circular
argument as an example:

Nancy C wrote:
 Do not discount sound education.  Once a man who was disdainful of the
educated said to D. L. Moody "God doesn't need your intellect."
Whereupon Moody replied "Nor does God need your ignorance."
Tom wonders:  I don't know, is it me? Yes, there's the point that the
fellow was indeed disdainful of the educated - and you can't condone that
completely, either.  Once again, God knows the heart - and one can understand not
liking those with their nose in the air.  There's more scripture on
that, but let's move on...
 Moody was in one of his moods when he replied to this gentleman.
Why didn't Moody just reply, "Yes, all of my wisdom is as nothing in His
sight?" Or, let him who glories glory in this... I would have to say, of the two
- Moody was the guilty one in ignorance without a doubt.
And I know a brother, who, the fact that he didn't experience any love
from his father drove him in hope to know God as a loving Father.
He was glad to finally find that love. (Ah, there's the HEALTHY
Christian life- not the "bad foot" we got off on when we were born again)

Nancy C wrote:
I did hear two stories recently about churches - one decided they would
close the Bible that was opened on the table and place it behind the pulpit -
it was a symbolic act that indicated how they felt about the Word.  The
other, they took down the cross from the sanctuary, because it was a symbol of
death.  Yes, there are a lot of clueless teachers out there.  What will
make any of us go into the future any better?
Tom's reaction:
These are extreme cases/places.  God knows what drove them there.
Perhaps they will be better for it - maybe not today, but someday tomorrow.  I would much
rather be"ignorant" than as "smart" as Mr. moody Moody.
As for me, I have bookshelves all over the walls in two rooms - and I
have read most of these books cover to cover.  ALL of Wurmbrand's works - including "Answer to Half a
Million Letters" that some of you probably haven't even heard of (printed in India in the
1960's). I have had input and feedback on many subjects.  But it's my "love for
one another" that is the litmus test.  "If I have all knowledge...  Knowledge of the
holy one is insight."  Will people cry when I read Psa. 23?

Jim E wrote:
 The stories and testimonies of those who more recently left
bear the same scars  as the thousands that went before them. To this
day, when any group becomes redundant to the consolidation of his
authority, they are first disgraced, and then replaced.
Tom writes:
Reminds me of the last page of my first "letter to ST" after I left in
1990. "How long till this factory stops churning out spiritual pretzels?" And
there were some very good comparisons/observations in the post
this quote came from.  When it comes to writing a book about our
experiences - Jim could write the summary. (Or, I hate to use the term
because I heard it so much somewhere else, but, the "overview")

Herm W wrote:
Hi Jim, Read EZEL 34:21, it describes exactly what ST is doing as a
shepherd in the above example. "Because you push with your side & with shoulder,
& thrust at all the weak with your horns, until you have scattered them
abroad.Read the chapter for the context.
Tom hearkens back:
to the night of John D speaking with ST at the "Better Get Away Cafe"
around 1998:  John referred to Ezek 34 and ST said to Reggie, "That's not New
Testament;tell him that's not NT, Reggie..."  So John's quick rejoinder was, "Well
how about a hireling?  That's New Testament!"  ST was caught and silenced.

Carol S wrote:
If someone is still bitter, that is okay.  Everyone has there own way of
healing in their own
time.
Tom adds:
One of the 'getting out of a cult' books I read spoke of anger as the
first reaction and step toward healing - thinking of how you had been taken advantage of
and lost all that time, etc.  Yes, one should move beyond this.  I think all of us are
better for having gotten out and away.  But as we hear of more  atrocities; as more join
the list and add their horrendous stories ( this by no means means that anyone
shouldn't vent - this  is an equal opportunity place - and many of us had our moments already)
we all tend to relive the bitterness/astonishment - whatever you want to
call it, as we learn of even more goings on you never thought possible.
I don't think more confirmation about how we were had and are now doing
the right thing* - I don't mind.  Some may desperately need it.  Especially those
who are to leave in the future - when they open their minds and hearts to all of this info
don'tcha think it will do them good?

Carol S wrote:
I also rec'd another conformation to my conclusion.  In a phone call to
Ann B. we both clearly remember seeing Stew make
jokes with Gayle about:  "They'll believe anything."  Etc.  That was in the
early to mid 80's.
Tom hearkens back to John D again:
It was during the van business (I think) in the early 1980's when John
confided in ST: "I just don't feel like I'm in fellowship with the brothers
unless I'm guilty."Stewart uproariously laughed.

The MO.
There's a saying: "It's easy to make a Christian guilty"
And you know that guilt can be an easy motivation.
What's your motivation?  What someone tells you it is -
or is there something stirring underneath amongst the spiritual physics?

have a nice day

*I don't know about you - for all of the 1980's I was out of the
fellowship but always felt I knew where it was I had to go if I ever "wanted to be serious and get right
with Jesus"And after leaving in 1990 for the last time - I still wasn't sure for
almost a year - you know -those nagging doubts that "you left the only true way" and all the rest
of it.  Those nagging doubts can linger if you don't let God heal them.  Because of the way I
was programmed, I thought that getting rid of these nagging questions would be concomitant
with killing my conscience. Not so.  Be glad and rejoice.  Jesus lives outside the abusive walls of
Cobu.  We're a mixed bunch now, a motley crew for sure - but only now can have any chance of
experiencing the freedom spoken about in Scripture.  My nagging voices are gone - but one day
they came back -around 10/9/98 when I was talking with Steve Torpe at the cafe.  For
more on that go to my site - FACE TO FACE - visits, 10/10/98.
http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/greenside/55/themap.html
Fortunecity sent me a report saying that they had given me a shorter URL

and I was going to put it here - but it doesn't work! (at least, not
yet...)
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Message: 12
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 16:21:58 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

Dear Buckwheat, (Mark T) - the idea of "striving," please bro, that word is
clogged with testosterone.  If both people are honoring one another in love
is more appealing to my feminine sensibilities... LOL.... HAHAHAHA
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 14
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 16:53:54 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: a little bit of everything:

Hi Tom - regarding your replies to my postings, I am not 100% sure I am
following you, and possibly you didn't follow me.  My point in the D.L.Moody
story was not to say old D.L. was uppity - you've doubtless met Christians
that advocate that their knowledge comes "only from the Bible" to the
exclusion of any outside sources (ST was one, although now we have it that
some of his sources were in Hustler mag.), and who therefore think that any
formal Christian education is somehow "sinful" or "prideful."  D.L. went on
to form Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.  Now, I'm charismatic, but I am
also educated at the college level, as are many of us on this list,
especially now that we are OUT.  I'm not advocating that education "saves"
you over a personal relationship with God, or that people who don't have the
chance , to get an education are "less," (money is a big deterrent, believe me
my student loans tell me that, if I was wealthy I'd still be soaking it all
in, there is so much to this life!) just that it is helpful to study what it
is you truly believe and why, especially from time-tested sources.  I do
think maybe you were trying to make the point that the MOST important thing,
above study - "of the making of many books there is no end," is relationship
to God (and to others, who we do see). If so, then that is a point on which I
agree with you. I have found that people who are generally, and I say
generally, so forgive any stereotyping, into being disdainful of education
are those who have the agenda of wanting some kind of power and control.
(You know, Pentecostal Holiness preachers up in the hills that don't think a
woman needs to know how to read and write and she shouldn't braid her hair
neither cause'n that's what the Scripture says.Here, wanna handle this here
snake?  Shows yer faith?) They have their own "interpretation" to protect.
LOL - Nancy C.

__________
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Message: 4
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 04:14:26 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Re[2]: Final SWITCH

Well........here we are once again, at a Big Meeting, only this is really big
because it's across the ENTIRE U.S.

Who would have thought there would have been the Internet 10 or 20 years ago.

Perhaps we should be thankful to ST because if it wouldn't have been for him
we would not have found ourselves in this situation.

Everyone who had been in the COBU is different, but I think we all have one
thing in common and feel we should focus on that, that we are all somehow
obsessed with God and the Truth.  Nobody even knows about witnessing
techniques like us, the average person could just CARE LESS!  Also, I think
"sharpen" is a very appropriate word, because we can now sharpen our skills
and debate Scripture in order to come to a better understanding.

Concerning Stewart, I have a good verse from Ecclesiastes:  "To the man who
pleases him God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness; but to the sinner he
gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth, only to hand it over to
the one who pleases God (NIV)"  I don't know if this totally applies but
somewhat to Stew and definitely to the Internet, Microsoft, Bill Gates, etc.
 
 

Mark T.
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Message: 6
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 04:37:34 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

O.K. Nancy (C.) - I'll try to "abstain" from using the word striving, but
striving = trying.  I'm sure you know what I'm "driving" at.    LOL
Mark T.
 

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Message: 7
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 04:41:20 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

P.S. - Nancy C.  "Honor one another in Love" sounds better to me too.

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Message: 4
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 10:38:33 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

Okay Mark T - hope you know I'm only teasing you bro.  Sometimes the joking
part doesn't come across on e-mail even if you write HAAHAHA or ROFLOL.
:)
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 7
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 13:10:34 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Okay to call God mother?

IS IT OKAY TO CALL GOD MOTHER?
Considering the Feminine Face of God
Paul R Smith

Some books I have gotten I haven't read at all.  They're just too
"Christian" and have no ring of reality in them.  This
particular book had a book mark at page 90 so I guess I lost
interest at that point.  As I pick it up again,( as I was asked about El
Shaddai ), there was no Index in the back for easy reference
and the chapter titles didn't help a whole lot either.
I  started re reading and I was taken
aback as I too, was shocked at the idea of calling God Mother.
I was turned off.  And if I was, (someone open to the thought),
then what about those totally closed to the thought?!
But I'll pass along this little bit to consider - - -
The opening to the book is great:
Introduction
I started my lover's quarrel with the church when I was
eighteen.  Sniffing around and realizing that my church didn't
smell like the New Testament, I decided either it was possible
to recover that aroma, or I needed to forget about church work
and go make some money.  The idea of spending my life as the
bland leading the bland didn't appeal to me.
     However, I kept finding pockets of renewal which energized
me, and I eventually discovered a church that was willing to enter
into an astounding degree of spiritual vitality and biblical faith-
fulness, exceeding all my expectations.  The most recent of the
nine major changes we have experienced over the thirty years of
my pastorate there has been recognizing the feminine image of
God.  In one sense I wrote this book so that our congregation
could have a fuller explanation of why I believe...
and he goes on and I wasn't really buying it.

I thumbed to later chapters and consider these things he says:
Chpt 3, But Jesus Called God Father, not Mother - - -
Jesus called god "My Father," "Your Father," and "the Father."
How did Jesus' first followers address God?
I was stunned!  In all eleven prayers and the twelve nam-
ings, God was named four times as "Lord," three as "Lord God
Almighty," twice as "Lord Jesus," once as "Lord and God," once
as "Holy One," and once as "Sovereign Lord."  And not at all as
Father.
...I was amazed again as I found that
deity is most referred to as God (1055 times), next as Lord,
including references to Jesus (476 times), and then, a distant
third, as Father (78 times).  The New Testament writers did not
even prefer Father as their most used term in talking about
God... they named God as Father only about one time out of every
twenty times God is named.
Like I say, I evidently lost interest in the book and didn't
even get halfway through.  But here are some quotes from the
back cover of the book:

This book is a tour de force.  Is is simply magnificent - witty, scholarly,
profoundly persuasive, blunt, prophetic, and convicting this slow to believe
disciple all over the place. - Brennan Manning
I'm not sure what to make of it all, but Paul Smith gives the best arguments I
have ever come across for calling God Mother.  For anyone struggling with
how far we should go in using inclusive language, this is "must" reading.
Tony Compolo

Oh, and Mark (T) was right about El Shaddai.  That name has to do with
mountain,
but it also has a strong maternal thing about it.  The original root of that
word

has to do with female anatomy and nurturing  - and that's what it meant to them
back then when these verses first came into being.
I'll conclude with this that's in the book:

"As a theological student I always thought that God was a spirit
and not an image.  But I had an image of God as a Caucasian
man with blue eyes, long hair, with a big nose and a white robe.
My intellectual side said, "God has no image.  God is spirit."  But
all my upbringing as a Christian in Korea in a Korean church
that was founded by Western missionaries, all my Sunday
school education, was based on this picture of God who looks
like Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments.
Through a long personal struggle I realized one that my
image of God is like a middle-aged Korean woman looking
like my mother - very warm, affirming, available, strong, and
"down to earth."  When I pray, this image comes to me.  This is
my image of God now.  It's very liberating because before, when
I prayed to God who was white, who was old, who was a man,
it was difficult for me to feel connected with him."
Hyung Kyung Chung - Professor of Theology in Korea

Mindsets and sacred cows are very tough customers.
I myself have been through "snapping" experiences.  Being at the
"grace" meeting in 1989 was one of them.  Here I was, born (spiritually)
and raised in Cobu.  My biblical understanding and view of God were
learned/weaned in this environment.  Now, in early 1989
I'm being told "Everything you know is wrong" (which, coincidentally
is the title of a Firesign Theater album - they were a comedy team
about as popular in the 1970's as Monty Python and Cheech and
Chong.  On the cover of the album were two photos - underneath
reading Marx and Lenin.  The photos were of Groucho and John -
(the Beatle); think about it - everything you know is wrong)
I'm not saying "you must believe" this fellow.  I'm also not saying
not to.  In my opinion, it can only open doors.  One thing in my
Christian life - doors have been opened.  If it helps your
relationship with Jesus Christ - go for it.  If it doesn't help
your relationship with Jesus Christ - leave it.  What is it Paul
said - something about "wanting to promote your good order."
I don't want to make this a point of contention.  It really doesn't
matter.  Jesus died for our sins and we're going to be with
Him for ever and ever.  The rest is details.  Some are blessed
by some of the details, and some aren't.  There was one line in
Men In Black as Tommy Lee Jones spoke to Will Smith -  He said,
"A thousand years ago everyone was convinced we were the center
of the universe and 500 years ago every thought the world was flat;
and up to five minutes ago you thought..."
Romans 14.
(are you going to tell me now "the devil's in the details?")

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Message: 10
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 15:51:27 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Balaam

>   Jude also makes
> reference
> > to Balaam's error.  Balaam was confronted by an angel of the Lord while in
> > the process of doing what God had told him to do.  Why was God angry
then?
> > Was it the condition of his heart?
> >                                         In Christ, Amy
> >

God didn't "tell" him to go.  Balaam had asked once, and God said no.
When Balaam asked again, God indeed did say "yes".
But here's where the written word and the spirit of the word come into
play.  I think we would be surprised to hear the sarcasm in Jesus' voice
at times - especially when He said, "It's not right to feed the dogs."
He knew what the woman was and blatantly used the term right in front
of her.  But you know that's not the way he felt.
Like I said before, I got some JW's hot over this one - Balaam's error -
and why was God angry that he went when God said he could go?
The JW's couldn't find the answer in any of their books.
It's probably there in the way it was said - and I wonder if it was passed
down that way - as the Torah was painstakingly copied (without the vowels)
and an oral tradition was handed down alongside the consonants.
When God said "Yes" the second time Balaam asked - it was equivalent
to him asking God if it was okay to go jump off a bridge, and God sarcastically
answered, "Oh, all right.  Go jump off a bridge."  He wasn't giving his approval
at all; just telling him to go and do what he was going to do anyway.  Balaam
already knew how God felt about it.
To answer the question - I suppose it would be the condition on his heart.
 
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 11
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 17:07:44 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: end from begin - Cyrus

cbHIMtg@cs.com wrote: When you said, "God declares the end from the

> beginning,'' is that on account of God's
> omniscience only, or is 'declared' to be understood in the sense of
ordaining
> everything that happens? By his decree everything happens as He wills
it to
> happen (EPN 1:11) There is nothing outside His control. No one thwarts
His
> will (DAN 4:35, JOB 42:2, ISA 43:13). As it relates to man, the
scriptures is
> clear, God orders the steps of everyone (PRO 16:9, PS 37:23-24, PHIL
2:13,
> EPN 2:10)
>

Wasn't Cyrus written about about 400 years before he was born?
And didn't someone show him the scripture concerning himself?
Just a small interesting point that I don't know if I'm remembering
correctly.
________________________________________________________________________
 

Message: 13
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 19:02:00 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: TO STEVE SAXTON

Brother Mike,
Thank you bro, for the great job you have done and are doing with the lists and
with the angelfire site. I have been personally blessed and challenged to
examine my faith and to dive into the bible at times to see if these things
really are so.
I don't think you really realize how much God has used you to help all of us who
have come out of cobu. The "reunions" have been a way for healing that I never
thought I needed-it all goes to show what a truly awesome, loving God we have.
I know I have gone through some changes I didn't expect-like when I jumped all
over Tom P's case about the "reading other people's mail" view of the Letters (NT). I
have grown to really value Tom's insight and gentleness toward everyone here.
He really is quite a brain but would never boast about it.
Brother Herm has a depth of knowledge of the scriptures that is breathtaking and
uses love as his application method when he expounds the vast amount of truth
that God has blessed him with.
Sister Carol has a "look you straight in the eye" no nonsense manner that shows
loyalty and boldness born out of fiery ordeals.
Sister Nancy has such an eloquent way with words and thoughts that paint
pictures on an epic level.
I could go on and on with the rest on this onelist. God truly has given everyone
here talents that enrich all of us.
And tying it all together is the "bond"-we have a "bond" almost like being blood
brothers and sisters. You know like the movies we saw when we were kids
about  two people (usually) an Indian and a white guy each cutting their wrist and
joining their wrists so their blood mingled.
Anyway bro, thank you for your kind comments-and for your example of what a
husband, father, and brother in Christ should be.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: montoya
  To: sharpen@egroups.com
  Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2000 5:23 AM
  Subject: [sharpen] TO STEVE SAXTON
 

  Goodness gracious, thank you Stev of the Fiords for posting this. Well said,
well constructed, I thought I was losing my mind there for a sec.

  mm
===============================================================

Message: 16
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 19:15:43 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

Brother Mark,
I have to take your side on this one bro. (sorry sis). The term striving is
definitely in the bible ie."Only let your manner of life be worthy of the
gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may
hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side
by side for the faith of the gospel,"(RSV-Phil.) Stew perverted it's use but
that only means we need to reclaim it and use it as God intended. Let's take
back the ground that Stew usurped. God has given us that authority.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
 

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________________________________________________________________________

Message: 18
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 20:09:57 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Terms of... Non-Endearment???

Love ya King Stev - Maybe that term is more in usage in the Fiords.  I was
basically teasing because those of us IN were subjected to that idea of
"striving."  I can't hear the word now without the mental picture of some
poor bro standing up going through the torture and terror of public speaking
only to be either exalted beyond what was good for his pride, or smashed into
a thousand psychological fragments!  Another word like that for me is
"Applesauce."  It was coined by George Venarchick.  It had to do with verve
and boldness and that "every mother's son" blondie smile of his that got him
into the apartments of old ladies to close their carpet deals.  And "grinding
out the sausages" - another reference to brothers standing up and making a
half-hearted attempt to try to fix complicated situations through reading
Bible verses in the meeting - and they were mocked for their attempt because
everyone knew it was way beyond their effort and it was a torment to us all
to hear them droning on.  You did use these terms also, did you not?  Mark T.
might not have been IN during some of this, (if so, thank God.)  Nancy C.  PS
- you know I am one for redemption bro.  Thanks for the bible reference - it
was NOT sausage!  LOL
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Message: 22
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 21:41:50 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: fresh view

Steve Saxton wrote:

>  I urge them and encourage them to ask God to
> give them a fresh view of His Word. Read  it anew and ask the Holy
Spirit to give real understanding where perversion (of the Word) ruled.
> I can testify that God took the crooked and made it straight for me.
Not over night, but over a period of time

Back around 1991 I was reading Hinds Feet in High Places, whatever
that book is called (it's not just for sisters - a lot of sisters were
reading it) I was like halfway through the book, and I went to the park to read, but
before reading I asked God to do something because the book had become
boring and I didn't know if it was the book or it was me.
It was me.
After praying before reading, I opened it up and it came to life.
This is the only time I remember this happening.
 
 

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Message: 23
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 22:41:15 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Terms of... Non-Endearment???

Sister Nancy,
Of course I used them. Do you think I was a pagan? I loved to say
"applesauce" but when we really wanted to be cool we would just say "Sauce".
Sauce, sis. : )
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
-----=====================================================

Message: 24
   Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 22:44:04 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: fresh view

Brother Tom,
God has special times for us like that. I think He saves them for when we
really need them.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

=====================================================
 

Message: 9
   Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 17:46:30 EDT
   From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

Sure, the authority I refer to is that derived from our Heavenly Father.
Not an authority that is demanded, but commanded by a true husband, who
truly represents heaven in his household.
A true husband is ruled by the Holy Spirit and conscience, true inner
government, therefore not needing outer gov't and rules. (Not that I can
always live up to this by any means.) Being ruled by the truth from within
gives true men that authority, as light shining in the darkness, standing as
a contrast to those who surround us (that light of living understanding).

There is nothing here about comparison or who is "better".

Unfortunately there is a shortage of noble men in America at this point,
and serpents are making sure that today's youth don't get much of a chance.

Of course you know, the serpent attempted to subvert God's Authority and
order from the very beginning, he worked on the woman to undermine Adam when
Adam was in a sense God's lieutenant carrying out his orders. Serpents today
work on the women, in an attempt to exploit their emotional makeup,(like
Clinton, socialists, even ST), for power. Power is not authority. Much of
television and the media is to appeal to women and children, with the
exception of talk radio. The serpents hate that Divine Order, and use women's
rights now for partial birth abortions and every other evil, while there are
fewer and fewer standing up for what's right, even in the churches. Many who
want what's right can't deal with the evil, I've been there, but the Lord
has opened my eyes a little more recently.

Anger in dealing with the wrongs shows lack of authority, and I have had to
battle with that. One can't effectively do battle with the enemy coming from
anger, and others will sense weakness. Anger and resentment give evil that
foothold in us. I know that in 21 years Jesus has given me much more peace,
but I have a long way to go.

Perhaps this is more than enough for now...
 

Mark L
 
 

From: JFeath4301@aol.com
>Subject: Re: [cobu] the role of sisters
>Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 16:23:46 EDT
>
>Dear Mark L.
>What do you mean by "authority". Please describe this to me or give me
>examples for what you mean.
>Thanks
>Feathers
>
> >>>Having experience in marriage, there really is no "equal", no matter
>how much we want it to appear that way.
>There has to be authority, its better if its just.<<<
>
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________________________________________________________________________

Message: 13
   Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 19:59:34 -0500
   From: Eric Fetterolf <fetterof@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Final SWITCH

Remember Stew'S briefcase phone and how we were all impressed with it.
I'm laughing about it right now.  The Internet is a great tool to
fellowship, pray, etc.  Great Scripture!!!
Eric Fetterolf
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Message: 15
   Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 20:12:23 -0500
   From: Eric Fetterolf <fetterof@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Terms of... Non-Endearment???

OH YES...George Venarchik
Where is he now?
Eric Fetterolf

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Message: 16
   Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 20:09:23 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: What did ST know & when did he know it
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Jim
       In support of Carol's assertion that ST always knew what he was doing:
After the "Grace Mtg" he admitted that he kept himself aloof ("was acting in my
own strength"?) and that he was the reason that the bros weren't married.
During the "Young Sheep" days, we looked back and laughed about the "loft" days
as a transitional period.  As something we would never do again.  Yet in the
early 90s they tried the loft thing again.  While he called on the OBs to be
responsible, whenever one did, he got no encouragement from ST.  (I could name
DG, RU, & JF.)    JC complained that he wrote to ST, and got no reply.
       Consider the circus that the elections for the board were.  One time the
majority of the board was 20 years old.  (We once had a 19 year old VP.)
        Consider the standards for marriage ("spare zeal for the truth").  He
never gave any definition for that or many other clichés.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
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Message: 17
   Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 19:57:06 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: do you fear God?
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Friends
       You know that the OZites ask "do you fear God?,  do you fear God?".  I
just realized something:  They fear man (the mob of other OZites) and not God.
If they feared God they would take responsibility for their lives, their church,
and (foremost) their understanding of the Bible.
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
 

Message: 20
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 02:55:52 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <Jtenright@aol.com>
Subject: Immediately after leaving

    It occurred to me that I have often posted events from the past
but have not yet mentioned what my life became after the Wackos. I
mentioned that I had left some 10 or 20 times, each time making a
wreck of things and returning to the welcoming arms of the brothers
and sisters. With each desperate attempt to break free, I found that
for years, I could only break free physically- I could move out. The
first day, the voices in my head condemned me. As I walked down the
seedy streets,I could hear Stewart's voice repeating the verses in
the Bible I had come to know so well. I sought out a darkly lit bar
where strangers would be a comfort to me. Their language was so
casual, unlike mine, which was replete with code phrases that would
raise eyebrows and make me feel like a foreigner among men my own
age. Their conversation fascinated me - I had no idea who won the
World Series or the Superbowl. I didn't even know who was in it, or
had been in it for a decade or so. I would sit at the bar and watch
TV- amazed at the images that I saw. I hadn't watched TV since I was
about 16 or so. I could not believe the openness of the sexuality on
TV. I listened to the forbidden rock and roll. The lyrics were like
rich chocolate to me. I let the spirits wash over me. And I drank. I
forced myself to finish a whole cigarette. I drank some more feeling
deliciously sinful. I was in total rebellion. I reveled in the
wrongness of what I was doing. On some level, I was forcing myself to
do things that I knew would "break" me from the church. But that fast
paced life of excess did not fulfill me and in a matter of days,
the "thrill" of sin was gone and I was left to wander the streets
with nothing but the voice of Stewart for company.
     I would go home to my parents. Broken, ashamed -  they always
knew it was a cult- I could not admit it even then. I felt ashamed
around my family, especially when I met my nephews and nieces for the
first time. I missed alot. I gave my youth to a cult, and life seemed
to have passed me by. High school friends were married with children,
and had careers. I knew how to clean carpets. I drank through my
newfound depression. I started seeking out other ex-members back in
NY. I moved there an drank with brethren of like-minded guilt. For a
time that felt so very safe. Not only did I have partners in drinking
and drugs, but they were brothers who spoke the "same language." They
knew exactly the shame and guilt and voices. We had a "fellowship" in
Brighton Beach. I think there were 6 of us there, Me, Jodi Finister,
Charles Means, Bob Johnson, and Tom Harder and another, I can't
remember who. We would drink and talk about Stewart, and the church,
and the dark spirit world that we had succumbed to - not exactly your
typical bar conversation. This is the life I led for over 10 years
off and on. Whenever things would go badly, or I had a good scare, (I
was going to Hell) I would return. There would be the obligatory
confession, the brother whose job it was to follow you around until
you were stable, the message from Stewart- "had enough yet?"
Within a week, I would be witnessing to my former house mates with a
van full of brothers. 2 months after that, I'd be back drinking with
them and filling them in on the latest church news.
    For me, leaving  became easy. So did moving back in. But it would
be many years- with a suicide attempt, numerous hospital visits,
getting shot at at a crack house, becoming homeless for a time- before
I could finally stop running. I was always running; either to or away
from that place. 6 years ago, I started getting sober. Things changed
quickly after that. I needed God to keep me sober, and for the first
time in a long while, I wanted something enough to ask for it. I
prayed for the very first time outside of COBU, quietly, in a room at
the Detox Center. All I could say was "help me" and "thank you." That
was my prayer. And to this day He has answered it every day. I
consider my gratitude now to be one of the foundations of my life.
And I have been set free indeed. Stewart promised all of us at the
Grace Meeting that Jesus was going to set the brothers free. By the
Grace of God, I have been set free from Stewart. So, in a way, I
guess he was right on that one. Many of us who were there are indeed
free.
 
 

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________________________________________________________________________

Message: 21
   Date: 12 May 00 20:18:54 PDT
   From: lonnie abcd <Lonron@netscape.net>
Subject: Re: [Immediately after leaving]

"Jim  Enright" <Jtenright@aol.com> wrote:

    It occurred to me that I have often posted events from the past
but have not yet mentioned what my life became after the Wackos.

   Hi Jim, Ronnie here.  God is very merciful to us & how he brought each one
of us out of the cult and I totally agree with you about the grace meeting.
Jesus used that meeting to set me free too - as you said free from Stewart -
although it did take a while to realize that I needed to be set free from his
control.  If Jesus had not boxed me in while I was there in COBU - I probably
would still be there.  At one of the meetings before the grace meeting which
were the backslider meetings where a lot of brothers & sisters were
rededicating - I also had to rededicate cause I had been planning on leaving.
Stewart said that I was mocking rededication - & I said I really meant it.
The next meeting at Woodruff I tried to keep to my commitment but the bros.
said I was cheerleading & then Stew called & said the sisters were mocking God
& that was when I saw my determination crumbling inside because I saw that I
was going to get pushed into saying that I was mocking God & I really hated
how we would get pushed into saying things we did not mean.  So when I sat
down I knew there would be no way out cause now they would say I was mocking
rededication.  So I was boxed in - I couldn't keep trying - nothing was going
to change - I tried & kept on trying over & over again, I kept getting back up
- because I knew Jesus was true & faithful - so I always had hope - but not
this time - I couldn't get back up - I couldn't rededicate any more - so what
was there - I was at the end of my rope once again - just like before I got
saved.  So I became very depressed & knew I had to get out of there & find
Jesus again.  So I see the grace meeting as what Jesus used to get me out of
COBU in order to set me free from the cult & also to appreciate grace - now I
really value God's grace.  It was his grace alone that took me out of COBU or
else I still would be there cause I really thought I had to be there in order
to be right with God.  I thank God for all the testimonies I hear from those
who were set free from the cult & see the grace of God.  By the way, about two
months ago or maybe 3 (I lose all track of time) Jim Sidoran came to our place
(we now live Upstate NY) & had dinner with us & some others who came over.
Hopefully he will put his faith & trust in Jesus once again.  Also I get to
see Tom Harter too & met his wife.  Talk to you again soon.  Love in Christ
Ronnie.  By the way how long are you married?  I am very happy for you.  Did
you say you have a child?  Lonnie & I are planning to be foster parents. We
went through the classes - now we're waiting.
Take care
________________________________________________________________________
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Message: 22
   Date: 12 May 00 20:32:24 PDT
   From: lonnie abcd <Lonron@netscape.net>
Subject: Re: [Harold Zigon]

"montoya" <montoya@integrity.com> wrote:
 

I think Harold Zigon is living with Harry W and 2 other bro's. I don't know
if he wants contact or not...but gosh...I think he would love to hear how
loved he was/is and maybe would want to talk to a bunch of ya.

mm

Hi Mike, Harold does live with Harry & when Lonnie & I lived in New Jersey we
went to the same church with Harold.  Jesus has really set him free from so
much.  He has changed - he is free & very thankful & talkative & a really good
friend and brother in Christ.  I'll let him know you & others were asking
about him.  Love in Christ - Ronnie
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Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 08:28:17 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

I understand exactly what you're saying, Jim. ("missing" name at bottom)

Jim Enright wrote:

>  With each desperate attempt to break free, I found that
> for years, I could only break free physically- I could move out. The
> first day, the voices in my head condemned me. As I walked down the
> seedy streets,I could hear Stewart's voice repeating the verses in
> the Bible I had come to know so well. High school friends were married
> with children, and had careers. I knew how to clean carpets. I drank through my
> newfound depression. I started seeking out other ex-members back in
> NY.We had a "fellowship" in Brighton Beach. I think there were 6 of us there, Me, Jodi Finister,
> Charles Means, Bob Johnson, and Tom Harder and another, I can't
> remember who.

Carl Buckley from Albany, I think...
 
 
 

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Message: 3
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 08:34:46 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: Internet Big Meeting, thank Stew???

Mark said:
> Well........here we are once again, at a Big Meeting, only this is
> really big because it's across the ENTIRE U.S.Who would have thought there
would have been the Internet 10 or 20
> years ago.Perhaps we should be thankful to ST because if it wouldn't have been
> for him we would not have found ourselves in this situation.
>

Carol replied:

Sorry to tell you this, but I've been using the internet since 1991.  Way before
the COBU site, chats, and
emails.

I started because my husband was sent to the Gulf War and I could get a letter
to him within a day or two by emailing with prodigy.  I'm not sure they referred
to it as email though.  Then I kept it in Arizona, but when I moved to KY I took
a break for several years because there were no local access numbers in KY.
Finally, I got back on in 96.  I use the internet often for school, etc.  I even
use the auctions when my son
is looking for that hard to find Pokemon card, etc.  Speaking of....  I need to
hurry cause I'm taking him to Lexington to the Pokemon League he is in, in 20
minutes and I haven't even dressed yet.  I usually check my mail, have a coffee,
and wake up that way....

Later,
Carol
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Message: 4
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 08:36:45 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: no weddings

After the "Grace Mtg" he admitted that he kept himself aloof ("was acting in my
own strength"?) and that he was the reason that the bros weren't married.
Owen said that.

No...  the reason no one was married in COBU is because it is impossible!!  St
is not a licensed preacher, he is legally not allowed to perform wedding
ceremony's.
Carol
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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 08:40:25 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: Jodi Finister

A year or so ago I was asking about Jodi but couldn't remember his last name...
What ever happened to him?  He is really a neat person.  I remember him well
from the "Middle" commune.  He used to have some sort of health problem as
well, but it doesn't come to mind clearly.
Carol Stutts
I'd love to say hi to him if anyone knows how.  No matter what his condition.
________________________________________________________________________
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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:11:33 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: where's George?

Eric Fetterolf wrote:

> OH YES...George Venarchik
> Where is he now?

I always thought "applesauce" was Dave on Fire's word - but I guess it
was something basically used in the New York Center - or Jersey - whatever
they called it - being it was "independent" of the MTC.
As far as I know George is running a successful business and is married with
a few children.  He and a few other brothers who own their own businesses
go golfing every now and then.  From what I hear, and I don't want to
"gossip"but I think it's good news that he's been sober for many many years now.
But I hear on the course, brothers keep a distance "for fear of lightning
striking"when George critiques his own golf shot...
I spent a day or two with George in Harlem way back when (probably in the
'70's) accompanying him while he closed jobs.  I think I could have only done that
with George with such style and grace - two white guys right at home in Harlem
(actually, not me! - I was scared - but George was so smooth and cool)
I remember him talking about a comedian doing a routine about people
answering their doors in Harlem ( and they did this in Brooklyn, too).  Does anyone
remember soliciting?  I don't know of anywhere else on the planet where they do this:
When you knock on the door, the lady on the other side says
"WHO?!?!" If you ever went soliciting - you heard it.

Actually, the title - or the subject box carries an inside joke (where's
George?)my brother played in a band with, and later did sound for a band led by a guy
named George.  (Every week you can see "Animal House" playing somewhere - in one of
it's many incarnations) He was always late, and club owners would always be
asking the band, when are you going to start?  You're late.  It was George keeping  them
waiting.Well George hires and fires people and whole supporting bands all the time.
One time he had a bunch of young guys working for him.  They got tired of George's tardiness
and formed their own band which they named "Where's George?"
 
 

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Message: 7
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:23:01 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: PLEASE PRAY and BELIEVE FOR REM LEDERER

HI - I remember Rem from a Philly meeting long ago.  I will also pray for him.
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 8
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:08:29 -0400
   From: Eugene P Alvarez Jr <epa.jr@juno.com>
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

Jim,
    Thank You. For saying that.
                 gene
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Message: 9
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:31:52 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: What did ST know & when did he know it

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - ROFLOL -
"spare zeal for the truth" was the standard to get married!!!! (per Owen's
letter)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  -
Did that mean that if you were married, that your zeal was depleted by having
a wife?  I mean, not like old Stewboy with his many concubines, his zeal
would never deplete - oh, the dysfunction of it all!!! (Mr. Macho Sexuality -
oh, should I laugh or barf?)
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 10
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:43:05 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

Dear Jim E- write on bro, right on.  Amazing, but we all know it's true.  I
am so happy for your redemption.  I think God is raising a lot of us up, and
the time is come to join in prayer against that injustice that is still
holding others.  Maybe it is true what Tom P says about the cost of fighting
legally, that we couldn't bear that, but I am willing to invest spiritually,
(and yes, even emotionally) into prayer that God will end the evil Cobu has
now become.  We have no prime directive in the spiritual realm that says we
have to leave it alone; our prayers can influence the future.  I think we are
even called together again to pray for the brethren whom we KNOW are
suffering.  In professional medical diagnosis sometimes the doctor knows the
patient is going to die even when the patient says they feel just fine.  We
know they are in big trouble in many ways.  We may not be able to talk to
them, or convince them, or physically bring them out, but we can "move the
hand of God" in prayer.  Lets do so.
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 11
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 11:09:55 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

That is absolutely RIGHT ON, Nancy!!
Prayer costs nothing and
"the fervent effectual prayer of the righteous man availeth much"
I don't like the KJV at all - but that's one verse that I love the wording!
which reminds me -  Jim Griffiths told me of one time I had told
brethren "NOT" to pray for me - because I didn't want to go back to
that place, and I knew the power of their prayers.
As for brethren doing what they're doing - I "don't agree" - but they
feel a peace about it - so maybe there's something going on that I just
don't know about.  Just because "I don't agree" doesn't mean that
it isn't God working through them at all.  (that seems like a pride
statement, or something on my part...)
We ALL know SOMETHING must be done.
Maybe what's going down now is the thing.
This is indeed one time where I would be totally glad to be
totally wrong.  And you all know what I mean. (and it won't be the first time)
 God bless those who are doing and trying something!  Although
I disagree in my own mind - you do indeed have my backing.  I trust you.
And I'm glad to say, I really do.
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Message: 15
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 15:26:16 -0400
   From: "Mary O'Keefe" <mokeefe674@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: where's George?

That was funny!
MO

--
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Message: 16
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - ROFLOL -
"spare zeal for the truth" was the standard to get married!!!! (per Owen's
letter)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  -
Did that mean that if you were married, that your zeal was depleted by
having
a wife?  I mean, not like old Stewboy with his many concubines, his zeal
would never deplete - oh, the dysfunction of it all!!! (Mr. Macho
Sexuality -
oh, should I laugh or barf?)
Nancy C.

Please barf!  I did!

MO

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Message: 18
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 16:29:26 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

Brother Jim,
Regarding your comment: "Stewart promised all of us at the Grace Meeting
that Jesus was going to set the brothers free. By the Grace of God, I have
been set free from Stewart. So, in a way, I
guess he was right on that one. "
 I thought of the following verses that might apply-"But one of them,
Ca'iaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at
all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should
die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." He did not
say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied
that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to
gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad." Perhaps God
used ST to say something very true much like He used Ca'iaphas.
Some of your testimony is similar to mine after I had left.
Jesus paid the ultimate price for you bro, and He wasn't and isn't about to
lose you or any of His sheep. Nothing shall separate us from the Love of
God.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 19
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 16:46:56 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: [Immediately after leaving]

Sister Ronnie,
Your testimony certainly bears witness to God's grace.
Please give Jim Sidoran and Tom Harder greetings in Christ for me.I will
pray for them both.
Jim was such a great brother. Ask Jim if he remembers the Christmas that a
few of us piled into a van  to see our parents (about 1977 or 1978). He
drove a lot of the way. He drove me to a job interview once or twice. Tom
and Jim were both very faithful taking care of the food supplies. I don't
think they were ever recognized for that however.
God bless you, Ronnie.
May God give you and Lonnie the desires of your hearts regarding becoming
foster parents.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
----- ________________________________________________________________________
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Message: 20
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 16:50:02 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: [Harold Zigon]

Sister Ronnie,
Could you ask Harold Z and Harold W if I may call them on the phone? If so,
please send me their phone numbers if you have them.
Thanks sis.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 21
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 17:03:40 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: where's George?

Brother Tom,
Regarding your comment: "> I always thought "applesauce" was Dave on Fire's
word - but I guess it was something basically used in the New York Center -
or Jersey - whatever they called it "
One day in the garage at the MTC, Chris Blaise and George V. were telling
the story of how 'applesauce' came to be. It is hilarious, though I can't
recall it well enough to do it justice. But it involved another Christian
outside of Cobu. They were having some kind of argument or riff or something
with him. He got so angry with them, but didn't want to curse. His face got
all red, and all he could say was, "AAAAAAAAAPPLESAUCE!"
Ask Chris about it.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
----- ________________________________________________________________________
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Message: 22
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 17:10:14 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

Sister Nancy,
"James 5:17
Eli'jah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that
it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the
earth."
I agree about all of us praying about this matter-not to exclude other
suggestions but as an integral part.
Yours in Christ,
Sola  Scriptura,
Steve

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Message: 2
   Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 20:57:08 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: end from begin - Cyrus

  Wasn't Cyrus written about  400 years before he was born?
  And didn't someone show him the scripture concerning himself?
  Just a small interesting point that I don't know if I'm remembering
  correctly.
From:  Owen
        Dear Tom
       Yes.  According to Josephus, someone showed Cyrus the scripture
concerning himself.

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Message: 3
   Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 21:10:39 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Amazing
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Mark
       Just how did they realize a day was missing???
   If God stopped the rotation of the earth, but kept it circling around the
sun, then the sun would [appear to] have moved 1 degree and the moon 12 degrees.
Not noticeable for the sun, and not noticeable in the heat of [a 36 hour] battle
for the moon.
        If God did that, then the Earth would have still moved in relation to
the fixed stars.  If God stopped the Earth [and the moon] in their course around
the sun, then scientists measuring this would just figure that the year was on
average 24 seconds slower than they presently calculate.  [24 hours divided by
about 3,600 years comes to 24 seconds.]
        I like the story, but I'm not convinced.  Do you have the name of the
scientists and the study, so I could find it on the NASA web site?
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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 20:14:34 -0400 (EDT)
   From: Bill or Noemi <wwwillisjr@juno.com>
Subject: Reunion Informational website

Hello Everyone,

Noemi here:

I know there are many brothers and sisters who are patiently waiting to hear
or receive information on the particulars in regards to the Reunion.

I put together a mini Reunion Information website for everyone to browse.
There you will find Price List, Facility and Submission Form information.

Here is the website's URL:  http://homestead.juno.com/wwwillisjr
 
 

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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 20:38:41 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: end from begin - Cyrus

Hey Owen, since you are good at figuring out these scientific things without
it demeaning our faith, could I ask you one?  Take however long you need to
research it.  It concerns gold.  Now most jewelry is 14 ct. because there
needs to be some "hardener" in gold because it is so soft.  But is 24 ct.
"pure" gold? Or is that just another degree of good gold.  Because in the
Fellowship long ago, there was a report that absolutely pure gold, with no
impurities at all would be like glass, like transparent or perhaps if it was
cut thinly would be so, I forget.  But it was in line with the streets of
gold, clear as glass, no dross whatsoever ideas in Scripture.  It involved
something like scientists were only able to do this in the lab under
extremely controlled conditions.  Now, I didn't want to ask Fred this, so if
it is some urban legend thing, I would like to know, but I don't need the put
down.  But if it is in the realm of possibilities, it would be cool to know.
Thanks bro.  Nancy C.
 

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Message: 9
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 21:06:26 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: where's George

OH YES...George Venarchik
 Where is he now?
 Eric Fetterolf
 

Over a year ago a bunch of us got in a chat room.  I forget who all was there,
but George was, and he seemed like the same feisty full of spirit person as
always.  As far as where people were in their walk, we didn't get into that.  We
were discussing ski ing and fun things we've been doing with our family's.
(Nancy Walejeski & Mary Robinson were there too, I wish I could remember who
else!  It was a fun chat, but we've never managed to do it again.)
My personal believe about a person's relationship with God is it is between them
and God and none of my business.  When I used to visit my "real" brother and do
the heavy witnessing like we were taught in COBU, he once said, "We are going to
surprised who makes it to heaven and who doesn't, and its not going to be the
ones you think."  Well, after awakening from the COBU trance, the New York City
Church of Christ Trance, and my recent experience with a small "Christian" non
denominational church.  I must admit, I now whole heatedly agree with my bro.
Today, I had a chance to chat with my neighbors, two elderly retired
missionaries from Japan.  They are American, but they worked in Japan.  They
have the true spirit.  They attend a Presbyterian (know I spelled that wrong)
church and have asked my family to join them sometime and told me exactly where
they sit.  They are a real sweet couple.
Anyway, enough rambling for tonight.
Carol
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Message: 10
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 22:21:24 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Re: re: where's George

We were in a "different" chat room - and a few other people
were in there that didn't know what was up - at first.
George ended up witnessing to the one fellow, as I recall,
and got on really good terms.
 
 

> ________________________________________________________________________
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Message: 11
   Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 22:36:36 EDT
   From: CindyWG404@aol.com
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

<< With each desperate attempt to break free, I found that
 for years, I could only break free physically- I could move out. The
 first day, the voices in my head condemned me. >>

Wow, It's amazing how I felt the same way about a lot of things.  Too bad I
screwed a lot of my life up trying to break free emotionally.  Now I'm 34, a
mother of four kids, and about to file for a divorce next month from my
dishonest husband of five years.  I wish there had been someone who I could
have really talked to back then who would not have judged me, maybe I would
have made some different choices in my life.
Cindy.
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Message: 13
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 02:08:49 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: re: where's George
 

Carol, Did you know some people they say "went off the deep end" in their
research, like ORIGEN himself and discovered "Eternal Security" - the
doctrine that says everyone gets into heaven.  It isn't so much that they
went off the deep end but that they would upset the Status Quo - like Jesus
would have.      Mark T.
 

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Message: 14
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 02:19:34 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

In a message dated 05/11/2000 10:39:24 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
nkcsigner2@aol.com writes:

<< Okay Mark T - hope you know I'm only teasing you bro. >>
Nancy, I know your teasing!                    Mark T.
 

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Message: 15
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 02:25:40 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Okay to call God mother?

In a message dated 05/11/2000 1:32:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
tpierron@Op.Net writes:

<< Chpt 3, But Jesus Called God Father, not Mother - - - >>
I don't know, it does really seem like both things are true, that on the one
hand God is a Spirit and has no gender, but that he is called Father.

I also really think a lot of the Bible is symbolic in a way.        Mark T.
 

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Message: 18
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 02:44:53 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: the role of sisters

In a message dated 05/11/2000 7:24:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
sksaxton@sg23.com writes:

<< with one mind striving side
 by side for the faith of the gospel,"(RSV-Phil.) Stew perverted it's use but
 that only means we need to reclaim it and use it as God intended. >>
 

Steve,  Nancy C. did say she was kidding, but I do see what you mean, these
ideas of Stewart have been screwing me up for years, like the word "striving"
for example, and the Marriage Covenant is so complicated to begin with!
         Mark T.
 

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Message: 19
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 02:49:59 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Fwd: Amazing

In a message dated 05/11/2000 8:01:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
nkcsigner2@aol.com writes:

<< Shroud of Turin >>
Nancy, Sure it's tough to differentiate bertween fairy tales and facts, yet,
I have an article from National Review which does give concrete evidence that
the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth mentioned in the Bible!

I'm going to type the whole thing out word for word (with the footnotes of
course) when I have time.                                                Mark
T.
 

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Message: 23
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 03:18:03 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: re: Internet Big Meeting, thank Stew???

In a message dated 05/13/2000 8:36:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
cstutts@kih.net writes:

<< Carol replied:

 Sorry to tell you this, but I've been using the internet since 1991. >>

I didn't mean thank Stew for the internet, just that we are all chatting
because if it wouldn't be for Stew the people that we are now communicating
with wouldn't have happened, that's all.                  Mark T.
 

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Message: 24
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 03:21:21 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: PLEASE PRAY and BELIEVE FOR REM LEDERER

In a message dated 05/13/2000 9:23:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
nkcsigner2@aol.com writes:

<< I remember Rem from a Philly meeting long ago.  >>

I definitely remember Rem!  He was one of THE originals, like Skip, etc.  I
hope he'll be back!!!
  Mark T.
 
 
 

===================================================
Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 15:53:55 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: re: Eternal Security

Sister Carol,
Regarding your comment:"Read Matthew 25 and tell me how anyone anywhere can walk
around being totally positive about their end? "
Jesus gave us many assurances of what our end will be if we really are His
sheep. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give
them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my
hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all [4]; no one can
snatch them out of my Father's hand. ""I have other sheep that are not of this
sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there
shall be one flock and one shepherd. "
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and
blameless in his sight. In love he [3] predestined us to be adopted as his sons
through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will...In him we were
also chosen, [5] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works
out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who
were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you
also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of
your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the
promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the
redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. "
"All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will
not cast out.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who
sent me;
and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that
he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my
Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal
life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
There are many more promises just like this. We can trust our Lord to honor His
word. He paid our dues on the cross so we wouldn't have to. He loves you sis.
The enemy of your soul wants to rob you of your confidence and your assurance.
But he is a liar and the father of lies.
"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of
God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, in
hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago "
Please read these over prayerfully sis. I trust God will speak to your heart and
comfort you in this area of your walk with Him.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

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Message: 3
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 16:12:41 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Jodi Finister and me

Brother Jim,
What you wrote reminds me of the following scripture: "Jesus continued:
"There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father,
`Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between
them. "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off
for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After
he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country,
and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of
that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his
stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him
anything. "When he came to his senses... "But while he was still a long way
off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to
his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him..."
Don't we have an awesome, gracious Father?
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
To: <sharpen@egroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 14, 2000 12:23 PM
Subject: [sharpen] Jodi Finister and me
 

> After the middle fellowship, me Jodi finister and Kevin Moran and for
> a time Jim Greiner were hanging out. Jodi, Kevin and I drank quite a
> bit. Jodi always had a kind of "heavy" spirit, which was only
> compounded by a case of beer. He eventually moved to Brighton Beach
> where for a couple of years he lived with Tom Harder, Bob Johnston,
> Charles Means, and another brother. I
> also moved in there. It was like a "backslidden fellowship" with our
> communion in dark spirits, and resentments, drugs and drinking.Carl
> Buckley lived down the street and was over often. Kevin Moran went to
> Virginia near his family. Jodi and I started into cocaine and things
> got worse quickly. Within a month or 2, we were both pretty
> frightening people to be around. We worked together cleaning carpets
> at restaurants in the middle of the night, were fed, drank
> free beer, and then paid in cash. Then off to the corner dealer. That
> was our life for a time. When summer came we thought it would be a
> neat idea to live FREE! So we voluntarily packed up our meager
> belongings and lived in his van in Manhattan, parking nearTompkins
> Park in the East Village. We were 4 tires away from being homeless.
> Some of the conveniences of a home we took for granted - like a
> bathroom. It got expensive just to go to the bathroom since in most
> places bathrooms were only for customers, and you had to buy
> something just to use it.  We ate at the missions. We laughed at
> those other crackheads - we had no idea that we
> looked just like them- we counted ourselves better.  When we
> separated for a time, I was homeless. I slept under the Manhattan
> bridge. I actually tried to wash myself in the East river. Then I
> would find the van, and I had a home again. For me the end came when
> we spent everything on cocaine AGAIN! I was hungry and had 22 cents.
> A day old bagel was 23 cents. I got kicked out of
> the grocery store. On the way out I saw my reflection in the window,
> and just looked at the stranger staring back at me. I was scared at
> what I had become. I called my parents and they wired money to take a
> bus home. I spent it. They wired it again. I spent it again. Finally,
> I had the strength not to spend my $60.00 of carpet money on drugs
> and took a bus home. I never saw Jodi again. I heard that shortly
> after, he fixed up his van, quit drugs, and moved to Florida. He met
> someone and married. Kevin Moran told me this, with whom he had
> stayed in contact for a while. Oh, and you are right - those were
> stomach ulcers he had. He took medication for it, but the drugs
> seemed to negate the effect of the medication and he was always
> bothered by it.

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Message: 6
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 20:32:04 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The Compound

--- In sharpen@egroups.com, "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@s...> wrote:
> Brother Jim,
> Does he still have this place?
> Yours in Christ,
> Sola Scriptura,
> Steve
 

The church still has it, but since he now lives on the golf course in
FLorida, I don't know if it is used as it was or not. It is
probably where he stays whenever he come into town, which is rare as
far as I have heard. I am sure that all the infrastructure is still
there, but I wondered that myself. Maybe I could open a tour business
there! and to your left.... Gayle's bathroom and sun deck, and to
your right....
 

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Message: 8
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 16:49:05 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

  >>
Hi Nancy, Let's be like the woman in LK 18:1-8, If God wills, then He will
answer yes to our prayers. But let us always remember, to do good to those
who have become our enemies by telling them the truth out of love. We know
the best thing for them is to be
free from the evil spirit that rules ST & them, & receive true grace from our
Father.

                                                            Herm
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Message: 11
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 17:14:31 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: [Immediately after leaving]

Hi, Ronnie,

I remember that meeting well and I concur with you. It was through that
meeting and the events of the next few days that I was set free by the
Holy Spirit as well. I do think, though, that Stewart said and did some
things during that week to provoke some of us to leave so he could start
over with a new group of followers along with some older followers who
would be more devoted to him. He didn't want fence-sitters staying around
corrupting the others. Whether that's true or not, I'm glad I'm out.

Hope God grants you and Lonnie your hearts' desire to become foster
parents. Let us know how that goes.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual

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Message: 16
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 18:47:02 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: re: where's George

In a message dated 5/14/2000 2:09:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
MFTraupman@aol.com writes:

 Carol, Did you know some people they say "went off the deep end" in their
 research, like ORIGEN himself and discovered "Eternal Security" - the
 doctrine that says everyone gets into heaven.  It isn't so much that they
 went off the deep end but that they would upset the Status Quo - like Jesus
 would have.      Mark T.
  >>
Hi Mark, The false doctrine (teaching) that says everyone gets into heaven is
called "universal redemption". All mankind gets saved is based on a wrong
interpretation of  the "all" verse in ROM 5;18, note vs 19 (many=elect) for
an explanation of "all" in vs 18. Also read in context, 2 PET 3:9, here the
word "you" refers to the "beloved" in vs 8; that is who Peter is addressing &
not the whole world as is alleged by some in interpreting the "all" in vs 9.
To interpret these passages as all will get saved  would mean that Jesus
didn't knowwhat he was talking about, or lied about his teaching on those in hell. The
teaching of the term "eternal security" has it's basis in the promises of God
in JN 10:26-29, ROM 8:29-30, (etc. If you want more proof). This term,
eternal security, is also called the preservation of the saints. Now the
other side of the coin is called the perseverance of the saints, it's basis
too is in the power of God (EPN 2:9-10, PHIL 2:12-13).  Note JN 10:26 the
nature of His sheep (elect) is to follow Him. By what power? The
regeneration(new birth JN 1:13) of the Spirit which gives us a new
disposition to turn from sin to follow after righteousness (Jesus) by the
indwelling Spirit. We know (have assurance) we are in Him, if keep His
commandments, 1 JN 2:3-6, which are in 1 JN 3:23 to believe in Him & love one
another. Only by His Spirit can we continue (abide) & to follow Jesus (JN
15:5, ROM 8:9, 13-14). Also note vs 14 the "all" word again. I hope this
sheds light on this subjects. Please read the verses carefully to see if
these things are so.
                                                           Herm
 

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Message: 17
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 23:07:51 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Coogan's Corner

Nancy,
Just reread your e-mails on Mike's page. Precious. Just plain
precious. I feel so strangely connected to a bunch of brothers and
sisters, many of whom I haven't seen in 10 or 15 years, if ever. I
suppose our common stories make it so. We have widely different
lives, but share the same suffering. I think it is akin to veterans
of war, who after surviving in the trenches together have a bond that
transcends mere friendship.
_______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 19
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 19:50:25 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: married in COBU... NOT

No...  the reason no one was married in COBU is because it is impossible!!  St
is not a licensed preacher, he is legally not allowed to perform wedding
ceremony's.        -Carol
From:  Owen
        Dear Carol
       I don't mean to nit-pick, and there is no "tone" in my voice, but who
pronounced Bob & Pat Wipple married (and all the others)?  Who pronounced S & G
married?  I clearly remember Bob W saying that they get married before a justice
of the peace.  (This was in 1979 when they still pretended that marriage was
legal.)
 

From Carol:  Exactly my point.  They went to a J.P.  They did not get married in
COBU!!  They couldn't and still can't!  There is no one in COBU authorized to
conduct legal marriages!!
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 20
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 20:38:12 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Jodi and Jim E.

Oh, praise to God, dear Jim E that you survived all that you described.  Just
the night under the Manhattan bridge is enough to scare me for your sake.  A
sincere thank you to Jesus for delivering you bro.  What a redemption that
you can look in the mirror now and see His new creation! As we describe these
who were once our brethren in the faith, let's keep in mind to lift a prayer
for their return to the living God from this half-life state, in torture
fleeing from the crush of their spirit in the evil that Cobu has become.
Let's pray God gives them a place of refuge in Him.
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 21
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 20:42:53 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: The Compound

Jim Enright describes:
The Office:
In the center of the room was a hand-carved Walnut desk some 12 feet
long, curved around in a U. There were at least 5 separate phone lines

Nancy C. writes: Ah, yes, the U - probably the idea for the famous tract on
the U - the cost of that desk alone was his "inspiration" that he needed the
worker bees to go out an recruit more drones...
 

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 22
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 20:58:20 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Jodi Finister and me

Also, dear bro Jim E - I get (female instincts somewhat to blame) sort of
scared of people who are "homeless" although at times I have been in job
situations in churches where I have worked deciding about money to go to
indigent people.  Thanks for reminding us that Jesus can be one of them, that
you, our brother were such, and that outside of time God sees the whole
picture.  Through His eyes we are then able to have deeper compassion.  This
story of yours is a good reminder that there but for His grace goes any one
of us.  Love in Christ, your sis Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
 

Hi Steve, I'd be glad to tell Harry & Harold about you wanting to get in touch
with them. I'll give them a call tomorrow which  is Monday, cause Harry W. is
usually at church in the evening.  I should be able to contact them tomorrow
evening.  Lonnie said to tell you hi.  He's sleeping, he has to get up for
work at 3:15 a.m. (he's working overtime).  Talk to you soon, Love in Christ
Ronnie

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 25
   Date: 14 May 00 19:12:49 PDT
   From: lonnie abcd <Lonron@netscape.net>
Subject: Re: [Re: [Immediately after leaving]]

"Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com> wrote:

Sister Ronnie,
Your testimony certainly bears witness to God's grace.
Please give Jim Sidoran and Tom Harder greetings in Christ for me.I will
pray for them both.
Jim was such a great brother. Ask Jim if he remembers the Christmas that a
few of us piled into a van  to see our parents (about 1977 or 1978). He
drove a lot of the way. He drove me to a job interview once or twice. Tom
and Jim were both very faithful taking care of the food supplies. I don't
think they were ever recognized for that however.
God bless you, Ronnie.
May God give you and Lonnie the desires of your hearts regarding becoming
foster parents.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

Hi again Steve, Ronnie again - I will tell Jim & Tom that you greet them in
Christ.  I printed a copy of your e-mail so I'll remember to tell Jim what you
wanted me to tell him.  Take care, Love in Christ forever since we'll be in
heaven before you know it.  What a wonderful thought.  Ronnie

==================================================================
Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 15:53:55 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: re: Eternal Security

Sister Carol,
Regarding your comment:"Read Matthew 25 and tell me how anyone anywhere
can walk
around being totally positive about their end? "
Jesus gave us many assurances of what our end will be if we really are His
sheep. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give
them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my
hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all [4]; no one can
snatch them out of my Father's hand. ""I have other sheep that are not of this
sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there
shall be one flock and one shepherd. "
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and
blameless in his sight. In love he [3] predestined us to be adopted as his sons
through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will...In him we were
also chosen, [5] having been predestined according to the plan of him who
works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who
were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you
also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of
your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the
promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the
redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. "
"All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will
not cast out.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him
who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that
he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my
Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal
life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
There are many more promises just like this. We can trust our Lord to honor His
word. He paid our dues on the cross so we wouldn't have to. He loves you sis.
The enemy of your soul wants to rob you of your confidence and your assurance.
But he is a liar and the father of lies.
"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of
God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, in
hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago "
Please read these over prayerfully sis. I trust God will speak to your heart and
comfort you in this area of your walk with Him.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
==========================================================

Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 16:01:02 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: cult like; freedom

Brother Tom,
Interesting possibilities of that strategy-sending copies of the Declaration of
Independence.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
 ________________________________________________________________________
 

Message: 8
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 16:49:05 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

In a message dated 5/13/2000 9:43:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
nkcsigner2@aol.com writes:

<<
 Dear Jim E- write on bro, right on.  Amazing, but we all know it's true.  I
 am so happy for your redemption.  I think God is raising a lot of us up, and
 the time is come to join in prayer against that injustice that is still
 holding others.  Maybe it is true what Tom P says about the cost of fighting
 legally, that we couldn't bear that, but I am willing to invest spiritually,
 (and yes, even emotionally) into prayer that God will end the evil Cobu has
 now become.  We have no prime directive in the spiritual realm that says we
 have to leave it alone; our prayers can influence the future.  I think we
are even called together again to pray for the brethren whom we KNOW are
 suffering.  In professional medical diagnosis sometimes the doctor knows the
 patient is going to die even when the patient says they feel just fine.  We
 know they are in big trouble in many ways.  We may not be able to talk to
 them, or convince them, or physically bring them out, but we can "move the
 hand of God" in prayer.  Lets do so.
 Nancy C.
  >>
Hi Nancy, Let's be like the woman in LK 18:1-8, If God wills, then He will
answer yes to our prayers. But let us always remember, to do good to those
who have become our enemies by telling them the truth out of love. We know
the best thing for them is to be
free from the evil spirit that rules ST & them, & receive true grace from our
Father.

                                                            Herm
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Message: 10
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 17:17:32 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

Hi, Cindy,

I'll be praying for you and your family through this difficult time.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 11
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 17:14:31 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: [Immediately after leaving]

Hi, Ronnie,

I remember that meeting well and I concur with you. It was through that
meeting and the events of the next few days that I was set free by the
Holy Spirit as well. I do think, though, that Stewart said and did some
things during that week to provoke some of us to leave so he could start
over with a new group of followers along with some older followers who
would be more devoted to him. He didn't want fence-sitters staying around
corrupting the others. Whether that's true or not, I'm glad I'm out.

Hope God grants you and Lonnie your hearts' desire to become foster
parents. Let us know how that goes.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
=====================================================
 

Message: 25
   Date: 14 May 00 19:12:49 PDT
   From: lonnie abcd <Lonron@netscape.net>
Subject: Re: [Re: [Immediately after leaving]]

"Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com> wrote:

Sister Ronnie,
Your testimony certainly bears witness to God's grace.
Please give Jim Sidoran and Tom Harder greetings in Christ for me.I will
pray for them both. Jim was such a great brother. Ask Jim if he remembers the
Christmas that a few of us piled into a van  to see our parents (about 1977 or 1978). He
drove a lot of the way. He drove me to a job interview once or twice. Tom
and Jim were both very faithful taking care of the food supplies. I don't
think they were ever recognized for that however.
God bless you, Ronnie.
May God give you and Lonnie the desires of your hearts regarding becoming
foster parents.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

Hi again Steve, Ronnie again - I will tell Jim & Tom that you greet them in
Christ.  I printed a copy of your e-mail so I'll remember to tell Jim what you
wanted me to tell him.  Take care, Love in Christ forever since we'll be in
heaven before you know it.  What a wonderful thought.  Ronnie
=============
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 3
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 07:39:01 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: Stew & Gayle's living arrangements.....

After briefly reading the description provided, I'll take my place any day!!
But if I could have one of those "zealous" kids who'd do anything to cut my
grass send them my way.  :)  I just spent about 5 hours yesterday cutting the
back and am only 2/3 finished.  (That's just the back.).  Anyway, by
my standards presently, the "compound sounds like a dump."  No offense
intended.
Now as far as the condo.....  In Florida....  If its near Ft. DeSoto, (one of
the top beach's in the world), so graciously introduced to my family by Richard & Darlene Lavedure last year.....
well, now that is tempting...  but not worth trading my property for.
Carol

P.S.  Steve, that was a very kind email you sent....  I still believe it is not
good to be too confident. After all I was extremely confident in COBU to the point that I used to pray to
go to be with Jesus at that moment (shows you how miserable the life really was).  Now I hope to
hang around this life for a while.  I'm enjoying my son a lot.  I gave him a big hug and kiss last
night, (Probably for the 3rd time or more yesterday alone) and told him I have the best mothers day present I
could ask for.I'm also currently considering international adoption.  I have a friend who's
cousin did it, I'd like  a little girl to raise.  If its meant to be.  I'm going to look into
it...________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 4
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 07:55:43 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: Harsh????

Harsh???  I don't know what you are talking about.
Harsh is being robbed at knife point, getting back to the fellowship, and rather
than hearing, "Thank goodness you weren't hurt."  hearing, "How could you lose all that money?"
that actually happened to Terri B & myself, after we were robbed, actually in
Camden NJ. I was laughing at them, and told I wasn't being serious.  Heck, I was so happy
to be alive after having a knife shoved in face, they could have told me I was going to go to hell
and I'd laughed at them.
Carol
 

<<  Carol:  >>

I did not mean my letter to be "harsh," but I thought you could believe any
way you wanted within reason, especially if you could defend your position to
some extent.

Also, Thanks for getting that get well card for Harold Stout (and others that
did), Dorothy told me it meant a lot to her.

Mark T.
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 7
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:03:23 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Cobu diagnosis

That's a very good way to put it!

nkcsigner2@aol.com wrote:

>  In professional medical diagnosis sometimes the doctor knows the
> patient is going to die even when the patient says they feel just fine.  We
> know they are in big trouble in many ways.
======================================================
Everone knows the disparity between how Stew lived and how the rest
of us lived. That distinction was never more clear than when he lived
at the Compound. Here's what I remember, having helped on it quite a
bit.
    The Study:
A sanctuary off the lobby of the main building, was a relatively
small room. It featured a giant globe in the center, maybe 5 feet in
diameter. Along one wall was a hand made desk of expensive Walnut.
The 3 remaining walls were built out so that bookshelves from floor
to ceiling could be recessed into the walls. Each shelf had its own
light, and glass door with brass doorknobs. There was a panel of
dimmer switches that operated the recessed lighting for proper
atmosphere. The blinds on the window could be operated by a switch.
All the switches were wired three-way so they could be operated from
the door, or from the desk. He had a barometer on the wall to
indicate humidity which he was constantly complaining about. The
entire central air system was refitted to dehumidify the incoming
air. And there was a stand-up dehumidifier in the corner just in
case.
     The Bedroom/Office:
An entire school building was converted into living quarters. There
were 2 sections: on the first floor was the kitchen, and the living
room, with a computer office with 4 or 5 computers for S&G and Stew
stuff. There was a workshop in a small room where batteries could be
recharged, and electronic experiments performed. Leaving the
living room through the door at the end brought you to the sisters
wing where 2 sisters shared a classroom as a bedroom. They were
decorated neatly, but not extravagantly. Personalized by the sisters
selection of curtains. The 2nd floor was Stewart's wing. On one side
of the school hallway 3 classrooms were used as the office, and on
the other side of the hallway 3 classrooms were used as the bedroom.
The interior walls were removed to create a wide open, very long
space. His bedroom featured a large King bed in the center of the
room with 2 couches, and an antique upright arm chair. There were
walk in closets, one for Stew and one for Gayle. The closets were an
entire converted classroom in size. An entire wall of sliding mirrors
covered the entrance to the closets. There were 2 separate air
conditioners just for the bedroom. Off the bedroom was his and hers
bathrooms. Gayle's especially was luxurious. Gold faucet handles and
knobs, a shower and a bath, a changing room with tract lighting
around a beveled mirror. And because of her height all the outlets
and switches were raised up on the wall. There was a door which led to
the sun deck from off her bathroom, with high walls where she tanned
topless out of sight in the mid-afternoon sun. But the office was the
gem of the property.
    The Office:
In the center of the room was a hand-carved Walnut desk some 12 feet
long, curved around in a U. There were at least 5 separate phone
lines, one by each of the several couches and several on the desk. On
one wall, were the same kind of bookshelves built in the study
containing all his magazines on airplanes, boats, helicopters, and
radios. On his desk were 5 or 6 different ham radios with antennas
going up to the roof to pick up the BBC and China, Haiti, and Europe.
I was constantly adjusting them for him. The carpet was expensive
plush, with a separate plush border around the entire room. There was
recessed and fluorescent lighting with 3-way dimmers, and a control
panel at the desk that could operate the lights, the blinds, the
intercom between the office and the other rooms. It had it's own
bathroom.One door went to the stairs leading down to the living room.
Another wall was knocked down where a doorway was built to lead down
to the sisters quarters. Yes , we built access from the office
hallway to the sisters bedroom hallway for him. There was a separate
control panel installed on his headboard of the bed which connected
to the control panel at the desk, so that all the features could be
operated either from bed, or from the desk. Security lights were
installed around Stewart's wing which lit automatically whenever
anyone approached. The rest of the lights on the property were on
timers.
     I slept in the unused, unheated storage building while I and the
many others, built this palace. I did not have a bed, but I found a
rubber camping mat, and I owned a sleeping bag that I retained from
before I moved in. I had to go to another building to use the
bathroom since the water was turned off in my building. In the
summer, I would sometimes sleep in the bus in the parking lot by the
pool.
 
 

_______________________________________________________________________

Message: 8
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 22:29:01 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: The Compound

I bet the desk didn't cost any money for labor. My guess is that Andrew
Pereira spent many many long hours on it. If I remember correctly, he
built the desk for ST's office in Princeton. I worked with Andrew for a
couple of months doing some cabinetmaking in the late 80s. Great
craftsman. Let's keep him in prayer.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual

=================================================
Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 22:26:56 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: [Re: [Immediately after leaving]]

Dear Steve S, my Jim (Coogan) also was on that trip to upstate NY to visit
parents with you.  He remembers Jim Sidorn coming to eat lunch at his parents
home.  You have to understand, the Coogans are fairly staid Presbyterians.
They have come a long way since those days.  When Jim and I first left, Jim
left first because he was accused of not turning in money - the fact being
that he had worked all night and the timing for turning in the money hadn't
come together, not that he was going to keep it at all.  So, he left first,
then I joined him in Buffalo.  (I've written about all of this before).  But
we ended up going back (Jim actually did call old Stewboy, what a joke that
conversation was, talk about no help) mainly due to hearing from Jeff
Bernstein, who sincerely believed at that time that NYC was the best place
for us.  (We have since forgiven him, of course).  So Mom, bless her heart,
with tears streaming down her face drove us to the train station, not wanting
to send us back.  We really did put them through it.  Anyway, all that to say
Jim remembers that trip.  love Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 23:03:30 EDT
   From: CindyWG404@aol.com
Subject: Re: Immediately after leaving

In a message dated 5/14/2000 5:22:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
bsp15@juno.com
writes:

<< Hi, Cindy,

 I'll be praying for you and your family through this difficult time.
  >>
I'd greatly appreciate your and any other prayers as God holds my hand
through this emotional turmoil.
 

________________________________________________________________________
 

Message: 4
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 00:16:51 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: re: Eternal Security

In a message dated 05/14/2000 7:31:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
cstutts@kih.net writes:

<< Well Mark,
 Read Matthew 25 and tell me how anyone anywhere can walk around being
totally positive about their end?  And look at all the hypocrisy around you in
church.  And again tell me.
 Carol >>

Carol, it's really complicated but has evolved from a series of revelations
that I have encountered since I have left the COBU, one of which has included
coming face to face with death itself (coma for 1mo., hospitalized 1 whole
year - 15 operations, no internal injuries though).  I am very very serious
about this, a lot of research has gone into this, it isn't something I'm just
saying off the top of my head for sure.

Besides, everyone respects "Origen" as a valid historian, and he thought it.
Also, the most conservative people in the world, the "Pope," recently said
there is no physical hell.

I CAN explain myself in a logical manner because I kept notes, references,
etc.

Maybe I'm too radical for this site, but, at least I know I'm really being
honest!

Mark
 

________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Message: 9
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 02:23:46 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

In a message dated 05/14/2000 9:35:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
dococ@surferz.net writes:

<<  John 20:6,7 >>

Owen,

Thanks for the reference, I wasn't sure exactly where it was.  In fact, why
would this verse even be in the Bible in the first place?  Perhaps this thing
is still around today.

Also, the article I was referring to has 6 main points.  Please keep in mind
"National Review" is a respected magazine like "Time" or "Newsweek."  Also,
if you think these have a "secular bias," this article mainly revolves around
scientific facts too.

Now, in 1988 the radio carbon dating proved it was not from the time in
question.  However, not so fast, the author "Jeffrey Hart" says.  His
reasoning?  It was discovered there was a thin film of bacteria on the Shroud
which was of the same kind that are on certain Egyptian mummies "...a
radio-carbon test of a mummified body's wrapping places the mummy  MUCH
LATER
THAN WE KNOW IT TO BE."  [caps. M.T.]

[National Review May 18, 1998 - "A Photograph of Jesus?" by Jeffrey Hart]

The other points were:
    1.  Documents follow the Shroud far back in time, perhaps into the 1st
century.
    2.  In 1898, using a photographic negative, someone saw the real image
for the first time, with no knowledge of photography it would have been
virtually impossible to make it.  Further, it has 3 dimensionality -
discovered by computers
    3.  It would have been impossible for an artist to realize the thumbs
fold inwards at crucifixion, to have knowledge of anatomy like that, the
thumbs are not visible on the Shroud.
    4.  THE IMAGE WAS NOT PAINTED but resembled something like a hot
iron
scorching the material.
    5.  In 1972 a Dr. took a scotch-tape sample and this revealed pollens
that no longer grow in the Dead Sea area but matches the kind that did in the
first century, and pollen from Turkey, then France, which matches the
documented evidence of the Shrouds voyage.
    6.  There are no other shrouds like this for the simple reason that
criminals who were executed in this way were unpopular criminals and they
would dispose of them with the body.  Secondly, it would decay with the body
if it would remain in contact with it.

Mark T.
_____________________

Message: 11
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 02:41:42 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: nitpicking?

In a message dated 05/14/2000 9:39:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
dococ@surferz.net writes:

<< The doctrine of "universalism" says all will go to heaven.  "Eternal
Security"  (a/k/a "perseverance of the saints") says that those who are truly
saved will certainly go to heaven.  (a/k/a "Once saved, always saved".   BUT
I no longer believe that everyone who gets pushed into saying a prayer is
truly saved.)
  >>

Owen,

Where I'm coming from is that we are not the judge, and that for us to be the
ones to draw the line and set standards ourselves for who is going to hell
bothers my conscience.  Also, since nobody really knows for sure (including
myself of course), then functionally we could behave as if everybody was
going to heaven and treat them as such to give people dignity and treat them
with respect.

I'm not saying we should sacrifice ourselves if somebody is making fun of us
or abusing us, Proverbs does say "the wise man sees danger and flees," and
other places in Scripture says "shake the dust off your feet and leave that
town."

Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 1
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:48:00 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: re: Thank ST???  are you nuts... kiddin....

Brother Mark,
Perhaps this reference will help: "But Joseph said to them,...You intended
to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being
done, the saving of many lives. "
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 3
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 22:06:37 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: Re: The Compound

Andrew had a shop not too far from Woodruff.
One evening I was appointed to baby sit and watch him
to "make sure he would work" and finish Stewart's book cases
for the then "new property".
While he worked, he listened to the boring Harold Camping.
The interesting thing was, what Harold was discussing was things
"we" were discussing.
Turns out, in my opinion, a lot of the Bible studies and subjects
came from the "harem" listening to Christian radio and asking
the wonderful Oz what his take was on it - and then that's what
we got "fed".

Robert San Pascual wrote:

> I bet the desk didn't cost any money for labor. My guess is that
> Andrew Pereira spent many many long hours on it. If I remember correctly, he

> built the desk for ST's office in Princeton. I worked with Andrew for
> a couple of months doing some cabinetmaking in the late 80s. Great
> craftsman. Let's keep him in prayer.
>
> In Christ,
> Bob San Pascual
 
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 4
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 22:22:03 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: re: Thank ST???  are you nuts... kiddin....
 

Hi Brother Steve,

I just got home and have to get to bed now but, yes, that is essentially what
I meant.  From the stories I'm hearing, I'm beginning to realize that Stewart
really did do a lot of bad things (like Joseph's brothers did), like that
sickening story somebody wrote today about him and Gayle.  That poor woman,
I was there the night she got "saved"  (at128 or 137 Church St. in Allentown).

Also, when I lived in fellowship on Walnut St. in Allentown I remember going
to the basement once, and people's entire worldly possessions were just stored
there, an entire basement full!  That's when I first became suspicious that
something wasn't right.

The thing that strikes me as strange though is that I never heard of a "cult"
where everybody kept talking about God and Jesus for years after they left,
in some bizarre way I haven't figured out yet it kind of wasn't a cult too.

I HAVE A LOT OF EMAIL I MUST CATCH UP ON SOON.

God Bless You,
Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 5
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 22:14:46 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: re: Stew & Gayle's living arrangements.....

Sister Carol,
May God give you wisdom and insight about international adoption.
I know what you mean about not wanting to be overconfident. I trust God will
supply all your needs in the things that really matter-
Remember, "And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to
pray and not lose heart."But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible
with God."
God bless sis,
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
  -----
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 9
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 23:13:33 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Label of "Cult"

Dear Mark T - I also have that same feeling that it "wasn't a cult" and that
is because your experience, and my experience was essentially "before" it
became an "actual" cult. (I have been told that I am probably in denial about
it being a cult, but I stick to this point). This is not to say the seeds and
perhaps the sprout were not in existence, but I can hardly believe the
reports of the brethren who came after us.  Now, look at Bob San P's
testimony that he was IN in the 80s - Jim and I left either late 79 or right
at the Jan 1 80 Big Beating, (we can't quite remember, as we fled to my Mom's
then came back in a rental car to NYC then drove in a blinding snowstorm
where they were closing the roads behind us from NYC to Buffalo).  It is hard
for me to think anyone would still have been attracted to join anytime after
1980 but look, some did, and I trust through his posts that Bob SP was
actually looking to seek God, not just live in a commune or whatever.  So,
back when you were IN, you saw more of the people getting saved and the zeal
and the brothers and sisters in strength.  Jim Enright's recent post on
"before and after" the MTC was very accurate about the way I see it also.
Many times on this List we have discussed the vast changes, and that initial
"glory" even the memory of it, the desire to see it restored is what held a
lot of the "first wave" brethren there for a long time.  Now, I can't see
even that memory superceding the reality of the evil that has taken place
since the "good old days;" the motivation must have surely degenerated into
fear, and absolutely having no other life-dream they can imagine due to being
so controlled.
Nancy C.

_________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 14
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:09:29 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Dee Law-Jones <Musicheaven@yahoo.com>
Subject: Jody Finitzer

Jim Enright - I remember you!  We were somewhere
together - I think in DC before I was "shipped" to
Baltimore and Philly.  What a testimony you have.  I
was extremely fortunate that when I finally escaped
cobu (I left twice), a bunch of very stubborn
Christians adopted me (against my will!) and loved me
back to health before I could make a worse mess of my
miserable shattered life.

I am so happy to hear that you are walking with Jesus
again - I used to ask about you but I heard you had
joined the Navy.  I remember praying for you.

And Jody!  During the Middle Rescue Mission days, Jody
was one of my best buds whom I loved fiercely!  He was
like a brother to me and he sheltered me from a lot of
the "tension" going on between the brothers and
sisters.  We used to go witnessing (and we'd play
arcade games while we were out there!) in Jody's white
van.  I was always with Jody in that white van (well,
I never lived in it...) with "the crew".  The crew
varied but some of them were:  Mitch Johnson, Terry
Pleasant Johnson, Debbie Scott, Tom Back, Steve
O'Rear, John Amaral, Millicent Watkins Haupt, Laura
Pavan, Jose Dopwell, Anita Murphy, and others whom I
can't remember right now.  We made those renegade
trips to the beach and to this swimming hole in
Maneyunk (sp?  I never could spell it!) where Ernie
Sewich (sp???) almost drowned - Carol Stutts might
remember that "exciting" day - I think she was there?

Jody came to see me one time when I was visiting my
family.  This was after he had left cobu.  He showed
up at my mom's house with Carl Buckley, Kevin Moran,
Jon Breech and Rochelle (who was Jon's girlfriend at
the time).  They were all high.  Very high.  I
remember trying to get them to spend the night because
I was afraid of them driving in that condition.  I
also remember that my Mom treated them like a part of
the family just because they were my friends.

The last time I talked to Jody (many moons ago), he
was still in New York but he had quit drugs and was
about to get married and move to Florida.  I've been
praying for him ever since.  He also said that he knew
Stewart was wrong about a lot of things. Haven't heard
from him for many years.

- Dee Law-Jones
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 15
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 04:43:56 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re:  Jody Finitzer

---
Hi, Dee! I remember you well. The sound of those names you listed was
like music to my soul! I remember almost all of them. I was
especially close to Jose, Jodi, and Kevin. You probably remember me
from all over the Washington center, and then again at the
middle "retard" house. I was in Haiti wit Tom Back. I first was at
Park Rd. when Chris Blaise was down there. Then I was at the Seat
Pleasant fellowship with let me see if I can do this:
Curtis Warren, Mike Horsey (Praaaaaise Gawwwwwwwwwwwwwd!) and
Gretchen, and loni, and Stephanie Seymour, and Grace and Judy Odems.
Then I went to Haiti. Then Bladensburg Rd, DC. There was Curtis, Lew
Letona,Debbie Young, and many others. Then the Montana Ave. house.
    If I close my eyes, I can still hear those brothers and sisters
singing! Can you hear it? There's Curtis louder than the rest-
booming a baritone, with his eyes closed, his face straining. Grace
and Stephanie holding down the middle harmonies, with Sandra and
Laroniain there and Gretchen with that thin crisp voice, high above.
And we would sing at the
morning meetings, and we would sing at work, and we would sing at the
art show, we would sing before prayer, we would sing! My heart would
fall in love with Jesus all over again, every we time we sang! My
spirit would soar!
Years later, at a Big Meeting, we awaited the Great Bearded One with
a sense of foreboding. We were singing "oh, how happy, God has made
me"{ But unlike the years in Washington, this song was anything but
happy.) I remember because that was the last time that we ever sang
those old Washington type songs ever again. 2 things were decided by
Stew that day - that even songs must fit into correct interpretation
to be sung, and that  the only survivors were Amazing Grace, Mighty
Fortress, and Just as I am. I think a little piece of me died that
day. You know, for many of us it was more like the "thousand little
deaths." but the day we stopped singing, was the day my spirit began
its dying.
I'm off track as usual! Anyway, that list of brothers and sisters
brought it back for me. I have alot of really bad memories of the
church. But I have such fond memories of the brothers and sisters.

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 16
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 05:07:49 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re:  Label of "Cult"

Jim Enright writes:  Well said, as usual Nancy. And to Mark: even
those of us who got out in the middle 1990's there was always a hope -
 soon we will go back to the centers, soon we will be set free, soon
we will be married. But 2 things happened to us in the 90's. One is
the abuse got worse, and 2 we looked in the mirror, and couldn't see
our youthful selves with buttons and pouches and songs. Instead we
saw exhausted old eyes. Sleeping on the carpet cleaning machines
seemed to matter more at 40. As to the cult label, that was a
transition for me. I never thought so in the 70's but when I left, I
could go so far as saying "cult like" or "abusive church." Part of my
denial was the shame of being so thoroughly had from the time I got
saved, (I couldn't grow a mustache) until the time I finally left( I
found my first gray hair.) The cultish qualities are in direct
proportion to the amount of control usurped by Stewart from the
fellowship. Our problem with it, I think, in part is due to the
difficulty we have realizing how we were able to give all our power
away and then our resenting the one to whom we gave it. It is easier
thinking of it as just a good thing gone bad. In hindsight, there was
only one direction that the church could have gone from 'back then"
That direction led to exactly where they are today.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Message: 21
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 05:15:50 -0400
   From: "raynard" <n8vzl@freewwweb.com>
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

Now, in 1988 the radio carbon dating proved it was not from the time in
question.  However, not so fast, the author "Jeffrey Hart" says.  His
reasoning?  It was discovered there was a thin film of bacteria on the Shroud
which was of the same kind that are on certain Egyptian mummies "...a
radio-carbon test of a mummified body's wrapping places the mummy  MUCH
LATER
THAN WE KNOW IT TO BE."  [caps. M.T.]

Wasn't it determined that a fire threw off the carbon dating and it could either
much younger or much older than previously thought?
 

Even if it is not an image of our King, it is still awesome.
http://www.shroud.com/

[National Review May 18, 1998 - "A Photograph of Jesus?" by Jeffrey Hart]
============================================
 

Message: 4
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 10:27:01 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Re:  Label of "Cult"

In a message dated 5/16/00 1:09:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
jtenright@hotmail.com writes:

<< In hindsight, there was
 only one direction that the church could have gone from 'back then"
 That direction led to exactly where they are today. >>

I love you Jim E - and I trust you have been through more than enough to have
an "educated" opinion, but on this statement, I disagree.  If ST had actually
feared God, if he had raised up instead of smashing down our internal
leaders, (or maybe even if he physically died), it could have been more than
awesome.  Nancy C.

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 8
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 14:55:27 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Nancy C. to Mark T.

Hey Mark T- yes, Paula Tooman Smith Hradkowski - our fearless fellowship
leader in reality, since we never really had a leading brother, but many did
come visit us at the nice Allentown house - (many married couples especially,
poor dears, escaping the NYC lofts for a weekend - remember?)  she's not on
the List, but she does write now and then.  She seems to be doing well, as is
Sid, her sister.  I often wish we could hear from the Cooper-man, he was a
good friend.  I bet he's successful in something; I think his dad was
military in some way, and he was a smart bro.  Sheri left a long while ago,
and lived with some sisters out, I'm not sure of all of the details. I still
remember when her mom tried to kidnap her back, and even though I'm sorry
Cobu turned out how it has, her mom surely was a weird person, so I don't
blame Sheri for wanting out of her house.  I hope she is okay now.  And is
that ex-priest by chance Francis McNutt?  One of my favorite writers if that
is the case. Either way you have whetted my appetite for more news to come.
Hear from you when you can.  And Mark, I am also glad to "re-find" you.  I
remember being glad to hear news of you years ago reading about you in
COMMON GROUND a small x-boo publication of the Griffiths.  (In fact, MM, if you read
this note, ask John and Darlene if they have any of those copies for scanning
for your site, they are historical).  If you feel like driving, Liz (Harrison
of Camden, my first "lamb" and friend before I got saved) Lyons is trying to
put together a BBQ on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, a couple of
weekends from now, in Lancaster PA, of x-boos from the area.  Jim and I need to go up
there to Plymouth Meeting (where is that?) to a Family Reunion/80th Birthday,
on that Sat.  but we have Sun. Afternoon-Evening free for this gathering.  If
you can think about going, let me know so I can tell Liz - oh, it will be in
Lancaster I think.  Feel like contending with some buggies for road-space?
Let me know.  Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 9
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 15:32:48 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: remember??  YES!!

Dee Jones said:   We made those renegade
trips to the beach and to this swimming hole in
Maneyunk (sp?  I never could spell it!) where Ernie
Sewich (sp???) almost drowned - Carol Stutts might
remember that "exciting" day - I think she was there?

Carol replied:  Yes, I remember... lots of fun.
Do you remember when we were on the middle counsel together?
My fall from grace came when I started holding my pay check so I
could attend college.
(I'm still attending... sigh...  )
Carol
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 10
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 12:34:35 PDT
   From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>
Subject: Update and remin....?...remembering

Hi all.....I got my computer back....it went down when i brought my son's
new fishing pole near the tower....just died...must have been the built up
of static electricity.

I am about to load 330 of Janet Feathers pictures.....wow....memories..for
me...a little and probably alot for you all. It did put me in a mood of
summary. so here goes.

When I see the pictures of brothers and sisters who were striving and
faithful and trying to please God..20-25 years ago..and then think of where
we all ended up....and taking what i have learned doing the web
page....things come to mind....how we all have returned to the "person" we
were before the storms....and we are older now and so we are not quite that
same person....and what we believe about God and Jesus...differs
now....Talking to Jim E...I found someone I knew...someone I certainly
recognize...and someone who has worked through recovery from cobu and other
things related to the pressure of cobu. When it all comes down...there is a
bond, a relationship...and an opportunity to get to know someone I only
partly knew those many years ago.

Our Sharpen list daily shows us that we are individuals. Arguing and sorting
out truth is difficult for anyone..but especially for people who were
trained to pull back on our intellect and go for what Stew said. And the one
who won the argument in cobu was either ST or one he chose to support for
that week. Now we are out and we have made choices and have become very
different from one another. We can argue whether cobu was good or bad...or
when was it good then gone bad...or was it all bad with different illusions?
We all went through the same church..but different stages. Some caught the good
parts and their personality did not attract much attention. Others went through
the MTC and made it out the other end. Some got in after the MTC and got
their won version of Stew. Then there was the Princeton years....The
Compound....and what about the perspective of the sisters who work for ST in
FLA now..when they leave...and think about the children of the brothers and
sisters who were raised in cobu. Can you imagine being 23 years old and from
the time you became aware..there was Stewart Traill...yelling at your
parents or somewhere near your house? every time i see pictures of ST now I
audibly say "BOOOOOO"....He really has become just a villian...no good in
him.....

We all have different takes and yet we have a common knowledge about that
place. I am glad to be able to talk to people who understand what we went
through. I need to get things out. what I have not gotten over is the total
disclosure we were trained to do. I still tell all my non-christian friends
as well as my pastor ..nearly everything that goes on with me....believe
me...it's more than they bargained for.

The reunion is coming and as someone who went to the last one..let me
say...It's a great time....I was racking my brain..with fears about who is
in charge...and what if current cobu shows up to mess with us...my
imagination was 100% wrong about everything....I think everyone knows that
..we're not there to change anyone or get anyone to go a certain way or to
talk only of our memories or say nothing of the past. I did not give credit
to anyone to know the balance of things. I think i was my worst enemy in
getting all revved up and well....the reunion was great. Everyone knows
everyone and we have wives, husbands, children, jobs, lives after, and
there really is something we all have to say.

Funny, I talked to Gary Jones before and after last years reunion. He was
certainly ready for marriage and we talked about that funny invention of
God's. I did not have much wisdom to give..being married only 9 years. Gary
and Becky Wagner got married in March of this year. I was so happy and
thought that old ST sure did put alot of weird timetables on us as to when
things should happen or if they should happen at all.  With God there is so
much possibility.

So I will now load Janet's pictures and soon you will have the link. I am
going to file for my W-2 information for the years I was in cobu. Owen might
be right about how cobu reported the ssn stuff..but maybe the W-2 info is
different. Don't worry...I'm not using much energy looking into this stuff.
I am more interested in your testimonies and you guys emailing each other.
And if you are in touch with someone who is on line but not here..let them
know where we are.

Mike M
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 12
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 15:39:53 -0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: a cult or not a cult.....  which is it.

The fact is that COBU is and was a cult.
However, our relationship with Jesus was a separate issue.  I believe that most
if not all of us were whole heartedly committed to following Jesus to the best of our ability and had great
attitudes, but Stew is who Stew was.  There's no doubt in my mind.  The
Forever Family and Church of Bible Misunderstanding was
all a part of HIS deceitful plan.
Carol________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 13
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 12:51:04 -0700
   From: "L A Magpoc" <lmagpoc@angelfire.com>
Subject: Re: end from begin - Cyrus

 According to Josephus,  the high priest in the temple at Jerusalem showed
Alexander the great himself in scripture also.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 15
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 20:01:22 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: re: Eternal Security

In a message dated 5/14/2000 7:31:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
cstutts@kih.net writes:

 Well Mark,
 Read Matthew 25 and tell me how anyone anywhere can walk around being
totally positive about their end?  And look at all the hypocrisy around you in
church.  And again tell me.
 Carol

  >>
Hi Carol, Everyone of us, including the apostles (remember Peter in GAL 2,
JAMES 3:8-10) did hypocritical things even after they were saved. That's why
we need grace. Now of course if one practices hypocrisy on a continual basis,
then such a one would be presuming on God's Grace & is deceiving oneself
(JUDE 1:4) The reason the grace of God appeared is to teach us to say No to
ungodliness & worldly desires, & Yes to God's will (TITUS 2:11-13, ROM
6:15-23)  We can't totally be sure because of our old self. However I can say
that HEB 11:1 is true of me. Part of a Christian's daily life is a struggle
or war as described in ROM 7:14-25 & one who has saving faith has this
attitude.

                                                            Herm
 
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 16
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 20:23:30 -0500
   From: Eric Fetterolf <fetterof@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Geroge Venarchik

Thanks all for the update on "Applesauce" George venarchik!!

________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Message: 20
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:57:38 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

How could that have been faked then?
From:  Owen
        Dear Nancy
       Can't you take a hot iron (or a metal rod heated up) and scorch  linen
cloth?  It doesn't sound hard.
        Doesn't Jn 20:6 describe a different type of burial cloth?  I'm under
the impression that the Jews wrapped their corpses in strips horizontally, like
mummies.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 23
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:28:14 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: nitpicking?

I think much of American Christianity has a "fast-food" mentality and in Cobu we
used to practice "drive through" witnessing for the most part
From:  Owen
        Dear Steve
       True!, but we weren't the worst.  I once saw Dave Wilkerson in Prospect
Park , he called people over to him, prayed a 7 word prayer, and let them go.
No witnessing, and no follow-up.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 24
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:22:11 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: The Compound
 

From:  Owen
        Dear ?
       Dumb questions:  Who uses the stu wing now?  Is it locked up so no one
can go there?  Who did the maintenance there (i.e. restocking the bathrooms)?
How many brethren got to see that spot, and how many heard about it?
        OH, he had a nice desk and globe at Princeton.  I'm sure Andrew Perreira
& Chris Montoya built the desk from Princeton.  I guess AP helped build these
new ones.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 11
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:49:21 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

Good info on the Shroud, Mark T.  I read a book that fascinated me,
especially how the image was produced on the cloth.  Like you said, it was
from extreme heat.  It would have to have been left on the cloth by a three
dimensional "object" in the shape it left, inside the wrapping, for only a
second or two.  So, it would be consistent with a body that suddenly became
white-hot, then disappeared.  That itself amazed me. How could that have been
faked then?
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 12
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:59:40 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: nitpicking?

Dear Mark T - I do like your paradigm shift in thinking about how to view
people.  You are looking for the good instead of the evil that way.  In a
sense, I think you are onto how we are to look for Jesus.  It is true that
our minds do need to categorize things, events and even people (especially
their actions) for our own logical thought organization, and for our personal
safety - (the older I get the more I see how we are taught to reject our gut
feelings out of "politeness" and this can lead to danger at times, or to
being abused as we have all seen), but you are right that to afford others
personal respect does often open the doors to better relationship, and
relationship can lead to their salvation much better than like someone
recently wrote here: "pushing them into a quick prayer."  Also, I think we
have learned, there are those who do intentionally use those who give
respect, and if you find yourself being used, then is the time to walk away -
MHO.
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 

Message: 14
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 11:25:44 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: [Re: [Immediately after leaving]]

Steve S. wrote:
Tom and Jim were both very faithful taking care of the food supplies. I don't
think they were ever recognized for that however.
Nancy C. writes:
I have thought about that over the years, how many did things there that
never even got a thank-you.  In a "regular" church, it is one of the
courtesies that people be thanked.  Once in a class in Christian college they
actually emphasized that a pastor should always thank his people, at least in
the bulletin or something.  They also said that "if you thank the volunteers
you had this year you will not lack for volunteers next year."  People need
to be appreciated.  There were many "unsung heroes" in Cobu.  May God bless
all who did deeds there to benefit others that only He saw.  What was done in
secret will be shouted aloud in Heaven.  Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 16
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 17:09:24 GMT
   From: "Ouida Carrington" <omcghie@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: re: married in COBU... NOT

Oh my God, I am laughing so hard here at work I was in Bobby Whipples
fellowship.  I thought they were such a good couple at the time (76) and
love them dearly.  I was in the Detroit  Fellowship (Gross Point Woods) when
Stewart and Gail came (before getting married) and he told us how we just
had a good Spirit (some in the fellowship had received the Baptism in the
Holy Spirit).  Well any way after Bible Study and going up to bed.  Then
came Stewart up to his room with Gail his then secretary supposedly to
dictate notes.  Well I just would not go to sleep.  Gail never came out till
morning.  That is when I packed up and left COBU.
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 23
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:29:15 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: [Re: [Harold Zigon]]

Sister Ronnie,
Thanks sis and tell Lonnie I have great memories of what a great bro he was
in the "Big House".
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
-----
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 25
   Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:36:49 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: [Re: [Immediately after leaving]]

Sister Nancy,
My old gray matter doesn't recall Brother Coogan with us but I do seem to
recall another brother who's face I can't quite focus on. That was probably
him.
Thank God we all have come a long way from those days!
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
-________________________________________________________________________

Message: 2
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 20:39:07 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Ray
       Personally I can't see how carbon dating could be accurate.
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 3
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 20:52:13 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: What if
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Nancy
       Whose idea was it to separate the brethren from other churches?  Whose
idea was it to live communally?  I don't believe that power corrupts, I think
that the corrupt seek power and create "emergencies" to encourage the
consolidation of power.  A year and a half ago, Chris B and others were
discussing the origin of the FF, and what I remember is that ST undermined and
pushed aside those who were natural leaders so that he would have no
competition.  The "founding fathers" would have had to distrust ST, realize his
game, and then possessed the confidence to unite and eject him.
        So while theoretically it could have become right, there were serious
roadblocks and detours.  IN FACT:  The Bronx Household Of Faith (BHOF)
started out as 15 twenty somethings living in one house.  But 2 of them had been to
seminary, and they all realized that the communal thing was only temporary.
There wasn't somebody 10 years older worming his way to the top.  BHOF is
now a regular church and part of a denomination.  It doesn't consider itself to be
"God's Green Berets".  (OK a little, but it doesn't despise "CC"s.)
        Nancy it was awesome at some times and in some places.

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
 ________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 4
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 20:58:56 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

It is hard for me to think anyone would still have been attracted to join
anytime after 1980 but look, some did,
From:  Owen
        Dear Nancy
       In 1980 a great many joined CBU.  There were 400 at a lamb Big Meeting.
And in 81 some of those moved in.  And in 82 a few more.  But after 82 they
were few and far between.  (OK some older ones moved in and out, but few new
faces.)Starting in 83 we started recruiting homeless youth, and we saw a great many
transients.  By 84 the majority of the "Young Sheep" were gone.  In 1984 there
was Stone Mountain Manor where we rejoiced to see 400 at a BM.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
  ----- Original Message -----

________________________________________________________________________

  Sister Mary,
  Good admonition sis. And well written.
  I don't have any problem admitting I was in a cult but I have gone back and
  forth about whether it was a cult or an abusive church. The leader certainly
  wasn't saved while we were under his teaching and the way he would call us a
  cult and then laugh about it-perhaps that was one of the only true things he
  ever said. Cobu has all the marks of a cult. I guess the old saw about "If
  it walks like a duck"etc...probably applies here.
  Yours in Christ,
  Sola Scriptura,
  Steve
 ________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 7
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 21:43:17 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Re:  Jody Finitzer

Brother Jim,
Regarding your comment: ". I have alot of really bad memories of the
> church. But I have such fond memories of the brothers and sisters."
A big AMEN to the part about the found memories of the brothers and sisters.
By the way, I was from the first Seat Pleasant (1975-part of 1976). Boo man
Jerry Collins, Sharon Sullivan, Chris Olfus, Eric Fetterolf, Randy Choice,
Mike Sullivan, Charles Pleasance and many, many more.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 12
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 21:38:06 -0400
   From: "Mary O'Keefe" <mokeefe674@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

I was going to let this one go but I can't.  Pardon me, but denial (if you
have done any study on the subject) is a pretty powerful tool to use in any
dysfunctional situation you have had to face in your life (and we all had to
face dysfunction at one time or another 'cause this world is not without
sin).  The problem with denial, is you can't remain there 'cause it can be
dangerously destructive to not only your physical health but also your
emotional, mental and spiritual health.  It's only meant as a temporary
means but Americans today use it as a daily basis for living.  That's why
the sick society we have today.  You may be confusing the fact that you
actually and a lot of us got saved and God carried us through that situation.
I got saved in 1979 after the newspaper announced the anniversary of
Jonestown.  As Paul the Apostle said "whether in pretense or in truth, none
the less, Christ was preached" and we got saved.  God will use anyone; even
a mule in the OT.  It doesn't mean that those from COBU who preached were
insincere but I believe ST was and he deceived all of us.

Now you can all go ahead and deny your dysfunction in your lives or you
could start to really address it.  It's your choice.  Denial is a strong
drug of choice but God is long suffering.  I'll be praying for you.

Love,

MO
______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 10
   Date: The, 18 May 2000 00:13:11 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Okay Mary, this is Nancy Coogan, am I speaking loud enough?  I disagree with
you, and it is my choice to do so.  Now, if I do so, that is choose to
believe what I believe, from an educated stance (I won't quote credentials),
will you condescend to tell me I am being defensive?  Can I stand up in our
"meeting" here, and disagree for my own reasons, and will it rise up in you
that you absolutely MUST set me straight, for the sake of my poor children
who will be so misled if I believe what I believe because surely I am
dysfunctional for thinking this way... sis, can't you let it go that I won't
agree with you?  Does that make me "bad" even if I disagreed with ALL of you?
 Do I get voted down at least two colors?  You don't have to feel so sorry
for me, just because I don't believe when I left it was an abusive church.
Have we developed our own party line here?  I can't disagree but what I take is
the heat?  Nancy C.

=============================================================
 

Message: 14
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 21:44:52 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

No, Read again what I wrote Owen - it is like a 3-D body (not easy to put
inside a long cloth folded from the feet to the head if made out of metal
that could get that hot like an iron) got extremely hot enough to radiate
outwards for a very short time, then suddenly it stopped being that hot and
had no cool-down time, because that would have also left a certain kind of
mark.  It was like it became white-hot, burned into the cloth a certain way
leaving this 3-D negative image of the crucified man, then whatever caused
the 3-D body image, suddenly was not there.  Now I'm not saying it is either
real or fake.  I'm just saying that there are historical records to show this
thing is very, very old, and if it is a fake, how did they do THAT?  Anyway,
as you have a detective-like mind, you may find some of this stuff
fascinating.  Even things like the carbon-dating and such, many people have
differing views, but it is an interesting artifact at least.  You may enjoy a
book - you might find it in your Library.
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 15
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 22:12:24 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Re:  Label of "Cult"

Sister Nancy,
I can't agree with that sis though if it had been right in the beginning it
could have been awesome. The reason I agree with Jim is because the "head"
was spiritually dead and all the teaching came from the head. As the head
goes, so goes the body. Even if ST had croaked while we were in our heyday,
the unscriptural teaching was still inside each one of us. Who had right
teaching among us? We were so sure that no other churches had the truth that
we would have continued in our isolation or there would have probably been a
split.
The whole thing was sick from the non spiritual theology given by a
spiritually dead teacher. We might as well have been taught by the JWs or
the Mormons. We were taught the Gospel And, not the Gospel. And that is what
we taught the "lambs" and anyone else who would listen.
That is why God had to actually physically remove those of us who are here
now. He had to take us out of that environment so he could restore us and
get some "live" teaching into us.
Praise God He did.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 16
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 22:47:53 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: re: Eternal Security

Brother Herm,
Well said bro.
I memorized the verse you quoted in Titus: "For the grace of God that brings
salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness
and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in
this present age, while we await for the Blessed Hope-the glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem
us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people who are His very
own, eager to do what is good." Great verses of hope.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 20
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 22:57:39 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Sister Mary,
Good admonition sis. And well written.
I don't have any problem admitting I was in a cult but I have gone back and
forth about whether it was a cult or an abusive church. The leader certainly
wasn't saved while we were under his teaching and the way he would call us a
cult and then laugh about it-perhaps that was one of the only true things he
ever said. Cobu has all the marks of a cult. I guess the old saw about "If
it walks like a duck"etc...probably applies here.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 21
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 23:31:09 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Wow, Steve, I'm glad that you posted and included Mary O'K's post about
denial as I had not seen it.  Thanks Mary that you are concerned.  I've
written about this before on Coogan's Corner, and I won't belabor the point,
Cobu certainly IS a cult now, but I do tend to believe at the time I was IN
that ST himself was in process of going bad.  I agree with some who believe
he actually backslid, although I know this is controversial to say here, and
there may not be a lot of fruit on the good side of his actions compared to
the evil actions we have heard began even in his FF diner days.  Yes, he was
backsliding at the time I was IN, but like I said, the Fellowship to me was
the houses, the brethren.  I had very little to do with ST himself until MTC,
nor did a lot of us.  Steve, you have a point that he seized leadership and
there was some distorted teachings right from the beginning; these got
progressively more unscriptural.  And Mary you have a point (really, you got
saved around the time of Jonestown, eh? Jim and I left either late 79 or Jan
1 80 mtg) that God can use anyone, but the early brothers, I have a hard time
thinking all that happened was just human effort - see it wasn't about Stew
at that time, it was about Jesus.  I saw it becoming more about Stew.  And I
will be the first to call ST a dirty old man, running off with his sweet-meat
secretary when the poor wife is stuck with the 5 kids, but I don't know that
he had it all figured out from the beginning.  He had his sexual dysfunction
in terms of his views of women, and his own macho attention trip, but I don't
know that he thought to himself "hmm, I think I'll be a wonderful cult
leader, starting today."  I think all these things mixed with a curiosity
about human nature, religion and an ego (fueled by Lucifer) combined to be a
fatal mix for the Fellowship.  He kept testing, testing, testing to see what
he could get away with.  Like Jim E writes, we were just so many experiments
to him.  That is chillingly cold.  And, don't worry Mary, it wasn't a
professional psych that suggested "denial" on my part.  It is my opinion, and
I know others disagree, that's okay.  I tend to think that the correct term
for the beginning of Cobu was a church that abuses, because it was a church.
After enough abuse, certainly it is hard for us to draw the line when, it
turned into a cult. That is my only point to Mark T. - Thank God he didn't
see either more abuse or more cult-like behavior.  At the point he left,
early on, I think he left an abusive church, not cult.
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 22
   Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 23:37:32 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Common Ground & Story

Oh, Herm, If you have that Common Ground paper, cool, did you show it to
MM yet?  And as for where, it isn't set yet.  I have to find out myself, but I
was to Liz & Marvins a few years ago.  I think I told the story here.  It was
so neat, see, I led Liz to Jesus, she was a friend before i got saved.  But
several people were there and we were about to take communion together, and
who walks in but Denny Dennison, and he was the person who prayed with
Marvin to be saved!  He told us how he had been on the highway, and got to their
exit, and suddenly wanted to visit Marvin, so he turned off and headed to
their home.  They hadn't seen each other in quite a while, and here he walked
into an x-boo mini-reunion and took communion with us.  But all I know is
Lancaster PA.  More details to follow; and yes, call whoever could come!
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Message: 3
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 04:46:09 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: "cult"

Ironic that cult and culture share the same root. But it is the
culture, in the end, that defines a cult. They can have very
different teachings, different practices, different behaviors. But
all cults share some pretty basic cultural profiles:
They discourage independence
They are often emotionally, sometimes physically abusive
They are socially isolated
They each have a strong sense of terminal uniqueness
They are manipulative
They go for your money, sex, or labor
They use shame and guilt as disciplinary tools
They strip people of their persons, they remove humanity
They trap people by making it unbearable to stay and impossible to go
They have double standards between leadership and the rank-and-file
They humiliate
They remove the ability to think critically
They defame their critics
They use the dynamics of group psychology to control the weak
They are divisive
That list could go on and on ad nauseum. These are true of almost all
cult cultures, whatever their particular beliefs.
Few would argue that COBU is a cult. The cult professionals list it
as a cult in their encyclopedias. But the question has arisen, "was
it always so?" To me, and this is just my opinion, it has always been
so. A caterpillar doesn't look like a butterfly when it is still a
caterpillar, but it can be only one thing when it grows up. A lion
looks like a cute little kitty when it is small, but if it is a lion,
it has no choice but to grow into one. The tree is known by it's
fruits. Sometimes you have to wait till the tree has fruit to tell
what kind of tree it is. it wasn't an apple tree when we planted it
and turned out to to bear oranges. It bore oranges because that is
what it always was. The wheat and the tares - they look the same
until they grow up. This does in no way detract from our personal
histories. No one believed it was a cult when they were saved. As
Stew said of himself at the Grace Mtg. "I'm no hypocrite, what I did,
I did in ignorance." That was far more true of us than he. But
whatever our perspective of our formative years in the fellowship ( I
have alot of good memories of devotion and fellowship) it does not
alter the fact that the tree bore cultish fruit, because the tree was
a cult. Abusive church, cult,  - doesn't really matter. A rose by any
other name still has sharp thorns - whatever you call it
I think we just have a very understandable declivity toward that last
piece of humiliation that follows us long after we part - I was in a
cult - I got had.

________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

Message: 9
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 01:39:10 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: "cult"

In a message dated 05/17/2000 12:46:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
jtenright@hotmail.com writes:

<< Ironic that cult and culture share the same root. But it is the
 culture, in the end, that defines a cult. They can have very
 different teachings, different practices, different behaviors. But
 all cults share some pretty basic cultural profiles:
 They discourage independence >>

Jim,

Interesting points and an interesting letter.

The thing about Culture is something called the "Party Line," or, "You
believe like US or your an OUTCAST.   Did you ever notice that in the Gospels
Jesus spent most of his time with the outcasts of society; the Sinners,
Tax-collectors, Prostitutes, Lame, Blind, Lepers and Cripples.  As a matter
of fact, some of these were literally his best friends.

In addition, the "Establishment" (i.e., corrupt Temple priesthood or
Sanhedrin) labeled his followers the Nazarene "Sect," a dubious play on
words!

Mark T.

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 10
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 02:32:50 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: COBU history

In a message dated 05/16/2000 1:09:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
jtenright@hotmail.com writes:

<<  But 2 things happened to us in the 90's. One is
 the abuse got worse, and 2 we looked in the mirror, and couldn't see
 our youthful selves with buttons and pouches and songs. Instead we
 saw exhausted old eyes. Sleeping on the carpet cleaning machines
 seemed to matter more at 40. As to the cult label, that was a
 transition for me. I never thought so in the 70's  >>

Jim,

Hi, how are you?  That story is kind of sad really.  I'll wonder what
happened for the rest of my earthly life.  The Forever Family originally
arose when Stewart and several others got up and walked out of a regular
Pentecostal church called "The Message" in the very early '70's.  I don't
know how many brothers and sisters are really aware of the history behind
this.

Then, several years later they met at 2 places on Church St. in Allentown
(128 & 137?)  Eventually three people signed a charter of Incorporation and
had the name of the "F.F." changed to the "Church of Bible Understanding."
The 3 who signed were Mike Theodoritis, Skip O'Neill and Dorothy Stout
(notice how Stewart never signed anything?).

Mark T.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 12
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 02:49:29 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin
 
 

Dear Raynard,

Hi!

There are 2 different things.  A fire did PARTIALLY destroy it but left most
of it intact because they got to it in time.  There is ALSO a thin film of
clear bacteria that they know is throwing off the radio-carbon dating by 1200
years

The same type of bacteria is throwing off the dates of certain mummies by the
same amount because they know the precise dates of these mummies through
other reliable sources.

Mark T.
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 5
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 21:24:16 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Jim Oinman
 

From:  Owen
        Dear All
       Bob Whipple used to have a wood floor and construction business.  He
used to hire brothers and tell them that he was turning in $ in their name.  BUT his
business wasn't making very much, and so the brothers got reprimanded for not
turning in anything.  Most of these brothers quickly quit and were quite upset
with BW.  But Jim O stayed in that business for at least a year, and was in debt
to the church for quite a sum.  And BW owed quite a sum to quite a few.  (He
gave JO a wood floor machine.)  I reckon that the wood floor business was JO's
hideout.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY   dococ@surferz.net
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 9
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 00:09:55 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: nitpicking?
 
 

You are correct in your analysis of my thoughts and intentions with regards
to this approach to Christianity.  I guess there are many approaches (grey -
teaching tools and methods).  That was very observant too when you mentioned
the way the mind categorizes things.  In other words my personality, which is
mostly based on almost obsessively labeling and neatly categorizing things
would lead me to this approach.  Labeling everybody as "good" so I don't
have to worry about details makes them easier to work with.  Everybody has
the exact same disease anyway called sin.

Notice I also kind of built in safety release valve in all of this too, and
that is, if you can tell someone is being abusive and it's not your fault
then merely distance yourself from them.  Jesus was the master, he treated
everybody differently so this is my "approach" since I'm not as good as Jesus
was or ever hope to be.

Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 11
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 00:19:59 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

Realistically, with all the evidence at hand, lets face it; any conceivable
jury with an open mind would judge the Shroud to be "the real deal."  I
believe there are way too many things.  Sure, somebody could refute one
point, but no way ALL of them; like you said the 3 dimensionality, the
pollen, the carbon dating (taking into account the clear bacteria), the
"negative" 1800 yrs. before the invention of photography, the documentation
going back to at least the 2nd century, the fact it's the only shroud from so
long ago.

One more thing, a burial cloth is a burial cloth, the Jews didn't have any
special "shape," how many ways can a burial cloth (the Bible's words, not
mine) be shaped?

Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 12
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 00:22:40 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Why Abuse

In a message dated 05/15/2000 12:47:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
omcghie@hotmail.com writes:

<< Hi Mike and everyone!
 Praise the Lord it is a good time to be living and giving God praise. I have
not been able to really comment and participate for a while but I have been
in and out reading the messages on and off, I love you guys. I have noticed a
pattern that comes up on an ongoing basis. The pattern is this ... having
conversations on being harsh with each other. To me this smacks of FF/Cobu
type behavior. Maybe we don't realize it or see it but from someone observing
it seems like it. And maybe just some of that programming is still there. I
know that we are to treat each other kindly (Be kindly affectioned one to
another with brotherly love in honor preferring one another Rom. 12:10) While
I was there in the beginning it was not so bad but as time went on we all
seemed to get more contentious with each other as that was how we were being
trained. We were asked "what are you into" "where is your head" and "what is
your aim" etc. As I would sit on the couch silently listening to biblestudy I
would be asked "are you into an attention trip" you know stuff like that. I
am not saying be sappy sweet but let's not go for the jugular, Jesus was
always kind until it came to the church playing Pharisees. Lets be kind to
each other think before you write something that might hurt some one or
damage them. We have all been damaged by our experience with FF/Cobu lets
not  repeat that behavior to our friends.  >>

Ouida,   Hi!

Good point, the world gives us enough grief, even in the "churches."
Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 13
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 00:23:51 -0400
   From: "WCCM" <wccmnet@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: "cult"

Maybe I missed something...Is there someone here who denies it was a cult?
________________________________________________________________________
I was led to Jesus in a fellowship house in Arlington in the summer of '76,
at the age of 15.  It was still the Forever Family then.  I was attracted to
the enthusiastic, outrageous youthful zeal that the brothers and sisters had
for Jesus.  I continued for a short time in Bible studies and learning the 12
salvation verses, but quickly fell away and back into sin in the world.

Nearly two years later, in the spring of '78, I found myself at home one
night weeping in anguish over the hopelessness, the purposelessness of my
life.  There was no explicit circumstance or trauma, I just knew in my heart
that the direction of my life was nowhere, and that my existence was
meaningless.

I hadn't given serious thought to God in a long time, and I don't think I was
actually praying, but I earnestly desired at that moment to know "why am I
here?"  I was sitting on the couch in my living room, gazing out the sliding
glass door into the darkness of night, and noticed a light which I assumed
was a window in the house behind ours.  I studied it intently through
tear-filled eyes, and gradually it came into focus-a bearded man in a white
robe, with a gold breastplate, holding up a lamp.  At the very instant I saw
this image with crystal clarity, it disappeared, and the words of John 8:12
rang out in my heart - "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will
not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

The next day I received a phone call from Lisa Bienvenue, who had found an
old filing box of index cards with the names and numbers of former lambs in
it, buried somewhere at Park street.  I hadn't heard from any FF'ers in
nearly two years-eventually I started going around to the fellowship, in fact
only weeks later a house opened in Virginia at Bren Mar in Alexandria...

Years later, I fully realize that "back in the day" cobu was an abusive
church, if not a cult.  I was always terrified of Stewart at big meetings, or
when he came to Washington for center meetings.  But mostly I was insulated
from his deception and manipulation.  I know that God had a purpose and
reason for me spending my spiritual infancy in cobu, as he did for all of us
who came through that experience with our faith intact.  We know that
deception is one of the most effective tools of the enemy, because when we're
deceived, we don't know it.  I pray that we never forget that lesson, and
that through God's grace we receive courage to stand firm in the truth.
                                    In Christ, Amy

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 14
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 00:42:07 -0400
   From: "WCCM" <wccmnet@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: The Abusive Church

Amy,
That is awesome!  Really special that Jesus would show himself to you that
way....and walk you through the lessons that you learned.

He loves you.  Never forget

Diana
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 15
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 05:12:57 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

--- In sharpen@egroups.com, nkcsigner2@a... wrote:
Does that make me "bad" even if I disagreed with ALL of you?
>  Do I get voted down at least two colors?  You don't have to feel
so sorry
> for me, just because I don't believe when I left it was an abusive
church.
> Have we developed our own party line here?  I can't disagree but
what I take the heat?  Nancy C.
 
 
 

Nancy,
I HOPE we can disagree with each other from time to time. I think it
is healthy. But as you are, I also am a little disturbed, not at the
disagreement( after all, I disagreed), but at the tone of some of the
posts. I hope that we who comment here do not condescend to ganging
up, or harboring resentments. After all, there is a clear line
between saying my opinion and insisting that you all agree with me.
We have different experiences, and different perspectives and are at
different places in recovery, and have different relationships with
God.
  Love does not insist on its own way. Of course, this is just my
opinion.
                                                -Jim
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 16
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 05:38:03 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re:  The Abusive Church

--- In sharpen@egroups.com, nkcsigner2@a... wrote:
 

 I understand your point about the lion as a cute kitty, Jim E - I
respect your insights into a lot of things, but I think the verse about the
wheat and the tares is more like it.  Even now, to me, those of us who all
along belonged to Jesus are still His, and just because there were tares,
doesn't mean we were the fruit of the tares.  We are the wheat, we are NOT
the fruit of ST.  Our scars might be, but our souls are NOT.  So, am I'm an
uppity,contentious sister??? LOL Nancy C.

Jim writes: I absolutely agree. We individuals are not tares. We are
God's children. I only meant that the 2 look like each other for a
while until they grow up. Then, they can be distinguished. I was
thinking in terms of COBU, the collective - not the people in it. I
hope you know that I would not presume to know any better than anyone
else. And no, that doesn't make you uppity or contentious. I value
your opinions and always look forward to your posts. I hope you
didn't think I was demeaning your view- but if so I apologize.
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 19
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 02:44:25 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin
 

Owen,

Carbon dating is accurate because as time goes by, the percent of the
radioactive component of Carbon diminishes like clockwork, in this case
Carbon-16.  With respect to the Shroud, a thin film of clear bacteria throws
it off by an exact amount.

The reason they know it's exact is because they know for sure that certain
mummies are from a certain point in time, but they have the same kind of
bacteria on them, okay.

This adds 1200 years to the date.

It also made it seem like the Shroud was "made" in 1200 AD.

Mark T.
___________________________________________

Message: 20
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 03:00:48 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

In a message dated 05/18/2000 12:14:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
nkcsigner2@aol.com writes:

<<  I don't believe when I left it was an abusive church.  >>

I second this motion.  When I left (around the same time as Nancy) it was NOT
an abusive church, we used to go witnessing every night talking about Jesus
and His Spirit, and encouraging and speaking to others as He commanded us to.
 Thanks for being concerned however!

Mark T.
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 22
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 03:32:02 -0400
   From: "raynard" <n8vzl@freewwweb.com>
Subject: Re: "cult"

Very well said brother and I agree.

I also believe that those of us that were sincere in our hearts received the
King as our savior (wasn't it a memory verse; "Jn 01:12": But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe on his name) even though it happened as a result of the cult. It won't
be the last time God uses the unsaved nations to get to His people, and it
certainly was not the first. We loved Jesus then as now, although some of our
loyalties were directed towards our fearful leader of that day, but we were led
out of Egypt to our present paths , Halleluia and thank you Jesus!
 

bless the Holy Holy Holy
Wonderful name of Jesus
-=:+[ brother ray ]+:=-
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 24
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 04:08:11 -0400
   From: "raynard" <n8vzl@freewwweb.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

I can see the abusive church angle, but there are some denominations whom I
will not name here, but I consider a few of them cults. Some I have openly stated
that they were cult led denominations and some folks appeared like they would
like to see me carried off on a stretcher. I am sure many of us could nominate
more than a few for cult label. I really do believe the Forever Family was a
cult while I was a member in 1974/1975. Let's consider the behavior.

They cringed whenever I stated I am going home for the weekend to visit my
parents.
Frowned upon visiting all family members unless they were members of the FF.

They informed all of us that other churchy Christians did not have it together
and only served the Lord when the spirit moved them. Plus any other similar info
that turned us away from other Christians.

Frowned upon lambs speaking to former members of the family (the sick
backsliders)

Frowned upon any further education ( I was encouraged to quit school - I
refused
and got the degree)

And other frowned upons and other incentives.

Some people I know don't want to hear about us being in a cult, but I like the
verse...

Satan had me bound, but Jesus set me free! Glory Halleluia Jesus Set me FREE!
 
 

bless the Holy Holy Holy
Wonderful name of Jesus
-=:+[ brother ray ]+:=-

=======================================================================
=====================================================
Message: 1
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 09:52:23 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Hi Nancy, our experience in the FF/Cobu is hard to figure out sometimes in
that we got saved through that group. But we are Christ's sheep. We belong to Him. He
purchased us with His blood. He eventually freed His sheep from ST & the cult. He used
us to bring the gospel to His own; it was the means He used to save them.
(ROM 10:14-17). It is the Spirit that reborns His own, & He works even around the imperfect message
that is given. We did give out that message to others. We preached that
Christ died for sinners & one must repent ( turn from sin & self to God) to receive forgiveness for
sins & believe in Christ to be saved. But even has far back as I can remember
ST teaching & practice of maintaining your salvation by your works as the
basis of salvation, & not grace from beginning to end, kept us from enjoying
our salvation & produced in us who believed that teaching, the view of Jesus
as a hard taskmaster. ST teaching is in the category of the basis of
salvation is Christ plus keeping the Law, as the Judaizers put forth in GAL.
There are enough scriptural passages which mirror our experience. eg. EZEL
34, the setting is false shepherds abusing God's sheep ( note the words, My
flock in vs. 6,8,10,15,19,22 & My sheep in vs 10-12,31), God describes what these false
shepherds are doing, That is giving the sheep pasture spoiled by them, vs 18,19, living off
the sheep in luxury, vs2,3,8,10, & abusing the sheep Vs 4,5,21. Then it says
what God will do for His sheep in vs. 10-17, 20,22-31. The whole chapter
describes the experience of most of us.
How shall we judge our experience? It was bitter for most of us, but there
were also good things that came out of it, good friendships, times of good
fellowship, & an awareness of the dangers of false teaching. Our experience
is somewhat like the experience of Joseph, bittersweet, & so our anchor verse
is ROM 8:28-30. Much of EZEL 34 is mirrored in 2 PET 2
in describing ST false promises & actions. Christ & the apostles warned that
would happen to the church (2 PET 2:1, MATT 24:24, 7:15, ACTS 20:28-31)
So our experience isn't so unique after all, but Jesus promised, "Fear not
little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
LK 12:32
                                                            Herm
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 4
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 14:51:53 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Re:  The Abusive Church

Oh Jim E - I didn't think you were calling me contentious or anything, I
don't want to have you feel you need to apologize to me, bro.  I am only
refering to the way it was "back in the day" in Cobu if you disagreed.  I
agree with you that it is healthy that we can disagree and still respect one
another.  And no, love not insisting on its own way is not just your opinion
bro, it is our Lord's.  (But it is nice to see you getting it from Him).
your sis Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 5
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 15:02:27 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

No, Mark T- I don't know what quote you got that from or if you cut and
pasted, or if I was writing at midnight like I've been doing too much lately,
but I am saying that Cobu WAS an abusive church back in 1979-early 1980,
not a CULT, and I base that opinion on the fact that a church is different than a
cult in that members are concerned about the salvation of other's souls by
Jesus Christ, and a cult is not.  So, in effect, because I say this, the
logical next step is to say I was not in a cult, but in an abusive church.
So, this means I am (to some) "in denial" that I was in a cult, and some
think I should "fess" up to something I do not believe is accurate.
I also believe you were never in a cult, as you have written, nor were others
that are on here, depending on what time frame they were in Cobu.  This is not
to say that it wasn't bad enough to be in an abusive church or that we didn't
get really hurt.  I am just glad Jim and I got out when we did.  Nancy C.

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 7
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 15:16:46 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Herman, you know I love you in Jesus bro, and thank you for the words of
assurance.  I want you to know that Jim and I are still Wesleyan, and
Armenian in our beliefs, so the idea of works orientation has not left us,
however we have very much come to realize that you can't just easily walk
away from Jesus.  But we do believe people can backslide, both from Scripture
and from what we have observed.  And these are not people who were forced
into the five-minute prayer.  So, in fear and trembling we are working out
our salvation, although we understand all of our works truly are nothing to
the Cross.  It is more like taking up the Cross personally, or the idea of
completing the measure of Christ's sufferings, to suffer with Him.  So, the
idea of a church emphasizing works is not in our view, an extremely horrible
sign of an abusive church (or a cult).  Just to let you know what we think.
This is not to say that we don't believe in grace.  Wesleyan theology
includes that ideas of preeminent grace and grace being imparted through
"means" such as communion.  Much love, I'll call you when I've talked to Liz.
 Hope to see you. Nancy  C.
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 10
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 15:51:06 -0400
   From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
Subject: date and name

Not to nit pick... but one could not have joined
the Forever Family in the summer of 1976 as the name
changed occurred at the Jan 1, 1976 Big Beating in
Plymouth Meeting, not too far from the mall.  Matter of
fact, Dan Higgins took a carload witnessing.
________________________________________________________________________
 

Message: 14
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 18:49:50 EDT
   From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>
Subject: Does Literal Inerrancy of the Bible Hold True ??

There are many christians who are taught that the Bible is literally
inerrant, both historically and scientifically. This is especially popular
in modern times with the popularity of dispensationalism which champions
literal interpretation.

The purpose of this is not to hurt anybody's faith, but to make sure it is
not merely in a book, but in Jesus and the living Word of God.

Below I cite an interesting example from the prophet Isaiah which I found in
a Yahoo Club called "Gospel Symbolism In Scripture", and this brother Alan
(handle is Rocsy) gladly gave me permission to use it.

  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Parts of the Bible that are generally thought to be literal history cannot
be that. Not just because they don't match secular history, but because they
are contradictory. It is a fact known by Bible scholars. Here is an
example...

Isa17:1 This is a message about Damascus: "The city of Damascus will be
destroyed; only ruins will remain.

Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria (744-727), threatened Damascus anew.
King Rezin of Damascus joined with Pekah, king of Israel, about 734 B.C. in
an effort to stop the Assyrians. They marched on Jerusalem, trying to force
Ahaz of Judah to join them in fighting Assyria (2 Kings 16:5). The prophet
Isaiah warned Ahaz not to participate with Syria and Israel (Isa. 7). He
also said that Assyria would destroy Damascus (Isa. 8:4; compare ch. 17).
Rezin of Damascus had some military success (2 Kings 16:6), but he could not
get Ahaz of Judah to cooperate. Neither could Isaiah. Instead, Ahaz sent
money to Tiglath-pileser, asking him to rescue Judah from Israel and
Damascus. The Assyrians responded readily and captured Damascus in 732
B.C., exiling its leading people (2 Kings 16:7-9). Damascus had one last influence
on Judah; for when Ahaz went to Damascus to pay tribute to Tiglath-pileser,
he liked the altar he saw there and had a copy made for the Jerusalem Temple
(2 Kings 16:10-16). Damascus sought to gain independence from Assyria in 727

and 720 but without success. Thus Damascus became a captive state of first
the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Ptolemies, and
Seleuccids. Finally, Rome gained control under Pompey in 64 B.C. - Holman
Bible Dictionary

There is no record of Damascus being destroyed as Isaiah said, either in the
Bible or in history. It was conquered, but has continued to be a prominent
middle-eastern city to this day. The "genre" of the surrounding verses, when
looked at in a literal fashion, would indicate a historical fulfillment.
History and the Bible itself show that the city continued to play an
important role, there is no indication that Isaiah's prophecy came true.

There could be a future fulfillment, but it would also  be a figurative
fulfillment. We can't be sure what God has in store for us in the future,
but the Bible gives us an indication. The problem is that the most of the
surrounding material seems to be talking about Isaiah's time.

14 But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of
an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great
multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.
17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a
city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

If it is a future prediction mixed in with an historical account, it seems
confusing and we know God is not the author of confusion. I can't prove that
any of Isaiah's prophecies won't have a literal future fulfillment, or even
a re-fulfillment of some sort. But to me it makes much more sense, and is
much more consistent to say they are written in the "prophetic idiom."

There is something to be learned from both a literal and "spiritual"
interpretation. But since the literal is not consistent with reality, or so
it seems, the greater truth might lie with the spiritual. That's why I
believe these things should be examined for symbol and pattern. That's also
why I say the Bible isn't a history book.

  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

I was encouraged to find someone on the net who takes the Bible seriously
and studies for himself rather than listen to the popular preachers. "My
preacher says it, I believe it, and that settles it.

Mark Loftus

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 15
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 22:09:57 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Nancy C. to Mark T.

I still have my picket sign from 1984 Big Beating at NE Armory in Phila-"Get
Smart, Get Out!"
From:  Owen
        Dear Eric
       I was certainly there.  And I remember a bro with red hair and a big
button talking with someone.  I remember having the impression that he was an
ex-OB who was calling the outfit a cult.  So I guess that was you.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 16
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 22:02:13 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

NC:I agree with some who believe  he actually backslid, although I know this is
controversial to say here
OC:Yes it is controversial to say here, because some feel that he would have to
be truly saved in order to backslide (unless you use that term loosely).  And we
beat that horse to death some time ago.
NC:it was about Jesus.  I saw it becoming more about Stew.     it had very
little to do with ST himself until MTC,
OC:Amen!  That's why Jesus could work there.  Remember when the bus
flipped over
5 times?  The further from ST you were, the more joyful it was.
NC:He kept testing, testing, testing to see what he could get away with.
OC:Like any bully or con man.
NC:I don't know that he thought to himself "I think I'll be a wonderful cult
leader, starting today."  I think...
OC:Do you really want to get into his mind?  Should we?  Could we?  (Mike this
could be the beginning of an interesting discussion.)  Just remember that we are
not like him.  His mind works differently.  Think of a bully or con man.

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 17
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 22:38:43 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Re:  Label of "Cult"

My point here is the cults are boldly out on the streets as the real Christians
sit in their pews.
From:  Owen
        Dear Mary
       The church I joined (the Bronx Household Of Faith), is located about 10
blocks from where I first saw the Art Show.  There were even 2 brothers who
were regulars at the Bronx Lamb House who lived on University Ave.  If my memory
is correct (a big IF), they lived on the same block as BHOF.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
  ----- Original Message -----

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 20
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 21:37:33 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

One more thing, a burial cloth is a burial cloth, the Jews didn't have any
special "shape," how many ways can a burial cloth (the Bible's words, not mine)
be shaped?        -Mark T.
From:  Owen
        Dear Mark
        I just checked 8 different versions.  They all use the plural to
describe the "linen wrappings" and the singular to describe "the napkin that was
on his head separate from...".  While the choice of words was different in each
version, the grammatical form (and the meaning) was the same.
        So how do you reconcile the shroud of Turin being  a 12 foot long single
piece with the description in John 20 of "strips of linen" and "the cloth that
covered his head...."?_
_______________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________

Message: 22
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 22:26:27 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Shroud of Turin/ carbon dating

Carbon dating is accurate because as time goes by, the percent of the
radioactive component of Carbon diminishes like clockwork, in this case
Carbon-16.
From:  Owen
        Dear Mark
       (Are you sure it isn't Carbon-14?)
        Carbon dating works on this idea:  When a mummy is laid to rest, it has
a certain amount of Carbon-14 in it, which since it is radioactive it decays at
a certain rate.  So that as time goes by the amount of Carbon-14 decreases
while the amount of Carbon-12 remains the same.  So that the proportion of C-14 to
C-12 decreases as time goes by.  The scientists claim that by comparing the
proportion of C-14 to C-12 in the mummy versus the proportion of C-14 to
C-12 in the rest of the world they can determine an objects age.  (By measuring with a
Geiger counter the amount of C-14 in the mummy.)  [Look it up in an
encyclopedia or science book, if I'm not making it clear.]
        BUT I have a doubt:  If the Carbon-16 in the shroud, or mummy,
decreases according to it's half-life, wouldn't the amount of C-16 in the whole
atmosphere/universe be decreasing at the same rate? So that the proportion of
C-16 to C-12 in the mummy would remain exactly the same as the proportion of
C-16 to C-12 in the rest of the world.    Thus I wonder if carbon dating is
useful on either side of the issue.

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 24
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 22:53:21 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: cult label

NC:a church is different than a cult in that members are concerned about the
salvation of other's souls by Jesus Christ, and a cult is not.
From:  Owen
        Dear Nancy
       Now I get it.  We (Mary, myself,& others) were using a different
definition (cult: a group giving excessive attention and admiration to a person
other than Christ).  Yes we cared about souls, but whenever the great OZ
walked in, we stopped whatever we were doing and gave him our utmost attention and
obedience.
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 25
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 23:08:40 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Isa 17
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Mark
       Look t Isa 17:4,&7 and the phrase "in that day".  What day is that?  Vs 7
"In that day men will look to their maker".  When did that happen?

        I agree that there is spiritual meaning everywhere, even in the literal
account of Genesis and maybe even in the genealogies.  But some are afraid that
it is a short step from "it isn't literal" to "it isn't true".
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
===============================================
Message: 1
   Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 23:22:43 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Does Literal Inerrancy of the Bible Hold True ??

Dear Mark L - as an interpreter, with many credits in linguistics, have you
considered that place names are very often confused in translations.  It may
be that the translators didn't get the place correct, and that the prophecy
was therefore confused.  Hmm, I wonder if those things did come true
somewhere else?

As a Christian, with many credits in hermaneutics, biblical studies, and
various other topics theological such as "Salvation for Humanity" let me say
that of all the texts considered "holy" by all peoples around the world only
we Christians feel we have a God who "allows" us to examine and pick apart
His Holy Word.  Try taking the Koran apart literally, and see what happens...
It is amazing that the Bible is as accurate as it is, far less how many
"apparent" contradictions can be explained.

I am glad to see you still studying the Word bro.  I hope also it is well
with your soul.
God bless you.  Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________
__

Message: 3
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:11:23 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Does Literal Inerrancy of the Bible Hold True ??

Dear Nancy, I know the letter you wrote was addressed to someone else but
once I saw it I couldn't help but read it.  Congratulations on all the courses you
have taken in hermaneutics, etc.

I have gone the same route in all the research that I have done, we'll have
to compare notes sometime maybe.

God Bless You,
Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 4
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:25:07 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Isa 17

Dear Owen,  I think that's where the church got in big trouble, when they
took the Bible only literally.  At the beginning, in the first century, since
Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism, the Rabbi's had FOUR ways to
interpret the Bible:
    1.  P'shat or "simple" - the literal view
    2.  Remez - There are hints in the Bible that can be missed if you're not
aware of them.
    3.  Drash - things written about the Bible can be studied (i.e., The
Talmud)
    4.  Sod - The Bible is so perfect, every dot and iota, that experts can
discover truths by actually examining the order of the words themselves.

[Ref.:  David H. Stern,  "Jewish New Testament Commentary" - Jewish New
Testament Publications, Clarksville, Maryland, 1992.]

Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 5
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:22:55 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Sister Mary,
I thought about the very same verse before I read your post today of  "a
little leaven..." ST was above all things an out and out hypocrite and his
teaching reflected that because I'm convinced "his teaching" was never his.
He never had any. He borrowed this and that and the other thing and called
it his teaching.  I don't think or believe he ever truly loved Jesus or if he did it was like
Judas's love-shallow to say the least. This doesn't change the fact that
most of the brothers and sisters really did love Jesus and want to please
Him. For heavens sake, if Marjo could pass himself off as a preacher, why not ST?
God doesn't lose any of His real sheep-you can take that to the bank because
Jesus said so. I was deceived by Stewart. I have no problem admitting that. I'm not proud
of it but I'm glad it happened  because now I truly know how to tell the
true from the false and I know how to prove it from scripture. That is a
great gift from God and should be seen as such. Christians NEED to know how
to recognize the false, especially at this time in history.
Freedom from the cult mentality came to me when I was finally able to admit
I had been deceived and admit I had willingly given up my common sense, my
reason and my finances to a pure, religious huckster. ST meant it for evil,
but God meant it for good.
I think our pride really wants to avoid saying the awful thing, "we were
wrong about ST and we helped him build his empire." We want desperately to
put Band-Aids on the cancer, hoping that this tower of Babel wasn't really
so bad in the beginning. It just sort of started going bad. But, leaven
never is anything but leaven and Band-Aids don't cure cancer and the tower
of Babel will always be man's way to get to God.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 6
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:35:36 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin/ carbon dating

In a message dated 05/18/2000 11:18:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
dococ@surferz.net writes:

<< Dear Mark
        (Are you sure it isn't Carbon-14?) >>
 Your right Owen, it's Carbon 14.  The atomic # of Carbon is 8, meaning it
has 8 protons.  Then to make 14 it would have to have 6 neutrons which would
be slightly radioactive and the neutron decay, half life, would give rise to
Carbon 13.  That doesn't sound right either though, it COULD be Carbon 16.
I've been out of college for so many years I tend to forget.  Please correct
me if you can.

God Bless You,
Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 7
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:36:17 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Nancy C. from Mark T.

Nancy,

I was wondering, I copy your whole letter, THEN put my response afterwards.
Are you going all the way to the bottom of the page to read my letters, or
are you just assuming they are only copies of your letters and deleting them?

If you are, please let me know, because I have all the copies and can easily
resend them.

Thanks,
Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 9
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:41:05 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

In a message dated 05/18/2000 11:17:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
dococ@surferz.net writes:

<< Dear Mark
         I just checked 8 different versions.  They all use the plural to
describe the "linen wrappings" and the singular to describe "the napkin that
was on his head separate from...".  While the choice of words was different
in each version, the grammatical form (and the meaning) was the same.
         So how do you reconcile the shroud of Turin being  a 12 foot long
single piece with the description in John 20 of "strips of linen" and "the
cloth that covered his head...."? >>
 Owen,
Well, I reconcile the disparities with the evidence of the Shroud in it's
present state when I went over all the details in my first letter.  My first
letter has all the evidence, everything else is conjecture.

Mark T.
 

________________________________________________________________________

Message: 12
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 00:48:46 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin

It was a very long strip Owen, very long, and there was a separate napkin
that covered atop the head.  It was a plural.
Nancy C.
 

________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Message: 1
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 08:37:33 EDT
   From: JFeath4301@aol.com
Subject: Re: Feathers hear

Just wanted to let all you guys know. I am graduating this weekend, my last final
was last night. I have lost my mind, I am so excited!!!!!! But now Monday I start
working on my bachelors degree. Yes I am crazy thats alright.  And another
thing. I am very glad that you all are enjoying the pictures. I didn't realize that I
had so many, I don't even remember taking them. I hope that you all do enjoy
them. Sometimes I cry (don't know why) when I sit down and actually look at
them again.  I miss you all.
Love
Feathers
==================================================================

Message: 4
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:35:57 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: nitpicking!

Hi, Owen,

Since 1989 when I left, I've tried to read through the entire Bible every
one to two years, trying a different version every so often. My
preference is for the NIV because there are so many study tools that go
with it, especially the NIV Study Bible, which is the Bible I most often
use. I do admit that when I try to quote a verse off the top of my head,
I usually quote the RSV. You and I and others must have memorized,
without exaggeration, hundreds of verses in that version by the grace of
God. That's one good result from our time in COBU.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
 

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Message: 5
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:40:12 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: Feathers hear

Congratulations on your graduation, Janet!

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
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Message: 6
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:58:48 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: Isa 17

Hi, Mark,

I also have done a good deal of studies on the subject of hermeneutics,
the science and art of interpretation. I consider it extremely important
to know God's Word in order to know God and to love and serve Him. That
is not to say that less educated people love Him less. It's just a
passion that I believe came from God, and if it's in others, I hope
they'll pursue it as well. One side benefit that I've gotten from these
studies is coming to the conclusion that ST's method of interpretation,
as much as I and others revered it over the years, is not even worthy of
serious consideration. He might sometimes stumble onto the correct
interpretation of a verse here and there, but his method is seriously at
fault. This understanding helped me to separate myself from the
influences of COBU, and it can help others who are still haunted by ST's
warped teachings.

Anyway, I just finished reading a great book that includes a chapter that
touches on what you wrote regarding rabbinic interpretation. The book is:

McKnight, Scot, editor. Introducing New Testament Interpretation. Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989.

It's part of a series entitled Guides to New Testament Exegesis and is
written for people who have had at least one year of New Testament Greek.
Another book in that series that I've read and recommend is:

Schreiner, Thomas R. Interpreting the Pauline Epistles. Grand Rapids, MI:
Baker Book House, 1990.

For those who have not taken Greek, I recommend:

Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All its
Worth, Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House,
1993.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
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Message: 7
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 12:26:50 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: The Abusive Church

Hi Nancy, really well put, especially the last part. Part of the problem in
working through all this is the fact that we have different definitions of what a cult
is, (one man's abusive church is another man's cult, so to speak). What is the
criteria of an abusive church & what is the criteria of a cult? When does an abusive church
become a cult? I think Maureen Griffo might be able to shed some light on this subject, since
she has much experience on this topic. Only when we truly understand each
other's definitions will we be able to truly communicate. But most of us believe
it's a cult now.
                                                            Herm
 

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Message: 8
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 12:45:33 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: The Abusive Church

In a message dated 5/17/2000 6:58:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
logbearer@aol.com writes:

<<  We know that
 deception is one of the most effective tools of the enemy, because when
we're deceived, we don't know it.  I pray that we never forget that lesson, and
 that through God's grace we receive courage to stand firm in the truth.
                                     In Christ, Amy
  >>
Hi Amy, I think that because of the deception I experienced, I try (strive)
to study to show myself approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of truth
& have a Berean attitude of checking to see if these things are so. I try not
to take any teachers word on  something important. I thank God grace for
these attitudes.
                                                                Herm
 

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Message: 9
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 17:00:13 EDT
   From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: "cult"
 
 
 

>From: "Jim  Enright" Subject: [sharpen] "cult"
>Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 04:46:09 -0000

Ironic that cult and culture share the same root. But it is the culture, in
the end, that defines a cult. They can have very different teachings,
different practices, different behaviors.

Mark L writes: That is a very interesting statement Jim, so that every
culture is in a sense a "cult". Anyways, I wish to no longer be enmeshed in
either.
As for COBU, I left in the 80's because I thought it was a cult, and stayed
longer than I should have because I thought there was some kind of hope. As
for whether it was a cult in the beginning, I can't say because I wasn't
there so I'm just not old enough to remember.
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Message: 11
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 19:57:59 -0400
   From: "Mary O'Keefe" <mokeefe674@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

That was great Herm!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  Ezekial 34 has
actually been a source of great comfort to me after having left COBU & come
to grips with the fact that it was very cultlike; but God still chose to use
COBU as a vehicle to dispense the message of salvation which I so desperately
needed and still do.

MO

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Message: 12
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 20:53:52 -0400
   From: "Mary O'Keefe" <mokeefe674@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: COBU history

And so the reason ST has those properties in his name & not COBU's?

MO

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Message: 14
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 21:26:31 -0400
   From: "Mary O'Keefe" <mokeefe674@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

I'm sorry I meant to say more on this one.  I thought of Joseph and his
brothers as well.  And how naive and gullible I was before COBU; but God had
trained me well thru the experience with COBU and ST as He did with Joseph.
God is the same, yesterday and today

MO
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Message: 17
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 00:09:03 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: Isa 17

  >>
Hi Bob, another reason why ST's interpretation is not worthy is because he
himself said I taught error for 20 yrs. I was never saved until 89. Thereby
admitting he
never had the Spirit to rightly understand the Word. See 1 COR 2:10-15.
Without teaching that Grace is the basis of salvation, he was teaching
another gospel for those 20 years. GAL 1:6-9
 Note: vs 6 deserting Him who called you by the GRACE of Christ for a
different gospel.These Galatians were unaware of this, GAL 3:1 until Paul
pointed it out to
them. I think we were somewhat like Apollos in ACTS 18:24-26 & only after
we left Cobu was
the way of God revealed more accurately to us. That was my experience. Can I
get a
witness?

                                                                Herm
 

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Message: 23
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 03:10:06 EDT
   From: MFTraupman@aol.com
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

In a message dated 05/18/2000 3:03:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
nkcsigner2@aol.com writes:

<< No, Mark T- I don't know what quote you got that from or if you cut and
 pasted, or if I was writing at midnight like I've been doing too much
lately, but I am saying that Cobu WAS an abusive church back in 1979-early 1980,
not a CULT,  >>

Nancy - Okay,  I also never thought it was a real cult back then either but I
tend to block out the abusive part I guess.  In terms of staying up late
writing letters, I'm doing the same.  It's not bad for me because it beats
TV, and I get off of work late anyway.  Besides that, it's a kind of personal
ministry too.

God Bless You,
Mark T.
 

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Message: 4
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 14:17:27 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Feathers hear

Sister Janet,
A hearty congratulations sis!!!!!!!!!
I haven't seen the pictures yet but I know some of them are going to ring my
bell too.
Miss you too sis.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 8
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 14:33:44 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Hebrews 6:4-8

Brother Bob,
Regarding your comment: 'phrases that describe the apostate: "those who have
once beenenlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the
Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the
powers of the coming age." '
I believe scripture clearly shows that Judas Iscariot is described perfectly
having done all these things. He was not one of those Christ died for. He
was not one of Christ's sheep. If Judas was not a true Christian and could
fill that description of an apostate, could not other "tare" Christians?
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 10
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 14:47:29 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Isa 17

Brother Herm
BINGO-BOING-YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To put it mildly. : )
My experience exactly. He who states his case first seems right until
another comes and examines him. Our first taste of truth was "ST's brand of
truth"- it was never challenged by Gospel truth until God chose to reveal it
to each of us in the ways that He has. Now that God has given us the real
thing, we definitely can taste the difference.
Well said Herm.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 15
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 16:08:40 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Label of "Cult"

Sister Mary,
Praise God indeed sis.
While I do believe in Romans 8:28 and find great encouragement and freedom
in that verse, I try more to take up the whole counsel of God in my life. I
mean the old and the new testament. I don't believe one can successfully
separate the two since "every word of God proves true". "Declaring the end
from the beginning". I believe the Gospel is actually preached in every book
of the bible.
I enjoy your comments and contributions and I encourage you to keep on
keepin' on.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 20
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 20:35:38 -0000
   From: "Jim  Enright" <jtenright@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re:  PLEASE WELCOME

Hi Ann,
I am Jim Enright, and I don't know if I am familiar to you.I just
wanted to thank you for your posts on Mike's page. It was your
account, in part, that led me to question everything I saw, and
everything I tried to justify. I have seen for myself more than I
ever cared to, and subsequently have spoken to many sisters that,
although have different experiences from yours, have the same
underlying impressions of the his "half wife" approach to them. One
sister who lived with him for 9 years at the compound, that you spoke
to recently, told me that Stew was constantly telling her that her
marriage thoughts were part of "suffering with Christ" and
that "besides, no brother can take care of you like I can" So,
whether he has or has not changed whatever goes through his mind
sexually, he to this day still has the sisters living with him, all
of which are told that they can only be truly taken care of by
himself. Perhaps he no longer says the words half-wife, but he
certainly carries on that way. I know that the brothers when they
dared speak of it at all would use the word harum to describe it. Of
course, that would be said in derision among brothers living in who
were on their way out. So it goes, it seems that we cannot speak
honestly about what we think until we are removed, making it easy for
those still there to view us as disgruntled, or for the sisters,
women scorned. in any case, I am glad that your experience has been
used in the way that it has - welcome to Sharpen.
 
 

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Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 16:58:09 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: PLEASE WELCOME

Sister Ann,
Steve Saxton here. I was one of the brothers in the wheelchairs.
It is great to have you here.
I commend you for making public your testimony.
I believe God has used it to help others.
Looking forward to fellowshipping with you on the list, sis.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 3
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 17:06:47 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Re:  Jody Finitzer

Sister Dee,
Wow. Les Woodville and I were close friends. He had a brother who came
along later There was a Pete Graaf. He was so messed up when he came to us but
God really straightened him out in an amazing way. I used to tell Cheronne that
when I became a "center leader" she would be my secretary.
I remember them sis, I remember fondly.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
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Message: 15
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 19:04:46 -0400
   From: doug mosemann <dbm@supernet.com>
Subject: Hi Ann

Hello AnnB,  Glad to see you.  I am sure you will find love and comfort
among those who are here.     DgM

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Message: 16
   Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 20:05:58 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Shroud of Turin/ carbon dating
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Mark
       The  atomic # of Carbon is 6.  Normal Carbon is C-12.  C-14 is
radioactive.  There may be a third (or more) isotope of Carbon.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
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Message: 22
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 20:51:34 EDT
   From: cbHIMtg@cs.com
Subject: Re: Feathers hear
 

 > Just wanted to let all you guys know. I am graduating this weekend, my
 last final was last night. I have lost my mind, I am so excited!!!!!! But
 now Monday I start working on my bachelors degree. Yes I am crazy thats
 alright.  And another thing. I am very glad that you all are enjoying the
 pictures. I didn't realize that I had so many, I don't even remember taking
 them. I hope that you all do enjoy them. Sometimes I cry (don't know why)
 when I sit down and actually look at them again.  I miss you all.
 > Love
 > Feathers
 > >>
Hi Feathers, What happened to the bird? LOL! Congratulations on your
graduation.

                                                            Herm
 

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Message: 23
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 22:41:32 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Feathers hear

Dear Feathers - I am so proud of you for getting to this point in your
education.  I just wanted to say YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!
God bless you
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 24
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 22:41:47 -0400
   From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Subject: Re: PLEASE WELCOME

Welcome, Ann. Great to have you on this list.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
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Message: 25
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 23:00:18 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: PLEASE WELCOME

Hi Ann - welcome to Sharpen List.  You are one gutsy sister, and you have my
admiration already.  May God continue to heal your heart.
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 1
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 23:06:40 EDT
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: The Pleasure of God

Hi - our pastor said something at a meeting tonight that is so simple, but it
made me think "wow, opposite of Cobu" - that was how God is pleased with us
(our church is cool, in a state of growth and neat stuff happens).  He
declared that God began the ministry of Jesus by saying "this is my Beloved
Son in whom I am well pleased."  And then Jesus was able with the affirmation
of His Father to face the temptation in the wilderness, and to begin the
ministry of delivering and healing and then the Cross.  And the point was
that God's pleasure in us, our realizing that (not that we can ever fully) is
so strengthening to empower us to continue to do the work of God, not that we
do the work of God, and then just maybe, IF we are good enough, He will be
pleased.  How that was held over us to be "pleasing Jesus" like He was always
so displeased with us!  How comforting it is to know that our sins can be
forgiven, that He who knows us most loves us best - like Michael Card's song
"to look into your Judge's face and see a Savior there...."  Anyway, just
wanted to share that.
Nancy C.
 

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Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 23:41:38 -0400 (EDT)
   From: Bill or Noemi <wwwillisjr@juno.com>
Subject: Reunion Submission Form

Noemi here:

Okay, someone filled out the form and submitted it to me.  It will be very
helpful if the form was filled out completely, even if it's obvious that one
person may be attending, I need to see the numbers on how many are attending
filled in.  I need "Names" very important.  There are going to be alot of
brothers and sisters submitting these forms to me, the names does not show
up automatically, you need to type in your full name so that I can match the
check with whomever submitted the form, so that there will be no mistakes.
That's why I created the form the way I did, to make it very easy in
reserving lodges and meals.

Again, thank you for your cooperation and working with me on this.  This can
get pretty hairy if it's not handled properly.

Your sister in Christ.
 
 

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Message: 3
   Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 02:35:38 -0400
   From: doug mosemann <dbm@supernet.com>
Subject: Bible Study   research help

Hi , Here is a site I haven't had time to check out, but it seems to be
cool on first look.   It is at    www.ccel.org          God Bless,  DgM