A Christian cult uses the term "spiritual power" to motivate people to have daily devotions, and manipulate them into wanting to become "power centers of divine authority" over others in the hierarchical system.
It has been many years since G. Geftakys was excommunicated in Fullerton and the Assembly began to crumble. Many folks have found that getting over it and getting on has been tough and discouraging. Jon Acuff has a blog post on hope. While he is mainly known for his Christian humor, in this post he is serious … Continue reading Hope…
Once you truly get hold of the reality that you will never be able to do enough to make God happy, then the truth of the gift of grace is staggering....
The Bible has all those commands - pray, study the Bible, etc. In the church I (sometimes) attend now, I constantly hear exhortations about it. Don't I have to be doing these things in order for God to approve of me?"
There's a scene in The Shack where Mack and Jesus are out on the dock in the evening, enjoying the stars. Mack imagines he could reach out and pluck diamonds off a velvet black sky: "Wow!" he whispered. "Incredible!" Whispered Jesus..."I never get tired of this..." They're doing nothing, Jesus and Mack. Just lying on … Continue reading “You’re with Me….”
Two great quotes from Christian Recovery Forums at Spiritual Abuse Recovery Resources: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under live robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may … Continue reading Quotes….
On the Assembly reflections website we have an excerpt from Peter Kreeft's very, very helpful book, Making Sense out of Suffering. Even better, on his website there are MP3's of his very listenable lectures available free of charge, including one on this same subject, and another entitled Shining Light on the Dark Side. Three others … Continue reading Peter Kreeft….
In her book Not of My Making Maggie Jones discusses the horrible treatment she received in several mainline churches. Those churches were not cults; they were just your normal boulevard churches. So if even ordinary churches can sometimes be so hurtful, why do we imply that the Geftakys Assembly was somehow "cultic"? Are we just "disgruntled" … Continue reading Why call it “cultic”?….
The iMonk posted some thoughts and questions for parents on Fathers' Day. Good stuff, as usual. He talks about the implications of the wired world, the question of your own deepest values that shape your every day life, the peril of flash-in-the-pan evangelicalism. Point 1 is about entitlement. That is probably a tough one for … Continue reading The Internet Monk on parenting teens….
"Just carry on" is one of the cards in The Oblique Strategies by Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno. Haven't seen the set of cards, but I ran across this quote just now, and was surprised how a load suddenly felt lifted. Hmmm, wonder what that could be about....Even though I've consciously rejected the performance-based life, … Continue reading “Just carry on”….
Saturday I posted my question to Dr. Jones regarding her book, Not of My Making: Bullying, Scapegoating and Misconduct in Churches. Here is Dr. Jones' reply: Margaret Irons asked me, “What can persons who have formerly been abusive do now to make amends and help their former victims (with whom they are no longer in … Continue reading Dr. Jones’ answer….
Dr. Margaret W. Jones, author of Not of My Making: Bullying, Scapegoating and Misconduct in Churches, will stop by here Monday on her virtual book tour to answer questions. One question I have for her is this: What can persons who have formerly bullied folks and been abusive do now to make amends to their … Continue reading Virtual book tour….
Not of My Making: Bullying, Scapegoating and Misconduct in Churches is an account of Dr. Margaret W. Jones' abusive church experiences. I was sent a copy of the book and invited to take part in Dr. Jones' virtual book tour. I am glad I read it. In brief, Not of My Making is about the … Continue reading Not of my Making….
Here is a great quote on the sweetness of spiritual freedom from Chuck Swindoll, Grace Awakening, posted on "The Cult Next Door". In response to those like Betty G. who would retort, "You just don't want to be subject to the Lord and go the way of the cross," I would reply that being obedient … Continue reading Quote on spiritual freedom…..
In 1970 (before the Assembly began) there was a weekend seminar in George and Betty Geftakys' home. Some people hung around afterward to talk--his teenage son, Tim, and his friends, several women in their sixties who had been part of a similar ministry in the past, several young couples who were experimenting on Saturday nights … Continue reading So George could say…
Joe Sperling shared a couple of encouraging posts this month on the Assembly board that are especially good for those of us who still have the lovely combo of BG and GG's messages in our subconscious: GG - "Strive harder or you're going to lose out eternally ", (we are going to make it, George, … Continue reading We cannot fail….
Witherington has a great series of posts on Bart Ehrman's latest book, Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the hidden contradictions in the Bible (and why we didn't know about them). Dr. Witherington approaches it on a scholarly level, eschewing any fundamentalistic emotional rant on inerrancy. He deftly teases out the weaknesses in Ehrman's arguments and brings the … Continue reading Jesus Interrupted….
Dave Sable first posted this on Facebook: "I admit that when I am hit with my occasional bouts of depression that it is hard to really get into the “He is Risen!” spirit. Resurrection Life seems a really cool concept, a neat idea. But the reality feels a million miles away from my experience. Over … Continue reading “Why should I believe in Easter when life is so difficult?”
The Old Testament, from the Assembly point of view (as taught by G. Geftakys based on 19th and early 20th century Exclusive Plymouth Brethren writers) is to be read mainly as an allegory of the Christian life--i.e. Christians can wander in the wilderness as Israel did; but only a few will enter the promised land … Continue reading The Bible Jesus Read – teaser intro….
The Internet Monk describes pretty well the prevailing concern of legalistic pastors over the dangers of 'cheap grace' (here, here and here). Betty G. once said to me, "If there weren't the possibility of losing out on the inheritance, what would be the motivation for sanctification?" This was a rhetorical question - the obvious answer … Continue reading “We shall see Him as He is!”