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Author Topic: George's preaching about credit cards  (Read 9209 times)
Flora
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« on: September 14, 2008, 09:07:47 pm »

Anyone who listened to George preach regularly knew he had certain subjects or issues that would send him off an a tangent for a while. He referred to these diversions as his "Soapbox". One of his frequent "soapbox issues" seemed to be living on the plastic - using credit cards.

When I first heard him preach about the evils of using credit cards and the debt they incurred, I assumed he referred to the extreme use of them. However, since he never stated that he only meant the extreme use of them, I gradually came to believe that he referred to any use of credit cards.

I remember one meeting where he spent over twenty minutes telling us in no uncertain terms how "living on the plastic" dishonoured God and how one could not call oneself a follower of Christ and be "living on the plastic".

After that meeting I felt so "convicted" that I went home and took the scissors to my credit card. (In reality, I had just been put on a mega guilt trip). Anyways, a little while later, I learned that for certain things in life, in order to be able to do them, you need to have a credit card. A good example of this situation is that of renting a vehicle. One cannot rent a car without a credit card.

So the next time George came to Ottawa, I met with him and presented this dilemma to him. He informed me that he had only been referring to those who put themselves into really deep debt with their credit cards. Then he added, "The people who it applied to knew who I was talking about."

Then George really surprised me by pulling out his wallet and showing me his credit cards!!

Am I the only gullible goof who believed George did not want any of us using credit cards?
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outdeep
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 02:15:10 am »

I personally don't remember too much said about credit cards and I never understood it to be an issue.  However, I understand (and those from SLO can correct me) that this was really David's issue.  If I am correct, he made Judy pay all the bills in person in cash so they would not be tied down to a bank account and could leave for the mission field at any moment.

I do remember soapboxes of television, using instruments in worship, going to psycologists, using being sick as an excuse for missing meetings and elders who abandon the flock cira 1989-1990.
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Margaret
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 06:33:35 am »

I don't remember much about credit cards either, but I do remember him harping on, "We don't believe in retirement accounts around here." So, dopes that we were, we didn't contribute to our 401K during the twenty years we were there. That will be coming back to bite us pretty soon.
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Oscar
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 03:54:03 am »

I recall GG preaching about this, and I understood it the "strong" way, that GG believed credit cards were evil.  To me it was no problema...he preached against guns too, and I was not about to give mine up.  :rofl:  I just figured he was wrong.

One year I was returning from the worker's seminar and noticed that Tim G was paying for his gas with a credit card.  I asked him about it and he said the card was Betty's.  So, I asked GG about the issue and he told me that what he was really against was abuse of credit cards.

But it sure did sound as if he was against all use of credit cards when he preached.

Tom Maddux
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Flora
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 06:26:11 pm »

Hmmm, I wonder if he only got on his credit card soapbox if he knew there was someone in the audience that had a problem with them. If this is the case, he must have thought that someone in Ottawa had a problem with credit cards.

Prior to 1985, I don't remember him preaching about it - he might have, but I can't remember. I do know that sometime around 1986, he began preaching about the evils of living on the plastic everytime he came to Ottawa. He got on his credit card soapbox at least once during his visit - everytime.

I remember coming home from a meeting and having a discussion with the sisters I was living with whether or not George meant we should never use credit cards. We all felt very confused. Everyone used credit cards, so we concluded that he must have meant not using it in the extreme. One sister told me later, that she was so confused about it that she took her credit card out of her wallet and put it under her mattress. This forced her to reduce her spur of the moment purchases.

I also remember it becoming a bit of an assembly joke when we went out to a restaurant together. When it came time to pay for the meal, or to stop for gas on the way there, someone would pull out their credit card and say something like: "George may not like this, but I'm paying with my credit card." Then everone laughed.

One time after George had told me that "he had only been referring to those who put themselves into really deep debt with their credit cards", I was listening to one of his messages on tape at home. I don't remember if it was a tape from Ottawa or a tape from Fullerton. He started to warn of the evils of living on the plastic. I listened carefully, then I rewound the tape and listened again.

Not once did he mention that he was only referring to those who put themselves into deep debt. It definitely sounded like he was against all use of credit cards, no exceptions.

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Oscar
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 09:14:51 am »

Flora,

I have seen GG use a credit card!   Shocked

Tom M.
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outdeep
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2008, 05:58:26 pm »

George was always big on overstatements and low on detail.  I knew he thought John MacArther was a heretic (which I doubt) and the Local church was a cult (which seems true) but never really understood fully why from his explanations.  I could see George making blanket statements about credit cards and then blaming his audience for not understanding his nuances.

-Dave
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Flora
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2008, 07:23:46 pm »

Okay, now I'm really curious.

Television was one of George's most frequent soapboxes. They were a huge no - no.

Has anyone ever seen George watch TV?

Flora
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Oscar
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 09:03:22 pm »

Flora,

I first visited GG's house in January of 1970.  When I came into the family room, David and Timothy were watching TV.  They had a TV of around 19" on a cart which they kept in the little storage area under the stairs.  There were also some Christmas decorations above the fireplace.  GG showed me a couple of Christmas gifts that he had received from D and T.  There was no tree though.

One time about 1974 George and Betty came out to the Valley and spent the night at our house.  I had a black and white TV in my living room.  George watched part of an old foreign film with subtitles.  I recall having told him, "If we are going to do what we have planned early in the morning, we had better get to bed."  So, he turned it off.

I also remember him preaching against all indebtedness.  However, he had a mortgage on his house when I first met him.  Betty told me that God had allowed them to buy the Calle Serena house by letting them get a special mortgage for California's disabled veterans.  (GG has always said he had some injury or other that he got in the Marines during WWII)

So, I always took GG's ultimate pronouncements with a grain of salt.

"Out of my cold, dead, hands..."   Wink

Tom Maddux
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 10:17:18 pm »

I've probably shared this before (getting too old now and starting to repeat stories lol),
but when I was in the Assembly television was taboo, and George often called the antennae
"the devils ears" (old TV's had antennaes on the top in case you younger crowd have never
seen one).  One day another brother and I were over helping a family to move.  During a short
break the brother and I were joking with two daughters from this Assembly family.  Somehow the subject
of coffee came up and one of the daughter's(around 9 years old) said "You want some Folger's?" and the other daughter (about 7 years old) replied "It's the richest kind!!!".

The brother and I looked at one another and burst out laughing, knowing that Folger's commercials
at that time (late '70's) featured a "Mrs. Olsen", a European-accented woman, who always said "it's the richest kind!" when referring to Folger's coffee. It was obvious that this family must watch television quite often. It was quite funny, but also struck a chord concerning the hypocrisy that had to be displayed sometimes to tow the Assembly line.  Another time, shortly after I left the Assembly, having had several "discussions" concerning Christmas with those in charge (The Assembly "line" being that Christmas was a pagan celebration of course), I was working at a department store, and saw one of these same brothers standing in a long line waiting to have a Christmas gift wrapped! 

These are such petty things now of course, and laughable---but at the time it was funny, but eye-opening at the same time. The Assembly "line" was being towed, but the hearts were definitely not sincere at times with what was being taught.   Grin
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 10:20:21 pm by Joe Sperling » Logged
outdeep
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 08:41:48 am »

Funny thing is is that if I had it to do over again today, there is a good chance I wouldn't have a TV in the home when raising the kids - I can see how it had really been a distraction to reading and other activities.

But why was I so permissive in this area?  To be honest, it was my reaction to the legalism of the Assembly.  I was like Donald Miller in the book Blue Like Jazz when he said something to the effect of "My church told me that the television would corrupt my mind. So I went out and bought a television." 

Ironically, the Assembly had many ideas that could have been wholesome but they destroyed them by moving them into a pride-filled and keep-this-rule-if-you-ever-want-to-amount-to-anything culture.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 07:23:40 pm by Dave Sable » Logged
Marty
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2008, 12:33:17 am »



Before we joined the assembly we had a TV. I spent Sunday afternoon watching football and didn’t turn it off until the late game at night was over. I spent Monday night watching football. Then I would watch any other sports that came on during the week. 

It wasn’t until the kids started getting old enough to want to do things with dad that I realized I had a problem. (my wife never complained) We disconnected our cable and sold the TV. A brother at the church we attended confronted me when he found out we had no TV. He said we were depriving our children and that we thought we were better than others. He wouldn’t accept my explanation of “my problem”.

When we left the assembly I decided I would get a TV and cable again for news and such. My teenage son was concerned we were leaving the Lord Shocked. Though no LB would ever say it was assembly law to not to have a TV, the message certainly infiltrated the young minds of the children.

There really is 2 extremes here. One believes it is almost child abuse to not have a TV. The other is real Christians don’t have one.

With everything, including TV, credit cards, alcohol, there is potential for abuse that ends up being detrimental to the individual and the family. If I could do it over again, I would still not have TV when the kids were young, I would keep my credit cards, and enjoy a glass of wine with a meal. That’s pretty much what we did Grin.



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