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Author Topic: Assembly question marks  (Read 15036 times)
dsjogren
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« on: February 01, 2003, 05:43:48 am »

As an AK I desire to get some outside thoughts on the assemblies and what people have seen that may be right or wrong. Many of the things I have been taught I was brought up with or indoctrinated with without really seeing the Scriptural signifcance of them.  If you have recently left or even if you left this ministry a while ago I would love to hear some of the things you question.  Obviously we are not perfect so tell me about other gatherings and places of fellowship and what the assembly does that may be different and why it is or is not scriptural. I hope that made sense cuz to me it seems like I rambled on.
Lord bless
Is.54.10
Dan Sjogren
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4Him
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2003, 06:02:59 am »

Dan,
You didn't ramble on at all.
I'm not going to go on very much right now but in short, the primary reason I left was because I felt that the structure of the assemblies was, or at the very least had become, corrupt.  The system of "leading brothers" and elders and "workers" operating as essentially an abusive clergy.  This is not necessarily to denigrate individuals, there are many leaders who have functioned in sincerity of service, but, in words I used to hear often, I believe they were "sincerely wrong".

That's all for now from me.  Maybe more later.  

PS - I think you are going to get many responses to your query.  Some will seem very hard.  Please keep them in godly perspective.  Most on this site have an abiding love for all that are still in the assemblies.

Oh, and give a big hello to your dad for me!  Cheesy

Tim Souther
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psalm51
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2003, 06:08:27 am »

As an AK I desire to get some outside thoughts on the assemblies and what people have seen that may be right or wrong. Many of the things I have been taught I was brought up with or indoctrinated with without really seeing the Scriptural signifcance of them.  If you have recently left or even if you left this ministry a while ago I would love to hear some of the things you question.  Obviously we are not perfect so tell me about other gatherings and places of fellowship and what the assembly does that may be different and why it is or is not scriptural.
Hi Dan!
I have questioned for quite awhile the idea (which is on other posts on this BB) that the assembly is "the best place on earth" (this was preached very recently here); the assembly is where the "Lord's covering" is etc.
Therefore when the "Lord's appointments" are announced the subtle implication is that anything else is not a godly appointment. Let me give you an example.  A dear sister was involved in a ministry of helping newcomers to the country during regularly scheduled outreach times on Sunday between the meetings. She was subsequently exhorted that God's will for her was to be at the outreach, even though she was involved in a very real service of love to people in need during outreach time.  The really interesting thing about this is that this sister was probably instrumental in bringing more visitors to her place of fellowship than almost anyone else. Why? Because she loved and served them and they responded to her Christlike ways. So you see even calling assembly meetings "the Lord's appointments" or "trumpet calls" is a way of saying that other things are not. Am I saying that meeting with God's people is not a valuable exercise of the Christian life? No, not at all.  
What I am saying, is that in the assembly, attendance at meetings became a standard of holiness, albeit false.  Too often I heard ministry which focused almost solely on our commitment to assembly functions equating them with commitment to Christ. I think that we can see that many of the very people who were very committed to the assembly and preached commitment the most and would even pressure others to make similar commitments have failed dreadfully and were deceiving us even as they spoke. The hypocrisy in that is startling.  
Dan,  I love you and am proud of your question. I hope you get good answers. You deserve God's best.
Love,
Aunt Pat
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psevert
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2003, 06:55:30 am »

Hi Dan,
My name is Shelley Evert and this is the first time I ave ever posted anything, but when I read your questions I wanted to respond. When I came into the assembly I really believed it was a special place that God had uniquely blessed  with special vision that other churches had missed because they were only "playing church".  When my husband and I were about to leave the assembly, I remember Betty having a talk with us. She shone a flashlight on the table and pointing to the center of the beam she said "This is the assembly, the center of God's will." Then she moved her finger towards the dimmer edges of the beam and said, "If you leave and go to another church, you are heading towards darkness and deception."     We were told our worship would suffer, that our lives would be out from under the covering, and that we were deceived and deceivers.  We left soon after that  and we have never looked back. I didn't realize the bondage I was in until I actually got out and could look at the whole thing more objectively. My worship of the Lord has gone through the roof! I have grown by leaps and bounds in GRACE and the fellowship I have with other believers "out here" is so sweet. God Is working in my life and in many fellowships. Far from being in "outer darkness" we are enjoying His Light and Love more and more!  Shelley
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karensanford
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2003, 07:05:30 am »

Dan, it's very thoughtful and introspective of you to seek others' opinions on this.  Many people have asked me, "what did you think about us (the assembly)?" due to my status as an outsider.  I was never a part of the "THE" Assembly.  I was in fellowship elsewhere.  However, I knew/know and interacted with many assembly members.

One hard thing for me was that I always got the feeling that they did not see me as their sister or equal in the Lord.  Most of them if not all of them knew where I went to church and that I was a believer.  However, I was constantly bugged to come to meetings, outreaches, etc.  If I turned this one girl down, she would ask me again the next time, and again the next time.  I know that this was done with good intentions, but it was my first taste of the fact that many of these people looked down on other churches: they would not accept that I was content in my own church and didn't wish to seek regular fellowship somewhere else.

This was very different from the church I was raised in, which would periodically hold "community" worship with several other churches, and never attempted to lure anyone to switch to their church.  In fact, people were encouraged to stay in their own places of fellowship and continue to strengthen there.

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I read your post.  I have a lot of other things that I observed about the Assembly over the years.  Paramount in my mind is also this: I grew up in a close knit town with thousands of Christians.  Any one of them that I asked a) knew about "that church that meets at the Sands" and b)thought it was a cult or that they were very, very strange.

I do not mean this to insult you, but to give you the outsider's perspective.  If I can offer you anything, please ask.

Sincerely,
Karen  Smiley
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Suzie Trockman
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2003, 08:24:45 am »

Dear Pat,

Your post was so awesome!

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editor
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2003, 10:28:43 pm »

Dear Dan

The best way to find out what other churches are like, and how they differ from the Assembly is to visit them!

It's OK to do so, why not go out and get to know your brothers and sisters?

Brent
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BenJapheth
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2003, 07:44:58 am »

So far I must say I agree with what you are saying.  You are all absolutely correct. Growing up in the assembly I have never really been exposed to others places of fellowship and I find that unfortunate. However, I can't say that being here has not helped me. I have learned a ton and there are many God fearing and Godly people here. However the pride and arrogance you all speak of is true as much as it hurts to say. It is something I find that I have to repent of because like many said Leaving "fellowship" was like giving your life over to satan. Alright maybe not that extreme but it certainly was looked down and frowned upon. Being an AK I find it difficult to associate with those from other fellowships. That is also unfortunate. I'm glad for all that you have said so far. Please keep telling me of things you saw.  Keep praying and the Lord bless you all

Daniel, you asked so here goes...I've been a good Uncle and I've been silent all these years cause you were a child, but now you are a man.  Here it goes -

Your grandfather Chuck Miller and my Dad-in-law warned everyone in the family and in Omaha 25 years ago, he did it 20 years ago, he he warned them 15 years ago, he warned them 10 years ago, he warned them 5 years ago...About George!  About that Disgusting Fraud!  That Fraud who slandered your Grandpa to your Uncle Mike and all your Aunts.  It was a lynching.  Do you understand that? It was a hit job.  An assasination! Your Grandfather warned everyone about the Geftakys lies, about the Geftakys slander, about Geftakys destroying families, about Geftakys and the money, about Geftakys being a "pope", about Geftakys being an idol and a monster...

Daniel, for years our family of 53 has been split right down the middle.  

Two weeks ago your Aunt Ann was there at the assembly meeting on the 19th when the letters were read in Omaha, and she being there on that day (only her second meeting in 25 years...Is that God or what? ) - As Mike Zach read the letters the point was made that the men in SLO were repenting and were going to seek others out so as to "get right" with folks that they had sinned against, Mike Zach said (according to my wife, your Aunt)...

"We need to go to people, too - but, nobody comes to mind."

Nobody came to his mind. Daniel that was like a dagger in the heart of your Aunt Ann...This man destroyed a family 25 years ago.  Yes, if you read you will see Zach did nothing when he knew a woman was being beaten and abused.  This man doesn't need the Geftakys anymore...he knows how to destroy families all by himself now.

What kind of man is he, Daniel?

Your grandfather just wrote me from Costa Rica an hour ago and asked what what was happening in the assemblies, he questioned me closely about Omaha.  
I told him...

"Chuck, I think Mike Zach has a bullseye on his back. He's either going to break, repent and give God Glory or God's going to break him."

Daniel, I love you dear Nephew...You make me so happy.   Why, don't you write Grandpa at  chuckfmiller@hotmail.com and tell him yourself how you, your family and the little gathering are doing.

He might have some good insights on what to do next.  I'm going to encourage your Dad and everyone else there to take the Six Week Challenge that Brent encouraged for all the former assembly gatherings.

Blessing To You Sweet Nephew!  You're a godly young man.
I admire your courage.

Your Uncle Chuck.

Chuck Vanasse
chuck@vanant.com

« Last Edit: February 14, 2003, 09:28:36 am by :: Chuck Vanasse :: » Logged
SugarMagnolia
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2003, 10:34:04 am »

Thank you Uncle Chuck.  It needed to be said.
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guest
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2003, 12:32:08 am »

Thank you Uncle Chuck.  It needed to be said.

Be careful of judging without all the facts....
walk a mile in Mike's shoes.

An objective observer
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guest again
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2003, 01:29:45 am »

Thank you Uncle Chuck.  It needed to be said.

Be careful of judging without all the facts....
walk a mile in Mike's shoes.

An objective observer
Are we to assume that YOU have walked a mile in his shoes?  Are we to assume that you are an "objective observer"?  It's hard to assume anything about you when you are anonymous (I know, I know, I am, too). Please be helpful enough to give us your "objective observations", otherwise all you are doing is judging others without all the facts yourself. Do you have "all the facts"? If so, by all means, this is the place to put them so that we can all benefit from them. Thank you.
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editor
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2003, 02:10:43 am »

Hello Guest, and Mr. Again:

We are all objective observers.  Can you please objectively observe what has happened in the Geftakys ministry, and conclude how the Full-time workers and elders, itinerate brethren, etc.  were fooled for 30 years?

What sort of objective observations would you make in this case?

My subjective side is angry, and my objective side has a cold steel recognition that I am objectively observing corruption and spiritual darkness.

subjectively I do not like darkness, it gives me the creeps.  Objectively I recognize that it is a result of sin, and lack of judgement, compromise, and stupidity.

Objectively, this disqualifies a man for Biblical leadership.

Subjectively, it makes me angry.

What are your Objective observations?

Brent
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Robert E. Beasley
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2003, 02:17:17 am »

Folks,

For me, one of the main issues I had was spiritual pride--being in THE work that God was doing in our time.

I'll NEVER forget the time I went to lunch with Mike Hauk--at that time a leading brother in the Assembly. He is no longer in the Assembly, and I'm sure he's repented of this now.

Anyway, I was probably 21 years old. As we sat at Monical's Pizza across the street from our meeting place on a Sunday afternoon, I mentioned something about a friend of mine and my family's--Bob Wenneborg, a former Assembly person and in my experience a godly man who loved the Lord. I will NEVER forget when he looked straight at me and said, "Bob Wenneborg is an evil man." To that I said, "What? You're calling Bob Wenneborg an evil man?" I was stunned! In fairness, I seem to remember him trying to wiggle his way out of that statement after I challenged it. The truth is, however, we thought most people who left were in darkness at best, evil at worst.

This one usually gets a laugh when I tell people: When I was about 18 or 19 and living in the brother's house (with my old friend Verne Carty, by the way--hey Verne), I remember going "witnessing" at West Side Park in Champaign, IL. This one time, I came up to this guy and asked him if he was a Christian. To that he replied joyfully, "Why yes! As a matter of fact I am!" I remember thinking, "Yeah, sure you are. Aren't we all?" I then asked him where he fellowshipped and proceded to invite him to the place where God was REALLY working.

Anyway, the spiritual pride thing was really bad in my own experience.

BTW, if you want to know what a sociologist who studies abusive churches has to say about the Assembly, get and read the book "Churches that Abuse" by Ronald Enroth. You'll learn not only some of the real issues with the assembly (control, manipulation, etc.) but you'll also learn that the patterns there appear in other churches as well. Very enlightening.

Bob.
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SugarMagnolia
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2003, 03:53:43 am »

Thank you Uncle Chuck.  It needed to be said.

Be careful of judging without all the facts....
walk a mile in Mike's shoes.

An objective observer




I would suggest that I do know the facts about what happened to my own family, but I thank you for your warning.
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Eulaha L. Long
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2003, 11:35:04 pm »

Dan, I feel like an AK, because I got saved and right away joined the group, without any knowledge of other churches and their beliefs.  The best way to find about other believers is to visit them in other gatherings.  
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