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Author Topic: Let's Be Honest  (Read 13361 times)
al Hartman
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« on: February 07, 2003, 11:55:03 pm »


     This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.     1 Timothy 1:15

                             LET'S BE HONEST

     Chances are you've noticed that there is a lot of venom expressed on this website:  a lot of grousing, a lot of name-calling, a lot of insults.  And most who read these vitriolic posts recognize that they are the natural reaction to pain and anguish.  More on that in a moment...
     The majority of the hostility is directed toward George and Betty Geftakys, with some left over for a few of their close disciples.  The things being said about them place them in the same category as persons such as Jim Jones, David Koresh, "Father Divine", Brigham Young, Charles Manson, even Adolph Hitler.
     Jones convinced his entire congregation to commit mass suicide by drinking poison.  Koresh and his followers took on U.S. government lawmen, resulting in their losing a fiery gun battle and being burned out after an extensive seige.
     The so-called Father Divine never claimed to be God incarnate, but encouraged his worshipers to believe that he was.  He used his choice of female congregants as sex toys, and required all in his flock to turn over their entire incomes to him.
     Young led a multitude to an isolated place where he held absolute power, enforced by arms.  There he grounded them in a new religion wherein a second book, the Book of Mormon, was taught to be equally as inspired and holy as-- and more relevant than-- the Bible.
     Manson virtually hypnotized his band of disciples into committing gory murders, and Hitler was responsible for dehumanizing and murdering millions.
     All of these deeds against God and humanity and those who performed them are abhorrent to us-- we are repulsed by them.  Yet we are benign regarding them, posting biting and poisonous remarks only about the Geftakys' and a couple of their immitators.  Why?

     There is one significant difference between those whom we so openly despise, and the rest, about whom we are aware but remain silent:  George and Betty did what they did TO US!  That's what sets them apart in our minds-- not just that they were/are so evil-- but that WE suffered at their hands.  Our anger and hostility toward them is an understandable natural response to the mistreatment we have experienced and endured.  And therein lies the problem...
     Lashing out in anger or fear is the natural knee-jerk reaction of any person (or anilmal) to the experience of pain.
But we are not just any person.  Being born again of His spirit, we have a new nature to call upon; one capable of turning the other cheek; of praying for those who despitefully use us.  For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  
2 Timothy 1:7    
     Do we suppose ourselves to be more worthy than others to be treated well in this life?  Or do we think the Geftakys' are the most evil people on earth, when Paul calls himself the chief of sinners?  Paul told Timothy "...be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling...according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus..."  2 Timothy 8b-9.

     God didn't say it would be fun to suffer for the sake of the gospel, but it is a privilege, and he has made us able to do all that he has called us to do.  He will lead us.  He will not forsake us; not ever.  He is our strength, our courage, our joy, our patience, our love.  He is to us everything we can ever possibly need, and more.  Pray to understand this, and to demonstrate it by your life.
     Do you know what it means that Christ is your "personal" Savior?  It means that He didn't just effect some sort of blanket salvation for the whole world, and you lucked into it under some obscure grandfather clause.  No--  YOUR sins required the death of Christ for atonement.  He had to die for YOU.  Now if your own sinfulness required the sacrifice of the Son of God, do you really think that George and Betty are so much worse than we are?

     IF we will ask Him, He will enable us to see beyond the here and now;  to love the unlovely; to forgive the unforgivable; to show mercy to the merciless.  Why?  Because that is what He has called us to do-- it is His will for us.  And if God is for us, who shall be against us?

     Peter asked Jesus what He wanted John to do.  Jesus answered him, "...what is that to you?  follow me."  John 21:22      Brother al says to you, Go and do likewise.

For the love of God,
al Hartman
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Eulaha L. Long
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2003, 11:59:30 pm »

Stop trying to shut us up!  That is very Assembly.  I refuse to be quiet about all I experienced!  Anybody else wanna comment?  Cause I'm going to go post whatever the heck I want in some other thread... Cool
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Nancy Newswander
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2003, 12:38:59 am »

Um...I'm not hearing Al trying to shut anyone up.  But, maybe, just maybe, if we pray more than we say........
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Luke Robinson
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2003, 01:16:42 am »

Wow!
Such lovely language!  I see that Mr. Hartman hit a touchy area!  But as dear Nancy wrote, it is not the right thing to be saying.  Mr. Hartman is not saying for people to shut up.  God forbid that we trust him before using our mouths.  We need wisdom in this time of trouble and we need God's provision so that He would get the glory.  Not us.

A Brother in Christ,

Luke Robinson
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editor
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2003, 01:50:16 am »

I don't think Al was trying to shut anyone up at all.

Comparing George to Hitler is intellectually dishonest, not to mention ridiculous.  However, comparing the phenomenon of totalism, and how people come to follow an egotistical leader, and fail to see they are really an evil person, IS worth studying.

The Assembly was never, ever, nearly as bad as the Third Reich!  But there are some aspects to the social structure that are worthy of consideration.  We just need to be careful that we allude to these things when we write.  That's why newspapers have editors!

Let's be honest.  We all followed a deceitful person, while we thought we were only following Christ.  Some of us were more out of balance in our following than others, but we were all hoodwinked.

We want to follow Jesus Christ, and give Him the pre-eminince in our lives, so it is only reasonable that we seek to understand how we went wrong before, and don't make the same mistake in the future!

That is what the BB is supposed to be for, and it will increasingly move toward this, but people are raw, and hurt, and prideful, etc.  give it some time!

Brent
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2003, 02:08:17 am »

Al----

I agree with a lot that you have to say, but I think that
we all need to remember the books of 2 Peter and Jude
and what they have to say about false teachers and those
who use and abuse the flock knowingly. There is a special sort of judgement reserved for them. True, we are all sinners and no better than George and Betty, but George and Betty were "leading" the flock--and whose flock? The flock of the Lord Jesus Christ. And George set himself up as the sole leader of this flock. He used it's money to make world travels, he used some of the female sheep(which were supposed to be cared for by him) as items to please his lust, and knowingly allowed his own son's wife to continue to be abused by her husband. And after all of this he refuses to repent. If George repents surely we should all forgive him, as the Lord will. But to forgive George beforehand and "let him slide" so to speak would be very wrong. Forgive me if I am misunderstanding what you are saying Al--but George and Betty have done some very serious wrongs to many, many people in the name of the Lord--and those knowingly while leading the flock of God. As you say, we are all vile sinners---and we can all easily point fingers at one another for the wrongs we have done.
But George was the Pastor of the lord's people and did what he did. In the process he damaged many lives, while at the same time enjoying the lifestyle he had as a leader of God's heritage. How many people have the opportunity to travel around the world 8 months out of the year, completely financed, and accountable to no one? Al--I appreciate your words---and I will forgive George the moment I hear that he has repented and admitted to the wrongs he has commited. I agree with you that it is wrong to mock George(and I have been guilty of making some jokes at his expense) or to be vicious when speaking about him or Betty. But I believe this Webiste actually came about because the Lord wanted George to be made accountable for what he has done.  It came about to expose him and humble him, while at the same time bringing healing and comfort to those who have been hurt by him.  God bless you Al.      --Joe
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garylwilson
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2003, 02:28:49 am »

An exception:  Monday I had stopped posting.  I did put in my disclaimer
that there could be an exception.  EXCEPTION:

I'm still in fellowship in Fullerton.  D0N'T STOP SPEAKING.  Believe it or not some are listening.  "Be quick to hear and slow to speak"

But consider the following:  "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man ( women - don't want to leave out you ladies ), I put away childish things"
I Cor 13:11  Notice Paul didn't say that  he stopped speaking.
Rather the way he spoke changed.

Some - maybe many - of  you have been deeply wounded and offended.
But what is your goal?  Is it to lash out because of your pain.  If so, I understand.  Or is it to be heard?  

I am doing the best I can at sorting out the truth apart from those
that just have their own personal thing.  Pray for me.  Help me, help others to hear.  Do you have to be fancy?  No.
But generalizing and name calling -etc doesn't help.
My wife's pre-schoolers can do that.  I can see the ridicule coming.
Okay let it come.  

Nevertheless, many stories have touched my heart.  If they have touched my heart they must be touching other peoples hearts.
God is using what you're saying to challenge me and my convictions.
Much is changing in my life because of what I am reading.

God is getting a boldness in my life to stand for the convictions that I believe He is placing upon my heart.  I am seeing the need to have a tender conscience and have a care for others.
Therefore I refuse to bicker, I refuse debate,  I refuse to name call and label.  I choose to listen.  Yes it is painful.  I choose to care.

To you that are hurt, make being heard more important than venting.
Keep speaking - speak the truth - but consider speaking in such a way that many can hear.  Isn't that more important.  I am not asking anyone to water down anything.

Bottom line:  Are you going to let others continue to control you?  True freedom is found when you can speak the truth in love.  May God get
healing in all of our lives.

Al,  I like what you said.  I didn't think you were trying to silence anyone.
 
Do you remember me?  I remember you?  It's been a long time.  I still have vivid memories of what you looked like, how you walked and
how you gave ministry.  Oops - better update the images on my heart.
I need a 20 year update.

From one that is trying to listen.


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Peacefulg
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2003, 03:59:13 am »

Hi Gray, to you and all my brethern still in the re-org assemblies (HB, Arcata, SD, etc), I will continue to pray for you all to walk in the light you have been shown (again I would prefer you all took a "leave of absence, but.....).  

It is so refreshing to see you and other question is this REALLY what the Lord wants?

To Al: I see what you are trying to say and you are right you are right "we all need to follow Jesus" (in fact this was the verse that lead me back to the Lord).  

What you fail to see and other still in will afirm , is that this site and people speaking up have lead them to see they need to follow Christ.

Lord Bless,
G
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2003, 06:25:31 am »

Luke----

In reply I have to ask that if everyone has forgiven him
already why is he still excommunicated? It would be wrong at the present time if the leaders said "George, it's O.K. we all forgive you, come home" without repentance and humbling by George. When a brother is excommunicated the
Bible tells us not to have anything to do with them until they repent of their sins. I understand what you are trying to say Luke in that God has covered George's sins with his blood. But to tell someone "I forgive you, it's all O.K." before they have repented is very dangerous. That would allow George to feel that everything is OK without having made any amends. The very reason for the excommunication is to show the seriousness of his actions and hopefully lead him to repentance. Once he repents of his wrongs, the church welcomes him back and all forgive him for what he has done. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's how I've always understood it to be Biblically. I'm willing to be corrected on this matter if what I am stating is incorrect.     take care,  Joe
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Oscar
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2003, 07:13:05 am »

"Stop trying to shut us up!  That is very Assembly.  I refuse to be quiet about all I experienced!  Anybody else wanna comment?  Cause I'm going to go post whatever the heck I want in some other thread... Cool"

Oh, Eulaha,

If only you knew what Al Hartman suffered at the hands of George Geftakys.  You are listening to grace coming out of the mouth,(or fingertips), of one who was driven into depression by years of the GG treatment.  I know, I helped do it.

I have asked his forgiveness and he has forgiven me.   He knows what he is talking about.

Matthew 18:21-35.

Thomas Maddux
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Luke Robinson
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2003, 01:34:10 pm »

Sorry, Mr. Sperling,

I read up on what I had said before, and it was off track.  All through the Bible, it tells of God forgiving people AFTER they have repented.  Sorry about that.

But just one little simple question for everyone here:  

If George repented, would you forgive him?  

Because if you can't, we are discussing the wrong issue.

A Brother in Christ,

Luke Robinson
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editor
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2003, 08:48:21 pm »

Dear Luke

I want to answer your question.

If George repented, I would totally forgive him.  In fact, I hve already forgiven him, but because he has not repented, we are not reconciled.

Jesus paid for everyone's sin.  However, only the ones who have been washed, cleansed and made right are reconciled to Him.  Salvation is by grace through faith alone, and is available to everyone.  But not everyone is saved.

Forgiveness is similar.  If George repents, he can be reconciled to me,  but it is impossible fot this to happen without his repentance.

There is a good article on the main website, towards the bottom of the articles page.
Read it!

Assembly teaching on forgiveness is FALSE!! FALSE!! FALSE!!

Brent
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psalm51
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2003, 10:28:06 pm »

Dear Luke

I want to answer your question.

If George repented, I would totally forgive him.  In fact, I hve already forgiven him, but because he has not repented, we are not reconciled.

Jesus paid for everyone's sin.  However, only the ones who have been washed, cleansed and made right are reconciled to Him.  Salvation is by grace through faith alone, and is available to everyone.  But not everyone is saved.

Forgiveness is similar.  If George repents, he can be reconciled to me,  but it is impossible fot this to happen without his repentance.

There is a good article on the main website, towards the bottom of the articles page.
Read it!

Assembly teaching on forgiveness is FALSE!! FALSE!! FALSE!!

Brent
Luke, Brent is right on about this. Think about it. When you were a child and  let's say you stole a dollar out of your mom's purse. Your mom finds out that you did it, but when you are confronted you lie about it, blame your brother, and have a bad attitude. Does your mother still love you? Of course. Does she want to forgive you? She wants to. but before you can be a recipient of her love and forgiveness you have to own up to what you did.
After you admit the wrong (and return the dollar), you can be reconciled with your mom and receive her hugs, kisses, a cookie, etc. in other  words, be fully back in fellowship with her. If you never do there is a rift there that you have chosen to allow.  This may be a lame analogy, but I think you get my drift.
George and Betty have admitted nothing, have defied efforts to be forgiven and reconciled, therefore putting a huge roadblock into the forgiveness process.
What do you think?
Pat
p.s. give your mom the dollar back, Lukie. Wink
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Suzie Trockman
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2003, 10:41:28 pm »

Dear Pat and Luke:

The only things I would add to Pat's post is that God is infinitely more patient, loving, compassionate, powerful and holy than the kindest, most wonderful mother that ever existed.  Same with fathers.

Yes, Jesus loves George and Betty.  He is also angry with them.  They are NOT repenting, in fact I know for sure that they are in total denial.  They are lying about everything!  They have been doing this for decades.  They raised their sons, who both served full time in their "church."  They handpicked and trained most of the leaders, and all of the full-time workers.

They, "re-produced" themselves and their teaching.  That is why so many people, from so many different groups across the country have the same kind of testimonies of abuse.

TAKE SIX WEEKS OFF!!!

Brent
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Luke Robinson
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2003, 11:05:05 am »

Dear Suzie(Brent?) and Pat,

That last post, who wrote it?  Suzie or Brent?  Grin

Thank you Pat for that beautiful anology.  I will remember it.
I can assure you that I never stole a dol---uh...well...yeah.  Um this is kind of awkward. Undecided  Grin
 I totally agree with you and Brent.  George is turning his back on his sin and God is definetly not happy.  Don't do this to yourself, Mr. Geftakys!!  Get rid of all this junk in your life!!  

Pray, pray, pray.

A Brother in Christ,
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