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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/02/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Hello all, This is my first comment after finding these forums a few weeks ago. I was born in 1982 into a family that was part of TWI; my parents were part of a twig group in the Houston area. From what I understand, my family and a big chunk of people in the Houston area broke off and started a splinter group sometime in the mid to late eighties. My mom and stepdad kept most of that info from us, but I remember them warning my sister and I not to answer any questions regarding PFAL materiel if someone came knocking at the door. The day I turned 18 I left and never went back to a fellowship. This caused a great stress between my mother, stepfather, and I and I went nearly a decade without talking to them. Between then and now I have put in work to try to build a relationship with them, but it is a very small slice of my life that I can share with them or that they can share with me without treading into religious waters. Despite that, I felt like I have been on the right track with them showing up for weekly dinners and starting to get to know them a little bit again. That is, until my sister died last month. It was a horrible accident and she was far too young in her mid 30's. I took on the bulk of the funeral planning, as hospitality and events is my profession. It was really difficult to plan because it forced me to negotiate with them about how much their religion would be involved in the service. We decided on a non-secular event hall, which was easy because they would have had an issue going anywhere with any other kind of religion involved. The tough part is that they wanted their reverend to speak for an hour of the 2 hour service. I fought tooth and nail to get it down to 15 minutes, which they agreed to. He spoke for 40 minutes. It was so difficult sitting through his angry sermon, where he was talking about drinking blood, speaking in tounges, and then pitching people taking PFAL classes. WTF. I left so angry. For the first time I started examining how TWI and their offshoot really effected me and the people I love in my life. I grew up feeling extremely emotionally and physically isolated from the outside world, and I am just now (in my late thirties) figuring out how to come to terms with that. I am married and have a good job, but that has taken serious work. I have a hard time really opening up and connecting with people although I yearn for it and work for it daily. My dad was excommunicated after he and my mother divorced (she cheated on him with their TWI marriage counselor). This probably had to do with my dad being gay :P. He hid his sexuality from my sister and I because he knew it meant we wouldn't get to see him. He never missed a child support check even though he was broke and despite constant pressure from my mom/stepdad and TWI pressuring him to cut ties. Once he finally came out, my mom and stepdad really freaked out because they are convinced he has devil spirits. For just under two decades they have had a cool relationship with each other, only talking when it had something to do with my sister or I. During the funeral they were cordial during the planning process, but cool during the funeral. Anyone former TWI or current offshoot would ignore my dad and his partner of 25 years. People who he has known for decades just pretended he wasn't there. After I spoke my heart at the funeral speaking about my sister and her life, I started getting the same treatment. It turns out I offended people by talking about her dad and his partner in the eulogy. That made me feel angry and sad. It also made me feel proud for speaking my mind to a group that didn't want to hear from me. Anyway, I am sorry for the word soup and I hope that I haven't gone way off topic here. I am just looking for information now. I am researching the people who I know are in their group now. I want to figure out what offshoot they are a part of and where all this PFAL money is going, considering it isn't supported by TWI anymore. My parents hold classes and travel regularly to hold and attend retreats. I am dying to know how big the splinter is that they are a part of. I want to learn more and face this. Does anyone know of any major offshoots that have a strong presence in the Houston area? Am I allowed to list names in this group to see if any of you know any of these people? Thank you all. It has been fascinating learning about your experiences.
  2. 1 point
    Many of you will be aware of the history that got LCM ejected from TWI, and you may know the names of some of his victims who started lawsuits. I met with J@nu@ry B@rn3s. She told me how LCM had been with her. She told me the whole sordid details of what he did, where; how her marriage broke down and - oh, just so much. I had no idea (how could I have done?) - I was "gobsmacked" with what she said, still am really, filled with revulsion; and it's over ten years since we talked. What she did tell me, though, was that she attended CFFM fellowships and the leaders at CFFM knew some of what had happened (to whom, how, when) and that they spent a lot of time with victims, walking in the grounds, or in other places at CFFM, quietly talking over the abuse (including sexual) of the survivors. Walking, talking, soothing, praying, listening. CFFM certainly wasn't in denial at that time and didn't avoid the topic or tell people to move on. It's not necessary to shout about it from the rooftops at every meeting, so if it wasn't mentioned on one occasion that's no surprise.
  3. 1 point
    ,Hello and welcome, pleroo. First, allow me to offer condolences on the loss of your sister. Kudos for the way you handled the funeral arrangements. As for who has a presence in the Houston area, I'm not knowledgeable of that area at all. I'm fairly certain there are people here who are, though. I can't tell you where the money goes. If they operate anything like TWI did, you can be sure it doesn't go to feed the hungry or clothe the poor. The general rule on names is that it's best, for legal reasons, to semi-redact peoples names in a way that people here will understand who it is but it won't bring up results with an internet search. For example: John Smith becomes something like J*%n Sm!tH. Upper echelon people like VP Wierwille and the like are pretty much fair game, though. Of course, if your reason for stating a name is innocuous, such as looking for an old friend, then that doesn't apply. Someone will probably be around shortly to get you a complimentary cup of coffee and a piece of pie.
  4. 1 point
    Hi Kathy, thanks for the research paper doc. It's an interesting read and well written, will have to digest it. I do think this is a topic that fits into "Open" better than Doctrinal. I've always felt that it's a topic that isn't served well if restricted to religious inquiry although that's part of the discussion, certainly GS. Religious opinion pretty much mangles the topic into a gnarly mass of denial - anything that doesn't seem to fit into the equation is just ignored, denied or considered an attack on the religious position. Many of the world's social issues end up like a pile of dirty laundry with one clean towel on top - they just focus on the clean towel and ignore the dirty ones and pretend there's a pile of clean towels and the dirty ones will be handled in the sweet-by-and-by. Which goes to the basics of life and determining what life is and how best to proceed through it and into the future. One thing striking about Jesus and what He is recorded to have taught is that He addressed two extreme views of life - eternity, God, judgment, righteousness on the one hand and abundant life, a heavenly Father, forgiveness and grace on the other.....one is everything and everyone, the other is personal and individual. "The Word became flesh" indeed - a God who creates universes cares about His creation's individual parts. Jesus taught around and to the basic idea of a male/female partnership, "marriage", and that relationship is used in the New Testament to illustrate the unity of the much larger body of Christ and it's "members in particular"....again, the larger reality being understood in an individual perspective. He also taught that "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.".....so reality changes in God's plan as Jesus taught it. Or does it? Hard to say, but we have some pointers. I was born heterosexual, I didn't choose it. I don't choose to stay heterosexual in preferences and I don't think I could, or want to, choose to change that. It's just the way I was born and it appears to the natural way the majority of humans are born - some are born male and they're sexual attraction is towards females, serving procreation. "Be fruitful and multiply". But if I didn't choose, why do I have to say someone else did....? Maybe they did, maybe they do, maybe the biology and physical components produce the conditions that allow for it. That personal awareness makes me think that someone could be born homosexual and then have a natural preference for their own sex. That doesn't serve procreation and if I assumed that all sexual preference was primarily designed to serve procreation it would be a major failure. I don't know that though. Procreation is clearly the intention of our species, it's our future so to speak but breaking it down, that doesn't mean that every single human ever born must and should have more children, be a father or mother. If I say that's the ideal state, is it the only permissible state? What's the purpose of God's creation particularly when there may not be any genders of any kind "in the resurrection", as Jesus taught? These are just thoughts, questions. Jesus taught to forgive, to help, to pray and to have faith towards God, as both their Creator and their Father. Can everyone do that? Can anyone accept His act of grace and be "born again" - and if so what is the effect on their human sexuality? When I see people acting out "gay" lifestyles in seemingly outrageous and shocking ways, that's behavior. What does it represent? Every gay person doesn't wear pink tights and dance around the streets in chains. I have no desire to see or participate. But it's behavior, not sexuality - behavior that one chooses to reflect or manifest their sexuality in a way they....choose. Anyhoo....PEACE!!!
  5. 1 point

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