1993, 02/15-18. Submit Or Be Broken.

I am thinking that maybe I will run into a situation with Stewart like Jay did. That I will have to execute myself because I have stolen the hearts of the people because getting all the new brothers to be my friend instead of getting them into Christian Training (Stewart said the issue with Jay was that he wasn’t really laying his down his life for the good of the new people, so what would have normally been a good thing was detrimental.) It would be hard for me to have to agree with this and to have to make a public apology about this – but to resist? Then I think Stewart would break me, because this is what he does with people who displease him.

Yes, these thoughts are all still here. This is what this book is for, a collection place for all of them.

I am thinking something will happen between me and Stewart, like what happened with Chuck and Rich C. when they got talked to during the last meeting. Sure, it’s a routine thing [Stewart’s verbal beatings are a routine part of life here and people seem to survive them], but I don’t know how I would take it. It’s hard for me to just bow my head and take it. I take it as a personal affront. It is actually like Abe described, a vendetta, like the guy has it in for me and is just waiting for me to trip up or to run afoul of him. I dread our next meeting.

[I dreaded my next confrontation with Stewart, yet felt as if I were being drawn toward it, despite my desire to avoid it. It was coming to look for me, even if I wanted to avoid it.]

I hate being broken down without defending myself.  But to defend yourself is like asking for your death warrant or touching that 600 volt wire. Look at how Kevin will stand there with his head down, a big man like that, when Stewart is coming down on him. You know he is not saying what he really thinks or would like to say. It is artificial. It is like, on one hand, you either lose your person by becoming a doormat, or you lose your entire life by resisting and being thrown out.

[I was still uncertain whether I could have salvation and eternal life if I were no longer in the Church of Bible Understanding – or at least I was afraid I could not, and this was one of the forces that kept me here, and kept in submission to Stewart for fear of being thrown out for disobeying or disagreeing with him. We either submitted,with our tail between our legs like a bad dog, to Stewart’s abasement of us, or we spoke up to protest this treatment and risking being thrown out for it, which seemed like an overwhelming punishment to deal with. And even if a brother didn’t get thrown out, the treatment he received was extremely nasty and it persisted until he finally backed down and admitted he had been wrong.]

A verse that came to mind is to not resist those who do you harm. [1] But how? I am not fully convinced of Stewart’s integrity, honesty and dealings with people or with me. He often seems to have ulterior motives. But we are constrained to speak well of him.

[1] The verse I had been thinking about was Matthew 5:39, where Jesus said, “But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” It is ironic that I was prompted by the behavior of the so-called pastor of our church to consider this kind of response to his actions toward us, the actions of a man who was supposedly our greatest benefactor, who had our greatest good in mind, which was that we attain eternal life. Of course, now I realize that those were not Stewart’s intentions toward us, but it was not entirely clear to me at that time.]

February 18

What if I was just friendly to people and went around striking up conversations with people, wouldn’t this increase my “contacts” for Christ?

I am running into flack over taking (and leaving) Leo at the immigration office. From Paul B., “We are not a free the Russian people place.” I think I was, on one hand, deviating from group norms, by “doing my own thing,” (that sinister phrase), and also in part being run around by Leo. He is determined.

[I got flack from the others because I offered Leo help that was not part of the agenda. We were only supposed to get the new disciples into “Christian Training.” I helped him with his “human life” and needs by driving him to the immigration office in the city.]

You can read the next section of my journal here: Notes On Meeting Dynamics And Life Here.

These journal pages are part of the source material for my book, Captive Congregation: My Fourteen Years in the Church of Bible Understanding, which is available as a Kindle book or in paperback

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