How should a Christian respond to all the negativity out there?
The memories were too painful, and she never had the opportunity to finish writing it. My Ruth was much like the Ruth of the Bible. Her journey was long and difficult, filled with physical, emotional and spiritual pain. We were married shortly after she left the Institute.
This is a story of betrayal, deceit, and evil control. Ruth was never able to finish writing her story; it was too difficult emotionally. In the end, she was fighting for her life, raising two young children, and living for each day and for what the Lord had in store for tomorrow.
When she saw that Bill was using the same techniques on the ATI students that she had suffered under many years before, she fought even harder. Ruth went so far as to reestablish contact with Bill, hoping she could be an agent of change. But that never happened. The pain and suffering I read on Recovering Grace is what she wanted to stop.
The Institute we lived under is different than yours. Smaller cities had video seminars where Bill would sometimes make a one-night appearance. Byover two million people had attended his seminars. The Institute owned two airplanes: They also had a larger Lear 55 on order. Money was never an object.
Historically, this was during the era of Jim and Tammy Bakker, who were in their prime with the PTL network, who, along with Jimmy Swaggart were making their heart-breaking TV appeals to millions of older people living on fixed incomes while they were living in opulent luxury and sin.
Bill took a drastically different approach: All of this was true; his favorite food was cheap and easy: But the other side of the story was that the Institute spent thousands of ministry dollars to keep his old, rusty Oldsmobile 98 classic running.
He would drive his old junker to the airport and then climb into his brand-new Learjet.
If he wanted anything personally, he would casually mention it to his staff and they would buy it as a gift or expense it. And this false sense of humility had its rewards. For Christmas or his birthday, he would request expensive leather luggage or rare, expensive duck decoys to add to his collection.
The staff felt emotionally manipulated into providing these gifts, even though they made almost nothing themselves. And this was just over her corresponding with a young man who lived two thousand miles away. Ruth and Bill finally reached a compromise: Bill would read all of the correspondence from this young man and help her write very non-personal letters in response, while discouraging any phone calls between the two.
I was that young man and was unaware of this high level of control till after we left the Institute. Sadly, this was par for the course among staff members. Image was everything to Bill.
To the staff, Bill reinforced the message that God was blessing the ministry based on its growth and prosperity, which implied Bill was of God and could do no wrong.
Staff members who questioned anything Bill taught were forced to leave and were labeled as failures. Questioning was rarely tolerated by Bill and his family. Fairly quickly she was promoted to his personal secretary.1.
A friend who read the first draft of this manuscript notes: "My moronic sister-in-law once told me that God found her parking spots near the front door at Wal-mart! Monday morning, Oct.
22, Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, District Superintendent of the Central District of the Central Texas Conference, forwarded an email to me (with permission to us) that she had received from one of the Central District pastors leading a New Faith Community.
As a follower of Christ, I am constantly learning more about thecharacter of the Lord and his plan for me in life. As I continue to learn. 1 • THE C: ONCERN: And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
Just FYI, LDS (Mormons) don’t worship Joseph Smith. We was a prophet like Moses in the Old Testament. We worship Jesus Christ. Two stories highlight the critical issue of Christian identity. Both come from incidents in my pastoral ministry.
In the first instance a young adult found himself involved with a mission ministry reaching out to the homeless in our community.