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Word of Life Bible Institute?


medievalist1980

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Anyone know the story of these guys? I just found out I know someone raised with them (although said person seems to have left the movement, which is why I didn't know that til now). I googled a bit and saw some people think they are a cult. They seem to have a lot of locations. I looked through the FJ history and saw a thread on the Word of Life movement, but I'm not sure it is related.

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One of their large summer compounds is near me in a small town. They own a lot of property because they provide housing for church employees. Many church members live there year round, and they take their children out of school for 5-10 weeks at a stretch in the winter to go to Florida for missionary work and to be in plays. They have taken over the school board and town government, and are not nice people. They come across as typical right wing fundy lites, complete with the phony friendliness and judgement. Tithing is big, but I don't know enough about their theology to call them a cult.

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Well, I grew up in a church that was heavily involved with WOL. Back then (don't know how it is now), they were a 1 or 2 year school and they also had a youth group program. I was in the youth group from 7th grade through 11th grade. There was a cirriculum that our youth pastor followed and TONS of events for us to go to with other WOL churches. Lets see: overnight bowling outings, volleyball tournaments, softball tourn, Teens Involved (a talent competition on a local, regional, and national level). I know there was more, but these were what my youth group went to the most. And tons of churches would show up to these events.

But it was your typical fundy atmosphere, except they didn't require skirts and frumpers. But at the start of each event we would get a huge lecture on "no PDA allowed" and the evils of rock music, etc Overall, they WERE pretty fun but that's probably because I had a boyfriend that went too.

As far as their Bible Institute, I'm not too sure. But our youth pastor required that all 7 of his kids go there for all 2 years before they transferred. Obviously, they're not accredited so they couldn't transfer anywhere else. Most people that go there end up going to someplace like Tennessee Temple or Maranatha College (in other words, rinky-dink Christian schools).

I was pressured really hard by my youth pastor and also by the WOL reps to go there, but I refused because I wanted an actual education and I thought it was a waste of time. In fact, several people of my former church-mates went there and they never amounted to anything (and I mean that in a really nice way). But they never finished a bachelors degree, married young, and is now living the fundy dream (ignorant and broke).

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Thanks, Meda and Lala. That was the impression I got and now I am really impressed that my friend doesn't seem to be a part of the group, but is still close with his parents, who seem to be high up (based on my googling).

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I grew up in a church that was heavily affiliated with WOL. I have even stayed at their facility for Snow Camp on multiple occasions. They are definitely fundies minus frumpers. Oh and they really push their Bible Institute and giving two years of your life to God before college. I thought it was a big waste of time myself. Their services do have a cultie quality to them. The pastor at my church was some sort of revered bigwig there. The cultie WOL people were in awe when I told them I went to Dr Scheides church.

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Interesting. Anyone know anything about the Calhouns? They seem to be pretty tight with my friend's family and lead the institute in NY? Schroon Lake?

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I'm on my phone so I can't really check, but is this the same Word of Life institute that has a camp in Southern Ontario? If they are affiliated, then boy, I know them all too well.

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Just checked, looked like they are the same. I know the couple who run the institute in Owen Sound, and I have to say that I'm shocked to see that they claim to offer a curriculum for what is basically a sleep-away camp on a farm. They make trips into big cities to evangelize, mostly targeting youth or people in unfortunate circumstances. On a personal level, they seem like nice enough people, until you realize just how invested they are in getting you to join their church. And they are absolutely fundamentalists who preach that the bible is the literal word of god and whomever believes differently will burn, they're just so damn nice about it that it's hard to see through at first. I've recently had the misfortune of seeing the manipulation of a family member by their church and wow, they are tenacious.

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Interesting. Anyone know anything about the Calhouns? They seem to be pretty tight with my friend's family and lead the institute in NY? Schroon Lake?

Mike Calhoun has a blog. He is a presence in the Schrron lake community. It's a very small WOL company town.

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Yup, briefly scanned the blog. Found the sad information on his daughter. I am guessing not quiverful since only 3 kids. they seem like run of the mill fundies.

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Just checked, looked like they are the same. I know the couple who run the institute in Owen Sound, and I have to say that I'm shocked to see that they claim to offer a curriculum for what is basically a sleep-away camp on a farm. They make trips into big cities to evangelize, mostly targeting youth or people in unfortunate circumstances. On a personal level, they seem like nice enough people, until you realize just how invested they are in getting you to join their church. And they are absolutely fundamentalists who preach that the bible is the literal word of god and whomever believes differently will burn, they're just so damn nice about it that it's hard to see through at first. I've recently had the misfortune of seeing the manipulation of a family member by their church and wow, they are tenacious.

Weird, I grew up in that area and have never heard of them. That's not saying much, though, I didn't actually pay attention to religious people.

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This Institute has activities all over the world, including my country (Brazil). Btw, sorry for my poor writing, english is not my first language. I'm more of a lurker here.

Their Bible Institute is wayyyy too expensive for an average Brazilian family. It's located inside of a gated community infested with Christian families. My parents own a house there, but they just spend the weekends. Our church was not really involved with them, but I worked in their youth camp in three occasions. Some of the missionaries were American and definitely fundie lite.

The American founder still runs the place and his rules are standing for 50 years or so. Students can't go to the movies, for example. A friend of mine had to ask for a special permission to watch "The Passion of Christ".

Once I heard a story that shocked me: one of the students had sex with her boyfriend during a weekend break. She felt extremely guilty afterwards and confessed it to her advisor. They called her during their daily morning service and told what happened to everyone. It was one day before their graduation, many of the students' families were staying for the cerimony and watched the whole scene. The girl just stood there.... crying, fucking humiliated. They said they were using her as an example and that she wouldn't graduate.

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