Jump to content
IGNORED

Gwen Shamblin Lara 17: The Hair Apparant


HerNameIsBuffy

Recommended Posts

On 6/15/2021 at 5:06 PM, OK Boomer said:

Thank you for posting the report.

On 6/15/2021 at 10:07 PM, Xan said:

I agree.  Reading that they crashed into a very shallow part of the lake made it worse.  Also, the one observer said they entered the lake nose down.  Yikes.

I never dreamed it was in such shallow water either and nose down. And from the report it seems like a lot of the plane was recovered, in big pieces. All of it was eye-opening. 

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, TDHuggies said:

And that it will be a difficult task to keep everyone in line. Gwen had DEVOTED followers. Maybe Elizabeth can win them over but she doesn't have that "it" factor to be the cult leader.

Welcome to FJ, and congratulations on getting out of a cult. Do you think Elizabeth’s one daughter - who seems to be quite in her element, performing in the front row of the children’s choir - will be helpful in ruling [sic] the community?  

8 hours ago, TDHuggies said:

yes she did. She mentioned deep grief but that they would not be focusing on themselves but instead on the job at hand (saving the church from falling apart)

 

 

I think you just answered my previous question. Bless those poor kids.  Their lives are planned out fir them, aren’t they? Sigh. 

Edited by MamaJunebug
  • Upvote 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I watched the service as well. When I heard Elizabeth's take on why the "seven righteous leaders" died, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was NOT prepared for that one.

And what was it? That they died so that she (Elizabeth) could receive a double portion of prophecy or something like that?

 

7 hours ago, freefromthin said:

One other thing that stood out to me (pardon if this has been mentioned) is her description of her young son Grantham bawling upon hearing the news of his father's and grandmother's death and him wiping his tears away and then immediately asking who was going to take over the church. According to Elizabeth he asked, "Is it you?" I find it odd that he would immediately ask such a thing given his age.

I was planning to say I have a really hard time believing that but @JermajestyDuggar makes a really good point. See quote below.

6 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

To me it shows how the church is the entire focus of all of their lives. And that they’ve talked a lot about his grandma being the leader of the church. I agree it’s a strange thing to say right away. But to me it shows what they talk about all the time. And that’s RF and Gwen. That’s the center of his family’s life. 

 

 

Edited by ManyGoats
Accidental double-post
  • Upvote 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, ManyGoats said:

And what was it? That they died so that she (Elizabeth) could receive a double portion of prophecy or something like that?

 

I was planning to say I have a really hard time believing that but @JermajestyDuggar makes a really good point. See quote below.

 

 

I wanted to make sure that I got this right, so I am listening and typing...

Unless he did such a thing, 7 righteous leaders all at once...he had to take them all at once, the whole world was watching when Jesus died...well if only one person had died, if only 2 person...people had died, maybe even 3, maybe that would have been a stir...but 7 righteous, 7 of the most major leaders in our church, all in one day, at one time...now don't tell me the world isn't watching right now, they're watching, but it's not just for the world to watch and to see this...it's that, unless he had taken such great amazing people,  such people that you can't even come up with one thing wrong to say about any of 'em, you can't even dream of it, I can't even come up with what I would falsely accuse them of, they were THAT righteous, but when God took all 7 of them at the same time, he was then capable of sending a spirit down here to this earth to rebirth, restart the next generation...but he HAD TO DO IT *she then reads John 16:5 *I believe that God needed this to happen, if he had waited for 30 years, maybe the next generation had gotten lazy...He didn't do this to harm us...

Hopefully this offers a bit of clarity to what I was saying earlier. She seemed to think that the 7 needed to die in order to strengthen the church in some way. 

I also wanted to add that when I went back and listened for the second time, I noticed that she actually went into great detail about how she had been brought up in RF and how things needed to be handed down to children from day one. So as someone else mentioned, that explains her child's reaction. 

  • Upvote 2
  • Sad 1
  • WTF 3
  • Thank You 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, freefromthin said:

I wanted to make sure that I got this right, so I am listening and typing...

Thank you for going to so much trouble to answer my question. I really appreciate it.

  • Upvote 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, ManyGoats said:

Thank you for going to so much trouble to answer my question. I really appreciate it.

You're welcome. I found it difficult, to put into words, so I just thought maybe I should use hers. :)

  • Upvote 7
  • Disgust 1
  • I Agree 1
  • Thank You 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, freefromthin said:

when God took all 7 of them at the same time, he was then capable of sending a spirit down here to this earth to rebirth, restart the next generation..

First of all thanks you @freefromthin for taking so much time to re listen and put this here. Is it just me or is elizabeth more coherent in her speech patterns than GWOD?I wonder if that will change as she grows in power and begins to rely on the “spirit” to lead her rather than writing out her messages. I don’t know much about her but she seems more disciplined than her mom

Edited by RFfamANON
  • Upvote 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds as though Gwod's descendants have been brought up to believe they are part of an anointed dynasty of prophets.  Eeeesh.  

  • Upvote 6
  • Disgust 1
  • Sad 1
  • I Agree 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Howl said:

It sounds as though Gwod's descendants have been brought up to believe they are part of an anointed dynasty of prophets.  Eeeesh.  

And the cult label intensifies.

 

  • Upvote 15
  • I Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Howl said:

It sounds as though Gwod's descendants have been brought up to believe they are part of an anointed dynasty of prophets.  Eeeesh.  

I think Gwen did this on purpose. I think she made plenty of decisions to make her church seem like a royal dynasty. Remember the light blue sashes? The only reason why she never wore a crown is because it would mess up her big hair. 

6E8D1E79-2111-40CC-953D-0F0CA53E2FF5.jpeg

  • Upvote 12
  • I Agree 2
  • Thank You 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think her hair was her crown of glory.

KonMari with Gwen:  Here's how to declutter your drawers. Does it spark joy? Nobody cares. But if you're busy cleaning and throwing stuff away you're not eating.

Spoiler

What to Do While Waiting for Hunger

June 18, 2021

by Gwen Shamblin Lara

1 Comment

If you want God more than the food, He will be right there with you to help you. He is GOD—He can make this easy for you. Keep running to Him. Remember, the battle is all in your mind, and it feels great to wait for hunger. It also gets easier and easier each hour as you continue. Get a list of all the things you could be doing while waiting…all the drawers you need to clean out, all the cards you need to write, all the rooms you need to clean, all the outfits you need to lay out for the kids, all the people you could encourage. Take it hour by hour—going to God, listening to an audio lesson, going to His Word, singing a song—getting your mind OFF of the food! Say to yourself, “No more of that old life centered around food! I’m ready for a NEW life!”

Keep all of your motives for doing this hour by hour for GOD! This is exciting! You should be excited to find this answer, for if you continue to go growl to growl with small portions of food, then you WILL lose the extra weight!

Public service announcement: If a Remnant member loves up on you, it's not because they care about you. They sent that encouraging card because it helped them distract themselves from thoughts of dinner.

I suppose somebody who is grieving might find comfort and meaning in thinking that God had a larger plan in taking their loved ones but... this prophet dynasty belief system sounds rather unhealthy.

  • Upvote 11
  • I Agree 2
  • Thank You 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I think she made plenty of decisions to make her church seem like a royal dynasty.

That photo certainly confirms that they were into royalty LARPing. 

  • Upvote 8
  • Haha 8
  • I Agree 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Howl said:

That photo certainly confirms that they were into royalty LARPing. 

It is sort of amazing that Gwen never crossed paths with Doug Phillips (who is a tool). Gwen was basically the male version of The Tool - into LARPing, formed a cult, weird interpretation of the Bible, loved money, loved their own reflection in the mirror, liked to live in big houses, loved traveling, loved to dress up.  Gwen had big hair. The Tool had a big stance.

Edited by Queen Of Hearts
  • Upvote 20
  • Haha 1
  • I Agree 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, Queen Of Hearts said:

It is sort of amazing that Gwen never crossed paths with Doug Phillips (who is a tool). Gwen was basically the male version of The Tool - into LARPing, formed a cult, weird interpretation of the Bible, loved money, loved their own reflection in the mirror, liked to live in big houses, loved traveling, loved to dress up.  Gwen had big hair. The Tool had a big stance.

Ms. Lara was by all accounts way more successful than Phillips.  I think he would’ve hated her, called her a Jezebel for being front & center. 

  • Upvote 8
  • I Agree 4
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not surprised Elizabeth seems to have taken over preaching duties. Been posting that since 2019. And while I sympathize with everyone who hopes new leadership will moderate RF, I find that prospect very unlikely.
 

First, anyone who takes over for Gwen will need to preach the exact strict things Gwen preached or things will immediately fall apart. A fundamentalist cult is not the same as the Board of Directors of a tech company where investors get hyped that the new CEO wants to take the company in a new direction. 

 

Second, one of the reasons people stay in RF is that they are constantly told that RF is the only church where people are taught to obey 100% of god’s commands 100% of the time. It feels good to be told that your church is the only right church and you are part of the exclusive club that gets to live forever in heaven. Anything that moderates RF would make RF more like other churches, and then the members wouldnt get as much of the holier-than-thou feeling that is part of the reason they keep coming back.
 

Now that I think about it, being 100% obedient to god in all sorts of strict ways is critical to almost all of the other feelings that keep people in RF: telling themselves that because they are perfectly obedient god will bless them and answer their prayers, telling themselves they are soldiers in a spiritual war and that they are helping god win the war by having pure hearts, etc. None of the core RF beliefs are easy to moderate. Just look at all the mental gymnastics Gwen had to do in order to have RF survive her divorce after years and years of telling women that god wanted them to stay in bad marriages.

  • Upvote 11
  • Sad 1
  • I Agree 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another recent YouTube video on RF/Gwen by someone with an old personal connection - her mom used WD for weight loss and she sat in on WD sessions. The video itself was a nothing burger to me, but I thought folks here might enjoy some of the comments which I've pasted below.

Video link

Spoiler

 

Pro WD comment

Spoiler

THANK YOU. I've been in the same dilemma of wondering why why why and reading all the judgments of her diet program. I'm grateful for the thorough overview of the great value of her weigh down basics. It is truly the correct way to lose weight. Thank you for being so clear and supportive of this program and Gwen's good heart. I've no doubt her later theology was not correct but her heart wanted to do the right thing. Thank you,. Bless you. I'ms going weigh down basics again.

Gwen's appearance comment

Spoiler

Gwen was so much prettier in the early years before the gobs of clown make up which actually made her look like a "lady" of the night.

Growl comment

Spoiler

I appreciate your point regarding not everyone should wait till their stomach growls. I'm shakey and weak long before my stomach growls. But, I can appreciate knowing what your personal signs of hunger are. It's too bad that Shamblin's only reference to hunger was the stomach growl.

Former employee comment

Spoiler

I worked for Gwen in the 90s while she was in the process of starting her church. The reason she was kicked out of churches was because she didn't believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. She just didn't believe in the Trinity, she didn't believe that Jesus Christ was equal to God. This is a big deal for a lot of Evangelicals and Christians. Adrian Rogers was a well known pastor in Memphis TN who had the largest classes of Weigh Down Workshop. He met with her before he ended the program in his church. I remember her coming back from the meeting and we meet with Gwen in her office. This was a big blow to her because she lost a lot of money from this church. She was dismissive of him, and said that he didn't know his bible. Gwen had two personalities, when you met her in person or on video she was sweet, kind, and loving. Behind closed doors she was controlling and manipulative. I left my job because she told her employees if they didn't join her church we were all going to hell. She started holding meetings to pressure us to join which was mandatory. She berated us and talked down to us. Employees were walked into her office and if they didn't agree with her and her teachings then they were walked out by security. I left before I had to have the sit down with Gwen. It was a stressful situation. She did advocate using glue sticks to discipline your children, I was in a meeting when she said this. I was sad to hear about her passing, and very sorry for children, I remember them when they would come to the office, she was very dismissive of them if they didn't obey her. She was big on people obeying her. I also think about the little boy who died because their parents listened to Gwen. This is definitely a CULT. Your mom mentioned about doing the class again. I would tell her to run from this program asap. When you do the program now, it is a vehicle they use to get you to join their church. The principals are the same as intermittent fasting. There is another program called Thin Within that has the same concept, but to me more biblically based. It was a lot of speculation that Gwen stole from this program and made it her own. Thin Within started in the 70s. Gwen's program lead to all kind of eating disorders, people depressed, and confused I talked to them everyday when I worked there. It was a mess. Although I hate how she and the other members died, I can see people being free to get out of this cult. I pray they do.

WD experience comment

Spoiler

I was in a weigh down workshop early on when it came out and the things that worked for me were: eating what you want within the parameters of hunger and fullness, not requiring exercise (I dislike exercise) having what you want but not all at once, filling your mind with scripture and going to that when you desire food, she called it head hunger. Being able to go out and eat anywhere and not feeling deprived but checking out the menu and salad bar and choosing your favorite items rather than mindless ordering and eating. She said you will experience God in amazing and unexpected ways like not having to set your alarm clock, she said she’d wake up in the night and fix a cup of hot chocolate and read her bible or pray.
The result of the class was unexpected and surprising because I dieted but never felt I could succeed. I had success with WD. I grew up in a family of 11 and food was a race to get what you could. I’m not sure that can ever have it “counseled out” it is a vacuum of not feeling your needs will be met. I learn to allow God to fill that void/fear. Many years later I went to a eating disorder facility and in the application I had to list what I had tried in the past for weight loss and what worked. To my shock it was weigh down and not only did I successfully loose weight but I’ve always been a nail bitter and without effort or notice during that time I no longer bit my nails. I also experienced the alarm clock phenomenon she shared. When I went to bed I’d tell myself what time I needed to get up and to my surprise, I’d wake up. I think one could still benefit from the initial workshop in a group session and the daily homework was important, but occasionally didn’t do it all. I never felt deprived. Of course at first it has it’s challenges when you are use to eating your feelings and not your body.
There was a point of change though. My church didn’t ban it but required I do it outside the church setting and the leadership alerted me to her trinity beliefs. While the scriptures don’t specifically state the term “Trinity” it does say “three in one”. Which to me was a big deal as it was fundamental to my beliefs but wasn’t in her initial workshop materials. I think part of the reason for starting her church is many people that were excited and experienced results started to inquire what church this was from. When she broke off and created “Her” church is when I believe she went off the rails. Her appearance changed she appeared to grow more authoritarian and fired people in her employment that didn’t submit to, or totally agree with her. I think she grew vulnerable in her power and grew narcissistic. Her relationship with Joe in their videos appeared a little fake and needy on her part to have attention and he obliged her. I think Satan as with all Christians wants to destroy good for evil. Perhaps that is what happened. They did not allow divorce until hers to my understanding. Some of these comments are my own opinion and observation, others are factual. I attempted to point those out as I wrote. Didn’t mean to write a book but too was shocked, saddened by a life gone from-an amazing ministry to cultish authoritarian behavior. It’s a good reminder we’re all vulnerable to satan as he seeks to destroy and devour. Interesting video and it helped me to have compassion on her but also recognize what I see as truth to a ministry gone bad. Thanks for sharing your and your mom’s story. Bless you!

Baptist WD experience comment

Spoiler

In the 1990's I was in the Way Down Workshop through a Baptist Church in Texas and did several sessions. I enjoyed the Bible study. I remember when I was in the Bible study I had a spirit check about her. Jesus Christ is Holy and she called him her CEO in one of the videos. He is the Savior of the World. The scripture says to sanctify in our hearts. I would never give Him that name - CEO. Jesus is the son of God and he's not comparable with anyone in this world least of all a CEO, which are known for their extremely large salaries. You cannot serve God and serve money at the same time you're going to love one and hate the other. If anyone preaches a different Christ let him be accursed. It felt like she was creating Jesus in her own image, to suit her purposes. We're supposed to teach men to become disciples of Jesus, not followers of us but of Jesus. Only He is worthy.
Then all the sudden my church dropped her classes. They were in a dispute with Gwen because of the Trinity. The Weigh Download Workshop was not offered any more at my church.
Love in Christ,
Tiffany

Cults for profit comment

Spoiler

We shouldn't need cult leaders, profiteering from the vulnerable, claiming prophet status, preaching pseudo religion, marrying a toyboy, stupid hairdo, talking rubbish, living out their fantasy at other people's expense literally. Wake up America.
Its quite true that spirituality in one's life is essential, and is often neglected nowadays. But that is no excuse for forming a money- making cult.
Of course the loss of life is terrible. But so too is manipulating the lives of others for personal gain.

Unpleasant experience comment

Spoiler

Great interview Brice. My experience with Gwen was not pleasant. In 2007 my anorexic 20 yr old daughter met in our hometown Brentwood TN. She attended the church for the workshops on Saturdays. She was told that Eating Disorders were demonic and that she could "cure" her. She said medications and psychiatric treatment was not based on God's principles. When she was told to eat when she was hungry and stop when she is full, it really made her anxious. She was getting worse! If she finished a whole cookie instead of a half she would say God hates me now! I messed up! She lost more weight. 5'10 - 87 lbs ...I would try to reason with her but I was told that I was the problem. Her family was the obstacle because we are Catholic. She came home one day and said that she was moving into a home with other church members. It was so bizarre. I had enough! I was not able to speak directly with Gwen and only allowed to speak with her elders. I went with my daughter on a saturday workshop unannounced and not welcome. All I can say is that by the time I left I had so much anxiety. I understood why she felt that way. I prayed in desperation for God to keep my daughter from dying and bring her back home. The following week, she asked me if she could go back to church with me. God is good.

 

  • Thank You 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

Now that I think about it, being 100% obedient to god in all sorts of strict ways is critical to almost all of the other feelings that keep people in RF: telling themselves that because they are perfectly obedient god will bless them and answer their prayers, telling themselves they are soldiers in a spiritual war and that they are helping god win the war by having pure hearts, etc. None of the core RF beliefs are easy to moderate. Just look at all the mental gymnastics Gwen had to do in order to have RF survive her divorce after years and years of telling women that god wanted them to stay in bad marriages.

I know that Elizabeth is painting this event as some sort of "the seven holiest went up to Heaven" to, I guess, intercede on behalf of the RF people.  However -- and this is a big however -- Gwen and Joe and the five others were just in a plane crash that ended up nose down in a shallow lake area.  How are they going to pass that off as an answer to their prayers?  And if Gwen was so blessed and perfect, why was she not spared this?  Gwen said that she was perfectly obedient to God.  Why did God let her plane crash?

I'm sure they'll twist themselves into pretzels making the crash be a good thing but I do find it interesting.  

A few years before she died, my mother fell on her front sidewalk but just ended up with a couple of bruises.  She said that God was looking out for her and kept her from breaking any bones.  I didn't say it but wanted to ask, if He was looking out for her, why did He let her fall down in the first place?

  • Upvote 15
  • I Agree 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How to tell you're in an eating disorder cult: Eating ruins your relationships and your self esteem.

Spoiler

How to Pass Your Tests with Food and Overeating

June 19, 2021

by Gwen Shamblin Lara

1 Comment

The main thing to focus on when you are struggling is obedience to God with hunger and fullness. When you are tempted to overeat, remember that eating too much wears you out. It robs you of your time, your finances, your relationships, your self-esteem—and puts a wedge between you and others. This food has not been a good “god” or a good friend at all. It has made you its slave, and it has demanded that you bow down to it all the time. You have been a slave to the food, and it has made you empty. Notice that you are still looking for a feeling to fill you up even after you have overeaten. But when you are tempted, just go into your room, get on your knees and pray, “O God, please help me pass this test. Help me to see that I CAN do this, and help me to set a great example for others. Help me to prove it to myself that I love You more than that food. Help me through this hour of testing. Please, O God, deliver me from this temptation and show me the Kingdom work You have planned for me to do tonight instead.” Then as you pray that, God will allow you to get distracted through those tempting hours, and you will look up and you will have made it through the nighttime hours! You will get to wake up the next morning and start your day over right and you will be so happy that you passed through your test!

Of course it does, if everyone around you thinks eaters are sinners.

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Xan said:

I know that Elizabeth is painting this event as some sort of "the seven holiest went up to Heaven" to, I guess, intercede on behalf of the RF people.  However -- and this is a big however -- Gwen and Joe and the five others were just in a plane crash that ended up nose down in a shallow lake area.  How are they going to pass that off as an answer to their prayers?  And if Gwen was so blessed and perfect, why was she not spared this?  Gwen said that she was perfectly obedient to God.  Why did God let her plane crash?

I'm sure they'll twist themselves into pretzels making the crash be a good thing but I do find it interesting.  

I think you hit the nail on the head here. 
 

For anyone who hasnt fully gone down the rabbit hole of the prior Gwen threads, how chance and happenstance are interpreted by RF is one of my pet peeves. Gwen taught that we need to see with our spiritual eyes—everything that happens needs to be interpreted as part of the spiritual war for our souls.
 

Most things in life were either interpreted as 1) God building a pure relationship with you by blessing you for obedience and answering your prayers, or conversely, God disciplining you out of love by cursing you for disobedience so that you will repent and lay down your sin, or 2) Satan tempting you/messing with God’s plans/trying to make RF look bad/etc.

 

This extreme spiritual worldview is critically important to RF members because it makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves: a spiritual war that they can help God win by having a pure heart and following his leads. It makes them feel tribalism, because they are the spiritual elite who will get to go to heaven while everyone else is blissfully ignorant that they are on the losing side of the war. It makes them feel superior. It makes them feel comforted, because the world is no longer a scary place where bad things happen to good people; instead, God is controlling every little detail, and to an extent they themselves can control whether God blesses them or curses them because they can control whether they have a pure heart or not. It makes them feel less alone, because they are interpreting everyday events in such a way as to convince themselves that they have a personal relationship with an all-powerful being. So buying into Gwen’s worldview really makes God feel real to them like never before, and makes them feel good things in so many different ways. It is a big part of what traps people in RF. 
 

As an outer-circle member, if I got a flat tire, I would be told God was cursing me for disobedience. If an inner-circle member (who gets the benefit of the doubt) got a flat tire, then no disobedience is assumed; instead, they are just being “tested” à la the Book of Job. If Gwen got a flat tire, well, she would have been assumed to have passed so many tests with flying colors for so many years that she was flying above all worldly temptations, so if she got a flat tire then people would say that it was “spiritual warfare”—Satan was trying to inconvenience her and keep her from doing what God wanted her to do that day. 
 

The problem, as Xan pointed out, is that different people interpret these everyday occurrences in different ways.  One person might hypothetically say “I was tested today” and another person might say “Are you sure? Because I think you might have a blind spot and still have such and such sin in your heart, so maybe it wasn’t testing, maybe God was cursing you for disobedience.” Church hierarchy, official and unofficial, determined which interpretation was right. Personally I think it is very damaging to essentially tell struggling, vulnerable people “Oh, you think you had a good relationship with God today? Well, you might be wrong.” But maybe that’s just me. And remember, most of the RF members desperately want to keep buying into this worldview and feeling what they are feeling, both good and bad. 
 

So with this plane crash, initially, everyone in RF would have had their own spiritual interpretation of events. Some of the more damaging possible interpretations might be that it was a curse for Gwen getting dicorced and marrying Joe, or a curse for Gwen’s disobedience in another way, or that Gwen had gotten off track in God’s eyes and needed to be replaced. Other people might see it as testing for the church, like sure your church can be pure with Gwen in charge, but can you all stay pure without her? There are so many possible interpretations. Im confident cell phones have been absolutely abuzz since the crash. Im also confident that everytime a leader shared a spiritual interpretation, or anytime someone came up with a friendlier interpretation that allowed people to better cling to their RF worldviews, that the fresh interpretation probably spread like wildfire through RF. 
 

As the new top of the church hierarchy, it was important for Elizabeth to put out her own spiritual interpretation of the crash and, in doing so, at least partially quell the other interpretations. From what others have very helpfully shared, it seems like the official interpretation is that the crash is God’s way of continuing to pass RF through the fire so that they can be refined like pure gold. The seven dead leaders have been officially declared pure/righteous/beyond reproach, so they are assumed to be in Heaven, and therefore their deaths are God’s plan and they are blessed souls, and the manner of their death or their earthly lives being cut short are entirely inconsequential in comparison to living in heaven for eternity. 
 

This allows the majority of RF members (who want to keep feeling what they are feeling) to disregard any unfriendly interpretations. There may be people who call bullshit on the whole thing and leave, but on the whole RF will try to keep going as it has been.

  • Upvote 11
  • I Agree 4
  • Thank You 17
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, throwaway9988 said:

Personally I think it is very damaging to essentially tell struggling, vulnerable people “Oh, you think you had a good relationship with God today? Well, you might be wrong.”

 

598025B4-C64D-4382-807D-2A905F3185FC.jpeg

  • Upvote 11
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Xan, what’s incredible to me reading your post is when I was still a believer I didn’t see any of the bad stuff as bad. It was exactly how your mom described it.  It was god protecting me from something even worse. Now I look at your post and agree with the whole mindf*-ery that is RF and other teachings and can see how messed up it was but when I was in it all the pretzel twisting made perfect sense. I feel for the members who are digging their heals in. What an awful way to live!

  • Upvote 16
  • I Agree 2
  • Thank You 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You never know, maybe the plane with seven people on board crashed into a shallow lake because otherwise those people would have accidentally set the church building on fire and the entire congregation would have perished. Thank you God for your wonderful mercy and love.

  • Upvote 8
  • Eyeroll 1
  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

I think you hit the nail on the head here. 
 

For anyone who hasnt fully gone down the rabbit hole of the prior Gwen threads, how chance and happenstance are interpreted by RF is one of my pet peeves. Gwen taught that we need to see with our spiritual eyes—everything that happens needs to be interpreted as part of the spiritual war for our souls.
 

Most things in life were either interpreted as 1) God building a pure relationship with you by blessing you for obedience and answering your prayers, or conversely, God disciplining you out of love by cursing you for disobedience so that you will repent and lay down your sin, or 2) Satan tempting you/messing with God’s plans/trying to make RF look bad/etc.

 

This extreme spiritual worldview is critically important to RF members because it makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves: a spiritual war that they can help God win by having a pure heart and following his leads. It makes them feel tribalism, because they are the spiritual elite who will get to go to heaven while everyone else is blissfully ignorant that they are on the losing side of the war. It makes them feel superior. It makes them feel comforted, because the world is no longer a scary place where bad things happen to good people; instead, God is controlling every little detail, and to an extent they themselves can control whether God blesses them or curses them because they can control whether they have a pure heart or not. It makes them feel less alone, because they are interpreting everyday events in such a way as to convince themselves that they have a personal relationship with an all-powerful being. So buying into Gwen’s worldview really makes God feel real to them like never before, and makes them feel good things in so many different ways. It is a big part of what traps people in RF. 
 

As an outer-circle member, if I got a flat tire, I would be told God was cursing me for disobedience. If an inner-circle member (who gets the benefit of the doubt) got a flat tire, then no disobedience is assumed; instead, they are just being “tested” à la the Book of Job. If Gwen got a flat tire, well, she would have been assumed to have passed so many tests with flying colors for so many years that she was flying above all worldly temptations, so if she got a flat tire then people would say that it was “spiritual warfare”—Satan was trying to inconvenience her and keep her from doing what God wanted her to do that day. 
 

The problem, as Xan pointed out, is that different people interpret these everyday occurrences in different ways.  One person might hypothetically say “I was tested today” and another person might say “Are you sure? Because I think you might have a blind spot and still have such and such sin in your heart, so maybe it wasn’t testing, maybe God was cursing you for disobedience.” Church hierarchy, official and unofficial, determined which interpretation was right. Personally I think it is very damaging to essentially tell struggling, vulnerable people “Oh, you think you had a good relationship with God today? Well, you might be wrong.” But maybe that’s just me. And remember, most of the RF members desperately want to keep buying into this worldview and feeling what they are feeling, both good and bad. 
 

So with this plane crash, initially, everyone in RF would have had their own spiritual interpretation of events. Some of the more damaging possible interpretations might be that it was a curse for Gwen getting dicorced and marrying Joe, or a curse for Gwen’s disobedience in another way, or that Gwen had gotten off track in God’s eyes and needed to be replaced. Other people might see it as testing for the church, like sure your church can be pure with Gwen in charge, but can you all stay pure without her? There are so many possible interpretations. Im confident cell phones have been absolutely abuzz since the crash. Im also confident that everytime a leader shared a spiritual interpretation, or anytime someone came up with a friendlier interpretation that allowed people to better cling to their RF worldviews, that the fresh interpretation probably spread like wildfire through RF. 
 

As the new top of the church hierarchy, it was important for Elizabeth to put out her own spiritual interpretation of the crash and, in doing so, at least partially quell the other interpretations. From what others have very helpfully shared, it seems like the official interpretation is that the crash is God’s way of continuing to pass RF through the fire so that they can be refined like pure gold. The seven dead leaders have been officially declared pure/righteous/beyond reproach, so they are assumed to be in Heaven, and therefore their deaths are God’s plan and they are blessed souls, and the manner of their death or their earthly lives being cut short are entirely inconsequential in comparison to living in heaven for eternity. 
 

This allows the majority of RF members (who want to keep feeling what they are feeling) to disregard any unfriendly interpretations. There may be people who call bullshit on the whole thing and leave, but on the whole RF will try to keep going as it has been.

Spot on analysis! 
And I agree too that on a whole the majority will go along with the narrative on why it happened and that Elizabeth was anointed etc. BUT I know there was upset when, after years of pushing unhappy women to stay in unhappy marriages, Gwen decided to change the “doctrine”. Now to have to interpret this crash as a blessing rather than curse has got to be difficult.
     Listening to Elizabeth you could hear the desperation and fear in her tone. Only those who were just as desperate to believe it (and yes there are many for sure) bought it. While I think the church will go on I believe the golden years are behind it.   

Edited by TDHuggies
  • Upvote 6
  • I Agree 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, WeirdHarold said:

Gwen continues to upload videos to YouTube.

 

kuva.png.5f98a0ea7533583e474320c068d6b95e.png

 

That's what you can do when you're SUPER righteous. You find the energy to start over and move forward after you died.

  • Upvote 4
  • Confused 1
  • Haha 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • nelliebelle1197 locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



  • Recent Status Updates

    • Chocolate Lover

      Chocolate Lover

      Yes, it's oral thrush!  Treating it with miconazole gel 4 times a day.  Whoever decided to flavour it chocolate orange is a flipping genius!
      Also needing 1 litre of electrolyte solution per day because my steroid load is killing my levels.  Tomorrow's the last day of prednisolone, thank goodness.  Fingers crossed it's done the job, because I'm still having the occasional wobble with breathing. 
      I see the practice nurse on Monday. 
      · 0 replies
    • Destiny

      Destiny

      The fact that RTD is coming back to Doctor Who has made my day. Hell, it made my whole fucking week. I CAN'T WAIT TO LOVE MY SHOW AGAIN!
      · 0 replies
    • feministxtian

      feministxtian

      Ever been mansplained and it pissed you off so bad that you just want to bitchslap any poor man who might cross your path? 
      · 2 replies
    • Destiny

      Destiny

      I'm not able to update the logos to the fall ones today -- there's a bug that is solved in a recent update version to fix it, but I don't have the time to do that until next week. Until then, we are still living in an endless summer friends! 
      · 0 replies
    • feministxtian

      feministxtian

      Today is a "I ain't wearing pants" day. Yesterday was pretty shitty so today I'm doing as little as I can get away with. 
      · 0 replies
    • WannabeHistorian

      WannabeHistorian

      Second Covid vax is currently kicking my butt. Fever, chills, body aches, exhaustion, etc. 
      Miserable, but so so grateful to be vaccinated. Sure as hell beats actual Covid.
      · 6 replies
    • Bluebirdbluebell

      Bluebirdbluebell

      So very sad about Willie Garson. RIP
      · 0 replies
    • Chocolate Lover

      Chocolate Lover

      Started prednisolone tablets today because the asthma inhaler isn't enough. Now I have a sore throat and feel like I have a cold coming.  Need the tablets because breathing isn't an optional body function.  Really don't need the tablets if I have an infection brewing.   
      · 0 replies
    • Cartmann99

      Cartmann99

      My husband commented this morning about how nice the weather is after a cold front moved in last night. Before I could stop him, he asked out loud if I thought this meant an early fall for us.
      That's like when you live up north and start talking about an early spring...
      Be careful, the weather gods are always listening.
      · 3 replies
    • PinkGreyBrown

      PinkGreyBrown

      Grew up fundie-adjacent. My mother called herself a recovering fu**tamendalist, & she was not given to swearing. Thankfully she raised me as free of religious weirdness as she was capable. Her mother is all the regressive things -- racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-semitic, ableist, fundamentalist Protestant nonsense, all of it, & longing for a golden past that never existed.
      I'm an atheist with a bit of an obsession about fundies, particularly of the Christian varieties cuz that's what I'm surrounded by. I've been reading this forum for well over a decade now & finally decided to make an account.
      Thanks for having me here.
      · 1 reply
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.