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Jim Roberts Group Response to the ABC Prime-Time Live Faux-spose

Jim Roberts Group Response to the ABC Prime-Time Live Faux-spose

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This is the JRG's rebuttal of the Prime-Time Live "documentary" Faux-spose. I found it recently and re-read it. I enjoyed it much more this time. Thought y'all might enjoy it.
This is the JRG's rebuttal of the Prime-Time Live "documentary" Faux-spose. I found it recently and re-read it. I enjoyed it much more this time. Thought y'all might enjoy it.

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Published by: Jim Roberts Group Official Fan and Glee Club on May 10, 2011
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08/16/2014

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This
letter regards the recent television broadcast about our church,
which
was contrived by ABC and our
chief
accuser,
Larry
Wilcox
the son of Wayne
Wilcox.
We
would
like
to respond to
some
of the
charges
madeagainst us; the desire to keep this as
brief
as possible precludes answering them
all.For
the
sake
of having
some
sort of
intelligent
discourse, the old canard about
mind
control
should bedisposed of
first.
We realize that no one convinced by this accusation
will
be easily persuaded by our words; and
for
many, the
opinion
of so-called "experts"
will
suffice to overcome any
lingering
doubts. However, we
feel
compelled
to point out that people use this tactic in order to
avoid
the real
issues:
by merely accusing us of beingbrainwashed, they can disregard any argument that we may present. We are thus barred
from
even speakingabout the things that are important to us, being reduced instead to a
defense
of our sanity. We therefore begin byaskingif it is possible, even in
principle,
for this accusation to be incorrect. If it is in fact incorrect — and webelieve it to be grossly erroneous — then our reasoning must be squarely engaged, and not
simply
dismissed as
parroting.
Below,
therefore, we give our refutation of this
notion,
and
will
then
follow
with
a
defense
of our
lifestyle
and beliefs.
Our
main problem
with
the accusations of
mind
control
is that they are much too vague. How preciselyare we
guilty
of using coercion or
intimidation
to
bring
in or retain members? Usually
these
terms are associated
with
physical or
psychological
mistreatment, hard
work,
sleep
deprivation,
etc.
If it
is being insinuated that we are
involved
in
these
sorts of tactics, we defy our
accusers
to document
it.
In the
absence
of evidence of such actions,
we
are entitled to
call
for the retraction of this charge.
Perhaps
instead our antagonists
would
state
that we use certain
phrases
as
"scare
tactics" to keep people;accusing us, for example, of teaching that anyone who is not part of our church, or who
does
not come
with
us, or
who
leaves
the assembly,
will
"go to
hell."
In fact, no one in or out of the church
would
be able to point to a
specific
instance of our elder ever making such statements. Neither do any of the rest of the older members saysuch things.
If
any other brothers or
sisters
tell
people
these
kinds of threats, the church is unaware of
it,
and we
would
actually discourage it. Indeed, we even
avoid
statements
such as
"You'll
go to
hell
for smoking acigarette,"
because these
sorts of
phrases
are far too
simplistic,
and are rarely stated
with
Christian charity. Thereason people
will
be condemned to
hell
will
be that their
life
is largely incompatible
with
the
will
of their Creator,and that they have rejected God in order to center their existence around their own desires. Particulars
like
drugs,
smoking,
and immodest
clothing
are unrighteous, and are therefore displeasing to Christ; however, they are
only
parts of the big picture. In order that we
will
not be accused of being vague ourselves, we
will
specify later in thispaper our understanding of what a Christian
life
entails,
At
this point, our adversaries
will
no doubt respond that, although we may not
express
the above
statements
explicitly,
the
message
is
still
implied.
If this is all they
possess
as evidence of
mind
control
and
coercion,
it
would
appear
that the accusation has lost its poignancy. What began as
implicit
charges
of physicaland psychological
abuse
has been transformed
into
charges
of using threats of words; and then, when this is nolongertenable, the accusations
simply
become more and more vague
until
they are essentially meaningless. Weare now
told
that we are
guilty
of
holding
and teaching certain doctrines
which
we believe to be correct, and that
we
warn people that contrary beliefs are
wrong.
No
kidding.
Yes, we confess that we lack the
ability
to do the mental gymnastics
necessary
to
suppose
that several
mutually
conflicting beiief
systems
can somehow all be correct. It shouid also be pointed out that weare entitled to our beliefs; that our
fellowship
is far
from
unique in
virtually
any doctrine it holds, and that many ofus had been either
trying
to
follow,
or at the very least had been considering, Yeshua's
lifestyle
before we evenmet the assembly. This being the
case,
we reject robustly any charge of using
mind
control
or coercion. Now,
having
thus dealt
with
this absurdity, we are in a position to get down to
business
and discuss the real
issues.
We
will
begin
with
the most basic, and move towards specific points.The foundational beliefs of our church start
with
the
conviction
that a personal, conscious Creator hasmade us, and communicated to us a
divine
message
in the
form
of the
Holy
Bible.
We do not
hold
any
message
to
be Scripture, or canon, outside of the 66 books of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Prophecy is
still
possible
because
the
gifts
of the
Holy
Spirit
are
still
operable; however, we
would
reject as spurious any "prophecy" that
conflicts
with
the
written Word
of God. Further, our church holds, as it is
written
in the Scriptures, that God
came
to earth in the flesh, in the person of Yeshua
(Jesus
in Hebrew), to
offer
us salvation; and that this salvation
is
available
only
"through
faith
in His death on the
cross
and physical resurrection
from
the dead. Moreover, webelievein the
bodily
ascension of the Messiah after His resurrection, and in His imminent return. None of
these
statements
can be construed as unique to our church by any stretch of the imagination. We consider them both
true,
and
intellectually
defensible; and many
millions
of Americans themselve's
would
agree
with
us.
1.
 
We
further believe that
following
Christ
means
more than merely professing empty
faith
towards Him.Yeshua said
Himself,
"Why
call
ye me,
Lord, Lord,
and do not the things
which
I
say?"
(Luke
6:46; see also
Titus
1:16;
James
2:14-26; I John 2:3,4.) Christ also stated that if we love Him, we
will
keep his words (John'14:23,24,15; see also I John 5:3). Thus, all true Christians have the desire to obey what their Savior hascommanded; and a
life
without
this obedience is a manifestation of a
life
lacking
the true
faith
of God, andtherefore
lacking
His salvation. In other words, no one
will
be saved who
does
not take the
Holy
Scripturesseriously. This position is admittedly more controversial among professing Christendom; but it is
still
by no
means
unique to our church.
Our
love for our Creator is what compels us to want to obey our Savior, Yeshua
(Jesus).
This,
in
turn,
is
what
has brought us to teach a
message
of forsaking all and
living
by
faith.
Upon what do we
base
this doctrine?
Firstly,
upon Yeshua's own words:
^Matt.
6:19-34; 10:16-25; 16:24-26;
Mark
10:17-22; Luke 9:23; 12:32-34;14:33; 21:34-36;
Matt.
28:19,20. Our antagonists
will
naturally
accuse
us of tearing
these
verses
out of context;
but
we have yet to
hear
a coherent
exegesis
of
these
passages
that shows them to be teaching anything different
from
what we see them to be
plainly
saying. We believe even a
child
could
tell
you what it signifies to "forsake
all
you have."
(Luke
14:33) The most common
response
is that, this
passage
is speaking
figuratively,
whateverthat
means.
We ask, therefore, exactly how the
phrase
"forsake
all"
spiritually
implies to pursue a secular
career,
work long
hours for money, and
purchase
houses
and
cars
for
one's
own personal
reasons?
Secondly, we
base
our
lifestyle
upon Yeshua's example: Luke 9:57,58; I
Peter
2:21;
I John 2:6, etc. Isthe
life
that Yeshua
lived
peripheral to the Gospel? Was His
lifestyle
an exception to the Christian way of
life,
or
should
it be considered the rule? We
hold
it to be a very important part of His
message.
It strikes us as patentlyabsurd that
Christianity
should be the
only
religion
in
which
it is considered heretical, or at least aberrant, to
live
as
its
founder did.
Thirdly,
we have accounts of how people put Yeshua's
message
into
action, or how they responded
 to.it: 
Matthew
9:9;
Mark
1:16-20; Luke 9:59-62; Acts 2:44,45; Acts 4:32-37, etc. To top it off, we hive indications inthe epistles of this
same message,
in
verses
such as II Corinthians 6:10, I
Timothy
6:7-10, and
James
2:5. The
message
of this
lifestyle
is thus so
plainly
set
forth
in the Scriptures that
failure
to notice it
seems
to us
inexplicable;
and we believe that it is for this reason that many of the people that we meet who have been earnestlyreading the Scriptures have already been considering this way of
life
themselves.
In
any
case,
this is the manner of
life
that we believe the Scriptures teach; and if we are to take the
Word
seriously,
these
verses
must be obeyed and not ignored. We believe, therefore, that the
typical
evangelical
"American
Ideal"
lifestyle
is incompatible
with
Christianity. In the
light
of
these
verses,
being a companyexecutive is just as irreconcilable to the
message
of Yeshua as
living
in
fornication,
or being an idolater(Ephesians 5:5). Thus, no one who lives that sort of
lifestyle
has any inheritance in the kingdom to come.Whether they are part of our
fellowship
or not is of no significance; what is important is whether or not they are
following
Christ and obeying God's commandments. Those who
hear
and obey the
Word,
whoever they are,wherever they are, whether they have ever heard of this
fellowship
or not,
those
are our brothers and
sisters
(Luke
8:21). Those who reject Christ by rejecting His words (John 12:48) are not our brethren.
Because
of our straightforward manner concerning obedience to the Scriptures, we have attracted toourselves a good deal of
opposition.
Most of our
principle
adversaries are
parents
of
those
in the church, such as
James
Foster the son of Edward Foster, Charles
"Mickie"
Rooney the son of Charles Edward Rooney, and
Larry
Wilcox.
The latter in particular has spent a considerable amount of time communicating
with
various people,
stirring
up trouble against us, and accusing the church. Apparently, he is unaware of the
seriousness
of bearingfalse witness (Deuteronomy 5:20).One common accusation against the church has been that we have kidnapped
some
of our members, acharge made by
Mr.
Wilcox,
Mr.
Rooney, and others. Indeed,
some years
ago, a young woman desired to come
with
us; but since no brethren were in that
city,
she arranged
with
us over the phone to catch a Greyhound bus tocome to where we were,
which
was
across
the country. However, her dad was
willing
to
call
even this
"kidnapping",
a
claim
as ludicrous as it is imaginative. We challenge
these
people to either document
these
charges, or retract them. The fact is that we have never been
involved
with
any such type of
crime.
There are also several former members who have turned against the
fellowship,
as, for example,
Allen
Larson,
Stan
Avery,
and Jim Guerra. Mr. Guerra has even had a book against the church published,
which
israther
disturbing,
considering the fact that we not
only
did him no harm, but even paid off a college debt for him
of
several thousand dollars. To his bearing of false witness he has thus added the sin of rewarding
evil
for good(Proverbs 17:13).
2.
 
Our
adversaries have been aided by a wide range of people,
including
federal
agents,
doctors, lawyers,government
officials,
district
attorneys, journalists, and a great host of others. Most often, however, they have
involved
the police, or better put, misused them. We employ the term "misuse"
because
it is the police who aresupposed to be protecting people's rights, rather than abusing them. An example
will
help to illustrate.
In
the
fall
of 1975, the brothers were staying at a campground
near
Mt.
Lemmon, just outside of Tucson.
Arizona.
One morning about 5:30, a number of relations showed up at the camp, accompanied by swarms of
police
and social workers. One sister recalls seeing about 30 vehicles of different sorts; and a brother recountedthat they had even employed a police airplane to search out
some
brethren who were away
from
the main camp.
After
daybreak, they were also discovered and rounded up. At
some
point,
some
of them were allowed to leavethe camp site; but after getting to the main road and beginning to hitch-hike in towards
town,
they discovered theordeal was not over yet. The police had set up a road block
some
distance off to intercept the brethren,
forcing
them to get out of the
cars
in
which
they had gotten rides, sometimes over the protests of the owners of thevehicles. The
local
media also got
involved
there,
filming
the brothers and sisters, and mocking them over the air.The elder and a number of other souls were arrested
without
charges; and
some
were held against their
will
in
motel
rooms in Tucson to be coerced
from
their beliefs.
Our
adversaries have misused the police in other cities as
well,
as, for instance, in St. Louis on 7
March
1977,
in Boston in February of 1990, and in Phoenix in early 1991. In Chicago in January 1991, FBI
agents
literally
broke down the door of a
house
in
which
some
of us were staying. They had come to search for amember; and when a brother merely asked for a warrant, he was answered
with
blows to the abdomen, and thestatement that they didn't need to
possess
one.
Just
a few weeks ago, in fact, two police
officers,
one of them a captain,
came
to the door where a couple
of
brothers were
living.
Presumably,
someone'sparents
had
sent
them, for they
told
the brothers that they had areportthat a woman was being held captive in the house. A brother
told
them that they needed a warrant; but theyretorted that they were coming in anyway. Of course, they
found
nothing, and no
charges
were
filed.
The
disturbing
thing
about all this is how commonly we are treated as criminals
based
on
hearsay,
and that we are
now
almost constantly being hunted, Nazi-style, merely
because
our
lifestyle
is different.
We
do
wish
to
express
that we are not "anti-police". We
hold
no grudges against any law
officers,
and
we
are aware that many of them do abide by their legal principles. Indeed, on more than one occasion, certain
officers
have been quite
reasonable
towards us. In
Morgantown,
West
Virginia,
some parents
attempted to have acounty
sheriff
help them to take their daughter out of the church. He
informed
them, however, that he
would
not
involve himself
in
such
activity,
adding that this was a religious rather than a legal matter. In another instance
east
of
Norman,
Oklahoma, an
officer
gave a brother
some
money to help the church. Others as
well
have shown uskindness, have listened to our side, and have dealt
with
us quite even-handedly. On one occasion, the police evenasked the brothers
if
we wanted our persecutors arrested! (We declined.)
Our
complaint is rather directed towards our adversaries, who have used slanders in order to drag the
police
into
harassing us.
If
we were
guilty
of even a small
fraction
of the crimes of
which
we have been accused,
we
would
no doubt have
long
ago been incarcerated. It remains, however, that after ail the
years
of our
ministry
being on the road, no one can
indict
our
fellowship
with
either
criminal
charges, or unethical behavior. The recent
ABC
telecast lasted
half
an hour,
which
is pienry of time to present a
powerful
case
against us, if one actuallyexisted.The fact is, the show
failed
to point out a single
illegal
activity
with
which
our church has been
involved.
None of the
charges
that our adversaries lay against us
would
stand up in any court of law; "kidnapping bytelephone" certainly
would
not.
Our
adversaries also neglected to give a specific instance of our
fellowship violating
any
portion
of the
Holy
Scriptures. The closest they ever come to this consists of a vague reference to the commandment to honor
one's
father and mother. By vague we mean that we are
left
uninformed as to precisely how the church is
disobeying
this commandment. No one in our
fellowship
teaches
that souls should be disrespectful towards theirparents. However, we
simply
do not believe this
passage
implies that a person should obey every
whim
of aparent even if it
means
disobeying Scripture. Should we steal something if Dad bids us to do so? Certainly not.Ought we to
live
a
life
that we believe to be contrary to God's
Word
just
because
Mom
would
prefer us to be anexecutive? The Messiah has
told
us to forsake all and
live
by
faith;
and we
find
no scriptural support for the
position
that we should ignore Christ's commandments to do whatever our
parents
decide.
A
slander in need of special attention,
which
was mentioned on
ABC's
recent program, is that anyone
who
contacts
family
relations
will
be excommunicated by the elder. Even
if
this statement were altered to say that
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