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Old 24th October 2017, 09:55 PM
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Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,885
Default Re: Ya Had To Be There...not...

Hi Child of the Vine.

I can understand your desire for information on the True Vine Community cult and I empathise with you concerning its effect on your formative years and your subsequent mental life.

True Vine was about 'discipleship.' Submission to God's anointed elders and leaders, the praise leader, was the directive, total commitment, 'death to self.' Everything you thought, pursued as an interest, such as music had to be 'laid down,' surrendered to Jesus. Such represented the 'old life, was 'of the flesh,' and all strings to the 'unsaved,' 'carnal' unregenerate life had to be ruthlessly severed. Everything one thought and did had to be to the 'glory of God.'

There was a huge library of Christian teaching cassettes. I printed theological and scriptural studies for 'home groups' by the hundreds. They were composed by our dear leader, probably from Jesse Penn-Lewis booklets on theological Christian life themes.

Of course religion is all about teachings and authority structures. The teachings are always formulaic. There are the tidy categories. This is simplistic. Life, reality, nature are not like that although there are of course the laws of physics.

Of course one is not to question. Critical thinking is verboten. To pursue that, 'independent thinking' is to 'exalt the mind of the flesh above the mind of Christ.' And so the intellect is stifled. There is the typical cult language, memes framing, constraining, conforming one's thinking, thought-life.

If a couple in a de facto relationship joined True Vine Christian Community, they were to separate and live in singles' 'discipleship houses' located in that geographical region between Brunswick Heads and Murwillumbah, meeting on Sundays for praise and exhortation. These houses had an appointed leader. Those separated had to regard one another as of no personal, emotional significance, as just another brother or sister 'in the Lord.' If you were keen on someone you had to submit that to the elders for approval or disapproval. Their word was the Word of the Lord.

Child discipline and smacking was strongly emphasised. Children were born in sin, had a 'rebellious spirit,' the plaything of Satan and their spirit must be "broken."' This could involve creating conflict for the little one, frustration, denial of affection, harsh discipline to cause him or her to scream where they would be smacked then, when the kid is completely crushed, it would be given a cuddle, affection with an explanation for why the naughtiness must be cast out. There were demon casting out deliverance sessions.

I can well imagine the elders and praise leader are still your born again Christians, believing they carry special anointing. Profoundly uneducated.

Thanks for reading this Child of the Vine. With respect, I might suggest thinking up another username. Because I hope you will remain an AFA Forums contributor. I have put True Vine well behind me. I was ever aware of my ignorance and that has been something of my redemption. I have been reading popular science and books of scholarship these last 30 years since I took Social Sciences at uni. My involvement with the AFA Forums has been incalculably enriching to me. So many excellent individuals here, articulate, original, intellectually courageous. Do stick around.

I won't name names concerning erstwhile b'True Viners' as we were threatened with libel, although we can legally discuss cults, now can't we?

Everything admits of a naturalistic explanation.

Last edited by Strato; 24th October 2017 at 10:14 PM.
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