Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New "Family"

With all this newly memorized material fresh in my mind - and growing in volume daily - I had easy access to plenty of reasons to rationalize my decision to join. That decision was, without a doubt, made by the emotional pull of the group. But now I had time - and plenty of material - to give reasons to that decision.

Making the decision to commit my life to such a noble and selfless cause was admirable, bringing to mind such greats as David Livingstone and Albert Schweitzer (as ludicrous as that comparison sounds today). Choosing to live a life of "service to God and others" was irrefutably honorable. Sixteen is already an idealistic age, and "giving one's life to the Lord" was not all that different in my eyes than the dedication of the nuns who had taught me in Catholic schools all my life.  

My intentions were good. My heart was "in the right place." There are numerous Bible verses that point to the way of giving up all one's goods, leaving home and family, and following Christ. It was the right decision - no question.

Conveniently, we had a leader - later known to me as "The Prophet" - to show us "newborn babes" the way. Although living in secret, Berg was to be thought of as our "father in the Lord." This fit in nicely with the concept of the COG as our new "family," which term we used when referring to the group among ourselves, further reinforcing this idea. Having this new father-figure - and not just father-figure, but the very voice of God - worked to further blind acceptance of his directives.

I was doing my best to leave behind any former ideas I had and embrace my new life. I was enjoying the spiritual highs of being with a like-minded group of young people, regularly singing together which bolstered the feelings of oneness and united purpose, and united readings from Berg's letters which were considered "God's word for today."

My personality was changing. I was becoming "a new creature" - or perhaps I should say, "a very different person."

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