Perhaps it's that we move so fast these days or we just choose to ignore warnings about the food we eat.
Chicken nuggets are really compressed parts of chickens.
Hamburger results from lots of cows and parts ground up, not one cow.
Some meat products contain nitrates, steroids and other harmful chemicals to us.
Even produce at the grocery store have dangerous pesticides and preservatives that could interfere with our health.
Food isn't prepared and grown like it used to when many of us were growing up. There is widespread evidence of the examples I have used about hamburgers, chicken and produce.
Despite the evidence, we either choose to ignore it, shrug it off or quickly move on to the next thought in our daily lives and go on with the purchase anyway, after all, we have our own lives to live. Even though eating these foods might be slowly killing you over time.
The same thing goes on with matters in your own community, only this will not result in your demise, it certainly impacts the lives of those around you.
In just about every community, most people will know just about everyone and what goes on in their lives.
Just like the hamburgers, chicken and produce, there are things that exist among them that, in the long run, might be bad for the rest of us.
Yet, this too, we ignore, shrug off or move on to what matters to us. There may be one Samaritan that might pray for or even help the person in need.
Spindale, Rutherfordton, Forest City: your community has this very situation existing among you. The status quo of daily life without intervention is enabling and empowering the presence of a dangerous cult.
For years, accounts from people associated with or formerly associated with the Word of Faith Fellowship have surfaced in public, resulting in either controversy or attracting headlines. Yet, church members dismiss it as lies, as they have been instructed to defend themselves with church talking points.
An organization this big and with so many people dropping out can't possibly be leak free. And, I know first hand, that indeed is the case.
Talking it out with them or debating bible verses simply won't do. They won't listen.
This is where most people give up because they believe that a socially acceptable way of debate and compromise will get some answers and results. This is supposed to be a civilized society. We have rules and that's how we get results. However, It takes a different level of strategy to deal with an opponent of this type.
The point here is: you don't need to deal with them to get results.
An ongoing tragedy is going on in your community.
It is in the form of control of their members, disassociation with their natural families that aren't members, constant monitoring, and all that those entail. Their version of freedom is not freedom, it is THEIR version..
The people who leave there, not only leave, they are vocal, in many cases angry, hurt, broke, broken. No one leaves there without some form of emotion or impact on their lives. They are changed persons that need our help.
This will continue until you and your neighbors act to change this. It's like a wildfire in your own back yard and you do nothing about it thinking it won't affect you and someone else will deal with it.
I have carefully studied your community. I found a prevailing atmosphere of frustration, fear, confusion, concern by quite a few (quite a few should be more like - many) and indifference about this group..all among your fine communities. Some have expressed deep sadness, if not embarrassment about it.
The axiom of: "Well, if they want to get out, what's stopping them?"
Answer: "This is your way of help?"
"They bring money to the local economy."
Answer: "Are you kidding me? "
" Stirring up the pot is making enemies."
Answer: "You are enabling your enemy, and worse, you don't even realize it"
WOFF has been empowered by a network or infrastructure involving key local big money and power some in state government such as (now former) assistant district attorneys ( who are members ), as well as local business people, lawyers and invisible donors, not directly church members, but associated with the church's leadership. They are key to it's survival in this community. Without them, the church would have to base somewhere else to get the security they enjoy.
Now, any community, small or large will have it's power brokers. Your community is no different. Things move and grow and you hardly notice them because you are busy with your own lives and perhaps not inclined to ask questions.
This is not to say that all of this moving and shaking is nefarious, most of it goes on as a matter of course. It's a way a community grows. But sometimes it isn't, and it leads to mutual feeding where growth and prosperity is for only those involved and none of it intended to be shared.
You can play a role in helping your community, at least help those people who want to leave this congregation, and or perhaps know something about this church that might gain the interest of the Federal Government. Examples: Department of Homeland Security, The Justice Department, Immigration, Department of Labor, Department of Education, the IRS. This initially covers areas where activity within their jurisdiction can be investigated.Once they begin, They will be very thorough. Call Washington, not your locals.
What's going on that needs investigating? The answers are held by many in your community.
I KNOW YOU HAVE INFORMATION. Do the right thing. See something, say something.
Help Us Help Them. You really have more power than you think you do. If everyone gets on this together, it could help a lot more people than just the ones in the church.
It would be the neighborly thing to do.