by Betty Dunton
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 5:10 pm:
You are right!! It wasn't like this before R. Grove began to take control of the group and began subverting the minds of those who listened to him. It is almost incomprehensible to me how the men who knew Bros. B.D.Johnson, Maurice Johnson, Wilbur Johnson, Ed Stevens, Dr. Ross, Gus Rapp, Albert Gruenstein, Earl LaForce, Clarence Morey, and others of the men now gone to be with the Lord, can be so deceived as to put their trust in the Groves and their lieutenants.
I have been associated with some of these Christians since I was nine years old, in 1933, and I knew both of Robert Grove's parents before their marriage.
Yes, Robert Grove grew up in the little group of people who met together only in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in Southern California. I even baby-sat him when he was a toddler and his family lived in a house on the same lot with my aunt and uncle - the LaForces who stood "in loco parentis" for me for seventeen years. I also saw him become a strong-willed, loud-mouthed, disrespectful teenager.
I, too, am thankful for the many truths that the Lord used Bro. Maurice and Bro. Ed. Stevens and others to teach to this little fellowship, and have never gotten away from these truths, nor have I wanted to. They also gave us the means to recognize thewolves in sheep's clothing when we saw them, and warned us that they would come. THEY HAVE!!!
On July 9 you wrote that you know a man who has been out of that "group" for several years and is still in denial about their methods and teachings. It may be that he is still gripped by some of the truths they have taught and that he believes, and that he cannot turn his back upon God's Word and its message.
It was very, very hard for many of us to leave and it was some time before we could shake off the fear of displeasing the Lord and forsaking His Way. We are just as devoted to our Savior as ever we have been, are still rejoicing in Him and endeavoring to let our light shine in this dark and evil world.
Anything that displeases the "leadership" for any reason is called division and is worthy of marking and shunning - but it is really they who are causing the division. No matter what they think they are doing, or what they say they are doing, they have scattered the little flock of believers that the aforementioned men had worked so hard to gather and nurture.
"Weep, weep for those who have made a desert in the name of the Lord." Evangeline Paterson
With Christian love and greetings to all who long for His coming.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 6:26 pm:
Yes, I am saying that. He no doubt has been taught that if he does not accept all that they preach or if he leaves the "group" he will be forsaking God.
I am also saying that he may be holding on to truths that he has learned, and that some will judge that he cannot get loose from any of the group's teachings.
We still believe a great deal of what is taught by the "leadership," as they learned most of their doctrine from the same men who taught us. In fact, we have not changed in our beliefs at all since leaving the group, but little by little the group has changed their beliefs in matters such as divorce and remarriage and incorporating the ministry. Perhaps other things also. I do know that marking and shunning were not for the same reasons that they are now done. There were not "domino" markings before the present hierarchy. I remember very well that no one was marked for
associating with friends or family members who were marked and being shunned, this was left up to the consciences of the individuals.
There are some among them who believe that anyone who leaves their group is not saved. I have always been a little amused by their blindness when I think of that scripture "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." 1 Jn.l:7; and if there are any humble Christians walking with the Lord we are in fellowship with them no matter how much they are shunning us.
May our gracious Lord intervene and heal this awful breach; but if he doesn't, I pray for each devastated Christian to be strong in Him and endure the hardship like good soldiers. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 12:10 pm:
I don't believe that you are aware of how many people, who have family members remaining in the group, are hearing at every encounter that they should repent, confess, and return to the group. I, being a very practical person, know that the situation will never completely reverse and return to a Godly association.
I could never return to a compromise situation, and that is all that it really ever could be, no matter what the "leadership" might say.
We have no family member left in the group and even I have been asked if we would come back. The answer had to be "no." But if any sincerely left the group we would be glad to have fellowship with them as long as we believed that they had sincere motives and wanted to honor the Lord. In fact, this has already happened.
I have had much sadness in my life since my early childhood but this was the most hurtful, painful, and devastating experience that I have ever had, and I know that many others feel the same way.The hurt for many has been a lifetime trauma and never
can be erased. It will always hurt no matter what may happen in the future.
We should be in constant prayer for these beloved people that they can be delivered - there are so many of them who are hurting too, even if they don't say so to any of us. We probably all know some who would leave if they could bear to lose their family members. But some just can't, and I understand this.
The first thing I recognized about you is that you have been very, very hurt and it was just natural for me to want to help ease your pain. We have been praying for you and will continue to do so.
I don't believe that this division started with R. Grove, but I remember a number of things involving his father, Adair Grove, and Jack Langford, and others. I believe that Robert recognized an opportunity and jumped in with both boots and, being an exceedingly aggressive person, was able to force his way. We should remember that Robert's father implanted many of his ideas during Robert's formative years and probably has had more influence on his character than anyone else.
Only the Lord knows how it will all end, but it looks to me as if it will continue until His coming, except for those who may be delivered when they see what is really going on.
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