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Date Posted: 26/05/10 12:46:49am
Author: Peter Eveleigh
Subject: Re: History lesson
In reply to: Anon 's message, "History lesson" on 25/05/10 11:24:50pm

>Ok Peter I would like you to tell me your history of
>JA involvement as briefly as you can.
>I was young back in the day and so I only remember the
>late 80's early 90's stuff.
>I reckon that there was some really good stuff going
>on along with the other stuff, my perception is that
>slowly but surely some compromises or other stuff
>happened which people turned a blind eye to and then
>the ball started rolling and lots of legalistic stuff
>came in. What do you reckon?

I should really be in bed, but while my bath is running, I will start the ball rolling.

First off, I think legalism was in place before I arrived on the scene back in 1981/2, it is just that I was so idealistic and passionate that I couldn't yet see it.

I was at art college doing a foundation course in design and was friends with a fellow christian interested in community. He told me that he had met some people at Glastonbury and been impressed by them. I was intrigued. He gave me their address and I wrote and asked if I could visit. I went up to Harvest (a house then in Eathorpe, Warwicks) and stayed in the lodge with the brothers and fell in love with the whole thing.

Until then I had read a great deal about evangelism and been impressed by a book about an America street evangelism group and had started evangelising in Bristol. I started a Christian Union at college and had been trying to get a local church to get active, but had been told that I was too young and needed to go away, grow up and come back when I hads some experience of life.

Naturally, being passionate (though I WAS very young -18ish-) I wasn't going to be put off....so when the New Creation Christian Community said, in effect, join us and be an evangelist, I was delighted and felt I had found my home.

I was incredibly impressed by the organisation of the place and by the way that they had every base covered; they had thought of everything. It all worked so well.

And I found people SO warm and open to me. I felt then, and have felt ever since, that the fellowship attracted a lot of very special and gifted people...and even when I left I felt that I was leaving people behind who, if they had been allowed to leave the fellowship and operate independently, could have made a powerful impact on the world. (We can talk about this later, but I think that the fellowship's need to control people crushed their creativity and sucked the life out of people).

I had a baptism of the Holy Spirit experience in that first weekend with them, though even at the time I have to admit that my euphoria came more from being loved and accepted than from a spiritual experience. Mick Temperate told me that I was being filled with the Spirit. I said I couldn't feel it and he then told me to speak in tongues. I felt very British about it and couldn't let it happen, so he said I should just make it up as I went along and that the Spirit would take over. So I mixed school Latin with a bit of pretend Arabic inspired by Lawrence of Arabia, and though I knew I was a phoney and was a bit worried about Mick knowing it too, I did enjoy joining in.

I did worry about that fake baptism of the holy spirit thing, especially after Mick made a big deal to the brethren about it happening, when he knew it hadn't been, but I so badly wanted to fit in that I played along. It didn't matter because I was so in love with the whole fellowship experience.

That was the very beginnings of sharing in a lie.

bathtime. must go. hope to talk again after work tomorrow. Good night.

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