Choices and Consequences, Part 1
By Maria Maria #672 FD/MM/FM 3484 1/04
Note: Dear Family, Unfortunately, due to pressing business related to the restructuring of the Family and other emergencies, we weren't able to get this GN out to you as quickly as we had hoped. We prepared it for you in December, and because of that, it's written as if the situations mentioned were very recent happenings. In order to avoid delaying it further, I'm not going to change all the times where it sounds like these situations were still unfolding, because the lessons and principles remain the same regardless. We have also included updates where necessary and appropriate, so in that sense it's up to date, even if most of it was written as things were still taking place. Thank the Lord, His Word endures forever, so a few months don't change the principles and lessons that He wants to get across. We need them just as much today as we did three months ago--probably even more so.
With love in our Husband, He who does all things well, Mama
Megan's situation 5
Why did the Lord allow something so severe? 8
The need to preserve the sanctity of the truth 11
Megan's decision to help the young people 13
From Mama to Gabe 15
Joe's situation 16
Background on Joe's situation 16
Obedience is your protection; disobedience
can be your downfall 19
Don't let the little things slide 21
Updates from Johnny and Joe 22
Was Joe actually possessed by evil spirits? 24
Is God unfair? 27
The anointing of obedience 30
1. Peter and I love you. We're praying for you and are thankful that you're hanging on through these times of change. Undoubtedly you are feeling the attacks of the Enemy, but also the wonderful victories brought about through faith, prayer, obedience, perseverance and not letting go. We trust that you are continuing to grow stronger with your mastery of the arsenal of power that our Husband has put at our disposal--the gift of prophecy, the weapon of praise, the keys of the Kingdom, heavenly thought power, and full possession. What a challenge it is to stay fresh and on the attack in our spiritual lives! Each of us has to continually fight the lethargy and laziness that naturally creeps into our habits and reactions. It's a daily struggle, but with the Lord's help we can know we're improving day by day.
2. You are starting to get a picture of the changes coming to the Family in 2004 and 2005. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, and the details will be clearer with time. As we often tell you, it's a step-by-step process, in which the Lord gives us what we need when we're ready and when we can receive it. He builds on the lessons and wisdom that we've gained from past revelations and instruction. There will be much new instruction throughout 2004, and a lot more will be expected of each of us, especially those who wish to stay in the Family as full-time disciples.
3. Besides all the good news and positive directives you will be receiving over the next months, the Lord also has a warning for you, which is extremely important. Our hearts are heavy with a sense of responsibility, as Peter and I must deliver to you some very sobering words from the Lord.
4. As you all know, we are fighting for the survival of the Family. But for some reason, that concept can sound so distant, as if it were only related to a large, impersonal organization or even just a name or handle given to something that doesn't really affect us personally. And given the fact that we've talked so much about the need to "save the Family," it can become almost a cliché, where you lose sight of the possible loss or how it could affect your life and your future if the Lord were to let the Family sink into oblivion.
5. To bring this home a bit more, we need to talk about how each individual has the potential to "sink." When you think about it, it's not that we or even the Lord can keep the Family afloat or preserve it as a body. The Family is made up of many people, of individuals, of you, your family, your friends. And when you get right down to it, the saving of the Family is dependent on the decisions of each individual. We, the leadership body of the Family, can institute changes in policies and the Charter. We can restructure the Family. We can put into place the procedures and a timetable and plan to review the Homes regularly. But we must all realize that that's not enough. Those are practical measures, and they're absolutely needed. They must be put in place and implemented to restructure the Family and lead to greater strength and purity. But that's not enough.
6. We all have to realize that the true change the Lord is desperately searching for comes in people's hearts. The Family has always been and still is a spiritual entity. It's a creation that thrives in the hearts of real live people. It's not made up of words, rules, regulations and procedures. It's not the result of publications, boards, initiatives or fellowships, but rather it's the result of the truth that has become alive in individuals and has burst into a flame of passionate dedication to a living Savior, which results in actions by individuals.
7. Unless we realize that the changes the Lord wants to bring must be wrought in each of our hearts, unless we reach out to take hold of the revolution in our hearts, unless we want the rebirth of spirit with everything within us‚ then all that we as the leadership of the Family try to do will be in vain. The saving of the Family is all about what happens in each one of your hearts and minds. It's about the decisions you make today and in the days, weeks and months to come. The future of the Family rests in the hands of each one of you.
8. Peter and I and the leadership of the Family are doing all we can to direct and provide the changes and safeguards needed. But we must bring the reality of what is needed to the very grassroots, to each of you, if we hope to be successful. Peter and I can't save the Family, neither can your COs, VSs or boards. The only thing that will save the Family is if enough individuals--enough of you who are reading this GN--make the right decisions. So really, the future of the Family is in your hands. And what that means is that you control your own destiny. You call the shots. The power is in your hands to save or destroy. And I don't mean that a great big blob of thousands of people has the power; I mean that each of you has the power to save the Family. Your decisions make a difference.
9. The Lord has entrusted the future of the Family into your hands, and that's a lot of power. With that responsibility and ability to change things, to actually determine the future of the Family, He has also made you accountable.
10. We've talked a lot about accountability recently, but I'm not sure you understand what that means. Accountability, as the Lord defines it, means that you have been given truth and you are expected to obey it, and if you don't, you will suffer consequences. Accountability means that it's fair for you to experience some loss if you fail to do what you know is right. (See Luke 12:47,48.)
11. We in the Family are rich in truth‚ much more so than anyone else in the world. But don't be fooled into thinking that the Lord won't expect us to do something with that truth. And if we don't, then we should expect to suffer some kind of consequences. By consequences, I mean losing something good.
12. A word that we haven't used much in the Family, at least not in recent years, is judgment. This is similar to what the Lord told the Family in Brazil about the word sin (ML #3453:8–10, GN 1038). We got away from talking about sin, and instead we preferred to say weaknesses, NWOs or battles. As a result of these much more comfy, cozy words, these sympathetic ways of referring to our disobediences or failures to obey and be all that we need to be, we had forgotten that God is displeased with sin and that He expects us to do all we can to not sin.
13. Similarly, we have forgotten that God is not only a God of love, mercy and patience, but also of judgment. There comes a time when He tires of telling us over and over, of waiting for us to forsake our sins and get right with Him, and after years of warning, instruction, and delivering His soul through countless Letters of instruction and warning, if anyone continues to disregard the truth, He finally has to resort to action, to chastisement, to judgment.
14. Now Peter and I must make it clear that we are entering a higher level of accountability, which means that God isn't going to be as patient with ongoing disobedience and flagrant disregard for His Word. In times past, the Lord might have winked at disobedience and rejection of His Word, because He knew you were still learning and therefore He was willing to give chance after chance, without your feeling serious loss for your waywardness. Things are changing.
15. The Lord has said He's no longer able to hold back the consequences of our disobedience. We are accountable. Now there will be judgment for sin. It will come in the form of loss, punishment, chastisement, and it's going to hurt. We are entering an era where we will see another side of Jesus. He has been our loving, intimate Husband‚ caring for us and providing all our needs. He's been so gentle that many now see Him as quite a passive God, thinking He's so tender and doting that He probably wouldn't even hurt a fly!
16. Well, I have news for you: God is not passive. He is our King and Savior, the ruler of the universe‚ and if you have thought up until now that He's so gentle, caring, loving, and endlessly forgiving that you don't need to worry much about Him letting you have it, you had better take note of this warning, because we will be seeing a different side of Him. We will see that He is also a consuming fire, a living God, and He doesn't take kindly to those who know better blatantly thumbing their noses at Him in ongoing disobedience, defiance, pride, arrogance and sin.
17. You might not think you're doing this, and in fact, you might not think anyone is doing this. You might think everyone is more or less trying to stay in line, so what's the big deal? You might think this warning is extreme, especially you young people who don't remember the early days of the Family and the strong warning messages from Dad and the Lord, given regularly. The problem is that a lack of fear of the Lord has entered the Family along with the "minimizing" mentality‚ the idea that you can do the very least possible, or even do the opposite of what God has told you, and get away with it. That's why you might think everyone is doing okay, and if so, you risk missing the point of this warning completely.
18. God is not kidding, and to drive that point home, in this GN He is highlighting two instances of His judgments which He has allowed to come up in recent months involving young people. I'm sure the warnings are for all the Family, that every single person needs them‚ but you young people are especially weak in the fear of the Lord and prone to familiarity with God and His Word‚ so He has let His hand of judgment fall in a couple of visible, shocking, extreme, and very sad ways. I am talking about what happened to two of your peers: Megan and Joe. There have been other sad and serious situations over the last couple of years, but the Lord has chosen to highlight these two.
19. I don't know how much you've heard of the details of their situations, but I will include a summary here. There were a couple of prayer requests posted on the MO site very early on while these two situations were playing out, and they raised quite a few questions. I'll try to answer some of those questions in this GN, and more detailed answers will be coming in the GNs that follow in this series.
20. I am sorry to have to use these examples publicly, as these are two very sad situations that have brought a lot of grief and heartache to Megan and Joe's loved ones. I love Megan and Joe very much, as well as the others involved in these situations, and I don't want them to feel condemned or hopeless. I want them to know that we and the Lord have great faith and hope for them and their future. I wouldn't normally do this, but now there is a need for me to use Dad's approach a bit more, even at the risk of hurting some and offending others. Dad's warnings were clear and he used specific situations to warn everyone, and because there were details given and the lessons involved real people whom we knew and loved, we seemed to take note and understand the point more clearly.
21. Of course, I don't know all the details related to the situations with Megan and Joe, but that's okay. I don't need to know every single detail, because we have heard from the Lord and He knows the details! He knows these young people's experiences, and He wants to use them to get across some important principles. I will explain the two situations briefly, and then we will get into more application of the point and what it means to all of us.
22. This message is particularly for you young people, not because you are the biggest sinners‚ but because these are your peers that we're talking about, and also because, as I said, you missed the early days of Dad and many of you probably haven't read a lot of the Letters where Dad called a spade a spade regarding the Lord's judgment on Family members because of their sins and disobediences. This is an aspect of the Lord that you young people need to understand and believe, because if not, you could very well find yourself feeling the Lord's hand of chastisement up close and personal.
23. There are also lessons for the first generation in all of this, of course. I'll be working on some GNs along those lines, which I hope to get out in the coming months. I'm telling you that now because much of this GN is directed to you young people‚ and I don't want you to think that I'm putting all the blame on your shoulders. As the Lord has told us many times, we each stand as individuals before Him. We can't blame our parents, our children, our situation, our friends, our loved ones, our husband or wife or anyone for our lacks. We all have the Word. We can all live it if we choose to. So when we talk about the lacks and problems of the second generation, please take it in that perspective--that you need to remedy the problems that you're responsible for‚ and the Lord is holding others just as accountable for their part of the problem. Okay?
24. We'll first talk about what happened to Megan. Megan was born in the Family. When she was two years old, her father left the Family and took her and her siblings with him. She then rejoined when she was 20, and was in the Family for nearly two years. During those two years she was on fire, a good witness, and had great potential. (See her testimony, "Real or Not," in Xn/FSM 404, 9/03.)
25. On Monday night, November 17, she decided to relax in her CM Home in the States, with another young person who had recently rejoined the CM Family, Gabe. They were apparently drinking beer, and then in the course of their time together ended up taking some drugs. Your initial reaction might be, "Yeah? Well, what's the big deal?--Some beer, a few drugs. People in the System do that all the time. Our parents did it when they were hippies. Harmless experimentation. After all, we young people have to at least try some of these things."
26. That might sound well and good, and that's probably what Megan and Gabe thought too. But that's not what the Lord thought.
27. Megan passed out‚ and then threw up. Gabe was sick a couple of hours later, but recovered completely. Megan didn't wake up for four hours, and when she finally came to‚ she was in a stupor. Her eyes were glazed and her pupils were dilated, she could hardly move, and could only mutter a few words.
28. She was admitted to emergency care Tuesday morning, and the doctors struggled to find out what had happened to her. After many tests and many days, they concluded that her reaction was caused by four massive strokes to the brain, likely caused by the mix of alcohol and the drugs suddenly lowering her blood pressure to a dangerous level that cut off the oxygen and destroyed the brain. On December 4, after 17 days in the hospital with the doctors trying to do all they could for her, Megan passed away.
29. Obviously, the Lord was not happy with what took place that night of November 17. He didn't wink at it and just turn a blind eye. Their blatant disobedience cost them something. It cost Megan her life.
30. Clearly you don't go immediately from a life of dedication and fear of the Lord to overdrinking and taking drugs. Something like that happens when there's been a pattern of disobedience and ongoing disregard for the rules and what the Lord has instructed us to do, or else you fall prey to wanting to please others‚ negative peer pressure, not wanting to say no, so you compromise and don't live up to what you know is right. We all know it's against God's laws for Family members to abuse their bodies through overdrinking and taking drugs. But the problem is that many of you think you can do it anyway and get away with it. Well, maybe you could have in the past, but not anymore. Things are changing, and that's one thing you need to learn from this GN.
31. We don't know how much alcohol was drunk by Megan and Gabe in that one instance, but we do know that in that Home there were regular occurrences of overdrinking. We have also heard that Megan had a very low tolerance to alcohol, and so it wouldn't take all that much for her to be "overdrinking." Alcohol abuse--besides being harmful for your body, and hurtful to your loved ones when you act unwisely due to the influence of alcohol--is a disobedience that takes you outside the boundaries of the Lord's protection. And obviously, drinking too much impairs your judgment and ability to have conviction, to say the least. In this case, it was one of the disobediences that contributed to Megan's death. Gabe and others were used to overstepping the bounds by drinking too much, so maybe didn't think too much of adding drugs to the mix as well.
32. Another sin that contributed to this premature sad death of Megan was a pitiful and deplorable covering up‚ after Megan became unconscious. Gabe didn't seek help right away, and didn't even alert anyone that something was wrong until hours later, even then not confessing what the cause of her unconsciousness was. I suppose he was hoping she would just get better and no one would even know what had happened or that they had been disobedient. It's also possible that Gabe was too loaded himself to have his senses about him. That's no excuse; the Lord and I still hold him accountable.
33. Because Gabe was afraid of the consequences, or thought everything would be fine, he didn't speak up about what had happened to Megan until much, much later, after the damage had already been done. And even now, it's hard to know if the whole truth has come out. Even after she was admitted to the hospital, Gabe didn't come out with what had happened until he was literally threatened by a doctor that she would call the authorities if Gabe wouldn't be honest and tell them what had happened, so that they could attempt to save Megan's life. What a terrible testimony and sad representation of the Family!
34. We all realize that these kinds of situations are complex; there are often many circumstances that contribute to the chain of events that lead up to the actual catastrophic event. What kind of shepherding were the young people receiving? Why did they not seek help? Was their Home in disunity? Was there a lack of good communication amongst the Home members?
35. There are a lot of questions surrounding this event, and I'm sure as time passes there will be many lessons learned by all involved. I'm not trying to oversimplify or to say it was all Megan's fault or all Gabe's fault. But after extensive prayer about the situation, we've come to the conclusion that the Lord wants to use this as an avenue to drive home some very important lessons to you young people.
36. It saddens me deeply to see that this beautiful young woman had to lose her life through such senseless mistakes. This wasn't just some isolated incident which we should now dismiss with, "Oh, poor Megan, she got some bad drugs." This came about as a result of ongoing disobedience and flagrant disregard for the rules that have been established by God, to the point that when they faced a choice of taking drugs, which is obviously wrong and dangerous, they didn't think much of it, and certainly didn't think anything really bad would happen. That is what happens when you disobey regularly. You think you'll get away with it, that nothing will come of it.
37. These young people spit in God's eye through their blatant disregard for the truth. They slapped Him in the face, and I'm sure this wasn't the first time. Through their actions and foolish lack of fear of Him, they in essence dared God to do something, wrongly thinking they would naturally be "protected" because He's a God of love and mercy‚ and they had been protected before. They didn't think anything would happen this time.
38. Well, it did. A lot happened. It was a terrible death, a very great loss. If it hadn't been for that disobedience and terrible consequence, Megan could have gone on to do a wonderful work for the Lord. She had potential, but now that's gone, never to be retrieved. Some things don't come around again. Sometimes there are no second chances. While Megan now has a ministry in Heaven and the Lord will use this situation for good and allow her to be useful for the Family from beyond the veil, that doesn't mean that He wanted this to happen, that this was somehow part of His highest will. God did not intend for Megan to get drunk, take drugs, and die!
39. God can, however, use this situation for good, because of our prayers and His mercy. We know that Heaven is not the end, but we also have to realize that God brought Megan back to the Family to serve Him, to witness, to be a soldier in His army. He didn't plan on her dying from alcohol and drugs! What kind of a plan would that be?!
40. Now He will take this situation and use it for good. He will cause this to be a lesson to all of us, and especially to you young people. She was one of you. She had the same temptations and weaknesses that a lot of you have. She was flippant about disobeying, she was influenced by others‚ by guys she liked. Her mother said that she got emotionally involved easily and then was easily led astray by the guys she liked. Was that what happened that night, Gabe? Were you the bellwether you should have been? Were you your sister's keeper? Were you a help and strength to her, a friend who stuck closer than a brother, and who helped her stay close to the Lord and obedient? No, obviously you weren't. (Note: Gabe has since been excommunicated as per the rules of the Charter.)