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'Thou Shalt Not': Community legalism and conscience

Source : Distributed by The Prayerforce Fellowship 1985

The Jesus People claim that they 'live by grace; not by law' and yet live daily according to an un-written legalistic code. So intense is the pressure to conform that a fellowship member will be made to feel guilty of sin even after watching T.V. or eating a Mars. Told that he cannot trust his own conscience (his conscience having been shaped by a corrupt world) he allows the community leadership to dictate the course of his life. A member will not ask himself whether or not he feels something is right or wrong but whether or not it is 'acceptable' in the Community.

All unemployed members must do 'voluntary' farm labour. It is a condition of residence that all members 'voluntarily' give their entire income, capital and property to the community. In most instances all holidays must be spent working in the community. Unless there is some valid reason for being absent all adults and children must attend all church meetings of which there are a minimum of 4 per week lasting between 2-4 hrs.

No: cinema, T.V., radio, secular music, secular books and magazines, games and sports, alcohol and tobacco, sugar in drinks, coffee, Gospel music and literature (like Buzz), Christian teaching tapes, Bible study courses, attending rallies, conferences and other churches, social activities and concerts (except for proselytising). Boy/girl relationships (beyond restricted casual friendships) and normal patterns of courtship amongst adults, choosing any buying clothes, dieting, make-up, pets contraception and double beds for marrieds, toys (except home-made), 'pretend' in children's play etc etc etc.

Christmas and Easter are regarded as Demonic festivals.