The ministries at MCM found themselves under constant assault from International Office HQ in Gainesville (IO) with seeming crazy and whacky revelations and schemes from God.
These schemes were able to take hold with Bob, Joe and Rose because, even though their work aimed directly at colleges and universities they eschewed what they called, “The spirit of intellectualism of this age.”
In other words any rational objection to a scheme that popped into their minds irritated and upset them.
But despite how crazy these schemes and revelations sometimes appeared they actually served some practical purposes.
I will admit, most probably, that Rose and Bob really believed these crazy ideas were from God and would aid the ministry in the same way my Uncle thought that the box he bought from guy on a street corner for $10 contained a working stereo.
The box contained four bricks.
First these schemes served to keep the sheep busy with kingdom work. The elders knew that a person busy, busy, busy on Kingdom business could not spend much time pondering the real mess MCM was. “Idle hands are the devils workshop,” as my Grandma Reese used to say.
It also helped show which MCM member might harbor doubts; for failure to take part in what seemed like crazy and lunatic schemes demonstrated a sheep might be wandering, or even worse, displaying a spirit of intellectualism.
Finally these projects and ideas that came (apparently) directly from God served to show that the leadership still received revelations from on high; they demonstrated that God still moved through the MCM leadership in the end times.
Rose Weiner (Bob’s wife) had a revelation about groaning…and one morning, at MLTS, she read from Romans the following passage:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. ”
Now this was the sort of quack pot stuff Rose was famous for and she took this passage to mean that if we were really in tune with the Holy Spirit that we would start groaning during our public prayers.
The fact that MCM members were NOT groaning during our public prayers was proof that the sheep were NOT praying seriously hard enough and that was why the ministry was not growing FAST enough (well, not fast enough to suit Bob and Rose).
So at one MLTS Rose announces all from the front stage in the main tent session that we are all going to dedicate ourselves to praying; and that and that we will pray, “In the Spirit with groans as Paul directed us.”
Out loud during MLTS… for one hour.
All of us.
The implication, of course was that if your out loud praying did not elicit the groans Paul mentioned then you were one of the problem children who were not praying according to the spirit; nor dedicated enough to the kingdom.
“We will intercede out loud together in a mighty way and the Spirit [the Holy Spirit] Himself will begin interceding with groans expressing things we do not and cannot understand,” she shouted, her long blond hair swinging about her shoulders as she jumped up and down making her point.
Someone should have shown Rose the scripture in Matthew which reads: “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to you Father in secret.”
Matt, Allie, and I are sitting apart from our flocks (we are all in full-time ministry by this point) in the far back of the auditorium. And like everyone else at this MLTS session we knelt in front of our seats on Rose’s orders.
And the place begins buzzing like a giant beehive with people praying in their shabalas or kolachackas or whatevers. After about a minute Rose lets out one long grunting groan and sure enough a chorus of unbelievably strange groans and grunts start being issued by about 4,500 participants all around us.
No one at this MLTS session would be a non-groaner, because being a non-groaner meant that you were a non-spirit led person.
Being a non-spirit led person was a bad thing. Bad… bad… bad….
Okay one more time:
Not groaning =bad.
Let’s try it again:
Being open to Rose’s revelation no matter how silly it was = good. Rejecting Rose’s revelation no matter how silly it was = bad.
So 100% of the people around us there are groaning and grunting.
Actually some people started wailing. I cannot describe how weird the thing was.
It was doubling unnerving with the chief groaners Bob and Rose on stage groaning and grunting into their microphones and with the sound system amplifying their groaning volume ten or twenty times.
I occasionally have nightmares about the ability of the leadership to have their charges initiate bizarre behavior at the snap of a finger. If I had not witnessed this repeatedly myself during my MCM time I would not think it possible.
Now that morning I’m still sitting in seats up with Matt and Allie, not with my sheep.
I am trying to get into this praying and groaning revelation of Rose’s, but even in my anesthetized MCM state I am thinking, “Man, this is really bizarre.”
Holding my, breath I am waiting on this to pass and for Rose to go on to the next nutty and weird thing.
I am just hoping that her next revelation does not involve Saran Wrap and cooking oil.
Then I look over and catch Matt’s eye.
He gets this grin on his face and leans over and whispers, “Sounds like 4,500 constipated people sitting on the big white thrown, if you know what I mean Tik.”
And he winks.
And the three of us, Matt, Allie and I, get the giggles right there, chortling and trying to hold back the laughter; I swear I thought I was going to have internal injuries I was laughing so hard.
And all the while the place is groaning and grunting in the spirit.
But all I could think of is, “Get these people some ExLax!”
To this day I am not sure how we did not get thrown out of the place by the Maranatha Usher Gestapo; probably because they were too busy with the grunting and groaning revelation.
Now whatever the latest Word, or revelation, was from MCM IO in Gainesville, Marty, my then shepherd, would go at it implementing the latest Word whole hog.
For he was a True Believer in every sense, he was Lenin’s Trotsky or Stalin’s Beria.
As an example of this occurred one Saturday morning.
I was on my way out to my pizza job when Marty (my shepherd) stopped me in the back parking lot asking if I would give him a hand.
I said, “Sure”.
He opened his car’s trunk lid and there must have been 100 plastic gallon containers stacked inside and also in his back seat; the kind that distilled water comes in.
“Tik, can you help me unload these into the parking lot please?” he asked.
“Marty, what in the world are you doing with these things?” I asked holding up one of the empty gallon jugs. I noticed that he had rigged a garden hose up and had a bench with a bottle of bleach laying on it along an eye dropper next to this bottle.
“At the ministry retreat last week [for full timers help in Gainesville] we heard a Word from God that we must do practical things to get the church ready for the coming end times; just like Joseph did for Pharaoh. We were told to start storing food and water in preparation for these bad times.”
“But why the water and bottles and bleach?” I asked.
“Well,” said Marty, “the most vital element we need is water, and in the coming troubles if our water supply goes out we will need to store enough water to get the ministry through this time of trouble. I am going to fill each bottle with tap water from the hose and put a drop of bleach in it to keep it fresh.”
Marty might just have said, “Little Green Men have moved into my office” from my viewpoint .
I had just completed a course on water management and hydrology. One of the modern miracles we take for granted is pure potable water. With clean running water diseases like typhus, cholera and diphtheria quit making routine appearances in the USA. And the death rate for infants and children plummeted by over 50%.
“Marty,” I continued, “where are you going to store the water for these times of trouble?”
He pointed to the back house, a two-story structure, yet to be renovated.
“In there, I figure I can stack these bottles four or five deep on the second and third floors.”
I shook my head.
Should I let him continue this insanity or bring him a dose of reality?
This was not just a rhetorical question for me. For if I did not stop this nonsense I would be filling and toting water bottles for eternity.
Or until some other quack-pot scheme from MCM came along.
But if I challenged him then I could be seen as being in rebellion and questioning a Word from the Lord. The risk of rebellion seemed to outweigh the work of toting water bottles for eternity into the back house.
I could already feel my arms aching.
“Marty, I just completed a course on water and hydrology and I would like to point a few things out.”
He sat down.
“First, the average human needs, at the very least, 4 gallons of water a day. I can get out the text-book that shows this for you if you would like.”
He stared at me. I could not tell if I was going to get whacked or thanked at this point; because I was pretty certain I was exhibiting a spirit of intellectualism.
So I took a deep breath and said, “So if we take 180 people [the number in our ministry at this point] times 4 gallons of water per person per day we will need to store up 720 gallons or 720 of your jugs of water per day for each day in this upcoming time of trouble. That equals about 5000 gallons per week for the people here now. Or 20,000 gallons per month.”
“And there is one other problem. My guess is that the back house has about 12,000 cubic feet of storage space and that would only hold about 6,000 gallons of water. So you only have space for one week’s worth of water, or so, for everyone here. But even if we decided to store 6,000 gallons in the back house we would still have a serious problem.”
Marty cocked his head, “What problem would that be, Tik?”
“Well, it is a wood frame structure, and I am sure that if you stored, or tried to store, 6,000 gallons of water the building would collapse like a house of cards. Water is VERY Heavy. Maybe God will just make a miracle happen like the manna from heaven that fell on Moses when these troubles come.”
What I said was true.
A quick look in around your town would show standpipes or water tanks made of steel or concrete. They are very strong for water is HEAVY. And these standpipes usually hold about 500,000 gallons of water or about one week’s worth of water for the area they serve. Electric pumps bring the water up and gravity brings it down. Kind of scary thinking about it, that we are exactly one week away from dying of thirst or dying of cholera.
At this point I shut up and waited to see what would happen.
Thank goodness, he actually looked relieved.
“Thank you Brother for a sharing, let me pray about this.”
And that was the end of our preparation for the times of trouble and my toting 6,000 gallons of water up three flights of stairs and having the back house collapse on me and kill me.
But the whacky revelations continued unabated and MCM latched onto them as if they were actually written in the Bible and thus created more work for the plantation slaves.