On April 20, 2008, someone posted the following on the Assemblyboard:
"I recently spoke to a brother still in fellowship in the Pasadena assembly. He told me that the brethren still consider the testimony of the women that were abused by George as lies. That it is his word against theirs. That there was no proof. That these women were as guilty as he was before the Lord. That things were not handled spiritually. That there needs to be 2 or 3 witnesses to the actual act in order for there to be an accusation. They likened it to the false accusations brought against priests in the Catholic church! These...are direct quotes. The men in the Assemblies are spiritual and faultless. When they confront sin and failure they have to spiritualize and condemn it, or they are condemned. They are true Pharisees who have no fault."
On June 14, 2008 an Assembly wedding was held in Pasadena. The groom was from the Pasadena Assembly and the bride from the West Los Angeles Assembly. There were about three hundred guests in attendance from the Assemblies in San Francisco, Sacramento, West Los Angeles, Pasadena and Riverside. The format was the same as always: long somber hymns, long preaching about the man and women’s relationship likened to Christ and the church, Jim McAllister saying, “You may salute your bride”.
There were differences from past weddings though - there were no headcoverings, and wine was served.
One sad testimony to how narrow-minded the groups still are: The groom’s brother (a former Assembly member) was told he was not invited to the wedding because of negative things he said about George and his followers over five years ago. Even though this man did all he could to reconcile with his own brother, the group still dictates the relationship. All the rest of the groom’s family (aunts, cousins, and grandparents) were in attendance regardless of their religious beliefs. Several who are church elders and pastors could not tolerate the message and left immediately after the service.
Of the three hundred guests, only about 80-90 were family and friends from outside the Assembly. The rest were Assembly folks - current and former members, of which many were children. Jim McAllister has ten kids, Scott Testa six, etc.
June 28, 2008 Brent T.: I just read the recent account of the Pasadena wedding on June 14, 2008, and wanted to make a few observations:
1.) The fact that the family walked out says quite a bit...especially if wine was being served...
2.) Wine was served? At our wedding, we were strictly forbidden to serve alcohol. Had we done so, we would not have been allowed to have an Assembly Wedding.
3.) Keeping the above in mind, perhaps this wasn't an official Assembly wedding. There have been a few of those from time to time...in fact, the last wedding I attended that occurred in the Assembly was a non-official wedding...no head coverings. Other than that, it was pretty much the same.
If this wasn't an "Assembly" wedding, that would explain the lack of headcoverings and allowing wine.
However, if this was an official meeting, blessed by the ascending unto Mount Zion, and the City of The Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem....and they served wine...it means one of two things:
The new leader likes to drink....and....
Small freedoms are being granted. Whenever small freedoms are allowed, especially ones that were harshly condemned in the past, it is a sure sign of more freedom coming in the future. Once people get a taste of freedom, they develop a thirst. This thirst is what topples totalitarian regimes overnight.
There could be another great exodus brewing if wine is allowed at official Assembly meetings. I wrote a piece called Glasnost, Perestroika and The Assembly that talks about this sort of thing.
July 1, 2008, Anonymous: The fact that the groom was complicit in the harsh treatment of his brother, "You can't come to my wedding because... (weddings are an expression of the divine drama?), tells me that the groom cares more about "the Saints and the Assembly" than his own family. I am surprised that the groom's family attended at all. What were the groom's parents thinking? I would like to add that I am surprised at the attendance! I was shocked that the Placentia and Fullerton saints weren't invited, and am waiting for a single, charismatic, megalomaniac leader to emerge!