We took our Bibles seriously; we just never read them without a nifty filter or two in place.
Take any passage that talks about an individual's standing in Christ and with the corporate filter it becomes a "local Assembly's" standing in Christ....IF they remain faithful to His Word. This filter caused those who bought it to believe that without the Assembly, they would not/could not mature as a Christian.
Any passage in the OT could be interpreted to be type of some aspect of George's pattern for his Assembly. Context could be ignored, or fashioned out of thin air, due to the built-in interface of the "vision" filter with the "mystical" filter.
This nifty filter allowed us to totally ignore, and even contradict, the plain meaning of the Bible, and see all sorts of deep, profound meaning in passages that said no such thing. This is how we were able to call good evil, and evil good, and how we were unable to see how off we were.
If all three filters were in place, we could ignore verses that pertained to simple things, like character, kindness, joy, freedom, growth, and love, while giving tremendous attention to a verse like Hebrews 13:17.
Lets's take Hebrews 13:17 as an example: "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you."
The Corporate Filter made us realize that if we weren't in fellowship, and accountable/submissive to leadership, we would miss out on much profit. Of course, this type of submission was deplorably absent from other churches....except George's Assemblies.
The Vision Filter confirmed in our minds that God was preparing a bride, and that His crucible was The Local Assembly. (In every case that meant US and not THEM). That being the case, the leadership was "raised up" by Jesus Himself, Head over all things to the Assembly. The Vision Filter meant that we obeyed leaders as we obeyed Christ. If Jesus told you not to say anything about adulterous sex with God's Servant....you didn't say anything. When Jesus said not to talk about The Lord's Servant's son, who was a striker, drunkard and immoral man, you didn't talk. How could you? Your soul's salvation was in jeopardy.
The Vision Filter also caused us to skip right over the multitude of verses that clearly disqualified the leadership of the group, and directed us to hyper-focus on the one or two verses that could be twisted into, "Even if they are wrong, it's God's will for you and The Assembly. God will protect you from their error."
The Vision Filter allowed us to see beyond the idea of obeying God, and putting Him first, and caused us to see that "practically" it meant obeying the leaders first, and putting God second. After all, He was going to come in and make sure we were OK if the leaders ever did anything wrong. The point is that we were never to stand on our own conscience, or conviction, but to always defer to others, regardless of what the Bible may have said about it.
Seventh day creation is easy to see, if Jesus Himself teaches it at a "Holy Convocation," or seminar that has been bathed in prayer....
The Mystical Filter, applied to "the Cross," and to every single verse that contained or inferred the word "soul," or "spirit," caused us to see that even though we might be born-again, and saved from Hell, brought from darkness to light, etc., it was only a "bare-bones, smell-of-smoke-type" of salvation and that we had everything to lose if we didn't shape up.
Hebrews 13:17, using the Mystical Filter, scared us into believing that if we weren't in fellowship, AND if we weren't submissive in word, deed AND THOUGHT to the leadership (God Himself) then we would LOSE OUR SOULS!
Oh, with all three filters in place, please notice that the leaders must be "joyful" over my behavior. If not, something is wrong, and I am not profiting....Hebrews 13:17, if we read it carefully, means....
"Please men, or God will not be pleased and you will suffer loss."How many fingers am I holding up?
A "three-filter" Geftakysite knew how important it was to please the leaders. It was a theologically sound thing to do, with eternal benefit or loss attached to it. This meant, in essence, the more we read our Bibles, using the filters, the more we strove to please men. Not using the filters meant nothing but grief, heartache and strife....as each of us can attest to.
That, my friends, is why it seems like we didn't take our Bibles seriously.