Being An Assembly Kid in Tuscola

Two posts by Scott McC. adapted from the Assemblyboard.

January 22, 2003  "The best thing about being an Assembly Kid is other Assembly Kids! Our "lodge" was loaded with families. I grew up with dozens of brothers and sisters.

We saw each other half a dozen times a week. We stayed at each other's homes. We sat next to each other in meetings - if we were behaving. We went to Youth Fellowship. We camped. We had crushes on each other. We got into A LOT of trouble.

We had lunch together every Sunday. We passed notes. We made faces across the room during prayer meetings. We guarded tents together. We went to Six Flags. Hay rides. Rented a local gym to run around in.

Through it all we stuck together. Had to. No other kids knew what we were talking about half the time!

Now 15 years later, I'm talking and reconnecting with these same people and we're picking up right where we left off. And I'm meeting people from all over the country that I never knew before but know exactly what I'm talking about.

That's the best thing about being an Assembly Kid."

About a year later Scott posted about the other side of being an Assembly kid.

February 9, 2004  "Assembly kids (referred to as "AKs") were taught, whether blatantly or subtly, that basically anything not a part of the Assembly was a part of the Satanic world order.

Sports were denied because they fomented a competitive attitude rather than cooperation, they glorified man and set man up as an idol, and as an institution they became an idol.

Extra-curricular activities were denied because they took time away from proper Assembly functions and allowed too much contact with unsaved people.

Outside friendships were denied because other children might contaminate an AK with worldly views or tempt them to carnal activities.

Fellowship with other Christians was denied because other Christians were (take your pick) either playing games / apostate / without the true vision / worldly / carnal.

Relationships with family members not in the Assembly were denied because they were either not saved and a bad influence, or saved but not "walking with the Lord".

Dancing was denied because it led to temptation and an overpowering lust.

Holidays could not be celebrated because they purportedly had pagan implications from centuries past.

Comic books could not be read because the heroes' powers were derived from demonic influences.

Secular music was denied because the beat led to sexual arousal and demonic possession.

Basically, an AK with fully involved parents (especially those who were leading brothers and Workers) could expect in a normal day to wake up to morning devotions (both private and household), morning stewardships, school, afternoon stewardships, a meeting, homework. They were expected to prepare a chapter summary, eat dinner properly and in relative silence, recite memory verse or share a thought from a devotion, attend pre-prayer, set up chairs, perform and behave properly during the meeting, take down chairs, go home and do homework if there was time, sleep, do it again (the only variation being the type of meeting to attend-- prayer, chapter summary, tape, witnessing, all night of prayer, etc).

The bottom line was that an AK was required to be an Assembly adult. Any attempt to be a child and enjoy childhood was forcefully quashed.

AKs were not taught to make choices (good or bad) on their own. They were not taught to relate to people outside the Assembly. They were taught that the Assembly was more important than family. They were taught that they must to be prepared to survive a horrible period of persecution before the return of Christ in the year ________ (depending on George's latest revelation). They were not in any way prepared to be autonomously functioning adults in the real world.

AKs were taught they will never succeed in doing anything in accordance with God's standards. AKs were taught that God is harsh and demanding and there is no joy in a relationship with him until his return - and then only if you have lived a life of hardship and denial in full Assembly participation - and then only if you enjoy sitting in meetings and listening to George, because that is what we will be doing in eternity.

These things AKs learned on our own: Our parents preached joy and were miserable. They preached freedom and were slaves. They preached Christ first and worshipped the Assembly. They preached love and looked down their noses at their fellow man. They preached humility, piety, sexual purity and truth, and bound themselves to an arrogant, lying adulterer.

And then we bolted. Wonder why?"

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