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Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web of Corrupt Leaders
- Contact Blog Owner
- Contact Dennis Diehl
- Apostolic Treasures: The Treasures Of Herbert W Armstrong
- Wacky World of Dave Pack
- David C. Pack's Wacky World 2
- Mulling Things Over With Dennis Page 1
- "Mulling Things Over With Dennis" Page 2
- Mulling Things Over With Dennis Page 3
- Van Robison
- Idiots in the Pulpit
- Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web
- Armstrongism: Is It The Plain Truth? 8/5
- The Daughter of Babylon: A True History of the Workdwide Church of God
- The Armstrong Error Booklet
- Mr. Confusion 1971
- Book: The Truth Shall Make You Free
- UCG/COGWA Child Molester
- PCG Suicide
- How Fred Dattalo, Cal Culpepper and Gerald Flurry Caused A PCG Suicide
- LCG Pedophiles
- Rod Meredith HATES This Blog!
- Rod McNair Says Elderly Possessed By Demons
- Herbert Armstrong Confesses to Incest!
- Herbert Armstrong's Documented Prophecies By Decad...
- Worldwide Church of God vs. Philadelphia Church of God
- Ambassador College Pasadena Campus Demolition and ...
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Summer's Coming! So, A Fireside Chat about SEP Decades ago
Now many may have different opinions on this based on where they were in the Church Timeline. The 1960s and 1970s were particularly rough, with SEP operating more as a boot camp then a Summer Camp for many - spankings and all. My time, however, was an escape from fundamentalist realities and other issues in family life, personal life, and in the Church, and the SEP experience for me was downright liberal to me - based on exactly how much that the teens got away with. I was shocked when I caught two high school workers making out on the anchor desk of the TV/Radio Studio, was even more shocked when on a voyageur canoe trip the Counselors had us go up a hill for our bathroom - which was in clear view of the girl's bathroom in the valley! (I did my best not to look!!) Yet despite these and other contradictions to the Faith I invested every ounce of my time and effort into - SEP was an amazing event for a kid.
Every moment of my day was filled to the brim with activity. From basketball to volleyball, from windsurfing (or trying to) to television and radio, to softball - from morning to evening it was constant go, go, and go again. The team, led by Dr. Kermit Nelson, would constantly play music meant to "build us up" in teamwork - such as "The Olympic Spirit" by John Williams when we walked into Orientation, to "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston. We'd spend our time learning to dance with Rex De Le Pena (a college student) with the song "I Never Walk Alone" by Huey Lewis and the News. And we'd hear "Sail Away" by Enya more times than we could count. This isn't to say it was always Armstrong-Land at SEP. Boyz II Men's "Motown Philly" was always playing on the Camp Radio Station KSEP. (It WAS the Early 90s, after all!) And I will NEVER forget when I woke up one morning staring directly into a counselor's open fly where a flacid Johnson was accidentally exposed. (I am positive this was a complete accident. I turned away fast as we turned away from Christmas at the time!) (No, I'm not saying who this person was!)
We had Christian living classes. We were constantly told that God's Way Works. We'd go into the Gymnasium every Friday Night for hymn sings, or to the Fellowship area for Fireside Chats, or chat with a Dorm Parent. I got to meet people at SEP we all hear about now... Gerald Weston (I have some stories about this dude), Bernie Schnippert, Curtis May, among many others. But if there was one thing we NEVER discussed at SEP was Jesus.
Sure, we'd hear from Carl McNair about respect and using the names Mr. and Mrs. frequently. We'd hear from Dr. Nelson about this thing about Negative Ions and if there is one place in all the world we would want to be it was "RIGHT HERE" - we'd all yell in unison. We'd hear from other leading pastors (such as Greg Sargeant) about many teen issues. But we were never taught at SEP about Jesus.
When Gary talks about Jesus Christ as the "Inconvenient Dude" who was hardly ever mentioned - either then, or now, in the Church - he was exactly right, at least in my experience. And at SEP, there was so much going on that Jesus seemed completely irrelevant. We'd certainly know it if we did something wrong - like no side hugs for greater than 3 seconds with a member of the opposite sex, or accidentally held hands (!) - or called a college kid by their first name (!!!) - or did something innocuously wrong on the Sabbath. But never was a "Christian Living" class about the One who was supposedly the center of our Joy - Jesus Christ. Not even once. Jesus may have been mentioned 'in passing" in a Sabbath Service, or in an opening or closing prayer. The truth of it is, none of us kids even cared about Jesus because we had never been introduced to Him. We simply were there to have fun. And for that, the Church did a phenomenal job of providing that.
SEP holds a dear place in my heart to this day. It's a conflicted heart, knowing what I know now about the Church, it's origins, and it's background and especially it's founder. Looking at Google Earth at the former Campus - abandoned and desolate save a dorm or two left over and the Gymnasium - must give ex-church members the same feelings when they look at the Pasadena Campus (or what is left of it). Yet, it comprises a moment in time when a kid could be a kid. I met my first real crush and first love there (that did not unfortunately work out years later), made some decent buddies, and had some bad memories too for various reasons. But it was a place that constantly invades my dreams to this day - because they succeeded in making me feel welcomed and accepted for the most part.
How much better it would have been if they had introduced Jesus, that inconvenient dude, to us kids at SEP that year. But we were far too busy judging each other on how we were supposed to keep the Sabbath. That was an argument I won't forget, nor shall I ever forget SEP. I breathe a deep sigh of fond memories thinking about those summers in Orr, Minnesota, and occasionally, even drip a tear or two.
And I'm sure I am not alone in this retrospect. It is difficult to imagine, however, all those kids and where they are now considering everything that has happened in the last 25 to 30 years in our common heritage. I just wonder what that "Inconvenient Dude" Mr. Christ would have thought if He had even been mentioned there or had been focused on, instead of whether or not Chess or Cards were acceptable to play between the "Gentiles" and the "Converted" youth of the Church.
I guess 2000 years later, some things never changed.
submitted by SHT
submitted by SHT