KEYWORDS: home, family, field, lot, children

Furlougher, Backslider--Or Supporter?

David Berg

NRS6by Father DavidJanuary 1979DFO 756

© January 1978 by the Family of Love, CP 748, 00100 Roma, Italia.

1. SOME OF OUR MOTHERS & FATHERS & CHILDCARE WORKERS HAVE GOTTEN BUSY WITH SO MANY CHILDREN, THEY HARDLY KNOW WHAT TO DO! Most had never been reared in a big family or had any little brothers & sisters to take care of or had to keep house or cook or much else around home.

2. THEY NEVER REALLY LEARNED HOW TO HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES, MUCH LESS OTHERS. But they couldn't exactly close the birth canal, so some have them now whether they like it or not! So now some are complaining—& a lot of them didn't know what to do with them, so they went home to Mom to have her help take care of them!

3. THE TROUBLE WITH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WAS THAT, ALTHOUGH MOSES GOT THEM OUT OF EGYPT, HE COULDN'T GET EGYPT OUT OF THEM!—And that's been the trouble with a lot of our folks. We got them out of Egypt & into the Promised Land of the mission field. But now that things have gotten rough & tough, & they've got a lot of children, & it's hard to support them as missionaries living off of handouts & litnessing, begging, FFing, provisioning & whatever, they've gone home.

4. SO MANY NON-PRODUCTIVE FAMILY MEMBERS SEEM TO BE A DRAIN & NOT CONTRIBUTING ANYTHING, LIKE CHILDREN OR NEW DISCIPLES. So they've got about all they can handle, & they certainly don't want any more! They get so busy just supporting themselves, that they don't have much time to even witness or win souls, & pretty soon they can't even litness since the system seems determined to drive them off the streets.

5. IT SEEMS THE FAMILY HAS GOTTEN JUST ABOUT AS BIG AS YOU & I CAN HANDLE! It seems to me like we're getting pretty busy just handling what we've already got without worrying about many more! When a family gets to a certain size‚ it's usually got about all the problems it can stand. It's got enough members to support without any more or relatives‚ & the Lord seems to put a sort of limit even on most natural families.

6. I'M TRYING TO ATTACK THIS PROBLEM FROM ALL SIDES, both the enemy's side & God's side how He looks at it. We look at the unfairness & the cruelty & lies of the Enemy‚ how unjust, how unfair‚ how cruel‚ how horrible, how fiendish, how devilish & how bad it all is, this persecution!

7. BUT THE LORD DOESN'T USUALLY TURN THE ENEMY LOOSE ON YOU UNTIL YOU EITHER NEED IT OR DESERVE IT, & I'm here to tell you today that I think both are true! We probably need it to shake us out of our lethargy & selfishness, & we deserve it because of our lethargy & selfishness! Our families have gotten so small, they have gone to the opposite extreme of Blobs!

8. FROM BLOBS WE'VE GONE DOWN TO TINY LITTLE FAMILY UNITS THAT DON'T WANT ANYBODY ELSE ANYMORE AT ALL! You don't want more children or new disciples, you don't want newcomers, & you don't really want to win souls, unless the soul goes someplace else where you don't have to take care of him! You don't want any more physical or spiritual babies either one‚ & are complaining.

9. "WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? WE'VE GOT TOO MANY CHILDREN! We've got so many children we don't know what to do! How are we going to take care of all these children?" Well, I'm convinced, along with Martin Luther, that "with every additional mouth, God will supply"! But apparently, some of you people don't believe that. You haven't got the faith for it or the guts for it or the strength for it, & a lot of our families have gotten pretty selfish.

10. YOU'VE GOTTEN SO BUSY TAKING CARE OF YOUR OWN KIDS THAT YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO LITNESS OR WITNESS OR WIN SOULS!—MUCH LESS TAKE IN NEW DISCIPLES! When you get to the point that all you are trying to do is just exist or simply survive, perhaps the Lord in His mercy will decide it's time for a furlough from the front for R&Rrest & recuperation. You were a missionary, you were a frontline battle soldier for a while‚ but now you're getting weary, beat up & wounded.

11. YOU'RE GETTING TIRED OF THE FIGHT! You're getting tired of fighting, tired of the weariness, tired of the struggle, tired of the battle. Even soldiers get tired & wounded & are sent home for R&R, rest & recuperation, "furlough", as they used to call it. Even in my old church denomination, after five years on the field‚ missionaries were furloughed home for a year's rest.

12. IT'S PRETTY TOUGH ON SOME FIELDS where you're in battle with the Enemy all the time under very difficult conditions of all kinds—climatic, physical, food, housing, sickness & opposition of all kinds. So even in our little Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination that I used to belong to they furloughed their missionaries every five years to spend a year at home.

13. OF COURSE, IT WAS NOT EXACTLY A VACATION: Our denomination was pretty smart!—We let them go home, but we kept them busy at home. We either put them into pastorates or assistant pastorates or substitutes, supply or part-time pastoring, or going around evangelising, or going around showing their slides & motion pictures of the mission field & drumming up more missionary giving & support for the field. If you can't be on the field, you can at least help the field.

14. EVERY KIND OF AN ARMY SOONER OR LATER HAS TO GIVE THEIR SOLDIERS A REST, A FURLOUGH. I think a lot of our soldiers are pretty battle-weary right now, from what I've heard. When soldiers begin to complain about the field conditions or the new recruits or the housing or the food or the enemy or lack of ammunition, & finding all kinds of faults & things to complain about, like the Jews in the wilderness or Gideon's 22,000 (Judges 7:3), then frequently the Lord will do to us what He did to them! Make it even tougher or send them home!

15. I USED TO DO THAT TO MY OWN LITTLE CHILDREN: When one would be a little overly fussy & whining & belly-aching, complaining & murmuring about some little thing‚ I would finally get fed up & say‚ "Now listen! You either shut up or I'm going to give you something to cry about!"

16. I THINK THE LORD IS PRETTY FED UP WITH A LOT OF THE MURMURINGS THAT HAVE BEEN GOING ON LATELY!: Murmuring against the children, murmuring against this, murmuring against that, murmuring against some of the Letters or Leaders‚ murmuring against conditions. So the Lord's now with this new persecution going to really give you something to cry about!

17. YOU THOUGHT IT WAS ALREADY PRETTY ROUGH, BUT YOU HAD NO IDEA HOW ROUGH IT CAN GET!—Wait till you can no longer litness nor FF nor provision nor cafe–sing nor pied–piper & none of the Seven Supporters will even work anymore because the public has been so turned against you that nobody will even give anymore! Well, there'll always be a few, thank God‚ that small band of friends like Jesus had at His crucifixion, who will probably stick to you till the end!—But they weren't enough to keep Him from getting crucified!

18. I HAVE A FEELING IT'S GOING TO GET SO ROUGH in some places that we can no longer witness openly in any way! A lot of places have already gotten to that point because of opposition & persecution. Others because of laziness & unwillingness‚ & the cares & tares of this life have choked out the seed because they're so busy just trying to take care of themselves & their families & their children & their rent & their food & trying to eke out a living & an existence, they found out they don't have time to litness, witness or win souls anymore, even if they could.

19. SO WHETHER IT'S A MATTER OF WHETHER YOU CAN'T OR YOU WON'T OR YOU DON'T: When you can no longer do the job, then you have to be removed &/or replaced. You are usually retired from the field or furloughed‚ & you need to go home & take a rest.—Or you need a change of scenery or something different-maybe some persecution to wake you up & show you how far you've backslidden!

20. THOUGH STILL IN THE FAMILY, & STILL ON THE FIELD, MAYBE YOU'RE ALREADY "LOOKING BACK" OR YOUR HEART'S GONE BACK! "These people worship Me with their lips" the Lord said, "but their hearts are far from Me!" (Isa.29:13.) A lot of our Family have gotten like that! They've become like the churches:" They are still going through the motions, but their hearts have slipped, their hearts are sliding backwards, & they are beginning to complain more & more about what they are having to go through & how they're having to live & the number of children & how hard it is.

21. YOU HAVE NO IDEA YET HOW HARD IT CAN BE!—BUT I HAVE AN IDEA YOU ARE SOON TO FIND OUT!—So don't blame it all on the enemies.—Nothing happens to His children but by His will & with His permission. Maybe persecution is what we need to wake us up! "What are you trying to say, Dad?"

22. "YOU MEAN THE FAMILY'S FINISHED?!"—NO!—THE FAMILY IS NEVER FINISHED! God's Family has been around a long time, about 6,000 years, & it's never going to be finished! PTL! But it has frequently had to change form, face & function in order to survive! A lot of you people who are now complaining on the field that you can't take it on the field, can no longer function profitably, spiritually & fruitfully on the field, because you've got so many children, such big families &/or whatever your excuses may be, you might not look very good on the field right now.

23. BUT EVEN SOME OF THE WORST MISSIONARIES OF MY OLD DENOMINATION, WHEN THEY CAME HOME THEY LOOKED GOOD BY COMPARISION TO THE REST OF THE CHRISTIANS!—If you know what I mean! They were certainly better than the general run of the church members!—And they always kept busy doing something. They had learned their lesson of full-time service, & they never got it out of their blood. They usually came home & were very active leaders in the churches or in the home field.

24. ONCE YOU HAVE BEEN OUT HERE ON THE FIELD, LIKE AN OLD VETERAN SOLDIER OR TROOPER, YOU NEVER REALLY GET IT OUT OF YOUR BLOOD! Once you yourself have been a missionary & you've seen what it's like, when you get home, the home folks will make you sick!—They really turn your stomach when you get home & you see them & what they're really like & how selfishly & unconcerned they're living & how selfish they are & how blind they are to the needs of the world:—Blind to the will of God, deaf to His word & hearts hardened against the need! His Word says:

25. "THEY HAVE EYES BUT THEY SEE NOT!—EARS TO HEAR, BUT THEY HEAR NOT! AND THEIR HEARTS ARE WAXED FAT," or hardened! (Isa.6:9,10) In other words, they can't feel. (John 12:40.) I would say that even the worst of our Family members would look good if you stood him up along side the average church member.

26. SO IF YOU CAN'T DO ANY GOOD IN THE FIELD ANYMORE, MAYBE THE LORD'S GOING TO SEND YOU HOME where you can be more of a bomb & a thorn in their flesh, more of a witness & a better example than they are! At least you can be a has been, at least you can talk about what you were.

27. OLD SOLDIERS HOME FROM THE WARS ARE ALWAYS FULL OF THRILLING STORIES! They at least put to shame the home-lovers & the draft-dodgers & the guys who never made it at all! At least they've got something to talk about, at least they were a solider, at least they did fight in the battle at least they tried to do something! They deserve credit for that, don't they?

28. MAYBE WE CAN SEND YOU ALL HOME ON FURLOUGH! (And we did in "Homegoing II," [ML # 751]!) Quite a few of you folks who went home during the RNR came back better off, fed up, sick of home, couldn't take it & had to come back. You thought you couldn't take the field, but you went home & that was worse! You really couldn't take it & came back‚ & you'll be satisfied more now than you were then. It used to be an old saying in California;

29. "VISIT HOME ONCE MORE BEFORE YOU MOVE OUT HERE!" When the people would come out to California & say, "Well, we wanted to come out here & see what it was like, & we thought about moving out here. But we stayed a little while & got so homesick we just couldn't stand it, so we're going home again." You know what I used to say to them? I said, "I want to warn you of something:

30. "DON'T PACK UP & MOVE BACK HOME PERMANENTLY. Don't quit your job & pack up completely & move back home for good. Just take your vacation back home. Go back for a visit. Mark my word, that will cure you of your homesickness & you'll be back here in nothing flat!"—And I'd say about 9 times out of 10 that was true. All it took was a visit home to satisfy that nostalgia & that homesickness they had as they saw home through nostalgic rose-coloured glasses from afar!

31. ONCE THEY GOT BACK THERE THEY SAW HOW HORRIBLE IT WAS & how bad it was & how ridiculous the home folks were & how everything & everybody was changed anyhow. Things were never the same, people weren't like they used to be & everything was changed. There was no longer the rosy glow.

32. THE GOOD OLD DAYS ARE GONE FOREVER!—And they could hardly wait to get back to California! I think that was true with a lot of our folks we sent home for the first famous Homegoing back in '71! Boy‚ I tell you!—That thing really did us a lot of good! It hit the newspapers from coast to coast! They were telling all the same lies about us then: We kidnapped them, we kept them prisoners, they were zombies who had no minds of their own‚ they weren't free moral agents‚ they couldn't do what they wanted to do. I got so fed up hearing it I said‚

33. "GO HOME! EVERYBODY GO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! It's a good time when all of your relatives are together & most families are together & having family get-togethers & homecomings & family reunions.—It's a good time to go home & witness to your family & your relatives, & get a few Christmas gifts while you're at it & have a nice vacation!"

34. —AND WE SENT EVERYBODY HOME, TOLD EVERYBODY THAT COULD TO GO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! "If you don't have money to go home‚ phone Mom & Dad to send it! They'll be happy to send it if they think you're leaving the Family & coming home!" Of course there were a few cases which we knew were really insane 10:36ers & they didn't dare go home or they would have clamped them right in—& there were a few cases of those that did go home that they did clap'm in anyhow, but God used them to prove how bad the parents were, & eventually set the kids free anyhow. I said,

35. "IT'S ONE WAY TO KILL THOSE LIES & absolutely jerk the rug out from underneath our enemies & prove what liars they are, that it's just not so‚ you're not mindless prisoners!" It gets everybody home to prove you're not mindless prisoners nor zombies nor imprisoned or with no free will! They can have you right at home amongst your relatives where they have all the advantage to try to over-persuade you to stay home, out from under our influence & at home with all the temptations of Home, the ease, luxury‚ convenience & all the rest!

36. IT WILL PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT ALL OUR ENEMIES' PROPAGANDA IS LIES! It will also give you who've really got it & mean business a good stinking taste of home that will make you so sick you'll want to come back! It'll also help us weed out a lot of guys who can't make it with a 100% Gideon's army & who really don't want to stay in the field.

37. WHEN THEY GET HOME, if they find that kind of a life appeals to them & they decide they want to stay there, then my Lord!—It's far better for them to stay there! It's better for them & better for us!—To get rid of them, instead of them just hanging around being a drag. But some people exclaimed: "My God, Dad! You sent them all home!—They might not come back!!" I said,

38. "WELL, IF THEY DON'T COME BACK, THEN PTL!—WE'RE FINISHED & THE JOB IS DONE: —If nobody comes back, then we won't have to worry about it anymore! But if some do come back, it's going to be the ones who really want to come back, & that really want to be Family members & really want to fight & have really got it, or they certainly wouldn't come back, but would stay home!

39. I REALLY BELIEVE THAT WE'VE GOT A LOT OF FAMILIES RIGHT NOW FOR WHOM IT'S GETTING PRETTY HARD, & I wouldn't blame all of them entirely if they did want to go home for a furlough. But some are selfish & have gotten so involved in the cares of this life that it's choking out their fruitfulness. But there are others for whom it's really been pretty hard. They are faithful but battle-weary soldiers.

40. THERE MAY EVEN BE SOME OF YOU WHO WOULD LIKE TO GO HOME, BUT YOU'RE AFRAID TO!—You're afraid of what I'll say about you, & you're afraid of what other Family members might say about you:—"Backsliders! Chicken! Couldn't take it! Couldn't make it!"—Some may even be afraid of what they think the Lord might do to them if they went home!—That maybe He would kill them off or something, like they claim we pray, that they might get killed or something if they leave the Family! ...

41. YOU KNOW YOU CAN GO HOME IN YOUR HEART WITHOUT EVEN BEGINNING TO ACTUALLY TURN BACK. Some of your hearts are already back there, & you wish your bodies could follow!—But you haven't been able to find a good enough excuse yet, you're just waiting for enough provocation & enough aggravation or something or someone to blame it on so you can have a good excuse to go home!

42. OTHERS I THINK REALLY DESERVE A CHANGE & NEED A REST & you really have had it pretty hard on the field, & maybe you need to go home for a little while for a furlough while the kids are still small & let Grandma & Grandpa see them & help a bit with them. Maybe you're tired, maybe you're weary, maybe you just can't take it anymore for awhile! Maybe you really do need to go home, a furloughed soldier, till you get a little rest & a little recuperationR&R, & can get rid of some of your problems, & maybe inspire your families, friends & churches to help you more!

43. EVEN OUR BACKSLIDERS MUST BE PRETTY REFRESHING TO THE SYSTEM!—Especially if you're not really backsliders but just need a rest‚ a change awhile. Well, I can see all kinds of advantages. Of course, some of you are pretty far from home & it would be a little expensive. But if & when you did come back, then we'd know you had it & really wanted to come back. Jesus help us!

44. MEANWHILE, LIKE OUR FIRST HOMEGOING‚ IT WOULD CERTAINLY PUT THE LIE TO ALL THIS LYING PROPAGANDA! I haven't heard of any of the rest of these outfits ever doing that, have you?—Sending all the kids home at once! Well, we've already done it once!—And we wondered then if they would come back, & if they did, how many? But I tell you, we were amazed how many come back!—And do you know what?—They brought others with them! Think of that! A lot of them went back & got their brothers & their sisters & their friends & brought them back with them!

45. THEY REAPED ANOTHER HARVEST AT HOME, & CAME BACK WITH MORE! We actually wound up with more in the long run than we had to begin with, just by sending them home! A lot of them hadn't been home for months or years, & their folks hadn't seen them & didn't realise what a change had taken place in them! They were living samples & living repudiations to the lies of the Devil!

46. WHAT EFFECT DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD HAVE ON THE GENERAL PUBLIC IF WE REALLY PUBLICIZED OUR HOMEGOING? If we announced it to the world & let them know? Lots of people think you're prisoners, "But this Guru is telling them all to go home! They've all gone home!" What kind of an effect do you think it will have? It will be quite a blow to our Enemies' propaganda, to prove to the public that they are lies!

47. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, LIKE SOUR GRAPES, OUR ENEMIES COULD COMFORT THEMSELVES WITH‚ "WELL, AT LEAST WE WON! WE GOT RID OF THEM! THEY DISBANDED & WENT HOME! They gave up!—Ha! We won!" Sometimes, one of the smartest things you can do is to make your enemy think he's won!—Make him think he has accomplished his purpose. That's really what happened when we got out of the States—when we had the Great Escape, one mass Exodus!

48. SO OUR ENEMIES QUIT BOTHERING US! They quit annoying us & going after us tooth & tong the way they had been doing. A few of us who were left there did get some persecution from Black Lightning & other deprogrammers. But I would say on the general massive scale, our organised enemies & the press quit massively attacking us.

49. HOW COULD THEY?—WE WEREN'T THERE ANYMORE! They quit having these big blasting propaganda drives‚ inspired by our enemies. "Why worry?—The Children of God have left the States! They're gone! They're not here anymore." It was in the headlines of the newspapers all over‚ coast to coast! The first Homegoing did the same thing for us for awhile too, the same way. It got a lot of publicity in the States. Both the Escape & the Homegoing did us a lot of good.

50. WHEN THEIR TARGET DISAPPEARS THEY'VE GOT NOTHING LEFT TO SHOOT AT! The game was over‚ as we'd disappeared into the forest. And the enemy feels like, "Well, we accomplished our purpose!: We scared them away at least! Maybe we didn't shoot them or capture them, but at least we scared them away!" I wouldn't expect us all to go home, but you can go home if you want to.—It might do you good! It might do your family some good! I don't know. On the other hand, if nothing else.

51. I PLAN TO KEEP AT LEAST THE SKELETON STAFF ALIVE & AT WORK & KEEP GOING & KEEP FEEDING THE BODY.—EVEN IF IT'S AN INVALID WE'LL TRY TO KEEP IT ALIVE!—Even if it takes a little forced feeding!—Ha!—You follow me? So I think it's just about time for another Homegoing! (—And we did!) You say, "Well, what would WS do if everybody left & went home & didn't litness or anything & had no income to give?—If all went home & had to live on Mom & Dad & welfare for awhile, or even if they got jobs etc?—Maybe they'd forget all about us!—Or stop giving to WS!"

52. EVEN A LOT OF OUR BACKSLIDERS STILL LIKE TO HEAR FROM US & GET THE LETTERS & FAMILY NEWS! I don't like that business of calling them all backsliders just because they visit home! How do we know they are backslidden?—Maybe that's the best they could do! A lot of them still consider themselves a part of the Family & are doing their best wherever they are‚ & still want the Word!

53. BUT EVEN A GENUINE BACKSLIDER WHO HAS LEFT THE FAMILY FEELS LIKE AN OLD ALUMNI! Once in, they're still curious about the Family & what it's doing now & all their old friends, & "What's MO writing now?—What kind of a crazy doctrine is he off on now?—What're his latest predictions?" etc.—They still want the Letters & the Family News & to know what's happening.

54. SO WHATEVER HAPPENS, EVEN IF ALL THE FAMILY GOES HOME OR HAS TO GO HOME OR IS SENT HOME OR DRIVEN HOME, IT'S NOT THE END OF THE FAMILY!—And it's certainly not the end of the Letters, that's for sure! We're still going to be sending them as long as I'm able & God keeps givin'm! We may have to trim down a bit here & there, or slice off a little fat, frills or non-essentials to keep going. We may not even have to have a personal mail-answering service! Just tell them, Sorry, Kids, but since you guys have gone home, we just don't have enough people left to answer mail. Keep writing us, though. We'll read 'em, but just don't expect an answer!

55. YOU'LL STILL GET THE LETTERS FROM ME IF YOU'LL SEND IN YOUR REPORTS & YOUR TITHESIf you still want to get the Letters & keep them coming! You could do that even if you went back‚ & got a job! You can still give to the missionaries still in the field, & for the Letters. That's the way most churches are run: Good night!—They've only got 2 to 3 missionaries on the field for every 97-98 people back home supporting them!

56. IF I KNOW YOU KIDS‚ even if you all had to go home & back to system work, I believe you'd still want to hear the Letters from us & hear the Family News, etc.—Wouldn't you?—Sure you would! GBY! So the End is not yet‚ even if you all go home! I believe you'd still support us & the Letters & Family News & Komix & missionaries!—etc.—Amen? Amen! PTL! GBAKYAMYAB! WLY!—D.