1993, 07/19-22. Moving To The Office. Sleeping On The Floor.

July 19. 1993

Dear Mom,

I finally found a postcard showing the walkway over the Brooklyn Bridge.  I walk over here sometimes.  It’s a nice way to get into the city and to exercise at the same time.

Just came back from a meeting.  Stewart has revised his views on salvation (again).  Now it is possible, according to him, to be “saved” now, but not have “salvation” till we’re in heaven.  It seems that he found some verses in the Greek Interlinear Bible that have the word “saved” in the past tense.  So he had to modify his views, though without quite admitting to having made a mistake.

Everyone takes this calmly and in stride, because whatever Stewart says is the truth – although, for me, I just feel like an idiot.  I never believed his view the first time.  I was aware of those verses already.  You can’t say anything to him though, he doesn’t permit or stand for it.

James.

-*-

July 22, 1993

Dear Mom,

The big move has finally come.  Last night at our little meeting, one of the issues was us who live at Red Hook (Coffey Street) and whether we will continue to stay there or move to the office at 46th Street, where about twenty people live.  The reason being that they never see us, though that is due largely to long work hours.  The decision was ours to make, but it was obvious what the desired decision should be.  The very fact that the subject of the move was brought up was an indicator of the desired outcome of our choices.

So now, off to the office to sleep on the floor.  To crowd into a space where the landlord has already told us he doesn’t want anybody living there!  (Except for a night guard or two.)  Off to the office to bother the Sisters who have to come in every morning to work to see people who have barely gotten up in time from sleeping under the desks where they work.  Some of them make little side comments about the mounting pile of duffel bags (or trash bags) and crates and boxes of belongings cluttering the already crowded office.  But there’s really nothing they can say or do about it.  Off to the office, in order to make the place have an even stronger odor of dirty socks and other assorted odors associated with mass human habitation!  Off to the office so we can all live and work and fellowship together.  And to be “worked on.” It’s all for our good, of course.

Well, there’s not too much I can say, of course.  Plus, there is always the guilt of not having fulfilled one’s obligation of helping the new people, since I am hardly around because of all the hours I work. In this case, I am serious.  The rest, I think is ridiculous.

A little background information is in order here.  I am among those who are “not in fellowship.”  The Red Hook warehouse and the Manhattan office are mere holding tanks for those who need to and are pressured to “escape” and join the right fellowship and help the new ones, at Woodruff Avenue in Brooklyn.

For the present, all roads lead to Brooklyn.  To the big fishtank over there, all living and working together in right fellowship.  Yes, there are many good aspects to our programs but I have doubts as to what is God’s will.

The purpose of all of us, now huddled together at 46th Street in Manhattan, is to have “escaping” and “shaking yourself” meetings, to put “heat” on one another.  But when we get to Woodruff, it’s still all about the same thing anyway.  The truth is, the more they do this, the more I seek to find ways to be alone anyway.

I mailed the letter to David Wilkerson.  He probably has it by now.  What will the outcome be?  I wrote him a description of life here as I see it.  I asked him to call or write Stewart if he thinks he should, and not to say this was an insider request.

Life here is like being awash at sea.  Tossed by waves and flowing with the current.  If I could just touch bottom, I could gain a sense of balance or proportion.  Otherwise, there’s nothing to nail my perceptions down to about what I see that isn’t right, about the harmful, the weird, the pointlessness, the ridiculous.  This, versus all the reasons for why we do things, for why I need to do this or that.  Some of the reasons are quite plausible.  Other reasons, speaking in “oceanic” comparisons, are obviously quite fishy.  Anything I could disagree with, no matter how justifiably, can be chalked up to “my flesh” or “my arrogance,” that I “just don’t want to face the truth,” or that I am “fighting for self.”  The reason I must do all these things, is to be saved from hell.  Fear of hell and escaping hell seems to provide all the rationale, all the motivating force for all these things we do.  We have to live like refugees.  I can’t figure it all out.

Sincerely,

James.

Any letters–send to the 162 Woodruff address.  Any packages, still send them to Coffey St.  They are safer there.

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