Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Peace-Loving Anabaptist Tradition"

Sexual Abuse Among Anabaptists

In a statement to WFAA Homestead Heritage defends their position by making an appeal to Anabaptist beliefs by writing "We find our spiritual roots in the 500-year-old peace-loving Anabaptist tradition, which stresses simplicity and an absolute commitment to nonviolence." On their website Homestead sarcastically says to "[j]ust look at those who have kept these moral boundaries the most intact, such as the Amish and Mennonites, and we should expect to see vast numbers of pedophiles compared to the population at large." Putting aside the fact that their "spiritual roots" lie in the United Pentecostal Church International, of which there are some who do not think very highly of them, let's take a closer look at the "tradition" that Homestead chooses to identify with.

Monday, December 28, 2015

"Is Grandpa Saved?"

Judging Others' Salvation

In a Sunday service at Homestead Heritage on September 22, 2006, the discussion was about "Is Grandpa Saved?" This meeting was eventually transcribed and printed in book form to be distributed to members. The following are a few paragraphs from this 74 page booklet.

Disclaimer: According to Homestead's beliefs you, the reader, will now be accountable for the "greater light" you receive in this teaching. To reject it means you reject God. By continuing to read, you agree to not hold or its author responsible for any resultant change in your salvation status.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Priority Of Covenants

"The Body Subsumes The Family"

Another false allegation is that Homestead Heritage is not conducive to a healthy family, members say. The truth is that group needs are never placed over family needs. It’s only logical, they say, because without the family, there would be no group in the first place.
Allegations to the contrary are actually self-indicting, group members say. If a member were to do something as former member Bob Beechner claims he was required to do — leave a pregnant, bed-ridden wife to work on church literature — that person would be behaving irresponsibly. All a member must do in such a scenario is explain the situation and the group will gladly understand, they say.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Who's In Charge?

Understanding The Apostolic Ministry

In a Waco Tribune-Herald article titled, Homestead Heritage fights back, disputing claims of deception, abuse, Homestead claims that: 
The group is led by a contingent of 20 men called ministers who are similar to what other churches call elders. Although the group was founded by Blair Adams, he has no more authority than the other ministers . . .

Friday, December 18, 2015


The Cost Of Leaving Homestead

Homestead stated in an article from the Waco Tribune-Herald called "Homestead Heritage fights back, disputing claims of deception, abuse:"
Certainly, Homestead Heritage takes it seriously when someone leaves. Such people are generally shunned, at least partially, because they’re breaking a commitment to God to live out their Christian walk in the context of that specific body, members say.
But Homestead Heritage also believes there are other Christians every bit as sincere as they are. They also believe people have an obligation to leave Homestead Heritage if they fail to keep walking in “greater light” — meaning greater revelation from God — or if they feel called to leave by God.
All Homestead Heritage asks of such people is that if they join a church with “greater light,” then tell Homestead Heritage leadership where it is, leaders say. So far, they haven’t learned of any group with a greater amount of revelation in all areas, they say.
But it’s possible, even probable, such a church exists, members stress. They just haven’t found it yet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"The Tithe: A Biblical Mandate"

The Problem With Proof-Texting

Homestead's website has a page called What We Believe. It states:
We hold that, though all Scripture is profitable when rightly applied, the New Testament alone gives the explicit and definitive guidelines for the church and Christian life, and in no way can the Old Testament any longer be used to justify State churches and their persecution of dissenters, as if the church were merely the Old Testament natural nation of Israel superimposed on the Gentiles. (emphasis in original)

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Slime In The Ice Machine"

Homestead Market's Restaurant Report Card

No, it doesn't say anything about slime in their ice machine. I'll explain that later.

Homestead Market says that it:
. . .seeks to provide customers with the finest locally sourced, natural and organic foods. Many of its products are from local and family operated gardens, farms and orchards in central Texas.
The Butcher shop features a quality selection of locally raised grass-fed and all natural beef and lamb, authentically pastured chickens and eggs and high quality fish.
Also available are delicious artisan baked goods, organic milk, butter and cream, cleaning supplies and more. (Source)
One has to wonder if they are actually putting those cleaning supplies to use.


When A Church Uses Scientology Tactics

The term Dead Agenting refers to the practice "in which Scientologists attempt to discredit critics."  (Special thanks to Deana Holmes for introducing me to the verbiage.)
Used as a verb, "dead agenting" is described by Hubbard as a technique for countering negative accusations against Scientology by diverting the critical statements and making counter-accusations against the accuser; in other words, to "attack the attacker". Source

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Special Mention


Uncovering Systemic Church Abuse

I had the opportunity to see this movie last weekend.  

It's the story of the Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team as they worked to uncover the systemic cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Since then, scandals were uncovered in many cities and countries. You'll see the extensive lists on screen at the end of the movie.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Streisand Effect

Scrubbing The Internet

For those who may be unfamiliar with the term Streisand Effect, it is defined as "an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information" with "the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet." Barbara Streisand gave name to this effect when she tried to remove pictures of her home from a website showing erosion of the California coastline. The media picked up the story, drawing "more than 420,000 people" to the website. Ooops.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Churches That Abuse

Emmaus Christian Fellowship

Before changing their name to Homestead Heritage the group was formerly known as Emmaus Christian Fellowship. Part of the group lived on property in Colorado, and part of it in Austin, Texas.

It was during this time that they came to the attention of. Dr. Ronald Enroth, former Professor of Sociology at Westmont College and author of Churches That Abuse.  He writes on p.56:

When It Rains On Your Parade

Have Another Parade

(Got To Keep the Cash Flowing)

For the first time in 28 years Homestead Heritage is holding their Fair for another two days. It seems the rain was a little messy for them during Thanksgiving weekend. The crowds were a lot thinner than usual, which means they couldn't serve as many visitors didn't make bank as they anticipated.