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ridgewalker777
07-10-2009, 11:46
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

Lone Wolf
07-10-2009, 11:49
go town, get what you need and go back to the woods. for free. ya don't need no stinkin' hostel

flemdawg1
07-10-2009, 12:11
Is your conscience or soul worth a night of lodging? That's a very black/white way of looking at it. Or you can look at it like a time-share stay, is the night there worth having to sit thru the pitch?

MOWGLI
07-10-2009, 12:16
When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives?

Can't you answer that question for yourself? I mean... you'll get 100 different answers here. Not sure how that's gonna help you.

The simple fact that you have to ask that question makes me think you're not comfortable. I suggest you follow your instincts.

Rockhound
07-10-2009, 12:24
12 tribes has their belief system but they don't push anything on anyone. As for being a cult I disagree although I have jokingly refered to them as such in the past also. I had my concerns prior to staying there, as you do, but my fears were quickly allayed. They are happy giving people whose agenda is to be kind and hospitable to weary hikers, not to recruit or push their religion on unsuspecting travelers. If you are there and have questions they will be more than willing to discuss their beliefs with you but again, without being pushy. It's a great hostel. I have been lured into a private household before by signs advertising trail magic and although the food was wonderful it was painfully clear that it was only offered so they could push their religious agenda on hikers. If you happened to be of like mind I'm sure it was a good experience but if you didn't embrace their belief system it made for an uncomfortable experience. I will not name names so as not to offend but if you would care to PM me I'll give you the heads up.

Johnny Thunder
07-10-2009, 12:47
Just show up and see for yourself. I stayed there for two nights and didn't feel like I was being indoctrinated AT ALL. My buddy Blaze stayed for 32 days when his Lyme became Meningitis and had him layed up with a heart port. He said they were nothing but cordial and allowed him to stay doing work for stay for over a month. They invited him to their meetings and he wasn't thrown out for turning them down.

I can't tell you for sure how YOU'LL feel. That's what makes you, you. Go check them out. If you're put off by the tribe you'll be put off by a whole mess of other hostels/angels along the way. In my opinion the church members spent less time trying to "get ya" than members of other more traditional religions. YMMV.

ridgewalker777
07-10-2009, 12:50
Having researched their background, I am well-aware of their agenda: That all other religions than their own are bad and evil, especially the Catholics and Protestants...They have an enemies list, where they turn people "over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh"; or like with "Alexander the coppersmith", "the Lord 'reward' (i.e. punish) him according to his works." They tell some of these people that some morning you'll find that the wrath of God has fallen on your head. This sort of thing is more common with evil "covens" than with supposed believers in Jeshua.

The larger problem is whether accepting someone's hospitality is a form of complicity with their belief system. I was hitch-hiking in Vermont, got picked up by a guy in a pickup with a copy of "Blueboy" on the seat. The inferance was clear. I didn't consider the ride complicity. However, staying with a religious type of person could be construed as acceptance of their dogma. It looks like the TT group is being boycotted in Ithica, NY.

Christus Cowboy
07-10-2009, 12:59
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

While I agree with Mowgli on this one in terms of the diversity of answers that you will receive, I can understand why the question is being asked. Generally, I wouldn't patronize an establishment where that would be an issue. For me its not so much whether I agree with my benefactor on 100% of my religious or philosophical views but rather do they extend the same level of respect that they expect of me... I've been on the hiking side and trail magic side of this and generally, I try to be very gracious. Personal views and philosophy really doesn't come into play for most of my interactions, some people ask and I willingly share but I don't beat a dead horse and try to be sensitive to the audience that I'm with.... As for ulterior motives, there are some places that I would definitely stay away from because what they represent but I do believe there are many church based hostels which provide an invaluable service and do so because their faith compels them to. While they are quite open about where they are in terms of faith most of them strike a pretty good balance of providing a service to hikers as a church ministry and making sure they are not leading folks into an ambush.

Lemni Skate
07-10-2009, 13:14
I was a pastor of a Baptist Church. Our members debate things around this. We did lots of things for people in the community. My policy was always to just do the good thing for the person and not start unwanted evangelism. That is, I didn't want anyone to feel like the price of me repairing their roof (or whatever) was that they had to listen to a lecture (or sermon) or whatever.

Some people in the church felt differently. They felt like every time you had an encounter with someone that you had to ascertain their relationship with Jesus and to tell them all about it.

I really think the two things are different. You do things for people because it's nice to do things for people.

I would always make sure people knew they were welcome to come to our church and that they could talk to me about anything, but to just randomly start giving someone a sermon (or whatever you want to call it) just seems counter productive.

I don't imagine Jesus doing that. Jesus seemed to teach people who were interested. They came to see him. He didn't send the Disciples out fixing house so people would listen to him. He just spoke and let them come to him (though the fact that he had done some nice things probably helped stir up interest).

I never have forgotten that Baptists were once considered a cult and were persecuted because we were in the minority and taught what some considered heresy. Baptists are pretty much the reason for religious freedom in the United States (yes, sometimes we forget this), so I have always made it a point not to attack people with other religious beliefs. I state what I believe and why and will point out how it is different than other people's beliefs, but I will not attack them for those beliefs (as long as they're not sacrificing children or something).

I don't know anything about this group, but I wouldn't have a problem accepting their kindness if they offered it and expected nothing in return. I'd do the same for them.

Lone Wolf
07-10-2009, 13:30
ult? http://www.goodmanson.com/2005-11/02/is-the-twelve-tribes-a-cult/

Jeff
07-10-2009, 13:31
One of the active members of the Twelve Tribes in Rutland is a former southbound thru. He understands what hikers are all about and I have only heard positive feedback about them.

Lone Wolf
07-10-2009, 13:33
cult? http://www.goodmanson.com/2005-11/02/is-the-twelve-tribes-a-cult/

http://www.twelvetribes-ex.org/body.html

ridgewalker777
07-10-2009, 14:26
Thanks, L. Wolf for the links. We're probably both now on "the list".

In the former link, the letter to Bob Pardon from "Yoneq" is particularly telling. A completely paranoid attack with Bible verses provided against someone who would have the audacity to question the exalted leader's authority. Have these folks ever admitted their mistakes, offenses or abuses of others?

FactNet, which tracks Cults, has a section on the Twelve Tribes.

Johnny Thunder
07-10-2009, 15:29
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

Ridgewalker,

It seems after reading your most recent posts that you simply want to talk about the Twelve Tribes in terms of their cult status. They are one...I feel like that's an indisputable fact among the people who're going to read this. Let me return to your two original questions. Otherwise, please refer to the hundreds of other posts on this subject.

"When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult?"

Accepting hospitality is a problem whenever you feel uncomfortable in the presence of the guys with the keys. If at any time in your WHOLE REGULAR LIFE you feel uncomfortable with a situation leave. This includes every scenario possible. I think that of all the places I stayed last year the one I should have left was that divey maroon motel on the way into Bennington. Thinking back, I should have just walked down and asked for my money back. I found all the religion-based providers to be cordial and accommodating.

"Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? "

Yes. Duhhh. Yes. Seriously, dude, I can't believe this is even a question for you. I mean, think about it on it's own for a second...remove the tribes from the equation. If you were a woman would you stay alone in a stranger's house just because he picked you up from the trail? Likewise, would you go to a B and B that'll fatten you up with "free lunch" knowing that you'll probably get vortexed into staying the night?

It is all up to YOU. No one else can tell you what to do or how to feel. Just realize this:

A number of trail service providers are religious-oriented. Often, they won't accept money but they might ask for some of your time and attention in prayer or discussion. It's up to you to decide if you can stomach this because; frankly, their business is saving souls. And in these times of want and woe, business is booming.

Just be aware of it. Pretty much any group praying to "God" started out the same way as the Twelve Tribes have and most don't have as clean a record, relatively speaking.

Rockhound
07-10-2009, 15:38
IMO the biggest difference between most "cults" and any of the major religions is the number of people who belong to them.

Panzer1
07-10-2009, 16:12
from what I know about cults, they don't like strangers, and don't want to associate with "outsiders". They are suspicious and distrustful of "outsiders". I don't think that describes the 12 tribes.

Panzer, my 2 cents

MOWGLI
07-10-2009, 16:14
I've got some friends who belong to Reverend Moon's Unification Church. That's often referred to as a cult. I would trust my kids with these folks more than almost anyone other than family. And that includes my BIL the Jehovahs Witness.

Like Johnny Thunder, I too think that Ridgewalker just wants to talk about these folks as a cult. I kind of alluded to that in post #2 of this thread. If you can make a decision to hike the AT, you can make a decision about whether to stay at a hostel like 12 Tribes or not. If not, you should probably stay home.

12 Tribes has a restaurant here in Chattanooga called Yellow Deli. I patronize it regularly, as the food and service is good and my daughter's dorm is right behind the place. I don't leave a tip there however. The servers don't get to keep the tips. All tips go into a general fund to keep 12 Tribes operating. I don't tip when the server doesn't keep the $$. My money. My decision.

beakerman
07-10-2009, 17:32
Ridgewalker,

If at any time in your WHOLE REGULAR LIFE you feel uncomfortable with a situation leave. This includes every scenario possible.

I don't know about this particular tid bit of advice...I went to India last fall and was completely uncomfortable with the prospect of doing it and when I first got there I as still uncomfortable but once I figured out that chaos was the system and just went with the flow I rather enjoyed it and won't miss a chance to go again.

If you always avoid those "uncomfortable" situation you never grow as an individual. You should always push yourself to experience new things. Keep an open mind but no so open you brains fall out. Note this is not the same as unsafe things nor am I saying compromise your beliefs. Maybe I define uncomfrotable different than you.

Pedaling Fool
07-10-2009, 17:37
Iíve witnessed these people that "trap, trick, lure (whatever)" thru-hikers in for "trail magic" after a required sermon.

I think thatís BS, but who is worse here?

These crazies that are trying to convert some wayward souls, OR, the thru-hikers that stick around for the sermon because they want some food.

I get a kick out of listening to the thru-hikers bitch about having to sit through the sermon in order to eat. To me, that just shows that thru-hikers have no self-pride; theyíre only a mere step (a very small step) up from a begging dog.

Thatís why thru-hikers are candy-asses.

Johnny Thunder
07-10-2009, 18:00
I don't know about this particular tid bit of advice...I went to India last fall and was completely uncomfortable with the prospect of doing it and when I first got there I as still uncomfortable but once I figured out that chaos was the system and just went with the flow I rather enjoyed it and won't miss a chance to go again.

If you always avoid those "uncomfortable" situation you never grow as an individual. You should always push yourself to experience new things. Keep an open mind but no so open you brains fall out. Note this is not the same as unsafe things nor am I saying compromise your beliefs. Maybe I define uncomfrotable different than you.

You're right...for use in this discussion I defined "uncomfortable" in narrowest of terms. Most people who know me on here know that I prescribe to the "may you live in interesting times" maxim. "Uncomfortable" was the wrong word but I couldn't think of one that's better.

beakerman
07-10-2009, 18:09
Iíve witnessed these people that "trap, trick, lure (whatever)" thru-hikers in for "trail magic" after a required sermon.



Yeah I never understood the reasoning behind the hostility that some folks have for religion. I'm an atheist--probably the only atheist scoutmaster in the world--I never get upset if someone wants to pray over their food. i might get a litttle concerned about it...is it so bad they need devine intervention to make it palatable;)? Or even if someone wants to pray for my mortal soul. Hey I'm big enough to acknowldge i may be wrong. Someone has to be wrong about religion and i figure what harm can there be in someone expressing concern for my eternal well being or shoot even my safe passage between where I am and where I'm headed?

I think it's wrong to accept hospitality in any form then complain about it regardless of the sales pitch that went along with it. If you don't ever want to find yourself having to listen to someone tell ou about what they believe then stay at home in you little corner of the world weher you can have an enclave of folks that think exactly like you. If your faith or lack there of is so weak that a little preaching or giving thanks at meal time is painful then perhaps you need to reevaluate your belief system anyway. It's caled having manners..you listen to the viewpoints of others.

Dogwood
07-10-2009, 18:29
12 tribes has their belief system but they don't push anything on anyone. As for being a cult I disagree although I have jokingly refered to them as such in the past also. I had my concerns prior to staying there, as you do, but my fears were quickly allayed. They are happy giving people whose agenda is to be kind and hospitable to weary hikers, not to recruit or push their religion on unsuspecting travelers. If you are there and have questions they will be more than willing to discuss their beliefs with you but again, without being pushy. It's a great hostel.....


I agree. I've stayed at The 12 Tribes 3 times while hiking the AT and LT. Never had a problem. Never felt uncomfortable or was compelled to do anything that I wasn't prepared to do in anyone else's home. No, I don't wear my own hand-made clothing, grow a long beard, worship like them, have given over all my possessions to them, or am married to one of the members of the 12 Tribes, etc. No one has ever tried to push anything on me while I stayed there. They have always treated me with respect and I likewise do the same towards them. If you lend them your ear, yes, they will share their beliefs with you, as I'm sure anyone will. If you feel uncomfortable staying with them then don't. Plenty of other places to stay in or near Rutland while hiking the trail.

Dogwood
07-10-2009, 18:39
It seems everytime 12 Tribes is mentioned it gets into this long winded dicussion/debate about God and/or religion. In the end Ridgewalker77, you have to ask yourself, "am I OK with sharing/accepting something with someone who doesn't share my exact brand of morality or beliefs?" or "how tolerant of others am I really?"

Frosty
07-10-2009, 22:38
Baptists are pretty much the reason for religious freedom in the United States (yes, sometimes we forget this), I wasn't aware of this. Could you elaborate, please? PM is fine if you don't want to post it. Thanks.

Frosty
07-10-2009, 22:42
It seems everytime 12 Tribes is mentioned it gets into this long winded dicussion/debate about God and/or religion. In the end Ridgewalker77, you have to ask yourself, "am I OK with sharing/accepting something with someone who doesn't share my exact brand of morality or beliefs?" or "how tolerant of others am I really?"The 12 tribes are tolerant and okay with others who don't share their beliefs? I don't know much about them, but reading the links Wolf posted above, I do not get a feeling of tolerance and accepting other beliefs.

ridgewalker777
07-11-2009, 10:40
The "complicity" issue is a complicated idea. Is "feeling uncomfortable" a sound basis for accepting or rejecting something? I prefer right reason as a basis for judgment. My bias is as a Bible-believing traditional Christian. If a gay person wants to give me a ride, fine, as long as he doesn't look to convert me. There are levels of sophistication with various people's belief systems and what they are trying to achieve. I'm fine with a benign sermon as a condition for hospitality. But if it's a guilt-tripping, Bible-thumping, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sort, I say pelt the preacher with rotting fruit. The guy who frequents the "Yellow Deli" is in a good position to button-hole the leaders, who to my knowledge, live there. But I doubt he has the nerve.
The question is: "Do they have an 'enemies' list?" How does this comport with Matthew 5,6, and 7? They say they are the only ones who really keep the Bible. Good. Then they need to be accountable to what they say they follow...

modiyooch
07-11-2009, 11:42
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.
ok, I'll bite. Use discernment, and based on that discernment act accordingly. We need to be careful, as not to fall. Typically, one gets tested where he thinks he is the strongest. I think it's more of an issue of protection of one's beliefs, as opposed to appearing as complicit. Be careful where you dabble. May cost more in the long run.

Mountain Maiden
07-11-2009, 11:53
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

My Mother had a simple solution for questions like this:

"When in doubt--DON'T."

Hasn't failed me yet.
S
PS She also used to say "When you think you ought to--you should!"

weary
07-11-2009, 12:04
I would never stay at the 12 tribes just to get free lodging and food. I would probably stop out of curiosity -- to see for myself a place that has drawn so much ire on White Blaze. I'd even go to their meetings if invited. I like to explore new ideas and perspectives.

But then I'm a confirmed non believer. I doubt if I would be tempted by any of their actions and kindnesses.

Weary

rambunny
11-07-2009, 19:56
Ya know alot of homeless shelters will give you a meal & a bunk for the price of listening to their belief.I agree that things should be up front for the hiker to decide where if anywhere to lodge.Have never heard anything bad about 12 tribes,i would like to state that every hiker has a grievious responsibility to only pass truth not gossip. It shocks me when someone asks me about gossip that is 15 years old about places on the trail.My reply is always-you are not doing enough miles!

Jack Tarlin
11-08-2009, 11:37
It's pretty simple: If you feel remotely uncomfortable or uneasy about a place, you should probably find somewhere else to stay.

And on another note, Mowgli mentioned above that he wouldn't tip at a place where the management keeps the employee's tips, presumably without the customers knowing where their money was actually going.

Hmmmm.

I have plenty of friends who are servers at restaurants, and I not only wouldn't tip at a place that cheated their employees and customers in this fashion, but I probably wouldn't want to eat there either. In most places, it's not merley unethical for management to keep their employees' tip money, but it's also patently illegal.

Spokes
11-08-2009, 15:26
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

It's a Zen thing:
I knew some hikers who were uncomfortable answering the famous "dinner question" at Elmer's but they still ate and paid $$ their room stay there.

Hmmm, did each act cancel out the other?

The Weasel
11-08-2009, 15:41
Hospitality can be selfless, or it can have an agenda. Often you won't know which it is until you've accepted it, and you can be surprised to find out that you've guessed wrong; a church group might provide food or a place to stay with no evangelism other than knowing that it was from that church, yet someone else with no visible ties to any group may offer a bed, dinner and begin a screed about their beliefs and your need to accept them. If you're succeptible, for any of a number of reasons, to being preached at, or if such things rub you the wrong way, the only safe bet is to decline all offers. If you're willing to risk it, accept them. But even where you disagree (or don't yet agree) with the "lure," try to be nonjudgmental in your attitude. Not just to be polite; in the event that the "cult" ends up having the One, True and Correct Word of God(s), it is useful not to be on their 'doom list.'

TW

Jack Tarlin
11-08-2009, 16:06
There's a third alternative, Weasel: One can accept the hospitality, and if the situation then becomes unpleasant, one should leave.

I know of several people who were invited into someone's home near the Trail and were offerred desert and coffee.

Everything was lovely until the hosts informed the hiker that due to their present religious status, in addition to being on the A.T., the hiker was also on the path to hell.

The hikers thanked their hosts for their hospitality and immediately left the house.

Nobody should ever stay where they don't feel comfortable or respected.

The Weasel
11-08-2009, 20:09
Too true.

TW

Jack Tarlin
11-08-2009, 20:13
I wish I could remember the direct quote (and I'd also like to cite the source), but I recently read "Just because you're convinced you're on the right path, don't assume you're also on the only one."

There are undoubtedly some places and folks on the Trail (as elsewhere) who would do well to learn this.

Reid
11-08-2009, 22:13
1 John 4:1

Jack Tarlin
11-08-2009, 22:21
Yup. And it's reiterated in even stronger terms in Matthew 7:15.

Reid
11-08-2009, 22:29
I wasn't aware of this. Could you elaborate, please? PM is fine if you don't want to post it. Thanks.

Not sure about freedom but if you trace back your local hospital and other institutions formed in goodwill you will see that they are all founded in Christian principles.

As for other religions, I'm not prepared to say they are not valid in any way. But I do know this. Jesus Christ himself said that "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me." Now the Bible also cleary states that God has the ability to judge the intentions in our hearts so as I Christian I do believe that you will see Jesus when you die but that he also can judge us accordingly so that yes, even other religions can be exceptable at times. I know the OP didn't ask for my thoughts on religion and here we are again debating it. But I do know that often when the sun is high in the sky and everyone's feeling great there's often no need for God. But even the Atheist, as he lies in his bed at night alone and the world comes rushing in and our thoughts and dreams and our view of reality.....words will only bring down to life and make seem stupid and feeble....then he'll believe.....if only for a minute. If you were wondering......no, you can't have a conversation about religion without me jumping in and running my own agenda out of my mouth.

Reid
11-08-2009, 22:32
Yup. And it's reiterated in even stronger terms in Matthew 7:15.

That's a good one.

mister pooh
11-08-2009, 22:32
Not sure about freedom but if you trace back your local hospital and other institutions formed in goodwill you will see that they are all founded in Christian principles.


Yes, I'm sure Mt. Sinai in New York and Touro Infirmary in New Orleans were founded in Christian principles :rolleyes:

weary
11-09-2009, 12:44
...if you trace back your local hospital and other institutions formed in goodwill you will see that they are all founded in Christian principles.
.....
I suspect it would be more accurate to say that such institutions stem from the evolution of human behavior over the millennia. The "fittest" societies -- and most successful religions -- form institutions in response to goodwill principles.

Weary

The Weasel
11-09-2009, 13:13
Reid (and others tempted to emulate him) should realize that when, as he does here, he feels compelled to jump in and 'testify' about Jesus and how atheists always 'believe for a moment' in the dark of night, they are demonstrating why a lot of people - including believers and some who might be receptive - don't want to take the chance of going where there will be unsolicited evangelism. Thanks, Reid: You've just shown that Christians can't be relied on to leave the "sell" out of any captive discussion. Doesn't matter whether it's here, and someone reads the messages, or in a hostel, where someone has to listen to it. (Yeah, I can skip the messages, and I can put earplugs in when I'm in a hostel.)

If this thread invited discussion about what Christians believe and why, and how atheists really weren't unbelievers (if it wasn't closed, as this one is now likely to be because of you), that would be much like a thru-hiker initiating a "what do you believe" discussion in a religious hostel. BUT THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN HERE. Instead, like the "captive audience" evangelising that Jack (I think; sorry if wrong) correctly says is a breach of courtesy, you do the same thing.

Sorry. This topic isn't about what beliefs are good, bad, smart or stupid. It's about whether a hiker should willingly stay at places where the hosts' beliefs are likely to be shoved down his throat. You've just made it harder for some people to stay places that are religiously oriented, including the ones that (unlike you) don't push their belief system.

TW

Slo-go'en
11-09-2009, 13:39
Sermon and a meal - a tradition which goes back at least 2000 years. I believe fish was on the original menu.

Reid
11-09-2009, 13:42
If you were in a burning house would you be mad that a fireman saved you? You don't have to take anyone's hospitality. But are you firm enough in your beliefs that you'll not waiver like a ship tossed in the sea when you hear things? Breach of courtesy is a preety bold stance. Someone's tag say's bondage of self.....what a concept. I assure you that Christianity is the only thing that doesn't bond you in the world. People are in bondage to sin. The smoke......the drink.....the pride. Close the thread if that's the case, it bears no consequence to what I'm gonna do.

The Weasel
11-09-2009, 13:49
No, Reid, closing the thread may not affect you, but it will affect others, and for the worst. If you want to fish for men, it's more effective to use bait rather than force. This isn't a "religion" thread and, out of courtesy, you should restrain yourself.

Which does, of course, raise an interesting counter-point to the OP: If you're a non-religious hostel or home-stay provider for hikers, and someone accepts your hospitality and starts evangelising you or others in your home, what do you do then? How much "religion" should such a hostel or home "tolerate"?

TW

The Weasel
11-09-2009, 13:54
Sermon and a meal - a tradition which goes back at least 2000 years. I believe fish was on the original menu.

Actually, according to one set of beliefs, the 'tradition' comes from one of the original "thru hikes" from Egypt into what is now Palestine. The food - manna, they called it - just rained down from heaven, without any sermon.

TW

Jack Tarlin
11-09-2009, 13:56
No, one doesn't have to accept anyone else's hospitality, and yes, people are generally happy to be saved by firemen. I'm not sure anyone here would dispute either of these statements.

However, when you offer someone kindness and hospitality SOLELY in order to tell them your feelings about their spiritual state, i.e. if your kindness and hospitality would not have been offered unless you planned to do this, well in that case, your "kindness" has an ulterior motive, and Reid, sometimes, this is not appreciated. Many people view their spiritual life as a very private thing and they neither require nor appreciate strangers advising on it, commenting on it, or most of all, passing judgment on it.

Or to put it another way, if one's house is on fire, sure, they're happy to have help putting it out, and they sure appreciate the help. But when someone is quite sure that their house is NOT on fire and that no outside assistance is needed or wanted at that point in time, well if you show up and douse their home with 10,000 gallons of water anyway, they're probably not gonna appreciate this.

Sometimes people need to spend more time watering their own houses and gardens, and pay less attention to how other people water theirs. :-?

The Weasel
11-09-2009, 14:01
Mirabile dictu, that I agree with Jack 100% on this.

Jack, your take on the 'wandering evangelist' who accepts hospitality and then starts up?

TW

Reid
11-09-2009, 14:04
I can spot a Christian from a mile away or at least within the first ten minutes of talking to them. I can also spot burning houses.

John B
11-09-2009, 14:13
.............

Jack Tarlin
11-09-2009, 14:16
This has happened several times, Weasel, either at my own place, or at other places where I was in charge of things.

On several occasions someone I knew to be REALLY serious about religious matters announced that he was going to say grace. (Please note: He didn't ask if he could, which is the polite thing to do at a table that is not one's own....he basically announced it as a fait accompli).

I said: "Actually, I believe that the people here hail from all sorts of places and backgrounds, and I'm sure that each of them expresses gratitude for things in their own way and at their own time, and that's the way it's going to be here."

Meaning by all means do what you will under your own roof or when seated at your own table, but when you're elsewhere, don't take for granted that everyone wants to hear....or share......your entreaties to the Lord.

Your relationship with your Creator is YOUR business, as other people's relationship with him or her is THEIR business, and I honestly think it's best to keep it that way.

Reid: Has it occurred to you that you can "tell a Christian" within ten minutes of conversation because you make it a point to ask people personal
questions about their spiritual lives? Because I don't honestly believe that you can tell this from what THEY'RE saying, i.e. not every Christian one meets or speaks with imparts this information in casual conversation.

So if you can discern someone's faith after just a few minutes conversation, I suspect it's because you go out of your way to try and discover it, and with all due respect, when it comes to meeting and conversing with strangers, this is really none of your business.

JokerJersey
11-09-2009, 14:39
I can spot a Christian from a mile away or at least within the first ten minutes of talking to them. I can also spot burning houses.

You must have really good eyes. I can barely spot any kind of person from a mile away, let alone a Christian. How do you recognize them from so far away? Is it the aura of self-righteous indignation? You should figure out how to patent that technology regardless. I'd pay a pretty penny to have the ability to know which people are going to annoy me from a mile away.

The Weasel
11-09-2009, 14:40
Jack: Thanks for your response, but I think there's more for you to say, since you're the only person active here that I'm aware of that has a house rather than a hostel and has invited quite a few people in. What do you do when someone 'doesn't stop'? Or if they do a whole variety of things? This isn't a 'Christian' thing, only; there are a variety of different belief systems that can be intrusive or deferential. Have you had to ask someone to leave? Under what conditions would you?

PS: Those who, like Reid, think they can identify Christians (or almost any other religious group) at a distance usually are wrong, both on who they "recognize" and those whom they miss. Those who disagree might view this short video which, by the way, you will see is pretty much on-topic, when you see the 'credits'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Wu8iplJ1E

TW
TW

Jack Tarlin
11-09-2009, 14:48
No, people get the message. I've on several occasion told people that we generally tried to avoid discussing religion and politics at either the table or the campfire and people are pretty good about respecting this, i.e. I've never had to really admonish anyone or God forbid, ask them to leave the property because they wouldn't shut up. (There was a pretty obnoxious chanting Buddhist one year but that was more amusing than troublesome).

We've only had to throw out a handful of people here in 15 years, and invoking the name of the Lord was never the reason they got the boot.

I assure you, Weasel, there are plenty of worse things to find a house guest doing than praying. :eek:

And no, you don't want to know what they are.

Cookerhiker
11-09-2009, 15:03
.......Sometimes people need to spend more time watering their own houses and gardens, and pay less attention to how other people water theirs. :-?

Or as the Jesus said in the Gospels: "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye but do not notice the log in your own eye?" - Matthew 7:3, Luke 6:41-42.

The Weasel
11-09-2009, 17:02
*** And no, you don't want to know what they are.

Are you sure about that? :D

TW

WritinginCT
11-09-2009, 18:59
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

I've stayed at church-based hostels before (and I'm an athesist) and generally have no issues. But then again, I truly believe in "to each his own" and respect that others have their own belief systems. I think the idea of respect goes along way in the type of experience a person will have at these types of establishments. I will generally listen respectfully to whatever they have to say and I'd estimate that about 99% of the time I am treated with respect in return. I'm very secure in my own belief system and have never felt "pushed" to join any of these groups.

Then again, I'm also the type of person that doesn't get offended if someone else wants to say grace or if there is a plaque with the "Lord's Prayer" hanging on the wall. You have to make up your own mind what you're comfortable with.

Reid
11-10-2009, 00:13
I'm telling you the truth.

ShelterLeopard
11-10-2009, 11:23
I haven't read any of the other responses yet, so if I'm repetitive, I'm sorry.

I stayed at the Twelve Tribes Back Home Again Cafe hostel last September (2008), and I thought it was very nice. The people were welcoming, the hostel was clean, and I did work for stay, which not only meant that I got to stay for free (for one of the two nights I stayed), but I got to talk to one of the girls who is part of their commune as I helped her sweep out and clean the hostel rooms. They also gave hikers a good free breakfast, and I bought several loaves of their (really good) bread there.

They never once asked me about my religion or tried to tell me about theirs. They asked about how my hike was going and all that, but never even approached the subject of religion. (Though in the morning when the other hiker who was staying there and I had breakfast before the restaurant/cafe opened, they were playing some very religious music- but that's their thing. It was what they liked to listen to while they worked, and I had no problem with it.)

Bottom line- it is "hospitality"- you don't need to accept it, they don't need to give it, if you feel uncomfortable, you are more than welcome to leave. (As well you should- if you feel that they're only using their hospitality to lead up to an ulterior motive, then it isn't very hospitable of them).

Bottom line- it is all up to you. Don't like their ideals? Don't stay there.
Sorry if this is a bit all over the place- I'm REALLY tired.


This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

ShelterLeopard
11-10-2009, 11:59
Hmmm- after reading this full thread, I do have to say that I don't think religious discussions have a place here on whiteblaze. You really shouldn't even have had to ask the question <<When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives?>>. You should be able to answer this yourself, and I think you really want to talk about religion and cults.

And to frosty- maybe you should meet these people before you pass judgement about them. Websites that say a religion is a cult may be slanted. So may be the site made by those of the religion. Don't just jump to conclusions based on one given site. They really are very tolerant and very nice.

And Mowgli, as to not tipping, true, it is your choice. But it is also their choice to belong to a commune- they share everything, so I'm not surprised that tips go into a communal fund. (Unless of course, people from outside of their commune work there- in which case, they really should be receiving their tips- but I know that isn't the case in Rutland. Only members of the commune work in the cafe.)

Quite honestly, Ridgewalker, you sound like a tiny bit of an extremist yourself.

weary
11-10-2009, 13:53
I'm telling you the truth.
You're telling what you believe to be the truth. Having spent a lot of time over 65 years reading, thinking and studying such matters, I can say with some certainty that the evidence that your truth is true is a bit flimsy.

Weary

Reid
11-10-2009, 14:28
You're telling what you believe to be the truth. Having spent a lot of time over 65 years reading, thinking and studying such matters, I can say with some certainty that the evidence that your truth is true is a bit flimsy.

Weary

Did you mean to leave prayer off of that list?

Alligator
11-10-2009, 15:21
Time to move back to the question in the opening post.

ShelterLeopard
11-10-2009, 22:00
True gator- and I like your tag line poem/ quote.

white_russian
11-11-2009, 12:25
I stayed with the 12 tribes for six days. I did work for stay and they treated me great.

There was one time where I was somewhat given a "sales pitch" about their group by a guy that was trying to join. Later on I found out they were having problems with that guy and not going to let him join. None of the real members said a word about their faith without me asking out of my own curiosity and even then they talked in a descriptive and not a persuasive manner.

They invited me to their sabbath gathering and I was curious so I attended and observed. They sung and dances and discussed their faith in a manner more authentic than most Christian worship services. The was they did communion was a bit strange, but still honored Jesus. I do have questions about what goes on behind closed doors. The women seem very submissive and the age gap between their husbands was huge. The children do seem out of touch with the outside world as well. Even with these questions I still believe that they have a few things that Christianity could learn from them. They have some good and some bad and hopefully eventually what they do have that is good can be taken and applied to further advance other people's understanding of how God wants us to live. They are at least trying to live their faith, they may have seriously screwed some aspects up, but they are trying harder than a lot of Christians that don't do much more than worry about their "fire insurance" policy.

ShelterLeopard
11-11-2009, 12:36
Honestly, for the purposes of this thread and site, all any of us needs to know is that they are kind, very hospitable, provide a safe and comfortable place to stay and never, ever tried to press their beliefs on anyone (as far as I've heard and experienced myself).

superman
11-11-2009, 12:49
This is a complicated problem that I am looking for help in thinking through. When is accepting hospitality a problem when you stay, as with "The Twelve Tribes" in Rutland, a known cult? Is it better to spend the $$ instead of staying with a person(s) who has ulterior motives? I would appreciate feedback on this issue, especially with the current economic crisis, we can't always we moral purists in deciding whose hospitality we accept. However, there is a saying that the cheapest accomodations are sometimes the most expensive in other ways.

It's real simple. Bring enough bucks to hike your own hike. Most folks only get to thru hike once in their life...if they're lucky. Bring enough bucks to have no regrets. I try to not even look at hostiles and the cheap Charlie places. I look for a reasonably nice hotels and restaurants. My AT hike could be described as the quest for the perfect prime rib. I'd go back to the trail rather than listen to a bunch of cult drivel. :-?

weary
11-11-2009, 13:38
It's real simple. Bring enough bucks to hike your own hike. Most folks only get to thru hike once in their life...if they're lucky. Bring enough bucks to have no regrets. I try to not even look at hostiles and the cheap Charlie places. I look for a reasonably nice hotels and restaurants. My AT hike could be described as the quest for the perfect prime rib. I'd go back to the trail rather than listen to a bunch of cult drivel. :-?
Some of my best memories of my long walk in 1993 involve time spent in what you might call "cheap charlie places." My handful of motel stop memories have long since faded away, along with the occasional prime ribs.

I do remember vividly the pancakes fashioned out of a 50 pound bag of pancake mix and cooked on a wood stove at Rustys and the dinners and breakfasts at hostels here and there along the trail. And even a Sunday lunch at a Pennsylvania Church.

I wasn't restrained much by funds. I did want to experience the trail in all its aspects. Somehow, motels and prime ribs didn't loom very high in that priority. Those are available everywhere and at anytime.

Weary

ShelterLeopard
11-11-2009, 13:49
Some of my best memories of my long walk in 1993 involve time spent in what you might call "cheap charlie places." My handful of motel stop memories have long since faded away, along with the occasional prime ribs.

I do remember vividly the pancakes fashioned out of a 50 pound bag of pancake mix and cooked on a wood stove at Rustys and the dinners and breakfasts at hostels here and there along the trail. And even a Sunday lunch at a Pennsylvania Church.

I wasn't restrained much by funds. I did want to experience the trail in all its aspects. Somehow, motels and prime ribs didn't loom very high in that priority. Those are available everywhere and at anytime.

Weary

Well said.