LETTER from JASON HEWLETT
On June 26, 2019, Hometown Oneonta published an opinion letter that I wrote with the intention of honoring and defending a local sect most people know as “The Twelve Tribes.”
I want to apologize to everyone who read that letter, especially in Oneonta, for misrepresenting those people. Since I used to visit them on and off for many years, I know from firsthand experience that they claim a monopoly on “the body of Messiah” and God’s approval, and that without joining their sect no one has God’s approval and the best that non-members can hope for is a mediocre place in heaven.
The problem with such theology is that it creates pride, competition, and division among Christians and other churches, defeating the purpose the Twelve Tribes have and claim to live by namely to love and be united with all other believers.
The strongest point I tried to make in my June 2019 letter, was that no one in their house or restaurant has ever abused their children and that their accusers were wrong for saying they do. The problem with child abuse is that it’s very difficult to prove when the children are happy, content, and most notably, brainwashed by their parents.
This is the case with the children who are living in the Twelve Tribes. So because I now know this, I will think twice before honoring and defending a church or sect without knowing all the facts about them.