Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Brief Musing on those beneath the Rank of Apostle

Dave Pack says of HWA and himself...
" But they will not come with us—God’s true Church—because they are being deceived by false leaders about what The Restored Church of God teaches—and about what Mr. Armstrong actually taught.
“Yet they are all HUMAN. They are ALL subject to error, and so are YOU—and so am I—and so is this Work of God. Even though it is God’s Work, directed, empowered and blessed by Him, He carries it on through frail, weak HUMANS, and we humans are ALL of us subject to mistakes!’

Translation:  God can't get us to get it right through the power of inspiration and whatever the role of a Holy Spirit that is suppose to guide us in all truth, whatever that means.  And YOU make mistakes too.  
“…Repent means CONFESS YOUR SINS …”

Observation:  Yes it does Mr. Pack.  We're waiting and "the prophecy is still very much 'on''' does not count.

“If I were looking for God’s one true Church, I would assuredly look for one that had confessed and corrected its errors! For all have had them—even the early churches…”

Observation:  I wouldn't. Gospel Jesus promised it would be lead and guided in all truth.  There is nothing in the NT about the church being prone to futsing up but correcting itself.  The self does not correct all that well and only after the Sheepy Sheep wake up and grumble. 

“Any criterion that assumes God’s TRUE Work through humans is absolutely perfect, unable to be wrong or make mistakes or hold to any error, is a false measuring stick and will mislead you.

Observation:  It's not a criterion thing.  No one I know thinks humans are "perfect."  But most do observe that those who think they are , especially those who claim divine guidance, are the most difficult to stop because they are not prone to thinking it is their own views and not that of any deity that runs the show.   You can't spend years saying "God says", "Christ is now wanting us to..."  "Jesus tells us..."  when they don't and be prone to admitting it. 

“You may ask, do I, then, feel that we in this Work are full of errors, misleading the people? MOST EMPHATICALLY NO! We have not had to correct error many times. But each time we have corrected an error, we have had one fewer error left. If we KNEW of any error still remaining, now, we wouldCHANGE it! If and when we find one in the future, we shall correct it! The one who follows that principle is the MOST FREE FROM ERROR!”

Observation:  It's also not a "we" thing.  Most members and ministers quietly are uncomfortable with the errors of Apostles and Joshuas but say nothing.  They hope it will be obvious to the Apostle soon enough to save them from having to speak up or caution the Apostle.  Apostles aren't real good at listening or using that multitude of counsel thing.  Think gyrating agreers on Dave's "counsel."  One should rather say, the many, not the 'one' who follow that principle.  When  the one has to be convinced they are full of poo poo, it takes way too long and the damage is done.
I and The Restored Church of God do the same. Mr. Armstrong continues:
Observation:  Yes you do...
“So, confessing such an error is one of the SUREST proofs to identify the people through whom the living Christ IS WORKING—and whom HE is USING!

Observation:  No it isn't.  You don't find the NT Apostles confessing to any missteps, misinformation or misapplication of scriptures, of which there were plenty.  They set the president that readers can never question the content and proofs of their views.

“If you are looking for a leader who claims that he is PERFECT, and you think you have found him, and he is human, HE IS A FALSE LEADER. There is ONLY the ONE Leader who is perfect today—and He is theLIVING CHRIST! We follow HIM—and we trust you, with us, will do the same.”

Observation:  No one does that.  Only the brain dead would be looking for a leader like that especially in religion.  You are merely playing humble and "only human" here to get yourself off the hook.  It's easy to "trust" a being that does not actually make himself known in any comfortable or confidence building way.  Everyone says "we follow Christ."  Paul did and the other Apostles told him, "No you don't"

It is quotes like these from Mr. Armstrong that are often used out of context by splinter leaders who hold offices below the rank of apostle. They claim, “We can change (translate: overthrow) teachings of Mr. Armstrong because he admitted he got things wrong.” They cite Mr. Armstrong for authority to change what they absolutely have NO AUTHORITY to change!
Observation:   Uh oh... "Below the rank of Apostle"?   There is the problem.  Dave believes that HWA was the only one who could correct the problems.  Of course that means that the one man must admit to them instead of cursing those who did not agree with him.  Paul did that too when confronted and that's not a compliment or example of how it should be done. The Ephesian Church in Revelation tried those who said they were apostles and found them wanting or inadequate and liars.  Jesus congratulated them for that. That was a bottom up thing and not a top down thing.  Bottom up accountability is safer than top down declarations of truth and from which only correction and change can come.    Dave is noting that the reason your observations about him or HWA are wrong is because you are not of sufficient RANK to make such judgements.
Dave Pack is no real Apostle.  He has been horrifically wrong about all his delusional writings about himself as spoken of by the Prophet Haggai.  His ideas are just that...ideas.  They are uncomfortable ideas and will always blow up in his face as this has.  He has disappeared to regroup and recover.  I am very sure he has suffered losses we will never hear about.
Dave's "Christ" was not in any of his ideas about himself.  Or may it was if he is one of the many who make claims about coming in Christ's name and claiming Jesus was the Christ,  but actually do not when you consider the message and missteps made by ego.

Don't Let Your Apostle Make You Sheepy
Speak up to Fake Authority

Friday, November 22, 2013

Eric King Predicts DIRE Christmas Shopping Season and VIOLENCE in Hospitals

Armstrongism's greatest living prophet crackpot is back with his end of the year predictions.  King believes he has a 100% accuracy when it comes to prophetic brain farts.

This time it is a DIRE Christmas shopping season and violence in hospitals because they did not join Obamacare.

I predict that this shopping year for ‘2013 Christmas’ will be dire. The economy will show just how much it has slowed down by what we will witness. I have warned that all the pagan holidays should not be kept by true Christians. I have taught and informed true Christians just why this is so. What will we witness this Christmas and during the other holidays, now in 2013? We will see poor people do desperate things. We will see the middle class spend way less than ever before. We will witness those who have been repressing their anger explode with violence. Our SOCT teachings have warned about this type of behavior. Our people [COGSR/SOCT] are not left in the dark. We are awake, aware, and alert to what is happening in these last days.
King then goes on to make other "prophecies" that are ripped right out of he headlines and then ends with this. 
Also, we can begin to witness that Hospitals will close and many doctors will go independent due to Obama Care. The Liberals will accuse the hospitals and doctors of being greedy because they refuse to join the Obama force. I predict violence will begin to occur at hospitals.

The Passing of M.T.Hall

Exactly 50 years ago today was my parents 25th Anniversary.  Hard to forget since it was the also the day of the JFK assassination.  The party went on but they were glued to the television.  I was 13.  

Bare with me and please allow me to post my dad's obituary.  Mom passed nine months ago at 96 and dad two weeks ago at 97.  Dad was an Elder in WCG for a number of years after most of my family followed my sister and myself into WCG in the '70's.  Over the years our family grew to 3 full time pastors, 2 local elders , deacons and deaconesses and some pretty dedicated folk.  30+ in all counting the kids.  None are now in any of the splinter groups, that's not the Diehl way evidently,  and have found their way back to the churches or types of churches in the family before WCG.  Mom and Dad returned to their roots with the Memorial Orthodox Church just down the street from their home of 75 years.  They made a very large circle back to those pews that I sat in long before my feet could touch the floor.  Same pews.  The sanctuary, when at mom's memorial service, looked as it did when my parents first started there in the 1940's.  Exactly the same.  That's stability and something there would be precious little of in the WCG experience.  I am glad they went back to their roots.  

I wanted to honor dad somewhere for his life in WCG and this is the only place left to me.  Dad was the kind of gentle man who could stand up to the Dave Pack's of the Church.  He took Dave and other's ideas and "orders" under advisement" very often.  "Under advisement" meant , "Hell, no!"  LOL  That was dad.  

Emp T. Hall

Dad wrote Joe Tkach Sr. towards the end days for WCG to "thank" him for his reckless change and ridiculous "leadership."   The Rochester Church was falling apart and he signed it "M.T.Hall" because the church hall was mostly empty then.  Thus my occasional use of "M.T.Hall" here on Banned.  

I am not sure I have been or could be the man I perceived my dad to be but we had much different stories in life.  He lived two streets over as mom's paperboy from the house mom was born in.  They bought a home, ONCE, across the street as kids in their 20's and stayed put.  That was not my own story for sure.  Dad worked one job at Kodak for 45 years and lived to see Kodak thrive and die.  He worked 8-5 , five days a week with every weekend off and lots of vacation time for the Adirondacks.  I believe mom and dad's longevity was due the stability of staying put and one job for life that just got better and better.  Those days are gone.   Moving all over creation for the WCG , much less the endless WCG drama as it affected both ministry and member, took its toll on the family, the finances and the friendships.  The contrast growing up in a very stable and fun family with my own WCG experiences probably lead to the anxiety issues that came up later in life.  While many learn coping skills early in the game. I learned them later as a minister and in the transition from that to whatever more normal was or is.  Transitions can be messy and painful. The price has been high and regrets and feeling badly about outcomes aplenty at times. My former counselor told me "That was your story and this is yours.  Don't compare them."  That helped.

So here's to my dad.  Mr. M.T.Hall.  
I retire the moniker

Diehl, Frederick
William Jr.

Rochester: Our Dad, Frederick William Diehl, Jr., age 97, a dedicated servant of God, peacefully returned to his Heavenly Father on November 3, 2013, nine months after his loving wife of 75 years, left his arms. He exemplified Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” You always walked away from time spent with him believing you were smarter, stronger, better, and more capable than before.

He was predeceased by his son-in-law, Jim Rosenthal and his precious great-grandson, Matthew J. Frederick Gnage; best friends Neil Muller and John Peters.

He is survived by his loving children, Diane Rosenthal of Saratoga, Nolee and Ron Feiock of Rochester, Frederick III of Rochester, Dennis of Greenville, SC, and daughter-in-law Karen Diehl of Columbia, SC; his adoring grandchildren, Robyn Francis, Aimee (Warren) Lucas, Sarah (Mark) White, Jennifer Butler, David Rosenthal, Eric (Kimberly) Rosenthal, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Diehl and Christopher (Katherine) Diehl; his pride and joy, great-grandchildren Nicholas and Jacob Schell, Lindsey Gnage, Riley and Hunter Lucas, Max White, Zeia Rosenthal, Sheridan, Nicholas and Vivian Diehl, Magan, Lilly and Ryan Diehl; sister-in-law Thelma Peters and very special niece, Alice Geldof and her husband, Jerry, who gave so much time and love to his care.

We would like to thank the staff on 6 South at St. John’s Home for their dedicated care and most especially Dad’s aides who brought him so much laughter for the last and hardest nine months of his life.

To accommodate the family, a memorial service will be held December 28th at Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 650 Merchants Road, Rochester at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Denise Muses...

Dear Dave,

Please don't be offended I called you Dave.  We are just too close for me to call you Mr. Dave.  It makes me feel icky and like there is a large gulf between us and I pray there is not. I so miss you.  

You said in your last letter that would be your last for a very long time and it has been and I miss you. I haven't heard from you in over six weeks and I am afraid you have forgotten me.  I'm staring at your pictures and remember the moments you made me laugh.  I read your many letters to myself over and over and miss the hundreds of hours you poured out your soul to me when you revealed yourself as Joshua the High Priest. I know that wasn't easy and I respect you for doing the hard thing. It's not easy to unlock the Bible Code on your real identity and I so respect just how you did it.  No one knows the Bible like you do!!  Let them laugh all they want. We know what happens to scoffers.  You just be strong.  I am so proud of you! I miss you. You are the only Joshua High Priest I know and I don't want to lose you!  None of my friends have a Joshua High Priest as a personal friend!  They are so so jealous when I tell them all about you!  :)

Oh sure, I was hurt when you sent me your 35 ways to get back into your heart. I didn't want to sell my soul or leave my brains at the door but now I will!  I will do anything if you just write again.  I was upset when you wrote your special letter to some of my minister friends  You said your letter would correct them but ultimately inspire, but it didn't much and that's ok!  I was inspired!   I like it when you correct me!

I was a fool to think getting back to you would be easy and I was angry, but I never thought it would end this way, and I'd be missing you so.  If there might still be room in your heart for me, please write more. I hang on every word and I save them just incase you disappear again as I think you have.  Please don't be ashamed of your mistakes.  Ghastly days!  I make them too!  It's all good!  We can be together again and just start over.  I know you have many more thoughts to share.  I gyrate just thinking about you and them.  Sorry...I'm a bad girl I know! :)

 I can't tell you how thrilled I used to be to see it was a letter from you.  I waited every friday hoping against hope you would write and I wait still.  You are so special to me.  Without is just not the same.  The joy is gone and I find myself reading over your old letters just to believe you are still around and relive those moments of awe. 

I know winter is coming and you will be very busy in Ohio. Winters there are harsh so do dress warmly and take care of yourself.  I was looking through a Kentucky Race Horse catalogue recently and you can get Mahagony and Teak snow fences of all things.  Very nice stuff.  When I saw it, I immediately thought of you.  I'll help you put it up if you want me to .  I'll do anything to get close again. They even have very nice quality and easy to use snow shovels for younger people so your students can help dig out and you won't have to have the parking lots plowed.  That can save you lots of money over just one winter and it will keep your students busy and less likely to have impure thoughts. I have impure thoughts at times too of course.  I will help them shovel if you will just let me. They will just be so tired they won't have time!  Lol. I can picture you smiling now.   I just want to be helpful if you will let me.  We can be close again if only you will write.

Oh Dave, where are you?  Please write me again and continue to tell me all you are up to.  You are so awesome.  I don't believe I have ever quite met anyone like you.  Oh maybe back in the late 70's, I am not sure, but really never anyone like you. Oh sure, I hurt you over your broken promises of last summer, but I can let that go. I have hormonal imbalances and it shows sometimes.  You could heal me with your knowledge of herbs and vitamins! I will pay full price for them and expect no discount just because we are so close...or were until you stopped writing me.   I was hurt and only wanted to protect you from those who would make light of just who you really are, but I know you didn't mean to hurt me.  It just happened.  I was crazy and such a fool.  I miss you.  Please keep writing those special letters to me.  

I send my love and hello's to those wonderful and crazy 16 agreers that have been so helpful to you this past year.  I feel so good knowing you have them to encourage you and hope they feel inspired to tell you to write me so please do!  I'd be careful not to disagree your agreers  lol!   I know the prophecy is still "on" and just pray that I am still on with you.  If I am being brash or harsh, I don't mean to be. Please don't be mad at me.  It's the chemical imbalances talking, not me.  I got them from my previous career.  It happens!   I have to go to work now. I have a full schedule of clients so will be too tired to write when I get home late tonight.  I miss you.  Write and announce again soon!

Anxiously Waiting and Lonely in Greenville

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bob Thiel Off In Search of the Lost Ark

Why is it that so many of the splinter cults have to imitate everything that HWA did.  When the WCG imploded all the archaeological digs that the church was participating in ceased.  Then Flurry had to start his version of the "dig".  Now Thiel is going to send his cult members over to dig around Israel too.

It has been suggested that the physical ark of the covenant that the children of Israel had was patterned on one in heaven, thus it could still be on earth.  If it will be found, there is a small chance that the Continuing Church of God may have some involvement with it as we are considering involvement in an archeological project in Jerusalem in the area known as Mt. Zion. On October 24, 2013, while attempting to take some photos and to video some of the remains of the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill, I was approached by a Jewish rabbi named Avraham Goldstein of the Diaspora Yeshiva who claims that the Ark of the Covenant is below that building on Mt. Zion of the Western Hill.

I love the fact that another Rabbi latched on to another American sucker for funding.  Another great way to waste tithe money.

The Bible shows that well after Solomon’s sons would have died, that the Ark was still in a particular part of Jerusalem:
35:1 Now Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the LORD. 3 Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the LORD: “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the LORD your God and His people Israel (2 Chronicles 35:1-3).
So what happens if Thiel and crew find it?  Are they considered Levites because he self-appointed himself?

I presume that if the Ark of the Covenant is shown or publicly claimed, some may wish to more thoroughly examine it. However, if it is the actual Ark of the Covenant, this would seem to be quite dangerous from a biblical point of view:
1 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. 3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. 5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.
6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:1-7)
Only Levites were supposed to move the Ark (cf. Deuteronomy 31:25; Joshua 3:3), and that is what David finally realized. Non-Levites, like Uzzah were never supposed to touch it.  Though, since there was a change in the priesthood in the New Testament (Hebrews 7:11-12), it may be that ministers that God accepts could move or otherwise handle it.  It may also be that it no longer has any special holiness any more.

"Science, falsely so called." Part II

" is literally true.  It says so right here"

I know what the Bible says very well, from Genesis to Revelation.  Most here on Banned do because if it is one thing the WCG experience gave a person, it was an overview of what the characters in the Bible said and believed was so.  As I have said recently, my Calvinist upbringing in the Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church the first 18 years of my life also gave me quite a background from an early age on what the Bible says and who's who.  I was constructing shoebox Tabernacles in the Wilderness and Jerusalem from a very very early age.  The typical Sunday consisted of morning church from 10 to 11:30,  Sunday School where I learned "Run Sam, Lockup Jack.  Dogs Never Get Anything In Zoos, Just  Beatings," which informed me how to remember the 12 Tribes of Israel.  Sunday evening there was again Church services with "Madchen League" and "Teens" meeting from 8-9 pm. In second grade we were memorizing whole chapters and competing with each other not to make even one mistake in repeating it or we were out.  I had to memorize the Westminster Confession of Faith  in stages from age 12 to 16.  It's what our Dutch parents and ancestors expected of us.

"The confession is a systematic exposition of Calvinist orthodoxy (which neo-orthodox scholars refer to as "scholastic Calvinism"),[citation needed] influenced by Puritan and covenant theology.
It includes doctrines common to most of Christendom such as the Trinity and Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection, and it contains doctrines specific to Protestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide. Its more controversial features include double predestination (held alongside freedom of choice), the covenant of works with Adam, the Puritan doctrine that assurance of salvation is not a necessary consequence of faith, a minimalist conception of worship, and a strict sabbatarianism.
Even more controversially, it states that the Pope is the Antichrist, that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry, that the civil magistrates have divine authority to punish heresy, and rules out marriage with non-Christians. These formulations were repudiated by several bodies which adopted the confession (for instance, the Church of Scotland, though its ministers are still free to adhere to the full confession and some do), but the confession remains part of the official doctrine of some other Presbyterian churches. For example, the Presbyterian Church of Australia holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith as its standard, subordinate to the Word of God, and read in the light of a declaratory statement.[2]""

There was a short version and a longer Catechism.  I memorized both.  The classic question and the most remembered was..

  "Q. What is man's chief end?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever."

It was also one of the shortest answers as the older one got, the longer and longer the answers to complicated questions became.

There are many many passages of scripture that are very encouraging and true to the human experience.  "The heavens declare the glory of God..."   Scores of chapters in Psalms revealed back then the fears, needs and longings which are not much changed today or we'd not draw comfort and encouragement from them in this crazy world.  It's been crazy all my life and I suspect it has always felt so.  Many New Testament scriptures are very real and encouraging.  Who can not feel what I Corinthians 13 is saying?  It is one the most real and true concepts of love ever written.  I do have a problem thinking the Apostle Paul wrote it due to his other statements about himself and what he hoped the Jews and those who were Jewish Christians would do to themselves or go, but perhaps the man came to his senses as he aged and faced his own death after a few decades of believing he was among the "we" who would be changed and not see death as the billions before him.  "But we see in part..."  I like that...

On the other hand, it takes no work and little real thinking it through to just pick and choose scriptures to formulate one's view of life, its meaning and the possibilities "out there."  Only in the last 25 years have we been treated to the awareness the Hubble Telescope has brought to us.  Our parents and all before them NEVER could conceive of the size, breadth and content of our one Universe.  Only in the last 15 years have we come to identify that most of it is made up of dark matter and energy.  We can now know where and stars are formed and still being formed as we speak.  They are also dying or we'd not be here.  It is awesome.  Just awesome.

The Pillars of Creation-Hubble Telescope

Like it or not.  Agree with the conclusions and implications or not, we have learned more about the actual physical origins of ourselves in the last 50 years than in all of previous history.  Years ago I had my DNA plotted by the National Geographic Genome Project.  I know the route my ancestors took out of Africa , across the Red Sea at Yemen, up into  Iraq,  East through Anatolia, into the Balkans and a passage through the Himalayans to the steppes of Russia with a hard left 35,000 years ago into Europe.  My Y chromosome identify me as a member of the halogroup R1b and has the marker called M168.  It's in my spit and every cell of my body and tells a tale no Bible ever could.  I am a few percent Neanderthal as well which is really wisecracks!

News hominid discovery in situ.  Damanisi, Georgia and not the one South of South Carolina.  

This, while meaningful if one does not assign it meaning it never meant,  is not the same as...

Actually doing the hard work of learning.

...and this not the same as

...discovered by 


No one can really test the claims made of many things spoken of in scripture.  These are matters of faith.  Remember how one of the great ways to "prove me now herewith"?   If you tithed, the windows of heaven would open up for you so that you could not contain it.  Really?  That was just not my or anyone I know, actual daily life experience.  Proving God by getting more money back than you gave seems childish to me.  Sounds like a Priestly thing and not an actual God thing.  Giving money to Priests or Ministers seems a suspicious proof of God to me.  We all know the answer when you notice it does not quite work that way in reality , or as King David said, "in my house it was not so."  "It's YOU that is the problem.  You don't have faith.  Send in more."

One can never actually know who really did or did not say what they are said to have said or not said in the Bible.  These also are matters of faith.  We can't really know what an Abraham or Moses said or did thousands of years ago. I am incline not to believe those today who tell me God told them such and such.   I don't even know what my Grandfather actually said or did in his life.  Their sayings are what the Priests who wrote the books imagined they would have said in such stories.  

In the New Testament, it is well understood that no one actually wrote down what Jesus said alone in the Garden to God in prayer or who was told the contents of Pilate's wife's personal dream about Jesus.   It is what the author imagined Jesus or the wife would say in such a case.  The long winded and detailed speeches in John and Acts were not faithfully reproduced as if they had been recorded and then transcribed.  It was a COMMON writing style in Greek to write what an author imagined the character would have said in such a situation.  It is not a word for word possibility.  Thus what Jesus said in John 13-17, read every year at Passover by some, is what the author of John imagined Jesus would say.  No one wrote it down , had the means or the time to do so and would have gotten it that correct.  No other Gospel writer ever heard on word of it or put it in their version of the story. Try it the next time the President gives a speech.  When the martyr Stephen launches in to a long history of Israel before he is stoned to death, it is what the author imagined a Stephen would have said in such a situation to make the points needed to write the Book of Acts.  Same for Paul, Peter and others.   Notice the Book of Mark.  "Mark" NEVER said, "and then Jesus and I went to..." or "and then Jesus told me..."   The book is not written as an eyewitness account. None of them are. They were "Gospels" and there were scores written that did not make the cut. 

While not my upbringing or understanding as a child, every "thus saith the Lord," or "And God said.."  is what an author imagined God would say.  When that approach wore a bit thin you find many places in the Psalms where the writer laments not hearing clearly the voice of God and wondering "why art thou so afar off?"    Whoever wrote the Book of Job did not record verbatim the exact conversation God had with Job or the three friends had with him.  It is a literary style no different than Neil Walsch's Conversations with God  ,which I read in my final years of ministry and found absolutely refreshing and inspiring.  Written by a human about humans things as they relate to God, quoting God's answers, nonetheless, written by a human.  There is no reason that, if this series is discovered 1000 years from now, it could not become a religion complete with a Holy Book full of awesome answers to the blunt questions of life as said by God himself/herself.  The Bible evolved the same way just over a longer time with many more authors, who did not write harmoniously and in many cases did not check what others had said so they would not contradict it. 

I have my own Bible of 45 years complete with all the COG and AC notes about the meaning and where else to jump to find confirmation other books of my Bible.  I have two pages in Isaiah with the words "Dad..remember pre-teen basketball tonight" written in permanent marker across the pages by my young son.  I have my dad's Bible with a footnote that says, "Worldwide Church of God terminates Dennis" in it with the date.  Dad also footnoted "Matthew dies .  Hit by train" on a back page.  I still find meaning in the Bible but am careful about assigning meanings it never meant to mean.  Is that so hideous?  Is it so terrible to study and learn or grow in both a kind of grace and knowledge that Book challenges humans to grow in?  Did anyone really ever or actually grow in such grace and knowledge?  Some are proud of their new found Grace which they grew into but what about Knowledge?  Does all human knowledge have to fit into the already stated ideas of a book thousands of year old or it is not true?  Is it really intelligent to believe Genesis 1-3 is literally true and then try to fit all of the real discoveries of human origins into that story?  Is that not why we end up with fantastic tales of Nephilim, Annanuki and dinosaurs on the Ark?  Isn't that why we ask "then where are the dinosaurs that got off the Ark?"   Is it not why we force God into the gaps until that gap is filled and he is forced out?  Is that now why some tell you that Adam and Eve , OF COURSE DUH (as they sound) were not the first humans.  They were the first "SINLESS" humans.  Really?  

Is it not better to separate the purpose of the Bible, which is rarely the purpose literalists give it, from the facts as we know them?  Genesis 1-3 has a great Hebrew and Israelite purpose as defined by the Priests who wrote it, but it is not to confirm in an ancient way what we know to be more correct literally today.  

In every class, in massage anatomy,   I taught students that we had "twelve pair of ribs.  Ten are attached from the spine to the sternum and two pairs of floaters attached only to the spine."  I even showed them how a punch to the floaters could leave you in a curled up pain ridden mess on the floor if you knew just where to strike since organs don't like getting slapped by floaters.  Every time I got to that point, a student, always a girl, raised her hand and said, "But men have one less rib right?"   I assured here I knew where she was coming from but said "No, that's just a story."  One got incensed and told me she was going to tell her dad.  I told her to have him get in touch.  Still waiting.  He probably had to explain Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy to her at that time as well.  

The Bible has profound insights and genuine meaning in many places.  My challenge is to separate the genuine and meaningful from the hideous and silly.  It has all those elements because authors bent on explaining their world have all those ways of explaining things in their minds.  Nothing new under the sun and all that. It's not difficult for us to see that today in a Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, Ron Weinland, James Malm, EWKing or a Bob Thiel where we can decide for ourselves if they have anything important or remotely true to share and teach.  I personally have voted no on all of them.  You can vote no on me too if you wish.  Others vote some and still others, but fewer, vote a complete YES!  Just because a personality or author wrote thousands of years ago does not make them immune from The Clarion Call or ideas about themselves as found in the Book of Haggai.  It's just easier to spot today.

The Bible does have a place for us in our culture.  The problem is that far too many make it mean what it never meant or was meant to mean.

While I don't wish to fight about it, I do understand there needs to be a separation between facts and fiction.

“I personally don’t care what people want to believe—this country was founded on religious freedoms. . . I don’t have any issue what you do in the church, but I’m gonna be up in your face if you’re gonna knock on my science classroom and tell me that they gotta teach what you teach in your Sunday school, because that’s when we’re gonna fight.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Physicist and Teacher

COG Felon Ron Weinland Says That COG Members Who Become God's Will Be Dangerous If They Were To Baptize People

Ron Weinland, has been languishing away in federal prison over the last year pinning for the day he is released.  When that day happens he is expecting a huge work to progress to the point where he baptizes hundreds of thousands of new COG members who will flock to him.  Weinland sounds just as silly as David C. Pack.  Pack said the same thing a month or so ago and was proven to be a liar.  Weinland is already a liar, so who is to be believed?

Over the past several years, not only were individuals ordained in many regions where God was calling more people, but also God revealed the need to expand His ministry and teach them how to fulfill their roles so that they would be ready for a “future work.” God led His Church to see that there would soon be a time when He would begin calling large masses of people into His Church, once the final Trumpets begin being fulfilled. Today, God’s Church is prepared to baptize large numbers, even hundreds of thousands, over a short period of time. Also, God has since revealed that although this process will begin just before the Millennium is established, the greatest impact of this will be accomplished in the very beginning of the Millennium.

These PKG members who turn into "god's" in Weinerdudes "kingdom" will be so powerful that they pose an immediate threat to humans if they were to baptize.  Only "fleshly" ministers can baptize.  These are men and women who apparently missed the boat in becoming "god's."

Although some who are in the ministry today will be part of the 144,000, they will not be involved in baptizing once they are in the Kingdom of God. The job of performing baptisms is for ministers who are physical, as it would not be spiritually healthy for people to be baptized by members of the God Family, Elohim.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dennis Muses on "Science, falsely so called."

1 Timothy 6:19-21

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
19 In this way they will treasure up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may lay hold of the real life.
20 Oh, Timothy! Keep safe what has been entrusted to you. Turn away from the ungodly babblings and the argumentative opposition of what is falsely called “knowledge.” 21 For many who promise this “knowledge” have missed the mark, as far as the faith is concerned. Grace be with you.

1 Timothy 6:19-21

King James Version (KJV)
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

As usual, we are not told just exactly the problem was here in the Church.  We aren't told what constitutes vain babblings, fake knowing or science , falsely so called.  These scriptures can be used to resist any idea one does not agree with and are often used so. 

This quote on "science, falsely so called" is telling and typical of literalists who are frightened, intimidated and pis..., angered by the implications of science done well.  This quote goes beyond stupid and is full of lies that the author needs to believe to cope with science done well which threatens his world.

"I’ll go even further: science cannot speak with any authority about when the universe began, how it came into being, or how life originated on earth. Science by definition deals with what can be observed, tested, measured, and investigated by empirical means. Scientific data by definition are facts that can be demonstrated by controlled, repeatable experiments that always yield consistent results. The beginning of the universe by its very nature falls outside the realm of scientific investigation.

To state the case plainly: there is no scientific way to explain creationNo one but God actually observed creation. It did not happen by any uniform, predictable, observable, repeatable, fixed, or natural laws. It was not a natural event or a series of natural events. The initial creation of matter was an instantaneous, monumental, inexplicable miracle—the exact opposite of a “natural” phenomenon. And the formation of the universe was a brief series of supernatural events that simply cannot be studied or explained by science. There are no natural processes involved in creation; the act of creation cannot be repeated; it cannot be tested; and therefore naturalistic theories purporting to explain the origin and age of the universe are unverifiable.
In other words, creation is a theological issue, not a scientific one. Scripture is our only credible source of information about creation, because God Himself was the only eyewitness to the event. We can either believe what He says or reject it. But no Christian should ever imagine that what we believe about the origin of the universe is merely a secondary, nonessential, or incidental matter. It is, after all, the very starting point of God’s self-revelation."

"Science, falsely so called" is one of the great catch phrases and oft quoted ones used by those who simply cannot or will not consider anything other than "God did it" as the answer to how did this all come to be and how did we arrive here.  "God did it."  That's the answer to where did time and space come from.  It is the answer to how did the universe come to be , all the elements , the stars, the galaxies, the planets and life.   The above quote is probably one of the most ignorant and telling quotes I personally have ever read from a person who is trying ever so hard to bolster faith over facts and religion over science well done.  In my view, the bolded comments are simply lies and reveal a profound ignorance on the part of the one who simply cannot allow the concept of science well done to enter into the equation.  Equations are also scary to the ignorant fundamentalist thinker.

Most creationists argue against human origins emotionally and tend to revert  when not well studied or versed in the actual science done well to "God did it."   I think we are all familiar with the concept of "God said it. I believe it. That does it for me."   Well, that doesn't do it for me and while one can be accused by religionists as "ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth...", I consider that a defensive statement spoken when one begins to fear that science done well or even theology , archaeology and history done well becomes very threatening to one's beliefs, which are not truths we should remember.  They are merely beliefs and for some, beliefs can change.  For others, they can not change because it is too threatening and frightening. The reason people argue endlessly over such topics is that one feels they had it all "figured out" and now here comes "science" or "theology" , falsely so called, to screw up my beliefs.  "What are you saying...I am wrong?"   Well, sometimes.  Aren't we all at times?
I grew up saying the Apostles Creed every week from the time I could talk. The Creed, of course, was not written or spoken by any of the original Apostles in the NT Church.  The concepts are too advanced and represent the evolution, may I use that word, of theological thought.  It is an article of faith not facts and theology, not science.  Not one sentence in the Creed can be proven to be true.  Every sentence in it is subject to questioning and is simply taken as a matter of faith.  That is ok.  It is religion after all.    I remember as a child asking  why, if we were Presbyterian, did we believe in the "the holy catholic church"?   That just meant "universal" evidently meaning the whole big church somewhere God only knows.  We didn't have to know where the church wasn't.  We just knew where it was and it was US.  I remained suspicious of the phrase all my life.  Everything the author of the above on his view of science, falsely so called , can be said of the religious and faith oriented Apostles Creed.   The emotional arguments related to science well done versus faith and theological issues are endless.  I don't tend to participate in them myself , even here on Banned, because they are so endless and fruitless.  No one says, or at least I ever read it here, "Amazing...I never thought of thought or knew that.  Thank you for the information. I will search it out more."  Well, I have heard it but it was in dripping sarcasm.


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

      creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit

      and born of the virgin Mary.

      He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died, and was buried;
      he descended to hell.
      The third day he rose again from the dead.
      He ascended to heaven
      and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
      From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the holy catholic* church,
      the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,
      the resurrection of the body,
      and the life everlasting. Amen.

In my older years now, and one only gets older if you are lucky it seems, I can only speak for myself and my own  Creed of Science Done Well.  I appreciate science well done. Highly educated human beings today are not in the business of trying to make fools out of themselves or be considered as such.  While there is always "fringe science" much like the reality of "fringe religion", it is not the goal of scientists in any field to muck up or come to wrong conclusions. I assume it is also not the goal of literalist theologians either.   If they do, the research goes into the pool of knowing and the search continues.   I have grown up in a time where we have learned more in the last 50 years about the how and why of origins than in the previous 100,000 years.  My parents were taught the galaxy WAS the Universe.  Now we know better through the hard work of science done well.  

For decades I soaked in religion. As a child, I soaked in Sunday School and Church and knew most of the Bible, the stories and the characters very well, Old Testament and New,  before ever going into the Worldwide Church of God.  As a child I had shelves of astronomy and dinosaur books.  I spent countless hours as a child and teen at the local library looking sideways at books that may catch my interest. I libraried in the mornings and played hockey all afternoon anywhere I could find a good game.   I don't think I have changed much at all since being a kid and the ministry of the Worldwide Church did not change much of my perspectives on such things along the way.  The stories of creation and Adam and Eve had meaning to the Hebrews who wrote them which I have written about elsewhere, but they were not meant to be scientific in meaning.  The "science, falsely so called, " was not the science of today.  Whatever the writer of Timothy (it was probably not the Apostle Paul) was getting at, and they always never seemed to actually tell us what the problem actually was or the topic of that problem,  it was something that still after 2000 years was not something about science well done.  The problem could have been astrology or the ideas of well read pagan philosophers of the day, but it is not stated.  

I can only think off hand of three problems actually defined in the New Testament as troublesome to the church.  Some were teaching the resurrection was already past, go figure.  Some were teaching that Jesus had not really come in the flesh which seems odd at such an early date and some were mockers concerning the delayed coming of Jesus.  There were other problems of course, but these three stand out as odd problems for the young church.  I always thought thinking Jesus had not really come in the flesh was like denying Elvis or John Kennedy of just a few years ago and that those who got antsy about the promises of Jesus coming again were correct after all.  I have no idea why one would teach the resurrection was a thing of the past in such an early stage of the church but then again I have never figured out just how "nature itself teaches us it is a shame for a man to have long hair."  Go tell Mr. Lion.

At any rate, here is MY Creed.  It does not have to be YOURS.  We are all where we are on whatever the path is.  There is NO chance in this life that any group of people on this earth, religious or otherwise can "all speak the same thing."  There is almost no other more ignorant verse in the New Testament as to how people actually are.  To "all speak the same thing," one would have to be brain dead and hold no personal views.  To "all speak the same thing," one would have to lie to themselves and be one way to the group and hide personal beliefs and doubts about the group way of being behind a mask of compliance.  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE IF NOT DEPRESSING TO THINK THAT ANY GROUP OF PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO ALL SPEAK AND BELIEVE THE SAME THINGS.  To me, that has always been spoken by those who put themselves in charge and want compliance to THEIR thinking.  In the real world, this is just not a healthy way to be as an individual.  It is an impossible goal and suspect at best when the bully pulpit tell the congregation how they must think.   A Dave Pack comes to mind along with far too many others.  

I speak my truth.  You can speak yours.

The Science Done Well Creed

I believe that something Banged and it was Big

I believe that whatever banged has banged many times before creating other universes, both parallel and multi.

I believe there is much more to be learned about this in the thousands of years to come

I believe that what banged produced the hydrogen needed for stars to form , live and die.

I believe that stars that died produced all the elements seen today in our world sufficient to produce billions of galaxies each with billions of planets. 

I believe that life must be everywhere in the Universe, in many forms

I believe this is not the only Universe

I believe life evolves and our Universe took 13.7 billion years to do it. 

I believe that in our genes and in our bodies lie the remnants of countless lifeforms before us.   

I believe in my inner fish, amphibian, reptile, mammal,  ape, Homo  habilis, Erectus, Neanderthalis and Sapien

I believe the trigeminal nerve is so convoluted and long because the fossil record shows our inner ear bones originated in the jawbones of reptiles long past. 

I believe it when told Europeans have 2-4% Neanderthal Genes in their spit

I believe humans uniquely have come to be conscious and aware that we are aware

I believe our conscious awareness that we have a limited shelf life and will die has produced most of our religious needs and thinking.  

I believe religious anger and wars are the results of the threatening nature of the beliefs of others and how it upsets our worldview

I believe science done well threatens theology done badly

I believe in the mystery of human consciousness and the wonder of it all

I believe I am stardust and in science done well

I believe beliefs can change as knowledge increases

I believe that knowledge that increases is a sign of the end for ignorance about just what and who we are in the Universe

I believe in the vast differences between Religion and Spirituality

I believe what I learned in Sunday School about the Bible being earthly stories with heavenly meanings.

I believe what i have since learned about not all earthly stories portray literal events

I believe in the vast differences between Literalism and Reality

I believe reality is always our friend

I believe I like that...

What's Your Creed?
(You know...the one deep inside you and not dictated by others...)