Thursday, April 21, 2011

How do spiritual leaders benefit from being abusive?

Here is an interesting little blurb from a web site called My Savvy Sisters

Her comments below describe perfectly the various leaders of the 700 some splinter cults of Armstrongism.

My Savvy Sisters: How do spiritual leaders benefit from being abusive?

Interesting question! The benefits vary from group to group, and leader to leader. It depends on the end goal of the group and the leaders themselves. Some groups are driven by money, and others by power. Some religious groups also exploit sex as well. Other groups serve to meet the psychological needs of the leader.

The primary group leader of a group generally fits a typical narcissistic profile, what some have termed the Machiavellian Personality after the famed Prince Machiavelli. With only casual contact with such an individual, one would never suspect that they had anything less than the highest moral character, but this is just on the surface. In addition to being very charismatic, charming and keenly shrewd, they never show humility, they believe that ethics apply only to the weak (so they are exempt from moral standards which serves their exaggerated sense of entitlement), and they prefer to be feared (prefer an authoritarian style of control). Despite their capacity for arrogance, they can feign compassion and humility impeccably when it suits their objectives, yet they have a very limited capacity for showing true empathy to others. Those who tend toward this profile demand a great deal of attention and praise, and they thrive on the power others surrender to them.

Your question also speaks to a dynamic found within spiritually abusive groups themselves. The sub-status of a type of “middle management leader” that is bestowed on followers within spiritually abusive groups provides “true believers” with status, prestige, and the rewards of approval and worth. Groups promote an external basis of worth, discouraging individuals to derive confidence and well-being from within themselves. The profoundly powerful sense of reward comes with these positions in middle management within the system, and members lust after them because it offsets the discomfort of the shame-oriented control measures used in such groups to control members.

Women Ruling Over Men

Apostle Malm will not be too happy to learn that COGaWA has a woman in charge of a summer camp for church youth.  How soon we all seem to forget that MEN are to remain in charge of all aspects of the church.  Women are not to lead, rule or teach men.  Yeah right!  There are some women in the Church of God who would certainly make better ministers and leaders than some of the evangelists and splinter group leaders today!  On this I do have to at least congratulate COGaWA on doing SOMETHING right!  :-)

There Is No Other Warning Quite As Important As Mine...

Apostle Malm seems to think he and his message are the most important thing on earth right now. He has a word of warning that you all had better be heeding!  Reprobates!  Delusions of grandeur......?

I am coming out very strongly now and I will continue to do so as the Conferences take place and this year progresses.  The brethren and elders will NOT be left without a warning.  This is NOT some game; it is a matter of life and death; now and for eternity.

People Are Wicked And Need To Be Painfully Spanked

Apostle Malm has more wonderful comforting words of wisdom:

Israel was a hard, stubbern, rebellious,  stiff necked people; who insisted on doing things their own way and refused to keep even the physical Covenant with God.  If one adulterer were stoned it would have ended adultery for another generation.  The law was harsh because the people were wicked and needed a powerful example to get through to them that they were living in a manner that would lead to their death.

We must not forget the great mercy of God.  When an evil deed is repeated often, it becomes a deeply ingrained habit.  The quick death of the unrepentant stopped that repetition in its tracks so that these folks could be resurrected into a better world without a deeply ingrained habit of evil to overcome; and with an experience that they would not want to repeat. Capitol punishment is a mercy to the criminal and his victum and to society at large.
 We are now in a society where there is great sympathy for the evil doer and little for the potential victims that are saved by the putting away of the evil doers.  Through this we have become the most wicked and sinful people.  The fruits of our liberalism are obvious.
God is a mighty God, who does his will for the ultimate good of all peoples.  Sometime that involves a hard spanking and some pain, yet it is for an awesome purpose. Who are we to speak evil of our Maker?  Who are we to say that he is the auther and creator of evil?  Are those not the thoughts of Job as he had maintained himself against the judgement of God?

Armstrongites always take great boastful pride in proclaiming that they will become god's and rule over worlds in the world of tomorrow.  Given how mentally ill some of these people are, particularly those in charge of various splinter cults, can you imagine them in charge of a world in the Kingdom of God?   Being sent to Armstrong's lake of fire would be a better alternative than living in a hellish world ruled by these people!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harry Potter vs the Bible--Whats the Difference???

Exodus 4:1-5
And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.
And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared...

Exodus 7: 7-16
And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them: as the Lord had said.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh's hear is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.
And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear."
Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorWith the debut Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and the condemnation of such by the new Pope, perhaps we can ask a simple question that any child would ask if they are raised on the many fantastic stories of the Bible. What's the difference between the Wizardry of Harry Potter and that of Moses, Elijah, Jesus, the Apostles and Paul? It's a short answer for a kid... none.

As with hearing voices in the head, if it is in the Bible, it is the voice of God. If it is from a religious person, it may be the voice of God or it may be the voice of a mental condition that needs to be addressed. If it is from a nonbeliever, it is the voice of Satan or definitely mental illness.

But it is a legitimate question and one that any modern child or teen has every right to ask adult fundamentalists and evangelically smitten Christians.

From the account of Moses turning his staff into a serpent, to Aaron matching the tricks of Egyptian Sorcerers, we have what appears to be for all intent and purposes a war between the Wizards. Of course Moses wins and his serpent/staff eats up their serpent/staffs. Next we go on to Moses turning the waters of Egypt into "blood" to be matched by the Wizards of Egypt. Obviously Moses left a little for them to play with as well but for the life of me the best trick would have seemed to be the Wizards turning Moses "blood" BACK into water! Guess they weren't thinking!

From here we, of course go on to, frogs, gnats, flies, diseases, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and killing of innocent children.

Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. 6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. 7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
 Ex. 8:5-6

Frogs are a nice touch, and add eye of newt to the mix and we are back with Harry.

I suppose we would have to get a good mental picture of this "stretching forth" of hands over the rivers etc to get the same picture of Harry Potter doing much the same, with his wand, in his exploits, but what is the difference? In practical fact, none or certainly not much.

The Wizards of Egypt, like a bad movie script, duplicate the trick rather than undo it. Come on boys, wake up use the force for the good of Egypt! Of course, it would seem that duplicating an act that has already occurred is much easier, in some way, than undoing it. We never really hear just how the water turned blood, eventually turned back to pure drinkable water again. I guess it just cleared up.

One of the more questionable results of animal disease, hail, fire and destruction of animal feed by locusts etc, is that all the cattle and all the beasts and horses die at least three times from what I can tell. They are either diseased, beaten into pulp or starved by the Wizardry of Moses through Aaron. The Wizards of Egypt simply can't compete. They finally wake up and don't kill more animals at least, but can't get the dead ones back either...but wait...maybe they do!

Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 4 And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel. 5 And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land. 6 And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one
Exodus 9:3-6

It does appear all the horses died as well along with the cattle. But.....

"And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: 7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. 8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. 9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea"
Exodus 14:6-9

Miracle of miracles, or perhaps wizardry of wizardry...the Egyptian horses are resurrected for perhaps the second time at least and maybe the third, and strike out to attack the Israelites, but die in the Wizardry of Moses who parts the Red Sea with his serpent/rod and drowns the lot of them.....again. I could be wrong, but I don't think left over dogs or goats from the previous plagues could pull a chariot.

In all the events of the Exodus, what is the difference between Harry Potter and Moses? Nothing...

What's the difference...

* Exodus 14: Moses parts the Red Sea -with a serpent/staff. Joshua 3:16: Joshua parts the Jordan -when feet of Priests touched water
* 2 Kings 2:8: Elijah parts the Jordan -with his mantle
* 2 Kings 2:14: Elisha parts the Jordan -with magic mantle of Elijah
* Kings 18: Elijah calls fire to consume sacrifice
* 2 Kings 1: Elijah calls fire upon 2 army units
* 2 Kings 13:21: dead man resurrects when he touches Elisha's bones
* 2 Kings 2-6: ELISHA: healed waters; she-bears; multiplying oil; unpoisoning food; multiplying food; strikes men blind, not to mention floating axes made to swim "because it was borrowed."

What's the difference between Moses, Elijah, Elisha and Harry Potter? One is in the Bible and one is in a popular book of fiction and adventure, is all.

What's the difference...

* 1 Kings 17:1; 18:45: Elijah commands rain (see also James 5:17) - pretty much a Wizardry thing
* Matthew 8:26: Jesus calmed the storm
* Matthew 14:25, 32: Jesus walks on water; calms a storm
* Matthew 21:19: Jesus withers the fig tree - for having no figs when it was not the season for figs!
* Luke 5:6: miraculous draught of fishes - a calling forth of fish.
* John 2:9: Jesus turns water to wine - Like Dionysus , god of Wine before him, and celebrated by "the Church" on the same day that Dionysus did it.

To a child, all of these are weather and nature related wizardry by any standard, as are the following foolings with Mother Nature and the Heavens in the Bible.

* Joshua 10:13: Joshua stopped the sun, well actually the earth had to stop rotating which went unrecorded anywhere on the planet and no one died elsewhere in the tsunamis.
* Isaiah 38:8: sun went backwards 10 degrees - earth rotated backwards.
* Matthew 2: star in the east brings wise men to Jesus. Wizards show up to honor Jesus. Where was the Rabbi?
* Matthew 27: darkness for 3 hours at crucifixion. Sun drops out of picture or heavy clouds obscure. Could not be a solar eclipse as a full moon during Passover does not permit that phenomenon. No one else on earth notices this either.
A few more..
* Matthew 14:20: Jesus multiplies loaves and fishes - manifesting things that aren't into things that now are.
* Matthew 15:37: Jesus multiplies loaves and fishes again
* Matthew 17:27: Peter gets coin from mouth of fish to pay tax - no one had change?
* Acts 2: tongues
* Acts 5:5,10: Ananias & Sapphira struck dead by Peter's word - nice way to treat the brethren for not handing over the money to the Church. But what does "struck dead" mean? If he struck them, it's murder, if he mentally zapped them, it's murder.
* Acts 9: light from heaven: Saul's conversion - manifesting light being
* Acts 12: angel releases Peter from prison - where was the Angel before I got arrested?
* Acts 13:11: Paul strikes sorcerer blind - hey Jesus struck Paul blind too!
* Acts 16: earthquake releases Paul & Silas from jail - now that is one very vibrationally focused earthquake!

To a child, the only real difference between the events in Harry Potter and the events in the Bible is that each is confined to their own book. The wizardry appears to be the same and thus Papal disapproval or Pastoral condemnation to anyone with even a Sunday School education does not wash. Of course, since it is the Bible, that makes it somehow different, yet it is not. Appeals to heavenly authority fall on deaf ears when one sees that wizardry is wizardry no matter where it occurs.

From the raising of the bronze serpent in the wilderness by Moses to save the snake bitten brethren, to it's worship by the people, storage in the ark and finally it's destruction by Hezekiah, who didn't like it, it's all wizardry. What's with the snake for healing routine? Back then it was "If any is sick among you, let him look upon the bronze serpent, and the look of faith will save the sick." I guess it was homeopathic. Like cures like.
To a child and perhaps even a thinking adult, the book of Revelation also with its signs and wonders, wars, plagues and heavenly hosts attacking the powers of evil and the powers of evil blasting back, is no different from the wizardry of Harry Potter. The symbolism and characters certainly can seem so. Make a movie on Revelation and what's the difference with Harry Potter? Different evils overcome by different powers in the same way it seems.

This is a biblically literate audience. We know the stories and even many profoundly religious types would swear they never read it in the Bible. I had a client who denied tooth and toenail that there is a story in the NT about Mary and Jesus' brothers coming to get Jesus because he was "out of his mind." It's there nevertheless, as we know. (Mark 3:20-35).

With Harry Potter coming again into the public forum with its magic, wizardry and sorcery and now the Pope even lending his disapproval (that no doubt made Ms. Rowling another gabillion bucks), the attacks by fundamentalists against that which seems to threaten the Church and the Bible will intensify. But beware! Sometimes we just have to ask ourselves, what really IS the difference between the Wizardry of Harry and that of Moses and the prophets, priests, and kings of the Bible? I am sure there are excellent apologetics, some of which this may set off, but in truth, the answer is not much.

Dennis C. Diehl

Monday, April 18, 2011

The True Story of the Passover

Endtime Apostle Makes Another Prediction

Apostle Malm is on a roll again today. Did you know that the Abomination of Desolation will be set up this September 28th?  Apostle Malm thinks so.  Well, maybe he does or maybe he doesn't. In the grand style of all Armstrongite false prophets, he qualifies his statement with a "This IS NOT a prediction; it is merely an example."

The resurrection will take place late on the sixth day of Unleavened Bread: The proof of this will be clear if the abomination is set up 1,290 days Dan 12, counting back from a future sixth day of unleavened Bread!

For example: if the sixth day of Unleavened Bread were to be counted back from 2015; and if my count is accurate; and if the sixth day [April 10, 2015]  is accurate with an accurate calculation of the new moon: Then the abomination would be set up on 28 Sep of this year.  If the new moon calculation or my count is not correct then the abomination shouid be set up within a few days of 28 Sep.

Realizing he is a liar he had to add the following qualifier concerning his prediction:

This IS NOT a prediction; it is merely an example. ALL the biblical signs must be present before the tribulation begins!  We do know that the year is now imminent, but we do not know for sure the precise year.

But lest ye think that Apostle Malm is the only fool out there making such predictions check out this Armstrongite moron:  The Abomination That Makes Desolate

This nut job predicted that the abomination of desolation would be happening in the Ambassador Auditorium (God's True House on earth) on August 31, 2010.  Oops, missed THAT one dude!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Have You Thrown Out Your Baking Soda Toothpaste Yet?

 Time is short, the end is near.  Only a few hours till all that leavening needs to be dumped in the garbage!!!!!

Have you cleaned your toaster, checked your suit pockets and pants cuffs for those stray pieces of sinful life that hides in you?

Have you moved the refrigerator from the wall, cleaned out your cupboards in the kitchen and scrubbed the refrigerator?

Have you vacuumed the car for those stray bread crumbs from your morning donut or sandwich on the run?

Have you cleaned your children's toy box for that cookie they lost the other day?

Have you looked at the labels on your vitamins and thrown out the brewers yeast tablets, just to be safe?

What about the baking soda pack in the fridge that is used exclusively to clean out odors?

What about your tube of baking soda toothpaste?

And there's the sodium bicarb that you use in the pool to regulate alkalinity, has it been dumped yet?

What about that box of frozen egg whites that you keep on hand to use in your baking to make your cakes light and flurry, or for that delicious fudge.  Have you dumped it yet?

Have you deleavened your home all by your self or brought in other church members to help you clean?  That is what many of your illustrious ministers and evangelists did and still do to this day.

HWA never cleaned any leavening out of his home or offices, neither did his two cook/housekeepers.  Instead they made employee's come in and clean HWA's home and offices for him.

Students used to have to scrub all the dining room chairs in the Student Center with toothbrushes to get the leavening out.  They also at one point in time had to hand scrub the teak wood floor in the Student Center for all those pesky pieces of bread and cake.  They had to use toothbrushes and toothpicks to get inteh cracks and crevices in the wood. Meredith, McNair, LaRavia and others made custodians come in and clean their homes for them.  Silly sheeple!  Here you could have had others cleaning your houses all along!

The same magical belief system still controls members to this day.  They think they are required to do it, that their salvation is dependent on it and that their works have redeemed them.

Its COG Passover Time!

It is time for Armstrongism's yearly ritual of it's continual crucifixion of someone they call Jesus.  Armstrongism has left its Jesus broken and beaten in college/high school gyms and Masonic Lodges around the country for the last 70 some years.  For most in Armstrongism this is about the only service in the Church of God that really has anything to do with its Jesus. Other than closing a church service with "In Jesus Name..." it is all about Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah and the Prophets of Old and every minuscule thing you can attach to the law.

For decades it was also one of the most secretive services of the church.  Only  baptized members who were approved by the ministry were allowed to participate.  Guards were placed at the doors to keep out any public and for those who had been disfellowshipped.

This is also a night that Armstrongism picks and chooses on how it will observe it.  There are some in the COG that call this a 'bastardization of the true Jewish Passover.'  The COG keeps the parts it wants while rejecting other parts of it. The COG tries to get as close as it can to Jewish law and traditions without ever really doing anything that pertains to Jewish law or tradition.  Like it's interpretation of Scripture the COG picks and chooses what it wants for this night.

Sadly though, this is not a night that brings most members into any kind of relationship with Jesus.  It is the ultimate in power control of the Church over the membership.

For weeks ahead of time the minister stands up preaching that the church members are unworthy worms who will NEVER be able to do what God says.  The members are portrayed as disgusting vile sinners just teetering on the edge of annihilation. Sermons and sermonettes, week after week, will dwell on the unworthiness of members while the enlightened one is up in front of them preaching.  Members are told to examine, reexamine and  otherwise prove themselves worthy to even share the same room as the enlightened humble minister as he prepares to be Jesus' instrument of torture..

This is also the one night of the year that all true members know they cannot miss.  God forbid if they have done something and the minister has told them to not come.  If they miss this night then their sins for the past year will not be forgiven.  Two full years of being an unredeemed filthy sinner will weigh heavily on the members mind.  Because of this, members will do anything the minister tells them.  They will do it through the year when the minister, evangelist, or Apostle tells them to do something that they may not even like.  If they refuse they know their eternal salvation is at risk.  In other words, keep the brethren fearful, ashamed, browbeaten with unworthiness, never being able to measure up and they will be compliant unquestioning sheeple.

Working in Pasadena for the many years I was there I got to see much of  this kind of attitude first hand.  Ministers threatening Church members or employees with being barred from Passover services scared the hell out of people.  People came to this service many times totally distraught and nauseated.  They would get physically sick having to listen to the the minister making sure that you heard the sound of the breaking of the matzo's.  In Pasadena they used to turn the sound up higher as the minister broke the matzo's so that you got to hear the crunching and breaking sound to remind you that you are a filthy piece of human garbage that continues to crucify Jesus - oops, sorry, CHRIST- day in and day out. Some would also get sick when the wine trays were passed with the dry red wine that had such a strong stomach turning odor..

And how would a COG Passover be complete without foot washing?  We had ministers and department heads in Pasadena who would hand pick the  people who would wash their feet.  God forbid if any of them had to touch a lowly ordinary member!  Those people got pulled into special areas where the  ministry washed feet away from the wandering eyes of the clods that were Church members.  In heated  rooms with hot water and fresh fluffy towels you were treated to the Holy feet of God's true ministers. You knew you had reached good standing with God if you got to wash a ministers feet.

It got so that I never participated in the Passover services in the last few years that I attended WCG.  I would help people set things up and prepare for it but it no longer had any meaning to me.  Watching the hypocrites in the ministry day in and day out ruining peoples lives made it a disgusting display of arrogance to sit there as they pretended to be humble servants of God.

Dennis On "Questions About The Crucifixion"

Questions Your Pastor Might Hate Around Easter and Passover

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorHaving asked a few questions about the birth narratives of Jesus (Part 2), it is as good a time as ever to ask some about the last days of Jesus and his resurrection.

Question. Pastor...Hebrews 9:22 says that just about everything is purified with blood and that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Ewww...What's with all the blood and why can't God just say, "Ok, that sounds very sincere, I forgive you?"

Question. Pastor...Why don't Christians keep Passover instead of Easter? Doesn't the New Testament make Jesus death a Passover event, like the Lamb of God? (I Corinthians 5:6-8), or was he the Bunny of God? I don't understand how separating Passover by an Equinox, one full moon and the next sunday after as being what was going on there. I mean Christ is our Passover, not our Easter Bunny right?

Question. Pastor...When Jesus needed a donkey to ride on into Jerusalem, Mark 11:2-7 and Luke 19:30-35 say that Jesus intructed the disciples to bring one animal. In Matthew 21:2-6, they are told to bring two, And in John 12:14 Jesus doesn't tell anyone to go get one, he does it himself. Which is it?

Question. Pastor... Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35 and John 12:14 have Jesus riding one animal which is to be expected but Matthew 21:7 has Jesus riding two at the same time! I think Matthew read his Old Testament prophecy wrong about how this would work when he mistook the wording of Zechariah 9:9 for a description of two animals when it was just one to begin with. Wasn't the Donkey a colt, the foal of an ass so to speak and not a donkey and a colt as Matthew thinks? Seems like a pretty big mistake to me. Of course, Matthew is prone to these overreachings as we have already talked about and this one seems to catch up with him. Or am I wrong?

Question. Pastor...Jesus is said to have turned over the tables of the moneychangers in the temple. First of all, why? The money was required to be changed from dirty pagan money to temple money to preserve the purity of the place. What's wrong with that? And wasn't that a rather suicidal stunt to begin with, I mean at Passover with tensions aready pretty high over other issues of the Roman occupation?  Also,
Question. Pastor...Mark 11:15-17, Matthew 21:12-13 and Luke 19:45-46 say that this event occurred at the end of Jesus ministry, just before he was arrested. But John 2: 13-16 says it happened much earlier in at the very beginning of Jesus ministry. That's not a minor mistake is it? Which is it? Was on a practice run to see what would happen?

Question. Pastor...About this same time, Jesus went looking for some figs to eat and finding none, Jesus curses the tree and it withers. John and Luke don't mention it, but Mark 11:20-21 says that the disciples didn't notice the tree withered until the next day on a return trip. But Matthew 21:19-20 says that they saw it wither right then and were amazed. Well I would be to! But they can't both be right. On top of that, it even admits that the reason for no figs was that it wasn't fig season. Isn't that like me getting angry at a watermelon field in the winter? I do know that maybe the point was that just as fig trees without figs deserve to wither, so Temples without good fruit do too, but still it not being fig time and two different stories mean it either didn't happen at all and is just a way to make a point, or if it did happen, someone goofed. Of course, one could argue that fig trees that don't have figs due to it not being time for figs don't deserve to be withered . What happened to dunging and digging around it for three years to give a chance?

Question. Pastor...Next Jesus has his feet anointed, or his head depending on the story. Mark 14:3 and Matthew 26:6-13 say that it was at house of a leper named Simon in Bethany. Luke 7:36-38 says it was in the home of a Pharisee in Galilee. That's a long way from Bethany. Was this a leperous Pharisee named Simon who had a summer home in Galilee? They can't both be right unless he got anointed twice in different places. Also, Mark and Matthew say Jesus was anointed with oil poured over his head, but Luke and John say his feet. Which was it and please don't tell me it was both and these men are like four people seeing an accident!

Question. Pastor...Why do Mark, Matthew and Luke not know who the woman was, but John 12:3 says it was Mary? And the reactions! Mark says that some got angry at the unnamed woman who anoints Jesus and Matthew 26:8 says it was the disciples who get angry at the woman. Luke 7:3-9 says some Pharisee get's upset because the woman is a sinner, like they weren't. John 12:4-5 is the only one who says it is Judas who gets angry, and then imputes his motive as being the thieving treasurer of the group. I know, all of the above right? It's Judas we remember the most I guess.

A few questions about the Last Supper

Question. Pastor...In Mark 14:17-21, Matthew 26:20-25 and John 13:21-30 Jesus predicts for the disciples that he will be betrayed before they actually take communion. But in Luke 22:21-23 Jesus predicts this after communion. Can't both be right, right?

Question. Pastor...Mark 14:30 tells us that Peter would deny Jesus before the cock crowed twice. Why then does Matthew 26:34, Luke 22:34 and John 13:38 tell us that Peter would deny Jesus before the cock crowed at all? Since Jesus is the one doing the prediction, just what did he predict? When it finally happened, Mark 14:72 says the cock crowed twice. Matthew 26:74 said it was once, and both Luke and John don't mention any cock crowing. What happened?

Question. Pastor...I have a few questions about this notorious Judas whose name has become a synonym for betrayal in our culture. If Jesus had to die to be our Savior, why do we care who and how Jesus was betrayed to be crucified? It had to be so wasn't Judas just helping things along?

Question. Pastor...Why does Matthew 19:28 say that all Twelve Disciples would sit on Thrones in the Kingdom of God and Judas was surely among this number. I mean by the time Matthew wrote the book, he would know about how Judas messed up and didn't make it wouldn't he?

Question. Pastor...Why did Paul write in I Corinthians 15:5 that Jesus appeared to "the Twelve" after his resurrection when Judas was said to have already have committed suicide by then. If Jesus had appeared to him too, why would Jesus not thank him for playing his part and forgive him? Did Paul know of the story told in the newly discovered "Book of Judas," which says that Jesus had Judas betray him according to plan and that Judas was one the best disciples?

Question. Pastor...When did Satan enter into Judas to betray Judas. Was it before the Last Supper as Luke 22:3-6 says? Was it during the Supper, as John 13:27 says, or was it not at all, or at least nothing worth mentioning in Matthew and Mark? And if Satan finally got a hold of him, then could he even help it?

Question. Pastor...Concerning these thirty pieces of silver as the payment to Judas for betraying Jesus. Did Judas throw it down at the Priests as Matthew 27:6-8 says, and walks away, or did he buy some land as we read in Acts 1:18? And why did Mark, Luke and John not know this story? I could ask why Matthew's "thus it was fulfilled" in Matthew 27:9-10 was attributed to Jeremiah but is really from Zechariah 11:12-13, but we all know how Matthew thinks by now about rummaging around in the Old Testament to find quotes that make up his story.

Question. Pastor...Why does Mark 14:44-46 and Matthew 26:49-50 say that Jesus was betrayed with the kiss and arrested, but John 18:2-9 Jesus volunteers to indentify himself and no kiss is mentioned? And as long as we're on it...why on earth did the Romans have no clue which guy was Jesus in the first place? I thought he had ridden into Jerusalem in Triumph just a few days earlier and been teaching in Jerusalem to thousands doing amazing things for one year or three, depending? How can you not know which one was Jesus? Was it too dark?

Question. Pastor...Why does Matthew 27:6-8 say that the Priests bought the land and it gets it name "field of blood" because it was purchased with Judas blood money, which I assume is for the blood of Jesus, when Acts 1:18 says it is called that because Judas fell down and his blood and guts spilled out on that piece of property? Would that not be the "field of guts"....just kidding Pastor! How come Matthew is the only one to mention all this? Oh and how does Judas die anyway? Of course he hangs himself according to Matthew 27:5, but according to Acts 1:18 he fall down and splits open. Mark, Luke and John don't mention this either. I don't think they would leave him hanging until the rope broke do you? I mean weren't Jewish people sensitive about that kind of thing?

Question. Pastor...Why if Judas betrayed Jesus once, and Peter denied Jesus three times, does Peter get forgiven, reinstated and made Pope, or whatever and Judas goes to hell for all eternity or whatever? Is it just because Peter did not hang himself too, or fall down so that his guts burst out?

Question. Pastor...Ok, enough about Judas. I'd like to ask about Peter taking a swing with a sword at the servant of the High Priest who also was there at Jesus arrest and taking his ear off. Did Peter intend to kill the poor guy and why not take a swing at the High Priest or the Romans? I guess it was safer to chop off the ear of a nobody than a somebody?

Question. Pastor...Mark 14:47, Matthew 36:51 and John 18:10 say the ear stayed chopped off, which would be normal. . But Luke 22:50-51 says that Jesus put it back on. You'd think that the other three would have noted this miracle. I can see watching an accident and debating who came from what direction or how fast, but I think all the witnesses would notice Peter trying to cleave someone's head who ducked and Jesus replacing the smitten ear. Or did the three that didn't say anything about this just feel they would leave this to John to report? I don't think it would work that way.

Question. Pastor..Speaking of swords. Did Jesus, in Matthew 26:52 tell them that "he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword" and get rid of the things, or did Jesus tell them, as in Luke 22:36-38 to buy swords? And of course, Mark and John don't seem to be into weapons at all.

Question. Pastor...We all know the famous "Give us Barabbas" story. (Mark 15:11) Don't you think it is such a coincidence that Jesus is called the "King of the Jews" by the Romans. Or at least that is what is going to be put on the sign over his head on the cross. And this "Barabbas" name means "Son of the Father? Bar means "son" and "Abba" means "father," so see what I mean? Is it possible that Barabbas and Jesus were the same person and Pilate was asking the crowd, "do we crucify the King and political threat to Rome and thus to you, or the religious guy and not much of a threat to Rome, it's up to you? Could not Pilate be saying, "Choose carefully because your answer depends on whether I crucify all of you too?" I don't see the wishy washy Pilate of this account in history. He was pretty darn ruthless according to others besides Mark. Anyway, the crowd wants the "Bar Abbas," the Son of God or Son of the Father released, and that seems not to be a problem with Pilate. Bu t Jesus, "King of the Jews," since they have no King but Caesar, is to be crucified which is fine with them. Isn't it more a tale of the people defining the Jesus they want killed so Pilate doesn't kill them for insurrection? What do you think? Pretty cool huh? Did you know that in early copies of Mark, Barabbas is called Jesus Barabbas? But maybe that was too obvious, so we don't see it in later copies. That would make Barabbas, "Jesus Son of the Father." Whoa!

Question. Pastor...See, my other problem with the Barabbas story would be then just who was really crucified and who was let go? If it was someone called Jesus, the son of the Father was let go, and another Jesus, the King of the Jews died, then did the right savior die? Oh well. I can't imagine this being two separate men can you? Or big time coincidence for sure!

Question:  Pastor...have you ever heard of Astro-Theology and the common story, just like Jesus, of the Sun Gods?  You want me to leave your office now?   Well..ok...just asking....

Dennis C. Diehl

The End is Nigh

Here is a great little resource on hundreds of failed end time predictions throughout history.  The listings are from creation to 4990 BCE and on out to 4,500,000,000 years from now.  Will Meredith and Flurry's little groups still be spitting out warnings by then?