Sunday, October 14, 2012

Aaron Dean on Salvation



In the previous post I had a comment from an ultra conservative Armstrongite saying that salvation was dependent upon our belief in Herbert Armstrong.  Now Aaron Dean is speaking out on "salvation."

It reads like the "David defense" that Armstrongites love to throw out.  David was a grievous sinner yet God used him. Herbert Armstrong was a grievous sinner, yet God used him.

From United Real News:

Forward: Separating Salvation From People 
What makes some seemingly dedicated people leave the Church?

I have been asked this question before by members who have seen many brethren and even ministers fail. Having spent much of my life at the heart of the work, some have asked me, “Why are you still here?”

I think it comes down to something my dad said when I graduated college and was asked to work on the Church’s Gulf stream jet: “Be sure and separate salvation from people.” What he knew was that I would witness some things that would build my faith; but I would also see and hear things that could discourage and tear down my faith.

Indeed no Christian’s life is without its pitfalls, but we expect them to be attacks from the outside. While ready to face the world, often we are not prepared for problems from the inside. People who meet with us each Sabbath at church—brothers and sisters whom we trust and love—sometimes might not show godly character in word or deed. And we can tend to expect more Christlike behavior the higher the position a person is in.

But when an offense happens involving someone in a visible position, what do we do? Many take sides, deny the action happened or make excuses, blaming others as the cause. They might reason that someone in that position certainly couldn’t have done whatever the offense was.

Emotional reactions like these may leave one at peace with themselves, but if they find out later that a knowingly wrongful act was committed or they were lied to, it’s very easy to become disillusioned. They might leave the faith or go searching for a more perfect church—usually to find that the next one is no better than the last.

Every good biblical character sinned, except Jesus Christ. He never sinned and kept all the commandments. But even He was accused for drinking wine, talking to sinners and disregarding men’s rules of Sabbath observance; and some people became offended by these accusations. To let someone else’s perceived mistake—or actual mistake—put us in a wrong attitude is to let someone else “take our crown” (Revelation 3:11).

We must work to control our own thoughts and actions. Seek truth and prove all things before reacting emotionally. “Work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Our salvation rests on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone. If we pray for wisdom and react spiritually, we will make progress toward separating our salvation from other people’s mistakes. And in the process, put Christ—our hope of glory—in us (Colossians 1:27).

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every man is judged according to his own works.

What others do or don't do will have no effect on our salvation, unless we let it.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. I don't know why he's writing this, but it sounds like one big excuse for somebody's bad behavior.

"What makes some seemingly dedicated people leave 'the Church'?"

You don't ask a question like this unless you "know" that your "salvation" depends on following Herbert Armstrong. Everybody knows that only Armstrongites can be saved. If someone leaves "the Church," obviously they're going straight into the lake of fire. Right. You can't leave a cult alive without them damning you to hell fire.

"...but I would also see and hear things that could discourage and tear down my faith."

Yes, he might see and hear things that could discourage and tear down his faith in...Herbert Armstrong.

"And we can tend to expect more Christlike behavior the higher the position a person is in."

Not really. Experience has taught me to expect the opposite.

"Our salvation rests on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone. If we pray for wisdom and react spiritually, we will make progress toward separating our salvation from other people’s mistakes. And in the process, put Christ—our hope of glory—in us (Colossians 1:27)."

Translation: Don't ask us ministers to set an example for you. That's not our job. Our job is just to tell you what to do. Your job is to do it, shut the F up, keep giving us your money, keep turning the other cheek when we slap you, and NO MATTER WHAT, keep following the legacy of Herbert Armstrong.

Douglas Becker said...

Maybe he's talking about Kevin Dean.

Assistant Deacon said...

Aaron's points are fine and dandy, but they amount to a straw man.

The problem with HWA wasn't his scandalous behavior, which was evident enough. It was his faulty theology.

Aaron won't admit that; hence, writings like this, which sound good but miss the point entirely.

The advice from his dad, "Be sure to separate salvation from people," was a curious thing to say, when you think about it. And telling.

People free of the cult of personality don't feel compelled to pass on such attempts at wisdom.

DennisCDiehl said...

I'm going to go with Aaron on this line of reasoning, not because I agree with it, but because he did not invent it.

Matthew, in his Gospel Geneology used the very same argument to fight the "Jesus was born of fornication," accusation by including, not Sarah, Naoimi, Leah or Rachel in Mary's lineage, but FOUR FALLEN WOMEN, which was unheard of as women held no value in geneologies for the most part.

Why would he do that?

"But Matthew’s genealogy is much subtler than you might think. For one thing, contrary to the patriarchal mentality of the time, Matthew has inserted four women into the long list of men — a fascinating innovation.

Matthew’s readers, who knew the Hebrew Scriptures well, must have been unpleasantly jolted — embarrassed, even — at finding Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba on the list. Why? In brief:

First Tamar, an apparent Canaanite and apparent prostitute, who apparently seduces her father-in-law and becomes an ancestress of Jesus — apparently through incest. I just said “apparently” four times. I’ll clarify that later.

Second Rahab, who really was All That — a real Canaanite and — a real working prostitute.

Third, Ruth, a Moabite. This was a pagan tribal group the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah forbade the Jewish people to intermarry with because of their treachery.

Fourth, Bathsheba, who became the mistress of King David, and brought on a moral catastrophe that almost destroyed Israel’s most beloved king.

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. It’s like saying the Word was made Flesh from Calamity Jane, Typhoid Mary, the murderous Lizzy Borden, and — let’s say — Monica Lewinski.

Julianne Wiley/Matthew's Geneology and The Woman Problem

Matthew used the same "Mary was a woman after God's own heart, used for David even in the Bathesheba affair. If God can bring about the Messiah through four fallen women, get off Mary's back no matter what you think.

In John's Gospel Jesus is clearly called a bastard and born of fornication, unlike his accusers. In John they even know he is not from any Bethlehem so he can't even be the Messiah. Nuther story.

So we see the Bible itself uses the same argument to clean up the missteps of David and maybe Mary as Aaron uses . I'm not saying it works but I am saying Aaron did not invent this ploy.

Babies don't come from Gods. Jesus had a father just like anyone else but perhaps unknown or unacknowledged in the story. Most think it indeed was Joseph, but I think Joseph was just a stage hand ploy that came and went quickly in the story.

Mary was to be left alone and EVEN if Jesus birth circumstances were suspect, God has used fallen women in the past so this is nothing new. In the geneology, Matthew equates and links Mary to Tamar, Ruth, Jezebel and Bathsheba .

So get off her back and God can do this anyway he pleases.

It's an old sleight of hand arguement

amen

DennisCDiehl said...

I can envision the child Jesus asking Mary, "who is my father?" Mary, not wishing to share the truth may have said, "God is your Father," and launched the young man's career.

Not kidding! We have evidence from Mark, written before Matthew clean it up, that Mary and Jesus siblings came down to get Jesus because "he was beside himself" or "insane."

Mark's Mary knows nothing of Virgin Birth, Angelic promises and goodies brought for Baby Jesus from the East.

They thought he was nuts.

Mark 3:20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family[a] heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

This also shows Mark wrote first as Matthew and Luke NEVER mention this aspect of Jesus family and then go to great efforts to clean up the story.

DennisCDiehl said...

If Aaron had done his homework and understood this sending a message to his audience ploy in Matthew, he could have really looked like he knew his stuff and had plenty of New Testament to back him up.

ok, nuff said, couldn't resist making the point that Mary was a mother after God's own heart just as wicked David of Bathsheba fame.

Anonymous said...

The Bible is full of sex and murder and prostitutes. It reminds me of various men I have know who called their wives prostitutes when they were suspicious of their faithfulness. Back in that OT patriarchal society I wonder if any woman not safely hidden away with a veil was considered a prostitute.
It's fine for HWA and GTA to carry on the tradition of oversexed leaders, but the sad part is that we all sent them money to support their lifestyle.
I think if someone is enjoying too much wild living they should have the grace to restrain themselves from telling others how to live.

Anonymous said...

.....nuther point Dennis. I am not a Christian anymore, but isn't the whole basis of Christianity that Jesus was God's son and didn't have a human father. If one doesn't believe that then I doubt is one can believe any of the miracles or the resurrection, but I have heard some people who claim to be Christian who think Jesus had a human father. They say it is impossible to have a child without a human father, and we all know how easy it is for a young woman to have a human lover...... I am not sure what my point is, except if a person is to believe in the Christian god who can resurrect us then surely this same god can impregnate a woman.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"I think if someone is enjoying too much wild living they should have the grace to restrain themselves from telling others how to live."

But, that would destroy the conman game. Con artists have to appear to be what they are not or no one would support them. Do you really think Herb's move to Pasadena was only to set up a college? Too many were wise to him up in Oregon and he had to relocate. Those who were mesmerized continued to support him and many followed him to California as students and key personnel (Coles, Glovers, etc.).

Slowly, through radio mass coverage, his following began to mushroom. GTA magnified that until he bacame a danger to his dad and that was really the beginning of the end.

A lot of splinter founders dream of duplicating what Herb did, but it's quite a different ballgame now, and most of them are crude copies of the original with no real substance of their own to navigate the shoals of mass communication.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Just one more thought. This about the prophesied end in 1975. The crisis with Ted hit in 1974, so in that sense, things did end in 1975 -- for WCG. It was downhill on a greased toboggan from that date on.

DennisCDiehl said...

"except if a person is to believe in the Christian god who can resurrect us then surely this same god can impregnate a woman."

Anything could be but believing that Little Red Riding Hood was real does not then allow us to believe that Jack and the Beanstalk must also be real.

They could be real, but we have no proof

There is no proof or resurrection. I can't be held accountable for believing what I have no experienced or witnessed. I can be asked to have faith, but that is not the same, nor is it fair to me.

Just as Jesus was taken away into heaven in the story, never to be seen again, the Catholic Church has to wisk Mary off to heaven as well to get her off the scene and away from scrutiny.

Every lead character in the story just evaporates after a few decades. I am sure someone knows what happened to Paul but perhaps it was embarassing or perhaps not so glorious. Or perhaps there was no such person .

John 8-9 is a huge arguement on Jesus paternity, mom and birthplace, all of which were known by those in John's community to be suspect. They felt that way for some reason. The knew he was not from Bethlemhem as mentioned so couldn't be the Messiah.

Even in the texts, it is confusion and disagreement on who he was, where he came from and where he went and how he got there.

Anonymous said...

{What makes some seemingly dedicated people leave the Church?

I have been asked this question before by members who have seen many brethren and even ministers fail.}

So, he equates leaving the Church with "failing." Mistake #1

{While ready to face the world, often we are not prepared for problems from the inside.}

Mistake #2 - COG folks are NOT ready to face the world, largely.

{we can tend to expect more Christlike behavior the higher the position a person is in}

Mistake #3 - there is not one soul that can claim "higher position" than another, though their hierarchical organization might try to let them

{usually to find that the next one is no better than the last.}

CORRECT ONE!

I will stop while he's ahead. I think you get my drift.

Blech.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Dean asks:

What makes some seemingly dedicated people leave the Church?

There are many causes. One of the most prominent is The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, neither of which is encouraged in Armstrong Churches of "God".

Anonymous said...

DennisCDiehl wrote"

"I can't be held accountable for believing what I have no experienced or witnessed. I can be asked to have faith, but that is not the same, nor is it fair to me."

So true. In Hebrews 11:6 the bible says you can't please god without faith. Also in numerous places, among others Psalm 146:3 the bible says not to put your trust in men. But what is "faith" if not trusting in men to tell you about god?

Maybe things were different for Moses, but for me, I have to trust in men first, otherwise I don't even know anything about any god/gods whatsoever, so that I could then go on to trust in him/them. This is just one of a handful of huge, huge "trunk of the tree" theological contradictions which has me questioning the underlying validity of christianity, jesus, god, the bible, etc.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon, That's why the fable that the bible is infallable, inerrant and "God Breathed" has to be pushed. Then "men" point you to the Bible which is not of men but of God but really is of men and not of any God.

Emotions take over when people are challenged to rethink these myths and memes and they pull up short because it is scary . Religion is designed to relieve us of our fears so to question it is to reignite the fears and usually the ones who does gets bashed good.

I don't personally care what anyone believes at the time they believe it or where on the path they find themselves. What I care about is giving a good and coherent answer to what my eyes see and mind thinks when I read the Bible. I can't promote what I don't believe. I can't believe what I can't explain. I can't explain what seems inexplicable unless one realizes that it is hyperbole, myth and Midrash.

There is a saying that Jesus was either Liar, Lunatic or Lord. They forgot one. Legend. Legends are ok and have a teaching purpose but they are still in fact legends. As you well know I feel, Paul made Cosmic the legend of Jesus as he never refers to him as real or having walked the earth. I guess we could throw "hallucinatory" in there too.

The text allows for all five

Anonymous said...


The (Dis)United Church was started by World Wild Church "ministers" who needed a PAYCHECK several months after the World Wild Church under Joe Tkach Sr. openly turned against everything in January 1995. Several months after helping Joe Tkach Sr. & Son Jr. to change and wreck the World Wild Church, these "ministers" started the (Dis)United Church with about 21,000 people. About 17 years later, the (Dis)United Church now has around 9,000 people left.

The (Dis)United Church is going to go either back into the World or into the Great Tribulation, whichever comes first. Or, maybe it will just disappear.

People are not all "falling away from the truth" when they end up out of the (Dis)United Church. (Dis)United Church "ministers" at the very top are bringing in the worst liars and perverts they can find and getting rid of any decent people. This is exactly the sort of thing they did back in the World Wild Church until they wrecked it. This is what they will continue to do in the (Dis)United Church until they have totally wrecked it too.

After their job in the World Wild Church was over, some of Satan's best agents moved on to the (Dis)United Church to continue working on anyone who had not gone along with all the changes the first time around.

What on earth is Aaron Dean doing with a bunch of crooks like that?









Anonymous said...

In the previous comment anonymous asked: "...What on earth is Aaron Dean doing with a bunch of crooks like that?..."

It's very simple. God has not planted the organization/association that Aaron finds himself a part of.

Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Anonymous also admitted that Dis-united started with about 21,000 people and after 17 years now has about 9,000 people. Did God plant that? Or, is God doing something elsewhere?

I suspect Aaron does not know and can't answer that and is doing the best he can in an assoication that he feels is "most right," but will he possibly eventually learn?

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Matthew 15:14

Aaron will find himself amongst the blind and has traveled from one ditch to another, but time will tell...

Scripture tells us that God and His Son know their sheep by name and lead them...wherever they are. Their salvation is not in jeopardy if they have anything to do with it. They have a lot to do with it.

Additonally, Aaron brought up that verse about a crown being taken. For Aaron, why not look up the word "crown" and see that, whatever it means, it has nothing to do with salvtion; however, many ministers like to use that verse to instill their own form of fear religion. I don't believe God has anything to do with that. Time will tell what happens to Aaron and the association Aaron remains apart of...

John

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, who here is sincerely convinced that Aaron Dean is not one of the crooks?

Anonymous said...

The "David defense" isn't relevant to Herbert Armstrong and his sexually immoral conduct, including incest and adultery, and I fail to understand why people still naively accept such as a defense by those who use it for their own selfish purposes. For starters, when the prophet Nathan exposed David's sin of adultery and murder to him, David admitted it. He didn't deny it, excuse it or suppress it unlike Armstrong's reaction to his sexual misconduct being brought to light! Armstrong denied it and attempted to suppress it while his followers have excused it time and again. So why don't they ask themselves this: if it had come out that a Catholic priest, an Adventist minister, a Jewish rabbi or even a Mormon bishop had committed the same things Armstrong was accused and proven of doing in spite of their social work with the poor and needy or conservative moral teaching would you still have remained so loyal to such a sexual deviant as you do to him? If not, then doesn't that make you a hypocrite? And I think that's why so many dedicated people leave these churches and religion altogether.

Afterall as the saying goes, character is what you are in the dark...

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Allen C. Dexter said, "Just one more thought. This about the prophesied end in 1975. The crisis with Ted hit in 1974, so in that sense, things did end in 1975 -- for WCG. It was downhill on a greased toboggan from that date on."

MY COMMENT - So very true, Allen! However, HWA did enjoy a final resurgence on his own during his final few years after ousting GTA. But you are correct - the Worldwide Church of God peaked in 1974 following the failed 1972 Great Tribulation prophecy and the first mass exodus of ministers and members in the the "East Coast Rebellion" of 1974.

Richard

Richard

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said: "David admitted it"

That is true. We don't have any admissions or discussion from HWA on these matters in his own life.

In the "fallen women" issue in Mary's geneology, we have a Matthew covering for Mary with his approach to "see, if God can use these four fallen women, God can use Mary. Leave her alone."

We don't have any admissions from any Mary which may prove the whole story is made up. Matthew solves Mary's problem with the miraculous birth story of Jesus, virgin birth etc. The geneology stories were in the book long before the birth stories were added . If you clip the birth story out, Matthew still reads just fine and you'd have no idea it was ever there. Same with Luke. They were added to up the explanation of Mary's childbirth fight the accusations against her in John's community.

All this to say that Mary said nothing or is made to say nothing about all this. Male writers defended her and got her off the hook. Actually Mary plays a very small role in the Gospels and is several different kinds of woman depending on who you read.

Theology is fascinating

Anonymous said...

"Theology is fascinating"

It certainly is!

Unfortunately, it's frequently the case that zealous adherents to particular beliefs become unethical sleazy lying bullying salesmen for those beliefs.

But, that's predictable....I'd be surprised if it were otherwise!

Norm

Allen C. Dexter said...

"Theology is fascinating"

Yep, sure is.

So are all other forms of successful fiction. I read "Les Miserables" in my youth and still remember most of it. It was a fascinating tale and much more believable than some of the stuff in the Bible. What a fantastic author! Michener was in a similar class. I love his books. However, I don't look on them as actual history.

Yet, people will fanaticaly vouch for a seven day creation less than 10,000 years ago, a worldwide deluge with an impossible ark made out of "gopher wood" and pitch, millions wandering for forty years in the Sinai desert, and a whole host of other blatantly ridiculous myths concocted by Jewish priests and muddled, psychotic Catholic "church fathers."

If someone wants an easy life of theorization and unearned adulation, theology is a great field to gravitate into. You can accomplish much the same thing by becoming a "made man" in the Mafia, but you'll have to do a bit more actual work. Plus, the tenure opportunities leave a little to be desired.

Byker Bob said...

I don't believe that it is appropriate to invoke something called "the David defense" when pondering the life of Herbert W. Armstrong. The "Lot" defense might be more like it, but Lot's daughters thought their family was the last survivors on the face of the earth, and got their old man schnockered and then pleasured him justifying it by the excuse that they were preserving his seed.
The descendents of least one of the son/brothers unleashed holy hell on the Israelites several hundred years later.

No, it would be misguided to even apply the "Lot" defense to HWA. Nobody has ever suggested that Dorothy was the agressor, and even if she had been, someone who was so close to God that he was receiving the so-called 18 restored truths would most certainly have been able to resist temptation. Had he been sorely tempted and unable to control himself, it would have been preferable for him to have gone into his bathroom and masturbated.

BB

Byker Bob said...

Isn't it interesting how people seem to look to Aaron Dean simply because of his closeness to HWA at one period of his life? I don't blame Aaron for this, it's something the followers of HWA have put on him.

Now, contrast that with David Pack, about whom nobody would ever naturally feel the same ways they do about Aaron. So, he's got to foment and cultivate such an aura for himself.

BB