Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dennis On "The World Beyond the Plain and Real Living and Restored Truth In Him and Brotherly Love"

The World Beyond the Plain and Real Living and Restored Truth In Him and Brotherly Love

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorThe recent posting of pictures of the tearing down of the physical campus that once was Head Quarters to the Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College, ultimately can only be taken, if one is remain somewhat sane, as a metaphor for life as it unfolds and does what it does.  Of the almost 2000 who daily read this blog, each has their own reasons.  Some I expect are merely curious but firm in their views and members in good standing of one of the many off shoots of WCG.  Perhaps they just like the drama or the feeling it may give them retrieving some of their own power by at least knowing everyone involved is human.  Some may be the kiss up types who keep up with things to "report" to their minister that occasional recognizable writer who sits with them in church.  This would be rare, but I am sure it happens. 

I know ministers, both past and present read this blog and I really KNOW that the five to ten well known's must.  They simply don't have the personality not to.  As Stan Rader, counsel to Herbert Armstrong once said in my presence,  "I don't care what you think of me, as long as you get my name spelled correctly."   Or in some cases today, be sure you call me "Mr."   Some no doubt read this blog as part of their own journey out and away from their COG either knowing it is occurring or only vaguely aware of the process that is unsettling them. 

The emotions that go with this kind of journey are myriad and vary in intensity. Some can move along more easily than others having little or at least much less invested in the experience than others.  Sometimes someone will tell me that they left WCG in 1971 and my internal reaction is , " weren't around long enough to even get a stomach ache!"   Sometimes I tell myself, "Well, at least I wasn't born in Somalia, Iraq or Saudi Arabia.   I'd have been beheaded or necklaced by now for sure.  It is perversely comforting to come up with some "well at least..." to take away the pain of the actual experience of being born into or caught up in the reality that we call, "my life." 

But to the point.  Staying angry, and I mean the kind that oozes from every comment, expresses itself over and over in sarcasm and rancor or repeats the same old phrases over and over, as if saying it for a decade can fix it, hurts no one but you and me.  No WCG/COG Guru is sitting at dinner this evening thinking about you.  Joe Tkach isn't going to apologize for lives smashed and hopes derailed.  He's not going to explain to anyone where your/our tithe money went when his father, he,  Bernie Schnippert, Mike Feazell, Dan Rogers, Greg Albrecht and other specific luminaries pulled the theological rug, suddenly and with intent, out from under tens of thousands of very sincere people who simply want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how of all things Bible and God.  If we had been born in the Middle East, we'd be looking into Islam in our lives or in China or Tibet, perhaps Buddhism.  Those would have been the boxes were were born in but actually were not.

But anger has to eventually find its place or these is yet more of a price to pay.  "What eats you....eats YOU,"  comes to mind.  Or as Mark Twain noted...

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored 
than to anything on which it is poured.”

“Angry people are not always wise.” 
 Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice

"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. 
But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
Maya Angelou

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, 
but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree 
and at the right time and for the right purpose, 
and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”

“I want to say somewhere: I've tried to be forgiving. And yet. 
There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. 
Ugliness turned me inside out. 
There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. 
It was standing outside, and I invited it in.”
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

When I have sat at those times when the whole WCG experience catches up with the present again and sits me down on the couch starring at the old movie running in my head on all things WCG, I sometimes have enough sense to ask myself what the core problem is through all this.  Could not have said this better...

“Most hatred is based on fear, one way or another. 
Yeah. I wrapped myself in anger, with a dash of hate, 
and at the bottom of it all was an icy center of pure terror.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Guilty Pleasures

I can't speak for you, but I was not kidding and had no doubts when way to young to know what real doubts were, when I dropped everything in NY and went to California thinking Ambassador was a Theological Seminary and the Faculty really were Doctors of and experts in the  origins, intent, history and theology of the Bible.  I was 18 for Chr..., Pete's sake!   I went there to be a church Pastor.  Why go if not to teach what inspired me and answered my questions about really big topics???  When GTA announced the FIRST assembly that "if any of you came here to be a minister, you better get that out of your head..." ,  I chortled to myself and said,  "we'll see."  I used to study Saturday evenings alone in my dorm and the Dean of Students decided to cure me of that by putting me in a white monkey suit of a coat to stand by the American Flag at basketball games instead.  My first experience of standing up on the outside but sitting down on the inside.  It was not a total loss though.  I got to watch Dave Pack play basketball, so that was good. 

Back to fear.  When the WCG rug was pulled out, sincere folk, who thought they had the fear of death, fear of illness, fear of being alone, fear of few friends and countless other fears beat, found out how quickly fear returned and rushed in to fill the void.  Fear can make you say dumb shit. It can make you drink too much, eat too much and even decide to go shoot someone.  It at least is clear to me that some really thinking Bible author understood that  perfect love casts out , not hate, but fear.  Hate is not the opposite of love.  Fear is the opposite of love.  Hate is a symptom of fear, just as sarcasm or a punch in the mouth might be. 

So we have a choice.  Life is choices as much as I hate being told that sometimes by some who seem to have it all going their way as if they chose it so easily or it came easily.  I find those who are the most comfy at times to be the ones who so easily can tell everyone else to just be comfy.  The other side of that coin is that told to us by those who are not so comfy but have awakened to the reality of growing through it or ending up just bitter and someone that few wish to be around. 

“Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, 
anger and frustration are the result of you not being 
authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. 
Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. 
Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.”
― Jason Mraz

I've been sent emails by the well meaning advising me not to be so personal or share personal failings and such when writing.  But what help is that?  Being authentic is something that has always been important to me and a classic trait of the ENFP personality type as expressed in the Meyers Briggs view.  It is not easy, can be embarrassing and often used against one, but it beats fake and glazed over. Being open about thoughts and even failings is therapeutic once one carves the Four Agreements into one's soul.

  • 1. Be impeccable with your word.  What kinds of words to you use when you describe reality? Do you lie and say hurtful and poisonous things about yourself and others? Not healthy! To be impeccable with your word is to be truthful and to say things that have a positive influence on yourself and others.

  • 2. Don't take anything personally. The first agreement suggests that we avoid treating others hurtfully. The second agreement provides us with a way of dealing with potentially hurtful treatment from others. Because each person sees the world in a unique way, the way that others treat us says as much about them as it does about us. To not take anything personally is to acknowledge the unique identities of other people. We respect their subjective realities, realizing that their views do not necessarily describe us accurately.

  • 3. Don't make assumptions. Assuming that you know what other people are thinking or feeling about you is a limiting thought that Aaron Beck called Mind Reading.  Obviously, none of us can read minds. When we try to engage in mind reading we will often be wrong, leading to undesirable consequences. The antidote to mind reading is to ask for evidence before concluding what people are thinking.

  • 4. Always do your best.  More subtle still is the recognition that our "best" will vary from moment to moment, that, in a sense, you are always doing your best. Realize this, and your inner Judge can take a permanent vacation.

Don Miguel Ruiz

In ministry, one thing become very clear about the people you find yourself around, member or minister.  Everyone wears masks.  I think the source of this is the unrealistic views the Bible forces upon humans.  "Be ye therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect...," and such baloney as that wreaks havoc in humans who think that is the goal as a human.  Whether it means perfect as in sinless, ha, or mature as in like God, ha ha,  it is not possible and you and I never met one human who was that in this life.  I will spare you the masks thing and have written about his here: Everyone Wears Masks - Your Pastor and Priest, Your Mom, Dad, Family, and YOU!

So, back to our anger.  What are we going to do with it?  Will it heal us or , as said,  "where am I going, and why am I in this hand basket?"   Choices.

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. 
Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. 
Get even with people...but not those who have hurt us, 
forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.”
― Steve Mariboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. 
We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. 
But hatred is a curved blade. 
And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”
― Mitch Albom- The Five People You Meet in Heaven

“Anger is stupid, 
and stupidity will kill you more surely than your opponent's blade.”
― Patricia Briggs, Dragon Bones

I imagine all the people above learned these truths by being angry about all sorts of life stuff, perhaps over a very long time and then coming to conclude it was over.  Somewhat like Forrest Gump running and running and running no where special to deal with the loss of the love of his life.  There came that moment where he simply stopped, listened momentarily to the voice in his head, and realized  enough was enough and it was time to go home.


Joe Moeller said...

Fear leads to wanting to have control.

However , control is just an illusion. It is liberating to realize how little control in life that you really have.

What gets rid of fear?... The Good Book says "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear".

Even then, most dont understand what that means. When you have perfect love, you are not worried about getting or achieving anything. You roll with the flow, and you have your ambitions in check.

Ambition is selfish and self glorifying. It worries, and fears, and is never satisfied. Controlling our wants is a big step towards happiness. Unfortunately, much of the COG culture has had a lot of fear, ambition, want, and lack of love.

I think Janis Joplin summed it up very well in the song "Me and Bobby McGee"...

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Douglas Becker said...

If perfect love casts out fear, then why do Armstrongists go to the Feast to learn to fear God?

DennisCDiehl said...

Blogger Douglas Becker said...
If perfect love casts out fear, then why do Armstrongists go to the Feast to learn to fear God?"

Because that's what the Book says and in many many other places it says..."that you may learn to fear...." The Book is the culprit, not the behavior necessarily. Baptist go to church to "learn to fear the Lord their God."

Evidently Bible God needs to be feared and if not, tends towards a bit of jealousy at times as well.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite sayings:
Revenge is just a lazy form of grief.
Dennis, keep writing. It helps many (like me) who aren't as brave as you.

Corky said...

I don't agree - surprise, surprise.

'Apathy' is the opposite of love, not fear nor hate.

Love is caring, apathy is not caring. See how simple that is?

"Freedom's just another word for divorced", Joe Moeller, I don't care what the song says.

Corky said...

Dennis...uh, good post. I especially like the part about perfection. Paul said that ministers and such like were for "the perfecting of the saints...". (Eph. 4:11-13) Wellsir, it appears that those apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers failed miserably. In not only that but also in "the unity of the faith".

G.G. said...

I agree with you that fear or chronic anxiety (another form of fear) underlies much of human behavior. Fear (or chronic anxiety) is probably a big factor in people seeking comfort through religion. I would guess that the higher the level of anxiety a person has the less he or she can tolerate ambiguity and may need hard and fast answers, rules, etc. I also agree that the anger some of us feel about what religion has done to us or our families is a secondary emotion and the basic feeling is again fear or anxiety. Certainly people turn to many other things to try to reduce the anxiety connected with life; religion is just one way to feel safer. Drugs, alcohol, relationships, guns,lashing out, over-eating, over-exercising; there are innumerable ways we try to soften the fear or escape from it. In the end, humans really can't escape the uncertainty that is life on this planet, except maybe through death.

Velvet said...

"But to the point. Staying angry, and I mean the kind that oozes from every comment, expresses itself over and over in sarcasm and rancor or repeats the same old phrases over and over, as if saying it for a decade can fix it, hurts no one but you and me."

Amen! Although no one can accuse me of staying the same over the few years I've been involved in the ex-member websites, I certainly don't assign my change to anything I did of my own self, beyond making my own choices.

"No WCG/COG Guru is sitting at dinner this evening thinking about you. Joe Tkach isn't going to apologize for lives smashed and hopes derailed. He's not going to explain to anyone where your/our tithe money went when his father, he, Bernie Schnippert, Mike Feazell, Dan Rogers, Greg Albrecht and other specific luminaries pulled the theological rug, suddenly and with intent, out from under tens of thousands of very sincere people who simply want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how of all things Bible and God."

Junior doesn't need to apologize to us, nor do any of the others you listed. (And they will answer to a higher authority eventually. As will we all.) I think that's the biggest takeaway I realized at a certain point. Though realizing it, and living it, are sometimes two entirely different things. Plus, I'm really not sure how much "intent" they did it with. Conscious intent, anyway.

Professing Christians tend to navel-gaze and be self-congratulatory, all but ignoring any and every other person, unless they set their sights on the poor sucker as a target for "conversion" -- but that's not their fault, the whole world being deceived, etc. They will all get their second chance. Yes, even Junior and the Evangelicals.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Corky (most of the time I agree with Corky).

Apathy is the opposite of passion. And passion is distinct from love, though it can be related. You can have a passion for something without necessarily loving it (for instance, I have a passion for peace activism but I don't love it -- it's pretty thorny most of the time...but necessary. My passion for peace activism comes from LOVE of people. So the passion is related to something I love, but isn't the same. Passion and love should not be conflated. And I believe the "caring" Corky speaks of as opposite of apathy is not "love caring" but "passion caring." See?

Fear is still the opposite of love.

My opinion.

Anonymous said...

I find freedom in using my own name on this blog.

Paul Ray

G.G. said...

Stages of Grief:
Many, many people are grieving or have grieved the losses they experienced due to the WCOG.
1. Shock: That time when you first learn of the loss.
2. Denial: Either denying that it really happened or denying the impact of it.
3. Bargaining: Trying to find a way to "make it ok or make it not real or important."
4. Anger: The period when the reality of the loss really hits you and you rant, blame, lash out.
5. Depression: The loss is real and you are exhausted from the previous efforts so you "shut down" to some extent in order to recoup.
6. Acceptance: You finally start to put the loss in the past and are able to put some energy and interest into the present.
Actually, it's not as neat and simple as this. You can be down the path into one of the later stages and something (a reminder, an anniversary) can set you back for awhile. You normally have to go over and over the loss in your mind and the emotional states are a part of that. You may have to go through them many times but it gets easier, usually. it is called "grief work." It feels like work!
The above is all normal and varies according to the person and the loss. New losses can bring back some of the grief related to previous ones. It only becomes a problem when someone gets "stuck" in one of the stages and can't move on. I think this was what Dennis or someone was talking about when he described the person who had the same degree of anger and said the same bitter things year after year. Sometimes people need help to move on in the grief process. GG

Leonardo said...

I heard a very experienced and highly respected psychotherapist once point out that the grief process is how humans heal themselves from devastating losses.

But grief is often not tolerated very well in super-idealistic cultures and organizations where everyone is expected to be buoyant, jubilant, and manifest all the other positive traits of those destined for world rulership under God (as in the COG's). "Super-abundant living" is how Church literature used to put it. But in such settings those grieving can be subtly encouraged to repress such emotions, told to buck up, get over it, have faith, get on with life, God lost His Child too, and many other well-intended yet emotion-denying bromides.

But human experience shows that grief must be embraced, deeply felt and painfully endured before it can be used as a springboard for future happiness and accomplishment. At least this has been my experience.

Michael said...

One post mentioned this blog gets 2000 hits per day... whoa!
Hopefully a good portion of readers find posts like these from Dennis helpful.
The 4 points ("agreements") are good to keep in mind, especially #2: Don't take things personally.
I wonder if this is the one most difficult for COGers. "We" tend to take things personally because we consider ourselves the center of the universe, it's a natural human tendency of course, but the COG universe (not to mention religion in general) stokes and strokes this natural tendency in a very powerful way. "You shall be kings and priests", "He has the hairs on your head numbered", "we the special chosen few, the elite..." etc. etc. It's all about us. The universe exists for our benefit, God takes a special intense interest in "me" personally! Wow o wow, the omnipotent cares about me, will make me a god: So, I must be something pretty special. I believe this mindset can be very difficult to rid one's self, and one of the side-effects can be that light comments or actions by others get to be taken in a very personal way, very seriously and very hurtfully.
#1 is a little more ambiguous: I've often found being too vocally honest about what i think creates a multitude of problems :-) Of course that could just be chalked up to a lack of smarts!

Douglas Becker said...

When it comes to anger, perhaps two things should be noted:

1) In many circumstances, anger gives a evolutionary advantage where one would not normally exist;

2) The leaders of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong are imbued with that evolutionary advantage.

The blog entry entirely ignores the allele variants TC / TT of the DARPP-32 gene -- the so-called "anger gene". It should also be noted that a version of the monoamine oxidase-A gene, popularly referred to as the warrior gene, has a connection between a version of the monoamine oxidase A gene (3R) and several types of antisocial behavior has been found. The Armstrongist leaders seem to have a lock on these genetic factors to give them the evolutionary advantage to dominate the membership cowed by their antisocial manifestations when, normally, they would not be subdued.

Herbert Armstrong's temper was legendary. Joseph Tkach, Senior, must have set some sort of record by yelling at a poor innocent woman member in his office for five hours over something that was not her fault -- doing permanent damage (very likely inciting PTSD). Roderick Meredith is not to be crossed, since he won the regional golden gloves championship when he was a teen.

I can say that to fight off these aggressors, it probably is not a good strategy to have your get up and go to have gotten up and gone. Unfortunately, far too many people give up the fight and surrender -- to remain stupid dupes of whatever version of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong they are in.

What is surprising is that, though there have been a number of murders in the Cult of Herbert Armstrong, ranging from Chuck Harris, Don Weininger and that unfortunate incident in the LCG in 2005 where the minister and others were shot at Sabbath Services, there has not been a full fledged Jonestown incident. Think of it: An angry CoHA leader finally having absolute power over the refugees in some compound representing The Place of Safety. Does anyone see any potential danger in that? Now it's true that anyone could say, "Well, you can't predict that something like that would happen with any degree of certainty," to which I would reply: Well, yes, but you can't say with any certainty that it will not.


The anger gene.

The warrior gene.

Isn't science wonderful?

Michael said...

I don't know about a genetic anger connection, i rather doubt it. Consider that before becoming a minister, you had to first be a gullible, believing member. You had to be at least gullible enough that you thought this radio/TV preacher in Pasadena had the scoop that nobody else had possessed for 2000 years :-)
Then you either rose through the ranks, or got sent to one of the AC campuses, where they drummed submission to authority/public speaking/memorizing Bible verses/did i mention submission to authority?/etc. into your mind on a daily basis. And then you became a minister or higher.
My guess is, there might be a tenuous genetic connection in some mental weakness, wishing to be special, and called out and all that jazz, in that such people might be more attracted to responding to HWA's preaching. Anger? I think it has more to do with the fact that many (not all) of the ministry, having rose through the ranks, allow/allowed power and authority to go to their heads - isn't power an aphrodisiac?

DennisCDiehl said...

Douglas said:

The blog entry entirely ignores the allele variants TC / TT of the DARPP-32 gene

I believe, in your anger, you have missed the entire point of the blog entry and point being made about what unresolved anger can do to the person who is angry all the time with no resolution of growing through it.

One can't change what has happened, but one can totally change what happens next...was the point

Anonymous said...

I want to put in my 2 cents here and thank Dennis for sharing his personal perception of some very valid information regarding the healing process some are going through. I am adding some personal perceptions that have spared me the trauma some may be experiencing.
Some Personal Perceptions about life
Everything we know or believe is a personal perception of the information used to form a personal opinion regarding the subject under discussion.
Our personal perceptions can be been distorted if the information used to form them is incomplete, inaccurate, biased, or in any way lacking in substance useful to the subject under discussion.
Everything associated with life has a positive and negative factor. This indicates that every perception has a good and bad potential.
If we apply this to faith we will recognize that all faith (and non faith if there is such a thing) is a matter of a personal perception. Faith can be good or bad depending in a person’s perception.
Another thought is that there can be no good if there is no bad to create a standard. Another thought is that a perception may not seem reasonable, but it is never without reason.
BTW: Many of the comments Gary adds to his postings are his personal perceptions. We need to factor that in before we form our personal perceptions of these examples of nonsense.
A. Boocher

Douglas Becker said...

Angry much.

That's when science meets those without structural visualization.

Ignoring the anger / warrior gene (as seen on Dr. Phil, among other places), ignores the premise that some people cannot help themselves with their anger issues because it is genetic built in. No smarmy blog posting of "feel good" advice will mitigate the constant anger in those who have the anger / warrior gene.

I'm not angry, I'm bemused at the utter stupidity of it all, and again validated that science just isn't for everyone.

Then there's Proverbs 22:24-25, which if we had comprehended and really knew Herbert Armstrong, we would not have gone with "the angry man". It certainly was a snare.

When it comes to cults, the focus needs to be in science, lest feelings, emotions and ego get in the way -- the very things that cult leaders manipulate.

Some may find the article on The Joe Schmo Show and the follow up article, Swindlers" useful.

Douglas Becker said...

A further thought: If there are unresolved anger issues, it may be well to discover the reason for them, rather than just working with the symptoms.

As I've mentioned before, "Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships" by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias is an excellent resource and in Part Two, there is the chapters 8: Dealing with the Aftereffects and 9) Coping with Emotions. I doubt it will well serve the victims to give a version (there are so many of them) of "just get over it". To pull out, examine and understand the emotional context seems to be important so someone can genuinely take back their life.

As for No WCG/COG Guru is sitting at dinner this evening thinking about you maybe that is true of this particular dinner this particular evening, but I can assure you that the ACoG cult leaders do look and some of what is out here really does bother them. I know for a fact that there is an ACoG cult leader in Australia who very well thinks of me often (and threatens lawsuits periodically), particularly since he believes that I was responsible for decimating his little cult in 2005. (My view is "God did it" -- and the cultmeister can just deal with it: Maybe he should rethink his belief that God supports him.)

I used to attend United and nearly every week, the local minister (and sometimes the visiting minister) would respond to what I wrote the week before to the congregation (not in very complimentary terms, mind you). There were even newnotes and mentions in publications from time to time.

I think that instead of being angry, we should take comfort that what we say and write here and other places really does have an impact. Robert Thiel appears from time to time. He even sent me a whiney note to "The Supreme Cult" blog awhile back before I declared it a win and dumped the blog.

And then there's Ephesians 4:26 for the believers.

Anonymous said...

"Staying angry ...hurts no one but you and me."

Forgiveness is for the weak and for the perpetual victim. Christianity is a victim religion. Anger is for the strong.

Anonymous said...

"Revenge is just a lazy form of grief"

Forgiveness is a gutless form of fake justice.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness was invented by the brutal elites to keep the weak and sickly masses docile.

Anonymous said...

I personify my anger as a half-aborted child that I have to now care for and attend to every day. It may sound like a terrible life, but it keeps me from making the same mistakes twice and the result is that my real children get to grow up in a happy and healthy environment, free of any religious bullshit. It is the ultimate responsibility of any parent to protect their children from this type of willing enslavement called organized religion. My parents failed me. I will not do the same.

Bad PK

Velvet said...

"I believe, in your anger, you have missed the entire point of the blog entry and point being made about what unresolved anger can do to the person who is angry all the time with no resolution of growing through it.

One can't change what has happened, but one can totally change what happens next...was the point."

I somewhat agree with Dennis (which is not something you hear often, so enjoy the novelty while it lasts); I am not pointing fingers here, but it seems to me there are several self-professed "survivors of the Church" here on the Internet, over the various sites that we seem to congregate on, who have a single axe to grind, over one incident, perpetrated upon them years to decades ago, where every bit of negative info encountered about the Church online, is A) automatically assumed to be true (even when it's not) and B) used to funnel their (absolutely justified-- don't misread me on that) anger at the individuals who hurt them, into a generalized haze of rage at the Church.

The bigger the target, the easier it is to hit, etc., and the individuals who did wrong by them are often long dead, indifferent, or for whatever reasons, unable to provide closure for whatever horrible wrong has been done them, so the Church bears the brunt.

Before anyone thinks I am casting stones, I will admit that I even do this myself! Although I am aware of it, and trying to work on it. I.e., mentioning my Shadows of WCG "experience" overly much, even though God used that trial to lead me back to the truth, and back to the Church. I try to keep that big picture perspective in mind, but thinking big picture is not one of my strengths.

Not to mention battling my bitterness at the Evangelicals; not made easier when said Evangelicals call me nasty names and judge me without even knowing me, as not being a Christian, just because I don't and won't worship their foreign gods...mind you, the hardliners also judge me as not being a Christian, because I don't worship their gods (men) either.

If I can love and forgive them (which is NOT the path of least resistance, believe you me) then I am following in the footsteps of the ONLY one Who I choose to follow. (That would be Jesus, Gary, much as you like to prate on about how we don't know Jesus or don't say Jesus, etc. Which is probably a bitter thing for me to say, but there you go, that's one example of what I am doing battle with.)

As I say often, there's a reason it's called "the refiner's fire"!!

Velvet said...

"We need to factor that in before we form our personal perceptions of these >>>>>examples of nonsense.<<<<<"

A Boocher,

I think you missed the beam for the splinter, on that one.

Anonymous said...

Velvet said: “I think you missed the beam for the splinter, on that one.”

My comment: I think I understand what you’re saying and recognize that what Gary says may be justified, but it is still his perception. If such material is presented without personal comment it puts the responsibility on the reader in determining whether to accept it as making a positive or negative contribution to their life.

I have dealt with many situations where people form personal perceptions that are totally opposite from the facts in a situation; due to a biased opinion. Of course these are my personal perceptions.

One thing I have learned is to ask myself questions before getting emotional distraught about a situation. One question I asked is what does this have to do with my life and what can I do about it. If the answer is nothing, I look at other questions before getting embroiled in something that has no solution.
A. Boocher

Leonardo said...

"Forgiveness is for the weak and for the perpetual victim. Christianity is a victim religion. Anger is for the strong...Forgiveness is a gutless form of fake justice."

Wow, these little "pearls of wisdom" sound like they've come direct from the mind of Adolph Hitler...either him or Plasma Dude!

Plas, sorry to inform you, but I think you missed the glories of the National Socialist German Worker's Party by a good 75 years at least. But not to worry, another group similar to it may very well arise within your lifetime.

Leonardo said...

And Plas, you might want to perhaps rethink a few things. I highly doubt that any kind of raging anger will provide the kind of "happy and healthy environment, free of any religious bullshit" you so idealistically envision for your offspring.

Yes, these efforts might help to avoid one extreme of irrationality, but in practical reality may only serve to promote yet another equally destructive set of illusions.

As it is, it sounds an awful lot to me as if you're actual intent is raise future droid soldiers for the Fourth Reich. The Third Reich called them Hitler Youth, and the strategy didn't exactly work out as planned.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is there were skeptics back when Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and not a generation later it happened.

Even as Europe currently is going through the same kind of turmoil that led to both of the previous world wars people on this board are ignorant to the fact that mainland Europe and Britain are once again at odds.

Seeing as history tends to repeat itself in the face of ignorance, denial, and skepticism it is reasonable to assume the usual European battle lines will once again lead to a conflict that upon you people's realization of this you will likely commit suicide in order to escape the resulting harsh reality.

Leonardo said...

And then again your doomsday views may prove totally wrong, as those of the modern-day COG's have ALWAYS proved to be starting back in the 1840's with the Millerites. The biggest problem with COG prophecy buffs is that they just can't ever admit when they're wrong, which the historical record shows is virtually ALL of the time. This shows to me a clear and crippling ideological bias along with an arrogant refusal to face reality - and therefore an utter incapacity to predict the future with any kind of accuracy. You can argue all you want, but the historical record is crystal clear on this point.

Anonymous said...

You can call it doomsday; I call it history repeating itself. Back in WWI and WWII Germany was hostile to the Anglos.

Today there is big trouble in the European Union and England wants to bale, but Europe wants them to stay put. If England leaves the European Union, it will be the death nell because along with what is happening in Cyprus it will cause a domino affect. The rest of Europe subsequently will become increasingly agitated at England.

Also, England wants to keep the Faukland islands from Argentina and the Catholics now have an Argentine elected pope who has in the past been against England on this matter.

Both Ireland and Scotland are gaining renewed confidence in it's desire to rid itself of English influence in their lands, and this new pope will bolster those sentiments.

During both WWI and WWII Germany requested that Mexico (which is devotedly Catholic) attack the United States.

You call it doomsday, I call it anti Anglo history repeating itself, right down to the detail of there being the usual quota of scoffers.

Not of you people are prepared for economic trouble, let alone the kind of trouble the Anglo world is headed for; hence you will be committing suicide,

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All I can say is there were skeptics back when Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and not a generation later it happened."

Or, more likely, the temple was destroyed and gospel writers attributed prophetic powers to Jesus by making him "predict" it...

Velvet said...

"Not of you people are prepared for economic trouble, let alone the kind of trouble the Anglo world is headed for; hence you will be committing suicide,"

Question for you Anon! Do you or do you not believe the Jews have preserved the Oracles of God?

Because, if they have (I believe they have, overall), the postponements and Talmudic rules applied to the seven annual Sabbaths notwithstanding, right now, we are at Year 5774/5775 of God's 7000-year plan.

Hardly "Armageddon on our doorstep" IMO. Though we can certainly see the seeds of it being sown now, with the ever-so-subtly gradual increase of Nazis in Europe's national political parties. Which don't have enough control to bring on apocalypse tomorrow....but they certainly will, in a hundred years or so, if they remain largely invisible and unchecked, which they are doing, because mainstream media isn't even picking up on the disturbing signs --- much as they didn't in the 1930s.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 5:00 wrote: "Not of you people are prepared for economic trouble, let alone the kind of trouble the Anglo world is headed for; hence you will be committing suicide,"

You ever notice the ardent CERTAINY mingled with a sense of glee that the COG prophecy buffs make such dogmatic statements with? As if they truly have all the answers with respect to how the future will unfold. But if they did, then why do they have such a poor prophetic track record? Anon just refuses to face that fact, and zealously goes on making his empty pronouncements. These people would be hilarious if they were so pathetic in their prophecy-drenched minds.

Anonymous said...

You people keep talking about prophecy, etc. I haven't said anything about prophecy.

The fact i there is a growing anti Anglo sentiment in Europe very similar to that of the days leading up to both world wars.

The difference between that time and now is that all of the Anglo nations are considerably weaker now than then.

The fact is this Argentinian pope will take the side of Argentina in this growing dispute over the Fauklands.

The fact is if England leaves the EU it will further shake world confidence in that orginization and England will not be popular in Europe.

The fact is that both America and England have catholic nations as neighbors and if England gets aggressive regarding Argentina this will offend that pope and could lead to trouble.

Anonymous said...

Oh, another fact is that Germany controls the EU and is the strongest economy in Europe.

It is they who are dictating austerity terms to the weak EU nations like Spain, Cyprus,, and Greece. Once again Germany is a force in Europe.

You can chalk that up to prophecy if you want; I am merely saying what is happening in the world.

Anonymous said...

Oh, also, the leader of Argentina visited the pope (which was his first official visit from a head of state) and asked him to intervene in the matter of the fauklands.

Why would she petition this man unless she thought he had power to do something.

That power, along with Germany's power will spell double trouble for the Anglos.

Another fact is that certain Americans of a certain heritage were not 100% loyal to America in WWII.

Anonymous said...

And fail just like the previous one, and the one before it.

Anonymous said...

I have no intention of committing suicide if all these threatened prophecies come to pass. Why would I want to miss the fireworks after waiting 50 years to see them. Yes since 1960. Thankfully I am close enough to my natural end that suicide will probably not be necessary, if I see all these prophecies happen I will be so shocked I will have a heart attack no doubt. Sure anything can happen in the world, but usually it is not what is expected but a bit of a surprise -- just wait and see.

Anonymous said...

I see Dennis' comment "Sometimes someone will tell me that they left WCG in 1971 and my internal reaction is , " weren't around long enough to even get a stomach ache!".

Well I am one of those, I left in 1972/3, so long ago not quite sure, and does leaving date from when I stopped believing or when I actually got thrown out?
I grew up in WCG and went to AC. I would have to say it destroyed my family. My family might have been destroyed anyway but I will never know. I think anything that happens to a child has more impact. My childhood and adolescence in the WCG might not be like 40 years but it still has an impact. At least when I left at 21 I was young enough to start a new life. I have no idea what my life would have been like without the church commandeering my childhood. I suppose it could have been worse. I think the issues are the same really. My whole life I have been waiting for the world to end and made lots of decisions based on that, somehow it stayed programmed in the brain. Plus I never went to doctors. Well I don't want to whine there are way worse things that can happen, but it is not insignificant to have left in 1971 or 72 or whenever. I believed as much as anyone, and when I left I left all my friends and my life up to that point. Back then no one would talk to you when you left, plus my family was decimated.

Anonymous said...

I mentioned suicide because the sons of apes have no other hope. At least the god boys can pray to whatever they believe in but the athiest can only rely on survival of the fittest.

To the monkey boys their superior intellect will be their hope, but like Einstein lost in the Amazon forest they will get a rude lesson in what it really takes to survive.

This is why an atheist would be better off offing himself.

If England persists in clinging to one of its last vestige of theft, i.e. the Falklands and/or if England leaves the EU while the German controlled organization is in such a vulnerable state England will stink from Latin America to Europe.

Germany controlled Europe and if and when this new papa of Rome publicly condemns England it will snowball into both religious and political marginalization of England an whomever backs her, meaning us.

Some say its prophecy come true; who knows and who cares. The reality is that Europe is imploding and historically this means trouble for England and involvement for the US and people inside the US having old world sentiments.

Scare tactics? Sure, but these type of world events have historical precedent.

Anonymous said...

And what I meant by some Americans having old world sentiments are those who still have some ethnic and/or religious affinity for Europe.

If papa Rome stokes anti Anglo sentiment because of the matter of the Faklands and if he feigns righteous indignation against the legacy of colonialism, all while thumping his book, the masses will be stirred up and looking for an imperial scapegoat.

This man even may demand loyalty to the Roman church over one's own flag. You know how the god boys get when threatened with hell fire.

Anonymous said...

who would think the Falklands would be so significant? I thought Jerusalem was the scene of action. I don't see the Roman Catholic church having so much power, we are living in a more and more secular world. Of course the Arabs are becoming extreme in many cases but that is following a religion still mired in the middle ages, and a largely uneducated population. I believe all extreme religion is dangerous actually. You (prophetic anonymous) are coming up with weird scenarios and trying to weave apocalyptic religion around them. Honestly I don't think atheists kill themselves any more than anyone else. What about all those people believing in fantasies which can't possibly be true -- they can't all be right. How will they feel when their little fantasy fails to occur? They'll just invent another one or adjust the former one.

Anonymous said...

You are using cliche cookie cutter answers to rebut me instead of looking critically at the realities of the kind of world we live in.

You also are desperately trying to accuse me of prophecy so that you can link me to the failed god boys and their rants.

But whether you acknowledge it or not, the fact remains that Argentina is so serious about getting their islands back that they once tried aggression and now they see an opportunity to gain an advantage.

Given the historical posture of the Brit and given his prideful ways, England will not relent; also there's billions in oil around the Falklands.

The issue has led to war before and may do so again, but this time the religious leader of the largest god boy cult in the world is involved and he has the power to callon the whole of Latin America in some sort of religious type decree to help Argentina.

This thing could easily snowball out of control.

Anonymous said...

History statistically has shown that no empire lasts forever and that a waning empire often accelerates its demise by trying to retain its last vestiges of graft. This is a historical fact.

What you see happening to England is just history repeating itself. Frankly England should logically have fallen to the Germans back in WWII but for US.

The next couple of years should be interesting. Maybe the Celts be liberated this season.

Anonymous said...

Prophetic anonymous, glad we only need to wait a couple of years, better than waiting for 40 or 50. At least you will have time to think of more prophecies or interpretations of politics.
I remember the last war in the Falklands. Funny thing is I remember a little story about a family who moved to the Falklands because they thought the world was ending and the Falklands - a little island at the end of the earth in the southern hemisphere would be a safe haven, away from Europe and the middle east and the Northern powers. Were they ever shocked when war started there. Just shows you never know. What about Madagascar, I always fancied that larger island.

Anonymous said...

You call it prophecy, but the reality is that it is the politics of money, power and national sovereignty.

The fact that this leader of the god boy cult is now involved (and that he also is from Latin America) potentially adds a whoe new dimension of unity that has not been seen since the days before Napoleon.

Your denial is just typical of he who won't face the fact that he is aboard a ship that has taken on water and is simultaneously being approached by a tidal wave of religious evil.

Evolve your way out of this one, won't you?

Anonymous said...

Anon, your above rambling "reasoning" is ample evidence why fundamentalist fanatics such as yourself are never taken seriously. You use many words yet say absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

Typically a person who has nothing to say merely resorts to personal insults rather than legitimate rebuttal.

Fact is the leader of Argentina is involving a leader of the roman church in a political matter that in the past a war was fought over.

Fact is this man has in the past called England's possession of the Faklands a usurping and called on Argentinians to pray on the matter.

Fact is a leader of the roman church has not been involve politically in a matter of this magnitude since WWII.

Fact is whenever the roman church involves itself in political matters of such a magnitude, nations who follow this leader tend to rally around him.

Fact is history always repeats itself, even to the least of details like there being scoffers who hate any critical observation of what is occurring in the world.

Anonymous said...

There is no justice without punishment for the incorrigibly abusive.