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Thursday, May 2, 2013
Dennis Asks: "Which One Should You Trust When You Have Doubts?"
Which One Should You Trust When You Have Doubts?
Or Your Stomach?
A Short Lesson in Why We Say " I Can't Stomach This Anymore."
When it comes to making decisions to do or not do, to be or not be, to believe or not believe or not believe, there is just one question you need to ask. "Is the truth what my head is telling me or is the truth what my stomach is telling me?" I have said this before and it is not an original view of my own, but the answer is your stomach is telling you the truth. Your head is lying to you.
Let's just stick to church issues and look back on how we thought vs how we felt in the past, any number of times, when whoever was telling us how it all is, how we must be, what must happen, when it would happen or how God is doing this or that was declaring it to us.
Think of all the booklets you read that were the be all and end all on the chosen topic. Go back when you heard HWA make grand pronouncements about what the Bible said or how it applied to WCG and himself. What did you think in your head and what did you feel in your stomach? Which was correct? Think of being told how we were this or that era and others weren't. Think of Petra and make up. Think of how you thought vs how you felt when someone announced that healing was a James 5:14 thing and not a medical thing? What did your head tell you and what did your stomach tell you? What told you the truth when Gerald Waterhouse spent three or four hours telling you wild and speculative things about everything from who HWA was in the vast Universe and how we'd flee the tribulation and such. What did your head tell you and what did your stomach tell you.
I remember vividly when I ask GW what he would think or do when HWA died. He said, "He'd believe it after three days and three nights." My head did not even enter into the discussion. I almost barfed.
In hind site on most of these issues, I guarantee you, you argued in your head, the left side with the right side to come up with the same beliefs that these men were pushing at you, but in your stomach I well imagine such thoughts as...
This scares me
This is stupid
Where does he get this stuff?
That is only ONE way to view that and it makes me nervous
I don't think that is correct
This frightens me
Can you wrap it up so we can go home now?
He should not say that
People should not give that much to him
He should not tell people to sell their homes for him
I can't send that much in
When your head tells you one thing and your stomach tells you something else, your stomach is telling you the truth. Your brain is lying to you.
In years past and now with perfect hindsight, I sat through many a "Refresher Program" which was frankly exhausting for the most part. Some topics were interesting, some mind numbing boring and not well prepared. I recall one evangelist thinking a good marriage "refresher" would be to cover EVERY scripture relating to marriage from Genesis to Revelation both physical and spiritual. I left after about an hour by never coming back after a potty break with my head saying, "now you should go back" and my stomach saying "This is insane, boring and the man must have just got up this morning and grabbed his Nave's Topical Bible. I can't stomach this. And I didn't.
I recall one full session by the now current President of UCG telling us all how to use 3x5 cards and how to arrange them in the box on this or that topic ...I forget. My head said maybe the lecture would get better and my stomach said get out and go to the Rock and Mineral Show in Long Beach. The stomach was right!!! Great show!
I recall sitting through a seminar by the new Lawyer for the Church, Bernie Schnippert with my head and stomach both telling me this is the most arrogant and talking down lecture I have ever heard. Left that one too at potty time.
The lectures on divorce and remarriage made both my head and stomach feel united during the times of the Systematic Theology Project when we could finally get over thinking one could decide if people were bound or not bound and all the associated insanity that went with that. By a "miracle" everything that came up in the early years of my ministry the current couple and marriage was ok with God. :) My stomach simply would not listen to my head even then and I have no regrets on that topic. My stomach ruled as well on such topics as healing, make up and whether missing a Sabbath service because you had to go to a trade show or get fired also over ruled my head . For that, and the common sense that my dad had , I am eternally thankful. Growing up Presbyterian and not WCG also helped as did never pastoring in a metro area around the prying eyes and ears of other ministers.
So back to today in the schism, split, splinter, slivers and sawdust world of the Wild World Churches of God. Over the past couple of years we have all been exposed to more and more head/stomach statements by the likes of Gerald Flurry that Prophet, Dave Pack that Apostle, Bob Thiel that Non-Prophet and lesser but nonetheless boisterous Church of God leader wanna be's.
Are you finding yourself arguing in our head over their very Biblical sounding reasonings or feeling the churn of your emotions manifested in your stomach telling you all is not well? Remember, the emotions are the body's reaction to the mind. If the mind spins it's tale of "believe this and don't question it," while at the same time your emotions and stomach are the still small voice saying, "watch out," or this is "BS" learn to go with your stomach if you are ever going find personal peace and truth.
Very frankly, none of these men have a market on how it all is. No one does. But this talk and push for your unchallenged belief in all they say is a very dangerous and bad mental habit. Just as we only experience a very small sliver of the light and sound frequencies, lest we go nuts with it all, so no man has a corner on the truth. All there is to know we do not know. All there is to see we do not see. And all there is to hear we do not hear because of the limits our five senses put us under. These men spin tales about themselves and their ego promotes their minds to say amazingly stupid, arrogant and simply untrue things. Minds that tolerate even listening then start to argue with itself to either believe or not believe can be a tough habit to break. In the COGs, if you believe you stay. If you don't believe you must go. Getting into the Restored Church of God requires an obstacle course of requirements by the time you get to church. Head or stomach? Jesus said, the yoke was easy and the burden was light. Dave says the yoke is a yoke and it's ain't easy. Head or stomach?
I realize there is a habit of arguing with oneself and others while desperately wanting to believe what one is hearing and that even letting the stomach tell its truth is not even experienced. The mind/brain can simply not allow you to feel anymore truth or to question what you are hearing. That is a very dangerous shut off of common sense and reality.
I don't know what phoney and cobbled together prophecy Dave Pack has up his sleeve, but I can guarantee you it is bogus, made up, self serving and plainly a misuse of scripture. If presented to any number of trained theologians who know their stuff, Dave's views would collapse in hoots and howls of scorn and correct views of scripture. COG leaders have a bad habit of making the scriptures mean what they never meant to promote their own agendas. Pathetic behavior. I have heard that some of what Dave has in store relates to "Joshua" and that some kind of proof of his perfect rightness will take the form of other COG types dying. I don't know. Dave can't keep his church as sealed as he thinks it is. Some people who have stomach reactions instead of just head ones can't stomach it even in his own congregations.
I write this to ask you to rekindle your sensitivities to the difference between what your head argues you through when these various types pontificate about themselves and their views and what is going on your stomach.
If your head tells you yes and your stomach tells you know, your stomach is telling you the truth. The head is lying to you.
Just endeavoring to be helpful. No sense wasting my story and the hind sight reviewing my own mind/stomach reactions over the years and how they actually turned out. The stomach was right.....