Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dennis On: "Are We the Scoffers of I Peter 3 and Are We In Big Trouble?"

mocking photo: mocking thHP060.jpg

 Are We the Scoffers of I Peter 3 and Are We In Big Trouble?

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorEvery church pastor I have ever met or heard on the radio pulls out the "Scoffer Card" when times get tough.  The local Baptist churches around Greenville must be experiencing a lot flack these days from the youth and from people who come and go through their congregations because they all are giving sermons on this scoffing and persecution for their views. They deserve it as they refuse to update themselves and think it's 1945.  I think these guys meet every Monday morning and pick the theme on radio of the week because they all speak of it using the same scriptures all week long.  Scoffing at religion and religious leaders was not invented by WCG and the splinter explosion that came from it.  They did perfect it however providing endless reasons for scoffers to scoff.  

 Most theologians now feel that I and ll Peter were not written by the Gospel Peter and in fact, each book was probably written by two different men 70-90 and as late as 112 AD.  These are books written in the name of Peter but in excellent Greek using the Greek OT which most feel any real Galilean Peter would never do nor could he.  He was just a fisherman after all.  It is pseudopigrapha or a false writing written to address the great disappointment  of still no show Jesus.  

In the WCG/Splinter experience, we have been given an never ending parade of self appointed prophets, priests, witnesses, messengers, watchers and Apostles that make their living off the concept of "soon,"  "just around the corner," "by Feast time," "by Pentecost" , "By 2016" and of course, the New Testament gives them all the terminology they need to promote the soon of the Second Coming.   However the modern day splinters and all of fundamentalist Christianity are having exactly the same problems today with the no show Jesus as the early churches did back when those scriptures actually applied to them.  It is humorous to me that 2000 years later, a minister can still quote the ancient texts as if they were just written for today and no one questions this.  

In reality, NONE of the NT soon and shortly statements are for us. It was for them and it failed to deliver.  Duality and types were invented to solve this problem and keep it all going low these thousands of years later. 

Of course early Christians scoffed at the ministry .  They were the ones telling everyone   "things which must SHORTLY come to pass."  That "the hour NOW IS!"  That "the day is FAR SPENT"  and "Little Children, it is the LAST HOUR."    Of course it wasn't.  The Apostle Paul spent his thirty year career telling everyone that he would be among the "we who are alive and remain."  He fully expected Jesus to return in his time and only near the end when he got old did he wake up and smell the coffee.. Of course he had also taught others to not marry, not date and send it in so he brewed his own scoffers as did they all.  Paul exited the scene in classic "I"  "me" and "my" style with his "I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith..therefore there is laid up for ME......which I shall receive."  Etc.  I'm not sure Paul actually kept the faith.  He kept his faith and his version of that faith but it seems "All those in Asia have turned aside from me..." had another version in mind.  I bet Paul called them scoffers. 

It is not scoffing to notice something does not happen as presented.  Ron Weinland was never subtle in his views of who he thought he was and the message he thought he had to bring.  Dave Pack is not subtle in this either nor is Gerald Flurry.  They'd draw the scoffer out of most critically thinking human beings.  What they say is simply foolishness and fantasy made up in their heads.  Flurry sees himself in Malachi,  Pack in Haggai and Weinland in Revelation .  Ron evidently still doesn't see himself in prison but I am sure he thinks this is the time for his prison epistles just like the Apostle Paul whose teachings he rarely taught or even understands.

II Peter was written by someone to address the now 2000 year old problem of "where is this Second Coming that YOU say is SOON?"    How soon is soon to you guys.  What kinda soon are we talking about here because I am actually giving a lot to you guys for "a short work," as you quote to us often and have put relationships on hold because of your "3-5 years, maybe 10, 15 at the most, 25 max..."   carrot dangling.  

Let's take a quick look at II Peter and see whose right.  Scoffers or Apostles?   Let's also notice that there is truly nothing new under the sun when it comes to making an apologetic for the obvious.  The write of II Peter is going to sound awfully familiar to the WCG experience. 

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II Peter 3:
1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

In other words, you still should listen to us on these matters. The author does not bother to tell them which commandment "of the Lord" he is thinking of but whatever it was it was really their local Apostles who will interpret for them.  It sounds to me like a little too much critical and not so cooperative thinking was going on and there had to be a lid slammed down on it before the pot boiled over. 

3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

This is the first time mockers and scoffers make their way onto the scenes .  Too much time had passed since Jesus ascended and promised to come back.  A good 50  years at least.  John Kennedy died 50 years ago to give you some context.  Now this "Peter" connects the idea of scoffing and mocking to lust.  Isn't that always the case.  "The reason you want to mock and scoff or believe in good science done well is because you want to disobey God and do what you want to do." Noooooo... there is no connection between these two concepts but it's nice to assign some devious motive to their simple observation that soon does not really seem to be soon.  It makes the Apostle feel better probably to not think they are just making a correct observation.  The comment in verse 4 is a 100% true statement.  People were dying who were sold on the idea that they would only be changed in a moment and a twinkling of an eye and not see death as other men.  It was messing them up.  Whatever signs that generation used to prove to themselves they were in the last times were just going on and on.  The Romans wouldn't get lost, seemed more powerful than ever and you can't even get near Jerusalem anymore if you're a Jew.

5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

When and Apostle says "they maintain" he really means  "they stubbornly hold on to this observation..."  This shows he was up against some deadly serious observations and criticism for all the soon and shortly stuff of the past few decades.   And of course, anyone with a clear mind and eyes to see would too.  Whatever "soon" and "shortly" meant to the scoffers, it was obviously not the same kind of "soon" and "shortly' of the ministry, as we shall see.  Sound familiar? 

God is giving us more time
The wisdom of man is foolishness with God
There is a way that seeeeeeems  right to a man....but it ends in death
My ways are not your ways....
and in this case...
God does not count time like you do and days are not really days stupid...

Frankly, I don't understand the writers point in what he says "escapes their notice..."    His water/fire story leads nowhere that I can tell.  Of course the earth was not born out of water in reality.  Water came later in the birth of the earth but that's science and not theology.  Since in the Noah story God promises no more big water events, he goes on to say it will be by fire but again, is not any answer to the question of "my Lord delays his coming."  

I can't resist saying to this one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day defense.  And you know this?  Is this just what you make up when the Apostle also knows the coming is delayed but he can't admit it?  Did he ever season his previous time is short and Jesus is coming soon statements with this little bit of made up apologetic.  No he did not because he didn't need it then when he thought soon was still soon in real time.  But now we go into spirit time and magical thinking.  Next comes the double speak that "the Lord is not slow in the way humans think of slow," when in fact this is classic slow and not soon or shortly either.  I suppose he could have said that "Soon is not soon as you think of it as soon and shortly is a longer shortly than men come up with."  No matter, the Deity can't lose so the apologetic has to be woven for the brethren.  We have seen Ron Weinland do a lot of re weaving of predictions along the way when it was obvious he was wrong wrong wrong..   I can still hear him chiding the church for misunderstanding what he said and they did not listen.  It was "spiiiiirrrrritual !...stupid."  Actually this is what the author of Peter is doing as well.  Same ploy and same inability to just say that he was wrong.  But he will trade "soon" and "shortly" for another word that is just as good as motivator to not scoff or mock.

We also see the author of Peter uses the same "God is giving us more time," excuse and again something that was never brought up about God wanting all to be saved etc...until he had to make an excuse for God and the slowness of soon and shortly.  I'm surprised the author did not say that God was giving "you brethren" more time to get your wicked act together and "make it into the kingdom."  

thief photo: Thief Thief.jpg

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

So now the Second Coming is not soon or shortly, it is going to be sneaky and you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout , I'm telling you why....Jesus Christ is coming suddenly.  The thief might come neither soon or shortly, but he comes sneaky and suddenly. Brilliant move!  Suddenly is like soon or shortly but unknowable.  Great compromise of the error!  Members and those who notice that none of what the ministry predicts comes  true are turned into scoffers and mockers and the ministry gets to reset and redefine the clock. 

Alas the heavens have not passed in 2000 years nor the elements destroyed with intense heat.  All these people are dust and the beat goes on.  

So, those who notice that neither Church , Pastor or even Bible predictions came true in any sense humans would think they would is not scoffing or mocking.  It is noticing the obvious and speaking up.  Ministers and churches get scoffed at and mocked when they keep up the charade, change the rules as they go and blame the listeners for not listening.  We scoff at those who take  offices and titles unending to themselves and preach themselves way too much.  

The author of Peter simply could not bring himself to say "I don't know," or "We were wrong."  Modern day seers would choke on those words I expect.  He had to mystify and redefine the words and then blame those who noticed calling them scoffers and mockers.   And so it still is today.  

No....those who notice what the ministers, apostles, witnesses , watchers and non prophets say which is either silly, stupid or insane are not in one bit of trouble with the Deity.  They don't scoff or mock.  Ok well they do but it is the church and the leaders that provide the ammo.  We just notice it....I suppose it could be viewed as actively working out one's own salvation and not being snookered. 

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Anonymous said...

Exactly how soon is soon to you, Jesus?

Anonymous said...

The only ones in real trouble are those who reject Christ.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The only ones in real trouble are those who reject Christ.

Which version?

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Dennis Diehl said, "They'd draw the scoffer out of most critically thinking human beings".

MY COMMENT - I never dreamed 45 years ago sitting in the Worldwide Church of God each Sabbath that some day far in the future I will be "one of the bad people" condemned to the Lake of Fire for scoffing at all things HWA and WCG related.

By the way Dennis, I think you are the most intellectually honest minister to ever come out of the WCG. Thanks for your article and perspective on this Sabbath morning.


Michael said...

"Behold i come quickly..." penned circa 90 AD?
As Harold Bloom wrote "Two thousand years ... cannot be termed a mere delay in finalities" :-)

Anonymous said...

Indeed you people are scoffer, that's a fact.

Anonymous said...

I believe also that in the next three years you will also be wishing for strength to endure until the end seeing as how your faith in survival of the fittest will merely prove that your are of the weak.

Corky said...

The soon coming of Jesus within that end time generation of 2,000 years ago is what gives Xianity away as being a wrong interpretative method for the Old Testament.

The apostolic method consisted of interpreting the things that supposedly happened to the Jews in the OT as only allegorical of what was to be fulfilled in their time. In other words, a sort of "dual" fulfillment of scripture.

People are still trying to interpret "the truth" out of it instead of admitting there is nothing there but old myths and early iron age morality. The dual fulfillment of OT Scripture method of interpretation failed because of the non-return of Jesus.

The non-return proves that the whole method of interpretation was a mistake and a failure. The Jews could see that...the gentiles? Well, they're still making fools of themselves over it.

Anonymous said...

And to those that believe that point is clearly addressed in Luke 12:45-46 & 2 Peter 3:4.

An objective observer can clearly see these very things playing out before us: you people are the scoffers and the Packs, Flurrys, and Weindlands of the world fulfill Luke 12:45-46.

Byker Bob said...

WCG was the absolute master of the misapplied paradigm. They made more self-serving all purpose cliches out of lessons which were intended to cover very narrow and specific situations than Hugh Hefner has Viagara pills.

Scoffers is simply a variant of bitter, or any other manifestation of opposition to the Armstrong way.


Anonymous said...

I've read and thought about all this in the past while, and I really appreciate your way of setting it out and explaining it, Dennis - helps to reinforce my understanding.


Anonymous said...

I look at you people and the Flurry Weindland Thiel types as two wings of the same evil bird, accomplishing nothing more self fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

If armstrongism had yet to ever exist, you scoffers would still be finding ways to sow seeds of doubt about the words of the bible; it is simply what you do.

Your reason for visiting this site and validating the words of an obviously bitter man serves no other purpose than to fill a void in your otherwise unremarkable eixistence as sons of apes.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! "Bitter"! You realize that your inability to express yourself except through churchspeak reveals that you're not an individual in your own right, just an avatar of a dead man.

HWA was a man who promoted ridiculous and absurd ideas, the remains of his shattered church are dedicated to the preservation and publication of that absurdity, and so are you. But you have a choice. You can stand up and be your own person.

Questeruk said...

Let’s be clear about this, what is being written here is not really an attack against the man HWA, or the various groups of the COGs.

Rather, it is actually an attack against the beliefs of all of Christianity – one third of the population of the world, 2 billion nominal Christians.

Anonymous said...

No it is you who is the avatar; you assume I am one of them simply because I disagree with your kind, not because you have any proof because you have none.

Not once have I defended these people but rather I have been critical of your kind, Ie you whose fathers are apes. Clearly you people are just opposite sides of the same lead coin. And in your cases you are purely reactionary, offering no solutions or hope, and not even benefitting from your position. This means you are losers.

Yet you parrot DD in that your primary rebuttal is a series of personal insults on people that disagree with you. This type of dialogue is certainly in line with the belief that we humans are nothing more than carcasses destined to be road kill.

Anonymous said...

Are we supposed to not believe what we see with our own eyes (you are almost exclusively attacking hwa as evident by this websites' title and posts)? Who's being manipulative???

Why don't you "attack " these other god boy organizations like the cult of little boy molesters, or the cult of the "blow you to bits along with mysel".

You are actually afraid of them that's why. The hwa's are a soft target, right?

Anonymous said...

You do realize Questeruk, that the blog owner is a Christian? He's probably getting ready for church right now.

Anon, they're soft targets too, but personally, I was never a Catholic or a Muslim. If I had been abused by a Priest instead, I'd probably be on an anti-Catholic blog instead. I don't think anybody is trying to manipulate anyone though, not even you. Free country.

I assume you are one, like I used to be too, because of churchspeak, not because of all of the statements that begin with "you people." As soon as you say the word "bitter" you're showing your Armstrong Police credentials. According to an Armstrongite, there's only one reason why anyone who ever left did so, "bitterness," because Armstrongism is the one true church with all of god's favor all the answers to everything now and forever more. All that dogma falls apart as soon as you imagine it isn't above questioning, but you wouldn't know that. I was once in your shoes, doing the bidding of a dead man too. Maybe I know what it's like to be in your position, but you don't know what it's like to be in anybody else's.

And let's not talk about proof. I absolutely think you're supposed to believe everything you see with your own eyes. By that same token, in the absence of proof ought to be the absence of belief, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. That's the way even an Armstrongite conducts every other aspect of their lives except when it comes to religion. The only difference between a religious person and an atheist/agnostic is that for an atheist there's no exceptions to that rule. If you do turn out to be roadkill after all, you'll never know it. I'm not sure how your solutions and hope are going to benefit you, but that's okay, you can be the "winner."

Anonymous said...

Btw, I am offended that you would say that my primary rebuttal is a set of personal insults. That's not true at all. But don't forget that I know the word "bitter" is supposed to be the most insulting and manipulative word in Armstrongism. I guess I'm just beyond being manipulated by anyone anymore. Maybe that's true and maybe it isn't, but I'm def. beyond being manipulated by churchies.

Corky said...

Pointing out the obvious is attacking? Does it matter that 2 billion people believe a lie, is that going to make it true?

The kingdom and judgment day was "at hand" 2,000 years ago. Jesus' return was to be within that generation. The soon return of Jesus was the the main theme of the whole NT Canon and it failed to happen. So, could pointing that out be "rejecting Christ" or attacking people for believing in a myth? I'd say it's attacking the myth but it seems that people would rather believe the myth than face the obvious, written down fact, that they thought "the end of all things is at hand" 2,000 years ago but was not "at hand" at all and they were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Since when is it attacking people to point out that they were and are so obviously wrong?

Anonymous said...

After reading His "about me" section it is clear the man has a gripe against his former church association.

Anonymous said...

Well, quit focusing on the word bitter and using other distractions: rebut the points. Oops first thing that comes to your mind is an insult; try again.

You have no rebuttal because, you by your own admission are simply a mammalian whose only here today and gone tomorrow never to be remembered more than a generation from now. At least the god boys while they live have pie in the sky.

Your existence is as meanigless as a bug smashed against a windshield according to your beliefs; this is why it is so easy for you people to invent the weapons that the god boys use you to get; your view of living things is no more empathetic than a dog killing a rabbit.

Anonymous said...

Attack is the word DD used (you obviously didn't read what he said). But it is also obvious that he is almost exclusively critical of the armstrongites rather than "religion" in general.

He is OBVIOUSLY not critical of blood lusting muslims or child lusting catholic priests.

Anonymous said...

The only proof is that you will end up in no better condition than that wooly mammoth carcass recently discovered.

This is the tangible proof of the ages.

Corky said...

Anonymous said...

Attack is the word DD used (you obviously didn't read what he said).

He did? Where? I think it was Questeruk who used that word.

Questeruk said...

Corky said...
“Since when is it attacking people to point out that they were and are so obviously wrong?”

Hi Corky –

I don’t believe that Dennis used the word 'attack'. I did, but I didn’t say Dennis was ‘attacking people”.

What I said was that what Dennis was writing “is actually an attack against the beliefs of all of Christianity”.

I was saying that Dennis was attacking the BELIEFS of 2 billion people. This is clearly correct – one definition of ‘attack’ is to “direct hostile words or writings at..”, which is certainly what Dennis was doing.

My point is that, under the guise of attacking (directing hostile writings at) HWA and the COGs, Dennis is actually attacking (directing hostile writings at) all of Christendom.

Anonymous said...

I hope no one gets their panties in a twist thinking Dennis is attacking all of Christendom.

Anonymous said...

"My point is that, under the guise of attacking (directing hostile writings at) HWA and the COGs, Dennis is actually attacking (directing hostile writings at) all of Christendom."

So, what's your point?

Byker Bob said...

Hypothetically speaking, what if a particular religious philosophy were false? Satan-inspired? Produced bad fruits? Had as part of it's gospel message extrabiblical theories, some of them racist? Falsely defrauded people of moneys God intended for them to have to raise and take care of their families by exaggerating the tithing system? Mispent those tithes on (figurative) pork rather than on the actual spread of the gospel?

Would it not be your duty before God to expose and attack such a system?


Anonymous said...

Yes you are correct. And frankly an objective observer would still conclude that DD is attacking, mocking, SCOFFING. He should be merely rebutting and refrain from personal insults like calling Meredith spanky (although that reference did prompt a lol when I first read it).

DDR does have some legitimate points, but I guess like todays tabloid journalism he has to keep his public's attention by being entertaining.

Anonymous said...

What or who is "DDR"?

Anyhoo, if something is mockworthy, I don't object to someone mocking it.

It's interesting that some in the mockworthy COGs have no problem mocking that which they see as mockworthy (to pick one of many examples: Catholicism), but when mocking hits one's wacky religion too close to their personal belief system, they wish bears would "go old-testament" on the mocker- bears coming out of the woods and tearing the mocker to shreds.

Byker Bob said...

You could make the point that we actually learned to mock others' beliefs directly from WCG. It was a de riguer part of the curriculum.

The problem is, "they" don't like it when we turn it around, and apply it to "them".

Mocking can fall into the category of ad hominem, and it's always best to stick to points, factual material, and logic. Usually, once one individual deviates from higher methodology, it invites others to participate as well. Since HWA/WCG did make such a deviation, it comes as no surprise that the conversation would sink to their low level.