Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dennis Musing on...

 

Feast Gifts!!!!


 
I still have that picture in my head of going into my 12ish year old son's room and upon exiting seeing countless small pieces of paper taped to the back of his door.  It was the moment I recognized my kids actually did look forward to the "Feast."  He had a piece of paper for each day left until the next festival and removed one every day in countdown fashion.  Even I never did that with Christmas!

 
Years later, that same son, now with his own family and far removed from the Church stopped at Jekyll Island Feast site and just stood in the back recalling what he perceived as his good old days.  Then he left.

 
But of all things, it was those "Feast Gifts" we gave them along the way that were the stuff their memories were made of.  For kids, it was the substitute for not keeping Christmas of course.  It was even better than Christmas we would tell them to lessen the downer it must have been when they actually came upon the Christmas season.  I grew up with Christmas as did most of us, but it was not actually the big deal to me that "The Feast" was to be in my WCG experience.  Today one son is a non church participant and we have a good relationship and my oldest is a practicing Catholic who enjoys the stabililty and form the church has to offer.  When he was in catechism class he'd call me to ask stuff like,  "now tell me the story of _____________ in the Bible, so I can get through these classes ,  and don't tell me whether it really happened or not!"   :)

 
Preacher Boys (Stuff Fundies Like)

Of course it was not really the Feast, i.e, Church, they were excited about. It certainly was not the sitting or the "happy" hymns.   It was not the sermonette that so often seemed, to me, like a time wasting filler so we could say we spent a lot of time at church.  It probably was not the special music unless they were stuck doing it with YES/YOU choirs.  Lord knows it was not the sermons, but I have to say as well that, in spite of enjoying my youthful experience growing up in the Presbyterian Church, I cannot recall one sermon ever given either.  I do remember in detail the picnics, hayrides and Boy Scouts sponsored by the church.

 

Scholar for my attendance like Bueller, so no use for a.. – Avian
 
 

 It was the time off, the location, the beach, the friends, the freedom that they looked forward to.  And the gifts...

 
 

and...
  

X-Wing Fighter - Star Wars Collectors Archive

 and...

 
Print Star Wars Exclusive Jabba the Hutt's Throne Playset Review


                                              ...specifically comes to mind back in the day


But as the years have worn on and those times are past, it occurs to me, after seeing such craziness in religion as represented by the James Malm, Gerald Flurry and Dave Pack types, I thought it might be good to encourage everyone associated with these under trained, over funded and ego centric know nothings some Feast gifts that would probably do them some good.  As Dave Pack might say,  "I don't think I have ever received a Feast quite like this before.  Maybe I did once,  but nothing quite like this.


                                                     For your consideration:

 


 

and how about...


CeeTec Publishing


or...


Home - Sermon on the Mount: Campus Bible Study Library Resources

or God forbid...

 
Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible - Book of Galatians

 

Personally I would give these as a feast gifts just to let them know that mere Bible reading and then just reexplaining in a sermon what everyone just read is not really being a theologian with the responsibility to actually inform people about all things religious and life changing ...

 

          Book review: Bart D. Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus. | Godswill Ministries                         bart d. ehrman | Tumblr     


                                                                         


                Bart Ehrman, Questioning Religion on Why We Suffer : NPR                                                 621419


                                                                   





but not...

 

The Old Testament: A Manual of Christian Living on Vimeo

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments:

Joe Moeller said...

Dennis:

Thanks for reminding me, I almost forgot!

I am sending Thiel, Malm, Flurry and Pack their FOT presents right now via internet ordering...

http://www.enemasupply.com/

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Allen C. Dexter said...

I'm sure there were happy memories of feasts for my children as well. Getting things you earnestly desire brings joy to everyone. I still feel that joy when I'm running dangerously low on money and someone calls to book a carpet cleaning or a wedding ceremony.

I suppose self-righteous people can condemn that feeling as being mercenary and lustful, but it's just natural. Our little dogs gather around expectantly after a shopping trip with that "did you bring me something good" look on their "lustful" little faces. Religion tends to be a killjoy enterprise in so many cases. I'm surprised that HWA didn't forbid our feeding our kids "lusts" that way.

Head Usher said...

When I was young, I looked forward to the feast because it was a vacation, we got to go somewhere and stay in a hotel and eat nice food out at good restaurants, and I got toys and presents. I didn't look forward to the the church part at all, except for the fact that was where you went to meet new people and make your feast friends. But as you get older, either you leave, or you exchange the tangible toys for an intangible one.

Everyone gets older, but not everyone grows up. Not everyone does as Paul admonishes and, "puts away childish things." And to me, god is a "childish thing," like one of those feast toys I got when I was 8 years old. God may be an intangible toy, but he's a toy nonetheless. So even though I didn't look forward to the church part of the feast, now I see that the church services are just as much "feast toys" as the Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks I got when I was 8. The church services were just scheduled playtime with a toy that wasn't really designed for an 8 year old.

I am reminded of Thurston Howell on "Gilligan's Island" who was retirement age and still slept with "Teddy" his stuffed bear, as a kind of security blanket. That is what it means to me to be a "religious adult": an adult that still plays with toys, even though his toy is an invisible one, and he carries around his invisible stuffed "Yahweh" for security everywhere he goes.

For adult Armstrongists who go to the feast, they're going there to play with a toy, just like I did when I was 8. Thurston Howell clutching his "Teddy" may cut a ridiculous figure, but he's no different than any practicing religious believer. Just because it's a socially acceptable childish behavior doesn't make the behavior any less childish. What sets Armstrongism apart from many of the larger religions is that in theory, there's no such thing as a non-practicing Armstrongite.

I'm not trying to be harsh, here, so I'm sorry if anyone reading this feels offended by it. I'm just keeping it real yo. If reading this makes you feel angry, I'm not really the one your anger should be directed at. Practicing, "religious adults" are people who haven't really grown up, and I think religion is a horrible affliction for childish parents to saddle their children with as they try to figure out what it means to become an adult.

Byker Bob said...

I believe these feast gifts came into play after I left in 1975, but they would not have significantly improved conditions in my own family while we were growing up.

My parents had totally bought into the premise that good parenting meant that you punish at the drop of a hat. The hours away from them during normal public school season were my only link to reality and sanity, because my parents were not unlike a James Malm, a Gerald Flurry, or a Dave Pack. So, 24-7 being in the car with them while travelling, dining, or attending services were just horrible. The only thing one could do was to get up each morning with a carpe diem attitude, looking for stolen moments when one could secretly take charge and have some illicit fun with like minded friends.

Even though we had our homework assignments to complete, those two "lost" weeks would always put us so far behind that it was difficult to catch up. You weren't allowed to do them during the many church services, and it was difficult to do them in the car while travelling in exciting areas one had never seen before. I ended up worrying about school many of my waking hours, and it was the one time of the year during which I envied the Imperial students.

They'd always tell us that the feast was better than Christmas because it lasted longer. But, they were not being totally truthful about that. Christmas is a season, not just the actual day. The tree is not just put up and decorated on and for the one day, nor are the decorations to one's house. Shopping, and getting together with family lasts for days. The big difference is that most people don't go to indoctrinational church services every single day of the season. There may be an additional pageant, or carolling, but most families who attend church usually only go to one service, and that is on Christmas day. Oh, and the focus of the Christmas season is Jesus Christ, not the Germans coming, not Armstrongism being established as God's government on earth for the millennium, and not "how to" lessons on the joys of becoming an international pariah during the present life.

When it comes right down to it, being lied to about Santa Clause did far less damage in my life than being lied to about 1975.

BB

Head Usher said...

"Oh, and the focus of the Christmas season is Jesus Christ, not the Germans coming, not Armstrongism being established as God's government on earth for the millennium, and not "how to" lessons on the joys of becoming an international pariah during the present life.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Byker Bob said...

Allen,

Do you have any internet presence with your businesses?

Up until last week , I didn't think I did. But a lady transported some equipment all the way up from Yuma, about a five hour trip up and five hours back, for me to repair. They had my telephone number and my address, and when I asked, "Who do I need to thank for the referral; how did you folks find me?", I was told that they found me on the internet. There must be some yellow page directory involvement going on, or my business name associated with some of the manufacturers' websites, but I am thinking for the first time of creating a website. Clearly, there is additional potential there.

Normally, I like to compartmentalize my hobbies (hotrods, guitars, and motorcycles) from my business life, and don't encourage people bringing their equipment to my house, but, after all, these folks were from Yuma.

Anyhow, Just thought that if internet is not something you are already doing, it might even out some of the hills and valleys. Last week made a believer out of me!

BB

Allen C. Dexter said...

To answer your question, Bob, I advertise free of charge on Craig's list both my carpet and wedding ceremonies businesses. My phone account is a business line which gets me a free DEX listing for Allen's Vows Your way under wedding chapels and ceremonies. That is online as well as in the book.

I did have a website, but it was costing me too much. I understand there are cheaper ways to go now, so you might want to look into that. I think you're a little more savvy than I am in computer stuff.

To see my wedding ad, go to Flagstaff Craig's List and look under events for Wedding Minister -- Bi-Lingual. Every third day, I bring it forward. You can only do that after 48 hours.

Anonymous said...

Dennis,

I know of which you speak!

"Back in the day", I knew scores of fellow children feastgoers, and NOT ONE cared a lick about the staunchy sermons and services.

Any and all of the excitement and joy was about getting off from school, traveling and hotel stays on the way there, presents(which sometimes unfortunately included tube socks although most presents were way better), fun that was had away from services while "at the feast", and the traveling and hotel stays on the way back home.

I doubt the garbage the UCG, LCG and PCG has feast sermons about now are much different than the garbage the WCG taught at their feasts.

Can you imagine a UCG Feast this year where during a sermon the minister holds up the big portrait of HWA that's been hanging at their headquarters and smashes it (and says they are "upgrading" and will replace it with a portrait of Charles Manson, since Manson was a cult leader responsible for only a few deaths while HWA was a cult leader responsible for a large amount of deaths)?

Or, can you imagine any ACOG Feast sermon abandoning the WCG's junk theology and truly trying to expand their parishioner's theological horizons?