Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Parents Brainwashed Me

From the 1st Annual Bronx Poetry Slam, 2013


27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Smart kid! There is hope in our youth in spite of the lies Gerald Flurry and others are sharing right now about the "state of affairs" of youth.

Head Usher said...

We would all be so much better off if this is all that religions were about, and didn't go the extra steps to concluding, in an entirely contradictory way, that because of all those things he mentioned, that made us better, or more special, or more right, than others with different ideas.

Byker Bob said...

Awesome. One man's guerrilla is another's freedom fighter. It all depends on how your perspective leads you to frame it.

There is, of course, still such a thing as cultic brainwashing. Who knows that better than we do? However, some are wont to take that too far, and to redefine the stamping of personal values upon one's children as being brainwashing.

This young man did an excellent job of addressing those who resent familially imparted values, because they cannot break through them to change a peer. I'd say he deserves his own set of car keys!

BB

Anonymous said...

The Judao-Christian cult is more dangerous as the Muslim cult.

Byker Bob said...

Incidentally, Gary always has such a wealth of pertinent information here, that it is difficult to give it proper attention, let alone digesting it all. If readers look to the right where other blogs are linked, they will see one called "Deep Thought Pub" The current entry on that blog is "Why Christians Should Thank Bart Ehrman", in which it is revealed that Bart, an agnostic, has just published a new book on the historic arguments in favor of Jesus.

I learned what I know of textual criticism from reading other of Bart's books. I have not yet acquired this latest book, but one of the reviewers states that Ehrman demolishes the mythicist approach about which we have been hearing so much here as if it were final and incontestable fact.

We had a group read of some other books on another site several years back, and it ended up being an edifying experience. One forum friend actually read Josephus and Eusebius simultaneously with me. Anybody interested in a group read and discussion of Ehrman's new book? After all, this is a highly respected author!

BB

Anonymous said...

that young man provides a good lesson to all you folks on here that get pleasure bashing those of us who keep the Sabbath and holy days, food laws,etc... and vilify HWA for teaching the same.

Anonymous said...

You think we vilify HWA for the sabbath and holy days???

Try false prophesy, teaching false and racist theories such as British Israelism, murder through unbiblical medical doctrine, promoting child abuse, aiding and abetting alcoholism, separating families, fleecing the flock and then spending irresponsibly, falsely claiming to be an apostle, committing incest, and many many more detrimental and unnecessary things.

Boy, aren't you the naive one? In all my time on these forums and blogs, I have yet to hear one ex-member complain about the sabbath, holydays, or clean meats. It's all the stuff the old man added that made the cult toxic.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10/30, 2013 at 11:01 PM-

You really seem to be missing the point.
I grew up in an area with a fairly large Jewish population, so I knew many Jewish kids like this.

However, because I grew up in HWA's church, I was not taught the graciousness of being kind and accepting toward people of other beliefs, (and sharing the enjoyment of Christian kids' rituals)like most of my Jewish schoolmates obviously were.
Never were the Jewish kids kept from Christmas assemblies at school- in fact, they liked them! And, I highly doubt my Jewish schoolmates imagined Satan and Demons lurking behind Christmas trees and Easter baskets, either.

Secular-Humanist-Buddhist said...

I suggest that parents tell their children what their values are and how they came to believe them. Likewise, parents should teach critical thinking skills and help their children develop the capacity to formulate their own values as they grow up. If beliefs or values are based only on "authority," it will be very easy for an adult or child to be convinced to discard her or his values and beliefs at convenience or whenever a new "authority" contradicts the old one.

Christopher McNeely said...

I appreciate the sentiment behind this post to some extent, but don't see its relevance on an ex-Armstrong blog. We were all brainwashed if we grew up Armstrong. And there's nothing this kid's Jewish parents taught him that couldn't be, or isn't, taught by secular parents.

Corky said...

Byker Bob said...
I learned what I know of textual criticism from reading other of Bart's books. I have not yet acquired this latest book, but one of the reviewers states that Ehrman demolishes the mythicist approach about which we have been hearing so much here as if it were final and incontestable fact.

Bob, I wasted the money to get Ehrman's book and it's the same tired old arguments that we've seen all our lives. But, mostly it's an un-scholarly rant against mythicists. Not so much against the mythicist's arguments but the mythicists themselves, which amounts to an ad hominem rant.

I was very disappointed. A biblical scholar like Bart Ehrman should not stoop to such tactics. Ehrman resorts to assumption and some other leaps of faith that you would not expect from an academic scholar. In the end, Bart Ehrman's whole argument rests on evangelical style literal exegesis of the Pauline letters.

If you buy the book, get the ebook. It's cheaper and less of a waste of good money.

Corky said...

People should simply just give up the idea that some people are more righteous than others. People should give up the idea that they are somehow chosen by some ghost in the sky.

Let's quit pretending that Jesus didn't have to take a dump without the convenience of toilet paper. Let's quit picturing immaterial beings wearing material garments.

C'mon, it's easy, you already know that it ain't so...

Byker Bob said...

Too late, Corky. I already got mine, have only gotten into the first chapter, know what the old tired arguments are from when I was atheist and agnostic, and your remarks are basically just what Ehrman forecast them to be.

What I have known for some months now is this: The mythicist and astrology research that we've been seeing is very trendy right now, but it is of basically Hislop quality. But, people are anxious to believe it, suspend their professed Randian objectivism, and simply let it pass. Erman is noted as being an academic who bases his conclusions on exhaustive research of primary sources. One could never honestly accuse him of "proof texting". And, he is an agnostic who knew that this latest book, in some peoples' minds, would throw his entire body of work into question. Yet, he wrote it anyway.

It behooves anyone to obtain the highest quality information from the best possible sources on which to base their life's decisions. We know that in the academic world, Bart Erman is perceived as being higher on the food chain that Josh McDowell or Lee Sobel. Let's see what he has to say. But, thanks for the warning. I'm impressed that you read the book and it's always nice to have my friends watching out for me.

BB

Britain W. Stevenson said...

Anonymous said...

Smart kid! There is hope in our youth in spite of the lies Gerald Flurry and others are sharing right now about the "state of affairs" of youth.

October 30, 2013 at 4:28 PM

If Gerald Flurry was really, "THAT PROPHET", he wouldn't be focused on condemning the youth of the PCG, but would be more focused on examining HIMSELF and his so called ministers, to see if THEY are measuring up to Christ's teachings and therefore setting a right example for the youth.

Anonymous said...

"You think we vilify HWA for the sabbath and holy days???"


ummm, yes...that's exactly why you vilify him, but you can't admit that, so you look for chinks in the armor and attack that....end result is, all he taught is discounted. (and that's all you really care about, right?)

if you examine any human being in The Church closely enough, you will find plenty to attack, so you haven't accomplished anything by pointing out HWA's imperfections....the Word of God stands, regardless.

Anonymous said...

The sabbath and holy days are not a requirement for Christians, so what's your point?

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous 9:26, I am amazed at your ability to know the secret motivations of people with whom you have no contact except reading what they have written on line. Wow. Just wow.

How much do you charge for psychic readings? Or do you read thoughts only out of charity, as a public service?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, surely you realize that there were Jewish Christians and Gentile Noahide Christians, right? You know that during Domitian's reign, Sunday keeping resurrection-celebrating Christians were martyred right next to the sabbath keeping ones in horrible heart rending ways that required the Holy Spirit to aid them in keeping the faith unto death. And you have read and understood Romans and Galatians correctly because you don't attempt to filter them through the Old Covenant, putting new wine into old wineskins?

Before judging us and assuming that we attack HWA's corruption just because we hate the sabbath, you may want to do a little more research. Or, maybe you think Ron Weinland is actually in jail for the sake of the gospel.

Personally, I don't hate HWA. I mean, if God forgives him for having been a false prophet, and lets him in the Kingdom instead of throwing him into the Lake of Fire, I'll even help him polish the Pope's sandals. I don't want HWA punished for all the bad he brought into my life, I want him forgiven and his heart transformed.

Anonymous said...

"Erman is noted as being an academic who bases his conclusions on exhaustive research of primary sources."

Really?

As Gavin Rumney wrote of Ehrman, "His book Did Jesus Exist? was a sloppy bit of work that did him scant justice. I'm still not convinced Ehrman has done much more than skim-read much of the material he critiques - particularly Doherty's Jesus: Neither God Nor Man."

...and...

"He's a skeptic. Not a skeptic about the Historical Jesus, but a skeptic about the mythicist position. I've heard Ehrman rant about this on a couple of podcasts and, with no exaggeration, he went feral on both occasions."

Perhaps, it takes rose colored glasses and wishful thinking to see Bart Ehrman as a level headed academic?

Byker Bob said...

Well, there are Rose colored glasses, and there are agenda based glasses. Ehrman is acknowledged as a scholar, and abundantly quoted as such by non-believers when he supports their agenda. In fact, in most cases, he almost appears to fill the "Mr. Armstrong says" role for atheists. And, obviously, UNC Chapel Hill holds him in high regard, or they would not continue to employ him. His superiors have given no indication that they intend to fire him over this book.

While I respect Gavin greatly, there are other reviews which counter his opinions.

Corky is correct about Ehrman presenting some of the same ol' same ol' like Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger. Josephus, and the Talmud. But in so doing, Ehrman is honest about these sources not being conclusive evidence or any sort of silver bullet. As a reknowned textual criticist, he does provide some new insights as to how the passage from Josephus might have become edited making it appear to have been added later. And, he is able to distill historic details away from the "religion" of the New Testament.

The book has been so interesting that I had to decide whether to pull an all-nighter to finish it, or get some sleep knowing that I had to work today, with an opportunity to finish it over the weekend.

By the way, you are reading, or have read this book, correct? Anyone who has bought into the mythicist movement (which is actually only about 100 years old, having started in Russia and Germany) might want to subject that all to some rigorous testing, or a second opinion, unless of course they are simply doing research based on a set goal of building a firewall against belief. If that is the case, no blame or guilt for the attitude, by the way. The blame goes on HWA, the toxic nonsense and "God aversion" therapy which was WCG doctrine.

BB

Anonymous said...

If you are religious, you don't look for chinks in someone's armor so you won't have to keep the sabbath or do the holyday thing. The big temptations are stuff like fornication, control of your own finances, and maybe doing stuff that makes you feel good, like smoking marijuana.

And actually, you don't need to look for chinks in Herby's armor. The continuous postponement of what he forecast for 1975 proves quite nicely that God didn't endorse the man or his teachings. That makes it all a Deut. 18 thing. No need to listen any further, in fact, to do so would be sinful.

Anonymous said...

I have never quoted Ehrman to make a point. When I quote someone, I prefer to use sources that are more trustworthy.

Sadly and of course, you can find thousands who attest to L Ron Hubbard's 'genuine scholarship', and who accuse those critical of his teachings as having an anti-truth agenda.

Corky said...

While a mythicist can never prove Jesus didn't exist as a flesh and blood man who walked the earth - the historicist position has never proved and cannot prove that he did.

It's not exactly a draw or "push". There is no "primary" source for historical Jesus and the secondary sources are either corrupted or outright forgeries. It should not be expected that mythicists should prove a negative - that Jesus did not exist.

As with the existence of God, the burden of proof is on the shoulders of the positive position. Bart Ehrman has failed in this, the 3rd quest for historical Jesus, as much as in the other 2 quests. And, they would not be called "quests" if they had found historical Jesus - they have not.

No, Jesus is a spiritual creation from the Jewish scriptures (known as the Old Testament) with Isaiah 53 and Zech 3 as the foundation for the gospel story.

The academic biblical scholars have to have historical Jesus as the origin of Christianity because their jobs depend upon it - just ask Thomas Brodie.

Anonymous said...

"I have never quoted Ehrman to make a point."

My comment: Who would even know? This is a ludicrous statement for an anonymous poster to make, because you have left no trail, or history. You post as a completely unidentified person, just as I am doing now to illustrate my point. Nonetheless, Ehrman has been widely quoted to make points, if not by you, by others.

Dianetics and Scientology are not much different from Buddhism. It could be argued that Hubbard was simply a 20th Century Buddha.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:26 said...

"ummm, yes [us posters on Banned vilify HWA for the sabbath and holy days]...that's exactly why you vilify him, but you can't admit that, so you look for chinks in the armor and attack that....end result is, all he taught is discounted. (and that's all you really care about, right?)
if you examine any human being in The Church closely enough, you will find plenty to attack, so you haven't accomplished anything by pointing out HWA's imperfections....the Word of God stands, regardless."

I don't vilify HWA or Armstrongists for observing the Sabbath and Holy Days even though I frequent this blog weekly (sometimes even daily). I'm content to observe these days as a Christian, but I'm certainly not going to attend any ACOG in the future (after my short stint with UCG) since his whole life and teachings was 1 of inconsistency! He said 1 thing and then changed his mind later down the track. Or would say 1 thing, but in his private life would do something else. He was a hypocrite and even his own family (GTA) & high ranking ministers in his cult (evangelist Marion McNair who wrote "Armstrongism--Religion or Ripoff?") knew it! I for one ain't saying you can't observe these rituals as a Christian. I do! And I'm not going to tell a Messianic Jew that s/he can't observe these rituals if they so choose. At the same time I'm not going to judge another Christian who chooses not to observe what I do. My own family are Catholic so keep Xmas, Easter, etc. But, I keep Sabbath & holy days. I extend grace & respect to them as they do me. The problem with HWA & his ilk is that they would rather you destroy your family relationships & friendships in the name of God as long as you maintain your idolatrous worship of all things Armstrong. & yet this man was proven a false prophet in his own lifetime & those who have taken up his mantle (RCM, Pack, Flurry, etc) are being proven likewise in their lifetime too. You can't defend the indefensible & if you've read the OT such outrageous lies and false predictions would've led to your own execution! So what does that say about this man & his onging legacy of broken homes, splintered churches, unbiblical & inconsistent doctrines, etc?! To me it says that God was not 100% (or even 25% or less!) with him as he & his followers would like you to believe (Matt 7:15-20).

Random Lurker said...

@ Biker Bob

" And, he is an agnostic who knew that this latest book, in some peoples' minds, would throw his entire body of work into question. Yet, he wrote it anyway."

We all have our quirks. The endless pile of biblical inconsistencies and contradictions he has highlighted over the years, still stand on their own, independent of any assumptions, fallacies or errors he may make in future books.

Byker Bob said...

Probably ten years ago, having much more free time on my hands, I was posting occasional light and tactful comments on a forum which many people would consider cultic. At one point, I posted a list of questions which some psychologist had compiled, which could be helpful in causing someone to consider the possibility that maybe they were part of a cult. The webmaster, God love him, thanked me, and posted this list on the main page of his site.

Most people do what they do because they are convinced that what they are doing is right. It becomes a matter of conscience, the conscience being subject to programming. This is why there is a higher level of accountability for those who aspire to teach or to be a leader. The types of leaders I've learned to follow are those who lead simply by consistently providing a good and reliable example.

BB