Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dennis muses: 2014...

Another Year of the Sheep People?

I believe those who have had the Church of God experience in all its forms are quite familiar with  the Biblical analogy of humans being the sheep of God's pasture and followers and subjects being the sheep to Kings, priests and the NT ministry.  It was an obvious analogy in the day but it is far past time to put this one to rest.  Jesus himself was said to be like the sheep who would not even speak up to his accusers.  Psalm 23 makes sheep of all in life under the Great Shepherd.  It is an analogy that leaves the sheep helpless and need of endless guidance and herding to hold them all together.  

I can't speak for others, but I am no sheep.  It took a few decades but I am just me now and that is enough.  I wonder what 2014 will bring for the sheep of the Splinter Folds?  How much more can these folk block out of their minds and how many excuses more can they make for the theological antics, and they are antics, of those such as a Dave Pack who, as a genuinely  untrained shepherd of aberrant theology , lead his flock terribly close if not over the cliff with his very strange and weird ideas about himself.  Lest we forget...

  "I want to make a statement, if I became deceived, I will never tell you what I'm going to tell you now...I am telling you if I go off into strange ideas, misconduct, rebellion, you name it,  (We did) don't follow me. I want to tell you that now, because if I start doing that I'm gonna try to get you to follow me! I'm gonna come to you and tell you it doesn't apply, it doesn't mean me, no, no, no, no, no, no, it's OK to follow me because ABCD and XY and Z. Do you understand what I'm saying?(Yes we do..and you added new and expansive elements never before understood related to the timing stuff.  You ABCD'd and X Y and Z'd us) Listen to  to me now, when I tell you don't follow me if I go off into weird ideas, or if I get off into other things that are total absolutely unscriptural conduct, because if I do I'm gonna paint it with a different face and try to get you to follow me.  Do you understand what I'm saying brethren?  (We can hope-but evidently not) Please remember that, because I promise you that if I become deceived, I'll forget it, and I'll want you to forget it...And I hope you'll remember it well enough to quote it right back to me...  (We did) But I'll tell you what, I'm not going anywhere."  (And that's the problem)
David C. Pack

Anyway, this does not have to be long.  The question is just how much ridiculous theology and claims for authority to make them, will be tolerated?  How many more mental, emotional and physical resources of the sheep, who think being a sheep is a good thing, will we see exploited in 2014 in the ongoing drama of the Wild World of God Churches?  Spring promises to bring wounded Dave Pack back out into the limelight as the sheep were so dumb as to think his Haggai prophecy was about last Fall.  It is about this Spring!  Sheesh, anyone with new and expansive elements never before understood that God himself has now revealed knows that!  Will Dave end up telling the sheep, as Ron Weinland did when he fell on his face theologically, "I never said it was literally true!  It's spiiiiiiritual!" (you dumb sheep)?  We'll see.  He said "The Prophecy is very much still on..", so Spring Holyday season is not going to be pretty!

God made me too....

I guess by nature I'm a wolf.  I can't help it.  I was a wolf child when Presbyterian questioning the Westminister Confession of Faith.  I recall in high school geometry class the teacher putting a 15 step proof off something on the board.  I raised my hand and said if point 1 leads to point 2 and such and such is a given as it was  according to the book, then the point is already proven in 2 steps.  She looked at the board and said.."you're right, the book is wrong."  Yay!  I ended up questioning everything I ever joined.  I learned that one is not told everything at 22 needed to make lifetime commitements to.  I went from thinking Garner Ted Armstrong was about the smartest Bible guy in the world to stuck in the 70's and not as smart as I thought he was.  Listening to his sermons towards the end of his life was painful. He was stuck.  He stopped questioning and began to just repeat old errors and memes of the WCG.  I guess he thought that what used to work so well would still work.  It didn't work.

Rod Meredith never stepped outside the box he taught in.  I thought he knew all about the Gospels because, after all, he was the expert on "the Harmony of the Gospels."  I could tie him in a theological knot these days I believe.  I know I could cut Dave Pack down to theological size but he won't leave the Castle and you can't get in unless you pass through the  holy filters successfully.  All these men are mere Bible readers and proof texters at best..which is not a compliment.  Dave is the master of all prooftexting now that Ron Weinland is off the circuit for a time, times and half a time.  Dave can make more scriptures mean what they never could mean or ever meant than any man I know.  

Wolves gotta eat too

Anyway,  Wolves are beautiful, fearless, necessary and the origin of all dogs on the planet.  Chewie, my  Wookie-Like Shih Tzu came from Wolfdom but is a bit removed from it all  

Chewie the Wolf in Shih Tzu Clothing.
 Personally...I'm more this kind of wolf

So let me just conclude by saying, in these days and times, being a sheep is not a good thing.  It implies blindness and a compliance that comes when one feels they "should" do and believe as told, but not too far under the surface, they have their doubts.  Sheepness can keep one in the wrong place, at the wrong time, for way too long, for all the wrong reasons with nothing but wrong outcomes in store for the one who insists that being a sheep in some  theologically challenged nutcase's fold is a good thing.  

So consider you who lurk here.. What's 2014 going to be for you and others who believe being a sheep in a theological setting run by one or at best,  very few shepherds is a good thing?




The very best for all in this coming year.  We only get older if we are lucky.


Byker Bob said...

The problems with analogies used for theological purposes is that people overextend them, and move them from the general picture they were intended to paint into minutiae which were never even implied.

The sheep thing ended up being damaging. Had it stopped with Jesus being the shepherd, and kept in a general sense, the damage would have been largely avoided. But, via alleged "authority from the top down" this sheep/shepherd archetype was extended downwards into the human realm, to the extent that HWA and his lackeys (sheep on a slightly different level) abused it and somehow saw fit to add the term "dumb", completely whoring up something which was intended to describe a beautiful relationship between an individual and his or her Savior.

Personally, I really don't feel that I could comfortably wear the label "wolf". In my case "cat" is more like it. All the elements are there, including curiosity, independence, and trust meted out based on experience. The teeth of your common house cat, felix domesticas, could tear your flesh to shreds, but unlike his predatory cousins, he restrains himself greatly for the sake of relationship. If mistreated, he will seek out a better environment, cozying up to neighbors, or even going feral if needed. While I have observed a group of four cats greet their mistress in unison at the door upon her arrival home, they generally go their separate ways shortly thereafter. They cannot be herded.

Perhaps one of the most damaging aspects of Armstrongism is that the same leaders who had combined scripture and logic in such a way as to back us into a corner (their corner), continually corrupted and changed these Biblical analogies from edifications into whips, turning them against us. The injustice of that practice nearly always inspires, foments and demands rebellion.


DennisCDiehl said...

BB says:

"Personally, I really don't feel that I could comfortably wear the label "wolf". In my case "cat" is more like it"

Wolves are a nice totem to have in Native American lore. However, since you are more comfy with "cat" , at least realize that like Chewie, descendent of the Wolf, so cat is descendent of the Lion and we know who the Lion roams around as. lol.

Your a Felix like lion in the same way I am a Chewie like wolf .


Byker Bob said...

OK, Dennis. I'm cool with that. ~(;-}


Michael said...

"I could cut Dave Pack down to theological size but he won't leave the Castle and you can't get in unless you pass through the holy filters successfully."

What, Dennis? :-) You mean you couldn't pass Pack's Emasculation Proclamation list of questions that merely require you to surrender all reason, autonomy and common sense to his authority alone?