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Thursday, February 13, 2014
Dennis reluctantly muses:
"I want to make a statement about..Me..now..."
Apostle David C. Pack
Ten Points for the Crisis
December 12, 1998
Sorry couldn't resist. I am sitting here in a dead quiet, nothing is stirring not even a mouse, snow covered Greenville, SC. It's about as much snow as I recall walking to school in every winter of my young life, but I spare you. Snow is perceived as a Northern Plague around here and when it comes, all hell breaks loose. It is actually a very peaceful and calm view. No cars, no people out. Nuttin'. In a few days it will be in the 60's and we'll be back to the biz of being distracted and working to live so we can work to live.
I am not an A-Theist or "against God." I may be A-gnostic, against not knowing and would have to say that I suppose that is where I am, but let's be honest, that knowing causes much more of a problem than the searching thing. I have never liked "not knowing." Maybe I mean, "not looking." In most fundamentalist churches, and all the COGs are them, not looking is fine with them. Growing in Grace may be fine, but growing in knowledge? Not so much. Or at least one "looks" from the top down. We see this evidenced in the insanely stupid ministerial questions Dave Pack demands an answer to from any man that would think to come into the RCG Ministry. Dave is less than a child in his thinking and more than bully in his application of scripture. He is not as intelligent a man as some claim when it comes to knowledge of the real world around him. He is a clever man which is the dangerous part of intelligent when combined with religion or politics. Herbert Armstrong was not an intelligent man in the same sense. He was blinded the Book as was Ted to the wonders that actually were known about our world and universe.
"It's NEW and EXPANSIVE ELEMENTS.. SIR..Boy!"
(19) Do you believe ministers should be able to voice opinions to others about:
Where Headquarters is “wrong”?
What Mr. Armstrong taught/said/did “wrong”?
What Mr. Pack teaches/says/does “wrong”?
Where your boss is “wrong” or harsh, etc.?
Where you disagree doctrinally?
These kinds of "knowers" are dead on arrival. Men like Dave Pack spend every sermon and much energy on keeping the "knowing" going. Any seeking better be from him to the brethren and not the brethren back to him. It's why he filters his knowing through the 16 agreers to lend credence to his knowing. Those 16 Agreers are also dead on arrival. There is no knowing or seeking anything to know outside of a man like Dave Pack without his permission. Pretty pathetic but whatever floats your boat and there is a seat for every butt, as they say.
I suspect, not believe, there simply has to be something (I hesitate to say "someone" but it could be a someone) behind the curtain, the field or wherever one chooses to place this hidden something. Let me be plain. It is not the Hebrew version to me. The Hebrew version of God is too small and too cultic. In the text this Deity admits to being "jealous" and demands that other gods not be brought into its presence by any Israelite. In the text and in the times there were many other gods. This one just didn't want them brought into his presence. Today we think YVHV only meant, "of course they aren't real and I just hate wooden and stone idols which you think are real." Baal was very real as was Chemosh in the text, but I spare you.
As a child in Sunday School, the Hebrew child killing, genocidal, Isaac slashing and meat savoring Being made little sense to me. I never understood why this God rejected vegetable growing Cain and loved the meat sacrificing Abel. I do now or suspect I do. I don't like and never have liked the concept of the "chosen people" because when a God chooses one people, everyone else is unchosen and in big trouble. The unchosen always pay the price of not being chosen.
HWA-"There were two trees in the Garden of Eden..."
Me-"Oh dear Lord, NOT this again.....!"
I was told what the "Two Trees" meant as a young man but that's no what they meant at all. I recall noticing contradictions in the Gospels in Rod Meredith's "Harmony of the Gospel" classes but when I raised my hand to ask about them, it was not pretty. I kept these things and pondered them in my heart quietly after that because even then I realized we must not talk of such things. I always learned to say 'that's a great question" rather than, "you ain't from around these parts are you boy?" When a teen asked me once why, if God did not marry or was not married to Mary in the story, yet conceived Jesus in Mary, that was not considered fornication? I first said..."that's a great question," then went out to find a real answer. My answer eventually was, it's a literary writing style and it had meaning but is not literally true. I genuinely thought it was a great question. I'd hate to think what would have happened had I asked THAT one in class!
There were many times I felt HWA was a bit off base in his views and that GTA was a bit behind in his homework, but everyone is in every organization. It took me a few real life experiences to realize that because they were I had to be too because you don't rise in knowing past what they thought they knew. It is still this way today between congregants in the COGs and the Ministry. It is this way in most churches that are "organized."
Whoever and whatever makes up the personality that is me simply does not think this way. In this, I don't don't drive the bus. I simply go along for the ride.
So...what do I believe and trust me, I know it really doesn't matter what I believe. Beliefs are not truths and it is just fine if another believes, at the time they believe it, what they believe. Sometimes I labor under why do I write about what appear to me to be both silly and dangerous beliefs that others perpetuate. Why not just leave a Dave Pack alone and let him and his believe as they wish? Good question. Perhaps I will as each person seems to need to have their own story and experience in which to learn something that they need to learn. I can only "learn" what I have learned in my class and story. On the other hand, I think perhaps if one so close to that particular mindset and class can help another not repeat the heartache, pain and anger that a Dave Pack class can produce, maybe I should speak up. I guess it depends on which buttons get pushed along the way to class.
In my heart and soul, if I have a soul or am a soul makes no difference to me, I believe there has to be some "thing" higher or "out there" behind the scenes. I am not sure this power or entity can be accessed. Maybe that is against the rules. Maybe it uses me and you to experience itself. I don't know. As a fish is unaware of the water it swims in, so maybe that's why we see darkly what to another is clearly there if one is outside it. We are immersed in "it".
Whatever it is, it is benevolent and not malevolent. It is not there to separate sheep from goats , the good from the bad people and to burn up or burn forever those that never got it. People kid about going to hell to be with all their friends because they really don't believe it exists and neither do I. People make up their hells and satans to explain why bad things happen and why they themselves won't accept responsibility for it. Whenever "Satan" was attacking the Church, it really was the leadership being stupid, vain and unconscious of themselves or how they came across doing what they did. Satan is the bad boy excuse for humans who need a spanking. Whenever Satan was blamed for me seeking to know outside the box provided by the Church it was really the leadership not wanting me to know something they had no clue about. Some of that knowing did determine how I told people the "must" live and think so it was important and always will be to me to get it as right as possible. On the other hand, I am now free from even having to do that. I only care what I think and what I discover about life, origins, history and meaning. Everyone does that in the final analysis. I'll have to look up what "ysis" means. I know what anal means. They don't call them "anal-ogies" for nothing Dave!
Seems a No-Brainer
As for astro-theology, it seems a no brainer that the first story humans told themselves was in the sky at night. The Sun of God became many human Sons of God. Their story was and is the story of the Sun. It's what humans come up with. The motions of the stars and planets and the journey of the sun through the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac (zoo) would have been the Netflix of the times...most of human time. You can't grow up thousands of years ago and when the sun goes down, not wonder what all that is. So we tell stories of what it seems to be. Those stories up there become our religious beliefs down here. It's just how it works. You can dress up the story, put expensive clothes on the story tellers and give them great titles, but it is still a story. I suppose when the story teller gets snarky and demanding , silly and forgets the origins of the story or why it was written, my "have to speak up" genes kick in. Maybe yours should too?
I could not have said this any better...I understand his calling and enthusiasm for it. I won't say I missed mine as his wonder for the stars brought him to science and mine to religion for other reasons. I simply wish I had captured his vision first.
In hind sight, and I can hardly say the word, I would have made a much better cosmologist, archaeologist, paleontologist or live in the Adirondacks small town doctor who did take fish and chickens in payment for helping good and like minded folk out should the need arise. I am and always will be an idealist, one who speaks up for the underdog and hates conflict. That's how the wires go. How I ended up as a WCG minister is no mystery to me for at the time it seems to be the ultimate truth and who'd not want to be associated with that. I suspect most here felt the same way. It wasn't and while I have many regrets, I had to be there so I could be here. I made decisions and had experiences because of that story or perhaps something made those decisions for me and had their experiences through me. If so, that something and I are going to have a chat someday.
Must to say on a snowy day because I enjoy saying it and it tends to fill the void of a deeper feeling at times that I have wasted my time and life on things that simply were not true. Maybe a higher self or whatever lies behind the "field" wanted to feel what wasting time and choosing the wrong story feels like. Maybe time can't be wasted and there is no wrong story to choose? I do know that , in hind sight, it does seem I was not driving the bus and only going along for the ride. It is just a ride after all.
Bill Hicks, like George Carlin were "funny" because the spoke the truths that most just think about and think no one else is thinking about. It strikes us funny when spoken. It's what makes us laugh and realize that was true. Maybe I need to go on the Magical Religion Mystery Show tour...lol. Recently a kid when I was his pastor who is now in his 40's asked me if I was serious when I made him laugh about some Bible stories and how they really may have played out. He said he told his parents on the way home from church that he thought "Mr. Diehl was serious," when he said that. They said no and he wanted to know. Of course I told him I was dead serious but that's how passive aggressive worked in Bible reading in WCG and it fit my personality. He said, "I knew it!!" I think it was the same kid who asked me if I was the Mr. Diehl who, when he was 15, said, "Jonah had two choices. He could obey God and become fish vomit, or he could disobey and miss the point and become fish poop." He assured me he has laughed about that for 30 years and I assured him that was the day I learned you could not say such a thing in Church.
Instead of resurrecting HWA or Ariel Sharon, how about some insightful humans?
Miss ya Bill
Miss ya George