Friday, March 27, 2015

How's That Conversion Thing Working For Ya?

Check out the latest article by Douglas over at the Painful Truth on Conversion:


"Herbert Armstrong spoke of conversion. We’ve had an opportunity to have observed his behavior. We’re a bit confused. After seeing what he did and how he acted, we’re not really sure what conversion is."
"It would seem that if the process of conversion worked properly, this is what we would see and we would not expect to see this:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galations 5:19-21
This is where things get really dicey: We have seen over decades the behavior of the founders, leaders and ministers of the Armstrongist Churches of God. We have especially noticed Roderick Meredith, David Pack, Gerald Flurry, Ronald Weinland, those fun guys at United and the CoGWA, along with the minor sects which barely exist but seem to have attracted undo attention from their bizarre and extreme behavior. As we examine the ‘fruit’ so to speak, we seem to see more of the ‘works of the flesh’ than ‘fruit of the spirit’"

"It just seems that this conversion thing isn’t working with the Armstrongist Churches of God. People are unhappy. There’s quite a lot of power politics. There’s a lot of cruelty and abuse. People are being simultaneously abused and neglected. The leaders seem to get more greedy and DEMAND more money every week that goes by. There are complaints from the congregants (some just grumble). Those who complain are then accosted and accused of being disloyal. Many are disfellowshipped. We’re thinking that this sort of thing just doesn’t happen in the joyous spirit filled congregations of the converted faithful."


Anonymous said...

So why is a Hindu being shown? He's no Christian has experibnced no conversion by the Holy Spirit!

Anonymous said...

No conversion = No holy spirit = False religion = Waste of time (and money)

Any questions?

Yes folks, it really is that simple. Doesn't take a rocket surgeon.

Charlie Brown said...

You dumb ass! That is true Christianity. It doesn't matter what the nationality, or religion. He is doing good to mankind. It is so hard to break the HWA cult mindset. You can lead a donkey to water, but you can't make the dumb ass drink.

Retired Prof said...

In my view, questions of morality involve how people treat each other, not what they refuse to eat and drink or what rituals they perform.

Many of my relatives are born-again Baptists, and others are converted members of COGs. I have been close friends with many born-again Protestants and a number of devout Catholics. I am kin to a couple who converted to Judaism and chose to observe according to Orthodox rituals.

Most of my friends and colleagues are "nones" who mostly just ignore religion altogether, although some are Unitarians (those people who believe there is "at most, one god.") One couple hold prominent positions in the local reformed synagogue, and another are Muslims.

I have been able to reliably detect no difference in morality among the converted (of whatever religion) and the unconverted. Some people are jerks, some are dependably considerate of others. The worst of them occasionally do something kind, and the best foul up sometimes.

What the jerks have in common is a sense of entitlement. It's hard to say whether jerks grab power because they already feel entitled to it, or whether gaining power turns them into jerks.

James said...

We can all see the love of Christ who it is said of, died for ALL of mankind.

Apparently the 'anons' above disagree. They crucify Christ afresh.

They believe they are part of the elitist group who will dine at the great dinner party with the Savior. They won't. God does not hear the prayers of the unrighteous nor those of the /synagogue-of-satan

Anonymous said...

Born right the first time clears this "conversion" issue up nicely

Byker Bob said...

I believe conversion is a real phenomenon. However, there is an additional element involving transformation, and for most of us, that is often the elusive part. It is also the part that can be hindered by the wrong kinds of teachers and their ideas.


Anonymous said...

"I believe conversion is a real phenomenon. However, there is an additional element involving transformation, and for most of us, that is often the elusive part. It is also the part that can be hindered by the wrong kinds of teachers and their ideas."

So, if I hear you right, you're saying that "conversion" is a veridical phenomenon, but that usually there are no symptoms of this phenomenon? So these people are just "carriers" of "conversion"?

It's possible for people to be carriers of a disease. However, when there are no symptoms, you can still verify and confirm the presence of this disease by testing for the presence of antigens/antibodies.

Is there a scientific test that can be done to establish who and who is not a carrier? If not, then what basis is there to suspect that this "conversion" really is a veridical phenomenon? You can neither verify nor confirm that this phenomenon has or has not occurred in any particular case. We have as much evidence of the Luminiferous Aether as we have of this "conversion" phenomenon. If you doubt that there is a Luminiferous Aether, then you should also doubt that "conversion" is a veridical phenomenon.

And if the POWER of the ALMIGHTY GOD can be stopped dead in its tracks by a few wrong ideas, then how powerful or almighty can this god really be? Not so much, I would think...

Byker Bob said...

Your words, your speculation, 2:54, not mine.

Conversion, time, and new life experience are all part of the process. However, there are proclivities and traits that seem to be hardwired, virtually parts of peoples' dna, and experiences which are deeply embedded in peoples' memories which could only be eliminated by transformation. How many alcoholics, as an example, have fervently prayed that their alcoholism could be taken away or healed? Or what about all of the blasphemies or swear words in the ol' memory banks that one wishes he or she could simply unknow? There are Axis II personality disorders that one can make progress against, but never seem to completely go away.

If you have even made it to the starting line, the power of God is not in question and neither is the fact that mankind is imperfect, having both strengths and weaknesses. For Christians, life is a progressive interaction between the two, but there will also be those who question that.

Can a non-believer be a good person? Of course! Thousands of years of civilization, behavioral analysis, and logic have written many of the laws of God on the hearts of man. This is one reason why Universalists believe that all possible paths in life lead back to God.

You can actually make impressionable kids hate ice cream by making horrible expressions while eating yours, and acting as if you are gagging down every bite. I fully understand how bad teachers make this stuff repulsive. I nearly dumped guitar because of the way my ACOG parents tried to make me learn it. (Don't the ACOGs have an uncanny way of screwing everything up???) And then, a friend whose opinion I valued shared with me that he played guitar, and actually liked it. I've since spent thousands and thousands of hours playing and have worn out numerous guitars and amps.

That's life.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob, that's a good example of the odd but true phrase from Carl Whitaker,
"Anything worth knowing, can't be taught. It must be experienced."
It just seems to me that all too often that the seriously self-righteous would rather eat or argue over the menu than enjoy and 'share' the food.

the drive-by philosopher