Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dear Bob,,


"Ignore-ance , that which you ignore, is not just what you don't know...it's also what you won't know."


We don't really know each other but I feel I do know the how and why of your theological thinking.  I spent three decades thinking , processing and explaining the Bible , for the most part minus the specialness of me personally as spoken of in the scriptures, as you do.  I used to believe that the way to crack the Bible Code was to hunt and cobble scripture together, from both Old and New Testaments in the traditional misapplication of the concept of , "line upon line, precept upon precept. Here a little there a little."  I have explained to you , and former colleagues, to the best of my own understanding, how HWA and the Churches of God ministry have misunderstood and misapplied the scripture.  I realize "I was mistaken" is not in the vocabulary of the Church or it's leaders for the most part, but in this you and they are mistaken.

Art Mokarrow once chided me for speaking as if I knew better than he and spoke  with too much confidence, as I assume any man would on any topic he believed in.  When I pointed out to him that it was he that had written a book entitled "God's Puzzle Solved!" and that when one uses the words  "God's", "puzzle" and "solved" in the same sentence, that can be construed as believing one knows everything themselves and may be on the edge of a bit too much confidence.  He just said, "Well, that's not what I mean."
But that's exactly what he meant. 

I know you are sincere in your beliefs as I am in mine and all others in theirs.  But some Church of God ministers make incredibly bold and self centered claims about themselves and actually see themselves spoken of in the scriptures and always the Old Testament.  Gerald Flurry does.  Dave Pack certainly does and you seem to by your own words at times.  Herbert W. Armstrong started this concept rolling with his own perceptions of himself and promoted to the extreme by men such as Gerald Waterhouse, both of whom are now long deceased with Flurry and Pack building their ridiculous religious foundations on the wood, hay and stubble of HWA's self concept.

At any rate, because of the dangers many perceive in the ministries like Gerald Flurry's and Dave Pack's, it is important to keep it all in the public eye for consideration and rejection if need be for mental, emotional and theological safety's sake.  

When I lived on the east coast, I offered to "debate" Dave Pack on anything from his self concept of he seeing himself spoken of in the scriptures to creationism vs evolution.  But, alas, Dave only bombasts from behind the walls of Wadsworth Castle.  I do admit to being impressed with how well Dave was easily dismantled by good science done well as explained to him by the series challenging his "Irrefutable Proofs of God."



And now I live on the Pacific Northwest Coast, mere blocks from the library HWA spent "six months of intensive study" and three blocks from the church he went to be baptised in.

You have dismissed the truth of evolution(as I would expect you to do with a mere 6000 year old template and literalist view) and good science done well with your four easy points that disprove evolution, but you have to know that dismissing such highly studied science such as paleontology and human origins are not easily dismissed in four simple ways unless you are preaching to the choir who have no idea themselves how to explain your four simple points.  Send your four points to Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson and see how that goes for you.  I have found the puzzle solving , code breaking and simple points to refuting complex topics to be found wanting personally.

I have forwarded your for simple  points  to Aron Ra, who did the series on Dave Pack's series on The Irrefutable God so he may or  may not take the time to respond as only he can. Stay tuned.

All that to say, let's discuss these matters and reason together for fun and clarity .  Perhaps in front of your local church, or in your own studio, transcribed and video taped as I did with Art Mokarrow in Tyler a few years back and sponsored by The Journal?  I don't claim to be an expert in these matters, but they have caught my attention for the past 30 years spending time on both sides of these issues.  Let's call it a public discussion and not even a debate.  No one has to win, nor would they as sides taken don't change much as we know until personal factors and issues resolve themselves in the mind of each individual over years of consideration and experience.  

Just a thought....Off to work









65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob Thiel's Thd course list.

http://www.trinitytheology.org/thd/

Byker Bob said...

I don't think Bob Thiel accepts challenges that he can't control any more. He learned his lesson on that probably 10 or more years ago on another blog. Jared Olar made absolute mincemeat of him, exposing his total ignorance of history, and the preposterousness of the "true history of the true church". Even though Bob was left with nothing to stand upon following that debate, he just ignored the outcome, and continued teaching the official Armstrong approach to which the Armstrong churches have clung. That doesn't even Identify him as being particularly ignorant. It's what everyone in Armstrongism has needed to do in order to continue believing the prophecies and doctrines.

BB

Connie Schmidt said...

No matter what Aaron Ra says, or doesn't say, whether correct or not correct, his appearance is BAD MARKETING in all frankness.

He looks somewhat "warlock like" , devilish if you will, and that in itself will immediately have nearly all Christians of any stripe, instantly put into "skepticism alert. "

Like it or not, presentataion and presenter appearance are 75% of the selling persuasion influencer in any marketing situation.

Dennis Diehl said...

Connie, you'd have hated John the Baptist. A man is judged by the words he speaks and the content of his or her mind. Close your eyes n just listen if he doesn't meet your criteria outwardly

Hoss said...

Byker Bob wrote: Jared Olar made absolute mincemeat of him

I remember those days. Jared knew his stuff, and had Bob on the run.

But Bob remembers things differently - in a sermon, he alluded to one of Jared's challenges, and claimed to his audience that he only took a few minutes to meet the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Connie, Spelling a person's name correctly is also a selling persuasion influencer.

I am a Christian of some stripe and I find Aron Ra's appearance amusing.

Anonymous said...

"Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little" is exactly the way us humans acquire knowledge. It's not like in some science fiction movies where they plug people into a computer, and download the information directly into their brain. This is basic psychology and reality. Knowledge is scattered, and we acquire bits and pieces all over the place, eg., movies, other people, observation, reading, hearing etc. Why the problem with this? Perhaps it's not the original meaning of the above scripture, but its (misinterpretation?) is certainly correct. Most people lack thinking skills, lack independence, are fussy about rights, blindly follow the daddies of the world, yet this point is often brought up.

Anonymous said...

Connie is right. Books like 'Dress for success' bare her out. John the Baptist was different in that people knew he was sent by God. Which isn't to say that his 'dress' wasn't a negative.

Dennis says people are judged by their words and contents of their mind. That's only with God. People are different. The Pharisees were well aware of this.

Anonymous said...


Aron Ra and David Pack versus the TRUTH


Aron Ra and David Pack both talk a lot. They also both talk too fast.

Aron Ra and David Pack both lead people off into different serious errors.

Aron “Longhair” Ra's errors lead to such things as his own “inappropriate grooming” issues as well as all the usual sexual depravity of evilutionists. Aron Ra gets people to hate God first, and then to end up becoming sexually confused and depraved and going crazy as a result.

David “Crook” Pack's errors lead to such things as the destitution that overtakes people for listening to raging, lying, covetous, false prophets. David Pack gets people to act crazy and hand over everything they have to him first, and then to end up hating God for it since he does all his own evil in God's name.

Aron Ra and David Pack each have their own way of getting people to where the Devil wants to get them. Both of these characters are rotten. If you were wondering which of these two babblers is right, the correct answer is, “None of the above.”

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
""Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little" is exactly the way us humans acquire knowledge."

Maybe, but it's not a very efficient way of learning. You will notice that serious academic textbooks, intended to produce educated professionals, start with basics and build on that in a linear manner from start to end. Like constructing a tower. Not a mish-mash jumble of cross-referencing verses where the reader has to somehow intuit relationships between obscure metaphors here a little and there a little, and read between the lines.

Supposedly the most important essential information God had to transmit to mankind, but it just had to be done in one of the most inefficient ways possible.

And besides,as this article notes, the biblical author of the verses in question wasn't even saying that it was good, but rather implying that "here a little, there a little" is a way to sow confusion.

Anonymous said...

AronRa's appearance is the icing on the cake when it comes to the likes of DCP. The irony of the long-haired byker-guy in a suit trying to address David C. Pack's speaking for Gauwd made all the difference so much more worthwhile. I'm sure a live debate would have been so much better, kind of like live music done by the best musicians. It's easy to understand Dennis' infatuation with the guy.

DBP

Byker Bob said...

God can actually use a period of atheism to cleanse and purge His children from all of the heresies and cruelty which were taught by Herbert Armstrong, many of which made Father God seem more like Satan. It's kind of like God pressing the reset button, and sets us up so that we can receive the good things that He actually intends for us. So, I can see a potential for Aron Ra to actually be used by God to initiate the purifcation process.

So far as the hairstyle goes, a few centuries ago, classical composers, patriots, philosophers, and scientists often had similar hairstyles. Long hair is not inherently bad, or God would not have prescribed it as part of a very special vow-the Nazarite vow. Mine never even went down as far as my shoulders, but that's because I'm a natural oiler, so it would have been very inconvenient. I think a lot of people from the older generations still apply that "hippie" stigma to guys with long hair. Most people back then didn't "know" that they were hippies until someone called them that. It wasn't something most people aspired to. A lot of the rock stars who had long hair back then will tell you that they were never hippies. People have been known to proudly embrace the biker label, though.


BB

Anonymous said...

8.24 PM
Michael, to get along with a psychopath in a former workplace, I built him up to a degree. I explained for instance, that conversation is two way rather than one way. The result is that he became more effective at exploiting people, since he could hide his true character and motivation. Meaning, God wants the wicked confused. It's best for all. Giving understanding to evil people, is like helping the Nazis build tanks. Another thing about the way the bible is written, is that many scriptures can be viewed at different depths and different angles, so that people can always learn something new. Even after decades of bible study. Your linear approach does not allow this.

God says in Genesis that everything He created (including eventually the non linear bible) is 'good.' You disagree. I prefer to believe God.

Anonymous said...

BB long hair rock stars and bikers do share the hippie immorality of drugs, sex and rock n roll. Yes, these proudly embrace their immoral labels. Which is why authorities shy away from putting labels on cars with a history of dangerous driving, since it would become a badge of honour within their group. Thugs and bullies are also proud of their behaviour and 'victories.'
They also belong in a zoo.

Anonymous said...

Well, I took a moment to listen to Aron Ra and it didn't take long to see he is totally blind when it comes to God and is any Athiest, not even worth discussing because it is absolutely pointless. Actually, I found his reasoning rather stupid, but then again, God will get his attention when it's time.

Anonymous said...

BB 10:08...You're kidding, right?

Charlie said...

Connie...I have to agree with you, he does look kind of silly, but, once God does get his attention he will cut those girly locks and realize
It really is a shame for a man to have long hair.

DennisCDiehl said...

It is fascinatingly telling to read what most people get out of a posting and what they settle into to focus their attention on.

DennisCDiehl said...

Bob Thiel labeled:

Apostate, former WCG minister, challenges COGwriter’s biblical interpretation methods:"

Bob, growing up, outgrowing, waking up and learning what you never knew or were taught about all things Bible is not being an Apostate. It's being a critically thinking and inquisitive human being simple wanting to separate the wishful thinking from the way it really is.

It bares repeating. "Ignore-ance, what you ignore, is what you don't know and what you won't know"

Anonymous said...

"Well, I took a moment to listen to Aron Ra and it didn't take long ..."

"Here ye, hear me,...."

I love phonological ambiguities....Hair ye, Hear me,....

DBP

Anonymous said...

Dennis says "It is fascinatingly telling to read what most people get out of a posting and what they settle into to focus their attention on."

It must be frustrating as a former minister to not be able to control what people really want to focus on. Welcome to the real world Dennis. The good old days are gone forever. I'm sure this applies to many former and retired ministers. No more ivory tower.

Anonymous said...

Biker Bob is morphing into Bagdad Bob

Byker Bob said...

People learn from presence, and they learn from absence. They learn from practicing good, and they learn the detrimental results from involving themselves in bad. That is, of course, applicable to the pragmatic, who learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. There are also those who are simply weak, falling into the same destructive patterns over and over and over. But all of us are comstantly learning. It's what life is all about. No human preacher of any ideology has a 100% silver bullet for life. And, if he did, it wouldn't do any good to impose it on others, totalitarian fashion, because the most important aspect would be the knowledge and experience that goes into successfully applying it. You must be free in order for that to even work.

BB

Byker Bob said...

You are painting with far too broad brush strokes, my friend, stereotyping people according to their preferences in hairstyle and music. You are assuming that because of these things, they must be getting much more sex than you are. Sex is like sales production figures. About 10% of the population gets 90%. Armstrongism always made strawmen out of the small percentage, extrapolating that over all of humanity.

BB

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Americas founding fathers had long hair. Don't you have something more meaningful to say?

Anonymous said...

You can debate theology and how bad the Armstrongs were all you want, but "Evil lution" is simple to disprove.
The law of biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, is the conclusion that complex living things come only from other living things.

The design that every person sees around them logically demands a Designer.

Proteins only come from many hundreds of other proteins manufacturing them, in your billions of cells every second.

Steven J. Gould admitted that the evolutionist biggest secret was the lack of fossil transitions and lack of change called "stasis" and so proposed his "punctuated equilibrium".

Any one of your cells are more complicated the City of New York, with energy production - mitochondria - communication systems, transportation systems, waist removal, security systems, etc. E

Evolution is a ludicrous, silly fairy tale.

Explaining God is a bit more difficult. We as humans are limited.

Anonymous said...

Stephan Jay Gould


Evolution's Erratic Pace" Natural History (Vol. 86, May 1977)

The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils

Anonymous said...

I've listened to over a thousand Christian preachers, including those in the Church of Herb.
Aron Ra is head and shoulders above all of them.

It's a telling thing about a commenter, when he or she takes issue with something so petty as hair length in order to try to invalidate what someone has said.

They're only a slim cry from the ignorant nutcases who squeal that "Jesus NEVER HAD LONG HAIR!"

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:24 wrote: "Connie is right. Books like 'Dress for success' bare her out."

I read "Dress for Success" when it came out. It didn't recommend going bare.

And I'm not sure Connie wants to go bare anyway.

Byker Bob said...

You may want to check references that aren't 40 years old. There has been a HUGE increase in knowledge especially in the last twenty years. I understand your logic, though. HWA generally preferred Encyclopaedia Britannica from the late 1800's. It said what he was comfortable having it say.

It seems really obvious today that evolution is the process by which creation was orchestrated, whether you choose to factor in God, or not.

BB

NO2HWA said...

BB wrote: "You may want to check references that aren't 40 years old."

Nothing has more credibility in the COG that the Encycplodeia Britanica 10th edition. That edition was praised from the pulpit countless times while I was part of the church. A 1903 version that was applicable in the 1960-1990's in the COG and is still quoted in LCG and PCG. Knowledge apparently stopped at that point and theological revelations ended with Herb. Who knew!

RSK said...

How did Bob get three blog entries for one snowflakey complaint? Geez.

Anonymous said...

11.17 AM
Lady Godiva went bare on horseback to protest oppressive taxation. So please don't rule this out for Connie or any other person. Perhaps BB will ride bare on his motorbike to protest Armstrongism and BI. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Bob Thiel opened his mouth and made a jackass of himself once again. He is a proven liar and a false teacher. Every bit we can do to expose this religious hustler is what we need to be doing.

Homer said...

Dennis, a comment on your following statement;

“But some Church of God ministers make incredibly bold and self centered claims about themselves . . . .”

The following was stated during a sermon about 8-9 years ago;

“We have men who have studied all these things, [in the Bible] just believe what we tell you.”

Red flags went up from several people.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"Michael, ....I explained for instance, that conversation is two way rather than one way. The result is that he became more effective at exploiting people, since he could hide his true character and motivation. Meaning, God wants the wicked confused. It's best for all."

Um, not just the wicked, I believe it is the honest believers, who I assume are trying to actually read and understand it, who are the most confused. In Xianity alone how many thousands of disagreeing sects exist? About practically every single line upon line and precept upon precept in the Bible.

I think generally that the above (keep the wicked confused) is just not a very good argument for God providing the all-important Bible in such a confusing manner. That would be akin to saying, we should build are city roads in a meandering manner with potholes because of the speeders and hotrod gangs.. it's best for all that way.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"God says in Genesis that everything He created (including eventually the non linear bible) is 'good.' You disagree. I prefer to believe God."

How do you know God isn't pulling one over on you? (about everything being good).
God talks a big talk, but if we're to go merely by what we see around us, there's a lot more "bad" in this world than "good"....

DennisCDiehl said...

Homer noted:
he following was stated during a sermon about 8-9 years ago;

“We have men who have studied all these things, [in the Bible] just believe what we tell you.”

Chilling isn't it Homer? That kind of comment simply means "we know, you can't , get in line." I realize now, I never belonged in the ministry. I thought I was supposed to be. On a personal note, when I was 22 and knew I was going into the ministry, I called my dad to tell him. They had just come into the church. He got quiet and I had to ask him if he was ok. He said that it just struck him that just before I was born and my dad was processing the fact his first son, my brother was born very disabled, blind, deaf and would not speak in the future, he "promised God" that is he had another son and he was ok that He could have him. Whoa...I didn't know that. Dad felt that day had come when I told him I was going into the ministry. Subconsciously it may have accounted for me staying way too long when there nothing but drama and scandal all around me . I loved my local church and really good people. I have no regrets with how I treated them, never was a controller and never got near an Ivory Tower contrary to the projection some throw at me from their own experiences. Now, as the years have past, the craziness of all it really strikes me but my dad's hope and promise to his concept of God at the time and him sharing it with me at an important moment for both of us probably contributed to staying put until I couldn't. In dad's bible, after he died I found a notation in the back that simply said, "March, 1998. Dennis released from WCG and the ministry." I wonder what he was thinking. He had been and elder, even under Dave Pack, by then and maybe felt it freeing for both of us.

Anonymous said...

Michael
If people have a heart of trying to please God, of trying to discern the truth, over time, people see more and more truth in their bibles. This is not the case with evil people. Proverbs tells us that it's to a kings honour to discern a matter. So this personal approach (not sect approach) is worthwhile.
You seem to desire instant knowledge. That is not the way the world works. Even a good self help book such as Dr Phils 'life code' represents decades of study by a group of specialist in that field. My bible agrees, pointing out that wisdom is as precious a jewels. Tons of rock are processed to find just one gem, a long, hard process.

Gods 'good' refers to His creation in Genesis. This obviously excludes mankind sins.

God worked long and hard for billions of years to acquire His traits and define the reality we take for granted. By contrast, you seem to want everything given to you on a plate. This 'trailer park' morality was Satan and his demons basic problem.

Anonymous said...

Dennis
All ministers in Herbs church were treated with kids gloves and treated as near royalty, so ministers living in ivory towers is not mere projection. Perhaps some lesser so than others. I've noticed this phenomenon with work bosses as well. In fact I've had to say to former bosses that they are now commoners, with no special privileges such as dominating a conversion.
I would find it hard to believe that you didn't have to adjust some habits in your dealings with others, once you were no longer a minister.

Byker Bob said...

Right on, Gary! (Your comment at 12:07)

And, I'm sure the earlier poster was probably citing that 1977 reference book having learned of it during a sermon, as we certainly all used to get much of the information which supported our beliefs in that same way. However, since the 1990s, and the advent of cladistics, even the phrases "transitional forms", or transitional fossils have become anachronistic, and are no longer used within the scientific community. Strong familial relationships can be demonstrated within the existing fossil record, but it is impossible to prove descendency. This is another example of how the scientific method tests, retests, and corrects the body of knowledge which we know as science. Also, many more fossils have been discovered, examined, and classified over the past 40 years.

BB

Hoss said...

Ignorance and ignoring – although the context is different, I can't help thinking, willfully ignorant. And there is also denial and avoidance. I sometimes wonder what one is thinking when they rerence an unreliable or out of date source, partially quote a person or a verse, or use something out of context.

The Painful Truth has been posting pages of a lengthy letter by Orlin Grabbe, who considered WCG ministers to be Biblically illiterate, and that the claim 'tell us if we're wrong and we'll correct it' proved to be mere rhetoric. The method of Biblical 'proof' was a form of eisegesis, and while the facts may be wrong, the conclusion must is always correct. Armstrongism must be defended at all costs.

Dennis carefully showed how 'line upon line' doesn't mean what we were led to believe it meant. It was not presented as a form of Bible study, but a mockery of false prophets and teachers. But HWA said otherwise – why not just say he was wrong? No, that would loosen a brick in the COG foundation. It's safer to continue to argue by ignoring the facts presented.

In Bob's response to Dennis, we were reminded: Do not despise prophecies. Why wasn't the rest of the sentence quoted? It's a WCG favorite, but prove all things... Was Dennis despising prophecy or proving (testing, examining) it?

And teaching - Jesus taught his disciples using a form of historical Yeshiva, and Paul was taught in a similar way by Gamaliel. In Yeshiva, a disciple asks his teacher difficult questions, and a good disciple answers questions by asking more difficult questions...



DennisCDiehl said...

Dennis
All ministers in Herbs church were treated with kids gloves and treated as near royalty, so ministers living in ivory towers is not mere projection. Perhaps some lesser so than others. ...
I would find it hard to believe that you didn't have to adjust some habits in your dealings with others, once you were no longer a minister.'

I agree that the ministry and specific individuals were tolerated well beyond their shelf life. Problem types, dictators and the self righteous control freaks such as a Dave Pack were merely moved around to inflict themselves upon yet another congregation rather than sat down and told to shape up or ship out. I saw this many times. In many ways, HQ ignored ministers unless they needed to control them with "snowflakes from heaven" as I called them in the form of memos and "to be played in all the church" nonsense.

By projection I meant, on me. I can't convince anyone but I know me and living high on beef cattle and living in ivory towers is a foreign and uncomfortable concept to me. I didn't grow up that way and how I grew up had far more lasting influence on me than WCG or the ministry. These are my perceptions of myself. My core is live and let live, things work out (they didn't as I had thought of course but they have worked out nicely personally after going through all the mud and the blood and the beer as they say) and don't sweat the small stuff which WCG tended to sweat bullets over.

My transition into at first EMS and then therapeutic massage fits me very well. It's the "how can I help you" part of me and now, with a very successful practice , so far good health and putting the past where it belongs, I am more happy and content than I have been in decades. I have made my transitional mistakes as all transitions are messy, but I survived where I thought I might not and the air around me is clear and fresh again with combination of to soon old and too late schmart and older and smarter....



DennisCDiehl said...

I am sometimes wary of sharing personally here at times as I still bristle, I know at, "you ministers" "ivory towers" "controlling others" and the generic snark that gets hurled at me for having been one and also for moving into my views of the Bible and religion but it's nothing I can help. I can't unsee what I do see and the quote "Ignore-ance is what you ignore and not just what you don't see, but what you won't see" I know when one believes they have to move heaven and earth to defend it out of fear , perhaps, of what it might mean if it were no really so. I did that for decades, but what is so is not going to change just because I don't like reality. I also know that one man's reality is another's heresy. It's just how we all individually filter and process our needs and world.

DennisCDiehl said...

I'm waiting for the magic moment here in Portland, home of large WCG churches in the past to have a client end up saying, "Holy shit....you're Dennis Diehl. I heard you speak at the Feast once!" lol I have had clients already tell me their relatives were in some crazy church "like the adventists but out of Pasadena, California.." That's when I have to decide to either keep talking or just say, "how about that..."

Anonymous said...

"I'm an atheist, and I thank God for it."
George Bernard Shaw

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"I have had clients already tell me their relatives were in some crazy church "like the adventists but out of Pasadena, California.." That's when I have to decide to either keep talking or just say, "how about that..."

ha!

In that case I would say some things are better left unsaid, but if not Im sure it led to some interesting conversations..

Byker Bob said...

As Axl Rose once sang, "Welcome to the Jungle". A blog, in which there is a relatively high percentage of free speech is going to be simultaneously many things. One of them, for sure, is open discussion, but not all of it is benign, especially on a blog that is dedicated to exposure of the continuing problems of a false and cultic religion, and recovery from the same. There can be new agendas, there are sometimes people who are determined to "win" at all costs, there are those who hopefully will receive help because they are still ensnared by false teachings, there are others who can't rise to the level of discussing ideas, but refuse to be excluded, so make ad hominem and strawman attacks, there are people who like to teach, and wonder why this is not a classroom-like environment where their ideas are embraced as being the education which they had intended, and some even like to push buttons, then recede into the background as they watch the reactions they cause. There are amateur psychologists, amateur deprogrammers, and even people who deliberately take contrarian viewpoints.

But, the good news is that a blog is equally unfair to everyone. I have yet to meet anyone who is universally loved, and never confronted. That is especially true of those who make their comments, and themselves identifiable through using either their given names, or a regular screen name, ie, those who are "in the fishbowl", as I've always liked to say.

There are probably always going to be people who have special sensitivities. We usually don't get to know from words on a screen how vulnerable some of the people may be. Over the years, I've encountered several people who were right on the edge, and really needing some positive feedback. Not everybody has thick skin from their life's experiences, and there is almost no way that we could know who does, and who doesn't.

In a sense, we are the community which we never could be while we were part of Armstrongism, which was an environment where real personality and identity of self had to be repressed, on the pain of being thought of as unconverted, or rebellious. Like the Russians emerging from communism, some experience problems in adjusting to the normal freedoms of humanity. These are just temporary growing pains.

BB

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"Gods 'good' refers to His creation in Genesis. This obviously excludes mankind sins."

Just wondering in which category you put the exquisitely designed and highly effective rabies virus.

Anonymous said...

Michael
Is God pulling the wool over our eyes? I think most people secretly ask themselves about the true nature of God. I don't believe such honest questioning offends God. Presumably much of His creation, such as a wide spectrum of creatures and plants was designed with this in mind. All I can say to you is to look long and hard at what God has created. Look at the wide variety of foods for humans. I think there's about two thousand edible plants. Would a evil or questionable God give such diversity? Look at gardening, the variety to choose from. Would a quack God do that. Have about pets. Some people spend a small fortune putting their deceased pets in a pet cemetery. Do these people think God messed up with pets. Observe what God has created.

Regarding the issue of germs and viruses, I believe they are Gods quality control agents. God is a God of high quality and will not tolerate sub standard quality. The solution is to obey Gods health laws, just as the road laws must be obeyed, or else!

nck said...

Abstract
The study of viral molecular genetics has produced a considerable body of research into the sequences and phylogenetic relationships of human and animal viruses. A review of this literature suggests that humans have been afflicted by viruses throughout their evolutionary history, although the number and types have changed. Some viruses show evidence of long-standing intimate relationship and cospeciation with hominids, while others are more recently acquired from other species, including African monkeys and apes while our line was evolving in that continent, and domesticated animals and rodents since the Neolithic. Viral selection for specific resistance polymorphisms is unlikely, but in conjunction with other parasites, viruses have probably contributed to selection pressure maintaining major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity and a strong immune response. They may also have played a role in the loss in our lineage of N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), a cell-surface receptor for many infectious agents. Shared viruses could have affected hominid species diversity both by promoting divergence and by weeding out less resistant host populations, while viruses carried by humans and other animals migrating out of Africa may have contributed to declines in other populations. Endogenous retroviral insertions since the divergence between humans and chimpanzees were capable of directly affecting hominid evolution through changes in gene expression and development.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

nck

Hoss said...

you're Dennis Diehl

If the comment that got under Bob Thiel's skin had been from me, or some other faceless, unknown blogger, it wouldn't have rated an angry headline. But a former WCG minister, with a reputation for critique, that's front-page news. I'm content to be part of "and others".

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Sha-na-na-na, where the needles tend to stick.

BB said: "There are amateur psychologists, amateur deprogrammers, and even people who deliberately take contrarian viewpoints. But, the good news is that a blog is equally unfair to everyone."

After having left Armstrongism, we all still tend to do this all to often.

nemo

Anonymous said...

That Dennis got under Bobs skin is another example of Dennis having status and prestige within the COG community, despite having 'fallen away.'

BB I question your label of amateur psychologists or deprogrammers. Often an amateur is very knowledgeable, sometimes more knowledgeable than the professional. My observation in the church was that when ministers or church members forced themselves on others to play psychologist or psychiatrist, they were ignorant. It's like a 10 year old playing doctor. I doubt most of these people have read even one self help book cover to cover. Yet church members go to their minister for advice, expecting the wisdom of a Dr Phil. What a joke.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"All I can say to you is to look long and hard at what God has created. Look at the wide variety of foods for humans. I think there's about two thousand edible plants. Would a evil or questionable God give such diversity?"

You might want to cast your net of observation quite a bit wider than some edible plants. There are a lot more bad things in the world (from a human perspective) than good things.

Lots lots more.

Human technology, especially the modern variety, has enabled us to neutralize many of the immediate dangers, but it's still a wretched dog-eat-dog world out there, presumably all designed by a creator.

Anonymous said...

Michael
The bible condemns from cover to cover dog-eat-dog behaviour amongst humans, which it calls sin. God has repeatedly destroyed cities and nations for such misbehaviour. Or would you that God removes free moral agency from humans? If you are referring to natural disasters, God does protect individuals and nations if they act responsibly (build responsibly and take precautions) and obey His laws.
I remind you that God initially started off with your idea society via the angelic program. But look what happened. This dog-eat-dog plan B was forced on God.
Christ couldn't carry His own cross because His back muscles were shredded. Yes, plan B is often very ugly and macabre.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"This dog-eat-dog plan B was forced on God."

Poor omnipotent God, always forced to such extreme evil plans...

Anonymous said...

Michael
If your mind is already made up, why come here with your questions? You are just playing silly games.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous January 25, 2017 at 2:55 PM says Michael is "just playing silly games."

Relax, Anon. We all are. Silly games make an effective way to pass the time and lighten the gloom during this dreary interval between birth and death.

Best part is, that interval won't last all that long. As Samuel Beckett wrote in *Waiting for Godot,* “They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.”


Anonymous said...

Retired Prof, I beg to differ. life is very precious and should be treated as such. We are not here to pass the time, but rather to build the mind of God. Playing silly games is anti life, and hence worthy of condemnation.
Life is precious, not cheap.

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof
It seems that you have not only retired from your job, but have retired from life as well. You should treasure every day and every hour that God has given you. Your "pass the time and lighten the gloom" is passive suicide. It's demonic.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous 9:49 and/or 9:59, of course life is precious. The most precious gems, the ones we lust after most, are the rarest ones. The gleam of a human life is not just a rare gem--it is completely unique. The ultimate treasure to the person who possesses it.

We all have different ways of gleaming, which is to say, lightening the gloom. You two can't shine unless you believe the game is deadly serious. Keep on believing that. You may be right, and I may be wrong that believing so is just another move in the silly game. But here's the kicker: notice how gratified you felt to make those comments. You were doing what you saw as your solemn duty, and you gleamed.

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof,
Negative, it's not my moral duty to disagree with/correct others. Rather it's an option I have. For instance, l try not to correct evil people, since the feedback would be used by them to become more effective in the criminal ways.
Everyone feels gratified when they believe they have done the right thing.

Retired Prof said...

Anon 11:40, thanks for clarifying your motive. My family is thickly infested with Missionary Baptist deacons, ministers, and missionaries, who feel the Great Commission as a weighty obligation and are gratified to seize opportunities to fulfill it. When they do, they sound a lot like you. But of course similar behavior can spring from diverse impulses, and I should not have reflexively extrapolated their motivation to you. Sorry.

By the way, you might be interested to know that my pessimistic "dreary interval between birth and death"* stance can make people feel better instead of worse. Back in the day, when people around the university would ask me how I was, I would answer "Wretched."

They would make a sympathetic face and start to express condolences. I would shrug, smile, and in a cheerful voice say "Oh, it's nothing to worry about. Just the human condition." It always got at least a smile, and sometimes a good hearty laugh.


I owe this nifty phrase to a former colleague of mine, who originally used it to sum up my take on things.

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof,
Body language and tone of voice would mean everything with expressions like 'dreary interval between life and death,' and similar. Obviously this cannot be done with the written word. Thanks for sharing your experience.