Sunday, April 2, 2017

Paul Being Hard to Be Understood

Fifty years ago, (Hoooly Long Haired Lions!), when I was 18, Garner Ted Armstrong went Bat Sh%# Crazy in the middle of a sermon in the AC Gym and screamed, "If you don't like it here, get out!"  It was a real quiet moment in the gym and a what's buggin' him moment. He went back to the sermon.

The following Monday, Richard Plache came and got me out of Freshman Bible class and said, "Mr. Ted Armstrong wants to see you."  It was a quiet elevator ride up to the 4th heaven in the Hall of Administration....  

When I got into his office, there he was in the flesh.  I had never met him but had listened to him on the radio as a teen with my transistor radio. It would of been an great moment, but I sensed this was not going to be a great moment.  

He had his hands behind his head and his feet on his desk.  Uh oh....defense mode.  The first words GTA ever said to me in this world were, "Why do you hate me?"  I said, "Why would I hate you?  I just got here at AC.  I have admired you on the radio for years."  He said, "Do you know I was talking to YOU in the sermon Sabbath?"  Ugh...well, I did notice he was staring over my way when he went nuts.  I assured him that all was well and I really had no idea why he would feel that way.  (It took a decade for me to figure what the real problem was that day. I was dating the same student he was. He feared I knew too much and my look to him that Sabbath proved it.)  Any way...he then told me, assured I knew nothing much, said..."Well your hair is too long and you are to get a haircut.  It covers your forehead and the forehead is the seat of the intellect."

Sure fine, what?  Everything in me wanted to ask if the frontal bones also blocked the intellect, but I wasn't ready for that move yet.  So I submitted to a Church of God haircut for men.   It looked no different before the cut than it does to this day save for the brown being replaced by silver but I wanted to stay in college, God's College and be the minister I went there to be.  He also told me not to think to come there to be a minister, but I didn't tell him what I was thinking on that one.

Speaking of Hair...

2 Peter 3:16
"He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."

While not actually written by Peter, but rather a later Church father type addressing issues far beyond Paul's actual lifetime, even they found Paul hard to understand at times.

The Pressing Problem of Long Haired Men and Bald Women/Or The Pressing Problem of Women Uncovered Heads


I Corinthians 11:

1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
    Meaning:  Now  do what I tell you because I hallucinated this from Christ since I never met any real earthly Jesus who offered an opinion on this vital matter. 

2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.  

Meaning:  Thank you for being some of the few people who like me or how I think. Do what I told you, as I told you  and how I told you to do it

3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Meaning:  This is what I believe and the reason I place women in the que where I do.  
4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
Meaning:  Unsure yet.  Maybe men aren't to cover heads with a hat , some Middle Eastern traditional garb when praying, or have long hair. It may even mean the man dishonors God, his "head"
5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
Meaning:  Unsure yet. Maybe not wearing a scarf or traditional Middle Eastern garb over the head or have short hair. It may also mean she dishonors her husband or men, who are her "head".
6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
Meaning:  Because if she is uncovered somehow in a way not yet sure of his meaning, she may as well be shaved bald,  so cover up. Paul was an "all or nothing" type of guy evidently with little room in the middle for compromise. 
7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
Meaning:  Indeed, men should have their heads visible and not covered either with some kind of traditional Middle Eastern garb or with long hair
8For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
Meaning:  Paul reflects the ignorance of his times.  Men do come from women both in birth and genetically as a female template prior to birth which is why men have nipples.  But let's skip a longer explanation here.

9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
Meaning:  Paul read this in the Genesis story and again with no knowledge of the reality of where human beings actually come from and how modern humans evolved
10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
Meaning:  This is a bit tougher to discern what Paul meant but I'd say it means "Look...Angels look up to God and since women are a bit lower than men and angels, they should look up to their men as Lord, as long as they do well.  Make sense?
11Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
Meaning: But there is some equality between the two if both are in the church.  
12For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
Meaning:  Yeah, that's it. I know I said women came from men and not men from women a bit earlier, in the big picture and especially in the church, God made us all somewhat equal
13Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
Meaning:  C'mon folks, see it my way.  Ok, don't let me confuse you even though I just did.  You decide if it is appropriate for a woman to pray unto God without a cover on her head or with short hair since my meaning is not yet clear.
14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
Meaning:  Um..actually no.  What are you talking about?
Nature tells me what?
Nature tells me what"
Nature tells me what?

Um...sure. Real shamer 
15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Meaning:  Men like long haired women and nature makes that clear.
Female Lioness with long hair as we learn from nature.
16But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Meaning:  But if you want to argue about it or don't see my point, then that's just the way it is in the Church and according to my commands.  So , (and this is my opinion on whether it is covering or hair), no long haired men and we better see no bald or pixie cut women in the Church.


Hoss said...

Doesn't nature itself teach you...

In a Bible study, Ron Dart said a few times he couldn't figure that one out.

Michael said...

Nice exposition.

Probably Paul wrote things often difficult to be understood because he himself was confused and making a lot of it up as he went along.

Would have loved to be a fly on the wall for Peter and the others when they discussed Paul in private... "where is this guy getting these things? Our Master whom we spent many intimate hours with never gave any such instructions, and here's this dude who never even knew him dropping in out of nowhere and claiming to suddenly have this direct pipeline to him with all these new teachings? WTF".

Maybe something like that...

Anonymous said...

Nature or no nature, long haired 'men' look like girls.

Arno said...

Look,INDEED, I do not know WHAT to say about all this except that I've never in my whole life worn long hair, and not for the reason that holy writ via that super duper luxury dulux apostolic Paul has prescribed (I just happened to think that the whole idea of a mop of hair was too cumbersome, labour intensive as far as upkeep is concerned, damn hot in summer, for some reason that I was never able to fathom, more expensive when I wanted a haircut (even only for a trim), but ja, each to his own and super duper Paul and his cronies to theirs ...

Anyway, Dennis, thanks for a wonderful laugh over an early cup of coffee on this blessed Monday morning. All of a sudden (heh heh) this week does not appear to be so menacing and Monday a shade or so lighter considering that it is somehow always blue. Ja, so true that laughter is the best medicine :)

Anonymous said...

Cool, but you're not going to deprogram COGLODYTES with this. They believe that Paul was personally taught by Jesus, just like the folks in Jerusalem after Jesus was ressurrected. So do most Christians. They believe miracles happened during Bible times. Why would someone who believes Jesus was a myth even try to convince people that Paul had a psychotic break, halucinated Jesus, and ended up hijacking Christianity? Why would any Christian pay attention to someone they know is just playing devil's advocate to destroy their faith? You've destroyed your own ability to make your points.

If you want to help Armstrongists out of their cultic belief system, you are going to need to become a lot more subtle than this! Honest, too. People can tell when head games are being played with them. Shame, shame.

Anonymous said...

The older members, those with the power, hijacked church culture and made its members wear 'old peoples cloths' and haircuts. It felt comfortable for the older people, but it made the younger generation look like freaks. GTAs 1940s haircut looked ridiculous in the 1960s and 1970s. Christ by contrast blended in. Judas had to betray Him with a kiss. Christ was no fashion policeman, and He did not authorize the church to be one.

Anonymous said...

There you go again Dennis...confusing Bob Thiel. Poor guy just can never get things right.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"If you want to help Armstrongists out of their cultic belief system, you are going to need to become a lot more subtle than this! Honest, too. People can tell when head games are being played with them. Shame, shame."

What you're advocating makes no sense, Anon. Being more subtle would mean being more psychologically devious (= less honest), according to what you're saying.

Can't speak for other atheists here, but there's no devil's advocate being played, which would mean not really believing the argument one is setting forth.

Someone who has left Armstrongism for another religion (Catholicism, for example), might point out that *all* the splinters are nonsense and wrong, and the back-and-forth about whether PCG or UCG is correct is nonsense. Just take the shortcut and realize that Armstrongism itself is wrong from the get-go.

An atheist (like me) just takes it a step further, trying to point out that *all* the religions (including the Bible and Paul, etc.) are nonsensical, which is a much quicker shortcut to getting out of COGdom in one fell swoop

Pointing out how illogical religion is, is not playing mind games or being subtle or being a devil's advocate.

Anonymous said...

i was kicked out of lcg because of my long hair; the cogs amaze me: they strain at a gnat, but gobble up such pachyderms like white supremecy, and in the case of gta, or that younger son of merediths, illicit sexual lusts on the part of the upper heiarchy and fam...

i dont recall the presence of long hairs negatively affecting the work; samuel himself had long hair: but it was samuels neglecting of his sons wayward behavior that undermined the priesthood...

to this day the ministry ignores the weightier matters of the Law, and there clearly has been a heavy price paid...

Anonymous said...

GTA Was A Perv.

Steve D said...

Anonymous said...
Nature or no nature, long haired 'men' look like girls. HWA would ask, "Why would you men want to look like women?" I might ask, "Why do YOU, HWA, want to look like a woman by shaving your face clean like a woman's? Doesn't nature itself tells us that men were created to have a beard?"

The Painful Truth said...

Many of the ACOG hack ministers embrace the US constitution as inspired by God. Yet the founding fathers who put this document together had long hair. Did their hair cover the seat of intellect?

When I was in the wcg I grew my hair a bit longer than was allowed. Caught some shit for it but ignored it. My thought were that in the days of Paul within the Roman empire this new religion set themselves apart by many different practices. One was hair length. The Romans who dominated their Jewish society wore their hair longer than the Jews who sported it short.

But the so called acog Christians should understand that the OT laws for the Israelites has contradictions.

In the bible, the story of Samson talks about how Samson’s father had made an oath to God that along with abstaining from alcohol, his son would also not cut his hair. Samson’s hair was his strength through his oath to God, and he was able to achieve great feats of strength such as tearing apart a lion and killing 300 soldiers with an ass’s jawbone.

The concept of short hair was founded by the pagan culture of old. It is meaningless a in the modern world. In the bible we read "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)

Look around folks when your at church and you will see this practice going strong in your church when you look at the kids. They sport the pagan haircut. So if the truth be known, Paul embraced this pagan cultural expression and so does the acogs.

Some cultures cover the hair, while others adorn it and praise it. Leave it at that. You want to wear your hair short? Go ahead. Who cares. Want to sport it long? Who cares.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

What is it about Dennis's hair that attracts comment? I recall about 8-10 years ago that moron Tom Mahon made an absurd comment about Dennis's haircut on Gavin's Ambassador Watch website.

In some ways Dennis, Garner Ted Armstrong was giving you a backhanded compliment. The man who reportedly bedded 200+ young Ambassador coeds and was the public face of the Worldwide Church of God considered you a threat. :)


DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said: "Nature or no nature, long haired 'men' look like girls."

Probably Paul's initial thought and thus him having to get in touch with Christ for an answer to this dilemma so , for the sake of there being no division, the members all speak the same thing.

Sweetblood777 said...

And pray tell, why do these cogs insist that people style their face and head based on the Romans. Why is hair on a man's face looked down upon. I guess that they will even have a hard time with Yahshua/Jesus.

As far as long hair is defined, who gets to say how long is too long. Women in the middle east have hair down to their butts, men had hair down to their shoulders. That is the plain truth.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Bill McDowell explained it this way:

Men work outside and with dangerous machinery. You know, a man's hair could get caught in a tree, have someone come along and stab him three daggers as he hung from the tree and have young armor bearers surround him and kill him. It happens.

Or say you are a man with long hair operating a lathe. You hair gets caught in the lathe, wraps your hair around the piece in the lathe and breaks your neck. Awfully inconvenient.

Or say you are a mail waiter in a restaurant serving a patron some soup. The patron dips his spoon into the soup and says, "Hey, waiter, there's a hair in my soup".

You see. Perfectly logical. The Apostle Paul was trying to save men some awkward situations that might come up with long hair. Is that so hard to understand?

But then you could watch the YouTube video on why Boyinaband reveals The real reason I have long hair.

nck said...

I guess short hair is associatied with the "empire of god".
-The Romans thousands of years of empire (short hair)
-The US marines (globe encompassing empire)
-The Mohicans (wariors in alliance with the "grand pere des francais")

Long hair associated with the hippies and the percieved decline of power.

But I would not repeat this in the presence of a Spartan, a Zelot or anyone carying a donkey jaw, or a ponytailed 18th century militiaman.


Dennis Diehl said...

I knew a guy who leaned forward over a paper machine with a too long tie. You don't want to hear the rest. It is a shame for a man to wear a too long pagan talisman evolved into a tie. It was also fatal.

Anonymous said...

Two words...Sean Connery... (mike drop)

nck said...

SC in "The Rock?"

What do prophesies state regarding Potus hair btw?


Anonymous said...

A large company that I worked for, had a woman whose long hair was caught in one of those auto-starting paper shredding machines. These are dangerous machines.

Dennis Diehl said...

These were 30 ton steel rollers millimeters apart rolling photographic paper at Kodak. They never flinched or noticed the guy passing through