Sunday, April 9, 2017

I have a Question: Is this True? Is this Reasonable? Is this Confusing? Why does my stomach hurt?

Dear Split (UCG/LCG), Splinter (RCG/PCG)  Sliver (CCG) and Assorted Types Attracted to Those Who Claim to Know...

When you listen, week after week, month after month, year after year and now decade after decade to your under educated, poorly trained, Biblically haunted,  self absorbed, tale weaving, psychologically unstable, personality deficient, title taking,  mistaken and misapplication prone Apostle, "Prophet" or Pastor, allow yourself what all people are entitled to in life to wonder about and openly ask of any one who insists you believe them. 

Is this true?  Is this reasonable?  Is it kind?  Can we prove this?  How does he know that?  Is he stable?  Does the Bible really mean that?  Is this for us today?  Is it confusing and causing confusion?  Does it matter?  What is the chance this fantastical view is correct?   What will happen to me/us if it is not correct?  Do my concerns, fears and questions about this matter him?  What has happened to those who have disagreed in the past?  Was that the proper response to "prove all things?"  Will he apologize personally if completely wrong?  If he was wrong then why is he right now?  If he is wrong again, why would he be right in the future?  What does "In the multitude of counsel there is safety" mean to my leaders?  ...and all the other questions that race through your mind as well as thinking your  doubts should match the questions you actually ask and wish an answer for without fear of unintended consequences.
It's ok to ask....

 Why be skeptical?

Nobody should be skeptical just because they are told by me or by a teacher or by a parent that they should be skeptical.   I believe there are good reasons why people should be skeptical, especially if they are interested in knowing and believing what is true and what is reasonable to believe:
  1. People are often dishonest, deceptive, or have been deceived by others.
  2. People are often irrational or motivationally biased in their thinking (e.g. egocentrism, sociocentism, wishful thinking, superstition, and sexism).
  3. People have natural tendencies to think illogically, even when they manage to avoid being irrational or motivationally biased in their thinking (e.g. hasty generalization, post hoc fallacy, confirmation bias, false dilemma, errors based on the ‘representativeness heuristic’, belief bias (“When one’s evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by their belief in the truth or falsity of the conclusion.” See article on Cognitive Bias: )
  4. Most of what people believe, they “learned” from others (parents, teachers, pastors, friends, books, magazines, television, movies, newspapers, blogs) who are usually not experts in, and not well-informed about, the topics that they were talking about. Misinformation is a widespread cultural phenomenon.
  5. The truth or the best solution to a problem is often difficult to figure out, even when everyone involved is thinking logically, rationally, and being honest (which is almost never the case).
  6. Skepticism works, especially in relation to trying to understand nature and how natural processes work.  Science works by challenging claims, assumptions, and theories, and by demanding carefully gathered facts and data to support claims, assumptions, hypotheses and theories, and by subjecting scientific arguments, hypotheses, experiments, and theories to skeptical peer review."
(A Timely Reminder and one of the greatest COG quotes of all time )

"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, 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? Listen 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? 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...But I'll tell you what, I'm not going anywhere.

Dave Pack
December 12, 1998


Black Ops Mikey said...

Why be skeptical?

Because we've been ripped off so many times.

Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.

It's time for these scam artists to prove their exceptional claims.

Put up or shut up.

Byker Bob said...

Sshhhh! The people who should heed your words have surrendered their abilities to do this sort of in depth thinking years or decades ago. Waking them up will have the same bad effect as picking up your cat while he is in a trance, or waking a sleep walker.