Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Tall Tale of "All things common...."



Dave Pack: "You Bring Your Assets, Don't Leave Home Without Them! No Salvation If You Don't!"


Even as a child, the "Bible Story" of a husband and wife in the early church under Peter being killed for "lying" about how much money they really had as opposed to what they gave to the church, seemed surreal. In the context, we are told the early church was more commune like and evidently shared with all that which each possessed to get them through.
Acts 2:44-45
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Acts 4:32
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Nothing wrong with this I suppose, but one would think it was rather voluntary and something that people do when they wish to drop out of society and cling unto only those that see the world as they do. It's an early practice in any group like this which tends to break down after time and everyone goes their own way again, or at least does not feel the need to share their hard earned resources and support the loners forever.
The fact is that holding all things in common during those times was a temporary state fueled by the rabid belief in the early NT Church that Jesus Second Coming was imminent.  Of course, it wasn't and this practice died very quickly for two reasons.  1. As mentioned, Jesus failed to return in anyone's lifetime and dealing with how to explain it became a function of later Epistles.  2. More wealthy folk came into the church no doubt who were critically thinking enough and independent enough to simply say no.
But one has to ask why this story was included in the Book of Acts? Ask yourself what might be the result today of this happening in your church! What's wrong with this story and I will call it a story as I do not personally believe it ever really happened, but I do believe it had the desired effect on the "Church."
Acts 5
1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. 
Comment: It was their property and they had the right to sell it for as much as they wished. It was nice that Ananias had such an open and trusting relationship with his wife, Sapphira, that he included her in how much he actually sold it for. While the "rules" called for everyone to share and share alike, no one has the right, save in that culture or in the "Church" it seemed, to demand ALL of it. Keeping your own money for yourself is no crime on earth or in heaven. And anyone has the right to change their mind about contributions to anyone. He brought "the rest" and that seems generous enough under any circumstances. "Putting it at the Apostles Feet" seems contrived, but if he literally did and Peter stood there whenever members brought in the goodies and shekels to be placed at his feet is this not an arrogant position that he has assumed for himself? I picture Peter standing at the front of the room standing like Mr. Clean, or Dave Pack,   receiving these required contributions.
Remember, this is the Peter who denied Jesus three times with three lies of never having known the man and was forgiven in John 21, when John thought Peter was better left off the roster of Apostles worth anything to the Church. (In John's Gospel he equated with Judas as in "Judas betrayed, Peter denied. No difference. Don't follow Peter") Seems at this point of his career, Peter was not much in the mood to forgive as he had been forgiven or follow any of Jesus teachings on the topic. I'd say Peter had given Jesus lots of reasons to knock him off early in the disciple game too.
3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart (That's the only reason right?) that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." (So one can't just change their mind on such things?)
Comment: "Satan" could be anyone or anything. This can merely mean that Ananias made his own decision about how much he could afford to contribute. It's not like he was sharing his days wage for making pots down the street. This would have been a chunk of family change and perhaps land that had been in his family for generations. I once went to a store in Jerusalem that was in a cave of sorts and the owner said that the cave and using it for commerce had been in his family for over 800 years!
Whenever someone makes a decision the church or minister does not like or think is the right one, "Satan" often is named as the cause for this. It often means that the person simply does not see things the way the minister or church does on this topic. Besides if a literal Satan filled his heart, then forgive him and go after Satan! I always found it difficult to resist as a mere human when a rogue spirit that had access to God and was part of God's plan for testing humans was unleashed on me. I mean, come on here, human is human! I can't even resist chocolate. So at least we see it was their's to give, and somewhere along the line, what he said he would give and what he gave was the problem in Peter's mind. The lie is not in not giving it all, the lie seems to be in saying he'd give it all and then not doing that. Again, would Peter, who denied Jesus three times remember, with three lies, in a very short time, not understand his own past in this matter?
Also we have the problem of uping the ante to lying, not to Peter, or to the board, or too the treasurer. No, this young and successful couple had lied to the Holy Spirit! Yikes. One would think that lying once about how much money you had to give was like a normal lie between men. Lying three times in a short period of time about not knowing Jesus, so sure you can kill him, I don't know the man, seems more of a Holy Spirit lie, but evidently not. Peter cannot forgive what he had done himself. Maybe Peter felt he should have been punished for denying Jesus, and projected his shame and the sentence onto this poor couple, though I still doubt it ever happened in real time.


It is also interesting that Satan, an untouchable spirit caused him to lie and the Holy Spirit, an untouchable spirit strikes him down. This certainly leaves any human responsibility for these deaths in the pews out of the picture. So it's a story of church members dropping dead of no known humanly provable causes. We can hope Peter did not cut them down with a sword as he unsuccessfully tried to do in the garden lopping only the High Priests ear off in the attempt to cleave his skull.
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died.(Or so they say)
No confidentiality here, or "we need to talk."
Bang...you're dead! It also says he fell down first and then died. I would think that having the Holy Spirit strike you down would be more of a "he died and fell down." Just a thought.
"And great fear seized all who heard what had happened."
Comment: WELL, THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT ISN'T IT? Even Peter understood that fear was the motivator even though something called "perfect love" had already been said to cast out fear. Fear is the opposite of Love, not hate. Peter evidently still had a lot to learn and this poor couple would pay for his ignorance. Peter only knew to cast out the person, not the fear, and that this example would lower contributions and donations to the "Work," if he didn't nip it in the bud. Or perhaps Paul, who said "perfect love casts out fear" had Luke tell this story to make a fool out of Peter. I mean, here is the Great Apostle Peter instilling fear when Paul instilled Love. Who would you follow?
6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
Comment: Now have this happen in your church and see if you just get to wrap him up and throw him in the dumpster. No one felt this was wrong. No one evidently would miss him or wonder why "he went to church, but never came home." His parents were either there agreeing to this or simply learned to live that their son and daughter in law, who had that nice piece of property just vanished and somehow now we find the Church has the property. This is contrived and Apostolic cruelty and abuse at it's worse, if it happened, which it didn't. But the story makes a nice motivator of the brethren to turn in ALL the goodies. In the modern Church, all the goodies would be you're complete tithe...10%, not 9%.
7 About three hours later (Gerald Waterhouse must have been preaching this day) his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?"
Comment: Three hours later than what? How long were church services anyway! Hmmm, he baits her, knowing that was not the price. Sounds like "Tell me my precious..." right out of Lord of the Rings.
"Yes," she said, "that is the price."
Comment: It would have been better to say, "we thought it over and this is what we agreed to give you." That would have put Peter on the defensive saying, "well why didn't HE say so! Oh damn, I just never asked him if maybe he told you he had agreed to something else and I just didn't know or that you both recalculated and I just phrased my question to him in a wrong way...oh my oh me." Well, no such luck.
9 Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
Comment: I expect he meant the feet of those guys had dirt on them from the previous burial of her husband. I seriously doubt that this sweet couple said, "Hey, lets test the Spirit of the Lord and lie about this." Peter may have been meaning, "How could you lie to me." But then this is the same man who lied about even knowing Jesus, three times in a very short time, and to a little girl to boot! Peter denied Jesus and Judas betrayed him...what's the difference. Maybe this is the point of the story. 
No...it is the point of the story. Luke was Paul's fan and not Peter's.  Luke was promoting Paul and mocking Peter in this story.  The original audience would have gotten that.  "These two said they would do one thing, give all, and did another, held back.  Punish them.  The Great Peter said he would do one thing, never leave Jesus, and did another. Denied him. Ha ha... Don't follow Peter"
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.
Comment: Well so much for "come let us reason together."
Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Comment: These young men are no doubt going to need some counseling of their own after this. Would you not love to have heard the talk while they dug the graves? "What the hell is this all about? I liked these people and they always gave more than any of the other sluggards in the group. Anyone here think Peter, who lied about even knowing Jesus, THREE TIMES, is nuts?"  (Anyone think Dave Pack is nuts?)
11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Comment: Which is, again, the whole point of the story for the early church isn't it?
So here we have revenge killings in church of people whose hearts were filled by Satan to keep some of their own hard earned money and felled by the Holy Spirit as punishment. No chance Peter, WHO LIED ABOUT KNOWING JESUS THREE TIMES, could forgive them, or just say "thank you so much for your contribution and generosity to the Church." 
No way this Peter was going to let the others think that they could get away with not having all things in common, and I mean all things. I wonder if Peter gave the Church the proceeds from his fishing boat and equipment? I guess if you said, "no way, that's my stuff," you were off the hook. The problem seems to be in saying you would and then not, but that is easily remedied by renegotiating the agreement, not MURDER!
The point is all about religious loyalty motivated by fear, guilt and shame again, isn't it? It's motivating you to stick with the church because if you don't then Satan will eat you alive or you will go to hell or burn in the lake of fire, none of which is verifiable in space and time. It's saying that hurricane Katrina was punishment on New Orleans for being full of humans who are just like the ones in Houston and Chicago and everywhere else including, of all places, Washington. It's the Rabbi saying that Bird Flu has come the the "UN-Holy Land" for that is what it is these days, because Israel allows Gay marriage, or even mixing cheese with hamburger to make a cheeseburger, when everyone knows that violates seething a calf in it's own mother's milk! No lie. I saw the posters condemning McDonalds in Tiberias...or was it McDavid's?
The story of Ananias and Sapphira is a construct to instill fear of disobeying the Church and Church leadership. We should not miss the fact that this Peter, the impetuous disciple, the "let's kick their ass for not believing in you Jesus," the "oh yeah, well I'll split your skull with my sword," LIED THREE TIMES that he ever knew Jesus and then fled. This is a contrived story to produce the desired effect...FEAR in the Church. A motivator that I am sorry to say is all to much a weapon in the ministerial arsenal of far too many churches today still.
Still there is one other motive that there might be for this rather negative story about Peter in the book of Acts. It was no secret that Luke, the author of Acts was a man of Paul. He was the apologist link, so to speak between the Jewish Church under James and the Gentile Church under Paul. It was Luke's job to make it appear that Paul got along better with Peter, James and John than he really did or they with him. There was no love lost between Peter and Paul for sure as Paul, in Galatians places Peter along with James and John in the "Apostles so called" category and reminds his readers that "I learned nothing from them."
This Peter, this man who PROMISED Jesus that he would never leave him, only to deny him three times shortly after and flee has a history. This story of the Peter, who can't abide saying one thing and doing another from Ananias and Sapphira, who SAID he was in agreement with Paul about eating with Gentiles but then withdrew when the Jewish James showed up for dinner, just might be here to poke fun of Peter, whom Paul disliked. ( I personally believe Peter's being offended with Paul was that it was obvious at dinner Paul was eating meat offered to idols which he said in Acts 15 he'd not do and did.  I Corinthians 8.  It had nothing to do with pork or gentiles.) 
Luke is chiding Peter for his duplicity in saying one thing, like Ananias did, and doing another, as the couple is reported to have done. In short, it may be that Luke was reminding the Gentile Church that Paul, not Peter was a better leader and more to be trusted. After all, the entire book of Acts is about Paul and others only as they lead up to and introduce Paul.
Peter can dish it out, but when push came to shove in his own life, he could not take it. Peter had a history of doing exactly the same thing that he is purported to have "killed" Ananias and Sapphira for; saying one thing, and doing another. The story might be a simple mock of Peter and his so called leadership in the Church. Leadership is something Peter, Paul, James and John seemed to fight over after Jesus is supposed to have left the planet.
Interestingly enough, every time John speaks of Peter in the Gospel of John, he makes a comment about Judas, then his point about Peter and then another point about Judas...every time. 
Obviously John also felt Peter's denial of Jesus was the same as Judas betrayal. John however portrays himself in his book as being the "disciple Jesus loved," reclining on Jesus breast as his best buddy, with Jesus at his trial when Peter had fled, at the foot of the cross with Jesus mom and the only one who understood what the empty tomb meant. These guys were very human and took every advantage and opportunity to put each other down while trying to elevate themselves in the eyes of the Church.
Bible guys will do that to each other in the scripture when they have a chance to point out each other's faults and foibles. Thus, I doubt the real murder of Ananias and Sapphira because they kept some of their own money ever literally happened but is a slap, by Luke, at Peter for his own duplicity. Pretty common stuff between Pastors I might add.
"All things in common" was the temporary mindset of the early early NT Church due to Jesus imminent return.  I suppose Dave Pack would say they were wrong but he is right about it all now and thus can demand it.  But , like HWA, building God's College, again, gives lie to the actual belief. Secluded and beautifully built homes for the chosen ones, belies the belief in the imminent coming of Christ.  It can only last so long before  1. Jesus doesn't return still and times goes long.  2. Wealthy converts show up, they won't, and say "WTF are you kidding me"

30 comments:

I Read Western Novels said...

Great article. I had always suspected that this never happened and frankly I got the impression that IF this happened Apostle Peter was being a real asshole.

Old Type 40 said...

The church has always been lead by a**holes. Just look at the ACOG and it's history.

Patrick Troughton said...

If this event happened in the early church, I don't believe I would have ever wanted to be a part of that church back in those days. Hell, I'm not apart of any church now.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Excellent Article Dennis!

You should consider video taping the reading of your article and placing on You Tube.

"And great fear seized all who heard what had happened." In other words, fear religion!

Richard

DennisCDiehl said...

Christians of all persuasions must upgrade to a basic understanding of the literal or non literal nature of Bible stories and accounts that are just too fantastical to believe. Joshua did not hold back the sun, i.e. stop the earth from rotating, iron axes don't really float, humans don't really come back from the dead when really really dead dead, and Apostles don't really really strike down congregants for not forking over everything they own even if they said they would and simply had a practical change of heart.

Stories have meaning to the writer. The Adam/Eve story is not about how lions, tigers , bears and humans got here. It is a story about the fall of women/goddess worship/matriarchy and the rise of men/priests/meat offerings/temple worship and patriarchy for Israel no matter the nations around them. It is story used to blame women for sin in the world and used by early church types to come up with the ridiculous concept of Original Sin.

Most Christians I know of all denominations are incredibly naive and uninformed about the intent, meaning, origins and politics of the Bible they take as "God breathed." The confusion, power grabs, one man show tendencies and arguments over what's what in the world of prophets, priests, apostles and presiding evangelists was no different back then than it is today.

One needs to get over the idea that concerning Jesus, Peter, James, John and Paul (along with a few other leading evangelists)was "all one body we. One in hope and doctrine, one in chariteeeeeeee."

Near_Earth_Object said...

I have a different reading of this passage than DD. I see no reason to class this event as allegory. We do not have poetic language but rather the language of a factual account. Some of the flaws in DDs argument:

1. This was not about bringing all the money into the church treasury.("But the story makes a nice motivator of the brethren to turn in ALL the goodies.") They did not have to give any of the money at all to the church as Peter states in verse 4.

2. It is not about creating fear of the Church and its leadership. ("The story of Ananias and Sapphira is a construct to instill fear of disobeying the Church and Church leadership.") Peter did not wave his hand over Ananias and pronounce doom on him so as to identify Ananias' demise with his person or the church. He just asked him a question. The demise of Ananias was not something actuated by Peter or the Church.

3. It is not even about lying to God. You can't lie to God. He knows all that you know and more. Peter exemplified this in verse 3. Peter knew by revelation what Ananias was doing.

4. This is about not realizing who God is. Thinking that this new ekklesia was just another collection of people with nothing behind it. Thinking that a showy but dishonest manipulative device would work in this context. Thinking that the God of the early Christians was just another fabricated deity. My guess is that Ananias and Sapphira were intending to be influential in what they saw to be just another collection of people that could be recruited to their personal purposes. Fear came on the church but it was concerning a recognition that what its members were involved in was serious.

Would this happen today? Clearly, not but neither do all the other healings and miracles happen in the same overt mannner today, in general. This was at the initiation of the church and the context was suited to that.

Retired Prof said...

Dennis, I agree that the concept of Original Sin is ridiculous. I've been running experiments on and off for decades. Every time I claim to have committed an original sin, I learn that somebody else thought of it first.

Anonymous said...

The husband and wife were killed by God (His right to do so) for lying to God Himself. Not for lying to people, but for lying to Gods face in prayer. This is what is meant by testing the spirit. Peter, contrary to this article, did not calculatingly, deliberately lie to God. He did not try to deceive God.
Another idiotic apostate post that smears God and the bible.

Hoss said...

I've heard the fate of Ananias and Sapphira used as a warning of what could happen if you lie to a minister...

Byker Bob said...

The problem is that Dave is such a cunning linguist that he makes these outrageous and intolerable edicts seem logical and even palatable, unless someone is well-grounded and can resist obvious distortion of the scriptures. In RCG, the scriptures mean whatever Dave says they do, and just about every one of them manages to get turned into leverage in some way.

BB

Hoss said...

In the time prior to Social Security, my great-grandmother started a home for the elderly who had no family to support them. A requirement was that all assets had to be surrendered to those who maintained the home.
The relation to the Ananias and Sapphira story is that, as all the elderly in the home were treated equally, they didn't want anyone to have a private stash of funds.

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"Christians of all persuasions must upgrade to a basic understanding of the literal or non literal nature of Bible stories and accounts that are just too fantastical to believe. Joshua did not hold back the sun, i.e. stop the earth from rotating, iron axes don't really float, humans don't really come back from the dead when really really dead dead..."

Much readers of the Bible seem to pretty much tend to decide for themselves what is metaphor and not, based on what has become common knowledge (thanks to science..)
Why, the "foundations of the earth" is clearly metaphor since science has shown the earth is a free moving body.
"Sun stood still" means the earth was stopped, obviously a metaphor!
(^^^^^Although I have to say I never heard the WCG interpretation of this and why no other civilization recorded a very very very long day^^^)
That's how it goes when modern, more informed eyes read ancient, ill-informed texts.

Anonymous said...

BB asked what happened to Dennis. Well he's back with a vengeance.
I stumbled onto provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos YouTube presentations. He's as good a speaker as, if not better than Gartner Ted Armstrong. A very gifted man.

Anonymous said...

8.16 PM
Obviously God couldn't use modern terminology in ancient times. So the 'foundation of the earth' would today mean Keplers laws of planetary motion, gravity, black holes (which stabilize galaxies etc. 'Sun stood still' might be God bending the light reaching the planet. Seems some folks are eager to intellectualise away the bible with 'metaphors.'

Michael said...

Retired Prof wrote:
" Every time I claim to have committed an original sin, I learn that somebody else thought of it first."

Thx for best laugh of the day. Upvoted:)

Byker Bob said...

Literature and other artistic endeavors are always subject to personal meanings and interpretations. How they reach out and grab us. Unfortunately, "The Truth" for us in our past affiliation consisted of one "approved" interpretation. If scripture said "He", and you were talking about the Holy Spirit, we were taught that the pertinent scripture had to be using personification as Proverbs did with "wisdom". Never mind that there were no scriptures about "grieving" wisdom.

The power of all great art comes from its ability to reach different individuals on different levels, and to provoke a personalized reaction (or none for some, as with, yawn, classical music, opera, or ballet in my case).

The problem in Armstrongism is that this was not allowed to play out or process. Everything was a "proof text" supporting "why you must believe as I believe and teach" (and why that is God's way). Independent thought was optional, but not recommended.

The problem is that with scripture, not all have an ironclad, axiomatic, permanent meaning. Discernment involves knowing when to apply each appropriately. An example of communal living being an appropriate response to poverty and persecution in one setting is not a permanent model or paradigm for how "God's Church" is supposed to live in every single possible set of circumstances. Just as how "Let the dead bury the dead" is not a universal principle for dealing with people who don't hold your same beliefs. Armstrongism somehow never made allowance for the concept of "appropriate". Appropriate was whatever the minister said it was. Never mind the fact that ten years down the road the church tells you he was never converted. Touche'? No, Cliche! Armstrongism never got past all of the cliches.

Caveat Emptor!

BB

Ed said...

The mind set that every word in the bible is "God inspired" is exactly what religious leaders need as an o.k. to abuse their flocks. After all if it is in the bible it is God inspired isn't it? It is not just cult ministers that use the bible to abuse members but many mainstream ministers do also.

This story I have heard in sermons at least several times while in the WCG as part of the message, "you better not withhold any of your financial support of the work or bad things will happen to you". Yes, cults and mainstream religious orgs. use guilt and fear to get their sheep to continue to fork over their hard earned money and to fill the seats on Saturday or Sunday.

Sweetblood777 said...

What Pack leaves out is the fact that the assembly/church were in danger of being hunted down and killed. It is only natural that those in this position would band together and make their goods available to others.

In Pack's case, he wants ALL for himself, and has conned the simple ones to hand it all over.

Pack is thus far fortunate that someone hasn't gone postal and shot him dead. I would not be surprised that this is the main reason he sold his house and built a new one on his campus.

He knows damn well what he is doing is wrong. He is a thief, a liar, and a twister of scripture. It does not take long to determine that this man is insane. Try reading one of his 82 sermon transcripts. He jumps all over the place, much like the game snakes and ladders.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:47 "The husband and wife were killed by God (His right to do so)..."

Ah, yes, the old idea that the god is at liberty and fully justified to do things (and command his servants to do things) that are commonly seen to be immoral. The root of the idea being that actions aren't right or wrong by nature, but by decree of the god, and thus morality can be suspended at the whim of the god. Hence lying is ok for the god (2 Chronicles 18:21), as is commanding slavery, rape, mass killing, ethnic cleansing, etc.

Minimalist said...


N.E.O. said:
"..Thinking that the God of the early Christians was just another fabricated deity. ..all the other [1st century] healings and miracles.."

Today's Christians: believing fictional narratives as fact without evidence

Anonymous said...

Something left out so far is that the apostles did not teach common. Rather it was a group decision. Peter affirmed property rights with his 'wasn't the property yours and your to dispose of.' This is not the commie view which believes that all property is rightfully owned by the state/group. If people want to practise common in a given situation, that is their right, but it is not a law or moral principle.

5.52 AM
God is not above the law. Which is why He has the right to kill people if He so chooses. He gives life so He has the moral right to take back that life. Second, God does not rule by whim. Many times in the OT He sent armies to punish nations for their sine. He did this to help these people one day repent. Throwing some into the lake of fire is also motivated by love. It's best for all. Every thing God does is motivated by love, and no, He does not put Himself above the law. Christ never sinned, remember?

Byker Bob said...

Maybe we need to see this "common" mandate of Pack's through the disease filter. As in the common cold!

Also, truth in advertising, like fr'instance: "Brethren, God has revealed a new way in which I may more excellently fleece you!"

By this point, many of the Stepford RCG members are accustomed to the terms of their continued membership being based on Dave's ability to find previously obscure scriptures with examples of extreme financial sacrifice that can all be combined in such a way to completely enslave them so that they have zero control over their personal financial security. They should ask themselves "Does God really intend for me to live and raise my family in this way?" Is this what Paul meant by "freedom in Jesus Christ"?

BB

Anonymous said...

5.52AM
"Actions aren't right or wrong by nature?"
When criticised for healing on the Sabbath, Christ reply was that the purpose of a moral was to 'save life and do good,' or the preservation of life and achievement of success, as it's expressed today. So a moral code isn't arbitrary or divorced from reality.
But todays Pharisee ministers point away from reality, exclusively pointing to 'thus sayeth God' as interpreted by them. This enables them to rig the rules in their favour and have undue influence over members lives. If you look, Christ on many occasions pointed to reality (eg, pulling a sheep from a ditch on the Sabbath).

Anonymous said...

Decades of Herbs give, help, serve stripped members of their natural mental, moral defences of what is in fact enslavement. Dave is simply cashing in on this deception.
The mental defence against these lies (swapping) has been banned by this site.

Anonymous said...

Talking of the book of Acts, isn't it interesting that dissidents today are like Peter and Paul with their 'obey God rather than man,' and the splinter ministers taking on the role of the religious leaders with their 'obey man (Herb and friends) rather than God.'
It's like the book/movie Animal farm where the (fat) pigs become traitorous tyrants. Today's ministers are certainly 'fat' in their comfortable, privileged lifestyles.

Byker Bob said...

I was just thinking. Wouldn't it be nice if the ACOG leaders' reward was that they got to be a woman for all eternity, married to the kind of man that they are now? Wouldn't that be the ultimate karma?

BB

Gordon Feil said...

The lesson I draw from this business of liquidating capital assets and giving away the money is that it is not a good idea. Years later the Jerusalem church were starving and needed Paul's collection. They became a burden to other congregations. Once RCG pisses away the funds raised by members selling their homes, and members are having to shell out for rent, from where will the church revenue come? Oh right! From all the new members who will do the same thing. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the Apostles didn't get it right and were wrong about Jesus' clear statement that many of them would not die before he returned.
He stated many times he would come in vengeance in their life time.(like 70AD when even the Romans saw the angelic hosts in the sky)
It CAN'T be that the church is wrong today. Nope, no way. Has to be the apostles.
Yup. Typical self-importance of the Churchianity group.

Anonymous said...

My problem N.E.O,
You strike down a couple who are wanting to be prominent in this new start up?? Every single leader that's started his group is a liar. Starting with HWA. There was always a crisis. We later find out that much of his personal gold,silverware,paintings, and 1500.00 wine was purchased during these crisis periods. The Germans are coming, the end is 1972, but we are going to spend millions of dollars we don't have on a auditorium we don't need. Let's spend millions on jet planes to preach, not the "gospel", but some watered down version the leader will tolerate so he could get a photo for the next PT. I could go on and on, but hopefully you get my point. He wasn't struck down, but got to run that racket until 93 years of age. Most of the money he stole was from people who really could not afford it. Disgraceful !!

Anonymous said...

5.17AM
Yup. Typical self-importance of the Banned-Trolls group.