Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why Are COG Members Not Allowed To Wrestle With Scriptures?




On the False Prophet Ron Weinland site, the following comment was made on how COG members were never taught to study scriptures in the manner that the Bereans did or as the Jews did and still do.  Jewish history and scripture have been filled with stories with the Jewish people examining scriptures, wrestling with it, arguing over it, questioning God over it, and then drawing well thought out conclusions, which could change as more people wrestled with it or new knowledge was gained.

In the COG this has never been the case.  Church members never were able to question things, debate, argue or wrestle with interpretations.  Church leaders and ministers claimed that exclusive right and members could not ever interpret scripture on their own.  God forbid if a group of church members ever wanted to gather together with friends and discuss scriptures!  We have all seen over the last several years what happens to people when they do!

In the Church of God, "knowledge" could only flow from Herbert Armstrong down through the evangelists, then to the ministers, and then to the unwashed masses who were required to believe the ministry knew what they were talking about.

Today we see that still enforce in every single COG group.  Only Church of God International seems to allow room for people to wrestle with scripture.

The Bible is filled with stories of people questioning, arguing or wrestling with God, yet no COG member is allowed to do so today.  If they were allowed to do so,  there would be no need for the outlandish characters like Malm, Thiel, Pack, Flurry, Weston, Kubik and all the rest of the so-called enlightened leadership.
One of the problems is that Bible Study in Armstrongism meant that you had to come to the guided, spoon-fed conclusions that the organization led you to. They really didn’t teach members to study scriptures like Bereans, wrestle with them, and draw your own conclusions. And, that is the difference between knowledge and wisdom and programming. Look at all of these ACOG leaders! Each one has programmed his group to believe that he is the one and only! I’ve been saying for years that if Jesus returns, and begins to correct peoples’ Armstrongism, then the splinter leaders and ACOG members will treat Jesus just as the Pharisees did the first time around! Any religious leader could fail to back down and take direction from Jesus, fight Jesus for the power, and in so doing become anti-Christ. This is something that Ron’s followers probably would never even consider in their wildest dreams, in spite of all the red flags here and now in real time.
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39 comments:

Connie Schmidt said...

Back in the day, I understand that many a co-ed at AC had to wrestle more with GTA than they had to wrestle with scriptures.

DennisCDiehl said...

A Church Divided Over Leaders I Cor 1:
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

Everyone wrestling with scriptures , in their own way an in their own study leads to exactly the thing here that Paul found would be the result. Here we see, perhaps an exasperated Paul saying that the way to prevent divisions is for all to agree with one another and be PERFECTTLY UNITED in mind and thought. When you get organized you also simply must get HOMOGENIZED or it is just chaos. As a result, it is natural and probably unstoppable for people to break up in the pieces and finding the leader that agrees with them. In other words, wrestling is fine but it inevitably leads to division. If you are to prevent division then all must speak the same thing. If all find themselves speaking the same thing, they no longer are wrestlers with scriptures nor can be.

You can't win this one. And so you get the Paul Church of God or the Peter Church of God. Or an off shoot called the Apollos Church of God and of course, the True Church of God that follows Christ himself as if the others don't.

You cannot have an organized religious group that wrestles with scriptures. It will fragment and shift in leadership, perspectives and beliefs.

Paul in his desire to "Free" people from the rigors of law ended up with a Corinthian church full of those who pushed the limits of freedom to his distraction. He spent a lot of time reigning in the free from law types.

Those who conclude law is out and grace is in end up needing more law to control the breakdown that will come. Those who follow the idea that law is in and grace is out will end up being too harshly treated , getting handed over to Satan to destroy them in the flesh but save them in the spirit and "this is going to hurt me more than it is you"d to death until the learn that a pat on the back in grace and forgiveness is just 18 inches from the kick in the ass their laws demand and actually works ever so much better in the long wrong with sincere and sane folk.

The lawmen in the Church of God, Flurry, Pack, Malm, Thiel and their ilk will fail for lack of humility, meekness, gentleness and long suffering against which there is no law. Joe Tkach and his Grace Community will simply disappear because it's just boring and why not just attend the church of your choice and forget about them. Tkach and Ted Johnston spend all their time weaving tales about the made up Trinity and things not only hard to understand but stupid to begin with full of sound and the fuzzies signifying nuttin'. IMHO.

DennisCDiehl said...

The Tkach's legacy is that they proved what any fool could have predicted. They, rather than leaving for a church that fit their own new view and leaving WCG alone, liked the perks of power, Apostlships and the old WCG format of authority. I don't know if Tkach was appointed by HWA or he just put a pillow over his face and took over. I was in Big Sandy for Tkaches sermon on "Go play Golf on the Sabbath" and thought , "that's the end of it." What a foolish thing to try to accomplish in a law soaked organization. He was doomed as was the Church and all that followed any fool could have predicted. I recall in the transition when still somehow being so foolish as to think it would work out, "why would anyone drive and hour or two or three to go to church with WCG anymore after this?

I don't agree with either view but at the time Tkach, Feazell, Rogers, Schnippert and the other wounded Imperial School children should have simply left WCG alone and gone to the Sunday School of their choice. They had no right to hurt the vast majority who would never agree with them and it is not a matter of who was right or wrong. The fact that Joe Jr retires enjoying both his Grace AND the perks and retirement our parents , selves and even kids paid for as WCG members is just insane.

The Great Church Robbery, in Jesus name. Or as Ron Kelly noted, 20 years ago"Jesus worked a great miracle in the church and we have no money for retirement" Just last year Tkach paid out my sister $60,000 who survived my brother in law who died six or seven years ago a broken WCG minister who simply hung on and died before he was 68.

Ron Kelly's Jesus was a trickster and the Tkaches were his ringmasters.

You can't have a functional church or leadership with everyone wrestling with scriptures. You end up with nothing but WrestleMania at its worst. On the other hand groups call all speak the same wrong thing like Pack, Flurry, Thiel , UCG and LCG. I tell ya..you can't win.

Go rogue and be at peace with yourself.

DennisCDiehl said...

Mamma Cass Eliot got it right...

Nobody can tell ya
There's only one song worth singing
They may try and sell ya
Cause it hangs them up
To see someone like you

You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind music
Even if nobody else sings along

It can't be nowhere
The loneliest kind of lonely
It may be
Just to do your thing is the hardest things to do

You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind music
Even if nobody else sings along

And if you will not take my hand
Then I must be going, I'll understand

You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind music
Even if nobody else sings along

You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind music
Even if nobody else sings along

You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind music
Even if nobody else sings along

No no no no
Even if nobody else sings along
If nobody else sings along


What About The Truth said...

Why Are COG Members Not Allowed To Wrestle With Scriptures?
One answer to that is that they shouldn't. If a member is continually wrestling with scriptures that don't become clear they need to Let it Be and move away lest they become a fool like most of the current leaders of the churches.
HWA's answer to "Be like the Bereans" was that, it was only applicable before you were baptized. Once baptized you were required to believe and obey all church doctrine with condemnation hanging right on your own shoulder if you don't. Is the COG model workable? No - it is too flawed in far too many different ways. I wouldn't want to know what God thinks of it all looking down upon it all. And to think, most of them say, what they have been doing and are doing and will be doing will be written in the extension of the book of Acts.

Gordon Feil said...

Paul explained himself at verse 12. He clearly says that he is proscribing divisions based on some following one leader versus some following another leader. Thinking people will sometimes disagree. We simply are not given all the answers and we will not arrive at all the same conclusions. Compelling lip service to something people don't believe stifles intellectual and spiritual development. And it also creates an inbred theology.

DennisCDiehl said...

I'm sure that Paul thought that those who said "I'm of Paul" were more on the right track. He said "follow ME as I follow Christ" but don't they all say that and yet each has a different map.

In the WCG, at least in my experience, "I'm wrestling with the scriptures" produced "Great! keep your mouth shut" Actually I found myself wrestling not so much with scriptures then, that came later. I was wrestling with the crazy leadership as they destroyed every congregation I had pastored. Watching a congregation of 450 wrestling with the Tkaches view of scripture , down to 16, four of which wanted to be in charge is pretty pathetic.

Michael said...

Connie Schmidt said...

"Back in the day, I understand that many a co-ed at AC had to wrestle more with GTA than they had to wrestle with scriptures. "

Hands down, best laugh of the day.

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"..Tkaches sermon on "Go play Golf on the Sabbath" and thought , "that's the end of it." What a foolish thing to try to accomplish in a law soaked organization. He was doomed as was the Church and all that followed any fool could have predicted."

Is it just me who assumes that Tkach takeover went exactly as planned? Of course they knew half the membership would leave. That's why they did it. Instead of having to manage a huge, unwieldy group of misfits, they could distill the membership down to the people who would be satisfied with weekly "grace and god loves us all" platitudes, instead of the bothersome likes of RCM and Pack with their strict rules and shrill-voiced sermons.

Oh, and of course they would hold all the assets, which could be sold-off and liquidated, with huge surpluses for those remaining in control.

Exactly according to plan, if you ask me.

Byker Bob said...

What if it isn’t supposed to be organized or corporate in the first place? What if your personal relationship with God has a loose and basic framework, but is intended to be an individualized program designed just for you? I mean, we are all unique as individuals. Why not a personalized program tailored to your uniqueness?

Although much was always said about the Holy Spirit in WCG (I think this was an attempt to stake a claim), the official policy of Armstrongism always appeared to usurp the job and prerogatives of the Holy Spirit. Armstrongism’s harsh and intrusive authority was a man-made attempt to override and conquer, and to legislate character, as opposed to being a vehicle through which fruits could be grown. Armstrongism did not foster or repect the process, they attempted rather to control it, and always to their own benefit.

For all of the wrestling and dissent at Temple or in Synagogue, these institutions have never gone away. Rabbis encourage argumentation and dissent because they realize that when permitted in the correct environment and context, these processes provide a firmer basis for faith.

I had to chuckle over the idea that grown men who had pursued the type of formalized theological education which we deride HWA for not having had, are apparently forever to be known as “Imperial Students”. I believe that these guys were just some healthy individuals who asked the forbidden questions, questioned authority, and out of conscience, decided to change the things they saw as wrong or harmful. How then do the ones we normally describe as being Zombies or blind somehow end up being the heroes in this tale? They don’t. The problem is that the reformers exercised authority, once things shifted their way, in the same bad and corrupt ways as had the people whom they were attempting to reform. Great ideals, and lofty goals, but they crapped the bed in the execution of the reforms. Oh, and they hurt some people, as had the originals, only in slightly different ways.

BB

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, I understand that many a co-ed at AC had to wrestle more with GTA than they had to wrestle with scriptures.

Later, these deflowered prettier ones were still able to attract the tall and handsome, and these better looking men became commanders as regional directors, council of elders or evangelists.

. . . and the whole crate of apples stink from top to bottom!

Anonymous said...

No one who is called should be interpreting scripture according to what we believe. God has revealed knowledge to the ministry because God reveals things according to his government structure in the church. Non ordained members should never speculate, argue or raise questions over God breathed scriptures. That alone is sin and borders on being unpardonable.

Anonymous said...

Jesus prayed for his followers, he prayed for unity, not uniformity in the gospel of John. The Corinthian church suffered from many divisions and they were very immature believers. Paul tells us to not worry about questionable things, such as eating meats, drinking, which day is to be a day of worship, etc in Romans and Col. I think when Paul speaks of being of one mind, he isn't saying that we must all agree on all issues, but we should not make these issues a source of division or force our opinions onto others (like the ministers in he WCG would do). One should be able to attend the WCG even if you don't accept the US and BC in Prophecy or the "one true church" idea. Just don't go around causing problems by arguing over these issues. Think for yourself, work towards unity, not uniformity, and if you are not comfortable with the idea that others don't accept your view of things, go find some other church.

Anonymous said...

Corinth had a large Roman population, a large Greek population and a large Jewish one. Some were following one leader, others another. The word quarrel comes from a root word Eris, the goddess of war. The church was in a civil war and would soon split into three churches if they hadn't come together. Paul always encouraged independent thought and he didn't insist on uniformity of thought, but unity. People of different viewpoints can work together if they have a common purpose.

Anonymous said...

The verification before publishing process is a pain in the ass. It's like playing Whack a Mole.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
No one who is called should be interpreting scripture according to what we believe. God has revealed knowledge to the ministry because God reveals things according to his government structure in the church. Non ordained members should never speculate, argue or raise questions over God breathed scriptures. That alone is sin and borders on being unpardonable.

For the moment I will assume this is a planted comment to stir up comments. LOL It's too clean in that it contains every insane concept about how you get your truth, ala Churches of God, all in one.

10:34
I agree. It fits the Chicago thug aspect of Joe Sr's personality.

set the captives free said...

Yes little child, never ask a question. Never need more than a platitude. Never need to understand. Don't ever ask why the sky is blue, you little piece of dirt. Just do. do. do. Yup. Or you'll be sorry.

You tell me not to be a hypocrite. You tell me to be sincere and truthful. Then it feels like you tell me to put on a false front, and an act, and to lie. I'm confused and hurting. Whoops!! That's bad too.

No, no member of the body can ever do anything but what the head tells it to do. The head being the minister. Uh, I thought the head of the body was Christ. Wrong again? Maybe if the body didn't have so many heads (groups splintering). God hates divorce. It confuses the hell out of the kids and hurts them. Get it together you multi-headed beast. There should only be One head. The one that has multiple heads is the wrong one isn't it? Whoops, there's another question. Go stand in the corner! Go do your 'penance'! Go do works and maybe, MAYBE be forgiven. Naughty little child!

Anonymous said...

Michael,

I worked with someone who knew the stockbroker who handled WCG's investments. Joe Jr. told him a week or two after that sermon (which I witnessed in the Big Sandy auditorium as did Dennis) that they expected income to soar now that members were expected to contribute out of gratitude instead of out of obligation. Obviously that didn't happen and it was clear that they were caught flatfooted.

Even after income plummeted they underestimated the severity of their problem as they continued to fund the college expecting a large enrollment in the fall. That didn't happen as well because the students realized that there were no longer any claims that AU was unique so they transferred elsewhere.

From my vantage point in Big Sandy, it was clear that much of what happened after that sermon was in reaction to an unexpected sudden loss of members and income. Joe Sr. and underlings were not the scheming geniuses you seem to think.

Ekklesia said...

Well, Dennis, I see what you are saying. However, it is generally due to major egos and perhaps a desire to make too much doctrinal. There is a simplicity in Christ. We are saved by faith through grace. If you believe and accept Christ's sacrifice and produce fruit worthy of repentance, then you are one of Christ's as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Most will want more knowledge/belief to strengthen their faith or make certain things more clear for them, and while some additional beliefs can be fully supported scripturally, the basics (Christ sacrifice with fruit of repentance) are enough and thus you are "of Christ". If that remains in focus then I believe wrestling with scripture does not need to lead to disunity that claims a separation in those considered saved. If someone simply wants to worship and/or congregate with those they share the most in common with, that is fine as long as they recognize that those that accept the Sacrifice with repentance are known or unknown to Christ and it is not within our capacity to judge between them if their fruit appears good.

nck said...

"Exactly according to plan, if you ask me."


In retrospect it looks that way. It is hard to imagine the incompetency of it all. It is possible still that they really believed that is possible to destroy 100% of the founding principles of an organisation and replace it with 100% better things on offer. That is of course an inherently delusional position since 80% of the membership had just rejected those "better things". It is an understandable position if you are somehow driven by hate against all that went before.

From a business view this was the era of the rise of the "mega churches" and a steep rise in American evangelical conservatism. It is possible they speculated on that growing market share. Unfortunately they went scholarly while the "mega churches" thrive on charismatic speakers.


I have speculated about the planned aspect of it all.
A)
Stanley Rader made it very clear that he did not believe there would be a successor to HWA.
Rader was a paid consultant until 2002.
It is possible he placed the weakling Tkach puppet there, TO FINISH it all one second AFTER the 20 year auditorium lease was paid off.

B)
It is also possible that HWA did ask Tkach to focus more on the Church, prepare the flock and modernize it a bit since, "The Comission" had been fulfilled.
However a focus on the Church and the people would also ring in its downfall if not managed properly. After all the entire operation and the very raison d etre of the Church was based upon "the Commission" (re MOA).


I did like it though when at one point most of the independent sabbath keeping COG's (7th day, WCG, Ukraine, India) engaged in talks. I thought this could turn into something good if they all took the best of their respective cultures. Unfortunately talks did not commence and shortly after WCG imploded over huge incompetent implementation of change (unless one believe the changes are a better form of christianity, but then there was no USP compared to traditional churches)


nck





R.L. said...

UCG is having more "interactive" Bible studies, where the minister moderates and members can offer their views on an assigned section of Scripture. That leads to a more open exchange of views.

RSK said...

Yup. One reason I went ahead and just set up a damned profile. It was easier than trying to deal with some of the Captcha images.

RSK said...

There always did seem to be some nerd in every COG congregation who was convinced things would be so much better if the entire corporation started preaching according to their views on some calendar nuance, or interpretation of some popular song, or maybe some modern-world identification of some obscure OT oracle. Bob Thiel, of course, was a stereotypical example of this behavior during his time in LCG.
However, what I just described is the worst case scenario of "wrestling with the scriptures", not the everyday aspect that Dennis is talking about.

Dennis Diehl said...

Good insight Michael. That would be my view of Well of their plan gone awry. Yet it seems they should have had half a gram of common sense to know this. It would have been my first observation had they asked. But asking was not a Armstrong or Tkach gift

Dennis Diehl said...

RL
I'd live to interact at a UCG study😱😇

Anonymous said...

8.19 AM
Participating in interactive bible studies can be a trap. Some tyrannical governments in the past loosened up their control, with appealing words of reform. Then when the dissidents raised their heads, they were arrested and imprisoned.

Isn't it interesting that after Herbs church imploded, non of the splinters concluded the obvious analogy of a house built on sand. Instead they built a mini-me version of the same house. It's hardly surprising that they are not prospering.

Floyd1944 said...

Soon after Joe Tkach Sr was elevated to pastor General I was invited to his office for a brief chat. I firmly believe he intended to follow as he had been taught. He appeared humble as he accepted his new duties. However, Tkack Sr was not an educated man, he could barely read. I was told his wife would read PT and GN to him when they were in Chicago. Mike Feazell was his right hand man and Sr relied heavily on him. Soon after Tkach Sr asked his son to move to Pasadena. Joe jr never really got along well with his dad. My guess is that Sr was a strick dad and whooped Joe,s butt a lot. Sr then offered Joe the job of being Larry Salyer’s assistant. On a few occasions I heard Joe tell his dad that Larry was incompetent and that he should be head of ministerial services. It was not long until Larry was put over the international work and Joe was in effect over ministerial services. From what I saw it was Mike Feazell who influenced Joe jr that many of doctrines had error and that ALL of the booklets needed to be rewritten. Both Mike and Joe jr went to Imperial schools together and both worked together in the gymnasium. They were friends going back several years. Mike often stayed at the Tkack house and Mike was looked upon as a “son”. It was Joe jr and Mike that began to influence Joe Sr.. Joe Sr never came up with the doctrinal changes. I too was in Big Sandy and heard the sermon about it being ok to play golf on the sabbath. What most people will never know is Mike Feazell wrote that sermon. Joe Sr just read it. Later I heard Joe Sr say he never said it was ok to play golf on the sabbath. Did Sr really believe that he didn’t say it or was he lying. Who knows. I was with Joe Sr one day as he was preparing his sermon for that sabbath. He showed me his notes and emphasized that he was going tp be firm about not making doctrinal changes. I saw the points he was going to emphasize. Then on the sabbath he gave his sermon. It was completely different, his notes had been typed out and the points were changed to reflect a completely different message. I don’t think Joe Sr every had a plan. I believe the ideas came from Mike and Joe jr along with support from Gregg and Bernie. I heard Joe jr say once he thought some ministers would leave but most members would stay. I think what happened took them by surprise.

Still Learning said...

@ Anonymous 11:16 AM, it's not that surprising that nobody came up with the house on sand analogy.
It has been said by former WCG members of my acquaintance that "We didn't leave the Church (body of Christ); the church (WCG) left us."

The official line became "The Church is not an organization."
Then once the new splinter was set up and running, the Church became an organization again.
And so it continues...

Anonymous said...

Floyd1944, This is 6:26 AM. What you say corresponds exactly with my experience.

I was also in faculty dining a couple months later when Joe Sr came to campus to speak to the students and afterward speak to the faculty. He gave a pep talk to the faculty and then to his surprise one of the English instructors raised his hand to ask a question. After he cautiously said, "Yes?" the instructor asked what I thought was a cream puff question about the doctrinal changes which I expected him to easily answer. Instead, he blurted out, "Gotta go! Gotta get back to Pasadena!" and he bolted out the door. His surprised entourage jumped up and rushed after him and soon the sound of the GIII was heard in the sky.

The lesson I took away from that strange incident was, Joe Sr had no understanding at all about the changes.

Anonymous said...

11.39 AM
Your account of Joe Sr smells very much like the account in Jeremiah 43.3 where we find the accusation that 'Baruch is inciting you against us to hands over to the Babylons.'
So it wasn't Jeremiahs message but rather his assistant Baruch that was the problem.
Sorry, it was Jeremiah and it was Joe Sr.

DennisCDiehl said...

I called Joe Sr to inquire about the "Rumor" that Ramona was divorcing HWA or he her. He yelled, "Squelch it!" over the phone. Well we know how that turned out. I did not squelch anything but never bothered to call and ask a question again.

The rule was "If they say yes, it is no" "If they say no, it is yes" If they say white...

nck said...

Thanks for sharing those insights Floyd.

It is very well possible the consequences of their actions took them by surprise. (which is why I call it incompetent transition management) It begs the question how on earth it was possible that a virtual illiterate got to lead the organization, but (perhaps I am mistaken) I heard Tkach had been known as an enforcer (of traditional line).

I do remember that in the early transition period a lot of emphasis was on "organizing, (5 year planning", efficiency, "arbitron" ratings, television "markets" up the point that critics asked Tkach on the demise of "organizational charisma under his leadership" , to which he responded, what do you mean, we have 3 charismatic speakers on tv.

I thought it was a breath of fresh air those first 4 years, then they went beyond the point of no return by implementing an entire new skeleton into the body.


Btw: In the international areas I noticed during the Feast (films from Pasadena) that Joe jr introductory sermons to the main message by Tkach sr were preceded by local speakers instead of having jr subtly introduced to the membership. The ecliptic career of jr had already prompted questions along with noticeable changes and emphasis by the translators.

The changes caught most of the people 100% surprised "over there".

Ah well, Those lovely days preceding the internet, with controlled information flow.

nck

Anonymous said...

Nck
Of course the consequences of their actions caught them by surprise. A draw back of relating to others like a drill sergeant is that it destroys ones sense of action-reaction, cause and effect. I often felt that I was in the presence of a teenager when I was with a minister.

Byker Bob said...

My best answer, when asked what I think of the Tkach changes and the WCG splintering is that none of it matters. It’s all inconsequential stuff that happened to a nothing group that never did deliver, and so therefore is better off gone.

BB

nck said...

12:38

Interesting comment on the importance of a healthy feedback loop.

BB

Of course it did deliver.
Some got direct hits.
Others suffered collateral.

Many others (about 70.000 people), unlike some on this blog, have come to see the experience as an integral part of their life even if disassociated from it at present. Depending at what age/reason one entered and exited. And if one's main pet theory to join or remain for a while centered around the sports activities or "the true name of the church".

I for instance cannot understand why you went to AC after what you experienced at home. I guess there were incentives for you aswell. (perhaps vietnam or status because of your fathers elevated status, there must have been incentives, I would have left much earlier if I had suffered what you have.

nck

Anonymous said...

I read this several days ago, being so young and new in the COG, I often heard the scripture about the Bereans quoted. I was told, 'don't believe me, believe your Bible". I was told that up until my baptism I had to prove the truth whether they were true or not. After baptism, my ability to question to truth died and so began a spiral down on my spiritual journey.

David C. Pack made it a clear to his Church as he retaught us about the Kingdom of God and prophecies he says Armstrong could never understand, that Mr. Armstrong had a doctrine or policy known as the "Rigid Rigid Doctrine".

The rigid rigid doctrine or policy was that upon baptism having gone through the phase of proving the truth, you no longer had ground to question any preached material, that is because you proved it once, you were not allowed to prove it again.

Isn't that what we were doing when he spewed upon us disorganized and confusing material about something that had already been proven by thousands?

I found myself locked, unable to really go beyond any materials outside what was outlined in church material.

Personally, as figures in the bible wrestled with God and questioned Him countless times, I feel questioning the truth can strengthen one's faith! If you can reason as Paul did, then you can understand and if the spirit leads to the truth then one need not worry when you want to reason.

It isn't that I disagree with what is said, it is that I was not reasoned with or had a chance to reason myself rather all this stuff about prophecy was spewed on me week after week changing and morphing into something I could never keep up with.

I basically resorted to having Pack do my thinking for me. I was afraid to question for fear of being marked, I just wanted to be engaged and strengthened, there is safety in a multitude of counsel right? It seems they pick and choose which doctrine was fitting to bring in crowds, many will never be told about past prophetic failures because those tapes and archived are buried deep and or deleted. They only live in the memories of those still there, but they won't mention them because they are jaded.

Although I feel no desire to practice religion today, I still firmly believe in God and I know truly that i cannot trust in man, there are principle that i will take with me and if im wrong in my decision I hope God gives me a chance and I will repent but I cannot see this church especially so oppresive to engagement and questions being a place where God would lead. Time will tell.

I believe God is a type of God where you can ask him questions and if you do not understand He will explain to you until you do. Moses did not agree with God and persuaded Him against His own anger to destroy his own people.

You can disagree with God but God has to see a reason for it, that it be just and a change in course can come from it. Im sure God can change His policies or structure to make the environment most optimal for people to become like Him. I dont mean compromise, I mean reasoning. He has elders who counsel Him, dont you think they stop Him from time to time and say "no". He gives them that authority.

If the church allowed us not to debate but to challenge topics and thoroughly vet them, we would all be educated in that belief and therefore strengthened.

Anonymous said...

12.27 PM
Safety in multitude of counsel? I learned the hard way that this scripture is inapplicable in Herbs church. The problem is that most members are psychologically/morally cut from the same cloth. You might as well be asking only one person. This scripture assumes that:
1. The people giving the advice are reasonably mature.
2. The people have different temperaments and experiences.
3. The people feel that it is safe to speak the truth.

The other relevant scripture is that the 'wicked band together' (NIV translation).
A group of people often tell the same lie. For instance, many ministers and members claim that tyranny is God's system, when it is not. The tone in their voices often gives away that they know that they are lying.
The multitude is not a infallible or reliable reference for truth.

Byker Bob said...

Oh, nck, I’ve stated this so many times and in so many ways over the past 20 years. Going to AC was the only approved method of escape from a horrid WCG homelife. I knew that putting 3,000 miles between me and the parental units would make it so that they could no longer know every minute detail about me, and therefore the control would be broken. When I got on the plane, my goal was NOT to become a minister. It was to eventually escape into the Southern California surfing, hotrodding and motorcycling underground. But, then when I got there, I decided to try out what the college had to offer, to see if it was legit and worked. It wasn’t. Basically, I used them to extract what I wanted and needed, and felt no guilt because of what they had already taken from me. I took someone else’s place, someone who might actually have bought into it and might have become a powerful advocate for Armstrongism. But, so what? I was a voracious parasite, feeding on a bastard system. In my book, Armstrongism is like organized crime.

All these years later, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, but also have the gift of understanding machines, and have used that gift to benefit so many people who tap into it to put food on their tables and feed their families. That, to me, is far more priceless than anything which I could have offered them through Armstrongism. I did not need to deceive or scare and manipulate anyone. It was all honest and clean.


BB

nck said...

Yes, I think it works that way BB. There are some symbiotic elements to contacts/systems.

Systems are adaptable.

Nck