Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gerald Flurry: Universities: Den's of Most Immoral Acts in Human History!

Here is an excerpt from a blog talking about Six Pack.  Even with that flashy new Auditorium he still can't get respect!

In his magazine Flurry writes an article in each issue detailing how America is falling apart because her youth do not follow his interpretation of God's values. This includes but is not limited to articles on how Universities undermine America's values: “American colleges and universities actually encourage people to indulge in SOME OF THE MOST REPUGNANT IMMORALITY IN THE HISTORY OF MAN! We lead the world to sexual immorality” (Flurry is a fan of random capitalization). Sexual interaction between consenting individuals at universities represent “SOME OF THE MOST IMMORAL ACTS IN HUMAN HISTORY”, right after the invention of science. In short, sex is the cause of the downfall of America.

Apparently, God was also responsible for the Haiti earthquake because the people there weren’t Christian enough – if you think of it, Flurry is actually a couple of notches more insane than Pat Robertson, though less influential. Oh, and Germany is ruled by the Nazis – that is, the old Nazis, since they survived WWII and are still running shop, apparently (visit the website here). He is really scared of Germany.

Adam and Eve Meet Hansel and Gretel

Adam and Eve Meet Hansel and Gretel

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorMuch of New Testament theology is based on ideas drawn from the literal creation and existence of Adam and Eve This common, seldom questioned, oft repeated, historical fallacy of a literal Adam and Eve in a literal garden, with a literal talking serpent antagonist, has been the foundational explanation of how mankind arrived on the scene and ultimately fell from grace. However, the story serves as more of a political statement of what Israelite culture was not to be. It is a clear placing of blame for sin, evil and disobedience clearly on women (matriarchy) and a societal shift to correct the damage (Patriarchy). In fact, we have no choice, as this one literal act was supposed to have condemned all future humanity to eternal death without recourse! But did it? If it never really happened in time and space, then perhaps we need another look.

To set the stage, anyone who is familiar with the elements of the higher criticism knows that there are two creation of man stories in Genesis. The first, or Priestly Account, was written in the fifth century B.C. and extends from the beginning of Genesis through verse 3 of chapter 2. The second, or Jehovistic Account, begins with verse 4 of chapter 2 and extends through the third chapter. This version of the story was written in the eighth century B.C. It is interesting to note that the second account is about 300 years older than the first. They are two different accounts and are not compatible with their "facts." Orthodox Christians insist that both stories must be true and compatible, even though they contradict each other on many points, as do the birth, death, and resurrection accounts in the New Testament. Admitting this, however, would hurt faith and faith always comes before facts to literalists. "Faith" sometimes, is what covers the facts so we are not uncomfortable. When all else fails, you will be lashed with "the wisdom of man is foolishness with God". That will pretty much end the discussion.

The simple fact is however, Adam/Eve and Original Sin never LITERALLY happened in space, time and history. The idea that man literally came in an instant just 6000 years ago in the form of an Adam and Eve is simply not based in FACT. It is mythology, and not an original one at that.

The hypothetical first man of the Bible was rightly named Adam, since the first Adam , which means "MAN" was made out of "adamah" which means "earth". Adam was not so much who he was, but what he was. The Romans called men "homo" since he was made out of "humus". And other mythologies have man made of clay and blood mixed and formed. It is a common origin story, not unique to Genesis. Taking a woman from male parts is also not unique to the Bible account.

Now all through the pages of the Bible, of course, it is considered a real event. That is the nature of the Bible. Or at least that is the nature of the Bible when read by literalists, who perhaps are unaware of any deeper, though not literally intended meaning.

A couple of years ago, while teaching an anatomy class for a massage class, I reminded them that they needed to know that humans had twelve pairs of ribs, ten fixed and two floating pairs. Several students brought up the with the Biblical story of human origins being literally true, informed me that "of course, men have one less rib than women " I said no, that women did not literally come from the rib of man , an expendable part, no matter how close to his heart the smooze might have you believe. The Genesis story was not explaining biology and human origins. One girl said she was telling her father and he'd be calling me. He never did... darn!

To get a non literalist view I suggest you read The Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke or even The Christ Conspiracy by Archarya. While less pleasing in places, The Christ Conspiracy forces one to look at history and other possibilities. A good background on the mythology of the Adam and Eve accounts, and Goddess worship at the time the Bible was written, can be found in When God was a Woman as well.

Paul clearly plays off his belief in the literal truth of Adam and Eve to make a very ignorant point of supposed truth to the early Church. This "truth" is designed just as much to keep women out of the male church as the OT law was designed to keep women out of the male system.

"Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. FOR (this is the reason why to Paul) Adam was formed first, THEN Eve. And Adam was NOT deceived, but the woman being deceived, FELL into transgression. Nevertheless (I, Paul, still have a role for her to fulfill), she will be saved in childbearing (though painfully which was part of the punishment in Genesis), IF they continue in faith, love, and holiness with self control. I Timothy 2:11-15.

Do you honestly believe this is why women should not speak in a church, or if they have questions, go ask their husbands? I don't. So plainly Paul bases his teaching on a mythology that he believed to be literally true. It will also be asked if Jesus himself was a literal believer in Adam and Eve and Original Sin.

Perhaps you think I think they were all lying. I don't think they were lying for what they knew or believed, any more than I think Elijah or Jesus knew that remains of Neanderthals lay under their feet in Jerusalem or in Caves of Carmel. (They do). The answer is, of course Jesus believed it was literally true, or at least the writers who put their own reflections on Adam and Eve in Jesus mouth believed it. This was a COMMON practice in the writings of the time Western Christians are most unfamiliar with. "God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me" is the phrase that indicates a general ignorance as to how many conversations in the Bible are written. It is often written as fact, what the author imagines the character to have said in such an instance. Jesus' alone time in the Garden of comes to mind. Who wrote his prayer down? Did he tell the sleeping disciples what he said in his personal prayer minutes before his arrest. No.

It might also help to point out that Paul also believed that marriage was to avoid fornication but the best choice was to remain single like him. Do you believe that is valid thinking? I don't. Ask a Catholic Priest! Paul says a true widow, who lives in pleasure, is dead while she lives. (I Tim. 5:6). Do you believe that is a balanced truth about widows? Paul says younger widows will weaken and grow wanton against Christ and cast off their faith and marry, the marriage being the proof of her wantonness. Do you believe this? I don't.

Paul says weak people marry and single people think only of Jesus, while married people think only of pleasing their mate. Do you believe this? I don't. I know lots of mates who don't. I don't remember a lot of wives telling me ask their husbands to stop paying so much attention to them. I don't remember any singles so caught up with Jesus and the Church, I had to tell them stop it. Paul was naïve about relationships in the extreme. Perhaps because he seems not to have had any quality ones in his personal life given what we have about him. Paul said he had the power to lead around a wife. I doubt most women were interested in his power to lead them around.

In another place Paul says "for the man comes not from the woman, but the woman from the man" referring back to the Adam myth. Do you believe that biologically? I don't. No one does today, at least no one with an open, functioning mind not clouded by years of superstition, fear and compliance to the expectations of others.

One of the benefits of making mythology literally true is that one can formulate laws to prevent the literal problems from happening again. In the origins stories it is WOMEN who take the biggest hit. It is not possible to make laws against various things, or institute whole religious systems if the origin stories are perceived as mythical. They must to have literally happened to enforce literal laws and control people.

While not literally true, the story of the fall of woman and matriarchy, which it really is, has been used by the men of the Old Testament, predominately the controlling priesthood, to re-institute patriarchy and protect Israelite men from the dangers of surrounding Goddess worship.

It is no coincidence the great counselor to the female Goddesses (Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, and many more) of the nations around Israel, was the wise and benevolent Serpent. In a Goddess oriented society, birth and reproduction was the sole function of the female. This was real mystery to the male who could not connect the events of nine months previous to the birth. Women were mystical. They could produce humans. Remember, the male spermatozoa was not discovered until 1677 by Hamm and Leeuwenhoek and the female ovum by Baer until 1827! It is no coincidence that once the woman was again connected to the how of birth process after 1827, women began to demand equal rights again with men.

In a Goddess oriented society, women get a lot of respect as well. The Goddess could give her property to all her children. It did not matter who the fathers were. Specific paternity with multiple partners could not be proved. If they were hers, and she'd know, they were family! But this would not do in Israelite society. If Israelite men cohabited with "pagan women", property could go to these women when the man died and this was unacceptable. The nation was in danger. Matriarchy had to be prevented in Israel and Patriarchy installed to enforce paternity and the laws of inheritance.

The Goddess concept had to go. God now HAD to be male. And with a male God, only marriage could prove fatherhood and property rights of children. One woman to serve the one man. Any children would be his children and only his children would get the land. It would not be lost to a pagan wife or unmarried woman.

Remember too that women in the Patriarchal Israelite society were basically property. Much like we still see today in the Middle East. "You shall not covet your neighbors house (thing), your neighbors wife (thing), nor his male or female servants (things), or his ox , nor his donkey (things), nor any (thing) that is your neighbors" (Ex 20:17) .

In Genesis, Lot was able to barter his things, (daughters), to the town folk so that his guests would not be raped. (The rape of strangers was not sexual, it was to humiliate and warn them to not endanger the clan hometown). Lot was concerned about his image as being a safe and hospitable man to these men. When he fled Sodom he begged not to go Zoar, but rather the mountains, as he knew what his fate would be at the hands of some of the men of Zoar, symbolic humiliation.

In war, it was fine for Israelite soldiers to take the girls who could show signs of their virginity (don't even imagine it), and kill those who could not prove it. You can take your enemies' "things", just not your neighbors.

Most laws against sexuality were enforced, often fatally, to serve as warning to others and insure paternity. A woman was not stoned if raped in the country because she is assumed to have cried out for help and no one could hear. She was stoned for not crying out for help if raped in the city as this might indicate she was enjoying herself, and the paternity of the baby might not be known.

You might notice the pattern through history of first the Goddess alone, fertile and a mystery. Then as suspicion of a male role in birth arose, the Goddess takes a male consort, though always portrayed as smaller and less powerful than her. Then as connection between the male contribution to birth is more suspected, the consort becomes her equal and the shift that she becomes his equal occurs, as we see in Egyptian culture.

Next, the male begins to feel that he alone is the cause of the mystery of birth and the female is a mere incubator. Now we have the death of Matriarchy and the Goddess and the birth of male dominated Old Testament Patriarchy. We now have a God that doesn't even have a consort, needs no company, knows no female and reproduces all by himself.

From this we have the story fall of the goddess in Genesis 2, and her evil (though never alluded to as Satan... that was added later) serpent counselor. The fall, caused by Eve (the goddess) is the reason for every evil thing to come and why humanity is the way it is. Therefore, she now only gets to have babies painfully and be subject to the one man. This is the meaning of Genesis 2 and 3.

Let the Taliban open your eyes to the real results of the political, social and human fallout for women who still are victims of rabid patriarchy. In those "cultures" you can shoot women on the fifty yard line at soccer games for failing to wear the Burka, or behead fifty or so as you please, as was recently done in Iraq by Sadaam's son.

Let me be perfectly clear. The story of the fall of man or woman or both never literally happened. It is a mythology written for the purpose of derailing and dethroning goddess worship in ancient Israel. It is to avoid the attendant risks of losing land to pagan wives and men finding more theological satisfaction in Goddess worship and fertility rights than in being controlled body, mind, spirit by a male Priesthood with all it's attendant obligations.

New Testament authors reach back to The Fall as literally true for the same reasons. Modern Christian do the same, some thinking it is literally true, and many other individual pastors KNOWING it is not, but hey, "I'd lose my job".

So why do I bother to write about the mythology of Adam/Eve and Original Sin, and invite the scorn of literalists? Well first of all, I used to believe and teach it faithfully myself as a literal fact. As a pastor, I did not have the guts to publicly question church teaching. And by church, I mean all denominations. I am past that stage now and am seeking the simple truth for me and my life, which I will never again give over to the group, the organization or "the church". Had the information available to me today been available when I was younger, I never would have gone into the ministry. All denominations only teach what supports the view of some founding individual.

I have learned that when science makes a mistake, they generally examine it, admit it, change it and appreciate the information that can still be used. When religions make a mistake, they simply kill the person who pointed it out, and perpetuate the Dark Ages. It is no coincidence they arose shortly after the establishment of literalist Christianity with its torture, forced conversions, state sanctioned edicts of truth and deeply troubled wanna be's. I suggest a study on Martin Luther's attitude toward Jewish people to properly curl your toes and give you insight as to how the holocaust could have come about in Germany.

So back to the original premise. Adam and Eve did not literally exist in space and time. There was no Garden of Eden in the salt flats in southern Iraq. There was no talking serpent (a sure sign of a mythology). The events of the Fall have the deeply political and theological intent to dethrone goddess worship and thus all women from any special treatment or adoration save for having babies painfully and serving men. We, meaning every human to come along since, did not fall into sin because of Adam, from which we must be theologically extracted by bloodletting of any sort. If the events did not literally take place, the consequences did not either. Perhaps one can now feel they were born right the first time.

It's a long and painfully negative road to attempt to go from a being whose "heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it" to the absolute requirement to become "perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". No pressure to perform there!

I spent 26 years with these concepts. I met NO perfect people, "like your Father in heaven is perfect"--NONE. None were close. None were much on their way. I met a lot of wonderfully normal people, but also, a lot who never could feel quite good enough to be who they are, and a feeling somehow this is just not achievable.

Being told that it is God and the Holy Spirit that will now do this for us, or maybe to us (whether by unconditional love, which seemed to have lots of conditions, or by grace, which in practical fact had a lot of laws), never really helped. Even Paul, depending on the book he may or may not have literally authored, never quite seems sure where law and grace, faith and works converge, or if they do.

This is what literalist Christianity does to people. Literalist, Patriarchal Christianity thrives on division. If it has no enemy, it has no purpose or motivation. There can be no "we only" without a "not them". There can be no "chosen" without the "unchosen" . There can be no "converted" without "the unconverted". And certainly no "true church" without the "false church".

When it finally discovers (don't worry, it won't) that the inerrant and literally true Book is neither inerrant nor literally true, it will have to face the fact that literalist teachings, Christian or Fundamentalist Islam, have been responsible for more damnable repression and destruction of the body, mind and spirit than a literal Satan could ever dream of.

We're all here to learn. I don't ask you to see the world of religion and theology through my eyes, nor would most. I got here with my own experiences, curiosity and need to know. However, I do encourage you to see it through your own eyes, and not as interpreted for you by Apostles, Ayatollah's, Prophet's, Priests and King's.

Also by Dennis Diehl on The Missing Dimension

Lonesome Dove - UCG Resignation

Someone had better step up to the plate and add their name to the list today.....:-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Beware Adding "Ambasador University" To Your Resume

The Ambassador legacy lingers on in an alert I received this evening.......


I’M BOILING MAD about a sullied school reputation, but there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it.

I believe I just found out why my job hunt is taking so long. Potential employers think I am fudging my educational credentials — and though they are meager regardless (an Associates in Computer Information Systems), the misunderstanding throws doubt on the whole of my resume.

The only reason I discovered the issue is that when applying to (finally) work toward a Bachelor’s degree, my transcript was discarded because, in the words of the CSA patiently leading me through the process, my old school, ‘Ambassador University’, was listed as a ‘diploma mill.

My eyeballs almost exploded.

Now, anyone who attended those two-and-a-half years with me will tell you that I was not the greatest student, that I didn’t have my personal act together, and that those two claims to infamy were likely responsible for each other in a yin-yang sort of way. But I did manage to escape with a degree, and with a GPA that wasn’t the worst among my cronies. And I was eventually able to parlay that brief collegiate experience into a career history that I am very proud of — with the help of some very good role models in my industry.

Fast-forward 20 years, and there is a new ‘institution’ that is clouding up the Google searches, should anyone want to investigate my alma mater.

The web addresses (registered in 1999), (2005) and (2008) point to ‘Ambassador University Corporation — which by all accounts (including their own slimy web presence) is indeed a ‘diploma mill’.

For the record, I did not purchase my diploma from ‘Ambassador University Corporation’, somewhere in the Middle East.

I attended ‘Ambassador University’ in Big Sandy, Texas!

Ambassador College, later renamed Ambassador University (, had been operated by the Worldwide Church of God ( ), now Grace Communion International ( ), between 1947 and 1997.

After working under state-only certifications for many years, Ambassador University was accredited in 1994 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
and ).

Unfortunately, the school closed its doors just several years later, due to financial problems rooted in a doctrinal shift among WCG’s teachings. (originally , Google archive at , PDF of article at Ambassador_University_to_close_in_May_(press_release).pdf
Ambassador University Library Building at campus in Big Sandy, TXA detailed account of this very-real but now-missing educational institution can be found by anyone curious enough at
I also learned that the CHEA database ( ) does not list Ambassador as having been accredited, or even that it ever existed (though I was unable to locate in this or any other database where a listing might show *formerly* accredited institutions).

Next week, I’ll try to explain all of this to the Registrar at — and to several potential employers I have been shopping.
It’s even harder to explain the justice of this to my kids, who would simply like to trust that their Daddy can bring home enough money to pay for the Mac-N-Cheese, and renew the Netflix subscription.

UCG South Africa Resignations 1/21/11

You can see secret video of Morgen telling  Rhodes on just how things will be here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Problem with Prophecy

A Problem with Prophecy

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorOne of the hallmark traits of most Fundamentalist Christians is their obsession with Bible Prophecy. Prophecy has a rather mystical draw to it and implies that the future is not so unknowable after all. Most humans spend their waking time either in the past feeling angry or in speculation of the future feeling anxious. It goes with not having the ability to live the real day one is currently experience. Many Christians have raised knowing the future to an art form and have learned that it is also quit profitable for the church in keeping members in line with fear, anxiety and a perverse kind of hope.

Bible prophecy and making it the center of one's life, reading the newspaper as one would the Bible, is a slippery slope and a very negative way to live one's life.

With enough study, one can learn that there are other explanations for that which many hold so near and dear as predictions of things that will happen "shortly" in the future. No one seems to think that "shortly" for whoever really wrote Revelation has now been over Two Thousand Years! I hate to think what "I'll be back later" would mean!

We have learned to develop the bad habit of reading Paul's predications of "time is short" with the same generous deference to the fact that short for Paul never really quite worked out for him either. We all know the cycle Paul went through of telling the Church to be ready, act as if you had no family and support the Church, to his final realization that "oh well, I fought a good fight, it was fun while it lasted, I was wrong... I still win... see ya."

On the other hand, we have areas of scripture that have always been used as prophecy which, to me, are simply not and never were intended to be by the original authors.

Isaiah 7 is an example of such a use of OT scripture by NT authors. This virgin birth prophecy ranks as one of the most questionable uses of scripture Matthew used to tell his story of Jesus birth. Matthew had a habit of mining the OT for anything that seemed like it fit the story he wanted to tell about Jesus. When one examines the OT context, we have to conclude that, that at least in it's original meaning, it was never meant to have the meaning Matthew assigned it. In fact, in its original context, it has absolutely nothing to do with prophecy but is merely a historical account of events going on at the time. It was never viewed as a prophecy of the birth circumstances of either the Jewish Messiah or Jesus until Matthew mined it for it's story telling value to his perspective. Matthew took the parts that fit his story but left out parts of that same story in Isaiah that obviously made no sense to his perspective on Jesus. If you simply look at Matthew's accounts of Jesus birth story, it is easy to see he cobbled it together in the style of the day from OT scriptures and not real events that he knew of. It is not my point to explain all this here, and I have touched on it in past columns.

Another aspect of "prophecy" we miss is that much of what the COGs use to promote their urgency upon the membership is probably prophecy written after the fact, which makes it really non-prophecy.

Either the book of Daniel was written during the time of the events recorded, 585 BC, or as many scholars now feel, it was written much later in the 160's BC to encourage the Maccabeans in their revolt against Rome. It was written AFTER all the events prophesied took place, which is why Daniel 11 is so specific. Daniel 12 then becomes rather generic because after the rise of Rome, the authors didn't really know the rest of the story much after the specifics of the 160's ended.

The point is that we all know that OUR lives were lived, and many still live their lives out, linking Daniel to Matthew 24, which also was written to address issues now long past from our times.

Again it is not my purpose to prove that to you, but I have accepted that much of what we call history prophesied is really "prophecy" historicized, or the conforming of later writings to fit events as they had already occurred. If the detail of Daniel 11 is the kind of thing that is able to be locked in stone for future fulfillment, then we as humans have no choice in the part we have to play in the game as it is already decided for us evidently down to the details. It's a philosophical problem to me about choices and free will.

Other problem with prophecy is that they simply didn't come true. We all were groomed with the fantastic story of the fall of Tyre and how it would be scraped bare never to be inhabited etc. The problem is it wasn't and the city of Tyre existed in NT times and does to this day. The Tyranians rebuffed Nebuchadnezzar and only succumbed to Alexander the Great, yet still exists. It's a cop out to point out ancient ruins in the water as proof of prophecy fulfilled when the city called Tyre is just over your shoulder. These facts are easily found in a simple search on the topic.

Ezekiel's Failed Prophecies on Tyre and Egypt

Ezekiel made a prophecy that, at the time he wrote, seems most likely to be fulfilled. The prophet was writing, in 587BC, at the time when Nebuchadnezzar was laying siege on Tyre. With such a powerful army like Nebuchadnezzar's, it was not surprising that Ezekiel prophesied the fall of Tyre to the Babylonian king.
Ezekiel 26:7-14: For thus says the Lord: "Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a hosts of many soldiers. He will slay with the sword your daughters on the mainland; he will set up a siege wall against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers...With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people with the sword and your mighty pillar will fall to the ground...they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses... I will make you a bare shall never be rebuilt, for I have spoken," says the Lord God.

The whole passage clearly prophesied the sack and complete destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. However, the vivid description of the sack and fall of Tyre never happened. After a siege of thirteen years, until 573BC, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his siege on Tyre and had to arrive at a compromised agreement. Thus Nebuchadnezzar did not destroy Tyre. Tyre was destroyed by Alexander the Great, 240 years later. And furthermore, despite the prophet, the city of Tyre was eventually rebuilt.

When Nebuchadnezzar broke the gates down he found the city almost empty. The majority of the people had moved by ship to an island about one half mile off the coast and fortified the city there. The mainland city was destroyed in 573, but the city of Tyre on the island remained a powerful city for several hundred years.
The implication of this paragraph is clear: that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed a major portion of Tyre. Tyre's main city was always on the island. The part of the city on the mainland is nothing more than a suburb. In other words, Nebuchadnezzar could achieve no more than take over a relatively minor part of the city. Furthermore it is obvious from the passage in Ezekiel that the complete destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar was prophesized. Ezekiel himself admitted that this prophecy was a mistake!

Ezekiel 29:17-20: ...the Lord God came to me: "Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against it... (Website: Rejection of Pascal's Wager)

The prophecies of both Isaiah and Ezekiel against Egypt also fell far short of reality in their "fulfillment."
"The prophet Isaiah, for instance, foretold the drying up of all the waters of the Egypt, and the destruction of all land used for plantation due to this drying up of the River Nile.

Isaiah 19:5-7: And the waters of the Nile will be dried up, and the river will be parched and dry; and its canal will become foul, and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away. There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up, be driven away, and be no more.

This part of Isaiah, widely accepted by scholars to be written around the eighth century BC, is about 2750 years old. And in all this period of two and three quarters millennia, this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled! Moreover it is clear from the context that Isaiah prophecy was meant for the Egypt of his time. For it was with that Egypt that Isaiah and his people had a grievance against, and the prophecy was a warning to them. Obviously this is a clear example of an unfulfilled prophecy." (Website: Rejection of Pascal's Wager)

I only point these out because so many would NEVER entertain the idea that any prophecy of the Bible didn't come true and will launch any number and kind of apologetic to defend what was said would be from what really occurred in history. Some of you are doing that right now.. :)

The last Pope would be the last Pope and now this Pope will be the last Pope and I expect the next Pope will also be the last Pope.

And now we again live in a time where "prophecy" can manipulate real lives. There are any number of those who just know how it will all be. The kings of all directions are doing this and that..."just read my article and see for yourself." Every world news event , like in the 60's or 70's or 80's, is worthy of note. The last Pope would be the last Pope and now this Pope will be the last Pope and I expect the next Pope will also be the last Pope. Meanwhile we get older but not the wiser for the experience. What we'll end up with is drawing every imagined prophetic event to ourselves in reality as some government leaders even seem to base policy on "what the Bible says." It is very possible to cause things to happen because one expects them to happen. The problem is you end up with all the damage and none of the salvation. In short, an end of the world scenario can be acted out based on false subconscious beliefs and yet still you end up with no Second Coming, World Tomorrow or Kingdom of God. You end up screwed up.

So why might it be better not to LIVE your actual life around the alleged reality and truth of prophecy and the "imminent" return of Jesus which has been imminent now for a couple thousand years?

I've been there, I've done this. I've lived my real life ahead of my actual life while it quietly slipped by. I've made life decisions in the past based on a preoccupation with the future. I've also let a lot of precious life time go by thinking about things that proved to be untrue and teaching things that weren't. I thought they were, but when one realizes they aren't, it would be hoped one would stop that. I did.

I've been there, I've done this. I've lived my real life ahead of my actual life while it quietly slipped by. I've made life decisions in the past based on a preoccupation with the future. I've also let a lot of precious life time go by thinking about things that proved to be untrue and teaching things that weren't.

Basing a life on what may or may not happen in the future, and Bible types did it all the time and were wrong too, is to miss the present. And whether one admits it or not , the present is all we ever actually really have to work with. Your kids really are their ages they are NOW and one does not postpone making memories with them now because the future is a more serious consideration. They will NEVER again be kids, and you and I will never again be any younger. For Paul, to live might be loss and to die gain, but that theological rhetoric and let's face it, Paul never, from what we can note, ever had to enjoy his children, mate or life in the now. He was in the imminent future right up until it bit him in the bum. He may have had the power to have a wife, great word there, "power", but I bet he was basically not one the women would flock to to begin with.

If you are still in a COG, does your Sabbath experience, weekends that your kids also have to call their free time, only consist for them of coming, sitting and going? How often we forget that the parents generally got to make their life decisions but then deny them to their children. I know, "raise up your child in the way he should go.." Problem I have is with the "should go."

I'm amazed after all these decades the COG still can't figure out whether to eat out on the Sabbath! Do you really believe some Deity cares! Do you really think there are angels taking names!

I used to take my kids to the local zoo on Sabbaths after church. This was in the 1970's. I have never regretted spending MANY a Friday night with them when little swimming at the YMCA and stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way home. That ritual of the "now" is far more remembered than any sermon I may have given that day. But for some, depending on their prophecy laden pastor, life is just one big "around the corner", "just a little longer" and never ending "gun lap." I had kidded for years that we have been in the gun lap so often, we run the risk of running out of bullets. Little did I know that was a prophecy that would come true!

Prophecy means little to me at this point in my life. It may mean a lot to some of you depending on who is feeding the need to know what I don't think we can know in this world. We can hid behind the idea that we know God is doing this or that, but that's pretty iffy knowing.

Whatever your position, at least know that even the Bible got it wrong at times, not matter what your pastor says or how your church motivates you with prophecy to live on the edge of your chair, just a bit ahead of the now, in somewhat a fearful or at least anxious, "what's going to happen" state. Isaiah was wrong, Ezekiel was wrong, Paul was wrong and yes, even Jesus was mistaken in his own perceptions of his own experience. That's another story.

If we can be wise enough to see that even Bible prophecies indeed have failed, that some prophecies are not really prophecies , and that reading the newspaper as if it were the Bible come to life is not wise, we might actually have a life in the now we can say was a real life. A life lived in anticipation of some alleged future is not a real life. It's disillusionment in the making.

I'm going to go out on my own limb of prophecy here. I predict that all the leaders of any COG who promote prophecy first and have not really ever given a sermon using the ideas in this article, will live out their lives and come to the same conclusions Paul did. They kept a Faith and now it's time to pass on.

I predict that Churches like PCG and RCG will pass from the scene when their me only leadership does. One can only get so much mileage out of playing the sermons on world events by those who died years ago. Yet I guess we do that when repeating Paul's admonitions of the shortness of time forgetting it is long since past when he felt it would end. We do it when we say "Behold I come quickly" when that quickly was over 2000 years ago.

I predict that WCG (soon to be GIF it seems we can predict) will become a meaningless footnote to the Christian experience. I mean why belong to something in California that is everywhere you live? What holds scattered groups together is being special and having special insights into "The Middle East, What Next." And "Will You Be in the Place of Safety." Don't get me started!

I predict more people will avail themselves of the Internet to do their own studies and come to their own conclusions. I always had to ask a pastor because somehow I thought he must know. After all, he was an "expert" on the Bible. Now you can ask lots of pastors and scholars and even those who used to be and no longer can abide it. I predict the era of Guru's will end for those who learn to think and search a matter out from many and not just one source. I would hope that people in congregations dominated by one grand idea spoken by one grand human being will finally wake up and not care if asking a question or questioning a sermon or concept gets them kicked out. Being kicked out, terminated, fired, marginalized or blocked at the door can be the greatest freedom you'll ever experience if you ever choose to reclaim your own brain and perspectives. Remember...ANY TIME you are listening to another human being tell you how it is, and your get that little "uh oh" in the tummy....listen to it! It's the truth trying to have a chat with you.

I predict many will keep on believing the unbelievable because that's what humans do to keep fear and uncertainty at bay. I do it, you do it.

I predict that very few people give a rats... bum... about what I think!

Don't live in anticipation of possible future. We can't know and no one has ever gotten it right. All prophecies about the Second Coming of Jesus have failed to date 100% ! Don't miss your NOW for that idea that just around the corner, me and mine will be justified in forgetting to enjoy the one life we know we NOW have on this planet. It's a dangerous world to be sure, this does not mean it is the result of prophets who themselves missed their own marks way back.

A life based on Prophecy as interpreted by someone who thinks they know and enforced upon one as fact , just wait and see, is going to be a stressed one at best. You are also going to have to give up a few bucks hard earned to keep the mythology and the grand poopa in prediction mode. Remember there is Addiction to Predictions. Don't allow yourself to wake up decades older with grown kids having regrets you didn't go to the zoo or stop at Dunkin Donuts in their jammies on the way home....even on the Sabbath.

Dennis Diehl
Dennis Diehl is a former Pastor and currently has a successful Therapeutic Massage practice in Greenville, SC.

The Pope, Thiel, Malm, Elijah, COGaWA and LCG

Reading the Shining Light blog today is like reading one huge conspiracy theory after another.  Of course Armstrongism is filled with conspiracy theories up the wazoo and has always thrived on the nuttiness.  The crazier the theory is the more people believe it.

When I came to Pasadena a group of church members followed a deranged idiot who had proclaimed the egret sculpture was going to come alive. An egret was going to get on each corner of the Auditorium and the fifth would lead as they picked up the Auditorium and flew it to Petra.  Since this was God's House he was going to protect it from the invading German armies.

Also in the  late 70's early 80's Gary North books were spreading around the campus.  Old town Pasadena was filled with newsstands that contained his free books. Monetary and religious themes permeated his writings.  Because he was so conservative (North was a Dominionist) he fit into the mindset of the uber-conservatives struggling to gain control of WCG HQ in Pasadena.

Another book that made the rounds on the Pasadena campus was The Protocols of the Elders  Zion,  that is supposed to be about the the Jewish take over of Christianity and society.  The whacked out Armstrongites that believed this nonsense were the ones behind the anti-Stan Rader movement.  Rader was a Jew who 'converted' to Christianity.  While he was hobnobbing around the world with HWA he was secretly attending Synagogue and supposedly would be at synagogue every Friday night when he was back in LA. Rader was supposed to be the one behind the government take over of the church.

Then we had the Jim Jones tragedy.  Many of the uber-conservatives said this was a work of Satan to deliberately stop the WCG from fleeing to Petra.  There were secret groups in Pasadena supposedly planning our escape to the wonders of Petra.  By this tragedy happening the news media and society started eyeing cults and weird groups like WCG. Therefore, no trip to Petra could be planned.  Boo hoo.

The Ambassador Auditorium was constructed as a Masonic symbol.  The square black cube that the Auditorium is shaped as has Masonic symbolism and also points back to the square cube that is the Kaaba in Mecca.  The number of pillars, the colors, the location of various rooms inside up in the ceiling area all supposedly have Masonic ties.  Church members faced East toward the rising sun when they worshiped their 'god'. In essence the Auditorium is filled with pagan symbolism.

These listed above are the 'normal' ones that do not even compare to the religious themed ones WCG was filled with.

Due to Armstrongism's fascination with numerology and Esotericism we made counting numbers and divination a byproduct of Armstrongism that carries on to this day.  The Oracle of Delphi pales in comparison to the myriads of 'prophet's Armstrongism has produced.

Malm on the Shining Light has turned himself into one of those prophets.  Of course he trips and stumbles around claiming he is not, but in fact he is.

Today it is all about Bob Thiel and his book 2012 And The Rise of the Secret Sect, that was written with the cooperation of the LCG higher ups. He presents an exact time line of future world events in the next few years.  There will be soon coming peace for 3 1/2 years for the Jews followed by 3 1/2 years of pure hell.

There is the supposed COGaWA conspiracy of Kilough and Franks to secretly planning to join up with Rod Meredith and proclaim an 'Elijah' Message.

While it would not surprise me at all that Kilough and Franks have ulterior motives I think many in the new COGaWA will balk at joining up with Meredith due to the fact they had refused to join his cult in the previous incarnations.  

There are theories about the present pope dying within the next two years.  The rise of the final and last Pope of Catholicism who is going to bring a reign of false peace and terror to the world.  

There will be a huge war against the Muslims where they will be whipped into submission.

Malm goes on to utter other trigger words that Armstrognites will quickly understand.  But just like HWA, Malm covers his tracks with this disclaimer:

Do NOT believe me!  Do keep this in mind and do keep eyes wide open!  The only real proof will be in watching these things being fulfilled before your eyes!  Then when the two are empowered you will recognize them and be ready for them.  Do NOT fall for this strong deception of 3 1/2 years of peace when God’s word says, that when Peace and safety is declared; sudden [immediate] destruction will come, 1 Thes 5:3.!
Reading all these silly conspiracy theories is like watching the idiot Jesse Ventrua:

Thank God I am free!  Free at last from this kind of stupidity!

Plan Ahead For Your Feast, Winter Festival/Christmas Presents

Instead of the old stand by of the Talent Game or the Ten Commandments Game
you can buy your child this cool toy! 

Be the first in your Church of God to have the new Jesus doll!  

Think how much fun your child will have as he act's out the Passover service!  

This is NO long hair effeminate, Nancy-boy fake 'jesus', but a real Man's Man! 
This Jesus has a real converted man's hair cut! This Jesus is strong, buff and MASCULINE!

This KTell production is endorsed by Spanky Meredith.  
If you order before Passover 2011 
we will include a pair of Golden Gloves 
that your child can use as he knocks over the sellers tables in the Temple!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Herman Hoeh: The Closet Buddhist

I love reading the comments on other COGlet bb's and seeing the comments people make.  So many of them seem to be such angry, bitter, grumpy people, who never utter the name of Jesus but can quote every single law of the OT.   They have the perfect answers to everything and crow about it.  UCG is wrong, COGaWA is wrong, WCG is wrong, LCG is wrong, PCG is wrong but they aren't.  It's all about end time prophecy, the 70 weeks and other irrelevant nonsense. 

In the midst of this silliness was this comment about Herman Hoeh:

I did not know Herman personally, I did have a very close mutual friend who talked to him at length just about weekly. Herman was a closet Buddhist who talked HWA into giving tens of thousands of God’s money to Buddhist Monasteries; which is why the Buddhist presence at HWAs funeral. Herman would be told by HWA to prove something was true and he would come up with some “proof”. HH was a great politician and yes man, who had simple tastes and knew how to flatter. His idea of tithing was to buy books for himself and at the end of the year donate some of them to the college. He was just one of many tares/weeds that surrounded HWA and held influence through flatteries. I would never rely on HH for either doctrine or prophecy, but he was a good source of info on what was going on in Pasadena. We are warned about tares; remember that their also outright weeds, thorns and thistles in a field. Be careful not to tolerate the outright weeds, because of instructions on dealing with tares. The key is not whether they are nice guys [that is just flatterers and politicking], the key io how zealous they are for God and his law. James

I remember sitting in the Temple above called Wat Thai here in Los Angeles.  It is the largest Thai Temple in the West.  We were sitting in front of this very same altar overflowing with offerings and flowers for Queen Sirikit when she was  a guest of HWA.  Buddhist priest were chanting and offering up prayers for the Queen.  Several of the Ambassador College students present were freaked out and thought they were prostrating themselves at the feet of dagon.  Hoeh explained everything that was going on.  By the time he was through it made sense.  But then, I have always been a heretic when it came to trying things outside the box.  It did not bother me at all to be sitting in the front of this Buddha:

Herman Hoeh did not care what WCG members thought of him in his relationship with the Thai Temple.  He spent countless hours there.

Malm is right that the Buddhist priest came out for HWA's funeral.  They were there for Tkach's and for Hoeh's funeral. They knew Hoeh as man of compassion and truthfulness, despite his 'Christian' stance.

The die hard legalists in the Church were shitting bricks over Hoeh.  Meredith and others legaltard's thought he was bringing in abominations to the church.

Hoeh was a wise, quirky man.  You never quit knew what he was thinking.  If you asked him a question you came away thinking he had answered when in actuality he had not. He instead had asked you questions and you ended up answering him.

He always wore second hand suits, drove a car that was at least 25 years old, dug through campus trash cans to collect cans and bottles, yet would give you the shirt off your back if you were in need.  No other COG minister would do that, especially Meredith and the other high and mighty Evangelists.

Unfortunately, Hoeh was the one who came up with HWA's apostle status and other quirkiness associated with the church.  His Compendium of World History  was one of the most poorly research doctrinal thesis the College had ever reproduced.  Even Hoeh said it was not accurate, but the various splinter cults use a lot of it to this day to support their racist British Israelism doctrines to this very day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ask Your Pastor: Did Size Matter Back Then Too?

UCG, LCG, PCG and the myriad of other COG's all claim to keep the entire word of God and God's laws.  Perhaps you can ask your pastor on why he is a liar when they do not keep these laws.  COG ministers are especially good at ignoring this verse because of their own sweet daughters indiscretions:  Deut 22:20-21
I could name at lease 15 daughters of ministers, evangelists and leaders of various splinter groups that got pregnant before they were married.

From: Jesus Needs New PR

Consider the following verses…
Deuteronomy 23:1 ESV
No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.
This seems mean. And it seems to be something that Jesus wouldn’t like. Of course, I still have my testicles…
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 NASB
If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.
Wait. Is she mistreating the genitals? I mean, is she just grabbing them? Lovingly? Still, even if she was trying to hurt the genitals, should we really cut off her hand? What about youth pastors who give kids wedgies? Cut off a finger or two?
Genesis 38:8-10 NASB
Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.
Okay… so we know the story of Onan… he’s rather famous! So he spills his semen on the ground rather than putting it in the wife of his dead brother. Apparently, God gets angry at things like this… so God killed Onan…
Ezekiel 23:19-20 NET
Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.
Size mattered back then, too…
Deuteronomy 22:20-21
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
Interesting… we ignore the above verse, but we don’t mind using that one “anti-anal sex” verse in Deuteronomy to promote “God’s/our” views on homosexuality…
1 Samuel 18:25-27 ESV

Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.
Can you regift foreskins?
Exodus 4:24-25 NASB

Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.”
Can you imagine being that poor kid? Wow.
Judges 3:19-25 ESVAnd Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out.
So lots of biblical things came back to balls, foreskin, and poop….
What do you think about these verses?
Are they inspired?
And if you’re a man, are you still eligible for communing in God’s assembly?

COGaWA Brownshirt's Ready To Interview Members To See If They Are Worthy

It did not take long before the jackbooted brown-shirt's in COGaWA's hierarchy to start laying down stupid rules for its potential members.  The new Overlord's will be visiting the new potential members to determine whether they are in agreement with all of CGaWA's  1,662+ laws.  They are adding to the already impossible list of laws that CANNOT be kept from the Old Testament with a myriad of other laws to imprison members and control them.

Why do these people who left to join COGaWA  continue to allow themselves to be controlled? Many of these men and women suffered abuse under HWA, Meredith, Flurry, Kilough and others, yet they are just like dog's coming back to eat their vomit.  They think they are martyrs for the truth and that they are required to submit.

Malm has this comment on his blog:

I have been informed that the new COGAWA brethren have been forbidden to study the Bible together and that the new ministry will be visiting them to make sure that they know and agree to the new party line [if not they will be shown the exit].  I do not know if this is in only a few areas due to certain local elders enthusiasm, or whether it is an overall policy.

WeinerDude Weinland - 1/2 of the Witless Witnesses

Poor Ronnie.  He just cannot get any respect!

Weinland and the Jehovah's Witnesses

Another great video of the Witless Witness is this one where he makes death threats against all mockers. I say come and get me big boy! I have already had Neville Stevens COG splinter cult members pronounce a death sentence on me over 10 years ago. I would never live to see a Passover again. I would  struck down on the Night to be Much Observed.

A Warning to Mockers

Why has Armstrongism produced such mind numbingly STUPID idiots like this?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Apostle's Everyday Home Furnishings

While various COGlet's splinter personality cults are idolizing HWA on this the 25th anniversary of his death, I thought I would give you a peek into the apostles lifestyle.

While the membership toiled and struggled in the 60's and 70's HWA was on a spending spree in Europe.  Millions of dollars were dumped over the years to furnish the home of the  end time prophet.  This was all during the time the pleading letters were sent to the members to send in as much money as they could because the work was 'in crisis.'

Of course we had morons that justified these artifacts as necessary for the entrainment of  world leaders and dignitaries coming to hear about a "Strong Hand From Someplace".  Others claimed all these goodies would be used to take care of the brethren as they were struggling in Petra.  These items would buy us food and drink and shelter by the Muslims.

One other idiot in Pasadena claimed that the Pasadena campus would never be destroyed during the tribulation.  The invading armies of Germany would use the Pasadena campus as their military headquarters.  They would be so in awe and taken back by it's beauty that they would not destroy it.  Because of that the Pasadena campus would be the new earthly HQ of God's people when the Kingdom was established.  Never mind that the city is supposed to be Jerusalem, but heck, this is typical WCG mythology and it sounded cool!  Never mind that these armies would be torturing and killing fellow citizen's while they dinned and enjoyed music in the Auditorium.

Click on all pictures to enlarge them.

This was to keep HWA's roast beef warm.  Estimated value $5,000-$8,000

A Victorian Parcel-Gilt Silver Plated Table for your guests to place their calling cards on. $4,000-$6,000

Set of late 1800's silver centerpiece with glorious naked women on it.  $10,000-$15,000
late 1800's Gold Desert dishes $4,000-$6,000

German Silver Knight   $3,000-$5,000
Pair of German Silver Figures, Sir Lancelot and Lady Guinevere  $10,000-$15,000

Elizabeth II Equestrians  $6,000-$9,000 each

Elizabeth II 14 kt Gold Table Service (This was used for formal dinners) $50,000-$80,000

Sterling Silver Everyday service $10,00-$15,000

Silver Goblet's to drink your Harvey's Bristol Cream In $8,000-$12,000

Set of 22 Silver Dinner Plates $8,000-$12,000

George V Sterling Silver Umbrella Stands $10,000-$15,000

Questions Your Pastor Will Hate

Questions Your Pastor Will Hate

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorI remember being 18 and sitting through Rod Meredith's 'Harmony of the Gospels' class and venturing to ask a question about an apparent contradiction in the accounts.  (Harmony in the Gospels is hardly an accurate course description).  It was a sincere question.  RCM asked someone in the class to explain it to Dennis, implying I was not listening or something.  Very embarrassing to me but it is where I learned not to ask him questions again.

No one else answered it either.  Around lunch time I headed to the dining hall and RCM was running around the track and saw me going in.  He called me over.  "He's going to apologize for embarrassing me," I rather naively thought to myself.  What he did was ask me if I had repented yet... Um....of what?  He never really said and I went to lunch.  I guess I've been out to lunch ever since.
Between GTA's calling me in to ask why I hated him (I didn't) and this, I should have just gone home and saved myself the next 30 years of the same. 

As the years in ministry went by, I realized that asking questions was a dangerous thing.  I learned not to ask questions about Biblical contradictions in science, history and origins.  I learned not to ask questions about whatever was going on in the drama filled WCG that I was supposed to represent.  Once I asked about the "rumor" HWA was divorcing.  The return call was JWT yelling into the phone to "squelch it!"   What  a nutso church.  Personally I learned that 100% of any question I had was answered in ways that turned out to be, in truth, the opposite of what I was told.  No wonder, when the end came, the minister could not win getting stuck between believing what they were told by those over me and congregants who knew more than I did because of their contacts.  WCG could make a fool out of a local pastor in a minute and did.

I have thought a lot about why in all that time, I never heard anyone ask any good questions about the many and very obvious contradictions in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  No minister ever asked me, "Have you ever wondered about....?" or "Doesn't this seem troublesome?"  Even Friday night studies where GTA or someone would answer Bible questions, were rather lame.  One always knew the question was a bit too troubling because the more troubling the question the more sarcastic the "explanation."  

I wish I had known enough back then to have asked HWA after years of the never ending "story of the two trees," if he understood the Trees in the Garden of Eden were off limits because their fruit was god food?  The Knowledge of Good and Evil was a God topic and not for man.  Why not I never knew because if Adam and Eve weren't allowed to take of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, how could they be blamed for any sin?  They didn't know good from evil or weren't supposed to.  We see the consternation this caused the "gods" El and his council of the gods (Let US make man in Our Image etc...) reflected in one of the council members telling El that man must be driven out of the Garden, "lest he eat of the tree of eternal life (also a god tree and not for man) and live forever.  

Of course this is pure rewrite with a Hebrew twist,  of an Ancient Sumerian creation story that better explains the pagan origins of even the Hebrew Sabbath.  The original story was explaining how the god's needed rest from man's persistent complaining as worker bees for the gods.  The gods ate food then and man's purpose was to till the ground and make it happen.  In the original tale it was El (originally a Canaanite god adopted by the Hebrews) and his council that wanted rest from man.   It's why, "from now on, with the sweat of your brow shall you till the earth..".  It used to be easier for the human slaves to the gods in the original "Edin."  Basically it was the loving El telling humans, "if you think you have it bad now, just hear this punishment."  Rather like Egyptians expecting quality brick by limiting the straw needed to make it so. fun a question would that have been to ask or explain instead of having to endure, "there were two trees in the garden....."?  Not to worry.  There never was a real garden nor a real Adam and Eve really sinning and condemning us all to the need for a blood sacrifice.  It's mythology.  If you wish to know where real humans first came from and how, get a good up to date book on recent findings.  Or even do as I did and have your DNA traced back 100,000 years to Africa.  ( 

Come to realize that without a literal Adam and especially Eve as presented, we can't demote women to the status of obedient servants nor can the Doctrine of Original sin hold any sway over us, but I spare you.  It's mythology guys and to think otherwise in this day and age with so much good information and science available to us is pure ignorance.  

If Elijah had known to dig down 30 feet in the cave he hid in and saw God's rear end, he would have found some of the best Neanderthal skeletons in the world in that cave on Carmel.  Did "Jesus" know about Neanderthals, Homo Ergaster and Homo Habilis?  No he did not and also would not have been able or willing to explain them.  And no, they weren't the "and there were giants in the earth in those days, either.

So from 1968-1996 I personally asked few good questions of my peers or of the Bible itself.  That came to a end when I read and resonated with John Shelby Spong's,  Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism.  Finally a good answer to my question to RCM long ago in class.  I wrote JSP and thanked him and that I was using his insights in my sermons and studies.  He wrote me and said,  "Thank you Dennis, you won't survive."   Alas the nature of asking too many questions to those who the power but no clue as to the answer.  

So, with that in mind, I present to my former minister friends the series I wrote to challenge them to think and realize an even more Present Truth than ever inaccurate  Plain Truth. 

The series is called, "Questions Your Pastor Will Hate."  Some is written a bit cheeky and sarcasm,  which reflected my sideways turned anger at the time, and a simple request to consider the Book was not written by God, unless God was drinking during inspiring much of its content.  

And yes, I am well aware of apologetics which is an apt name for the art of denial when being confronted with the real contradictions and nonsense found in the pages of the "holy, inerrant word of God."

Here are the links to the articles.

So while we all get to watch, yet again, the birth of the Actually Now and Really Really True, Strife Without End True Church of God  replicate itself, what ever would happen if they came to understand how they even got the texts to argue over in the first place?  If they could just face the mythology of Genesis 1-11 is not literally true or historical, they  would learn the meaning of personal crisis at the gut level. 

It's no fun learning you were wrong about something so important for one to be the truth.  I had to get counseling just to cope with the angst my changing paradigm brought me.  Here is my counselor and my first session exchange.  It is word for word as I memorized it to get through the angst.

Counselor:  "Wow got fired by God!"
Dennis:         "Any other time I think that would be funny but please not now."
Counselor:   "Just kidding you. I used to be a church pastor like you."
Dennis:          "Well just understand that if you counsel me with Bible advice, I will find another counselor."
Counselor:     "No, no.  Just kidding.  In reality this is what you are about to experience.   Dennis, you outgrow your boxes quickly. We all come in a box and most never examine the box they come in.  You have only two choices.  You can go back into the box you just came from and everyone will be so happy and you will feel much more secure and safe.  However, you will be on anti-depressants the rest of your life because of your repressed anger.  OR, you can keep going and see what's in this box, but you will go ALONE."  (This is where I tear up thinking about the truth of how what he noted has worked out.) 

 Anyway, John Shelby Spong, author of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, also told me he was pleased I learn much from his books but that "Dennis, you won't survive,"  Only true prophet I ever met.

And so enjoy these questions that you as a minister also have a right to ask before you tell people what they should or must be, do , think, act like or become.  Whether we like it or not and no matter the angst it may cause to surface, there is precious little harmony of not only the Gospels but in every book of the book beginning to end.  This can be a hard thing to face which is why we don't and go on to believe as I was told during my debate in Texas with Art Mokarrow, "There is a good answer for everyone of those questions."   Oh really?  Do tell.....
Dennis Diehl is a former church pastor and currently has a therapeutic massage practice in Greenville, SC.