Saturday, February 18, 2012

Van Robison on: "Making Sense of Human Life"

Making Sense of Human Life

The Worldwide Church of God experience for many of us was a profound time in our lives.  We were innocent human beings who believed that we were seeking "truth" and had found it.  After a period of time, we could see that there were reasons to doubt that we had really stumbled upon spiritual truth.  In a sense we feel that we were raped (spiritually).  Even very intelligent human beings can be hoodwinked.  Some years ago, my own son that I love dearly was caught up in the Jehovah Witnesses and he and I went around and around with some very heated debates and I offended his senses.  My son is a very intelligent man who is in management of a multi-million dollar company and his position pays him a salary that would be the envy of most human beings.  What it proves is that even very intelligent human beings can be caught off guard and be swept up in religious foolishness.

Fortunately, I succeeded in persuading my son that his affiliation with this cult religious group was not something he wanted to be involved with.  That was years ago and he was set free from bondage to this stupid religion. Without question he will never again be caught up in religious nonsense.

There is something deep in our human souls about being taken advantage of by religious hustlers, even if they were sincere about their deceptions.  Ultimately human beings have been trying to make sense of human life for thousands of years.  No matter our personal position in what we think is truth, it is for sure that we will all exit life on earth.  You would think that common sense would dictate that life should be lived for positive and constructive purpose, while we have these few short years to live.  Should we live to be seventy, eighty, ninety or even one-hundred and beyond, in terms of eternity it is just a blinking of the eye.  What then is the purpose of life?  I suppose the answer will vary with the individual.

None of us have a clue as to what really happens beyond the grave, although many have experienced "out-of-body" experiences that are to my thinking not to be dismissed.  There is another dimension.  We are not God and we will all perish.  Those of us who have children and grandchildren know beyond doubt that it is sad to even contemplate death and that the void when anyone dies, is a void that can never ever be replaced.  There is simply nothing on earth or in the universe that can replace my sons, my daughters, my grandchildren or my wife or loved ones.  It is impossible.  Is there a lesson in human existence that we all yearn to understand?

Why is God silent?  Why does He not communicate with us on a level that we can see Him, converse with Him and know beyond doubt what this life is all about?  Men have been asking questions like this since the beginning of time no doubt.  Who can understand human suffering?  Does any human being exist who does not know suffering?  Who doesn't want utopia, paradise and happiness forever?  We live in a world of seeming madness.  The endless wars of death and destruction of countless millions of human beings never ceases and why?  Are those who rule really even human beings?  The United States has military bases all over the world and what for?  World dominion? So a hand full of human beings gain control of the entire planet and all its resources and control all the people---then what?  All the rulers will end their lives in the graveyard the same as all others.

Are we missing something in life?  Religions and governments of men are obviously both control freaks.  They both assume the position of being God to all human beings on earth.  "Its the law" is the biggest excuse man ever invented for control.  I don't doubt that God Almighty exists, but I also am flabbergasted that there are more questions about life than there are answers.  Rest assured the Worldwide Church of God and its many deformed and mentally paralyzed daughters, have no more clue, than do all the other religious groups on earth.  Humans will battle mentally forever over issues of religion.  We all know that ALL the leaders of ALL the splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God, will ALL vanish from life on earth and it is just a matter of time.  Everything changes in time.  Good bye Rod Meridith, Gerald Flurry and so forth.  They will ALL meet up with Herbert and Garner Ted.

What then is the real purpose of human life?

Van Robison

The "Creepers" In The Church of God

Silenced has a great blog entry about creepy men in the Churches of God.  Those were the single guys over 35 that stood around with their tongues hanging out watching all the single women.

Pasadena was full of these creeps.  Because Pasadena was the HQ for the Church it attracted a lot of really weird and sick people.  Most were men.  There were a few women in the mix, but mostly it was men.  The auditorium attracted most of these guys because the students were assigned to attend there, so it was a young and nubile smorgasbord.

They would stand in the lobby of the auditorium and stare at coeds and well dressed women.  Some would then follow these women into the auditorium and sit behind them so they could stare at them all through services. Others, would have typed lists of expectations on how women were to act if they ever accepted a date from one of these guys.  It was all about being submissive and knowing who was in charge.

Church dances were a favorite venue for these creepers to come out of the wood work. They would gather up the courage to ask the single women to dance with them and then the touching would start in.  You could see it in the women's eyes as they returned to their seats with their friends.

Sadly the ministry never did much about these guys.  However they would tell women to go out with them, sometimes even commanding women to date certain of these creeps.

Silenced goes further into the topic relating how women were molested by these men.

Creepers and terminally single males

There weren’t many men to choose from anyway, and the remaining single, unattached males tended to be older and mentally unstable, as they had been trapped by COG dating prohibitions to keep their sights within the church. They sunk into loneliness, depression and instability as their opportunities and years passed them by.

The “terminally single males” as we jokingly called them tended to be 35 or older and socially awkward with the tendency to stalk. They would single-out women they liked at dances and social gatherings, despite their obvious disinterest, glare at them, make them uncomfortable and even sometimes make crude or harassing remarks.

These “creepers” were pervasive across COG groups, and the ministry did nothing about them. After all, they were men and tithe-paying members. Drop-kicking them out of the congregation would hurt the COG’s bottom line.

There were hundreds of tales of older men stalking and hitting-on women half their age or younger. These women are powerless and often frightened to bring this before COG pastors, who would simply be negligent to do anything about it anyway.

Many of these men ended up being sexual predators.  Silenced relates how a man in United Church of God called Mr. H preyed on women in the church and STILL does to this day because UCG will not do anything about him.

One illustrative example of a sexual predator online and in real life was a COG member we’ll call Mr. H.

He was a young man, late teens/early twenties, who was an infamous stalker of UCG women, teens and young adults. He would send them salacious, sexually charged messages, harass them before and after church, made lewd and suggestive phonecalls, and do things that would usually get people arrested.

However, his victims were afraid to speak out against him, because he was a “member in good standing,” his profile’s gallery was full of pictures of him and prominent church pastors shaking hands and smiling, and he outwardly was one of the pious and self-righteous church sheep ever produced, and that hid a very dark side that was gaining fear and infamy throughout the young people in UCG.

Mr. H is still a member in good standing, as the ministry has done nothing about him.

A horror story related to Mr. H was recently left on one of our posts by a current member of COGWA:
I will say that I completely agree 100% with Silence/et al, who point out the creepers/stalkers. I know exactly who you are referring to with Mr. H – I have had my own experiences with him, and after he sent salacious messages to a MINOR, I had him reported.
Mr. H was not reprimanded by the COG for this.
Most of these men jumped ship during the changes and went with the various splinter groups. LCG, UCG and PCG took in a lot of them. These guys have to be in their 60's now which makes it even creepier!

 Read the entire entry here: I wept for my sisters

Andrew on "What Is Sin?"

What Is Sin?

Anyone who has spent anything more than a few minutes involved in Armstrongism knows what sin is. All twenty-seven definitions. I jest. Slightly. It’s the transgression of the law, the missing of the mark, and all those wrong thoughts that are “broadcast” telepathically directly into your brain all 43,200 seconds of the day by the Prince of the Power of the Air, a.k.a. Satan.

In secular terms, a “sin” would just be a mistake, an error in judgment, or a grasping and fumbling in unfamiliar and confusing circumstances. But as soon as you wrap it up in religious terms and propose that every embarrassing thing you’ve ever done has been chiseled into eternal stone to be used against you in the most intimidating circumstance imaginable to determine your eternal fate, well then every thought, intention, and act, necessarily becomes fraught with eternal significance.

We’re not really going to argue things like murder, rape, grand theft, etc. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t agree that these are serious offenses that one cannot generally do “accidentally.” Probably no one in history has ever uttered the phrase, “Oops, I didn’t mean to become a serial axe murderer.”

“Oh,” we might all say, “that was an understandable mistake. Becoming a serial axe murderer could have happened to anyone.” No, I think we can all agree that does not constitute a valid defense in anyone’s book. Instead, we’re talking about the criminalization of much smaller mistakes.

A key problem with turning every trivial error into an act of cosmic significance is the fact that we are born not really knowing very much, and learning involves making mistakes, and that means doing some “sinning.” Realistically, it just can’t be helped. Yes, it is true, we do have a “choice” in a manner of speaking, whether to sin or not in any given situation, but given tens or hundreds of billions of people, the bible itself says that not one person ever passed the test of living a “crime”-free life.

If the bible is to be believed, on the one hand, God intentionally designed us so weak that every single one of us is going to do some “sinning” every time we try to do anything at all. On the other hand, every mistake and every learning experience has cosmic significance, obviously as an expression of the idea that God doesn’t want us to ever do any “sinning.” Does anyone else see a conflict here? Why would God put us in a no-win scenario like this? Under the burden of so much religious-based accusation and judgment, is it any wonder that so many people suffer from low self-esteem?

Of course, this is a biblical thing, not just an Armstrong thing, so Armstrongism isn’t alone in this. Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam all have their fundamentalism that inflicts the same conundrum upon their followers.

So then, because every single human being ever created is such a heinous criminal (hmm, I wonder why), God’s kingdom would have exactly zero new additions from this earthly experiment except for the enormous and benevolent grace of God, who sent his only begotten Son to die to pay for all our heinous crimes. And we must be eternally grateful and beholden for such a wonderful deed done on my behalf because we are all such heinous criminals.

At the risk of sounding like an absolute heretic, excuse me, but who set this whole system up in the first place, starting with how I was created, and then criminalizing every mistake I was sure to make, thus guaranteeing such an enormous debt of “sin” would be hanging over my, and everyone’s head, that needed paying for in the first place?

The traffic codes are written in the same way. If they were written for safety, then they were written for robot  drivers, not human drivers.  The way the traffic laws are, you can’t help but break some of them every time you drive. They seem calculated to take advantage of human frailty. Any time the city needs some extra income, they can simply go out and fleece the people by issuing a slew of moving violations. Every time you get behind the wheel, you are probably incurring hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of debt (I know I am), which may or may not be demanded of you.

I understand the point of much of the “law” laid out in the bible as a code to genuinely help everyone avoid making some large mistakes, and that’s fine. But what if the whole system of “sin” and “sacrifice” was laid out with the same intentions as the modern traffic laws? What if it’s just the fabrication of a fictitious debt combined with the biggest guilt trip in history for the sole purpose of bringing an entire society under the control of religious authorities?

What if we were to let go of all the neurotic energy bound up in the word “sin”? Not to say that many “sins” aren’t genuinely bad ideas, but just to say, let’s abandon the cosmic significance part of it.

What if we were to say that a mistake is just a mistake? Yes, there will be consequences. You won’t score the brownie point, you might lose the girl, you'll have to pay the fine, or maybe you’ll look like the loser and idiot that we all feel like from time to time. And then a funny thing happens. Everyone forgets. And it’s just not that big of a deal anymore. There’s no cosmic significance. Nobody is going to bring it up a thousand years from now and rake you over the coals for it. And a mistake suddenly becomes something that is affordable. It’s just not that serious. And you can afford to laugh at yourself.


Is The Prophet Thiel and Beast Guttenberg Bromance About To Heat Up?

Prophet Thiel is all hot and bothered today with the prospect that Baron Guttenberg will be speaking in Georgia this week. Prophet Thiel breathlessly writes:

The former German Defense Minister Baron Karl zu Guttenberg  is to speak in Georgia next week:
Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg will join F. William Smullen III, chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell for the keynote addresses at the Feb. 23-24 event. The symposium will focus on the role of conflict management and peace building in the United States’ security strategy.
It will feature panel discussions with experts from the military, academic institutions and international policy organizations.
Guttenberg will speak at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Embassy Suites in Kennesaw. Smullen will speak at noon on Feb. 24 at The Commons on the campus.
Both speeches are free and open to the public.

The Prophet goes on to write:

As regular readers know, I have long had my eye on former German Defense Minister Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg...

We KNOW Bob, Really!  We KNOW!

Prophet Bob's sick obsession with Guttenberg seems to grow more and more each day.  Will Bob fly to Georgia so he can listen to the guy speak?  It's real close to LCG HQ so he could run up there afterwards and give a full report.  Stranger things have happened.

Prophet Bob thinks Guttenberg is the Beast of Revelation and that he is on reconnaissance here in the US to gather information with which to destroy us later on during LCG's tribulation. to watch as a possible candidate to be the final King of the North of Daniel 11 and Beast of Revelation.  I believe that he is making political and military contacts in the USA and elsewhere that he may be able to use later.

Prophet Bob has spent a couple of years now smearing the mans name and reputation in Living Church of God circles and on the web.  He has been spreading the same lie all this time.  Of course he conveniently tries to cover his rear by adding this to all of his posts, AFTER he has maligned Guttenberg:

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg could simply be a somewhat politician with many ups and downs. And all his intentions could be fine. But Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg does seem, to me at least, to be taking the types of steps that one who could possibly be the final King of the North would actually take.

Bob, giver it a rest!  Either that, or come out of the closet and admit your secret desire for the man.  Your obsession with him  is really starting to look suspicious!  Besides, you are embarrassing the hell out of the Living Church of God! 

When those German tanks come rolling into Charlotte, I can give you three guesses on where they will head first!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dale Schurter Resurfaces Claiming He Is Suffering "Intense Persecution"

Poor little Dale is suffering from persecution!  Are we making your miserable life even more miserable?

One thing I have learned over the years is that when an Armstrongite claims persecution they are generally lying through their teeth.  Armstrongites have NEVER faced persecution like they perceive they are. Real persecution is what is happening to the Copt's in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.  Persecution is the 50 some million Jews, gypsies, gays, JW's, Russians, etc., that were killed because of ethnic cleansing in WWII. Persecution is what happened to the Christians martyrs killed in Rome's coliseum.  Being pussy whipped by a few blogs is NOT persecution.

You despots in leadership positions in the Churches of God that claim persecution, while sitting in your quarter million dollar homes around your dinner table with a spread of food before you as classical music plays on your stereo on Friday nights, have NO idea what persecution is!

You, Dale Schurter, are one sick puppy!

There also continues to be persecution for me, some quite intense. All who have regained spiritual sight will suffer persecution. As we participate in this end-time Work of proclaiming the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, along with the trials we also experience joy. Both will continue to increase “as we see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
Dale starts out his appalling letter with this:

Thank you for the encouragement we have received from so many of you. What a joy to have returned to the Body of Christ, with God’s Government in place and all its parts zealously doing the Work, headed by Jesus Christ!
It's all about control! Government that makes members lives a living hell is NOTHING to be joyful about! I have news for you bud, Jesus is NOT present in your organization. Never has been and never will be!

Apostate Schurter continues:

My wife and I are so thankful to God for answering our prayers to be led to where He is truly working. We had become severed from the True Vine, but are now reattached. As some of you may know, I have studied and employed biblical agriculture for decades, and understand what happens when a branch is cut from a vine or tree. The environment in which it falls will determine how long it will remain alive and able to be reattached, grafted back into the vine before it completely withers and finally dies—then to be gathered and burned. Brethren, I was withering as a part of Laodicea, as “blindness and nakedness” crept into my life and work. I had taught against taking on a Laodicean attitude and lifestyle for decades. Yet I had drifted into it myself. What a sobering reality!

Yes, denigrate the WCG and UCG which paid you hundreds of thousands of dollars which you took eagerly over the decades.  You stayed on the dole in UCG stealing their money for years when you were researching and teaching things that UCG did not agree with.  As for your "biblical agriculture," your experiments at Big Sandy have left infertile ground that can only support pigs right now.  Some fruitful vine that produced!

You continue:

After we prayed diligently for a solution, God performed a miracle and led us to The Restored Church of God. It was a jolt, to say the least, but so heartwarming to confirm where the Head of the True Church is continuing His Work—and not only continuing, but greatly expanding it. The fruits are truly manifold. I cried with inner joy! We had again found the faith once delivered to the saints, the Government of God, the Church of God headed by Jesus Christ, an apostle in place, and a dedicated ministry, staff and brethren—all on fire—vibrant and very busy doing the Work of God!

News again bud, the "faith once delivered" was NEVER lost.  Millions of Christians have know about it for centuries. I also have news for you, that if HWA ever came back, he would not recognize the filth that RCG preachers.  Even he would be appalled!  Thanks for confirming that your apostate leader has now declared himself an apostle.

Apostate Dale writes about his reeducation process he has been through recently:

Last week I had the privilege to again travel to The Restored Church of God’s World Headquarters in Wadsworth, OH, and engage in an uplifting and motivating three-day work experience. The urgency and work ethic there are inspiring.

I certainly do bet it was an "experience" to be told to abandon the things your have been fraudulently preaching for the last few years as revealed truth.  Apostle Dave  can't have his minions running around dreaming up new ideas and thoughts.  If his brain did not manufacture it, it is not worthwhile.

For those of you not turned off by revolting garbage, you can read the rest of Apostate Dale's pathetic letter here:  What a Joy to Be Back in the Body of Christ!

Excuse me while I go and throw up.....

Van Robison on "All Humans are Captives"

All Humans are Captives

In the "United" States of America we have been led to believe that we live in "freedom."  We don't live in freedom!  We are all captives and prisoners on planet earth.  We are prisoners to taxation in all its forms, which is nothing more than armed robbery.  We are captives to the "laws" of men, which are nothing more than force, compulsion, violence, fear, threat and intimidation that if you do not conform, you will pay the price for non-compliance.  Human governments and the religions of men are very much alike, in that they both take captives.  We are captives physically and psychologically.  We don't really have freedom of choice, because if we did life would be drastically different.  During the age of prohibition, the government (mafia) decided that it was "illegal to manufacture booze, because the government did not approve.  Consequently the gangsters working for the government smashed, destroyed and otherwise demolished every "illegal"  alcohol operation that it discovered.  It was the "law."  The "laws" of governments are all man-made.  What gives human governments the "right" to use violence against those who resist their man-made edicts?

Christians by the millions think that God is the author of human governments based upon such passages as Romans 13 and other verses.  I have emailed some websites that proclaim that they are "Christian Cops" and
cannot be persuaded that God is in fact NOT the author of human governments.  This in fact proves that what is called "the Bible" has such an influence upon human thinking that many live their lives on the basis of how they interpret the so called "Holy" Bible.  It seems to me like a sick mentality that cops will attempt to entrap drivers on the road and ticket (armed robbery) them for speeding, when we all know that those same cops will themselves speed against the limits even when not on call or duty (obviously they are all hypocrites).

Humans are very self-deceiving.  They play-act and pretend that "violators" will be ticketed or arrested, while they themselves have no problem with tasering people on the pretense of "necessity."  Many have died at the
hands of cops who tasered innocent human beings.  In the Phoenix airport a few years ago, the "security" people actually killed a totally harmless woman in their stupidity and senseless over excitement.  Believe it or not, this type of situation has happened many times to very innocent human beings.  The abuse of human beings is legendary and is very common in life on earth.  And yet "Christians" by the millions think God is the source of abusive human governments and the source of churches, man-made religions and human "authority" over their fellow man.

I would suggest that God is NOT the source of control, abuse, authority or power over human beings.  Life itself proves that humans were NEVER intended to have power and control over their fellow man.  The religious minded and the political minded have yet to learn this lesson, even after thousands of years of human experience.  The Worldwide Church of God is no exception, and is also guilty of taking captives for the purpose of $money and all that $money can buy.

Human governments are not God anymore than are "pastors", churches or the religious beliefs of humans.  Herbert W. Armstrong may have been sincerely deceived (who really knows?), but he was most definitely a false preacher.  Only the simple minded would believe that in the "United" Sates of America we live under "freedom."  For those who have no clue, the U.S. has military bases in over one hundred countries around the world.What for?  World domination?  It is the same old story over and over and over, to demonize another country or ruler of that other country and then destroy them as a pretense about "security" and "defense."  We are not all that naive and gullible.

All humans on earth are captives and prisoners to governments of men and to the religions of men.  Is there a rocket ship to another inhabitable planet without human government and without man-made religions?

Van Robison

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hey Dale Schurter! Where For Art Thou? Is Your Email Being Monitored?

Thanks to MishMash for pointing this out to me today.

Our beloved Dale Schurter has been absent from the scene after he posted his initial letter on the Restored Church of God site for defecting UCG ministers.

He had his own email address, mailing address and phone number listed.  He encouraged people to call him or write with questions.

No longer are you worthless Laodician peons allowed to do that.  Dale's email is now being filtered through the Restored Church of God servers and monitored by them. Brother Dale's new address is:

MM writes:

His previous one was a Juno address.  Also his phone number is gone.   Hmmm.   I have a feeling that he taking a lot of heat and they are now cutting off access to him.   For sure they are now monitoring everything that comes into him.  I still have his regular email address its  I wonder if he has pulled the plug on it or not.    If he is smart, he would keep a private laptop on a separate isp and keep his own email.  But who said anything about smart.   Or, the other scenario is that he is kicking himself right now for such a dumb decision.   Latest article on the ministers site says that Dale is upset because people are thinking that he is saying that they lost the holy spirit.   Mr. Bill wrote that one for him.  Why didn’t he write it himself?   Suspicious is all I can say ! 

RCG's Gestapo made one tiny mistake though, his old email address is still visible on his initial letter:

Dale L. Schurter
(631) 561-8784



Like millions of others, I too believed the Bible was infallible and inerrant for many years of my life.  I have read the Bible from cover to cover, more than once and studied portions of it many times.  Based upon certain verses in the Bible, we have all been led to believe that it is all inspired by God.  Perhaps part of the reason for that belief is that even Jesus Christ made reference to certain individuals in the Old Testament.  In life I have learned to question and that to automatically assume something is true, is a sure ticket to deception.  Bible infallibility is actually a form of CENSORSHIP, which means to Bible apologists that it cannot be questioned, because to question the Bible is to question God.  Not so!

Strangely, even in the New Testament the reader is told to "prove all things" and "try the spirits whether they be of God."  The things Jesus Christ taught during His human life time, were jaw-dropping.  Jesus Christ was is in fact the most renowned whistleblower the world has ever known and His impact upon human beings is monumental.  We read that Jesus came to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE.  Jesus also DEMOLISHED man-made religion as recorded in Matthew 23, which is worthy of being read and thought about by all church goers.  Jesus was profound.  Jesus offended the religious rulers and the religious elite.  I would even suggest that should Jesus Christ walk our streets today, He would bypass the "pastors", the "senior pastors", the "bishops", the "elders", the "reverends", the mega-church leaders, those with titles such as "Dr. Pastor", the "scholars", those with "masters" degrees in theology, those with "doctorate" degrees in theology and so forth and once again hand-pick "uneducated fishermen", or perhaps farmers or housewives as disciples (people with common sense).

Jesus Christ bucked the religious status-quo.  Jesus and His disciples picked corn and ate it on the Sabbath Day.  Jesus healed the sick on the Sabbath day.  Jesus proved that man-made religion is just that---man-made.  Jesus did not wash His hands before He ate, which was an offense to the legalists.  In our world today, we also have the legalists, not only in the original Worldwide Church of God and its many daughters, but the world is overrun with religious legalists in many different groups.  Going to church itself is a form of legalism.  What does it really have to do with salvation or eternal life?  Sure Jesus entered the synagogue, but not to learn truth, but to enlighten those who lived in darkness.

The church world is Bible obsessed.  They think life on earth revolves around Bible study.  It does NOT!  Life really revolves around LOVE (at least it should), and God is LOVE.  How is God love in the face of tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and "natural" disasters?  What about endless wars of death and destruction?  The issue is that God created human life and we all suffer because of the decisions humans make in life.  Most of us are not responsible for the heinous wars of mankind, but many suffer because of them.  Why does God not intervene and stop them?  I have asked that question a million times and the only conclusion I have is that we have to learn from living, but that does not make God responsible for insane wars.  As to natural disasters, I have no answer, but I do not assign evil to God.  Who does not have questions with no valid answers?

The Bible in my opinion is a great deal of fiction, myth, legend and human fabrication.  That of course offends the senses of many.  I can receive the fact that there are some good teachings in the Bible, especially the words attributed to Jesus Christ, such as about love, compassion, mercy, empathy and humility but that does not cause me to believe that everything in the Bible is fact or truth.  I have no idea how the New Testament was penned, even though I have read that it was penned many years AFTER the life of Jesus Christ.  Was Jesus Christ quoted "verbatim?"  How does anyone know?  Truth is---they don't know!  For many it seems that their faith in Jesus depends entirely upon the false belief that "the Bible is infallible and inerrant."

The Old Testament and the book of "Revelation" both defy the teachings of Jesus Christ and are cause to seriously doubt inspiration.  Just because one verse says "all scripture is given by inspiration of God", does not make what is called the Bible, the word of God.  In the end of the book of "Revelation" we read that anyone who tampers with "Revelation" will suffer the consequence.  That is an obvious attempt at CENSORSHIP and I would suggest that the real author of this novel and fiction had an ulterior motive.  Throughout history men have always put words in the mouth of God that God never spoke and attributed events to God that God is not responsible for.  The gullible and naive "think" God authored the Bible, for no other reason that they read "all scripture is given by inspiration of God", and the hard fact is that ANYONE with pen in hand could pen such words and attach anything to those words they wish, causing the reader to believe that God did it, when He did not.

Anyone who digs deep will learn that there are mountains of information about the Bible, that will overturn what millions have believed about it.  There is an avalanche of knowledge about the Bible that will no doubt change the course of how human beings see the Bible in the years to come.    In my personal convictions, that does not cause me to be an atheist or cause me to doubt Jesus Christ.  In fact, without Jesus Christ there is NO LIGHT in the world.  Naturally I read that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, but also the Living Waters, the Bread of Life, the Manna from Heaven, the Light of the World, the Vine, the Door, the Resurrection, the Good Shepherd and the ONLY Master from the Bible and I accept that.  What other hope is there?  NONE!

Is what is called "the Bible" really a man-made idol?  Do many worship "the Bible?"  Of course they say they do not, but I believe they do.  The Bible is really just INK on PAPER.  It is not God and God is not the Bible.  God is a Spirit Being, He is not INK on PAPER.

Van Robison

Prophet Thiel: The Catholic Church Came to the COG To Get The Canon

God's favorite prophetic mouthpiece has a bold comment today on his blog.  Prophet Thiel claims that the Catholic Church actually came to the Church of God (the Saturday keeping, kosher eating, holy day keeping, circumcised kind) to find out what books they were using for their Bible when Jerome was setting the canon.

 For years I have studied into this subject extensively and strongly believe that the Bible and secular history support the view that the Catholics and the Protestants got their books of the Bible from the Church of God.  Specifically, for one example, when the Catholic saint Jerome was putting his Latin Vulgate version together, he went to Palestine/Judea and met with non-Catholics who seemed to be part of the COG to confirm what was valid. 

Prophet Thiel is reacting to Dixon Cartwright's articles about the  Biblical canon in The Journal.  Dave Havir has this quote in The  Journal:

In his editorial, “Lo and Behold, an Elephant Is in Our Room,” Mr. Cartwright broached a subject that he says most conservative Christians almost never talk about even though it has profound implications for Christians’ view of the Bible and therefore their view of God and everything else.

“Yet where did our approved list of Bible books come from,” Mr. Cartwright asked, “and how do we know
that God inspired and even breathed them as holy writ?”

The elephant in the room is “right there beside us and we don’t notice that the books we virtually venerate
reside in our system of beliefs thanks to the imposed authority of a religious organization that Protestants and the Churches of God general reject.”

The organization Mr. Cartwright mentioned is the Catholic Church, although he says he isn’t being critical
of Catholics.

“I mentioned them because I think it’s ironic that Catholics, and their predecessors, decided on which books
should be considered Scripture even though they don’t believe in sola scriptura, the principle of relying solely on the Bible for doctrines.”

I never cease to be amazed at how Prophet Thiel thinks he is an authority on EVERYTHING!  He knows for SURE that they Catholics came to get the canon of the Church of God when they were establishing their version of the Bible.

Most Armstrongites have NEVER researched into the Bible, how it was written, by whom, etc.  They only know what Herbert Armstrong said, or  Rod Meredith, or Dave Pack or Gerald Flurry says about it.  If these men said it, so let it be done! "God is working through them so there is no need to ever read any books about Biblical authenticity."

One thing I did forget that the church taught, that was brought out be a reader in The Journal, was that  the writings of Herbert Armstrong would eventually make it in the canon of the Bible.

  • The WCG believed that Herbert W. Armstrong’s writings would become part of NT scripture when Christ returned. So the WCG did not believe in a closed canon.
When will Rod Meredith and the Living Church of God ever reign in their embarrassing mouthpiece.  Do most LCGers think Bob is the greatest gift on earth to them?

William Beher Speaking On Behalf of Conspicuously Absent Dale Schurter

Has William Beher become the "mouthpiece" for Dale Schurter?  Schurter has been conspicuously absent since this blog revealed that he held many beliefs diametrically opposed to God's most important inspired man, Dave Pack. How dare he have an original thought in his head before Dave had one!

Now William speaks out on behalf of the absent one:

Some have written Mr. Schurter quite upset, as they feel as though he believes they do not have God’s Spirit. That impression is simply not true. God’s people do reside in various splinter groups. But, and this is important, they are branches cut off from the vine! It does not mean they do not have God’s Spirit, but rather they are no longer connected to the Body of Christ, and those who do not reconnect at some point are in danger of having the Spirit dwindle down and eventually be entirely gone.

The question that needs to be asked here is, "If you have God's spirit but are cut off, what is the point in having it?"  What good is it going to do you  to be cut off from the tree or the vine? Branches cut off die, especially vine branches.  They die within minutes.  What William is really telling these people that they are dead and have no hope unless they come over to Pack's cult.  I guess William cannot think from both sides of his brain at the same time.

William goes on to quote HWA trying to placate those that got offended by Schurter's baloney:

Next, Mr. Armstrong talks about how a person with God’s Spirit can temporarily exist outside the Body of Christ. This includes a few who are converted—given God’s Spirit at a baptism—outside the true Church. But notice what must eventually happen.

“Can one who does not know of the true organized Body doing God’s Work, and therefore is outside of it, be a member of the true Church which Christ built? The answer is yes—for it is possible for one to have truly repented, believed, and received God’s Spirit—and be following that Spirit as far as he sees and understands—who does not know of the organized Work Christ is using today. But surely God’s Spirit in him would lead one, in due time, into his part in the organized Body the living Christ is directing.”

Once again William is blatantly telling anyone who thinks they have God's spirit that they are damned if they do not join up with Pack.  According to him there is no truth outside Packism.

Obviously then, it is very much possible to have God’s Spirit and be outside the Body of Christ. But that does not mean that wherever such people are found is also where the Body of Christ—the one true Church—is located. God’s people can be scattered in different groups, but they are outside the Body of Christ, and need to reconnect to the Vine at some point.

In other words, get off your lazy asses and join the one and only true church.  Get your eyes anointed today and see the light! Don't think for yourself anymore, let the Packman do it for you.

Van Robison on "Is the Bible a Ball and Chain?"

Is the Bible a Ball and Chain?

Millions have been in bondage to INK on PAPER, called "the Bible" for a very long time. Is the Bible a ball and chain upon the lives of those who think God sent it from heaven to mankind?   Those who stand in pulpits will obviously answer no, because it is their excuse to dominate and control their personal followers.   No one could say that the Bible has no value at all, or at least if they do they overlook the fact that there are some good points found in this collection of writings compiled into one volume.   Certainly it is not bad to believe that loving your neighbor is a good thing, or that being meek is a bad thing, or that being a
peacemaker has no merit.   We even read to "prove all things", which is sage advice.

On the other hand there is a great deal about the Bible that is a ball and chain upon the lives of an innumerable multitude of human beings, including those associated with the Worldwide Church of God and its many clones.   Having read the Bible a great deal in years past, I conclude that it is not necessary to read the Bible everyday or have Bible studies endlessly for life.  Far more important is simply to live, love, be kind, do good things and enjoy your life while you have it and teach your children to THINK and never stop asking questions.   When you listen to PIED PIPERS IN THE PULPITS, the bottom line is that they think they have a right to do your thinking for you and a free pass to your bank account (at least 10% of it and exceptions for more).

The Bible is a great excuse for abuse of multitudes of human beings, who have been hoodwinked into thinking that religious leaders understand something about God, that common people have no access to.   I get sick and tired of seeing preachers on television standing with the Bible in their hands, quoting verses and treating people as if they are so brainless that they must be bottle fed their daily dose of preachers
sermons.   If people had any sense they would all run for the exit doors and never again financially support these self-appointed gods and mind-control preachers.  After all how many times does a human being need to be told something they have heard 10,000 times before?

Lets face it, every "pastor" preaches that which is right in his own thinking.  Never mind that God gave all human beings a brain and that for those who still believe in God, no "pastor" on earth is the funnel through which others must travel to have a relationship with their Creator.   Pastors and churches all take captives and their "authority" for doing so is the ball and chain called "the Bible."  Of course that Bible is interpreted in so many different ways that it is comical to an outside observer.   I once sent an email to a "Christian" organization stating that much of the Bible portrays God in the most barbaric manner and attributes to Him, horrors, atrocities and genocide that no thinking human being, would ever believe defines the true character or nature of God.  His reply was that he was shocked and was going to right this minute pray for me.   Many Bible readers never entertain, that maybe, just maybe, some of this stuff is myth, fiction, legend and penned by LYING SCRIBES and control freaks.   Apparently Jesus Himself thought so, because He denounced their man-made religion in His famous speech at Matthew 23, which someone seems to have remembered and penned years later.

As the years pass, there are so many voices that are ripping the Bible to shreds that I doubt that it will be the "infallible and inerrant" word of God for another two-thousand years.   Does it have any value at all?  In my thinking yes it does, but like a newspaper one reads, who would believe that everything in it is the unvarnished truth?  Like "news" on television, only the gullible and naive would believe that the news media is a source that is founded upon nothing but truth.  In fact television, movies, newspapers, magazines, books and even the Internet are all sources of major and massive propaganda.   Just because something is said to be ancient (scrolls for example), does not make them infallible and inerrant truth.

Humans have always been liars with ulterior motives.  To accept without question the Bible as total truth is simply childish.  I seriously doubt that God reads the Bible everyday or sits in a pew listening to preachers.  When Jesus went into the synagogues, it was not to learn truth, but to enlighten those who lived in darkness.

Van Robison

Urban Hippy Armstrongites Still Causing Controversy

Several years ago we had an employee in the Landscape Department at Ambassador College in Pasadena who went off the deep end.  So much so he was quickly terminated.  Once that happened he started weekly protests with his van parked Green Street, St. John Ave and on Del Mar by the tennis courts.  He drug his wife and kids out to protest with him for many months carrying picket signs. Later he just resorted to parking the van plastered with magnetic signs.  He became the laughing stock of the church and neighborhood.

Later his wife left because of his weird actions.  He rambled on in a house close by Orange Grove and Fair Oaks where he start growing food in his backyard.  All of this was a result of the aberrant teachings of Armstrongism that the world was coming to and end and that members needed lower their standard of living and to become self sufficient  because they were going to be persecuted for being Sabbath keepers.

Jules Dervaes actually became quite good at being self sufficient, so much so that he started getting recognized in papers and the news.  Restaurants started buying his organic greens.  Groups toured his gardens and his home. He would use bicycles to make power, tried to use as little electricity as possible and so on.

As he became more popular the bigger his head got until early last year he filed for copyright over the words "urban homesteaders."  He claimed that he and his family had originated the concept and that those who used the words were taking the spotlight and income away from hm.  The crap quickly hit the fan.  He sent letters of "cease and desist" to everyone they could find across the country that used "urban homestead" in their blogs, web sites, books, movies, etc.  He contacted Facebook and caused hundreds of Facebook pages to be shut down because of those two words. The Dervaes went into combat mode  and bucked down for a fight.

People hit back fast at them.  New Facebook pages were set up. Internet sites went after them.  See
Dervaes Family "Urban Homestead" Trademark Debacle and The Journey: Homesteading Forums.

The "Debacle" blog has this:

UPDATED, 3:39 P.M.: The Dervaeses have responded by saying this controversy is really just a conspiracy by critics. "It's a false, made up claim that people are jumping over themselves to make us look bad," blogs Anais Dervaes, before giving everyone the courtesy of publishing the cease-and-desist letter they're sending around to bloggers and libraries. The letter actually has suggestions for people to stop using the terms "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading"!

"If your use of one of these phrases is not to specifically identify products or services from the Dervaes Institute, then it would be proper to use generic terms to replace the registered trademark you are using," the letter states. "For example, when discussing general homesteading or other people's projects, they should be referred to using terms such as 'modern homesteading,' 'urban sustainability projects,' or similar descriptions."
Nice--not only are they faux hippies, but now they want to play the Though Police. WEAK SAUCE.

UPDATED, 2:15 P.M.: Harriet Ells, producer for KCRW-FM 89.9's Good Food With Evan Kleiman (for which I contribute) just tweeted that the Dervaeses sent them a cease-and-desist letter because they used the term in a blog post. The irony of this, of course, is that Kleiman joined the family for a meal last summer as part of an episode for Private Chefs of Beverly Hills. They also sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Santa Monica Public Library because the library hosted a free event on urban homesteading. What douches!
 Then to make things more interesting one of Dervaes girls plagiarized another web site using that information as their own.  See:  How the Dervaes Family Stole My Victory Garden

As a writer I value my work even when others do not.  A few years ago I wrote an impassioned plea to “Bring Back Victory Gardens”.  Because my website did not receive a great deal of traffic at the time (I wasn’t yet the amazing rockstar garden author that I am today) and I believed that plea worthy of more exposure, I created this page on HubPages in the hope that it would draw more attention.  Little did I know until this morning that it drew more than just attention, it drew a thief in urban homesteader’s clothing.

While being directly quoted is flattering as all hell, being stolen from is not. When your words are stolen by a member of the Dervaes Family and used as their own, it is even more flattering in a roundabout way.  How is it that the family who are the self-proclaimed founders of the urban homestead movement couldn’t even find the original words to describe what they do? 
 Michael Nolan concludes with this:

Listen Up, Dervaes Family

You have bullied the gardening and urban homesteading community long enough.  I’m not bothering with a cease and desist letter because it is far more satisfying to expose you for the unoriginal frauds that you are and let the people decide who they want to believe.  Thankfully I have been a part of this community long enough to know that its members are not the sheep you take them for and your time of pulling the wool over their eyes has come and gone.
Michael Nolan
EDITED TO ADD: In an ironic twist, Dervaes Family Member Justin (do I need a trademark symbol here?) wrote this blog post on plagiarism somehow preaching about it and its impact just a few days ago.  Maybe he should converse with his sister…
An attorney weighs in on the Dervaes actions in  August of last year:   Urban Homestead as a Trademark & Cancellations

Being ethical in Armstrongism has never been a strong point.  Its leaders have been some of the most unethical men men ever.  They have lied, they have manipulated, they have connived and they blackmailed people for decades.  Is it any wonder that we see this kind of stuff carrying over into the membership?  Armstrongism has had legal counsel that made mincemeat of anyone that tried to sue the church or it's leaders.  People were defamed and ripped to shreds by these men.  Now we see how it all trickled down to the membership.  Just further proof that Armstrongism is rotten to the core.

In case any of you want to buy the Dervaes Homesteading calendar please note the following stipulation:
A day of rest, a Sabbath request. We ask that wherever you may live to refrain from purchasing from this website between Friday sunset and Saturday sunset. Little Homestead in the City® 2012 Calendar
.I can be guaranteed that they will NOT refund your money and will gladly take it.  Just more hypocrisy from the cult of Armstrongism

Dennis On: "What If...."

What If...?

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorWhat if it was ok if all the members or ministers in any COG didn't all speak the same thing?

What if gentleness, goodness, meekness, kindness and longsuffering was taught and displayed more than the unknowable meanderings of prophecy?

What if the minister had a servant personality instead of a Plantation Owner mentality?

What if "give as you are able," was all one ever heard from the Pastor or the Church Organization?

What if the lowest priority of a Church was a building program?

What if you could look your Pastor in the eye and tell him "that was the most far fetched view of scripture I have ever heard?"

What if the Pastor laughed at himself when he gave such sermons and was called out on it?

What if some of the membership really had a more balanced view of scripture than the minister?

What if it was not permitted for the Pastor to use the words "soon," "in our lifetime," "gun lap," or "soon coming...."  in any sermon?

What if a member could tell the Pastor he'd take his advice under advisement ?

What if you were able to make your own decisions about living your life even though the Pastor felt the decisions he makes in his life are more correct?

What if you messed up and had a Pastor who could freely admit "I messed up too," and had a good laugh together?

What if members gave up on the idea of becoming "perfect or mature as God is perfect," and just did the best they could under the circumstances?

What if it was ok to get to church or the Festivals as best you could without fear of being a slackard?

What if it didn't matter what Adam, Abraham, David, Solomon, the Prophets, or any real or imagined character in the Old Testament did or didn't do thousands of years ago?

What if a COG Organization did not have to spend so much energy and time trying to convince others they were the one true Church?

What if numbers and statistics didn't matter and were proof of nothing?

What if the leadership of Grace Community International apologized for reckless theological games and realized the damage and doubt brought to the minds of tens of thousands was more than the sweetness brought to the hundreds left over.

What if "I am sincerely sorry for the pain caused," and "I was wrong," were ok concepts for the minister to utter from time to time.

What if advertisers of religious perspectives did not have to scream in red print at you from the pages of the Journal?

What if any minister who declared himself a Prophet, Apostle, Watcher or Witness , out of the blue and without due process and proof was bounced out on his ass or asked to get some counseling?

What if a member could freely sit through a sermon and be ok with telling themselves this particular sermon is boring, crazy, weird or egocentric and probably not true as presented.

What if a member could utter the words, "Please don't tell me, us, my family, my wife, my kids what to do or how to be."

What if you had a minister that said, "I have come to see that things are not exactly as I always thought them to be..."

What if you had a minister who understood the background, context, origins, intent and story behind the scriptures?

What if science was not "falsely so called." 

What if all the COGs could say, "Let's face it, we have allowed some pretty weird personalities to tell us what to do and how to be and perhaps have not understood the Bible as it was intended to be understood."

What if everyone understood the Bible is not inerrant or perfect and you really can't be 100% God and 100% Man in any way anyone can imagine.

What if we all laughed at those who sound and act like they understand the above concept evolved over hundreds of years to plug the holes in other questions raised over time.

What if the COGs understood the concept you can never make a scripture mean what it never meant.

What if pious conviction with marginal information was not how a COG wanted to present it's views?

What if you didn't "send it in," or wouldn't "send it in" until or unless you were confident it would not be misused, wasted or stashed away by the Pastor?

What if everyone roared with laughter when the Pastor wanted to build another college or House for God knowing how big the Universe is?

What if the words, "I was wrong,"  "I didn't know,"  "I have no background in that,"  "I see the problem,"  "I know I tend to be...",  "I have made (and list them) mistakes in my life,"  "I am sorry...",  "I apologize",   "What do you think we should do..?",  "I don't know the answer to that..."

What if perfect love actually cast out fear and like Rodney King, we could all wonder why we can't get along?

What if all the COGs never again allowed ONE Minister, Pastor or Self Appointed human being to tell them how it all is as if they really knew?

What if...

1 Corinthians 13

 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

...was really true in the COGs or on the planet? that's back on track!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Neville Stevens: Cyrus the Great Was A Demon....

I am sure you have all heard about Cyrus, the great Persian ruler.  There were actually three of them:
Cyrus 1, Cyrus the Great and Cyrus the Younger.  You can read about them here: Cyrus I, Cyrus the Great, and Cyrus the Younger.

So what do they have to do with Armstrongism?  Well, I thought you would never ask!  It seems the resident Australian couch potato called Neville Stevens, is blabbering on about Cyrus being the spirit ruler of the demonic realm.  Neville claims Cyrus is a demon who now has great regret that he rebelled with Lucifer several years ago.

All that can be said with certainty is that the Book of Malachi was written some time after Ezra and Nehemiah were commissioned by Cyrus, the ruler of the Medes and Persians, to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.  Cyrus actually came to power as a Mede.  The Medes lived in the region where Ninevah was their capital.  We know this region today as the homeland of the Kurds.  So the Kurds are the Medes of old.  (You’ll recall that the Prophet Jonah was sent to Ninevah with a message, and the people there repented).  But there is something else of interest relating to these people; these are also the descendants of the Assyrians – the vast empire which conquered the northern Ten Tribes of Israel.  Just to confirm that thisCyrus’ did reign over the ancient Assyrians, Ezra refers to him as the KING OF ASSYRIA: Ezra 6:22 For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the LORD had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the KING OF ASSYRIA, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.”  We won’t get into a long discourse about the identity of thisCyrus’, but he wasn’t human!  He is a spirit ruler of the demonic realm, and one of the few who has haunting regrets about joining Satan in his rebellion against God long ago – after which they were exiled to earth.  God actually calls Cyrus a servant, because he does his best to make amends for his behaviour in the past.  Nevertheless, accolades for Cyrus are not warranted other than to say he’s a cut above the rest of the spirit world and he is willing to cooperate with the Great God.

Neville Stevens is the spiritual deviate from Australia that had has small group of weirdo's try and take over the alt.w.w.wcg newsgroup several years ago.  These are mentally disturbed individuals who proudly boasted that they would be given swords at the return of Jesus so they could kill all who oppose Jesus and who oppose Neville.  You can still read their weird ramblings on the alt newsgroup.

Doesn't this guy with his dirty t-shirt just make you want to join up and follow him?  
All that's missing is his can of Foster's.

Some have popped up over the years claiming that the Nevillites were not violent people because Neville is a meek man.

Here is what Neville says will be happening when Jesus returns.  Notice what the  people he claims are the true followers of God will be doing:

There’s also a subtle warning in this for those who like to judge God’s servants as transgressors.  These self-righteous creatures have chosen to ignore the Law and the Prophets, but feel fully justified in accusing the servants of God of being transgressorsSin is the transgression of the Law, so it’s perfectly obvious who the real transgressors are!  The servants of God will be armed in accordance with Christ’s instructions, and they will take the Kingdom by force!  So now is a good time for Christians to modify their views, particularly the Churches of God to whom the Book of Revelation is addressed (Rev 22:16).  If they don’t, then others will be brought in, and they will be thrown out!  Then there will be much gnashing of teeth! 

Oddly enough, they’ve already started dying like flies, and their followers have the gall to send me notification of their deaths!  Why would I care?
 If you want to wallow in the filth on his web site you can find a lot of posts talking about his followers being agents of God with their swords as they kill all who oppose God .  Zion Ministry

Van Robison on "Men Who Would Be Pastors"

Men Who Would Be Pastors

That those who assume leadership in the world of churches stand in the place of God is more than ridiculous.  No doubt many enter into the pastor type of occupation with complete sincerity and without ulterior motives, but not all. In the story in the book of Acts about Ananias and Sapphira, we read that God supposedly struck this man and his wife down dead at the feet of Peter.  Christians reading a story like this would have a sense of FEAR that pastors and church leaders are not to be taken for granted.    I take the position that this story has two possibilities and neither have anything to do with God (God was not responsible,  nor was the Holy Spirit).  First, it could be pure fiction and it never happened.  Second, if these two people really did drop dead at the feet of Peter, then they were poisoned or killed by some human being with ulterior motives.

The Roman Catholic Church traces its origin (falsely) to Peter and is there some kind of connection with this account of a man and his wife dropping dead at the feet of "Pope Peter", to intentionally create FEAR of religious rulers in the minds of their subjects?  The "sin" of Ananias and Sapphira was that they supposedly lied about $money, which is a rather amazing reason to kill someone.  God did not even strike down dead on the spot those who  crucified Jesus Christ, which was exponentially a far greater issue than anything Ananias and Sapphira ever did.

For splinter group church goers who live in FEAR of their church leaders and rulers, here is a major contradiction.  In Luke 9:54-56, we read that two of the disciples of Jesus wanted to call down fire out of heaven and consume some folks they had issues with, to which Jesus rebuked them saying "The Son-of-Man is NOT come to destroy men's lives, BUT TO SAVE them."  So then if indeed God is the author of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, then the contradiction to what Jesus taught is not only confusing, but leaves one in grave doubt about the validity of such contradictions.  Aside from that how could Jesus teach "love your neighbor as you love yourself", "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "love your enemies", "blessed are the peacemakers" and so forth and then defy His own teachings?  Were Ananias and Sapphira an exception to the rule?

We begin to see what is called "the Bible" unravel when it is examined much more closely than is ever done from the pulpits of churches.  In the Old Testament there is a story during the time of Moses and also attributed to God, that God supposedly opened up the ground and swallowed Korah, and others with him (including women and children), because Korah voiced opinions contrary to Moses.  This is yet another story designed to instill the FEAR of religious and secular rulers into the minds of common people.  If Jesus Christ was indeed God of the Old Testament as so many Bible apologists proclaim, how then is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever?  I am more than confident that there is a great deal in what is called the Bible, that has to do with causing common people to live in lifelong fear of the rulers of men.  Pastors love to quote passages such as "you dare not touch God's anointed", which causes people to fear.

Fear of rulers of men is as old as dirt.  We read in the Bible "fear not" and we read "fear God" and we read "there is no fear in perfect love."  So which is it?  As a parent do you want your children to live in fear of your being their parent, or would you prefer that they live knowing that you love them unconditionally?  In Romans 13 we read that "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil and so obey the rulers" and that has to be pure fraud.  History is proof that rulers of men have slaughtered the good and the innocent by the millions, since the beginning of time.  Some rulers have even murdered their own family members in their insanity and murdered countless others in their insatiable lust for power, control and wealth.  The wars of rulers of men never cease to destroy not only those involved in military, but "collateral damage" (civilians, including women, children and babies).  The Old Testament is full of it and so is real life since the beginning of time and the human sacrifices in endless and perpetual wars never cease.  For Romans 13 to state that rulers are "not a terror" to good works, but to the evil, is nothing short of ludicrous.  Jesus Christ was nothing but GOOD and if the rulers of men are "not" a terror to good works, how then was Christ crucified?  Yet another major contradiction in the so called Bible and there are many.

Should members of the splinter groups of the "churches of God" ever study the Bible for themselves, without being told what it is suppose to mean from their leaders, who stand in pulpits, they would have a rude awakening. Pastors, elders, or whatever title men love to attach to their names, does not make them all knowing, all right, all infallible, all inerrant or to be feared.  And yet, it is because of certain verses in the Bible, that many who go to church live a life in fear of "pastors."  Strange indeed that we read that Jesus came to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE, and yet the church world has taken many captive.  In fact Jesus demolished man-made religion as defined in Matthew 23.  No church organization pays attention to such details.

Van Robison