Friday, January 26, 2018

Fun Sabbath Facts : An Inconvenient Truth About "Prophesy Comes Alive!"

Prophecy is the life blood of many churches.  Without it and their explanation of how soon, shortly and how far the night  is spent edging us ever closer to the Second Coming etc, they would have little drawing power.  Fear and concern for "what's going to happen to me" is a great motivator towards finding a suitable religion that will cover all contingencies. 

Ever Christian has been told and shown that there are hundreds of prophesies in the Old Testament that point to the first and second coming of Jesus.  This is a core belief and all the proof needed to live lives in anticipation of not having to put up with real living very long.  It won't be long now has been going on a very long time however as we all know, over the past 2000 years.  

As we all know, the New Testament is the sequel to the Old.  But consider this.  How hard would it be to look BACK into the Old Testament, knowing it's "prophesies" on many topics unrelated to Jesus and write a rather mythical account of Jesus life which would match what the OT already said?  That, of course, would look very much like the OT predicted Jesus when in fact the story of Jesus was written by mining the OT for scriptures to write the story.  It would be very easy to do and actually was what was done.  

In Matthew's birth narratives of Jesus , Matthew writes A story of Jesus birth circumstances based solely on Old Testament Scriptures.  Matthew's version of Jesus birth in no way matches Luke's story. It is obvious neither read or heard of the other's story when they were inserted into the Gospel's to quell the problem of "We were not born of fornication" circulating about Jesus real birth circumstances.  Matthew made the OT mean what it never meant to write his story of Jesus. No one knew Jesus  real birth circumstances either in time or place, so he wrote one. In doing so it looks like the Old Testament prophesied everything about Jesus long ahead of time. 

None of the following have anything to do with Jesus nor are they future predictions beyond the lives of those living at the time.  Prophecy is for THEM, not us generally in their lifetime to address their own stresses and fears.  Many OT prophecies failed to come to pass for them as well.  

  1. 1:22-23            the birth of Emmanuel  (It means "God IS with us" 
  2. 2:5-6                the coming of a shepherd from Bethlehem
  3. 2:15                 God’s son being called up out of Egypt
  4. 2:17-18            Rachel’s lamentation for her children
  5. 2:23                 One who shall be called a Nazorean
For example, #1.    The passage in Isaiah is about a child being born THEN who would be called "God IS with us" meaning the not to worry about the Assyrians wiping them off the map.  Matthew tweeked it by making Emmanuel mean "God with us" which was not the intent of Isaiah's words. Matthew simply used the story to write his own and in doing so makes it look like Jesus was prophesied, and by a virgin at that, again tweeking the text for his own ends. 

Each one of these OT scriptures did not originally mean anything near what Matthew updated them to mean for his story of Jesus.  Originally the out of Egypt story was about Israel, not Jesus but Matthew had the family fleeing to and from Egypt to escape Herod's murderous rampage against the innocents because it made a great story but not necessarily history.  He needed a Herod story to go after Jesus just as Pharoah went after Moses as a baby.  Luke never heard of such a thing and his version of Jesus family has them going back to Nazareth peacefully after 40 days of ritual purification etc.   

Simply put, it is prophecy historized and NOT history prophecied.  Since the early Christians were a spin off of Judaism, what better way to win them over to Jesus than to show their very scriptures predicted him by using them to write the Jesus story.  This technique, not understood by Western Christians and probably disturbing to them if they did is how we get the idea that the Old Testament propehcied everything in Jesus birth and death , down to his final words (Psalm 22)  , earthquakes, darkness and resurrection.  

The fact is that no one knew either the actual birth circumstances of Jesus, not the date nor the place, nor the events surrounding it, nor those of his death.  Try harmonizing the two Gospel accounts of Jesus birth and four of Jesus death and see how far you get.   They are not eyewitness accounts. They are cobbled and woven form Old Testament scriptures that originally did not mean what New Testament authors made them mean.  It was a writing style of the times but not literally true.

Occam's Razor

 "For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. Since one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable."

In other words, the most simple explanation is usually the more correct one

I hope those who find reading longer explanations of interesting topics burdensome will find this to the point.


Anonymous said...

it has been well established that Dennis is not a believer...but he is trying to turn as many as possible to his way, which makes him no different from those he rails against.

gotta love it.

NO2HWA said...

I don't get the impression Dennis is trying to turn anyone to "his way." I think what he is trying to get people to do is be open to other ideas or understandings that others have. You don't need to agree but look at it and digest it and then see why you are so upset. Agree or disagree, but look at it and think, "hey I never thought of it that way before." Then either glean nuggets of truth or reject it. We were all spoon-fed theological stances by biblically illiterate men who ultimately were theologically bankrupt. That is why the church is such a mess today and we have idiots like Pack, Malm, Thiel and Flurry embarrassing God and real Christians. Plus, Christians secure in their faith never get upset over reading different theological viewpoints.

set the captives free said...

NO2HWA, you said it! Isn't there something about those who "have their senses exercised by reason of use"? I should take the time and look it up but to me that always meant one could hear other ideas and "theological viewpoints" and reason through them, to become stronger in their faith. If one cannot ever hear or read anything but what is being fed through their own organization how can they ever stand or 'do battle' or reason with another? To me it seems they only get on their high 'I'm right and you're wrong' horse and ride.

Helen Wheels said...

"it has been well established that Dennis is not a believer...but he is trying to turn as many as possible to his way, which makes him no different from those he rails against. gotta love it."

Except that, if he isn't a believer, then that would make him different, no?

People believe religious dogma due to cultural imprinting and/or childhood indoctrination combined with long-understood deficits in the human mental faculties. If this weren't so, but instead religious belief were determined by the action of one or more "unseen hands," then you wouldn't see believers concentrated by geographical variables. Just for one.

In my case, as Dennis has said describes him also, it wasn't like we left the faith, but more like faith left us. And when this has happened to you, you can no more go back to literal christian belief than your typical adult raised believing as a child that there's a literal Santa Claus could return to believing as an adult that at least some of the toys must have been made by literal elves at the North Pole, because, even though there are toy factories, there's still no way that even all the toy factories in the world working year-round could possibly make that many toys, as are necessary to supply the demand at christmas time. Therefore, the legends must be true and there really is a jolly fat man in a red suit with superhuman powers of perception who really does deliver elven toys using a magical sled pulled by flying reindeer on christmas eve, even if it's only to the destitute children who have, through no fault of their own, wound up on christmas eve with no toys.

That is to say (because I'll be challenged by BB in 3...2...1...) that I could never be BB. As an agnostic who, despite being raised in WCG and having believed into adulthood in literal christian belief, but having seen through it and perceived how that religious belief is not only not true, but isn't even coherent, and so cannot be anything other than false. That doesn't mean some other supernaturalism couldn't be true, because I haven't the time in but one lifetime to give more than one or two a fair examination. But if christianity is a con, and that hasn't stopped it from being the most popular religion on the planet due to the gullibility of the average person, given the lack of evidence for anything supernatural in my personal experience, I don't see reason to hold out much hope for any other brand of supernaturalism.

And short of that evidence, it requires special pleading to be anything more than a deist. And I can't go back to that either.

Those who can, well, they may not like it when people like DD or myself point these things out, so they try to shut us up with terrible arguments, because no other kind exists. But for those who have the capacity to demand consistency of themselves long enough to overcome the deficits in their human mental faculties that make incoherent special pleading seem probable, they'll see what's wrong with what they've been ask to accept, and they'll see what's wrong with being asked to accept it on the basis of an evidentiary IOU.

Dennis Diehl said...

Like No2HWA said....

Anonymous said...

The sad part is, if the COGs had spent a fraction of the time they took to theorize about prophecy and taught people how to live like Christ followers, we would all have been better off. All I learned in the COGs was how to browbeat my opponents with proof texts.

Dennis Diehl said...

The writing style of looking back into the OT to write the unknowns of Jesus and to flesh out his life is called Midrash. A good theological program will teach this as basic core understanding. It's why many Sunday school taught first year students freak out and run home to tell their parents. It is why and how we see parallel stories and analogies very similar to Moses/Abraham/Isaiah etc. The story was drawn from theirs to explain Jesus as the new Moses or the second Adam.

The stories are powerful. Every time I teach spine and rib anatomy some girl always raised her hand to be assured men have one less rib. One said she was telling her dad what I said. She said he'd call me. He didn't. He knew better.

Gerald Bronkar said...

In my opinion, Dennis simply would like for people in the splinters to stop being so closed minded and convinced they have nothing to learn. Dennis' motives are to help people. So obvious to me. Could not say it better than NO2HWA has already done.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:09 am,

If you love the truth, verify what Dennis wrote …

For his example #1, check the following

Anonymous said...

8.09 AM
In the this world, every right and belief is eventually challenged. A good example is Satan questioning Gods character and truthfulness in his dialogue with Eve.
I would rather have my beliefs challenged diplomatically by Dennis than by a abusive personality.

In fact, Dennis is so diplomatic, that if I fall away, I would want Dennis to be the one to steal my crown. He is my favorite crown stealer.

Byker Bob said...

Jerry Garcia, in a Rolling Stone article once cited one Terrence McKenna, card carrying member of the hip community, as an accurate conceptualist of future events. Based on that stellar recommendation, McKenna has higher cred, imo, than anyone from Armstrongism. When I mentioned this several years back, shortly thereafter Bob Thiel actually quoted Terrence McKenna in one of his dissertations! Oops. Just crapped the bed on that one, din’t I?


Near_Earth_Object said...

There is a lot to address here. Let me take just one part - the prophecy dealing with Immanuel. I looked up Emmanuel and Immanuel and the lexicon I used did not indicate that there was a verb to which we might apply a tense contained in these names. They were both simply translated "God with us". The verb may be a translator's addition.

What is the scope of this prophecy - was it for then or for now? Was it a sign of God's deliverance of Israel from the Assyrians or was it a sign of God's deliverance in general and through Christ. Nothing would proscribe one or the other or both.

I will gladly admit that the NT authors were creative in the use of OT passages that are quoted in the NT. Many of the passages, in original context, do not have the meaning that the OT authors intended. This means that the language of the Bible may be applied in ways that we do not expect. It does not mean that the Bible is false or cannot be accepted because if fails to meet the standards of good technical writing. It means that the Bible is tuned to its times.

In short, what Dennis has given us is not an objective, academic and unassailable rendering of the Bible. He has given us a personal exegesis like any critic or proponent of the Bible would. Including me.

And I would disagree with NO2HWA, the spirit in which Dennis writes is not about opening minds to other ideas and understandings. Dennis has taken on the dubious challenge of disproving the Bible for all of us. Hence, there is no God. Hence, everybody knows it. Hence, Dennis can be happy. It is his right to do this. It is our right to disregard it.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Facts are facts, and the facts don't corroborate what the New Testament that was basically written by Romans to establish a godman religion to unify the empire. It did and gave us the Dark Ages and all the confusion since. The New Testament is a Roman book designed to foster the imperial mafia that still pretty much runs the Western World.

DennisCDiehl said...

NEO noted " I looked up Emmanuel and Immanuel and the lexicon I used did not indicate that there was a verb to which we might apply a tense contained in these names. They were both simply translated "God with us". The verb may be a translator's addition. '

The point is that in context, "God with us" means "God is/will be with us" in the face of the Assyrians. It is not a statement about a baby being God in the flesh with us. It never remotely meant that. Matthew made it mean that about his baby Jesus who is God now with us in the flesh. Big mistake...

It is also an extremely common and accepted view and not my personal rendition.

Also, I have no personal interest in disproving the Bible for anyone. Pointing out how the Bible was actually written is not simply pointing out how the Bible was actually written with no agenda to dissuade. I am showing how the stories came to be and the problem is that people who think the authors of the Gospels were reporting as eyewitnesses, which they were not and never said they were and can't accept that they had to make up much of the story to fill in what they did not know about an earthly Jesus.

Nowhere do we find the kind of talk in the Gospels such as "And then Jesus and I went ..." or "And then Jesus turned to me and said...."

DennisCDiehl said...

I meant "Also, I have no personal interest in disproving the Bible for anyone. Pointing out how the Bible was actually written is simply pointing out how the Bible was actually written with no agenda to dissuade

DennisCDiehl said...

....and too. How about instead of putting me into a box that makes you comfortable, you go ahead and show how Matthew correctly quoted the Old Testament and they really were prophecies written well ahead of Jesus first coming and were all about him instead of backwritten thus only giving the appearance of accurate prophecy? Good luck with that too.

Anyone can read the Bible. It talks a courageous leap to see it is not the seamless and coherent text we have all been taught. The Bible is the best source there is for disproving the Bible at least as something to be taken literally as history in many places or inerrant in its presentation. The Bible is it's worst witness against itself if one is to take it all as literally true and knowing the distant future for all of mankind.

It's even hard to simply say that Peter, James, John , Paul and Jesus himself were absolutely wrong about the immediacy of the times they lived in and how people ought to live. Paul ruined many a life and relationship with his dictates on staying single and the baloney teaching about "all things common." All things common was a temporary phenom because they did believe time was very short. As time was not very short and wealthy gentiles who weren't about to go "all things common" (as Dave will find out) as a requirement to become a Christian, the practice died a slow death never to be heard from again. But until it did, it screwed up sincere folk who thought they had to obey. Whoever Annanias and Sapphira actually were, if they were real, they did no wrong worthy of any public death in church which I'm sure the Romans may have taken acceptation to as well as any family who may have wondered why their parents, brother, sister, uncle or aunt did not come home from that meeting and we never saw them again.

Of course most should know here that many theologians consider it a joke on Peter who, John, Luke and Paul felt was no different than Judas. Peter denied, Judas betrayed. No diff. Don't follow Peter folks... was their cry to the brethren. Mighty Peter..ha ha, struck down two who said they'd do one thing and did another when he did the same by bragging he'd never leave Jesus and left him. THe NT is FULL Of personal slams of the Apostles against each other as each vied for the upper hand. Just like today.

Anonymous said...

Articles like these are the kind that makes it easy for the abusive leaders to convince their members to avoid this site.
I thought the whole purpose of this blog was to expose Armstrongism and help members trapped and also provide potential members of COGs with information that would help them make an informed decision. Dennis I know you believe the Bible is not what Christians think it is, however if this site is interested in helping those you believe to be trapped in Cogs, articles like these could do the opposite giving the impression this blog is a cover for athiestic views. Imagine someone barely getting the courage to defy their leaders brainwashing, visit this site and this is the first article they see, it could play right into the hands of their leaders claims of this being an anti -God, satanic blog. This blog helped me to see some of the things that were wrong with the Cogs but remember members are cautioned against going on the Internet and how satan will use it to turn them away not just from the church but from God. I think there should be another blog for articles like this( just my opinion). What is the purpose of this site? Who is it suppose to help?? What is it suppose to expose? Now I am in no part bashing this site or anyone for their views I am just asking will things like this really help to open up the eyes of indoctrinated church members or will it reinforce their sometimes abusive leaders analysis of this site and others like it. Articles like the one challenging tithing, exposing the corruption(cough cough private jet),and various other doctrines of the church are the kind that can stimulate critical thinking in the minds of many honest cog followers like they did for me. I believed that was the original aim of this blog correct if I am mistaken.

Near_Earth_Object said...

"It is also an extremely common and accepted view and not my personal rendition."

Tell me about that.

Dennis Diehl said...

You're probably right 534. Wrong topics,though meant to stimulate while Gary finds the COG stuff,and wrong audience.

Dennis Diehl said...

Best wishes to all of all persuasions and experiences coming out of WCG. Nothing is for nothing...Hangeth in..

Byker Bob said...

Let’s get real. A high percentage of all of the written words here is personal opinion, whether the writers choose to identify their words as opinion, or to state and defend them as fact through their own version of apologetics. Almost all of the long term regular writers here have their own Hallelujah chorus, people of somewhat like mind, giving the old “attaboy” to one another every time something resonates on a soul to soul level.

The problem is, can any of us trust the opinions of anyone who has ever been influenced and warped by Armstrongism? Remember, Armstrongites patterned their lives after what Herbert W. Armstrong taught. Through our discussions, we are most certainly indulging in cathartic therapy. But, we’ve got to realize that such things as the confirmation bias, and proof-texting, and leaps to conclusion which were imprinted upon us in our Armstrong brainwashing so often still remain, in spite of our repudiation of one unworkable philosophy and the search for or embracement of a more accurate one. Therefore, there is no person here on the blog fit to be the new guru, and there is nobody here with sufficient answers, no one who has it together enough that it would be safe to use them as a pattern for our lives.

People post things to others when in reality they are talking to themselves. People unconsciously retain some of the same mannerisms as they had in their previous vocations. People’s personalities rub each other the wrong way. Intelligence is reckoned as conversion once was: the people who agree with one are intelligent, thinking types who are no longer in a box. All others are not. Unfortunately, these are some of the leftovers that all get stirred into the gumbo.

So in the face of all of this, what is really important? It’s what we have in common: We are the A.B.A. (Anything But Armstrongism). And, since there are no fit gurus to follow, we’re all on our own individual journeys, which is probably the way it’s supposed to be. We’ve all got to take a deadly, dangerous ride through that long, lonesome valley we call life. And, just because we were once forced to drink tainted milk, that doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as “real” milk! Just gotta find it, instead of that damned ol’ Kool-Aid placebo.


Anonymous said...

5:34 I understand what you're saying. Dennis may have opinions that could make a doubting COG member doubt that they should ever consider leaving the COG. However, there are myriad perspectives on what Christianity is or should be and what it is not. This blog has numerous resources for those who need to investigate the claims made by the COG. After potentially disproving what the COG teaches, larger questions loom. If what I believed isn't true, then what is truth? Each answers in their own way according to what they believe or purport to believe.

If a Christian can't handle arguments from atheists and agnostics or deal with the fact that some answer I don't know, or I don't believe in that God... Then, they really need to expose themselves to something outside the echo chamber.

Ideas are only dangerous when they're suppressed.

Michael said...

Anon 5:34 said:
"Articles like these are the kind that makes it easy for the abusive leaders to convince their members to avoid this site. "

Um.. Not sure, but I would guess abusive leaders like Pack, Weston and all the rest would tell their members to avoid this site because of the exposes and criticisms against them, which they fear may lead their members to question their authority.

That already makes Banned absolutely anathema to them, regardless of the occasional article exposing the mythological and contrived nature of the Bible.

Michael said...

For those who have countered that Dennis is just talking out of his wazoo, it might be useful to point out that the very same points are made by Bart Ehrman, a NT scholar who lives and breathes this stuff, and hence should know a lot more about it than any of us laymen.

Apologies for a slightly long, but pertinent section from his blog (which parallels very closely the book "Jesus Interrupted"):

"In their [Christians] view, the Old Testament makes a number of predictions about the messiah: he would be born in Bethlehem, his mother would be a virgin, he would be a miracle worker, he would be killed for the sins of others, he would be raised from the dead. These are all things that happened to Jesus! How much more obvious could it be? Why in the world don’t those Jews see it? Are they simply hard-headed and rebellious against God? Can’t they *read*? Are they stupid???

What is very hard to get my students to see (in most cases I’m, frankly, completely unsuccessful) is that the authors of the New Testament who portrayed Jesus as the messiah are the ones who quoted the Old Testament in order to prove it, and that they were influenced by the Old Testament in what they decided to say about Jesus, and that their views of Jesus affected how they read the Old Testament.

The reality is that the so-called “messianic prophecies” that are said to point to Jesus never taken to be messianic prophecies by Jews prior to the Christians who saw Jesus as the messiah. The Old Testament in fact never says that the messiah will be born of a virgin, that he will be executed by his enemies, and that he will be raised from the dead.

My students often don’t believe me when I say this, and they point to passages like Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth) and Isaiah 53 (execution and resurrection). Then I urge them to read the passages carefully and find where there is any reference in them to a messiah. That’s one of the problems (not the only one). These passages are not talking about the messiah. The messiah is never mentioned in them. Anyone who thinks they *are* talking about the messiah, has to import the messiah into the passages, because he simply isn’t there."

Anonymous said...

Everyone stop!

Spend a few days doing nothing else but studying formal logic. Learn to think. THEN come back here. The logic on here is dismal. Truly dismal. Every time I come here I see more and more than humankind is hopeless.

Michael said...

Byker Bob wrote:
"Therefore, there is no person here on the blog fit to be the new guru, and there is nobody here with sufficient answers"

Why does there have to be anything like a "new guru"? That right there is classic Armstrongism, which a lot of us are way past, and just don't see things that way.

What's wrong just the exchange of ideas (among equals) but using logic and facts to support one's arguments?. Yes, there will be some good healthy controversy in any discussion worth its salt.

Anonymous said...

Like with prophecy as with this website, I take it all with a grain of salt.

Rusty Shackelford said...

Blah, blah, blah! Another boring article by Dennis Deal. And yes I meant to spell your surname wrong.

Anonymous said...

The only prophecy that counts in the end is that of Nostradumas.

Anonymous said...

It was said:
“Christians secure in their faith never get upset over reading different theological viewpoints.”

This may be true, but for a Christian to be secure in their faith takes a faith in the God that is the source of the biblical writings and their value to the lives of those who choose to use them to be the guide for living the life they been given rather than follow the way the unbelievers view the world. Faith is not faith if it does not recognize that there are supernatural influences that have an effect on our human existence.
What puzzles me is why a person that does not accept the biblical writings as a valuable source in revealing a God that is the source of life and gives the hope of an eternal existence; wants to destroy the only source that makes a life of trials and problems whether good or bad worth living. If we look at the positive things in the scriptures we will see that the way of God makes death which comes when this body wears out a little more acceptable. AB

Anonymous said...

Dennis has no agenda? Rubbish. Everyone has an agenda. His goal is to shred any literal interpretation of the bible. What will be left of it then? Not much. And when the bible and all traditional morals are gone human DNA will be fully exposed and the atheists will wish they had invented some gods rather than kill them off.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it might be nice if Dennis would post some sort of "tag" on all the pieces, his and others', that aren't news but in fact are interesting speculative takes on Christian/Bible history. People might well react more appropriately, for example, if Dennis had titled this piece "Dennis Reflects: The Problem with 'Prophecy Comes Alive'".

Any true believer, whether an Armstrongite or a Catholic or a New Agey nutter, will sometimes fail to see that there's an over-reach in calling his beliefs "facts" as Dennis did with this article. Frankly, the article presents a lot of good history, some of it indisputable if you take seriously the premises of the scholars who did that historical work. But, especially with a mixed group as found on this blog, that's a big "if". It seems that Dennis didn't consider his audience, which is split among Bibliolaters, Bible-lovers, Bible-skeptics and Bible-rejecters.

Anonymous said...

Bahaha the NT a Roman book, very funny. This books doesn't exactly potray the Roman empire in a good light. Actually Christ was even originally seen as a threat to Roman power not an accomplice.

Steve D said...

Aren't we all a bit anxious about the future? Isn't this one reason why prophecy is so fascinating to many of us. We want to know the future. This is why psychics are popular among some. The "end" can come at anytime for any of us individually. We could drop dead of a heart attack or have a fatal car accident. Or, the world as we know it can end with the return of Jesus. But these end of life possibilities (death or the return of Jesus) shouldn't be the focus of our lives. To make them can prevent us from living as we should. Shouldn't we, whether we are an atheist or a believer, live in the knowledge of our mortality either by death or the return of Jesus? Only the Father knows when Jesus, the bride groom, will return for his bride. So live in expectation but also in the realization that it can be a very long wait. Make the most of it.

Steve D said...

Why didn't the Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah? When you read descriptions of what the Messiah was to accomplish, there are two different descriptions. One describes him in his first appearing, the other, the second. Jews will say that there is not peace in the world. Swords have not been beaten in plowshares, etc. So . . . Jesus was not the Messiah. He came first as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of man. The second time he comes as the Lion of Judah. Lion or Lamb. I have read criticisms of the Bible and alleged contradictions, etc. If your doctor misinterprets the lab results of your blood tests, does that mean that the laboratory equipment was out of calibration or is it your interpretation? If you went to a doctor who was incompetent, does that mean that other doctors should be avoided, also? HWA was wrong on many points. But does that mean that Christianity, properly understood, is wrong? Some C of G members have blinders on and are biased to believe anything that is taught. Those who left the church are at risk of doing the very same thing, accepting any criticism of Christianity and being biased against any defense of it.

Miller Jones said...

Some thoughts on the subject:

DennisCDiehl said...

Final comment:

My intentions were probably more personal here than for everyone. My thinking was simply to study and learn what it was that Embarrassing College, which when I signed up as a Presbyterian kid at 18 for, thought was a legit seminary like the one I turned down to attend in NY. First big mistake. Since it turned out to be wrong plus all the drama and trauma of the Armstrongs and Tkaches, I wanted and still do wish to know what I wasn't taught that I should have been taught. I realize they did not know much about the origin, politic, agenda and problems with the Biblical texts either. They would not have taught it no matter. A legit Seminary would teach it. I never was a mere Bible reader. Anyone can do that an weave a tale that makes them happy and secure. I wanted and still do want to know what the Bible really is. And what it really is, is neither what I was taught as a Presbyterian kid nor a WCG minister.

Banned has not proven to be a place where I can pursue Biblical realities and so I will not continue to do that here.

I am not one to spin and spend my time bitching and moaning year after year about my WCG experience. I have my moments when certain topics come up but it is not essentially who I am nor the kind of person I wish to be the rest of my life. It was an experience. I chose it, I participated in it and I learned from it though I wish I had gone another direction much earlier in life. is what it is. My view is what eats you...eats you, so getting past the drama and trauma of the church is more important to me for a better life now than constant reminders of who did what or how bad it all was. That is waste of good lifetime from my perspective.

So I will not continue to assume I could be a theologically stimulating break at times while Gary hunts up the information that does help those still stuck to move out and up of the COG trap. This group don't stimulate! lol.

Best wishes to all

Byker Bob said...

Next time, Michael, read the rest of the paragraph from which you lift my quote before typing your response. This is not the first time you’ve done this, either. You’re supposed to be some kind of teacher, with students? I feel sorry for them. They’re getting shorted.


Byker Bob said...

Reality is that people leaving the ACOGs do turn to atheism in significant numbers all by themselves. Not much evangelism from the atheist community is required, because Armstrongism has historically been a major producer of atheists and agnostics. Most “WCG atheists” actually do realize this. If one were to examine all of the posts, one immediately realizes that what really spurs atheists to action is the odd occasional stalwart who attempts to defend Armstrongism against freer methods of thinking. This spawns an onslaught, because each group constitutes an enigma to the other. Neither side can comprehend how the other could possibly hold their views, and ends up pulling their biggest guns.

It’s all just an exercise in polarity. + and - poles occur naturally throughout our surrounding universe. Liberals and conservatives indulge in similar battles and have been holding one another in check since the beginning of time.


Retired Prof said...

BB, the part in Michael's post about having students comes from the long passage he quoted. It is Bart Ehrman who is a teacher. Maybe Michael is a teacher too, but if so I missed that part.

Byker Bob said...

Well, then it would be tubular and a gas if he learned proper use of quotation marks for a continuing quote involving multiple paragraphs. Each new quoted paragraph is to be started with opening quotation marks.


nck said...

"Bahaha the NT a Roman book, very funny. This books doesn't exactly potray the Roman empire in a good light. Actually Christ was even originally seen as a threat to Roman power not an accomplice."

An interesting comment from my perspective.

On this blog there are some arguing that HWA was anti - american even communist. While I have fun defending the position that he was a usefull tool within the framework of the American empire, during the Cold War time frame especially as an anti communist warrior.

Now to see if the NT can be considered a Roman book, affirming Roman Power and displaying the possibilities of inter empire travel by the roman citizen Paul and the merits of pax romana, the order and legal dispute solving or obedient centurions or if it is an essential anti roman book with clouded references to evil cities on seven hills and marks of the beast that spell like Latinus, that is in the eye of the beholder.

At least I have not seen 6 million Italians brought to the gas chambers as condemnation of what they did to christ. No it seems another grouping was adressed as culprit and victim to huge prejudice by christian preaching, while the romans got absolved somehow. No, no widespread persecution of Italians the past 2000 years.

I am not going to solve this now. But it is a nice puzzle for me to contemplate just before sleeping.


Jensen Carlyle said...

It's not Matthew that has misunderstood these prophecies, but you have misunderstood them and what he was writing. Matthew did not see them as predictive prophecies, but as typological prophecies. Jesus, in various ways, was the typological fulfillment of these prophecies. Understood thus, Matthew is not wrong, but you are.

See and and, if you can, the relevant portions in Craig Blomberg's "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels".