Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Musings...



You can't unring a bell. You can't unsee what you do see or see what you don't see.  And our pious convictions with marginal information doesn't help either.  


Recently I wandered through the topics being offered for a large ministerial conference of my former peers. While typically the first topic of concern was, as expected, "The Offering as Worship, the other topics were not all that informative on the topic of the actual Bible. When a ministry is made up of mere Bible readers, you're not going to any seminar on "A Scripture can never mean what it never meant."
There was one workshop where one might ask questions on theology to the one man provided to answer them for you, but I suspect the questions were rather light and foofy unless the group wanted to probe the depths of the nature of the Trinity or just what plan B may have been for God with Adam and Eve, mostly Eve, mucking up the works. Other than that, I am fairly sure a good hard question about the Bible where the answer might threaten the accepted answer was limits.
One certainly would not wish to become labeled as "he who asks too many hard questions." That would endanger your career. I can't tell you how many times I have asked pastors of all faiths questions that only pastors seem to think up for each other and was told  "I know...I know...but if I bring that up I could lose my job."
I would be reminded of the Wizard of ID being questioned by a commoner and being told, "well with ideas like that, you're really going to go up in this Kingdom." The next scene you see the commoner standing at the bottom step of the gallows with he hangman saying, "Up you go there buddy."
Long story, but I have managed to outgrow my church and I was the pastor. Not the one of my youth, which was Presbyterian, but the one I moved on to in my youth thinking it was more real and then gave almost three decades of my life to it. In time, nuther long story, they reinvented the wheel and insisted I return to my rather Presbyterian roots taking me full circle. I realized my love affair with organized religion and true churches was over. With messy transitions and difficult emotional experiences, I moved on. 
The tribe does not have much use for stray dogs. They either domesticate them for their convenience or they eat them.
In my personal journey through a very sincere belief that I was correct in my Biblical perspectives as a pastor, I have gone from believing in the "God breathed" inerrancy of the Book, to an eyes wide open understanding that the Bible is neither all that Holy, "the greatest Book ever written and full of errors, bad science, implausible accounts and many contradictions. I find my self marveling at the hours spent by sincere pastors straining to understand how the sins of Adam and Eve impact our lives today and place us all under the cloud of Original Sin and the need for blood atonement to make it all good again. The simple answer for me is now that the evolution of humans is good science and that the idea that any literal first humans called Adam and Eve is ludicrous. I"m almost ashamed of myself for taking so long to figure this out with the love of science I have always had but strained for decades to place it all in the context of Bible literalism, which can't really be done well.
Since, to me and as a result of my own study, there was no literal Adam and Eve (and no, the creation of humans is not a mere 6000 years ago either), there was no literal sin for which everyone forever more after has to be cleansed from by the blood of a dying God/Man. The fact that there has been a score or more dying God/men in history, all of whom were born on December 25th, were tempted to fail, rose to the occasion, were betrayed, pierced and lay in the grave for three days and three nights only to be born again is pretty darn common. While some may love to "Tell the old old story of unseen things above...", they are not aware of just how old the story is.  Solstices and Equinoxes quite the framework for much of the story. 
The higher and more critical thinkers and doers of  theology, history and archaeology, understand with no reservations the first 11 chapters of Genesis are borrowed mythologies given a Hebrew spin. It's how it's done.  Israeli archaeologist, Israel Finkelstein of The Bible Unearthed fame will plainly tell you the Pentateuch was written by Priests in the Babylonian Captivity of the 5 century BCE to give themselves a great pedigree. He'll also convincing tell you there was no Moses, Abraham or Solomon and he suspects no David.  In his field at least, there is no evidence for this and he often ends by saying, "We exaggerate."  Imagine the Church of God without these characters or the Exodus as real history?  I can't. 
But where does one fit when the tribe has no use for you and stepping outside the box is going to have it's consequences? I'm amazed, yet should not be, of the phenomenal loss of "friends" one experiences when bells ring and lights go on. It's the price one pays for being unable to stay stuck in something you learn along the way is not as one has been told. Few go with you. some talk about you and all ignore you forever more. The labeling and name calling is phenomenal.
My first title after moving on was "High Priest of Marduk"  (James Patrick Holding of Tekton. Nasty little when he corresponds)  It was down hill from there.  "Spawn of Satan", "Apostate Former Minister" and "Twice dead" among others.  The Bible has enough labels for the lost to keep thinking twice about leaving and  firmly gyrating in your seats with glee over the sermon no matter. 
The best I can come up with is that you become more of your authentic self...something organized religion is loathe to have you do in the first place. Churches and Priesthoods generally want followers, compliers and sheep. Ministers may seem to pride themselves in allowing for questions, but they are easy questions to answer because when all is said and done, one can claim that "God says it, I believe it. That does it for me" and put the ball back in the court of the reprobate questioner.
If all else fails, the one who questions can be told "there is a way that seems right to a man, but the way thereof ends in death," or "God sees not as a man sees," or "The wisdom of God is foolishness with man," and thus all his questions can be dismissed. Of course, these putdowns don't answer the original questions, but they send the message that one is not even smart enough to ask the right ones. The cure for being "one who questions" may be everything from prayer and fasting to get the attitude straightened out to "how 'bout we sit out of church a few weeks and think about our relationship to Jesus." Either way, "he who questions loses." The Church and God always win in such cases.
So after after you outgrow your church, organized religion or the literalism of one's childhood Sunday School lessons, what is the purpose of one's life? Since Churches tell us that salvation through the blood of a dying God/man is the purpose of life, but now one has no confidence in that, what's the point? While I now can stay home from church and save a whopping ten percent, I'd still like to find meaning in life beyond being a food tube that eventually dies.
My Babies
Pure Iron from the first stars,14 billion years ago, that "had the courtesy to explode and spew their guts into the universe" (Neil DeGrasse Tyson" )to the left.  Stoney meteorites from asteroid and small planet collisions from the outer mantle. 
Perhaps that's why just sitting with one of my 4.5 Billion Year Old meteorites, left over debris from the formation of the solar system, is almost a spiritual experience. I also don't have to believe it faith or marginal information.  These  make the " 6000 year plan of God" a mere .00000013 % or reality. 
One of the many meme's of organized religion is that human beings are evil, nasty and worms in God's sight. Their hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked to the point of total mistrust. We are sin personified in nasty flesh and worthy of nothing but death, at best. Let's get right to the truth of the matter.
You and I are just fine. Labels are not your problem. They are the problem of the he who labels. We are who we are and it's your goal in life to get to know yourself and who YOU are. We are all unique parts of the same one thing. It's not our goal or to our advantage to believe that we are to become someone else or follow the life, perspectives or worldview of someone else. That ruse has restrained and constrained human-becomings for way too long on the planet. The "you're not good enough," meme is a set up for allowing others to control you with fear, guilt and shame to their advantage every time.
Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, Bob Thiel, UCG, LCG and all LMNOP Churches of God are not the be all and end all of truth giving.  Opinions, views, speculations and pious conviction perhaps, but to date, mostly proven inaccurate if not incredibly wrong about themselves epitomized by the poster child of badly mistaken theology and scientific inquiry,  David C Pack. 
The goal in life is to get to know your own unique self. It's a troublesome process as there are more than enough others who feel you need to get to know THEM and be like THEM who are less defective and wormlike than yourself. Don't fall for it. Nursing homes are full of people who would give anything to have another shot at being themselves. But that goes back in another way to not being able to unring a bell.


34 comments:

True Bread said...

so Dennis, if you do not believe in scripture how can you explain current world events going exactly by scripture...???

If you dismiss scripture, why is the King of the North (USA/NATO/Israel) attacking Syria and the entire Middle East (King of the South)...which they will soon occupy...??? Its laid out for all to read in Dan 11:40-44 and Rev 13:1-11...

Do you also not believe that every country listed in Dan 11 exists today in some form or another and that the USA/NATO/Israel is destroying them...or will...??

You asked about "plan B" for Adam and Eve...I suggest watching the news because we are living plan B as we speak...

I recommend that you search Youtube for Johnny Cash's "Going by the Book"...maybe you'll learn something...

DennisCDiehl said...

TB "Current world events" have always looked as "going exactly by scripture" over the last 2000 years. World events, even though a smaller back in the day, always match the "end times" scenario for those who make the scriptures mean what they seem to mean to them during their lives. Never forget the NT Apostles based their teachings on "soon", the day being "far spent", "of things which must shortly come to pass" and "behold I come quickly" Of course, 2000 years later.....

No, I don't see Daniel 11 as you do. Most don't.

There was no literal Plan A. Adam and Eve is a mythological tale meant to dethrone the female and the matriarchy around Israel and goddess worship/fertility and such and install male dominance and patriarchy along with temple worship, priests and meat offerings being more loved by God's nostrils than veggies. That is the whole point of the story of Cain and Abel's loved and hated by God sacrificial story. Cain's offering symbolized seeds and the agricultural symbols of fertily cults. Abel's, the sweet smelling meat offering to YHVH.

I recommend you search YouTube for Pee Wee Herman's Great Adventure. Maybe you'll learn something.




DennisCDiehl said...

In the story of "The Fall", women were reduced to possessions that would now have babies painfully, though Eve had yet had the experience to note any differences as it's always painful. It would have been better and more credible to take make it painful ten or chapters later after it being merely blissful. Women also now would say "yes sir" to their husbands. That's the end result of Eve's mythological sin. It's a political statement and while most western Christians miss the point and literalize it all, the point was not missed by those who were now being taught from the Pentateuch written by their priests

The serpent in the garden was not Satan in the original story. That concept evolved in scripture and church story telling over time. The serpent in the original story was seen as the wise counselor to the Goddess. THey both had to be discredited and at fault in the stor

Like it or not. The Serpent actually told Eve the truth of the matter. It was God that lied about "In that day you shall die" (and don't give me the 1000 years as a day BS apologetic. The Wise Serpent knew that if taken, they would indeed know good from evil but that was information only for El and his council of the gods (Elohim) evidently.

One also wonders that if Adam and Eve did not know good from evil without taking from the God fruit tree, why blame them for "disobeying". They'd not know it was evil to do so?

Maybe its just me lol

DennisCDiehl said...

May I suggest "When God Was a Woman" by Merlin Stone?

Byker Bob said...

In a way, HWA’s touchpoints are broad enough so that you can apply them and mold them pretty much to anything that’s happening at any time. That and the math have been a brain-twister for all of the people who are committed to the prophecy mold. They readapt and reapply, and repeat process as it continually fails.

BB

Gerald Bronkar said...

I appreciate your musings Dennis.

It amazes me that so many people posting on a'Banned" continue to believe that Daniel and Revelation were written for the 21st Century. Since the first century, "true believers" have been certain that these end time warnings were for them. Of course, they were all wrong, these warnings really apply to our generation. It is a strong mind-set that is difficult to escape once we are locked in, and the CoG's could really lock us in.

Simple logic and rational thinking tells me that the "Plan of God" as explained by preachers trying to unveil the Bible is foolishness. So many unfulfilled prophecies in its pages. It is largely a book of nonsense, and spending our time trying to understand its mysteries is a waste. Waiting for the return of the lord is delusional and wastes precious time for exploration of reality.

I am happy the bell has rung for you, and may you continue to help ring it for others who long for freedom. It is a shame when we value being "right" over being free.

DennisCDiehl said...

Daniel 11 and the whole book of Daniel seems so prophetically accurate only because it was not written before the events it portrays as prophecy. It was written after results were in. It was not written in the 5th Century where the stories take place. It was written in the 160's BCE to encourage the Jews during the Maccabean Revolts against Rome. Revelation was taken from Daniel for the same purpose save it was to encourage the Jewish Christians during the times just before Rome scraped them off the face of the earth and destroyed the temple in 70 AD.

The great empires of Daniel's statue dream had already come and gone and the author knew it. Thus it is so accurate and seems like prophecy. It is prophecy historized, not history prophecied. That's why Daniel 11 seems so accurate. It was going on at the time and most of the events of it were already history. Easy to prophecy history. You'll notice as we drift into Chapter 12, it all become vague again with Daniel being told to settle down and just go his way...more to come. However, this is because the more to come is not known as is normal when things have not yet happened. So the author tells Daniel to not worry about it now, as the real vagueness of the real future is yet unknown.

It's a writing style that made sense to the original readers if not to us today who make it mean what it never meant or was meant to mean.

James said...

"While I now can stay home from church and save a whopping ten percent, I'd still like to find meaning in life beyond being a food tube that eventually dies."

Its your journey. You and I may have put ourselves on this earth for whatever reason. One does not need to know the reason for life. Just live it and do no harm. What better way is there?

We may very well be the gods of the heavens. Can I prove it? No. So what. At least we are not living off other people like welfare queens and kings.

There is so much we don't understand about our earth, our existence, the universe. Who can say I am wrong or right? Certainly not me, nor anyone else. Its just a projection of ideas, just like the gurus projects on their subjects.

One nice thing. I am no longer a slave to foolish false prophets, nor any ideology. I am free to the extent any man can free himself from false ideas.

DennisCDiehl said...

Thanks Gerald. My view is that everyone is where they are, when they are. Our need for something to be true or so often gets in the way of it actually being true or so. Of course, that charge is thrown against everyone who believes what someone else does not. Ego gets in the way of course too. Look how often Dave Pack has been proven badly wrong. Has he ever apologized? Has he ever once said, "I was mistaken?" Has Bob Thiel admitted that his view of "Here a little , there a little" is badly mistaken and taken completely out of context? No. Has he written anything to justify why he is still correct on this matter? No.

C F Ben Someone or whatever couldn't and wouldn't. He made up his own understanding which was ridiculous to the text.

"but in regards to Isaiah 28, the "blah blah blah" makes sense in that the carnal mind totally discounts the spiritual message of God cuz he doesnt understand or value such matters, hence it sounds like nonsense to the person, and it indeed trips them up, especially the new testament concepts..."

whatever that means it is not what Isaiah 28 was getting at. We all do it at times of course.

Every one here and everywhere is where they are by choice. Even those who seem to agree with the site against the leadership or teachings of their particular splinter often say they must keep peace and not be found out or they might get tossed etc. That's where they are. The day will come when they will wonder what took them so long nor will they care what others think of them . They will have discovered their voice even if shakes and their lip quivers in the process.

Anonymous said...

It is quite obvious that the world today is focused on things that promote conflict rather than peaceful communication, but is that the way to look at things?
To me the primary biblical message deals with the fact that a human being cannot know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in human relationships. The good, bad, beautiful, and ugly of human life is determined by a whole life experience.
One thing that adds to relational problems is the fact that the deity defined as God in the bible is a Spirit that is invisible in essence without form. The only evidence of God’s existence is the fact that we exist with a life that has a mind that thinks and has the ability to create and act. The simple fact that we have a self-awareness in a universe that is designed to support and sustain life should indicate there is something greater that brought it into existence. To argue over what this something greater is only reveals that human life needs a deeper understanding of type of life that will produce a whole life experience that is defined as the “LOVE” human life longs for.
That being stated; I will point out that the bible messages reveal experiences and wisdom that caused human beings to sense the essence of the “LOVE” defined as God. The key to developing the type of faith that believes we can know and understand the essence of the God defined in the scriptures is to begin seeking to understand “LOVE” as person rather than a word, action or thing. The best way to understand this “LOVE” is begin making it the primary essence in our whole life experience.
My whole life experiences have found seeking this to live this “LOVE” rewarding and peaceful.
AB

Anonymous said...

Another article by Satan's public relations officer on Banned. He preaches the same lie that if you eat the apple of falling away, you won't eternally die.

Becoming authentic is a worth while goal, but it's only part of the larger goal of building the mind of God, which Dennis ignores and has failed to achieve.
So make sure folks that your kids do their homework and work hard, or they too might become a failure like Dennis Diehl.

Near_Earth_Object said...

"Since, to me and as a result of my own study, there was no literal Adam and Eve (and no, the creation of humans is not a mere 6000 years ago either)"

This communication issue always seems to be present. What do you mean by "literal Adam and Eve"? If what you mean is a particular interpretation of some Hebrew passages that is prevalent in many Christian denominations, I would have to say that I do not believe in that "literal" Adam and Eve either. I believe that the story of Adam and Eve is a product of a flawed exegesis and an accretion of myth over the centuries.

I believe the following in propositional form:

1. Adam and Eve were a Neolithic farming couple.

2. At the time Adam lived, the world population consisted of millions of people, (Cain found a wife in a neighboring tribe.) In the Neolithic, the Celtic people were already chasing around central Europe.

3. Adam was the biological progenitor of a collection of Middle Eastern clans that are reflected in Genesis in what KJV translators called "The Table of Nations." It was really just a small clan genealogy. All these people were similar and it is easy to prove that they were haplogroup J and Adam had to have been haplogroup J. These were local events involving a small number of racially connected people.

4. Adam was not the biological progenitor of all of mankind but was the spiritual originator or "father" of the human attitude of independence from God.

5. "Y Chromosomal Adam" was a Black man who lived in south central Africa about 300K years ago and we are all descended from him. He is haplogroup A and we all carry his genetic stamp. Blacks are the root stock and other races are mutational variations. (This part is verifiable science rather than opinion.)

6. Genesis is the account of Adam being created by assembly. A hominind was given advanced sentience or Lvov (Heb.) that made him a new type of being.

7. The character of Adam could have been allegorical and may have been a personification of mankind as a whole. There is a verbal play on the name Adam that opens this possibility. But I think but cannot prove that he was an actual person.

I will stop at seven points. Armstrongists would appreciate that. The points I have listed above are compatible with the original Hebrew account but not necessarily with the spin of the King James translators.

So I believe in a "literal" Adam who is nothing like the "literal" Adam that you do not believe in.

The uncritical reader could roll through your article and never realize that much of what you have written is personal viewpoint and would miss the controversy.

Anonymous said...

Well Dennis, a good book on finding meaning in life is the book by William Simpson, who was once a Presbyterian Minister and then changed to a new ideology. Here is a review of his book:

"This seven part series from the unpublished autobiography of William Simpson...is a deeply moving, hard-hitting, no-holds-barred personal growth odyssey that makes Somerset Maugham's "soul voyage" classics The Razer's Edge and Of Human Bondage pale by comparison. William Simpson evolved from a liberal Christian minister and co-founder of the leftist ACLU to eventually find enlightenment in a much more realistic and scientific world view."

Michael said...

True Bread wrote:
" if you do not believe in scripture how can you explain current world events going exactly by scripture...???"

Everything written in scripture is entirely provincial, True Bread. Local writers only wrote about nations or armies with which they had some sort of direct contact.

While at the time they were writing, halfway across the world a more powerful series of Empires (also a continuous vibrant civilization) was playing out in China, and not a word about it in scripture. Well, of course not, the writers were oblivious to it.

Not to mention that China will continue to be a, if not the, major player from here on out, and yet it is not only *not* featured prominently in scriptural prophecy, it isn't even mentioned. (no, a vague shout-out to a nebulous "Gog and Magog" doesn't count).

Very strange for an omniscient God... but absolutely par for the course if the writers were only concerned with local events.

Anonymous said...

Dennis you seem to have a lot in common with William G. Simpson.

Allen Dexter said...

What caught us all in our youthful (usualy) naivete was the universal feeling everyone tends to have that there is something special about us and in us. We all want to feel special, especially when we are young. HWA promoted that feeling by making us believe we were the unique called out ones that were somehow the apples in god's eye. We were the "elite," the "first fruits" of god's harvest. Yep, all really is vanity, and that vanity got us.

Anonymous said...

Michael
I suggest you read about China in prophesy at creationwiki.org. The article is called Kittim.
Have you noticed how China is building up its navy. They are presently constructing two aircraft carriers as well as other navy ships.

Anonymous said...

Allen Dexter
Being the bride of Christ does make one very special. And that's very very very special. Super duper special. Did I mention that I'm special. Why, yes I am. And it has absolutely nothing to do with HWA.

Cheers The very super-dumper extremely special one.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's really not Dennis' fault that everything he writes grates on my nerves. But, it is his record of deceiving me, and thousands others, when I was a mere stupid kid that makes all of his words, past and present, intolerable up to the moment. Some nightmares never go away.

James said...

Micheal wrote: "Not to mention that China will continue to be a, if not the, major player from here on out, and yet it is not only *not* featured prominently in scriptural prophecy, it isn't even mentioned. (no, a vague shout-out to a nebulous "Gog and Magog" doesn't count)."
-----------------

Correct. Projection show that China will surpass the USA in the next decade and become a superpower. And they aren't mentioned in the armstrong prophecies..

Byker Bob said...

What is hilarious, James, is that those from the “yellow” race were the backbone of GG Rupert’s prophecy mold. You and I know that HWA massively plagiarized Rupert, but perhaps some of the guests emerging from LCG are unaware of that influence. As Armstrong later did, Rupert revised his prophetic messages to conform to unfolding world events. Rupert also believed the heresy of church eras, and taught that William Miller had operated in the Philadelphian era, but that with his passing had come the Laodecean era in which the world would continue to exist right up until the end.

The practice of plugging current events into the books of Daniel and Revelation has been yielding 2 + 2 = 5 answers for at least the past 175 years in which Adventism has existed. The math they use to corroborate has proven itself useless, despite myriad attempts at its revision. Many so-called experts have seen their credibility laid waste by reality, as an endless chain of newbies embrace the game.

BB

True Bread said...

James said...

Micheal wrote: "Not to mention that China will continue to be a, if not the, major player from here on out, and yet it is not only *not* featured prominently in scriptural prophecy, it isn't even mentioned. (no, a vague shout-out to a nebulous "Gog and Magog" doesn't count)."
-----------------

Correct. Projection show that China will surpass the USA in the next decade and become a superpower. And they aren't mentioned in the armstrong prophecies..
February 24, 2018 at 9:57 AM


James and Michael,

thanks for your replies. Not sure if you're both new here, but I have posted several times on this topic, of which Dennis disagrees with.

I know its not getting much coverage, but the situation in Syria is getting ready to blow wide open. All the players are there:

1. King of the North: USA/NATO/Israel/UN
2. King of the South: Iran/Syria/Levant nations (Islam)
3. Kings of the East: Russia/China

China most certainly plays a role in end time prophecy and is labelled as such, coming out of the East with their ally Russia. That 200 MILLION man army has to come from somewhere...all of these players are mentioned in Dan 11:40-44, of which I think Dennis is trying to say was written last week or something...non-sensical. If you work backwards from Armageddon to our present time, you can see the forces involved beginning to polarize, much like in WW1/WW2. I think that Dennis likes to attack and try to discredit my position because it scares him, as he is being confronted with scriptural fact that his mind cannot process, due to him losing his spirituality from being involved with the WCG.

Also, Matthew 24:22 could not have been fulfilled prior to August 6, 1945....but today in our time, the submarine (just ONE) that sits off of the east coast tonight could destroy the entire planet in minutes, just as the Messiah said could happen. I'm not sure how Dennis processes that verse...maybe he thinks I wrote it yesterday...


Todd

True Bread said...

Dennis said:

"I recommend you search YouTube for Pee Wee Herman's Great Adventure. Maybe you'll learn something."

Really Dennis, there's no need to drag PW into this conversation...btw I loved that movie....I mean who didn't love the bar scene with the song "Tequila"...??? Your gratuitous insult really does not help your position and only makes you sound, well...like a WCG minister.....I thought you could do better than that.

I won't even bother responding to your nonsense about when Daniel was written etc etc. Not sure if you are aware, but a few years back there was this discovery in a small cave in Israel...near the Dead Sea.



Todd

Donnie said...

Part 1

@ Dennis:
You seem sincere in your current beliefs just as you might have been in your commission of spreading the false gospel of Herbert W Armstrong. Unfortunately for you, sincerity doesn't make a belief true. I made just a few observations on your article that I would like to share with you and your readers as it seems necessary and I have a few minutes of time.

You said, "Since, to me and as a result of my own study, there was no literal Adam and Eve (and no, the creation of humans is not a mere 6000 years ago either)"

I guess now that you have done all the thinking for us, we should just trust you? And, so what? There being no literal Adam & Eve does nothing to undermine the nature of the message in the story. The primary purpose of that story is not a chemistry lab. Its purpose is far more esoteric. It seems lost on you. I suppose now that you understand that Hee Haw was filmed on a television set, you think that Buck Owens and Roy Clark aren't really country musicians who play in Nashville. Your view is narrow-minded. Another interesting thing, I was reading the Bible, and nowhere in there did it say the creations of humans happened 6000 years ago. You must be confusing the Bible with the work of some monk who did a genealogy study on the Bible to figure how long we have been around. It seems that only fundamentalists find the 6000-year theory relevant.

That brings me to the observation that only fundamentalists and atheists think that the Bible is a science book. It saves them both a lot of thinking. The atheists can easily point the bad science in the Bible and thusly saving himself any hard thinking about the matter of God. "How can there be a God? It's ludicrous to think a person can be synthesized from the rib of another person," they might think. It seems to me that you must think the Bible is a science book because it's an easy target for you. Now that you have that as a weapon, you can prop yourself up as god. Enlightenment or delusion?

Donnie said...

Part 2

You said, "... I'd still like to find meaning in life beyond being a food tube that eventually dies."

Greater minds than you such as Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, came to the conclusion that if there is no God life is ultimately meaningless and nihilism follows. Camus thought that you might as well kill yourself. If there is no God any self-constructed meaning is just as good as another. Feed the starving. Kill the starving. It matters little because you are biomatter on a rock in space headed into the cold, pitiless heart of oblivion with the heat death of the universe. There is a bright side, at least you will know yourself.

You said, "...to an eyes wide open understanding that the Bible is neither all that Holy, "the greatest Book ever written and full of errors, bad science, implausible accounts and many contradictions."

Laughable: "Eyes wide open." What you really mean is "eyes wide shut." The real fallacy of this statement is your presupposition that the Bible is a science book and a history book. You do realize that science as we know it has only been around for a few hundred years? Do you realize that the notion of history as a methodology like we practice today was unknown to ancient Hebrew people. It is usually only militant atheists who think that the Bible isn't an extraordinary book. It stands up against almost any measure. It is by far the most influential book on western society. You can bemoan it and reject it all you want. The facts remain.

You said, "The simple answer for me is now that the evolution of humans is good science and that the idea that any literal first humans called Adam and Eve is ludicrous."

Speciation from Darwinian theory of evolution is not good science. It doesn't matter how many times you or anyone says it. There is virtually no evidence that natural selection can cause one species to become another. It's a wild inference that can't be modeled. It's merely a belief that allows atheists to believe there is no God. This is much like the belief that the Bible is a science book. Another excuse.

Donnie said...

Part 3

You said, "I"m almost ashamed of myself for taking so long to figure this out with the love of science I have always had but strained for decades to place it all in the context of Bible literalism, which can't really be done well."
I'll share a rule of thumb with you. God gave us two revelations. General revelation (the natural world) and Special revelation (the Bible). God is not contrary. If you find a genuine contradiction in the two, you are misinterpreting one or both. I know that it will be difficult for you to wrap your mind around that concept.

You said, "The fact that there has been a score or more dying God/men in history, all of whom were born on December 25th, were tempted to fail, rose to the occasion, were betrayed, pierced and lay in the grave for three days and three nights only to be born again is pretty darn common."

Amazing! You must spend a fair amount of time reading atheist literature/propaganda. Does the name Bill Maher ring a bell with you? This line of thought was abandoned by scholars over a hundred years ago! The primary reasons are: 1. The supposed parallels are spurious. 2. There is no causal relationship. What absurdity. The Bible doesn't even make a claim that Jesus of Nazareth was born on Dec. 25. This line of thinking is merely another way for you to escape God. Go ahead, list this parrallel rising and dying god myths. Let's deconstruction them together so that we can reveal how fraudulent this claim is.

You said, "The higher and more critical thinkers and doers of theology, history and archaeology, understand with no reservations the first 11 chapters of Genesis are borrowed mythologies given a Hebrew spin."

So what? It's only relevant if you have a narrow view of the Bible and its purpose.

You said, "He'll also convincing tell you there was no Moses, Abraham or Solomon and he suspects no David."

I guess you aren't up on Biblical archeology. Exact historicity of Moses and Abraham is not critical to the religious purposes of those stories.
You said, "Churches and Priesthoods generally want followers, compliers and sheep."

It seems to me that I have not read anything revolutionary, original, or profound in your article. It logically follows that you have have just found a new way to be a follower of a different false god, yourself.

Byker Bob said...

Actually, Todd, most of us do watch news, scientifically, to test and retest what we have come to believe in our recovery. Surely, you must realize that over the past twenty years, you are not the only one who has directed our attention to events and processes that bear similarities to the Armstrong prophecy mold. Time always tells the tale. The sparks don’t catch. I hate to be selfish, but at this point I have already lived the life of which I thought I would be deprived. Something bad and destructive that is totally not related to HWA or the Bible could happen in my remaining years, but what’s a few years compared to the decades we all got to live beyond 1972-75? Hell, at this point, I may even take up smoking again. A good cigarette sounds great now and then.

BB

nck said...

I know exactly what Donnie meabs with "narrow minded reading of works" (of fiction). After all I have been able to explain and expound upon the plan of God after seeing the movies "Willow" with Val Kilmer and deepen my esoteric understanding after "Yentl" by Streisand. And I am dead serious. Iam not taking the mickey out of anyone. This is what I did 3 years before parting with human instituted religion completely.

To COG people. The sequence of songs and the lyrics on Yentl EXACTLY follow the Armstrong plan of God with humanity. With America playing the part of the Kingdom on earth.

Nck

nck said...

My point is.
If exact historicity is not a necessity in Donnies worldview, I have now found the key as to how the Romans have been able to found an empire bases upon the fall of troy narrarive and wolves suckling two brothers.

As a matter of fact Donnie and I can explain the profound influence of British Israelism on the World today and the way wealth is distributed. Even if there is no historic basis for the theory the influence on the successive 2 world engirdling anglo saxon empires and the distribution of wealth is beyond question.

My point. Yes the bible is like the Dao rival influencing billions of people too, a remarkable book. It just does not stand the test of any of my personal observations on being extraordinary in the evolution of men storing data as they developed over time.

Nck

nck said...

So yes, like the constitution and their amendnents the bible is both relevant for today as it is time stamped. Since the amendment spoke about muscets, while todays schools are attacked by full automatic assault rifles. I would have liked to see the founding fathers opinion on the florida attack. I doubt they would see it as collateral damage of anotherwise good principle. But perhaps it is. Perhaps most of human history is just collateral damage because we poor humans are so stupid to only entertain the narrow view of overall good principles. Time to get rid of the death penalty, one of the most narrow views on human beings ever.

Nck

Donnie said...

@ nck:

I won't spend too much time parsing your word salad. If you have specific disagreements with me, by all means, raise them and I will try to work through them with you as time permits.

I'm under no illusion that my interpretations of the origin and meanings of the Bible are bulletproof. I do however think my principles of interpretation is more sound than those of Dennis. I'd be happy to debate. I find that I learn a lot in such engagements.

I will, just for fun, reveal a bit of my logical system for you.

Here are some basic things about the Bible that we know. The Bible is a collection of books broken down into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Testaments are broken down further into separate books. These books have differing purposes. In the case of the OT, they represent different epochs. Genesis itself is broken down into different epochs. So forth and so on. I'll spare you the details, I'm sure there are a few good books written on the subject. It's safe to say that understanding this principle is a key to understanding the body of work.

We also know that a lot of books in the OT was codified in Babylon during the exile. We also have a good idea that some of the older stories in Genesis are very ancient and probably predate Hebrew culture. None of this evidence is evidence that there is no religious truth in these stories. None of this evidence is evidence that God doesn't have his hand on the transmission of these texts. You have to have the presupposition that there can be no God to come to those conclusions. Chances are we will never know, as a matter of fact, how the oldest stories in the Bible came to us.

One of the most important keys to coming to an understanding of the OT (which many Judaizers miss) is Jesus of Nazareth himself. It seems to me that Jesus is reliable. He lived, died, and rose from the dead. You disagree? I'll be happy to debate the merits of my claim with you.

If he indeed lived, died and rose from the dead he is a reliable source of information. The Gospels and the New Testament are a reliable source for information about him and his claims. You disagree? I'll be happy to debate the merits of my claims with you.

If the New Testament and the Gospels are reliable, some specific claims about the OT were made.

From Romans 3:2 First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

Hebrews 5:12 For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. You have gone back to needing milk, not solid food.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

These passages tell me that the OT is reliable. I can use my rational mind to work it out. It may be time for you to use your rational mind too. Let me know if I can help.

set the captives free said...

BB I hope you are joking / will reconsider entertaining the idea of a cigarette. To quit and then start up again... It's hell trying to get out of that prison again. One of the dumbest things I ever did was to start back up again...if not the dumbest.

nck said...

Well Donnie.

I hope someone will disagree with you. What horror, if on an Armstrongist blog everyone would agree with you. That would annihilate your offer of help. Like african poor returning western clothes send for aid because they didnt like the brands.

I am respecting your point of view by not debating it. I have no quarrel with humans using the part of the brain where the arts, creativity, music and religion reside especially not if it is beneficial to them.

Personally I will ONLY succumb to your type of rationality after I have experienced total irrationality on my terms. I have no agenda to convince others of what my terms are. I am extremely respectful to the deserving. But can be funny for those select few that are extremely intelligent. Mostly annoying to the average person. I know my place.

Nck

True Bread said...

BB said:

Byker Bob said...

Actually, Todd, most of us do watch news, scientifically, to test and retest what we have come to believe in our recovery. Surely, you must realize that over the past twenty years, you are not the only one who has directed our attention to events and processes that bear similarities to the Armstrong prophecy mold. Time always tells the tale. The sparks don’t catch. I hate to be selfish, but at this point I have already lived the life of which I thought I would be deprived. Something bad and destructive that is totally not related to HWA or the Bible could happen in my remaining years, but what’s a few years compared to the decades we all got to live beyond 1972-75? Hell, at this point, I may even take up smoking again. A good cigarette sounds great now and then.

BB

Bob....

Thanks for taking the time to make your post... I grew up in the WCG in the late Sixties, and then again in round two in the mid-eighties, when I was baptized in Orlando Fla. Since then I have completely rejected and laughed off any comparison to HWA and any affiliates. I am sick of the WCG and its split-offs and look back on my involvement with the WCG as a waste of my life. I too enjoyed my time outside of the cult as I pursued aviation and women with equal desire, and was successful at both. Now, I stick to scripture as much as possible and am not looking for a following...I'm just a dumb redneck from Va trying my best to understand the bible and how I fit into it's bigger picture.

I feel that if I can turn on the news and watch events unfold pretty much the way it says they will unfold, that I can trust the words in the bible...I'm sure you are familiar with Johnny Cash....you may want to go to YT and search for his epic song..."Going by the Book"....

Todd