Friday, February 16, 2018

LCG: Everything I know about the Bible I learned in 15 minutes!



It is always fun to watch COG leaders spin numbers and surveys to fit the desired outcome they were seeking.  Johnathan McNair is starting off in his new HQ leadership roles by being the best spin doctor since Bob Thiel invented his dreamy improperly named "continuing" Church of God.

LCG recently sent out a survey to members to see how much time they spend in Bible study. The first question was how much time they "wanted" to spend studying the Bible and then how much time they actually did.  Herbert Armstrong will NOT be pleased with the results! God's ironclad golden rule for Bible Study, prayer and mediation is 1 hour each! LCG must be doing something right though.  With claims of 7,000 members, an outstanding amount of 300 responded to the survey.  Good job LCG!

Living Education Update 
A big thank you to those who took a moment to respond to our survey last week! Almost 300 people answered the brief questions about their Bible study time.  
The first question asked about people’s target amount of time to spend in study, while the second asked how much time, on average, they actually did spend.  
Half of those who responded set a goal of studying an hour a day. Of the remainder, about 50 planned to study 30 minutes a day, and about 20 aimed for 15 minutes. Two hours is the goal for approximately 60 members.  
With those goals in mind, the vast majority of those who responded, about 110 people, reported that they actually spend about 30 minutes a day on Bible study. Roughly 70 people spend an hour, and the remainder around 15 minutes, though about 20 of those surveyed said they spend two hours a day in study.  
The results showed that God’s people do want to dig into their Bibles! Whether we have a lot of time in our day or a little, consistent rehearsal of the principles of life found in the Bible will pay off by establishing and maintaining a solid foundation in the way of God.—Jonathan McNair
It is still quite obvious that most LCG members prefer to let their overlords tell them what scripture means instead of actually dissecting it themselves.  After all, most of these men were trained at the once holy Ambassador College, at the feet of Herbert Armstrong, with his 6-month Bible education that happened in a public library.

60 comments:

Connie Schmidt said...

Survey Question:

How much time do you spend answering LCG survey questions?

ANSWER; NONE!

Anonymous said...

Members of LCG have never studied the Bible. If they did they would see that Christ is minimized while phriseeical conduct was emphasized. At most the members went over sermon notes or read LCG lit, no bible study

Anonymous said...

Unless you are in the homes and lives of every LCG member on a daily basis, then these broad generalizations about how much they pray and study and read, and their reasons and sincerity for doing so, hold no merit to any thinking person. You all just sound like a bunch of petty kids with nothing better to do. Sad.

Allen Dexter said...

I can state from my own cult life that many of those answers were fudged a bit. No one has that kind of time to spend on an archaic, boring book if they have a normal life of family and work. Some obsessed retirees might be able to do it. It was a total impossibility for me when I was immersed in it, but a continual source of guilt feelings.

The leaders want you to be fuzzy-headedly, from exhaustion and sleep deprivation, reading the Bible, especially things like the so-called epistles of Paul which lead you to bow to any authority, with emphasis on theirs and then droaning on for an hour in repetitious prayer. The Roman authorities had an ulterior motive when they put so many of those in the New Testament. They want you to waste more time on prayer just to keep you in that slave position and a compliant state of mind. They don't want anyone to employ critical analysis or wonder about all those contradictions and mythical impossibilities, false histories, etc. And, How many relationships are kept going by demanding people stay an hour and talk about aimless things when they may have just come over to borrow a cup of sugar or an egg, or to find out how you're getting on? Ridiculous!! It's "much speaking" in hyperdrive!

Let's be realistic here. Setting goals like that is the same kind of thing fictional Jesus is said to have condemned in the Pharisees.

Anonymous said...

Members of LCG, if they studied their Bibles, they would see that Christian behavior, P E R I O D, is minimized ... they certainly won't see it in some of their leadership...

I used to be in one of Charles Bryce's congregations. He wasn't converted or Christian enough to be a member, let alone a minister. Let alone some of the "evangelist" sons.

May God have mercy on them, living in a facade that pretends to be a church.

Byker Bob said...

Quality vs quantity?

BB

Anonymous said...

Dear whiner at 11:25 Those stats are directly from your chief crybaby whiner Jonathan McNair. Go complain to him about the pitiful statistics of your fellow church members. I can guarantee you don't spend an hour a day in BS and another hour in prayer. I know that for a fact.

Anonymous said...

300 LCG members is what, 5 percent of the LCG membership? McNair's survey is pretty useless.

Near_Earth_Object said...

12:49 Are you serious? Squabbling over the quantity of Bible Study?

That leads me to a point. What Armstrongists receive in meaning from Bible Study is a great concern. What role Bible Study plays in their religious walk is just as great of a concern.

Herbert departed in his beliefs about salvation from Ellen G. White and David Koresh. Herbert believed that works were required for salvation. This is called Pelagianism and is a heresy. Herbert did not discount the sacrifice of Christ but he did add to that sacrifice the necessity to perform certain works. Church attendance, submission to church authority, Bible study, fasting, meditation, observance of holy days and tithing, for instance, are all a part of the salvation package for Armstrongists.

This view that Jesus alone is not sufficient for salvation is called in modern parlance a Jesus Plus Cult.

McNair could have added another important question to his survey:

Do you believe that though Christ's sacrifice is necessary, that you must study your Bible in order to receive salvation? (Seriously, someone should ask this question in a survey. I think the results would be surprising.

My guess based on my 30 years of experience in the WCG is that most Armstrongist lay members, after some initial confusion, would reply "Yes" to this question. And this is rank Pelagianism.

Christ alone is savior. It isn't Christ plus Bible Study. Or Christ plus the holy days. Adding works to the NT principle of salvation violates Paul's writing and introduces ambitious performance Christianity into those churches that make this error. People then squabble over who is studying the longest and other quantitative measures. And it does not lead to salvation. That's the dark side of this post.

And, of course, this veering way from Biblical salvation indicates that Herbert might have spent his time better than sitting in the library in Des Moines recycling Miller and White.

Anonymous said...

One weakness of surveys if that people lie. Why did you purchase a Polaroid Instant Camera? Why did you purchase a video camera? Most will say that they did so to take pictures of their children and vacations. Not many would admit, "To take nude pictures of my girlfriend" or "To make pornography at home."

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ask the leaders how much time they spent studying the Bible?

Anonymous said...

NEO
Bible study is commanded in the bible, the 'study to show yourself approved by God' and 'live by every word of God' etc. The bible is written in such as a manner that scriptures can at viewed at different levels of depth and at different 'angles.' Hence one can frequently learn something new in bible study. Bible study also involves absorbing and strengthening certain attitudes and mindsets.

Which is why many of Americas great leaders and businessmen practised a secular version of this by constantly reading educational and motivational books. Which is why Abraham Lincoln was frequently seen with a book under his arm. Which is why his writings and speeches are way beyond his age in knowledge and understanding.

Bible study and good book reading is a tool of personal growth. Christ didn't know His bible inside out for no good reason.

Notice how the main stream media are constantly forcing their version of morality down peoples throats. Unlike yourself, they grasp the importance of constantly exposing peoples minds to certain ideas.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading a short article in the Good News magazine many years ago about a study which compared modern Christianity with secular politics. The study concluded that Christianity followed political morality. That was my own conclusion after observing the two since the 1970s. I noticed for instance how televangelist sermons changed when Reagan become president. There was all this talk on self empowerment.

My point is that without bible study, people just absorb the attitudes in their environment. If one scratches church culture, that's what one finds.

Anonymous said...

"It is still quite obvious that most LCG members prefer to let their overlords tell them what scripture means instead of actually dissecting it themselves."

Nobody actually dissects it themselves. Everyone gets it from some school of thought or church or blog or book. The same goes for pretty much everything people think they know. Even if you use a variety of sources you are still pretty much cutting and pasting from the works and ideas of others. The concept of independent thinking is pretty much a myth.

Anonymous said...

12:49 Are you serious?

Is anybody on here serious? Or is it all posturing?

Think on these things.

Anonymous said...

Surely Jonathan McNair was born and grew up in the church, so why would he have to study the Bible at all. Eventually you know it by heart, so why would you read it again? I read the Bible from beginning to end 5 times when I was a child, then the correspondence course, then all the sermons and Bible studies and 4 years of AC. I knew much of it by heart. I do remember all those church people in services flipping through their Bible to find a scripture they had read 10,000 times before and applying another color if there was room. Do they still have Bibles now to flip through in services, or do they do it on their phones?
Since the early 1970s when I left WCG I haven't read the Bible at all, but I don't have to because I can recite a lot it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cox, anyone who censors an opposing View leaves the Impression of not having any Arguments to support his Views.

Anonymous said...

5:46 wrote:


Surely Jonathan McNair was born and grew up in the church, so why would he have to study the Bible at all. Eventually you know it by heart, so why would you read it again? I read the Bible from beginning to end 5 times when I was a child, then the correspondence course, then all the sermons and Bible studies and 4 years of AC. I knew much of it by heart. I do remember all those church people in services flipping through their Bible to find a scripture they had read 10,000 times before and applying another color if there was room. Do they still have Bibles now to flip through in services, or do they do it on their phones?
Since the early 1970s when I left WCG I haven't read the Bible at all, but I don't have to because I can recite a lot it.”

ROTFLMAO!,!!!!!!!!

This is the most hilarious thing I have read here today. What a hoot!

McNair has no more memorized the Bible than you have. If you have supposedly read the Bible 5 times then you know everything about armstrongism is a load of crap. You would know about the new covenant, but since you are biblically illiterate you make dumb defensive statements like this.

Retired Prof said...

I can tell you for sure, Bible study did me a world of good. At Ambassador we were expected to disappear with a Bible into the prayer closet at least once a day. So I did. Since I had never been able to pray sincerely, I spent the mandatory closet time reading the book I had brought with me. After five months of careful study, I admitted to myself that the Bible had failed to make a case that was consistent with the way the world works, or even with itself. I had become an agnostic. I put in an application at a "worldly" college.

After shaking the dust of Pasadena off my feet, I kept on attending church back home with my family and meeting their expectations by avoiding unclean meats and even paying occasional tithes. Finally it dawned on me that although there could indeed be a god and that YHWH might even be the one, the chances were so slim that it was probably safe to live my life the way I chose, not according to the prescriptions in an unpersuasive book. The pulpit ravings of Radio Church of God ministers were even less credible.

For the past forty-odd years, I have remained steadfast in my lack of faith, bolstered by frequent reminders that shrimp is good. Also bacon.

Anonymous said...

5.07 PM
That independent thinking is a myth (expressed as determinism versus free moral agency), is an old debate. The bibles 'prove all things' (including what books claim) is a lifelong process. So in the near term people are forced to trust what they hear and what they read (with only basic evaluation). But long term, people do get to closely examine and assess what they were taught. The many independent minded posts on this blog is proof of this.

Your own comment is the product of independent thinking, so how can it be a myth??
Or is your post a cut and paste?

Anonymous said...

Studying the Bible is not just about reading through it(not that it's not good to do so)it also involves studying the background and culture of those days,the meaning of words and language used in the bible e.tc. Imagine reading a book 2000 years from now about our times having never lived in our century it could baffle you unless you knew about what it was like during this period. A sermon can sound very true but it can just be a series of opinions laced with scriptures,so it could be dangerous to claim sermons are inspired by God himself (how dare you challenge a sermon with that mindset critically). One example.. I heard a sermon when I was in lcg that basically exalted the practice of roasting over other methods of cooking and scriptures were used to support that view point, but they are scriptures where God told his servants to boil instead and I could give a sermon exalting the practice of boiling as Superior to other forms of cooking. You see how easy it is for a sermon to be just opinions backed by the scriptures carefully selected to support a personal view.

Anonymous said...

"If you have supposedly read the Bible 5 times then you know everything about armstrongism is a load of crap".

In polite society we prefer the term "false narrative" to "load of crap". But people on this blog think you are a conspiracy nut if you speak of false narratives, even though they know a lot of stuff we hear is a load of crap.

Byker Bob said...

We must make note of Armstrongism’s internal secret meaning to the words “Bible Study”. These words do not imply independent activity indulged in to edify the Christian. As a church member, one must always reach the approved or guided conclusions through one’s “Bible Study”. This is self-indoctrination to the tenets of Armstrongism! That kind of Bible Study is of no value whatsoever. It is simply bias confirmation.

BB

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:48 pm, you got the totally wrong idea about my post 5:46. I did used to know whole parts of the Bible by heart even though I haven't read it for over 30 years, well my memory isn't what it used to be. Just because I read the Bible 5 times doesn't mean I believe in Armstrongism. The Bible can be interpreted many different ways, and the new covenant is only one way to interpret it. Also most of the Bible is the OT and when I read it I found the OT way more interesting. You have to remember I was just a child, and it was full of stories. I remember Jonathan when he was a little boy in England, going to church when his dad was preaching.

I won some competitions for British school children where I represented my school district and answered Bible questions. It was general Bible knowledge, like what were the names of Jacobs sons, and name the plagues of Egypt etc. So my knowledge of the Bible was not totally Armstrongism. Now I am an agnostic. I dumped Armstongism in my early 20's and never went with that 'new' message they tried to present as though God was leading them.

Allen Dexter said...

I never was able to memorize a lot of it. Just not my forte. I knew where to find all those proof texts we put so much faith in and had a Cruden's and a Strong's handy at all times when I was answering those questions people sent in. After a time, the party line became frayed, and I began to have lots of doubts about a lot of things, like our old D&R stance. Now, I frankly couldn't care any less about any of it.

R.L. said...

I attend a COG (not Living), and have been stunned in recent years by how some members talk a lot about "watching a sermon" - as opposed to researching topics in the Bible.

I wonder how many people consider sermon-viewing equivalent to Bible study, because they simply turn to the verses mentioned in a message. Is that really enough?

Anonymous said...

NEO, you speak of what HWA required of men to avoid the Lake of Fire.
Please don't forget the women! At least he seemed to cut them slack when it came to church and Feast attendance.
Could it be that Mr Armstrong was our planet's very first feminist?

(Although I must admit; There are few feminist males whose favorite hobby was shagging their daughters rotten.)

Hoss said...

Anon 648

If you mean the New Covenant of Jer 31, where the Torah is written on your heart, and all your neighbors know the LORD, no one will need to look up scriptures, they'll know them, uh, by heart...

Anonymous said...

I'm frankly surprised that anyone within most of the splinters, wouldn't see that Bible Study, only means having some of your own church approved publication (or sermon) open and you only use the Bible to go to each scripture given, to just swallow blindly, whatever is written or spoken.

Critical thought or analysis is never OK, as so many of these leaders have wrongly misapplied the "loosening and binding" scripture, as a licence to proof text whatever they want you to believe, to meet whatever they want it to say.

Also, since LCG is now famous for not allowing members to meet together and have a BS without a minister to guide (or better, push) the agenda, I would think independent thought would be a total no-no versus applying the Berean example.

I Corinthians 1:26 is a favorite scripture they love to note, "being the weak of the world", but when stale or sour milk is the steady diet versus sustainable meat (especially with your own studies) that might enlighten, remaining weak must be the only means and way to keep control of the lives of their ongoing support system and bankroll.

You wonder what Christ might do to these modern day "money changers" that have falsely taken the role of overseers and not the self serving, Pharisees they truly are?

What About The Truth said...

First of all, that survey is skewed and wouldn't represent the totality of the church membership. The majority of the ones responding would be the ones doing the most of the study/prayer. The rest would be too ashamed to participate in the survey even if it was anonymous. Bill Behrer, a former minister of RCG stated a number of times through the years in sermons that the number one comment made to him by members when attending the different Feast sites was; "I just don't know what to study". That was a fact most evident when conversing with different fellow members that I found. I even received a call from a zealous member in another congregation who stated to me that they could almost not stand going to church anymore because of the lack of conversation of any thing biblical. I had visited there and understood what he/she was talking about. Another example of the lack of study/prayer I encountered was when I was conversing with a disabled member who expressed to me that he didn't feel like he was contributing enough for "The Work". I told him the rest of us are working 12-14 hours a day so we are covering for him/her financially. I then asked him/her to cover for us by praying extra time because the rest of us where limited with time. His/her answer, "I don't like doing that". The reality of the daily time committal towards study/prayer is wholly dependent upon the make up of the person or the time or lack there of that they have.

Near_Earth_Object said...

Anon 3:34

I appreciate your endorsement of reading the Bible. I read he Bible myself. I believe it has many benefits - especially since it is the message that God has given us.

You did miss the thrust of my memo. Armstrongists regard Bible study as one of the conditions for salvation. The scripture you cite does not support this Amstrongist view.

This is confusing to Armstrongists because they have been immersed by their ministry in the idea that there are many works required for salvation including Bible study. While this seems like a small issue, it is genuinely an enormous issue. Historically, this is called the heresy of Pelagianism, against which the Christian church fought a great battle. Pelagianism is what pivots Armstrongism from a Christian religion to a Cult.

"By grace, through faith" is a simple principle of salvation and is founded on the idea of grace which is the main force of salvation in Christianity and a force that Herbert Armstrong utterly neglects or disparages. In all of his little booklets, grace barely mentioned. Grace militates against autocracy, work righteousness, performance Christianity and legalism. It makes sense that HWA had no doctrine of grace.

So here it is again: If anyone requires works, no matter how good and wonderful, beyond the sacrifice of Christ as conditions to salvation, you have departed from the Gospel message and the way that leads to salvation. And this is was Armstrongism and other cult religious do.

Bible study, in this context, is actually toxic. Just like brother Vernon Howell's Seven Seals.

Anonymous said...

bible study is much more fulfilling when you can study with a friend to two, or three...
what happens when the leadership finds out you're hosting a bible study in your home?

Byker Bob said...

You profile and stereotype us condescendingly, as if you have an agenda that we’re not following, 8:15.

BB

Anonymous said...

But long term, people do get to closely examine and assess what they were taught. The many independent minded posts on this blog is proof of this.

A lot of information is suppressed, so people are never taught it in the first place, and they can't evaluate what they have never heard. And you think this site, which censors unpopular views, is proof of independent thinking? I say it's the opposite.

Anonymous said...

"That independent thinking is a myth (expressed as determinism versus free moral agency), is an old debate."

My comment had nothing to do with the argument of determinism versus free moral agency.

And you don't seem to understand what I meant by cut and paste.

Byker Bob said...

I believe you are confusing suppression with simple irrelevancy. As a humorous example, should we really provide a guest slot to someone from the “drink thine own waters” movement? Would I be demonstrating that I was closed minded for not wanting to waste my time learning the alleged benefits of urine drinking? Hell no! There are just some things that every ounce of sanity or goodness in each of us as human beings simply rejects out of hand. You seem to get off on championing rejected things and then appear shocked at and persecuted by the overwhelming response from a wide cross section of the participants on this blog. That says more about you than it does about us. Yet you chastise us. Why don’t you go pee in a glass and post a video of yourself drinking it, just to show us that you practice what you preach?

BB

RSK said...

I regret to hear that some of.you have been turned aside by the gospel of urine swilling... Do ye not know he who drinks his own urine is like unto the man who butt chugs cheap wine? ;)

RSK said...

"I heard a sermon when I was in lcg that basically exalted the practice of roasting over other methods of cooking and scriptures were used to support that view point..."

This might just be a false sense of deja vu, but I could swear I heard that in WCG too at some point.

Allen Dexter said...

What's this drinking urine thing about? Urine is a waste product the body expels. It can have a fertilizing effect is judiciously spread on soil where nature will make elements in it available to plants, etc., but to put what your body expelled back into your system strikes me as a bit insane. Preach such nonsense to me and you'll get extremely short shrift!

Anonymous said...

BB

You frequently miss the point (at times intentionally I believe) and impute sinister motives (intentionally I believe). It never ceases to amaze me how often you get it all wrong.


Anonymous said...

"You seem to get off on championing rejected things and then appear shocked at and persecuted by the overwhelming response from a wide cross section of the participants on this blog."

First you impute motives, then you exaggerate the amount of your support, then you use that to engage in the bandwagon fallacy. Three errors in one sentence.

We could make that four: I am not shocked that some people are closed-minded. It happens all the time.

Five: those who agree with unpopular views are frequently afraid to speak up, so it is presumptuous to assert that most people are on your side. Even if they were, I refer you back to the bandwagon fallacy.

As usual, your comments are riddled with bad logic.

Anonymous said...

"I believe you are confusing suppression with simple irrelevancy."

Deleting comments is suppression, pure and simple.

And why are some topics relevant when others bring them up but not when I respond to what others have brought up?


Anonymous said...

As a humorous example .... Why don’t you go pee in a glass and post a video of yourself drinking it ...

I think you are trying to be offensive, but trying to hide that by calling it humor. That is pretense, and pretense is deceitful.

Anonymous said...

"There are just some things that every ounce of sanity or goodness in each of us as human beings simply rejects out of hand."

You reject, as you admitted, "out of hand" so you don't even know what you are rejecting.

Anonymous said...

"You profile and stereotype us condescendingly ... "

I don't know what you mean by profiling and stereotyping, but telling people to drink piss while complaining of being treated condescendingly seems a little rich.

Byker Bob said...

We’re on the same page on the urine issue, Allen. I was simply trying to get a point across to Adolf, who believes we’re closed-minded for not even considering his repugnant, alternative “facts” and non-mainstream theories. Just happened to remember about ten or fifteen years ago when a former ACOG member wasted a bunch of time and forum space with garbage about the “health benefits” of drinking urine. There have also been kooks espousing David Icke’s lizard theories.

I always give Adolf’s theories short shrift. He is a racist, he idolizes Hitler, and he hates multiculturalism so much that it would be difficult to picture him leading any sort of happy or joyous life during our modern times. He keeps Gary’s left hand always poised above the “delete” button.

BB

Byker Bob said...

Congratulations, Dolfie! Your comment at 8:44 made me LMAO! If you were as open minded as you wish us to be, you might have at least tried the urine, but then again, you’re probably saying to yourself “Why should I drink the urine and leave them to bogart the Kool Aid?”

By the way, it’s my nature to love eccentric professorial types, and their abstract takes and theories. But, the materials you regularly cite are similar to “broken genius” William Shockley’s theories. There has been a plethora of empirical evidence accumulated since the beginning of the Civil Rights movement that obliterates any such notions. Professionally, I’m surrounded by geniuses, and near geniuses. Some are liberal, and some are conservative. Some even investigate conspiracy theories and have interesting contributions to make. But, none idolize Hitler, and none are racist. They do generally eschew ignorance, though, and don’t want to waste their time listening to people who hate.

BB

Anonymous said...

No its not enough. But it is the trend within many, if not all, cog groups. Every speaker is an expert now no matter how screwed up they are. The bible is a mere reference book. Brethren turn their ears to the speakers not their eyes to the word of God. Many sermons preached are dead sermons. Dead articles and dead sermons written by fake christians and dead people.

Anonymous said...

NEO
Bible study is a tool of personal growth. Traits of God are habits that need to be built, we are not born with them. In fact the whole purpose of human existence is to build the mind of God. It's there in the parable of the talents. God will not allow people with the demonic minds into his kingdom. No more Satan's and no more demons. Why is that so hard to understand?

Why is God going to destroy Satan and his demons if grace is some 'get out of jail' card?
Don't you know people who make life miserable for everyone around them. Do you expect people to put up with mistreatment without end? If you do believe that it's OK for people to be abused for all eternity, you obviously have a double standard.
Other people can constantly be eaten alive, but never NEO.

Byker Bob said...

How is that working for you, 6:47? Reality is that none of us can build the mind of God within ourselves as some sort of super self-improvement project. We can read about God, and attempt in our own human feebleness to act in a Godly manner, but the only process that will get us where we need to be is transformation. That’s something God alone can do for us.

BB

Anonymous said...

BB
God cannot transform us since he cannot make choices for other people. To do so is murder.
If what you say is true, why didn't God transform Satan and his demons? Why didn't God transform Noahs generation rather than kill them off. Why the lake of fire if God can transform people. Why does God say 'chose life or CHOSE DEATH' if God can transform people?

We can only transform ourselves. I think you know that.

nck said...

"Why does God say 'chose life or CHOSE DEATH' if God can transform people? "

I'm interested in the answer on this question.

A superficial quick analysis brings me to the opinion that it has to do with one understanding of what the holy spirit is.

If you are of the opinion that it is an impersonal, overflowing force that can only be squelched, than you are doing it yourself.

If you are of the opinion that the holy spirit IS God than God is aiding in the process.

I love that taped sermon by HWA about the following scripture:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).


In the sermon he goes on that we are not going to be transformed by wearing funny hats or crazy bonnets. Just last week NO2HWA posted that picture of HWA with the funny hat. I guess that picture was taken before his "conversion."


There is scientific evidence that our way of thinking is able to transform our DNA and cell matter. Another proof that the bible is really Eastern Wisdom elaborated on, as I have said many times.

nck

Byker Bob said...

No, I don’t know that at all, 8:11. At one point in time, I had believed that all of us were born in a tabula rasa (as a clean slate) condition. But we’re not. Learned theologians, and those who study the human mind alike tell us that each of us is born predisposed to certain behavior. This is such a strong factor, that some even question whether free will exists in the first place (I am one who happens to believe that it does, although not to the extent that most would assume).

Have you ever tried to control the fleeting thoughts that quickly pass through your mind? As an example, when someone cuts you off in traffic, what words immediately come to mind? How many times have you prayed about them? You may not say them, and you might no longer be tempted to flip the other driver the double bird, or run him back into the lane he came from, but how do you elliminate the word “mother-fu(K€r” from your mind, never to be thought again? You can’t. Once you heard it back in grade school, it became a permanent part of your mind, and it comes and goes at will. God is going to need to reprogram your mind, transform it, to erase mf.

What about a church teenager who was born gay? I would imagine that such a teenager would pray very fervently that God would reprogram him or her. We understand things better today, and know that that’s just part of who they are, just as others are born left-handed. But, once again, this is another case for God transforming something the individual cannot. If spirit beings are asexual, sex will no longer even exist in the Kingdom. We’ll all be transformed to a higher plane.

Also, not everyone has the same filters. This means that no two people perceive things in exactly the same way. Not all of the natural reaction patterns are good, but they are what comes natural to the individual person. Again, the need for transformation.

There are certain common mental conditions from which one cannot transform oneself. Some suffer from a lifetime of depression which even causes the capacity to have a relationship with God to be less than optimal. Others suffer from irrational fears, or paranoia. Not all people are outgoing, and not all are empaths. Some are born with emotions that are so strong, that they sabotage them. Even those who recognize and understand these conditions or defects that affect them, and even though they seek professional therapy, and indulge in helpful programs they find that change comes at a snail’s pace, and while they can minimize the flaws to an extent, these flaws never seem to completely leave.

It is possible, by will power, for some to adhere to ritual behavior to varying extents. But, there is a profound difference between that, and transformation into a type of final character that would freeze for all eternity upon physical death, and make you any different from Satan. Try as you might, you cannot have perfect Godly character on the day that you die. You can have a reasonably good attitude, but God is clearly going to need to do a huge amount of work on each of us to get us where we need to be. Transformation is by design, and part of the plan. If we as humans could transform ourselves, through will power and ritual behavior, there would be no need for Jesus, and no such thing as salvation. That may not be Armstrong-approved theology, but it is Biblical.

BB

Byker Bob said...

“Choose life” basically means “get on the path”, nck. The path can provide valuable experience, and build character, however, since we remain human following enlightenment, the path is still a partially imperfect human process. Transformation away from the human part is something only God can provide. People in the ACOGs are accustomed to hearing their leaders like Rod Meredith state that they never did commit a major sin after they were baptized. That is preposterous.

I wonder what some of these people are thinking. Any time we are conscious of one item or concept, we automatically become conscious of the exact opposite of that item or concept. Yin and yang. You cannot know that there is an essence called good, without fully comprehending that there is an opposite essence called evil. Knowledge of evil cannot go away even when good prevails.

BB

Anonymous said...

BB
Everyone is born with weaknesses. If it's not one thing, it's something else. And yes, these weaknesses never completely go away, but taper off at best. However it is still our responsibility to put out effort to oppose these weaknesses, and habit permitting, to build counter habits. In the process we build character. Christ rebuked cities for failing to repent after miracles were performed in them. He didn't say 'remain as you are since you only need Jesus.'
Transforming ourselves is implicit in the parable of the talents. Your explanation cannot explain the differing results with the talents given.

Stating what should be the obvious, it's childish to claim that the talents in the parable are not to be exercised, and instead some magic external power is to be used. This not in the bible. It is not in the parable of the talents. This is a lie that envious people tell others. Christ condemned the person who buried his talents in the ground. Yet this is the lie told by the envious, losers and murderers - with no scriptures what so ever to back it up. This 'Voodoo overcoming' will result in the lake of fire.

Byker Bob said...

Who said anything about not exercising talents, 3:03? I'm a lifelong advocate of honing talents, and a pretty darned good example of what can happen when you persevere in that area. That is not transformation. That is not something that would prevent you from becoming another Satan in the Kingdom, because the "He who dies with the most toys wins" crowd practices that as well, and so many of them fall into category: unsaved.

Building character? I also believe in that. Unfortunately, the character you build is germaine to circumstances in which you currently live and are comfortable. People who seem to have good character find out just how permanent that character is when they are placed into a dire set of circumstances. If you saw your children starving, would you steal food to feed them? If someone were raping your daughter, would you harm them with mass force?

Lets talk about talents. Some people wonder why there is a difference in the development of talents.. To maximize, one secret is that you should develop the ones from which you receive the most positive results and feedback. The ones that you feed are the ones that will grow. Some people can't develop their talents because they have too many family responsibilities, or their church takes up all their time, or they weren't blessed with the intelligence to know where to take it. Armstrongism has all of us ruling cities as our eternal reward. My aptitudes and talents are with machines primarily. Right now, in this life, I rule a state with two brands of equipment. Rule people? That's not me. I've taken courses, and tried. So if HWA was right, and we rule cities, and states, and countries, and planets, people like me would need transformation. Supernatural reprogramming, and let's face it, an all powerful God can do that! What was it that Paul said about fighting his own nature? That stuff he was fighting does not go away in this lifetime. It might become easier with practice to avoid, like drinking for an alcoholic, but it will remain there until God transforms it out of there. If an alky thinks he can transform himself out of being an alcoholic, he's jiving.

I'd recommend opening yourself to more detailed thinking, and not being limited by what you have been taught. The simplistic techniques that were preached in Armstrongism were deliberately designed to control you, to get you to subscribe to their rituals. I feel as if you are missing half of the elements, and the most important part, the part that magnifies God in your relationship with Him. No matter how hard you try, you cannot successfully do the lion's share of your transformation, though it may seem to you as if you are carrying the majority of the work.

BB

nck said...

Oh BB.

That is excellent. One my life tenets is that I am capable of turning any civilized person into a beast within 9 days. Some even in two days when shutting down power in Los Angeles, lean back and watch the looting start.

I must admit to having met truly worthy human beings who remained civil within whatever circumstance fate had brought them. Truly tough cookies those Job types.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Ya know, nck, there are people from the Armstrong movement who think that anyone who acknowledges the much greater role that God plays in our transformation has given up and gone antinomian. Not true. I’m not talking about going out and getting your marijuana card, or going to hang out in a tittie bar, shirking one’s own responsibilities in the contract and leaving God to be the only participating partner in that contract. That would be what mainstream Christians call cheap grace. Of course we should all work on ourselves, and attempt to instill good character in our children. But to hear some of the leaders of Armstrongism tell it, they’ve darned near achieved transformation today. Plainly, by all the horrible anecdotes, they’ve still got human nature, which you can’t transform yourself out of so long as that human nature present and the fleshly things are dominant.

BB

nck said...

Yes,

I think I understand.
As I understood it, the Holy spirit "dwells" in those to whom God imparted it. (next to or in conjunction with human nature). The workings thereof can only be squelched or limited (I believe that definition is in Psalms somewhere). By nature it will seek to flow like water or air.

I am not sure that if someone says "I have not committed major sins", that they are in fact saying that they are transformed. Babies have not committed major sins, but they are by no means tranformed. I guess they mean that their minds are "renewed" or something after the sin deletion process that started with baptism.

I guess this discussion has been waged at Chalcedon since it borders on the topic of the nature of Christ. Man/God/Man imparted with spirit/God with human faculties etc

nck

Byker Bob said...

All I can say to the people who believe the ACOGs have it right, or havenall the answers is, “Welcome to Armstrongism, in which the bride of Christ is kept barefoot and pregnant!”

BB