Tuesday, March 27, 2018


As a former pastor giving sermons every week, in hindsight, I found I was quoting scriptures for one reason or another for effect and yet many times the little observer in my head was asking while I was quoting it, "what exactly does that mean and how does that translate in real life? I am sure those listening may have been asking the same thing at the same moment.

The classic WCG practice of endeavoring to apply James 5: 14

"Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."

,,,was particularly difficult to practice and to do it exclusive of medical opinion and help could be debilitating or fatal.  Personally I erred on the side of  "Lets get you to a doctor and I'll anoint you on the way..."  Thus no regrets personally in this area or horror stories I contributed to personally because of too rigid a view.  I have always been grateful for my more metered beliefs growing up before I came to WCG in such areas.  James 5:14 was way below the Presbyterian radar. 

Growing up, no Presbyterian would remotely think to only get anointed for "healing". My sense is that they had learned long ago not to take things too literally or seriously in  some areas and that some demands of scripture, even in the New Testament were based in the naivetĂ©' of the times. . So they didn't and thus no drama, trauma and controversy over such things ever happened.   On so many topics in WCG, it was years of chaos over such topics with consequences for minister and member alike. 

Being sick and dying was even the result of not discerning the Lord's body correctly during the Lord's Supper or Passover depending on your Church.  What was the connection between that and being sick from time to time or even dying?  Both are quite normal things if you show up on the planet. 

I do know that when we did not receive all one asked for it was because ...

 2You crave what you do not have. You kill and covet, but are unable to obtain it. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3And when you do ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may squander it on your pleasures.

The following are also New Testament scriptures that I probably quoted depending on the topic yet quietly wondered, "what exactly does that mean?  It simply doesn't seem to be true or really work that way."  And yet still, when quoted, everyone somehow believed them though never quite knowing in what way they did or in what circumstance it was proved they delivered as advertised.  

1) And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.  “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:21-22 NAS)

2) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 NAB)

3) Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:19-20 NAS)

4) Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. (Mark 11:24-25 NAB)

5) And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-13 NAB)

6) And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NAB)

7) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 NAB)

8) It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. (John 15:16 NAB)

9) On that day you will not question me about anything.  Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.  Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. (John 16:23-24 NAB)


nck said...

Well you are to be commended for the "annointing on the way to hospital".

That was the way in my church area too. It was raised by a doctor who let people decide on basis of their own consciousness and relationship with God. Knowing of doctors at AC and HWA's use of doctors when he had is heart attack I wasn't even aware that doctors were frowned upon.

As a matter of fact at SEP we had a higly respected surgeon lecture and of course my contacts with the camp doctor were pleasant even when I handed in another irresponsible camper.

"Growing up, no Presbyterian would remotely think to only get anointed for "healing"."

That is simply not true Dennis. One of the first pressing questions my mother had for our pastor was if it was ok to have us vaccinated. This was due for rampant and regular polio outbreaks amongst the presbyterians in our neck of the wood who refused to take vaccination and had many casualties along the way.

Our pastor answered that it was up to my parents to decide and by saying that she needed to be able to look us in the eye when we were adults it was implied that she "could" or maybe should vaccinate because of the clear and present danger the presbyterians or protestants were to us.

People who do not take vaccination within a larger vaccinated population will point to the fact that they are not harmed by pox or measles just like the unbelieving vaccinated people are in reality "free riders". Free riders are those who ride the wave of prosperity and wealth and heath, they are not contributing too. They are in a sense protected by the larger populations willingness to accept that in some way (god or god inspiring science or science alone) medicine was discovered to deliver us from disease or better even to prevent it from killing millions as it did until the Spanish flu in the 1920's.

I am in no way implying people should use medicine indiscriminately or be part of governmental or scientific experiments to get us hooked on all kind of medicine. I am just saying use your brain and use what you need and try not to take it too long.


Dennis Diehl said...

I should have said NCK " In my local Orthodox Presbyterian experience...."
During the polio 50's the nurse just came in the room at the church school at first wit needles but later with sugar cubes we all took. I don't know if parents were informed

Dennis Diehl said...

Your mom's Presbyterian pastor's response to her question would be what I'd expect

Anonymous said...

These very scriptures are the ones used by certain extremist groups in mainstream Christianity to support what is called "The Faith Movement", "Name It, Claim It", and other fringe beliefs that cause people to want to "declare things into existence." I have someone that I know - a relative - who is very involved in this particular way of thinking - fueled by a televangelist's preaching - who has bought into this particular way of thinking to an extreme. This person commands things to happen in Jesus' name, like telling an illness to leave as an example - basing it on the scriptures that seem to suggest a divinely inspired authority.

The problem is, that in many instances where this person has done things like this, the reality is that it did not work . So when this person was asked by another person what this means, the person simply said that they did their part, and if God had decided not to do it as declared, then that's God's prerogative and it is not the problem of the prayer. But what happens to the person who got prayed to if it's an illness? A command was issued, in divine authority, it did not happen. Now the person is left discouraged, thinking that they did something wrong, and now ends up more hopeless then before. What is to make of this? Was the prayer doing the right thing - or was the prayer being presumptuous? And this wasn't exactly just an Apostle saying these things. It was Jesus himself. That makes these statements even more authoritative. If what Jesus says is true, and no Christian is going to doubt the words of Jesus - how do we make sense of all this?

Here's how I interpret it - and it's just me. I do not claim this is as gospel. These statements are conditional. IF, do not doubt, believe, in my name. Secondly, does the audience automatically transfer from the intended audience at the exact time to a reader 2000 years later? Does the reader today automatically inherit the same credentials to use this sort of power? The fact that these are conditional transfers of powers says to me that not everyone who tries to do these things will be successful. It seems to me that one has to meet certain criteria if you take these words on face value.

But then - the WCG used these same scriptures to imply to the sick that if you did not have enough faith that is why you did not get healed when you relied on God and not on modern medicine, blaming the individual for not meeting the conditions imposed within this contract.

Perhaps that is how we should look at it, as a contract, between the writer (Jesus) and the recipient. So the question is: Who is the recipient, when is the contract valid, how is the contract valid, what are the conditions of the contract, how is one in breach of this contract, and what happens if one tries to use this contract if one is not authorized to do so? Is the contract even valid now? In what language is the contract speaking? Is the wording metaphoric or literal? What if you read into this, use Jesus' name, and it doesn't happen - where does that put you? How is your standing now in your relationship with God? Did you just assume something? Were you being careless? And the spiral of deep thought and spiritual panic commences into the abyss of confusion. "I really believed! I just did what scripture told me! So why isn't this happening? Did I really expect Mt. Everest to get up and swim to Jamaica for a vacation holiday? Was I really commissioned with divine power to do these things?" (And yes, The mountain thing was just an example for this story. It is not a true story example.)

I think one needs to look into the audience and the conditions - and as always, the context. They are easy scriptures to take into presumptuous extremes. Regardless, this is good fodder for debate. I also appreciate that there was no preaching in the article, just questions open for comment.

Anonymous said...

God sits on a great throne, which gives Him the right to say NO to peoples requests.
This manipulative bible cherry picking is typically the welfare state projected into the bible. In my old age, I have given up on God giving me free stuff. So I see these verses differently as a consequence.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the term anoint has two meanings. One is a ceremonial anointing, the second is medicinal. So James is saying, in effect, "get medical care and pray for the patient." As for "asking whatever you want" and getting it . . . this is a ploy of the prosperity preachers. One thing that they leave it is "the will of God." Even Jesus wanted to have the cup pass from him, but not his will, but God's will be done.

Anonymous said...


Didn't the Church teach back then that the sins mentioned in James 5:15 and maybe verse 16 were physical sins? I have had a problem with that for years. Did you preach that it meant physical sins when you were a minister?

Darren C. said...

The passage in James, if you don't limit yourself to certain translations, seems to indicate raising up the forgiven sinner in the afterlife. The anointing is primarily to help us meet our Maker, hence the emphasis on confession of sins. By Jesus' stripes we are healed -- not primarily so we can get over our coughy, headachy sicknesses during flu season, but for the healing of our spiritual condition.

The other passages from Jesus are not meant to promise that God will be our genie in a bottle. But he will do anything to provide what we need for salvation. We don't seek, knock, and ask for fame and fortune, but for truth and eventual union with the Truth Incarnate. We don't really search for pearls of great price, but for eternal life with God, which has no price.

I remember getting in trouble in the fourth grade when I passed a classroom in the hallway. The class door had a sign that said "Please knock," so I rapped on the door as I smiled and kept walking. The sign was not defective; it was me, the interpreter, who was defective (or in this case, I had a defective sense of humor).

I can't say Ambassador College students were that well-trained in biblical studies and hermeneutics. Nothing personal against you. But the Armstrongs did none of us many favors.

nck said...


I feel stupid after reading the other responses.

We hail from the same religious background though my tradition is older. There are reasons I have called you "a brother" before.

The pastor I mentioned was the later wcg pastor who had been a trained doctor before, abandoning it all for sending out co worker letters at the press. (no its not bb) Apparently he could still see merits of his former profession. His closest friend was an extremely intelligent apothecarist eho like him abandoned his trade and only 20 years later officially became a local elder while having been overqualified all the while. Ironically he being s friend of dr stav got to introduce the revised healing doctrine. He did it brilliantly but he did not survive the many changes sane.

As a headstart we had many sermons on human interest, team building, young families, gentlemanly behavior.

After pastoral rotation sermons changed more to prophecy and legalism, keeping the law etc. Mostly irrellevant stuff for daily interaction. The founding pastor was so much loved that the three times he came and visit all the neighboring congregations were warned to remain put and not all come and visit.

I now realize our pastor must have been jealous that a colleague of his could be genuinely loved and popular. It also explains why qualified AC graduates seldom got a chance to speak, since in my area they also hailed from families whith genuine life experience in sacrifice and humility not the proverbial pastor brats or church nobility.

To not accept medical care when in need is one of the worst kinds of hubris, since it hurts far more people than just the person in need of medical support. It is possible to argue some respect for the no medicine point but in the end it only produces bitterness, grief and even more hubris for unnecessary sacrifice.


Near_Earth_Object said...

This is not an easy issue to respond to. I have my viewpoint which may or may not be correct. My view is that none of the listed statements can be viewed in isolation. They are each embedded in a large system that we call the New Testament consisting of the New Covenant and its implications for practice and worship.

At the over-arcing level, God has purposes, plans and objectives. The entire system is subordinate to that level. An example is what happened to Job. He lived in a system where if you were obedient you received blessings. If your slipped up, you sacrificed an animal. Job thought he was walking the straight and narrow, expecting a continuation of the blessings he had always experienced, and he got suddenly hammered without explanation. But it wasn't supposed to happen that way according to what he understood.

And I think that James probably does not belong in the canon.

And the Book of Job is a recounting of his "court room" defense based on how the established system failed him. And God agreed with Job after the debate was over. Job's expectations had been eclipsed by a larger purpose.

This is the closest I can come. I always thought Job got a raw and scary deal. I think you have to be really oriented toward the afterlife to have this give you any comfort.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Looking for guidance and direction from the pages of the Bible is a colossal waste of time.

So many are consumed in trying to understand what the Bible is saying to them. When we grasp that it is not meant for us, and is not speaking to us, we are freed up to search for answers from more meaningful sources. No progress will be made as long as our faces are stuck in the sacred scriptures. "Studying the Bible" is wasting your life. Do something worthwhile with the time you have left.

Anonymous said...

" In my old age, I have given up on God giving me free stuff. So I see these verses differently as a consequence."

So that means you're (wait for it...WCG cliche incoming...) BITTER!

Anonymous said...

2:57 PM, that is your opinion and thankfully you don't get to dictate how I choose to live my life, and yes I find scripture inspirational, but just because you were burned in that Armstrong horse crapp doesn't give you the right to tell me what to do.

DennisCDiehl said...

Darren said: "I can't say Ambassador College students were that well-trained in biblical studies and hermeneutics. Nothing personal against you. But the Armstrongs did none of us many favors.'

They weren't. I wasn't. AC was , as some know me already to say, a mere bible reading education. I don't take it personally as I really don't consider my "education" at AC to be anything new to the one I already had previous to coming there. I knew the Bible very well before I went to AC We soaked in it from the second grade on up thru High School in the Dutch Reformed Church with memorization, Sunday school which rehearsed all the stories and catechism which actually delved into the why and how of church doctrine. We had to memorize the Westminster Confession of Faith and it was big and long!!!!! I could rattle off all the books of the Bible OT and NT since second grade.

All I got from AC, in hindsight, was repetition and the speculative prophetic perspective, which believe it or not, I took with a grain of salt. I stood watching them build the auditorium in 1971 thinking, "HWA and these folk don't really believe the end is all that close or why this?" I see the same in Pack's campus. He is not really spending money on building because the end is so so near. And "blessed is he who is found so doing" has nothing to do with building more shit and buying more stuff to decorate it right up to the Second Coming.

In my youthful ministry time I honestly thought that the church would smooth out and balance up when HWA died and I told people he would die asking them, then how would they feel? I told that to Waterhouse and all I got from him was "well, I'll believe after three days and three nights." I thought he was a fool and that was an arrogant and ignorant statement if ever I heard one.

I thought I could be a force for the good, next generation ministry etc, but that was delusional as well. I pastored 14 congregations in five states and mostly two and sometimes three at a time. I always wondered how I got stuck at "Preaching Elder" for 26 years when my inner circle buddies were ordained Pastor Rank stuff. It took awhile to realize I was not in the loop. Only the last five years, when I was in mental transition did I speak at the FOT and had a great time stirring up the pot. Little did I know I was publically hanging myself slowly and eventually was not about to cooperate mentally with the Tkaches and their reinvention of the theological wheel I already had memorized from my youth. . lol. anyway.....

DennisCDiehl said...

and too... I do feel quite free of it all albeit a bit lonely at times in my recent move to be where I want to be for the final chapters of my life. I do not worry about the Lake of Fire some diehards insist is awaiting me nor do I stress over finding the true church or right beliefs. I am very confident in my scientific and historical perspectives.

Some accuse me of reverting to my WCG minister mode when I write, but that is lame and stupid in my view. If anything I revert to my childhood religion which was balanced, non threatening, not exclusive and certainly not filled with the clowns and characters WCG and all the present splinter types are.

Every week it seems I vow to bail out of Banned. Then I think. "But those are my only real friends!" Pretty pathetic!! lol.

I stayed past my own expiration date out of loving the people I pastored. I hung on too long thinking we'd get through this. Greenville was a church of Gerald Weston loyalists, at least in the leadership. It was the most difficult experience I ever had in pastoring as I didn't realize I was being stabbed in the back by the men smiling at me . Dan Rogers came to give me my 25 year watch , which had a dead battery, lol, and then stood up and told the congregation while I'm sitting there not to listen to me. I was teaching the background of the Birth Narratives and it annoyed HQ it seemed. I ended up being asked by my catholic priest friend to teach it to his church! The Priest even paid me to do so. I told him I'd be using Raymond Brown's material, a high catholic scholar, thinking he'd be impressed. He said, "Cool, I was his student in seminary." Oh... lol

Just home from work so in blather mode. Sorry. I love my work and have plenty of clients here in Oregon. 5-7 a day, five days a week and getting a nice reputation here as the guy to see if you have neck and back problems or the stress of you life is eating you up with headaches.

I am just waiting for the day I have a client on the table and they put two and two together and know who I am from my and their WCG past ! I've come close with some whose relatives were in "that church."

Anonymous said...

Well, if you can't pick up on your 'minister mode,' we certainly can. It's a occupational hazard. Even when school teachers retire, they still see the world as one giant classroom, with them being the teacher. A family member is a retired high school teacher, so I get this crap all the time. It's a common experience.

Near_Earth_Object said...

"I can't say Ambassador College students were that well-trained in biblical studies and hermeneutics."

AC students did not need to study hermeneutics. They were not on track to become theologians or scholars or even to defend anything that they preached, if ministers. They had the force of an autocratic form of religion behind them. They could leverage fear. All they needed to know was the contents of HWA's little booklets. The rest was imperious governance over local congregations and the despised lay members. What they needed to understand was the force and utility of brutality which in their odd self-serving world passed as "leadership."

And AC students understood this system. Very few of them ever walked out because they felt they were not getting an education. I think most of them found what they wanted in life until WCG imploded and the goose that laid to golden egg lay dead.

What About The Truth said...

NCK 1:07 said: To not accept medical care when in need is one of the worst kinds of hubris, since it hurts far more people than just the person in need of medical support.

The hurting of people and being a member of the WCG went hand in hand. Herbert Armstrong taught that as the "Eklesia" (The called out ones), we were not of the world - just in it. Obedience and trust in God for all things were required. No Easter, Christmas and birthday celebrations hurt most non-church members who were/are family. The trust in healing was just another example of obedience and faith constituting a chapter in the book of life for a WCG/COG member.

The tandem of physical sin and not discerning the body teaching of the COGs is horrible theology. James asked "If" the person had sinned. Obviously there was a possibility that he (The person) didn't sin. The not discerning the body is obvious by the context, about considering ones conduct and care for fellow members of the church. Many are weak, many are sick and many die spiritually because of their poor conduct within the church (Body) of Christ.

Healing is a certainty from God - just not a certainty at all times. Our local Elder gave a sermon in the 80's about the many miracles of healing from the long anointing circuit he traveled in the 1960's. Cancer and paralysis were healed instantly - sometimes in front of astonished nurses and doctors. Many other examples of all kinds of maladies that were healed with the recipients name were spoken of throughout the sermon. I was healed personally form a massive internal hemorrhage at a time when I wasn't attending church - I wasn't obeying God - I wasn't anointed and I didn't pray for healing. The church of God I was in previously told me and others that we were not and could not have been healed because we were not in the one and only church that he (Christ) heads. These same people would tell all the commentators of this blog who are not keeping all of the commandments, that you have no understanding based upon Psalm 111:10. Yet they claim to be using cutting edge technology to preach a gospel and do a work where that technology came from a lot of people with a real good understanding to invent highly technical engineered products and machinery that they themselves would have never been able to do. These same men would want to have you understand that all sickness is the result of physical sin, but can never give you an explanation from the bible what actually is physical sin. So I and you are left to have to believe that Christ gave up his body to be brutally beaten so that I/you can be healed from a physical sin that I/you committed which I/you have no idea what it is. These leaders of the COG's lack understanding (Spiritual) themselves because they put God in a box and elevate themselves first and foremost. The result of this action is a witness and record against them for all to see and a stain upon the name and omnipotence of God.

DennisCDiehl said...

Well, if you can't pick up on your 'minister mode,' we certainly can.

Then I'll have to be more aware of that as that would not be my goal.

Anonymous said...

"and the goose that laid the Golden egg lay dead."

I would give a small fortune to witness these former ministers in their new non church jobs. The horror of people disagreeing with them, mocking them, maybe being mistreated, and gulp, having to obey a real work boss. And people having rights that they stand up for.
The real world must be like a Hollywood slasher movie to them.

Anonymous said...

"Minister Mode" - Top Ways you can tell a Minister from a "regular person"

1. Must say "God" in high-low-high tonal inflection
2. Must say "certainly", "behooves", "well" once a minute
3. Must grab lectern with both hands like he's being held down from liftoff
4. Must sit in the front row and center of the meeting place
5. Must be able to go on for 20 minutes about something that could take 5 minutes
6. Must always conclude with "In Conclusion"
7. Must never conclude with the first "In Conclusion"
8. Must repeat turn-to scripture with breaks at least 3 times
9. Must lose place at least once during the service
10. Must be at least a little irked if someone forgot the cold ice water
11. Must repeat three scriptures in rapid fire with no explanation at least once
12. Must stick to three specific points during sermon, no more, no less
13. Must have a "Specific Purpose Statement" throughout
14. Must forget to stick to the "Specific Purpose Statement"
15. Must read from the Pastor General Report at least once
16. Must switch from "Two-Handed Lectern" to "One-Handed Lectern" and back again and then back to "Two-Handed Lectern" within 10 minutes once
17. Must start sermon with line about the beautiful weather we're having
18. Must make one cheesy joke per sermon, then expect laughter concerning said cheesy joke
19. Must take 1 minute before speaking to arrange material on lectern
20. Must take 1 minute after speaking to collect material on lectern

Dennis, compared to what I remember above (in jest, mind you), and no I'm not talking about you but ministers in general in my past recollection, you're doing fine with your minister mode. I think you're just being you. I for one am not triggered by it (and that's weird for me, trust me I get triggered SO easy) - because you're nothing on here like what I remember. I think it'd be kind of ridiculous to expect you to remove every trace of ministerial programming from your memory :)

Retired Prof said...

(I recently ran across a joke that applies to this topic, but couldn't remember either all the details or where I read it. On Google I found a copy at humorplanet.com.)

A journalist assigned to the Jerusalem bureau takes an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. Every day when she looks out, she sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. So, the journalist goes down and introduces herself to the old man.

She asks, "You come every day to the wall. How long have you done that and what are you praying for?"

The old man replies, "I have come here to pray every day for 25 years. In the morning I pray for world peace and then for the brotherhood of man. I go home have a cup of tea and I come back and pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth."

The journalist is amazed. "How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25 years and pray for these things?" she asks.

The old man looks at her sadly. "Like I'm talking to a wall."

nck said...


I do agree.

Although a) complete faith, total obedience and trust in a particular god is the core of most religions b) I do admire the pureness of theory but struggle when this philosophical pureness turns into practical hubris.

I guess that is the difference with an understanding of the spirit of the law.
Faith and hubris. Two sides of the same medal/the force/yin yang or whatever.


Anonymous said...

Unanswered prayer has been long explained as one's lack of faith, or your sins make God turn a deaf ear or the answer from God is just "NO" like Paul's ailment not being removed. Of course the lack of healing comes with this subject.

After a 17 year of a bad marriage, my wife divorced me. I was free to start over and I found a wonderful, beautiful women who was mistreated most of her life. We were both on cloud nine, but after 3 months of marriage she was told she had 4 months to live. At her funeral, in my eulogy, I told everyone how angry I was with the Creator. For her to have been healed would have been a major miracle. My faith in God did not go away, but my "faith" in me went to a new low.

I do suffer from the "not good enough" label discussed in a recent Dennis post. The lack of focus on grace and God's love in the COG's is probably part of the cause. The concept that we go ask God for daily forgiveness becomes hard to accept that you are worthy of forgiveness. After 49 years in COG's it's still a struggle and I never found the Joy that Christ promised. But maybe it's just me that's the problem.

Anonymous said...

LOL, Dennis!
Indeed, a lot of the Bible is stupid outdated trash, although it also contains some wisdom- as do almost all 'holy books' of other religions, and many comic strips, etc.

Dennis Diehl said...

You're good enough 915

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15

I agree with Denis, my heart goes out to you. There is nothing we can do to be good enough. You are living your life the best you can, that is good enough.

Anonymous said...

I have never had the impression that Dennis was 'preachy' and even if so, he does not seem any more preachy than any of the rest of us on this blog. Maybe I'm used to being preached at. Maybe we all do it

Anonymous said...

"But maybe it's just me that's the problem."

Probably not. I think many people who did all they knew how to be good have had a lot of unanswered prayer. I certainly have.

Anonymous said...

"But maybe it's just me that's the problem."

Part of your problem is that the system, perhaps any system yet devised, does not want to admit, or will not recognize, that the system is part of the problem. So, it blames the people. If the people have problems, it's because they did not follow the system! So, people blame themselves. You have internalized the defects in your belief system, and are blaming yourself. Nobody is perfect. Stop taking the blame for the defects in your belief system. Every system yet devised is flawed, and has rationalizations to exonerate itself.

-- Hideous "Troll" (because I expose the system).