Monday, April 9, 2018

God Told Me To Tell You...

How many times have we heard, and how many times have Church of God Prophets and Apostles peppered the brethren with...
"God told me," "God has revealed to me,"  "God has shown me,"  "God is now causing, " "God will now do this...," or "God demands that we...," and all the other "God speaks to me," concepts one can come up with?  Far too often and it is a lie.   
God tells a lot of people to do a lot of things evidently. Women have drown their children because "God told me to." Men have killed others, either as individuals or in whole groups because "God told me to." Ministers , falsely so called, in the Churches of God have with great authority announced what God is going to do or what God has revealed to them and now I pass it on to you only to make fools of themselves, again, with a false report.  Traditionally they salvage their butts with "God is giving us more time" but I think that is just an excuse for mucking up. 
I never heard a Church of God Prophet or Apostle say "God has shown me.... , however, I don't buy it and I am not going to pass it on to you because it is just rubbish."   Rather, how often that voice just happens to agree 100% with how the receiver is thinking on that topic as well. How convenient. I guarantee you that David C Pack has never passed on what God wants or has revealed to him without Dave first thinking it all up on his own. That's how it really works. 
Why can't we understand that when we talk to God, that's called prayer and relatively harmless. But that when God talks to us, we might be dealing with a whole new ball game here and some red lights might need to start flashing. How often do members of churches, sit "weakly"  and listen to their pastor recall how God has told him this or that and no one even considers what the man is really saying. And they certainly don't seem to take exception to it.  I find the ministry of Dave Pack's Restored Church of God to be the most either gullible or most kiss ass one can be in this regard.  They have plenty of proof that Dave Pack is blowing smoke and yet they act impressed and compliant to their Dave-illogical beliefs

Thomas Paine, in The Age of Reason, made some interesting observations about the obligation those who do not hear the voice of God directly have to obey the words of the one who says God did talk to THEM personally.
"No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.
It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication -- after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.
When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hands of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling them so; and I have no other authority for it than some historian telling me so. The commandments carry no internal evidence of divinity with them; they contain some good moral precepts, such as any man qualified to be a lawgiver, or a legislator, could produce himself, without having recourse to supernatural intervention."
As teen and certainly as a minister I knew this tale that the Apostle Paul wove and always found myself asking,  "was that so?"  I found it hard to believe it really happened then and I know now it never really happened literally.  Yet Paul insisted...

1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to gain, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. 3And I know that this man — whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows — 4was caught up into Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.…
ll Corinthians 12:2-4

Of course, Paul was talking about himself . But why bother telling us this happened when you can't reveal what happened or what you saw?  I always thought he just wanted to sound important or called and special so he makes up this "God showed me" story to give himself credentials and credibility of some kind.  
It's a familiar ruse. I grew up myself near Hill Cumorah, the place where Joseph Smith found the Golden Plates of Mormonism. 
"According to Latter Day Saint belief, the golden plates (also called the gold plates or in some 19th-century literature, the golden bible)[1] are the source from which Joseph Smith said he translated the Book of Mormon, a sacred text of the faith.[2] Some witnesses described the plates as weighing from 30 to 60 pounds (14 to 27 kg),[3] being golden in color and being composed of thin metallic pages engraved on both sides and bound with three D-shaped rings.[4]

Smith said he found the plates on September 22, 1823, at a Hill, near his home in Manchester, New York, after the angel Moroni directed him to a buried stone box. Smith said the angel at first prevented him from taking the plates but instructed him to return to the same location in a year. In September 1827, on his fourth annual attempt to retrieve the plates, Smith returned home with a heavy object wrapped in a frock, which he then put in a box. Though he allowed others to heft the box, he said that the angel had forbidden him to show the plates to anyone until they had been translated from their original "reformed Egyptian" language. Smith dictated the text of the Book of Mormon over the next several years, claiming that it was a translation of the plates. He did so by using a seer stone, which he placed in the bottom of a hat and then placed the hat over his face to view the words written within the stone.[5] Smith published the translation in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.
Smith eventually obtained testimonies from eleven men, known as the Book of Mormon witnesses, who said they had seen the plates.[6] After the translation was complete, Smith said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni. Therefore, the plates cannot be examined. Latter Day Saints believe the account of the golden plates as a matter of faith, and critics often assert that either Smith manufactured the plates himself[7] or that the Book of Mormon witnesses based their testimony on visions rather than physical experience."
The Golden Plates 
I'm going to guess Joseph Smith was a liar.
Plainly put, if you didn't hear it from God, you don't have to believe it! How simple. How much misery could be saved if we could look those in the eye who say God speaks to them and say, "well, I'm glad for you, but don't expect me to give up my job, money, home, family, my vote or my life because God told you to tell me to....Because if he can take the time to have a direct chat with you about these, he can take a few extra minutes and come over to see me too." This way there won't be any room for doubt and I can make up my own mind as to whether that was really God or not. I'd tend to vote no.
Just because Dave Pack announces that now we all hold everything in common because that is what God wants, doesn't mean we have to do it.  Just because God tells his man of faith and power it's time to flee to Petra...well I hope you get the point. 
While we might kid about those through whom God channels his will to us, without verification, it's not all that funny when things go wrong with misdirected religious organizations and self appointed Apostles, Watchers and Prophets. We do have our Jonestown, Heaven's Gate and Waco to haunt us. But it is almost a habit of mind for those that follow others in their religious perspectives to agree with everything they say or do simply because they are told it the context of "God told me," or "God wants us to.."  and never think a critical thought asking if that really be so.

Remember what the scripture says..."In the last days, narcissists and schizophrenics shall wax worse and worse and shall deceive many...and if they say, "lo hath God told me this or that, believe it not, give not of thine shekels nor offer up thine children on hearsay and much speculation as if it were from God. For it prolly be not of God and thou shalt save thine self and all thy household with thee..."


Connie Schmidt said...

God told me , to tell you , to tell me , that God Told me!

Anonymous said...

I have past experience with people who really believed that God told them this and that God told them that. They say it with absolute conviction. I really don't doubt that they believe it. Others think God, through them prophesied this or prophesied that. The real problem comes when, at the end of the road, what they have said does not happen, or what they believed does not come to pass.

They feel that if they do not believe the message that they are hearing, then they are lacking in faith. So, they believe it. And than, when it does not happen, either:

1. God changed his mind
2. It was a test
3. Well, maybe it just wasn't time.

Rarely did I hear someone say "Well, I was presumptuous, and I was wrong." Rarely did I hear someone say "It must have been my own thoughts in my own mind. I apologize." It doesn't seem to be the issue of the believer - it seems to always be God who changed his mind, or is testing, or changed the space-time continuum or something. In fact, one of the things you very, rarely, ever hear from someone who claims how close they are to God and His messages is "It was me, it was my fault, I was wrong, it wasn't really God speaking.... I apologize for my error and my presumptuous thinking."

Dueteronomy 18:22 warned that these things would happen - that people would say things and do things in God's name and that God in all honesty had nothing to do with it. The word "presumptuous" means that someone is failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or what is appropriate. In the COG's, I think that is a real problem.

I think we all can think of COG "leaders" who are currently failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or what is appropriate. I'm sure many of us can come up with many examples. Perhaps being presumptuous is the biggest problem with the COG's, a problem that started way in the beginning of Armstrong's movement. In fact, if one wanted to do the research of all the presumptuous acts of the founders of Armstrongism, you'd have quite the book.

Where does one draw the line of what is presumptuous and what is not? How can we trust someone to claim something is coming from God? The honestly very simple answer is something that the COG's have an absolutely horrible record on.

What they say God told them happens. It's as simple as that.

So far, I've heard the yappings of the personalities of.... let's seee... Armstrong, Armstrong's hirelings like McNair and Meredith, Rice and Ward, Tkach and Tkach, Neff and Hoeh, Weston and McNeely, Pack and Schurter, Local Pastors and Local Elders, congregational know-it-all's and holier-than-thou's... and I can't count on one hand the things they've had right AS THEY HAVE SAID IT combined.

It's shocking how many people think they hear the voice of the Lord, but for some reason, misinterpret their own thoughts as God. In the COG's, that problem can extend to people who think that their calling, their ordination, their sermons, their dreams, their mindsets, everything they do is from God, they think. However, when you look at their fruits, their attitudes, and the results of what they are saying compared to what happens.... YOU can see it, but they cannot.

It's a flurry of information to pack in a comment. But, it's just how i thiel about it.

What About The Truth said...

When I was young, I was told in a very condensed form about the founding of the Mormon religion and thought that it was a crazy scenario for the founding of a church and religion. Much older and back in a 21st century COG, I came to the point that after almost every Sabbath sermon I had to tell myself that what was just spoken about, was the most ridiculous information I have ever heard. Banned by HWA bears record for most of the ridiculousness coming from the vanity laden leaders of the COGs.

Maybe joining the Mormons would be the thing to do, although I imagine the greeting and introduction would be a little uncomfortable for the Mormons when I tell them I came from a church where my leader was a messenger, an Apostle, a High Priest, a watchman, a measurer, a prophet, a temple builder, an Elijah, a type of Christ and Christ himself.

That is a pretty scary record of self exaltation for a man who had no dreams or visions and makes one wonder what a same type of man having dreams and visions would do.

Until that day comes, I guess I will have to patiently wait for the coming narrative about the 15,000 feet mountain and the coming resurrection of Baal.

Percy Q. Ted said...

Unfortunately, this kind of pronoucement, or conjecture is not only limited to leaders. It is also the kind of thing that members also indulge in. Some people will attribute every last thing that happens in their lives to one supernatural agent interfering or intervening directly in their lives. "God," they'll say, "opened this door," or "brought this person into my life," or "healed me of my head cold." Bullshit. People are dying of malnutrition or from disease spread because they don't have access to potable water in many places around the world, and he doesn't give two shits about them, but he helped you find your car keys? Spare me. Such beliefs are not merely silly, they are reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

the way I understand it, Solomon Spaulding wrote a novel, the publishing deal fell through, Joseph Smith bought it...the rest is history.

PS: don't ever mention the name Solomon Spaulding to a Mormon.

Anonymous said...

If Dennis is the person who he claims to be on this site, I find it hard to believe that God never communicated to him.
Thomas Paine is right of course when he states that a revelation is to that person only, and not to others. But that doesn't justify the 'others' mocking that person. Rather the intellectual content should be evaluated like any other opinion.

I'm not impressed with your joke on such a serious matter.

Anonymous said...

If God wanted me to believe that Bwana Bob is a true prophet of God, I trust that He would not just appear in the dreams of one or two Bobists to say so; he would make His wishes known openly, at least to anyone who seeks an answer.

Then again, if I ever have a dream in which Bob is revealed as a true prophet of God, my first reaction will be to look carefully at what I had for dinner the night before. Dreams tell me all sorts of ludicrous things; God's word tells me plainly that the only kind of prophet Bob is, is a FALSE prophet!

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, after returning from a mission trip to Belarus (in the cold winter), an 80 plus year old lady told me, "God told me that I was to go with you on your next trip." Now the last thing I would want is to have a frail elderly lady with me on a trip to Belarus, summer or winter. My first thought was, "Well, if God told you, he should also copy me on that message." It is easy for us to want something so much that we read into our own desires, the will of God. That dear lady dies about 15 years later and she never did make it to Belarus. I don't question her sincerity, but some people use that expression as a tool of manipulation. These people are called sociopaths and they sometimes disguise themselves as pastors.

Anonymous said...

I like to keep things simple. If the core information we received is fear based, then it is from our Ego. If the core information is from Love, then is from our spirit. As we learn to still our minds, the message is very clear.

Anonymous said...

RE: How to respond when someone says, “God told me.”

Say: “Shame on you for telling such fibs!”

Byker Bob said...

My best advice to people who are inclined to accept messages allegedly from God from other people is to tell those people “I pray and seek God every day myself. If God has a message for me, He knows He can share it directly, and will not need to go through another person. Frankly, He hasn’t said anything to me about this. I’m going to need personal confirmation from Him that what you are telling me is true.” It might be a shock to their systems, but it’s the only kind way to keep from being manipulated.


Anonymous said...

@6:00 am, I liked that answer very much!

Gerald Bronkar said...

Thomas Paine had a way of cutting through the crap. Men proclaiming and forecasting in the name of some supernatural being are beyond immoral. They deceive and destroy, and often begin to believe their own garbage. Try to imagine all the misery these "men of God" have created through their messages.

From childhood we have been indoctrinated to show respect to men who say they represent God. How do you teach a child to trust, yet remain skeptical? For many of us, reading an HWA booklet was all the proof we needed. Those booklets simply led us from not knowing very much to a new and different mixture of ignorance.

There is so much trial and error involved is searching for "The Truth" until we realize the bible has little relevance for our lives today. It was written by and for people who lived thousands of years in the past. Once we stop believing God is speaking to us through its pages, life becomes much less confusing and complicated.

Is anyone familiar with Ken Ham's reproduction of Noah's Ark in Kentucky? An example of someone who believes his own crap, and aims at children to pull them in.

Anonymous said...

"People are dying of malnutrition or from disease spread because they don't have access to potable water in many places around the world, and he doesn't give two shits about them, but he helped you find your car keys? Spare me."

Well, there are lots of ways to explain that. Don't be so opinionated.

Anonymous said...

HWA's autobiography was full of claims that cannot be proven, but that does not stop many people today from taking it as nearly gospel. Why did people believe HWA in the first place? Because he plagiarized British Israelism and then claimed it was revelation to him. Claiming it was revealed to him gave him the (fake) credentials to establish himself as an apostle, and therefore as a man whose word was to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Paine was a deist. Some of the atheists on here seem to think he was one of their own.

Anonymous said...

The idea we were taught in the WCG was that prophecy proves the bible. That was why it could be accepted as revelation (so the argument goes). It was never a matter of just taking somebody's word for it. If you were in that church and never knew that YOU were negligent.

Anonymous said...

From childhood we have been indoctrinated to show respect to men who say they represent God.

Not necessarily. Many are indoctrinated to have contempt for theology even though they know nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

Gerald Flurry's prayer rock revealed it to him. Or was it the devil? Or, maybe he has split personalities.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said: "
If Dennis is the person who he claims to be on this site, I find it hard to believe that God never communicated to him. "

That makes absolutely no sense.

Anonymous said...

The next time someone claims they have direct communication from God tell them to record the conversation so that there is proof that it actually happened. It is so sad that there are people I know that have said that God told them which direction to go when faced with an important decision in their life. So many times it was the wrong decision because they thought that "the Lord" guided them to make that decision but really it was their own thought process based on their own flawed reasoning.

Anonymous said...

poster 2:09 Your post makes less a point than does Connie's ! I get the joke !!
You present yourself as having the humility of a donkey cart load of Malm's on the way
to a stoning . ( smile )

Near_Earth_Object said...

I have noticed that "god" talks to more people in regions strongly influenced by Pentecostalism than other areas. I used to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, home of Rhema Bible College and Oral Roberts University and "god" talked a lot. In fact, miracles happened all the time. I listened to some ORU students in the back of the bus while riding to me office downtown. And miracles were commonplace. A student related how he had put a small amount of spaghetti in a pan and it multiplied many times over - that kind of miracle. Somebody was always having a miracle happen.

While in Tulsa for the FOT, my family and I were eating breakfast in a Village Inn and an older woman came up to our table and had a message from god for us. The message was "keep doing what you are doing and everything will be all right." I think many Tulsans would have welcomed this but I just felt a little creeped out. We got up a left later but everything did not turn out all right. We left my son's sippy cup and we had to go back and retrieve it. He really would not drink out of another cup. We got to the Village Inn and the waiter had already thrown the cup away and had to retrieve it from the dumpster. I think if she had not delivered a message we would not have forgotten the sippy cup.

Armstrongites do not claim hearing the voice of god because I believe that for them it bears the stigma of demonic influence. I have never heard an Armstrongite claim any kind of extraordinary communication.

Herbert, however, was taught directly by Jesus Christ in a library in Des Moines, Iowa - like Paul was taught separately. I have never heard much about the details from the pulpit. Did Herbert actually claim to see Christ and speak with him? Or did he just study in the usual manner and later come to understand that his study was specially enriched by god. I have never heard an explanation of this odd incident. It should be better understood, however, because it is the origination point of the Armstrongist brand of Millerism.

I am surprised that some Armstrongist sect has not gone back to that library in Des Moines to acquire some artifacts - like a sacred chair or a sacred table or sacred pencil sharpener. Something to mark the miraculous beginning of the Radio Church of God.

Sweetblood777 said...

HWA never used the phrase that God told him, that I am aware of. He did however, say that God revealed this or that to him, giving the impression that God intervened at that moment in time to open his mind to some new truth. This can happen while one is reading the Bible, but to leave out this fact of 'while reading' gives the listener/reader a much different impression.

HWA as we all should know, was a con man from the very beginning. He was a covetous person who was only out done years later by Pack.