Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I Know What You Are Thinking:



Good morning..

.I used to be one of you. I know how you think, what you think and the Biblical brainwashing you have been through that makes you think the way you do about world events, Biblical prophecy, the Second Coming of Jesus and the Kingdom of God on earth.
 I know how ministers and pastors, most well meaning, but full of sanctified ignorance and misunderstanding of the intent, origins, errancy and the historical inaccuracies of much we read in the Bible, have filled your minds with misguided zeal. I know how you read and understand the prophecies of the four kingdoms of Daniel and the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. I doubt you know they were written after the fact and not prophetically.
I know how you read Daniel 11 and 12 as just how things will be "in the end times."  Your end times. I know how some of you think "a thousand will fall at your right side, and ten thousand at your left, but it will not come nigh unto your dwelling."  Don't try this stunt with regards to the current distress. Stay home. 
I know how you read Matthew 24. I know some of you think that you will be "born up on eagles wings" and taken to a "place of safety," maybe in Petra, Jordan to wait out the end time carnage that you see in the Trumpets, Vials, plagues and Horsemen of Revelation. Some of you have already left and some left years ago, only to return and get back to work.
I know you read the Book of Revelation as if it was a newspaper and see these times as those times and that book as revealing all that is about to happen so Jesus can return. I know you have forgotten that 2000 years ago the opening of the Revelation says "to show unto my servants, things which must SHORTLY, come to pass." I know that you view "shortly" differently than most people understand "shortly." I know some of you think you are part of the exclusive 144,000 thousand. I know you don't understand Gematria or the 12 signs of the Zodiac but I spare you.
I know that even though you know Paul said Jesus for sure would come in his lifetime, and that he was among the "We, who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall be caught up together with the Lord, and WE shall be saved,"  he was wrong. I know you know that later in his life, Paul gave up on Jesus coming for him in his lifetime and said that he had fought a good fight, kept the faith and would have to settle for a crown of righteousness that he'd get later, but not soon anymore. 
I know you know that Paul motivated the church to not marry the loves of their lives, give lots of money to the church and be ready to go at a moments notice, in vain. I always wonder about the people who believe what Paul said about the times being short and it being better to not marry and be like him. Did they get really bitter when their lives passed and Jesus didn't return, nor did they get to be intimate with the ones they loved because Paul said not to? I bet they did anyway, just like today in all churches who try to regulate relationships. The minister gets to rant about such things, but most just sneak around and do what they want anyway. You can thank Paul and his misguided view of the immediacy of Jesus return in HIS lifetime for the skepticism of most.
I know that you know Jesus said in Matthew 24 that "this generation shall not a pass until all these things be fulfilled" and that since we now know it was not the generation of Jesus this happened for, Jesus was not ill informed, but rather meant that the generation that these things happened in, would see it through. This allows your pastor to motivate you by drawing your attention to all that is happening in your world as proof of this being all about YOU. That's the apologetic, but that is not what Jesus, who was mistaken about this meant, when he is alleged to have said it. 

I know that you know "no man knows the day or the hour, but the Father only," but choose to ignore that and predict, predict, predict to put fear, fear, fear, into each other. Or as one said, "Just because we don't know the day or the hour doesn't mean we can't know the month or the year." Right... I know your ministers tell you that Jesus will return in 3 or 5 or not more than 10 years, and they are wrong, but hopeful and of course, the fear and hope of it keeps you in your seats and giving the bucks.
I know that the gayness of some people, the lack of belief of others, the movies, TV and all the events going on in the Middle East and now the Coronavirus are proof that you won't have to wait much longer for Jesus. Little does the Pastor know that out of every 100 members of his church, about 1.2 to 6.8%  are going to be gay by nature and that the same would be true for the 100 of the clergy he got together with at his last ministerial conference where they condemned it. I know you know that all fundamentalist college campuses have a normal number of gay students in attendance. Or maybe you don't. I know they are in denial on this topic but I spare you. Oh, and this would include the faculty of course.
I know you believe the nation of Israel is the most special of God's holy nations and that as one man said to me, "anyone who picks on Israel, is challenging God himself." I know you don't believe that anyone who picks on Afghanistan is picking on God. I have to say that meme has gone a long way to insure the safety of that small rather troublesome piece of the planet. The tales of the Old Testament have insured that the rules and ways of an obscure deity, on an obscure mountain, in an obscure land, speaking to an obscure people about obscure, dictatorial and controlling obscure practices, are relevant to today. They mostly aren't. My experience is that when a nation, government, president, church or group "can do no wrong," wrong is all they get good at. I know you know that too but don't apply it to the group you associate with. You should.
I know you are told you are special and that others are not. I know that you are told you are chosen and called, while others are not chosen and not called. I know you believe you have special saving knowledge while others are lost. I know you are told that you are true and others false. I know you are led to believe that your thinking is correct on all topics biblical and prophetic and all others are wrong. 

I know you can't imagine any biblical or prophetic mistakes being made. I also know you wonder about it all. But they are being made big time and cleaning up after the shit hits the fan, may be all you get to do, and of course, ask the pastor what went wrong and where is Jesus? Oh, you'll also get to ask why you can't afford to live and why your job ended and you lost everything you worked hard for. You'll also learn the church won't be able to help you much then, and no, you can't have any of your tithe money back to get back on your feet. That was money you gave to God and he has already spent it. I know you don't know that 100% of all end time prophecies made by fundamentalist and evangelical TV Preechers, have failed miserably. I know...just around the corner.
I know you are afraid to die personally just as every human being before you has. I know you, like Paul, prefer to be "changed," at the sound of the trumpet and not die at all. After all, Paul said "we would not all die." I am not sure you realize he had to retract that later in life.
I know how you feel about "God's Law" and how much better off we'd all be if we kept "it." But I also know you aren't real sure which ones to keep. Sabbath over Sunday? Passover over Easter? Holydays over holidays? 

I know some think parents should still get to stone rebellious children. I know you are nuts if you think that. I know you that "God's Law" means different things to different people and I know that you tend to confuse what to keep from the Old Testament nation of Israel and drag it over into the New and the Church. Well except tithing of course. I know how you think we are all spiritual Israelites, but how would you feel if someone kept calling you a spiritual Zulu in order to be saved? How about a Spiritual Sioux? Actually I'd love that but that's my preference.
I also know, because I was one of you, that you don't know near as much as you think you know. You're knowing is, at times, wishful thinking, or sanctified ignorance based on the sole fact that it's what you have always been taught. I have always liked the phrase, 'Piously convicted and marginally informed".

I know that learning new perspectives is not something you are encouraged to do. I know that admitting you are wrong is not something you are often able to do. When science makes a mistake, it admits it and uses whatever information was good for future studies. If a scientist won't admit a wrong, eventually his peers convince him with actual proof.   When religion and churches make mistakes, they choke on admitting it and mostly don't.  They kill the people who point it out. At best they make fun of them or push them out the door. That's how it works.  That's how "we must all speak the same thing that there be no division among us" is applied. 
But I also know that over zealous pastors and fundamentalists need to be cautioned about your zealotry gone wrong. Zealous and sanctified ignorance can provoke all the Vials, Trumpets, Trombones and Beasts of Revelation and you will get everything promoted in the Book of Revelation EXCEPT the Second Coming. What you will get is one big mess to clean up, if you survive along with the rest of us. You'll get a place in history as the reason why the next generation wants nothing to do with organized religion or ministers and pastors who can't admit they are wrong and it's not all about them after all. You'll reap a whirlwind but not  the Kingdom of God you are so confident is coming in your lifetime. 
I know how tempting it is to say "You can sure tell Jesus is about to return" with the Covid-19 sweeping the planet and we mere mortals not yet having any immunity to it.  We even have enough earthquakes to add to the anticipation and men certainly are lovers of their own selves, proud, boasters and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. . We have leadership that puts that on display every day. I know you and I know your ministers mindset in times like these. .  I urge you to be careful, very careful, in what you allow the ministry to convince you is so about "Bible Times"  when, while devastating to our  way of life, security and not a little bit frightening, it ain't.  


Every great fire is destined to go out. This too shall pass...

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dennis
You can post thousands of articles like this one, and they will not change what I believe. The regular appearance of these types of articles, points to a chemical and mental addiction on your part.

DennisCDiehl said...

Not endeavoring to change what you or anyone believes. I am pointing out that I am well aware of course of the beliefs of my fellow ministers who still are stuck in the concept that they live in the for sure end times and teach others to think and act accordingly. There is danger in that just as there is danger in having these beliefs and claiming persecution of some kind, as any number of fundamentalist ministers are doing, and endanger their congregants with their beliefs.

As for chemical and mental addictions being the assigned reason you give for my sharing experiences and concerns, you must need some reason to explain to yourself why I don't think any longer as you do. I have neither any chemical or mental addictions. I write to contribute. Why don't you write to contribute. Tell me all about you. Affiliation? Beliefs? Experiences? I promise if I don't see or filter the world through your eyes as I don't expect you to do so through mine, I won't conclude you have chemical and mental addictions.

DennisCDiehl said...

How about the short version? I know what Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry , Ron Weinland, Robert Thiel and all the COG ministry believes or is supposed to believe. It can prove dangerous to the menal, emotional and now physical health of their congregants in times such as this where it appears to fulfill their longings for prophecy to come alive. It won't and this will pass as every other time the past 2000 years has with no Second Coming to prove them correct.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, there is hope! At least anon@7.01 diagnosed you with chemical or mental addiction and not demonic possession. Addictions can be cured but demons are a whole other thing!

Non_Ecliptic_Orbit said...

Dennis wrote: "...errancy and the historical inaccuracies of much we read in the Bible.."

The inevitable aspersion. The Bible is not a book of history. Nor is it a book of science, anthropology, medicine, cosmology or any other secular field of study. The Bible is a book of theology and wisdom. Your insistence on it being something that it is not is the source of your disenchantment. Otherwise, you have written a thoughtful warning to Armstrongists who are no doubt getting all spun up, are in a vulnerable state and can be easy be taken advantage of by their self-interested leadership.

Allen C. Dexter said...

We humans want to have control over our destiny, to have a "leg Up" on coming events. Hence the appeal of prophecy. Winning at something can lead you to think you're on a "winning streak" and you blow everything you've got and even go in debt to continue that streak. It happens every day in Las Vegas. Hence the appeal of Herbert Armstrong, Miller and countless others over the centuries. Their surety and bombast, their super salesmanship convinced the unwary that they were special and chosen to be the "elect." Everybody wants to feel special. The seducers play on that, maybe even believe it themselves. It gets us to jump into toxic relationships, and one of greatest toxic relationships around is cultic religion.

Liam Grabarkewitz said...

Dennis worse: ---but how would you feel if someone kept calling you a spiritual Zulu in order to be saved? How about a Spiritual Sioux? Actually I'd love that but that's my preference.

Well Dennis, according to Armstrong world view, I would be considered a spiritual Assyrian, or perhaps a spiritual Nazi!

Anonymous said...

I found this a perfect message for this morning. Imagining (wishful thinking) families having reasonable discussions over the next few weeks as they look at the next months.

Will this be the 'end time' of a long-lasting sort of mlm experiment with winners take all, if they can keep it?

Every fire is destined to extinguish...

I hear the black market or dark economy, whatever it's called, is having a serious financial downturn.

Thanks for taking the time to write and post, Dennis.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Fascinating post Dennis, taking us back to a time when we knew almost everything about almost everything! I love your expression "sanctified ignorance", so applicable. Of course "Piously convicted and marginally informed" is another appropriately descriptive phrase from your previous writings.

Keep it coming, and thanks for highlighting Henry's book here on "Banned".

This morning I referred the AC Reunion Forum participants to your above posts here. Hope a few tune in. I think it would be fun for you to post the "I know what you are thinking" piece on the Forum site. What a way to introduce yourself!

Anonymous said...

Dennis
I have been stalked all my life by people in my workplace, church services and by relatives. If they go on a holiday, they make up for the 'lost time' by temporarily intensifying their stalking. So my accusation of you being chemically and mentally addicted is not pulled out of thin air.
I've noticed that what all these people have in common is some combination of an empty life, plus a poor character.

Dennis Johnson said...

You nailed it brother.
Dennis Johnson, former WCG Pastor.

Byker Bob said...

Here is the basic problem. A false teacher, whether or not he knows that he is a false teacher, can actually cause bad things to happen to his followers and others, things that are not God's will, and don't need to happen. It has been known since 1844 that the Millerites/Adventists did not have an accurate understanding of prophecy. It has also been known since 1922 that GG Rupert did not have a correct understanding of prophecy. It has been known since 1972-75 that Herbert Armstrong lacked an understanding of prophecy, and into the new millennium that the ACOG splinter leaders have zero understanding of prophecy. Yet all of these have been allowed to run amuck, to cause others to believe their falsehoods, and to incur damages as a result of these beliefs.

Whether it is a phasing problem, or a problem with the understanding of so-called teachers, prophets, and apostles, the (im)practical applications of Daniel and Revelation have proven throughout our lifetimes to be just as valueless as the prognostications of Nostradamus.

We are indeed going through a period of difficult times, and instead of joining in on the solution, some of those who claim to have all the answers are sentencing their followers to death, like Jerry Falwell Jr. with the students of Liberty University, and any ACOG teacher who continues to insist on his congregants congregating during the pandemic. In the case of the ACOG leaders, their consciences of many are already so seared from insistently teaching lying prophecies and continuously financially fleecing their flocks, that they have no problem in making mandates that are guaranteed to kill some of their members, and then suppressing the facts so that it looks as if they had protection which they really don't have.

How could these be leaders whom anyone would respect, let alone blindly obey? This Covid 19 virus has "stepped on" many tyrants, and their true nature has become manifest for all to see.

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Dennis
I have been stalked all my life by people in my workplace, church services and by relatives. If they go on a holiday, they make up for the 'lost time' by temporarily intensifying their stalking. So my accusation of you being chemically and mentally addicted is not pulled out of thin air."

REPLY: Well I can't speak to the topic of your being stalked. I don't see the connection you are making , or as you say, "accusation" of me being chemically and mentally addicted. In that case your "A" does not lead to any "B" I understand. That said, I don't drink, never smoked, bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail for miles, just had a medicare physical where the Doc said "I don't know what you're doing but keep it up. You're numbers are stellar." In Portland where I had instant access to pot, mushrooms and ayahuasca, the latter two under experienced supervision. I turned it all down as I was content in my life, not needing to escape or in the case of psilocybin ayhuasca go deeper into my psyche and do the inner work they are known to help with. Not that I wouldn't. I just didn't out of no need or desire to do so. I believe that would bespeak self control and wisdom expressed in my own needs or not needs. So your accusation is bogus and perhaps something you need to believe to explain others to yourself but you have missed the mark muchly.

"I've noticed that what all these people have in common is some combination of an empty life, plus a poor character."

REPLY See above. MY character is just fine. Admittedly I am one at times as well.
Your need to define others whether you get it right or not, and you haven't in this case, is interesting and worthy of a psychologist's view of why people feel the need to do that.

DennisCDiehl said...

Well hey Mr. Johnson, Dennis my old buddy and friend. Congrats! You are now the second former full time pastor to show up here by name. Good on ya! Enjoyed our phone chat last week!

Anonymous said...

"I have been stalked all my life by people in my workplace, church services and by relatives. If they go on a holiday, they make up for the 'lost time' by temporarily intensifying their stalking. "

There is something seriously wrong with a person who believes they are being constantly stalked in every avenue of their life and particularly by those doing it while on vacations. That truly is absurd. Talk about paranoia! You must be a trip to be around.

RSK said...

Must be the same guy who pops up every so often to claim people at his workplace are out to get him because of his Sabbath keeping.

Anonymous said...

RSK
No, it's not the same guy. The same guy accusation seems to appear frequently. It's beginning to sound like a put down of those with different views.

12.57 PM
I meant a physical holiday, as in going overseas. I'm surprised at your interpretation.

RSK said...

Well, if you dont like it, get a username so we know who is who. Otherwise you're all just a bunch of recurring Anons.

Anonymous said...

RSK
The Anon thingy has been discussed many times on this blog. There are good reasons why they are used. Some for instance, have family members in one of the HWA cults.

Byker Bob said...

There actually is a guy who pops up here every once in a while that has expressed that everyone around him always persecutes him. Constantly. Different of us have tried to comfort and help him, but it does no good. So, I don't think that remembering this particular symptom is a put down of anonymous posters. Further, that poster mentioned people "on holiday" (a mostly British linguistic nuance) as well! So, we've got two Brits with the same symptom. The thought that RSK had expressed had also occurred to me when I saw the post at 12:25. I believe instead that apparently, we have identified another common symptom brought on by Armstrongism. No surprise there. Tyrannical government from the top down usually does produce paranoia. There must have been a hellacious megalomaniacal minister over in London at some point.

Oddly enough, a person with a persecution complex would probably see persecution in our observations, and might actually conclude that either RSK and I were the same person, or that we had conspired off the board to persecute him.

Dude, get a screen name. It helps! Also, chill! We only persecute assholes around here, and so far, you have not yet made one of yourself.

BB

Allen C. Dexter said...

I guess there are legitimate reasons for going anonymous. I'm glad I'm too ornery to give a damn. I'll use my name, and if someone doesn't like what I comment, that's their problem. Their disagreement means absolutely nothing to me unless in some rare instance they could point out an error or mistake that was valid. In such case, I'd be man enough to accept it.
Difference of opinion based on loyalty to myths and dogma don't impress me at all.

Anonymous said...

BB
The Bible on many occasions warns of Christians being persecuted. If you think that people making this claim have a persecution complex or are being paranoid, you are confessing that you have never gone down the straight and narrow. Even the 'town drunk' who tries to go down the straight and narrow will experience persecution.

RSK said...

And as has been pointed out, a username is not a means of identification, unless you use the same one on every site you visit. Call yourself something generic like Tennis Ball if you wish.

RSK said...

Nah, I'm a Mosrite player, Byker doesnt have a Mosrite :)

Byker Bob said...

Ah, Semie Moseley's masterpiece. Bob Bogle, Don Wilson, and Nokie Edwards made beautiful music on Semie's guitars.

I envy you, RSK! Great axe!

BB

Byker Bob said...

Now I'm ready to hunker down, except for the strategic calls from essential businesses. Just strung up my Firebird with a new set of D'Addario Pure Nickel 10-45s! Plug your ears, neighbors!

BB

RSK said...

It's a delightfully quirky instrument. Very versatile once you learn how to control it. Maybe a steeper learning curve than some of the more common types out there, but you cant beat that vintage building. :)

There is a nice replica kit out there I bought and custom'd to a different set of specs so I'd have two different types for recording to mix together. The whole thing cost about $400 when I was finished. Fun job. I'd do it more often but I dont need sixteen guitars in the house!

Byker Bob said...

I usually play my main axe until I've worn the frets flat with finger-vibrato, and then retire it. Each new one has been a step up, and plays better. Usually they last me ten or more years. I also have a cigar box guitar that I had custom built about 3 or 4 years ago, but it's difficult to play because it's not balanced like a normal guitar. It's clumsier than a Flying V. The box is set up Fender Telecaster ashtray style, and it's got dual humbucker pickups.

I don't believe in having a lot of guitars either. For me, if I can get the sound of a Strat and the sound of a Les Paul, that's pretty much suits my style.

BB