What is "Truth?"
To each and every mind "truth" is what that mind thinks is "truth." The subject matter is of no consequence, because "truth" is what anyone thinks in their own mind. If a billion human beings think that truth is what
they read in the "Bible", does that mean that the Bible is what truth is? The only problem with that thinking is that that same billion humans beings will think very different thoughts about what they read in that so called
Bible. The Bible they read will bring forth a myriad of different beliefs, customs and practices among those billion human beings, that cause massive confusion as to what "truth" really is. Is there really any such thing
as a definition of "truth?" The Worldwide Church of God defined "truth" as what their top leaders said "truth" is. The "apostle" Paul defined "truth" by his own definition of truth, but was he right and correct?
Those who penned, edited, revised, distorted, twisted, added to, deleted from and generally wrote the so called "Bible" define "truth" by their own definition and attributed what they said to God. Was God really the author? Truth differs with individuals and with groups, including religious groups and human governments. Sometimes innocent human beings are nailed with false accusations and even serve prison sentences for being "guilty" of crimes which they never committed. So then was the "truth" what they were accused of? Even Jesus was accused of many false allegations. Real truth is then an obvious slippery slope among human beings.
What human being thinks that what they think is false? Obviously no one. How do you define truth? The answer differs with the mind that advances an answer. It then becomes apparent that TRUTH is not cut and dried and has only one answer. In the Civil War of the Untied States, the North (Yankees) have a very different perspective than the South (Confederates) about that diabolical war of death and destruction. There is no one answer that will ever satisfy all people. Nevertheless it is more than obvious to any astute thinker that those who "win" the wars, write the "history" books which are taught to future generations of school children.
In reality the doctrine that "the Bible is infallible and inerrant" is nothing less than CENSORSHIP of freedom of thought. The infallibility doctrine seeks to squelch independent questioning and to cause common people to think that to question the Bible is to question God. The world is overrun with Bible scholars who know beyond doubt that the Bible is full of holes, while common church goers are led to believe that the Bible is beyond questioning. Whatever "truth" is, it is without doubt that there are many answers that differ and there is no one answer that will ever satisfy those who reason, ask questions and think about issues.
The Capacity to Understand
One of the frustrating realities about human life is that we are all mortal. Life is short no matter how long we live. We also are not God and therefore are incapable of comprehending eternity. Who can fathom the
immenseness of the Sun or its incomprehensible blazing heat? Who can fathom the immensity of the universe? No doubt the most sophisticated telescopes on earth can never reach into the never ending vastness of outer-space. Where is the end of space, stars, planets, galaxies and matter in space? I would suspect that it will forever be impossible for human beings to find out. Even if human beings should accomplish travel to "local" planets, that would be "nothing" in comparison to a never ending universe.
Does anyone really understand where human life is leading? Those who control most of life on earth are either in religious beliefs or political beliefs, but also other areas of human life. All who have "Holy" books as
their guide will always say that they understand. Not really! No one can fathom what the future is, either in the human realm or beyond. There surely must be millions of people the world over who are frustrated to
the depths of their souls and beings over the seeming unsolvable problems of human life. Common people have no control over the price of gas at the fuel pump, but live in disgust at being manipulated by those whose
only goal in life seems to be money, power and control. Who is not weary to the bone over the never ending wars of death and destruction, always hyped up by massive propaganda, fed to the public by the "news" media and government? With government "the bad guys" are always the other guy. Who looks in the mirror?
Years ago the Worldwide Church of God published a booklet entitled "1975 in Prophecy" and the church members were led to believe that "the end" is near, and the church will flee to a place of "safety", generally thought of as being "Petra." Of course 1975 was long ago and as with all individuals and groups who have set dates and led people to believe "this is the end", they were wrong. They always are wrong. Ever since people have been saying "Jesus is coming are you ready", millions of "Christians" and church goers who were told that, have come and gone from this life and Jesus has not returned. Amazingly in the words of Jesus Himself, anyone can read that Jesus said "the Kingdom of God comes not with observation" and "the Kingdom of God is within you" and I wonder why anyone looks for a physical manifestation that is NEVER going to happen?
We are not living in the "end times", unless human beings themselves destroy all life on earth in their madness, through the stupidity of war. What if the intention of God the Creator is that the earth will exist FOREVER and NEVER cease to produce human beings? Is it possible to think and reason outside of the norm? There is no living human being now or ever was, apart from God who knows the future and the Bible does NOT give any details. The Bible may say something about eternity or salvation or everlasting life, but what is that? And what will beings be doing for eternity and will they be able to live in peace and harmony and happiness for all eternity? In the human realm it is more than obvious that collectively humans have never moved toward peace on earth and good will among men. Men have never beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and learned war no more, based upon a passage in the Old Testament.
The human mind is very intelligent and should humans be resurrected with that intelligent mind, that mind will have to be kept challenged and active and busy forever or be so bored that life would have no meaning. So then what will "spirit beings" be doing for the next trillion years and forever beyond? We have no clue! Plucking on a harp is not particularly attractive. Is there some reason for this human existence? We are all prisoners on earth and are subject to the elements, the governments, those who control secretly behind the scenes, the religions and all the thinking those goes into human life. Making sense of it all seems to be beyond human ability. Even if we "see" we are generally not going to change the course of those who wield power and make the decisions all of us have to live with (often against our will).
If we believe atheism, then this is it and it all ends in the local graveyard. If we believe in God at least we have hope and an anchor, even though we have no capacity to understand what that future may be. Do we really control our own destiny?
It is Humanly Impossible to Have all the Answers
Herbert W. Armstrong seemed to think that he had all the answers about life on earth. He had "the mind of God", understood the "future" and generally considered himself far and above all other human beings on planet earth.
Of course Herbert W. was not alone because the world has always had such personalities who saw themselves as "God" in the flesh. They may never have stated that they were "God" on earth, but they implied that they were at the "right hand" of God and represented Him. The Mormon Church, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Roman Catholic Church and many others have had the same human idea. It is not really any different than all the human governments of men who also think that they have a "right" to totally control your life from the cradle to the grave, because "its the law." Without force, governments of men would not exist. Without persuasion and deception the religions of men would not exist.
In the long run does anything among human beings really matter? One hundred percent of all human beings will exit life on earth. Will the belief that "the Bible is infallible and inerrant" really make a difference when human beings have returned to dirt in the grave yards? Will being a republican, democrat, communist or any other political concept make a difference when all such people are in their graves? Ultimately it seems that the things that humans place such great emphasis upon are really nothing more than dust in the wind. Who has a voice in the grave?
We argue, we antagonize one another, we differ and we all have strong opinions. In the end we all perish and most of us will never make a dent in human life on earth. We criticize one another and we are sure that what we think is what "truth" is. I suspect that God Himself is far more intelligent than we know or can comprehend. Anyone who has lived FOREVER (God) has to be exponentially more knowledgeable and wise than mere humans, whose short life span is ridiculous in terms of eternity. The age of the Internet has changed the playing field of human life. At least until the human governments of men, who always live in fear of losing their power, censor the Internet, the world currently has the most advanced means of human communication the world has ever known. Knowledge is more readily available than ever in the history of human life on earth. Unfortunately there are still millions of human beings who never take advantage of the vast amount of information that is available through the Internet. Of course as with all human media, the Internet is both a source of truth and also propaganda.
There is no religious group or organization on earth, anymore than there is any human government on earth, who has all the answers to humans issues or human problems. The "law courts" of human governments are no more the source of right and truth than any other human system of men on earth. Placing faith in men is in fact a misplaced faith and it matters not whether that faith is in "pastors", churches, politicians or human governments. All men are human and that includes those who penned the so called "Bible" and those who form human governments.
Tenacious "faith" in the Bible is not based upon reason or human intelligence, but is based upon indoctrination and human emotion. Bible apologists don't really have all the answers about "the Bible", they just deceive themselves that they do. Is there any human being on earth that is worthy of placing total faith in? Many church goers seem to place undying faith in their local "pastors" as if these individuals know and understand what "truth" is, but it is a juvenile deception. Faith in God is one thing, but faith in any human leader is another matter altogether, for the simple reason that the leader also is a human being with bias and human nature. It is simply outrageous that so many sit in church pews and think that what someone standing in a pulpit says is the unvarnished truth. This is in fact why so many fall into a bottomless pit of darkness by believing that Herbert W. Armstrong was "the" representative of God on earth in our day and age. A TOTAL DECEPTION!!!
None of us have absolute truth, even though we all think that what we believe is what "truth" is. We all convince ourselves that what we think is what "truth" is. It applies to all humans, including Bible apologists, atheists, Deists, agnostics or whatever we have been indoctrinated to believe, or whatever has shaped our thinking. We are all unique and so we believe based upon our own personal human experiences and the total input into our minds and thinking. Without doubt we are all one-hundred percent influenced by other human beings. Do they really know what they are talking about and what influence shaped their thinking?
It is humanly impossible to have all the answers.
Obsessed About the Bible
The "Bible" the "Bible", the "Bible" and one would think that "the Bible" is God. It borders on stupidity. Anyone who views endless websites on the Internet has to know that many are obsessed with the so called "Bible" as if the Bible is God Himself. The fangs come out when Bible apologists are challenged about the validity of the Bible. Like vampires, Bible apologists sink their teeth into the necks of anyone who challenges the "infallibility" of the Bible. I know from personal experience that Bible apologists will often attack anyone who challenges their religious position. I wonder if Bible apologists would even nail other humans to a cross or stake for opposing Bible infallibility? I have encountered a number of apologists, who ALWAYS see things from the perspective of God being the author of human writings called "the Bible."
Bible obsession is overwhelming in the world we live in. It is the source and foundation of the belief system for millions of human beings the world over. Bible obsession is overpowering. I wonder if God Himself just
shakes His head at human beings in utter disbelief of how stupid human beings can be? Oh yes, humans are very intelligent, just not in the area of religious understanding. Obsession with the Bible is a major issue
in the world of Churchianity, including the Worldwide Church of God and its paraplegic clones. Yes folks, the splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God are living in spiritual wheelchairs. They are spiritually crippled.
When your religious thinking has been formed in cement, it is next to impossible to breath. It is sad for those who live in constant "fear" that they will lose their salvation or eternal life if they do not conform to the thinking
of the "spiritual" leaders of the particular group they are cemented in. Many are stuck in spiritual glue. Humans caught in the web of deception, often are scarred for years or even life, by the fraud that destroyed their
innocence. No wonder Jesus Christ denounced man-made religion as reflected in Matthew 23 and you wonder why "modern" day churches don't see themselves in the mirror?
Believe it or not, when I took a voluntary exit from employment at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California in October, 1974, I was told by the office manager that "if you lose your salvation, it won't be because of us."
That is typical of cult mentality and it is pure 100% stupidity. The thought was that since I was leaving voluntary, I was forfeiting my salvation by renouncing the Worldwide Church of God. Unfortunately, the Bible is an obsession with Churchianity and it is in fact their "God" and specifically as each "pastor" and each church organization interprets it.
Is the Bible a Ball and Chain?
Millions have been in bondage to INK on PAPER, called "the Bible" for a very long time. Is the Bible a ball and chain upon the lives of those who think God sent it from heaven to mankind? Those who stand in pulpits will obviously answer no, because it is their excuse to dominate and control their personal followers. No one could say that the Bible has no value at all, or at least if they do they overlook the fact that there are some good points found in this collection of writings compiled into one volume. Certainly it is not bad to believe that loving your neighbor is a good thing, or that being meek is a bad thing, or that being a
peacemaker has no merit. We even read to "prove all things", which is sage advice.
On the other hand there is a great deal about the Bible that is a ball and chain upon the lives of an innumerable multitude of human beings, including those associated with the Worldwide Church of God and its many clones. Having read the Bible a great deal in years past, I conclude that it is not necessary to read the Bible everyday or have Bible studies endlessly for life. Far more important is simply to live, love, be kind, do good things and enjoy your life while you have it and teach your children to THINK and never stop asking questions. When you listen to PIED PIPERS IN THE PULPITS, the bottom line is that they think they have a right to do your thinking for you and a free pass to your bank account (at least 10% of it and exceptions for more).
The Bible is a great excuse for abuse of multitudes of human beings, who have been hoodwinked into thinking that religious leaders understand something about God, that common people have no access to. I get sick and tired of seeing preachers on television standing with the Bible in their hands, quoting verses and treating people as if they are so brainless that they must be bottle fed their daily dose of preachers
sermons. If people had any sense they would all run for the exit doors and never again financially support these self-appointed gods and mind-control preachers. After all how many times does a human being need to be told something they have heard 10,000 times before?
Lets face it, every "pastor" preaches that which is right in his own thinking. Never mind that God gave all human beings a brain and that for those who still believe in God, no "pastor" on earth is the funnel through which others must travel to have a relationship with their Creator. Pastors and churches all take captives and their "authority" for doing so is the ball and chain called "the Bible." Of course that Bible is interpreted in so many different ways that it is comical to an outside observer. I once sent an email to a "Christian" organization stating that much of the Bible portrays God in the most barbaric manner and attributes to Him, horrors, atrocities and genocide that no thinking human being, would ever believe defines the true character or nature of God. His reply was that he was shocked and was going to right this minute pray for me. Many Bible readers never entertain, that maybe, just maybe, some of this stuff is myth, fiction, legend and penned by LYING SCRIBES and control freaks. Apparently Jesus Himself thought so, because He denounced their man-made religion in His famous speech at Matthew 23, which someone seems to have remembered and penned years later.
As the years pass, there are so many voices that are ripping the Bible to shreds that I doubt that it will be the "infallible and inerrant" word of God for another two-thousand years. Does it have any value at all? In my thinking yes it does, but like a newspaper one reads, who would believe that everything in it is the unvarnished truth? Like "news" on television, only the gullible and naive would believe that the news media is a source that is founded upon nothing but truth. In fact television, movies, newspapers, magazines, books and even the Internet are all sources of major and massive propaganda. Just because something is said to be ancient (scrolls for example), does not make them infallible and inerrant truth.
Humans have always been liars with ulterior motives. To accept without question the Bible as total truth is simply childish. I seriously doubt that God reads the Bible everyday or sits in a pew listening to preachers. When Jesus went into the synagogues, it was not to learn truth, but to enlighten those who lived in darkness.
Men Who Would Be Pastors
That those who assume leadership in the world of churches stand in the place of God is more than ridiculous. No doubt many enter into the pastor type of occupation with complete sincerity and without ulterior motives, but not all. In the story in the book of Acts about Ananias and Sapphira, we read that God supposedly struck this man and his wife down dead at the feet of Peter. Christians reading a story like this would have a sense of FEAR that pastors and church leaders are not to be taken for granted. I take the position that this story has two possibilities and neither have anything to do with God (God was not responsible, nor was the Holy Spirit). First, it could be pure fiction and it never happened. Second, if these two people really did drop dead at the feet of Peter, then they were poisoned or killed by some human being with ulterior motives.
The Roman Catholic Church traces its origin (falsely) to Peter and is there some kind of connection with this account of a man and his wife dropping dead at the feet of "Pope Peter", to intentionally create FEAR of religious rulers in the minds of their subjects? The "sin" of Ananias and Sapphira was that they supposedly lied about $money, which is a rather amazing reason to kill someone. God did not even strike down dead on the spot those who crucified Jesus Christ, which was exponentially a far greater issue than anything Ananias and Sapphira ever did.
For splinter group church goers who live in FEAR of their church leaders and rulers, here is a major contradiction. In Luke 9:54-56, we read that two of the disciples of Jesus wanted to call down fire out of heaven and consume some folks they had issues with, to which Jesus rebuked them saying "The Son-of-Man is NOT come to destroy men's lives, BUT TO SAVE them." So then if indeed God is the author of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, then the contradiction to what Jesus taught is not only confusing, but leaves one in grave doubt about the validity of such contradictions. Aside from that how could Jesus teach "love your neighbor as you love yourself", "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "love your enemies", "blessed are the peacemakers" and so forth and then defy His own teachings? Were Ananias and Sapphira an exception to the rule?
We begin to see what is called "the Bible" unravel when it is examined much more closely than is ever done from the pulpits of churches. In the Old Testament there is a story during the time of Moses and also attributed to God, that God supposedly opened up the ground and swallowed Korah, and others with him (including women and children), because Korah voiced opinions contrary to Moses. This is yet another story designed to instill the FEAR of religious and secular rulers into the minds of common people. If Jesus Christ was indeed God of the Old Testament as so many Bible apologists proclaim, how then is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever? I am more than confident that there is a great deal in what is called the Bible, that has to do with causing common people to live in lifelong fear of the rulers of men. Pastors love to quote passages such as "you dare not touch God's anointed", which causes people to fear.
Fear of rulers of men is as old as dirt. We read in the Bible "fear not" and we read "fear God" and we read "there is no fear in perfect love." So which is it? As a parent do you want your children to live in fear of your being their parent, or would you prefer that they live knowing that you love them unconditionally? In Romans 13 we read that "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil and so obey the rulers" and that has to be pure fraud. History is proof that rulers of men have slaughtered the good and the innocent by the millions, since the beginning of time. Some rulers have even murdered their own family members in their insanity and murdered countless others in their insatiable lust for power, control and wealth. The wars of rulers of men never cease to destroy not only those involved in military, but "collateral damage" (civilians, including women, children and babies). The Old Testament is full of it and so is real life since the beginning of time and the human sacrifices in endless and perpetual wars never cease. For Romans 13 to state that rulers are "not a terror" to good works, but to the evil, is nothing short of ludicrous. Jesus Christ was nothing but GOOD and if the rulers of men are "not" a terror to good works, how then was Christ crucified? Yet another major contradiction in the so called Bible and there are many.
Should members of the splinter groups of the "churches of God" ever study the Bible for themselves, without being told what it is suppose to mean from their leaders, who stand in pulpits, they would have a rude awakening. Pastors, elders, or whatever title men love to attach to their names, does not make them all knowing, all right, all infallible, all inerrant or to be feared. And yet, it is because of certain verses in the Bible, that many who go to church live a life in fear of "pastors." Strange indeed that we read that Jesus came to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE, and yet the church world has taken many captive. In fact Jesus demolished man-made religion as defined in Matthew 23. No church organization pays attention to such details.
FEAR IS A TOOL
The Bible is chalk full of FEAR. The Bible even says to "fear God" and at the same time it says that "there is no fear in love." Contradiction? Yes, to those of us who think, but not to Bible apologists, who move heaven and earth to defend the indefensible. If God is LOVE, then why would He expect His human creation to live in FEAR of Him? Perhaps a better alternative is to respect God, because He is really about LOVE, although the Bible in many parts portrays Him abysmally otherwise.
In the story about Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts, we read that God supposedly struck these two people down dead at the feet of Peter, over $money matters and lying. This story is pure fiction! If it really did happen, then God could not possibly be responsible. Why is that so? Simply because it so contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ, that it makes no sense. In another account in the Gospels, we read that two of the disciples of Jesus wanted to call down fire out of heaven and consume some folks that they had issues with, to which Jesus rebuked them saying that He (Jesus Christ) came NOT to destroy the lives of men, but to SAVE. How is it possible that Jesus could teach "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "love your neighbor as you love yourself", "blessed are the peacemakers", "blessed are the meek", "love your enemies", "turn the other cheek" and so forth and at the same time, strike down Ananias and Sapphira at the feet of Peter??? It is absurd!
I have an answer. The answer is God did NOT do it, but someone wrote that He did. Men have always placed words in the mouth of God that He never spoke, and attributed events to God that God is not responsible for. The flood of Noah and the ark for example (another fairy tale). We all know that the Roman Catholic Church traces (falsely) its origin to Peter, and does anyone sense that there must be suspicion surrounding the fable of Ananias and Sapphira as attributed to God? Perhaps religious leaders and rulers have always wanted common people to live in FEAR of their false authority, and fear that they might just contract leprosy or cancer or something if they do not obey the rulers. Perhaps "Pope Peter" was NOT the fisherman that Jesus hand picked to be a witness about Him, but is a fictional character.
A very similar fable is found in the Old Testament where we read that Korah and those with him, including the women, innocent children and babies were swallowed up by the earth opening up under their feet, because Korah and certain men with him voiced opinions contrary to Moses. It is attributed to God, as are many other myths and legends of lying scribes. If Jesus Christ is indeed the same yesterday, today and forever, then there is no possible way that Jesus Christ was also God of the Old Testament as so many proclaim. The contradictions on display in the writings called "the Bible" are so glaring that even a cave man can see them. Even a dinosaur must know that there are issues with the so called "Bible" that make no sense. Apparently cave men are more discerning than modern day Bible apologists, who come unglued when challenged over Bible foolishness.
In Romans 13 the reader is led to believe that rulers of men are "not a terror to good works, but to the evil" and of course consequently "obey the rulers, because they are so concerned about your welfare, that they keep a close watch for your protection and security." HOGWASH! History is awash with the horrors of rulers who have slaughtered the innocents of life by the countless millions. In fact, if indeed rulers were not a terror to good works, but to the evil only, then Jesus Christ would never have been crucified, because He was nothing but GOOD. Anyone who has read a little history knows how insane many rulers of nations have been and how they have been responsible for the horrible deaths of their own family members, as well as millions of others that they considered their "enemies." How then can anyone believe that God "inspired" words such as "obey those who have the rule over you?" Do we obey terrorists in power?
Naturally the Worldwide Church of God and its disfigured offspring teach that it is God who expects the common people to "obey" their false authority. The same is true of all human governments who proclaim "its the law", which of course are "laws" of those who control. The churches and governments are twins, because they both demand obedience upon threat that "its the law." Natural laws of physics such as gravity are in place and we all know they are real. However the "laws" of men and of religions of men are penned in INK on PAPER and are about as useful as newspapers for starting a fire. Humans are forever making "laws", which gives them the excuse to control and snatch your money from your pocketbook. Of course as with most things in life, the rulers exclaim that it is for your "good", your "protection", "your security" and "your well being." Hee haw!!!
The Foundation of Man-Made Religions
As a reader one thing anyone can learn from reading from a wide range of sources, is that no matter what you say, there are always those who will differ. This is natural and what a dull world if every human being thought exactly alike. I have read on the websites of many who have the belief that "the Bible is infallible and inerrant" and is "totally inspired by God." The "Holy" books of all the religions of the world are in fact the primary source and foundation that have fueled a world of division, antagonism, elitism and a host of other human problems. I suppose if we had been born on Mars and it was inhabitable and we were brought up believing in a book called "The Writings", which was a collection of writings from "prophets" and "prophetesses" of other inhabitable planets and which found their way to Mars, then that is what the common people would accept as "truth." In that book of "The Writings", it may say "all these writings are given by inspiration of God" and that would seal it for many who would forever believe that indeed God was the author.
The world is full of theologians, "scholars" and believers in the Bible, who think the Bible itself "proves" that it is the word of God. If indeed God is not the author of confusion, you have to scratch your head and wonder how the world is so divided into so many different interpretations of the Bible and thus innumerable churches and major religious beliefs. The general excuse is "well those who don't believe as we do, just don't understand the Bible." Yeah sure! Some people have been highly offended when I told them that the church world is full of Bible worshipers, who think the Bible is God. They always have a retort to "God is not the Bible and the Bible is not God." God is not ink on paper, but not only do millions of churchians seem to think so, but so also do other religious groups who think their "Holy" books are God also. Religious minded people love to quote passages from their "sacred" writings, which is their source that supposedly validates what they believe.
As far as the Worldwide Church of God and its offspring are concerned, their view of the Bible is peculiar to the interpretation of Herbert and their leaders. This is of course true of all groups and no one is convinced that anything that differs with their views is acceptable. I have emailed several splinter groups or their representatives in the past and expressed a few views, and the general reply is silence, but also a time or two---hostility. People simply do not want their comfort zone rocked. I agree that it is unsettling to be told that the Saturday Sabbath has nothing to do with salvation or eternal life, or material blessings for observing it, if you have been indoctrinated that it is paramount.
Most people have had the idea of Bible infallibility so pounded into their thinking for so many years, that to even entertain that their "Holy" book is full of holes is unthinkable. To question or challenge the Bible is tantamount to questioning God Himself and so to them, it is off limits. In the Old Testament anyone who picked up sticks on the Sabbath was to be put to death, and no one who can reason would believe that this represents the God of love, portrayed by Jesus Christ. And yet millions say "the Bible is totally inspired by God." Surely something is intrinsically wrong with a book that is the foundational source that causes some people to believe that they have rights to your property by force, or that they can kill the men and women and children in conquest and save the virgins for themselves. Writings that purport to enslave people to rulers of men, must have been penned by aliens, but not by God. Giving a priest class of people "right" to your pocketbook, because they represent God on earth is far fetched. The clergy class of "professional" Bible-thumpers are naturally ecstatic, because they can pick out passages in "The Writings" that give them status and free money at your expense.
I wonder how many more thousands of years will pass before people the world over come to their senses about "The Writings?" We know instinctively the basics of right and wrong without having to read it in ink on paper, scrolls or on papyrus. Don't we all know that it is wrong to murder your next door neighbor? Do we need a "licensed" preacher to stand in a pulpit and tell us this? Who were all these dead men, who penned "The Writings" and attributed them to God? Were they LYING SCRIBES with an agenda to control the world and pocket a treasure chest full of coins, compliments of their sheep-like followers? How do "The Writings" identify the splinter groups of the WWCG as the "one and only true church of God" on earth? I guess some people believe in magic.
The Real Purpose of Churches
There is no "pastor" who identifies himself or herself with that label, who does not seek personal followers. Some "pastors" are very successful at gathering a great crowd of people at their feet. We live in the age of the mega-church and there are many of them. Herbert W. Armstrong was among those who amassed a considerable number of human sheep. The front put forth to the world and the public is always the same, which is to "preach the Gospel" to the world. Without personal followers no "pastor" (unless independently wealthy), could ever build a church building, a "Christian" school, a "Christian" college or fund ministerial homes, luxuries, jet airplanes, trips around the world, glossy magazines and so forth.
Although always hotly denied the real basis for churchianity is money. Most likely the world of churches will never disappear from life on earth. Most all parents will forever teach their children to believe as they do in
regard to religious beliefs and so the many belief systems perpetuate endlessly. The Mormon Church has staggering wealth, as does the Roman Catholic Church. The Worldwide Church of God during the life time of Herbert W. Armstrong, although nothing to sneeze at in terms of their bank vault, paled into insignificance compared to the Mormon and Catholic churches and even the Jehovah Witnesses. The Southern Baptist Conference and other groups are also vast religious empires. In fact the combined wealth of all the churches together is nothing short of countless billions in assets and revenues. Was God/Jesus Christ ever really just a business enterprise? Apparently those who founded churchianity think so, as do those who perpetuate this vast money making industry.
Why do men and women aspire to wanting to be "ordained?" In my opinion it is because of human vanity. People love to be thought of as being "important", "special", "above others" and "gifted" more than "common" people. I have a friend I have known for many years, who was "ordained" and although he has no following or church, he refers to himself as "Reverend _____." He has learned that by using the term "reverend", he often receives favors from other people, who deem him as "special." It is sheer vanity and fraud on his part, and in my opinion borders on blasphemy. My sister-in-law and my brother-in-law use to attend a very large Baptist Church in a major city and when the older "Senior Pastor", retired, they imported another preacher from clear across the country. The new "pastor" was so vain and haughty that our in-laws, took an exit. The man was intolerable. Young people often run off to "Bible College" thinking they want to "serve" others, and what it really turns out to be is that they become self-serving, at the expense of the tithe payers.
Many churches now have "Youth Pastors", "Children's Pastors", "Music or Worship Pastors" and every type of "pastor" coming and going that are supposed to serve the "needs" of others. When my two daughters were teenagers, long ago they were bossed around by the youth pastor of the church we attended, and I had a few choice words with this man, that my children were not his property and that he was not their parent. When the "Christian" school my daughters attended, gave the students so much home work that they had to stay up until midnight or later with "homework", I knew then that we were being robbed of our own family time and so we pulled our daughters out and home schooled them. Many churches think they are God to those who attend and to their children.
I can't really say that everything about church life is totally bad and that is because human beings are social creatures and they are able to have good times, in spite of the control and financial drain upon their pocket books. I can remember we use to have volleyball teams at Ambassador College and as employees we had great fun playing that sport. We attended concerts, had beach outings, campouts and did some fun things. We had some good friends and many good times at Shakey's Pizza, which included a crowd of our people, guzzling mugs of beer. We all learned from those experiences. Some of us simply could not endure the authoritarian hierarchy, the "God-status" of the self-appointed "pastor-kings" or their endless rants and so took an out, never to return.
I still know people that I went to church with many years ago, who still dutifully attend church services every weekend, pay their tithes and seem to be clueless. Some of us just don't understand how these people think. Every pastor of every church will defend himself and his church tenaciously. I have no doubt that many pastors are very sincere and zealous about their beliefs, but sincerity and zeal does not necessarily spell "truth." People can be sincerely wrong. For many church goers, those of us who use to attend and now do not, seem to have "spiritual leprosy." Not all church goers have the same attitude, because some will be friendly and ask no questions, while others treat you as if you have a contagious disease. I have even found that atheists are generally thinkers, where the clueless sheeplike church attenders are not. I have read a great deal from atheists and believe there are many legitimate issues. Some atheists are friendly and likeable and some are hostile and drive people away. I have no problem having friendship with people who present themselves with a humble attitude, no matter what they believe. I have a friend who grew up in India, although lives in Canada and he is Caucasian and he leans toward Buddhism. We have some things in common aside from religious beliefs.
Churches will always deny that they exist as business enterprises for the purpose of money, but men have always loved control and power over their fellow human beings, and like all human governments, churches are tools of control and free money. Churches treat their members as if they are nursing infants and must be bottle fed for life. Those who sit in pews are insulted as if they are mere spiritual children and must be taught what to think and what to do and what to believe, because without their human "Pastor-God", they cannot function.
Is there an optional way to live and learn without being dominated by men and women who stand in pulpits and think they have a "right" to your pocketbook?
Thinking About Life
I confess that there are so many issues about life on earth that make no sense, that it leaves me frustrated. Sure, for those of us who experienced years of the Worldwide Church of God, we learned what truth is not.
We know that religious hierarchy stinks. We know that men who stand in pulpits and pretend to represent God are far off base. We know that tithing is a very false doctrine. We know that many have made prophecies about the future and were very wrong. We have learned that charismatic personalities can often persuade the gullible and naive. We have learned that FEAR and GUILT are tools of control. We have learned that the Bible is NOT infallible and inerrant, and that it is interpreted in as many different ways as there are specks of sand upon the seashores. We have learned that anyone can potentially be caught up in cult groups and man-made religious beliefs.
Beyond all that, when we read that "they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall recover", it does not always happen and even in most cases does not. I have yet to see a paralyzed human being healed instantaneously, or a paraplegic restored and I have prayed for both categories of such people. I have been in a nursing home where some human beings are nothing more than physical and or mental vegetables, and all the prayers never had any result that was positive. I have been to two Benny Hinn "Healing Crusades" and have witnessed first hand the emotional impact such events have upon thousands of human beings in attendance. I have read many books by the most famous "healing evangelists" or preachers known to man, such as Kathryn Kuhlman, Smith Wigglesworth, Oral Roberts, John G. Lake and others. I even attended an Oral Roberts "healing crusade" in Amarillo, Texas as a young child and was overwhelmed with what I saw and experienced.
Once, some years ago my wife and I traveled to a church to hear a man who proclaimed that he had "raised" something like 14-people from the "dead" in Mexico, in his personal ministry and over a period of years. During his talk, we were all spell-bound with what he had to say, and during the service, in through the doors came a family rolling a man in serious condition (Lou Gehrig's Disease, as we learned) on a hospital bed. Naturally we expected a "miracle", because after all, here was the man standing in the pulpit who "raised people from the dead." After the service, the guest minister was ushered over to the bedside of this man who was at death's door, and nothing happened. The sick man went out the same way he came in. Our disappointment was deep.
Once, my wife and I attended a service at a church where the guest speaker and his wife, had a "healing" ministry, where people supposedly had their teeth filled with "gold" where their cavities were. The guest minister asked that anyone who wanted gold fillings to come forward, and a friend of mine and myself, along with others went forward. The "minister" looked in our mouths with a flashlight and literally said "I see nothing but gold." In our gullibility of course we thought that our fillings had been turned to gold. When we went home and looked in the mirror, there was no gold. Naturally our disappointment was enormous and such an experience only added to our loss of faith and confidence in the clergy class of people.
In my personal life, I have experienced church beyond the Worldwide Church of God. My personal church life includes charismatic, pentecostal, baptist and other groups and even including what is called "house church", which is not controlled by any church organization. In many organized churches they have what is called "cell groups", which I have also been a part of in years past. Ultimately my wife and I came to the conclusion that 100% of all organized churches are man-made institutions and having nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Admittedly Jesus Christ has NEVER approached me personally, in a visible and physical form and spoken to me, so much as one word and yet I still believe in Jesus Christ.
In spite of all the negative church experiences, Jesus makes sense to my reason. I will never embrace atheism. I concede that what is called the "Bible" is full of myth, legend, human fabrication and yet it is astonishingly the most read "book" in the world, and argued over more than any other writings in human experience. In fact the "Holy" books of the major religions of the world are to my thinking the reason for so many problems in human life.
Indeed God is a mystery and I have never found a satisfactory answer to human suffering. I have never known anyone who has not suffered in human life. Suffering is both physical and mental and life is overwhelming at times. Who can comprehend why there are tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and what we all call "natural" disasters? Who can comprehend why humans can be so intelligent and genius and at the same time so stupid as to be idiots, which to my thinking is what all wars are---insane? Why can't life be for positive and constructive purposes instead of idiot and never ending wars of death and destruction? Why sickness and disease and mental anguish and torment?
The only conclusion that I have been able to come to is that "the wisdom of God is greater than the lack of understanding of human beings." As far as what happens after the death of the body, no one has a clue, other than what we all read in ink on paper, which is nothing more than human say so. Atheism offers no hope. If there were no hope of life beyond the physical human realm, then human life is to my thinking without meaning and purpose. What makes sense about Jesus to my reason is that He taught "love your neighbor as you love yourself", "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "blessed are the peacemakers", "blessed are the meek" and so forth. In essence what Jesus taught in one word is LOVE. Anything attributed to Jesus that would appear to contradict Himself, makes no sense and to me is very questionable as to its real source. As far as we all know Jesus Christ never penned anything and all that we know of Him is strictly based upon what men write.
We can choose to believe or we can choose not to believe. Strangely, no matter how we believe about God, it does not change the fact of His existence and if He does not exist, it does not change that reality.
Personally, I choose to believe.
Splinter Group Cocoons
In the world of religions, every group without exception lives within the walls and confines of the thinking of its founders and leaders. Every Bible college and every Bible correspondence course is tailored to the thinking of the author or authors of those institutions and study courses. Bible colleges are manufacturers of clones of their own making. There is a two fold purpose for Bible schools and this is to perpetuate their peculiar beliefs and $money. They are businesses that provide income to their existence and like a machine they make molds of their own teachings, which are rubber stamped in the young people who are caught in their web.
In the Worldwide Church of God, Ambassador College was the means to a never ending supply of Herbert W. Armstrong clones. Young people are very impressionable, pliable and like clay---moldable. Only those who are capable of independent thought and thinking, break out of the mold. Many live their entire lives within the confines of their programmed minds and thinking, while some eventually break free and run as fast as they can.
This is true not only of the Worldwide Church of God and its many splinter groups who live in religious cocoons, but it is true of all groups, including Mormons (Brigham Young University), Jehovah Witnesses (Watchtower Bible School of Gilead), Southern Baptist (many colleges), Seventh Day Adventist (Southern Adventist University), and the list is endless. Of course many "Bible" schools and colleges also offer liberal arts and studies in non-religious venues.
Every religious group wants to perpetuate itself and there is no greater means to do so than "Bible" colleges. In reality they are not "Bible" colleges, they are clone manufacturers of their own particular beliefs. Many young people aspire to position and influence over others and so hence off to "Bible school" they go to become "pastors" and "preachers" of "truth." What they really become are clones of how they have been indoctrinated to "think." Have you ever had two people knock on your door and attempt to persuade you to listen to them or read their Jehovah Witnesses material? Many have and I have also. I admit that these people are generally friendly, sincere and zealous, but at the same time they are NOT independent thinkers, they are parrots. They are programmed robots of Jehovah Witnesses indoctrination. I always feel sorry for the two young people that I have seen with white shirts and ties walking down the street, who are intent to proselytize anyone who will give them an ear to Mormonism.
Young people in general don't have the experience to discern, but with time you would think that as people become older they would become wise. Sad to say, many never become wise to the serpents, snakes and wolves in sheep's clothing who devour. Worldwide Church of God splinter groups are all led by clones of Herbert W. Armstrong and they are NOT "the Way, the Truth and the Life." There is NO mediator between God and man, aside from Jesus Christ, for those who still believe in Jesus Christ. Religious cocoons are not a new phenomenon and they have been in existence for a very long time. Public persuaders are often pretenders. Most likely the common factor as to why so many will follow these fake religious rulers is simply FEAR. However, God is NOT a monster. The "Bible" may portray God as a monster, but I would suggest that in fact the so called "Bible" so misrepresents and distorts the true character of God is so many parts, that it is the very reason so many have warped views of the true nature and character of the Creator of all life and the universe. No loving parent would act toward their own children the way the Bible portrays God as acting toward His own human creation, in many parts of it.
Splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God, are living inside religious cocoons. In nature, cocoons break open and the butterfly or moth is set FREE.
Censorship in the Worldwide Church of God
As a former member of the Worldwide Church of God, during the lifetime of Herbert W. Armstrong, I can well remember that reading the literature or material of anyone outside of the "true church of God", was forbidden or discouraged. Herbert W. Armstrong would say "don't believe me, believe your Bible", but then the cult would tell its members not to listen to anyone other than their own church leaders. What motive would any religious leader or group have to censor alternative opinions, books, reading material or vocal lectures, unless there was FEAR that they might lose members to alternative possibilities? Living in a cult cocoon stifles the ability of anyone to learn that there is a vast world outside of the cocoon.
Many religious leaders, religious organizations and political groups hate FREEDOM of thought. Cult religious groups insist that they and they alone are the bearers of "truth." Even human governments live in perpetual FEAR of losing their power and control over the common people. Propaganda, disinformation and distortion, suppression, silence and twisting of facts and truth are common in the world in which we live. The Worldwide Church of God, was NOT the "Church of God", but was the brainchild of Herbert W. Armstrong. Herbert was a master deceiver. Herbert was a wolf in sheep's clothing. The religious and even the political world have always from the beginning of human existence, been potential deceivers.
How many members of Worldwide Church of God splinter groups, cower in fear that they might be found out, but who secretly read websites such as "Banned by HWA?" If any such reader is reading on these types of websites, let me encourage you that the world is vastly bigger and greater than any splinter group of the Worldwide Church of God can imagine. It is only when a human being steps outside of their comfort zone, that they come face to face with the FACT that there are possibilities about God, the Bible, life on earth and existence that are light-years beyond the confines of cult mentality. There are dimensions of thinking that will
leave a human being speechless, when anyone with a little courage "risks" learning beyond the censorship of the confines of self-appointed "ministers" of Worldwide Church of God splinter groups.
Life on earth DOES NOT revolve around Herbert W. Armstrong, anymore than it does any splinter group of the WWCG, or its self-appointed mediators who think they stand between God and their members. Censorship of views and perspectives that differ with "accepted" views is a tool of tyranny. I wonder if Herbert W. could come back from the grave, if he would admit that he was an abysmal failure as a "teacher" of what real truth is concerning God/Jesus Christ? Just think people, every single leader of every splinter group of the WWCG will eventually kiss the grave and return to dirt. If dead men could talk, I wonder if they would change their tune about their activities while they had their being?
Censorship is common in human life among the religious rulers, as much as it is common in the world of politics and other matters in human life. Anyone who differs with the status quo is naturally and automatically
demonized by those who do not want alternative views expressed. The primary tool used by those who censor, is to demonize, terrorize, ridicule, assassinate the character of opposition, cause fear, cause guilt, make people think that truth is evil, and belittle opposing views.
History is rife with examples of those who were burned at the stake, tortured and put to death for no other reason than that their expression of their own thoughts about issues engendered animosity from the "elite"
rulers who hated opposition. We all know that Jesus Christ was the greatest Whistleblower the world has ever known, and He exposed the religious frauds for what they were and are---WOLVES! BEWARE!!!
Creating God in the Image of Herbert W. Armstrong
Years ago as a member of the original Worldwide Church of God, and as an employee for twelve years at Ambassador College in Pasadena, I can well remember Herbert W. stating that "I think I have the mind of God."
Human vanity in some human beings is enormous. Herbert thinking he had the mind of God, naturally was implying that only he had the mind of God. This was to imply that Herbert and God were on the same level,
same playing field and thought alike. Whatever Herbert did then, was God doing it, because God and Herbert were pals. Spending millions of dollars of tithe payers money on college buildings, jet airplanes, homes, mansions (for the ruling elite), traveling around the world and presenting $20,000 pieces of Steuben Crystal to "Royalty", was then an "act" of God, because God thought the "same" as Herbert W. Armstrong.
"I have the mind of God", so then no matter what Herbert W. Armstrong did, it was the mind of God. The world is overrun with religious groups founded by individuals with very colorful personalities, who see themselves as equal to God, and as representing God on earth to mankind. What is overwhelming is how the sheeple can be so hoodwinked into following these individuals. I also am guilty. I did it in my youth and in my lack of knowing.
I well remember how paranoid we were in the Worldwide Church of God, and any opposition was considered "persecution." I use to be one of the individuals who walked about the Ambassador College campus in Pasadena during the Sabbath church services with walkie talkie and watched the grounds. If anyone just innocently walked across the campus, he or she was viewed with suspicion, as if someone is "out to get us." Since there was more than one of us doing this, we would communicate via walkie talkie and tell each other "keep a look out, there is someone walking across the grounds at such and such a location" as if they were out to "get us." This is typical of the mind and mentality of cults.
Herbert W. Armstrong created God in his own image. I learned long ago that God IS NOT a member of the Worldwide Church of God, or any of its splinter groups. And for everyone else, God IS NOT a member of the Southern Baptist organization, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Mormon empire, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Greek Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox, the Mennonite group, the Amish, the Seventh Day Adventist, the "Sacred" Name groups, nor a member of any other man-made religious group on earth. God IS NOT even an atheist or agnostic. What Herbert W. Armstrong did in his religious career, is to create God in his own image. So then, the followers of Herbert W., were following the mind of a man whose personal opinions persuaded a multitude of people that Herbert W. Armstrong had "the mind of God." And the millions of dollars flowed into his bank account like a river.
The Collapse of Armstrongism
Strong arm Herbert was a master deceiver. Throughout history there have been many charismatic personalities that have masqueraded as the source of "light" and "truth." The world has never lacked for sheep like human beings who have demonstrated an inability to think or reason for themselves. The world is overrun with human beings snared by a religious fish hook. It is not that God Almighty has come down and presented Himself to anyone on earth, at least in our current day and age, but you would think that these "spiritual" gurus who stand in pulpits are personal pals with God, in a form that no one else is. It is pure nonsense, but the gullible overwhelm the world. If it were not for the gullible and the naive, there would be no religious organizations or institutions.
Every religious organization is headed by some man or woman who thinks of themselves in terms of "Godhood", but who in reality are only human as are all other human beings on earth. They are NOT God, and not even close. That so many would give their lives, time, energies and money to such false religious leaders is astonishing. Herbert W. Armstrong was NOT God. He was NOT even an "apostle" of Jesus Christ. He was a self-appointed, self-deceived human being with an enormous ego. Words that come from the mouths of persuasive public speakers is often magnetic and attracts the listener. In the world of religion and the world of politics, there is not really much difference. The goal is persuasion! If the speaker can persuade you to follow them, then you have been hooked.
The greatest defense against being deceived by anyone is to QUESTION. Question everything and assume nothing is true just because someone in a pulpit says it is true. Fear, is a tool of those who want to control
the minds and thinking of their naive followers. What gave Herbert W. Armstrong the "right" to know "truth" as an exclusion from others, unless they learned it from him? This is such a common type of situation in the world of religion that it is ludicrous (totally ridiculous). Who can enter the mind and thinking of Herbert W. Armstrong and understand what made him tick? How did he arrive at all his pretended and supposed religious convictions? No matter, he was off the deep end, as are many others, such as those in Scientology, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses and countless others, including the splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God.
The many people involved in the Worldwide Church of God splinter groups have no concept of Jesus Christ and that He came to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE (from all man-made religious bondage). Life itself is NOT about keeping the Saturday Sabbath, "Feasts" of the "Old" Testament, or legalistic religious ideas, but about LOVE towards others, which is also by its expression love towards God. The simplicity in Jesus Christ is that He taught LOVE, COMPASSION, MERCY, EMPATHY and HUMILITY and NOT rituals, like keeping the Saturday Sabbath. The Sabbath has not one iota of anything to do with righteousness. The Sabbath will NOT garner favor to anyone because they observe it. In reality no one keeps the Sabbath, because it is NOT possible, based upon the conditions of what one reads in the Old Testament ( and I suggest the website of Robert K. Sanders an ex-Seventh Day Adventist who penned "Renouncing the Sabbath after 47 years as of 2002" and although directed toward Seventh Day Adventists, it applies to anyone who thinks they keep the Sabbath (THEY DON'T), see www.truthorfables.com/Renouncing_the_Sabbath.htm.
Under the weight of TRUTH, Armstrongism collapses into the dust and dirt of the earth, as do all other false religious beliefs the world over. Those who follow leaders of the Worldwide Church of God splinter groups need to get a real life. Wake up people! These self-appointed religious nuts are NOT God. Neither was Herbert or Garner Ted. Can't you think for yourselves???
Does anyone not know of the strategic constant STALKING and assults of a.c./church members and the SECRET "LIST"at headquarters?
(only a few employees of Ambassador College knew about this ominous list - some ministers at headquarters didn't even know about it). It was TOP SECRET.
Wives of some of the men involved were terrified and torn because they would be disfellowshipped if the existence of a TARGET "list" was leaked. Lots of court cases in the church would be lost. No one talked about it for fear.
I was told. I was on the list. An employee reported me based on a misunderstanding and his wife was forbidden to speak to me, but she bawled when she told me about the list because it had cause serious damage and trauma to her friend, who had been driven nearly insane by the tactics used to carry out the PURPOSE of the list - by what they would do to people on the list. She almost divorced her husband for reporting me and being apart of the sadistic plan.
At the time, she couldn't explain what the list had in store for me and that once on the list, you can never come off. MCNAIR'S LAW. I just didn't understand what being on a harmless list meant. It meant being spiritual murdered by a select chosen group who knew about the list; it meant insanity; it meant years of trying to make sense of things that were beyond reason.
It meant that people you loved deeply, abandoned you and were forbidden to speak to you even though you were not disfellow-shipped and had no complait against you ever mentioned by a minister.
It was all subversive since they thought you were a devil. Other people were ordered to pretend to be your friend in order to report on you and get you kicked out of the church. They needed dirt to get rid of you and legally disfellowship you, and if they couldn't find the dirt they'd not give up for years, eventually, RAYMOND F. MCNAIR and GREG ALBREIGHT were going to get you.
Nice beautiful people on the list were asummed to be "progressive" and therefore, a threat. They were targeted with ungodly psychotic abuse until the person broke, gave up from the rattled nerves of the dark vicious constant hatred they saw in the people attacking them - (almost all complete strangers just walking up to me, for example, and ripping me apart and NEVER not once (Mr. Helge at the legal department advised them) Never would they tell me why, no accussaton was ever leveled at me other than you are Satanic. (I have some very impressive intelligent people who laugh at that.)
These people recruited to carry out the purpose of the list were generally people who befriended you falsely and creepily and clung to you, and the deception was grotesque sometimes. Realy creepy stories to tell.
Their paranoid psychosis convinced them there were devils everywhere
Even Tkatch had a daily spy, Merry Noel Knowlton - ask her, she'd be glad to tell.
She became Catholic later so she could go to confession and get free psychiatric relief from her dark conscience. Other partici-pants in the various schemes had manifestations of guilt they will have to live with for attempting to destroy so many people they had no knowlege of wrong-doing.
MCNAIR'S fear of being replaced by a more sane "liberal" authority had Mr. Helge's legal department( I knew one of their employees)helped them drive people out of the church legally by doing things to avoid some of their many lawsuits i.e. getting students to sign special wavers for "a special project" at the 1-800 number at "Watts line" (that I don't have time to detail, but I was one of their victims and it nauseats me)
All I can say is Bravo!! Bravo!!!
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