Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Brian Knowles steps down

Brian Knowles, a Plain Truth editor in the distant past, has announced his decision to step down as a regular columnist for The Journal. In an article that appears on Ken Westby's site (and I guess will be published in the next issue of The Journal) Brian writes:

"In my quest for truth, I’m simply one of many Pod people trying to find his way amidst the smoke and confusion of ecclesiastical chaos. The Journal’s pages are full of assertive statements made by those who believe they understand the truth. My voice is just one more in the cacophony of confusion. There’s no reason for anyone to pay any more attention to my words than to anyone else’s.

"Many years ago, in the 60’s, Art Craig gave a sermonette at the feast in Squaw Valley about “spitting into the wind.” I now believe that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing in writing my column for The Journal. It’s time to withdraw and relinquish the space to someone else."

Lord knows I've never agreed with Brian's right-wing politics, but I've always respected his good sense and balance when it comes to offering thoughtful commentary and pastoral advice to the WCG diaspora. I liked his articles way back in my own WCG days (a voice of calm amidst the shrieking and braying of "the leading ministers") and I especially valued the articles he wrote for CGI's Twentieth Century Watch in the first, optimistic months of that organization - before reality hit home with a vengeance. I've even managed to keep the May-June 1980 issue in my files (it was color magazine format in those days) mainly because of Brian's article "What is a Christian?" Although my personal understanding of that question has moved on since (as perhaps has Brian's) it was an enormous source of reassurance in those dark days when every semblance of security seemed to be crumbling on every side. So maybe now is a good time to say "thanks, Brian."

The Journal will be a poorer publication for Brian Knowles' absence. Along with Dave Havir's offerings, his columns have provided a counterpoint to the blinkered dogmatism that appears on so many other pages. As COGdom continues to dry up, the small pond becomes a puddle, and whatever breadth and generosity of spirit that once existed in the larger community seems to evaporate.

Good luck Brian. You'll be missed.


Rev. Charles said...

I understand what Brian is saying, and I felt the same about the WCG Doctrinal Issues group on Yahoo. It had become just spitting in the wind and had long past it's usefulness. After polling the members that post to it most often, it was my discision to delete the group.

Charles Sawyer

Felix Taylor, Jr. said...

He really made the XCG's think and think hard. Iam center-right on the political spectrum and I have also find Brian a wee to far to the right in some areas. In any case, I wish him well.

Michael said...

I am not that familiar with Brian except what I read on Ken Westby’s site, I liked what he wrote and agreed with him to a point. I can understand throwing his hands in the air—I’ve done that many times myself. He’s right—no one cares what we say or write—everyone wants to be a pseudo-Armstrong these days. No one listens to anyone any more. We’re too busy arguing this or that teaching or belief, or threatening each other with the lake of fire or being “Laodicean” or whatever we’ve heard some wacko “preacher” pontificate from the dais. We seem to forget that it is Jesus Christ that is our Judge, AND Teacher—not some man, group, or corporate structure that doesn’t amount to spit in the wind. If people are serious about learning all they can about the will of the Father, they merely need to ask HIM to SHOW them, then open the Bible in a “serious” manner and get to work. “Let every man be persuaded in his OWN mind!” (Ro 14:5)

Jered said...

I, for one, hope this happens more and more. The xCGs are damaging and their greatest legacy is pain and confusion. The world will be better for their demise and the absence of the Armstrong "voice in the wilderness."

Dennis said...

"Spitting in the Wind"

Good way to describe the process. It has been seven years of processing my own experience with WCG and there is a period where one feels they just MUST say what they need to say. I withdraw from the blogs, then return when a button is pushed, and then withdraw again withthe times between the comings and goings getting longer and longer. I have found a personal outlet with the Ezines site, though I have no idea who reads it. About 14,000 since fall of 2005 and I expect that my work will become a collossus, bigger than anything the mind can comprehend, mind boggling and I will have had at least one person in every country on earth read one of my musings, so the good news will have gone out as a wait, that's Dave Pack getting to me..sorry! I was having an over arching moment there!

All kidding aside, to me, more opinion, more thought and more thinking are never going to be satisfying and more "answers" make more questions. I have found a lot of comfort and truth in Eckhart Tolle's, The Power of NOW. The ego needs issues, conditions, argument, winning and the false belief that one can be right about it all when others are wrong. That's the "little me." The part of us that lives in the past of endless anger and depression or the future with endless anxiety and wondering. The little me gets slaughtered in the NOW. Now is all we really have and once one realizes so much of talk or opinion is "spitting in the wind," maybe progress can be made. I now look at my WCG expereince, inspite of the position it has put me in literally, as merely another experience in life. It had meaning and I learned from it, but can't let it define me. It was an experience but it was not my identity and I won't let it be that. I blather...hey Gavin!