Saturday, 15 December 2007

Living U or Yale? Hmmm...




What are they really teaching about the Bible these days?

No, not at Meredith's back-room Bible college, or any of the shonky operations run by the various COGs... Instead let's pick Yale.

Imagine being able to sit in on an undergraduate Old Testament course. Attend the lectures, access the readings, and do it all for free.

And imagine your lecturer actually knows something about the subject, with a genuine PhD (not a pretend one from a defunct unaccredited Bible college) and is a published author of textbooks and scholarly books (as opposed to booklets about the End Times.)

Quite a bargain.

Welcome to Open Yale, and Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) with Professor Christine Hayes.

This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.

Probably just a bit different from offerings at ACCM and Ambassador Bible Center... Biblical Studies, when properly done, isn't in thrall to wishful thinking.

Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet... Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided... No enrollment or registration is required. Anyone with access to the internet can enter the web site and view the lectures and other materials.
Did I mention the FREE bit?

So why not check it out. Embrace a challenge. Push the horizons out further. Move out from the popular misrepresentations and grow a little.

And if it turns out not to be the thing for you, what have you lost?

There's a range of other courses available too: astronomy, modern poetry, philosophy, physics, political science and psychology. Amazing! It's got to be a great opportunity to sample real higher education - risk-free, and without the pressures of assignments and exams.

CGI website - doh! The new, improved, super-duper CGI website was supposed to be online November 16. It's now almost December 16, and poor Vance Stinson must be tearing out whatever hair he has left. The Texas-based church is still adrift in cyberspace or, to change the metaphor, up the virtual creek without a paddle.

So why oh why did the lads at CGI flush the old website prematurely? How competent/incompetent is the firm they hired to do the work? Or are they relying on someone's sister's friend's cousin's teenage son to do an el-cheapo job for a few bucks under the table?

Any way you look at it, it's hard to take a church seriously that can't at least manage to create a few transitional pages on the Web to tide them over.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm a little naive, but we're now judging churches on the fact their website doesn't work?

Is this what one would call a 'new low'? If you're going to criticize, do so based on something more than a transitional (or lack of) website, please.

Douglas Becker said...

Nothing says "I don't care" like an unmaintained website.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing says "I don't care" like an unmaintained website."

Or perhaps their R&D is going into something else that isn't their website. Really, now.

ned said...

I thought it was about the competency or otherwise of a media outreach that claims to be doing a Work to preach the gospel (which is why it solicits tithes) but is currently incapable of doing that because it's shot itself in the foot by tearing down its own website.

Which is kind of funny.

Douglas Becker said...

A real chalkboard! With real chalk!

Douglas Becker said...

Or perhaps their R&D is going into something else that isn't their website.

It has been our collective experience that the church of godletts is a fact free environment.

The Old Man said...

Thanks for the tip on the Yale OT course. Interesting lecture and the price is right.

Ron Bryant said...

no matter how great yale is ... having the bible taught by well educated but non spiritual teachers is not a complete understanding of the bible...

Women Teachers said...

Can you imagine Spanky, Six Pack Flurry and Packatolla listening to a woman teach them about things they do not know about the Bible? I can just see the spittle flying from these degenerates as I type! LOL!

minimalist said...

What if CGI's active membership is now sub-1000 ? This seems to be a Reverse-Critical-Mass for COGs signaling imminent collapse.

Gavin said...

"having the bible taught by well educated but non spiritual teachers is not a complete understanding of the bible"

Define "non spiritual." Almost all the university professors / lecturers I've come across in BTheol studies have been / are committed Christians. I suspect the same is true in most US universities.

Lussenheide said...

If I take the free online Old Testament course at Yale, do you think I have a shot at being invited to be a member of the infamous Yale "Skull and Bones" society?? You know the strange and bizaare Yale Fraternity where George Bush ,John Kerry and 4 other US Presidents belonged to.

I can see it now - Lussenheide for President of the United States 2012!

Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Douglas Becker said...

Bill,

If Yale is symmetric about this, yes, the Skulls should be available to you from the online website and free.

And you'll have the very same standing in the Skulls you would have in Yale from taking their virtual courses.

We look forward to your campaign. It will be amusing. What will your strategy be? Something subtle like the Sonicare toothbrushes showing their competition stirring up the water, a pathetic comparison to their own prowess? Or perhaps the Huckabee approach, "Jesus would be too smart to run for public office"?

You'd have to win the nomination. I'm pretty sure you would be up against Mark Lax. He is pretty tough competition. If you will recall, he was running for Pastor General awhile back. I think he won. I haven't kept up.

I've decided not to run against you. However, if you are comfortable with that, I would warn you: I'm planning to be Mark's adviser and campaign manager. Afterward, I think he'll have a position for me in the administration. Something hidden away, but still a powerful position of influence somewhere in the virtual Whitehouse.

So go ahead and run. You're virtually a shoe in for the virtual position of virtual president.

Just remember though, it will all be in cyberspace and the American people will never hear about you... at least not any more than virtually. Sort of like the CGI.

Neotherm said...

This is from the Intro for the course: "This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization."

The course approaches the Bible from a certain direction. It does not purport to discuss the divine inspiration of the Old Testament or the existence of God. The professor states up front an assumed viewpoint. My guess is that she does not spend time demonstrating the validity of this viewpoint.

What you see is what you get.

-- Neo

minimalist said...

Gavin said...
"Almost all the university professors / lecturers I've come across in BTheol studies have been / are committed Christians."

I notice this to - that is, it pays for those who are being paid six-figures to be Christian Professionals to profess belief in the subject. It wouldn't look good for a professor - in say, NT - to admit to atheism. This applies to WCG leaders as well.

Anonymous said...

"The professor states up front an assumed viewpoint."

Ummmm, isn't a viewpoint that advocates the existence of a supernatural entity who lives in space an assumed viewpoint as well?

Paul

Anonymous said...

CGI must have hired the same outfit Charles Bryce did for his www.enduring.org.

Byker Bob said...

"No matter how great Yale is, having the Bible taught by well educated but non spiritual teachers is not a complete understanding of the Bible" -Ron Bryant

There's a lot that could be said about your statement, Ron. First, how would you find spiritual teachers who had no denominational bias? You really couldn't, unless Jesus Christ or Yahweh were somehow able to teach the courses, or unless you assume that one particular church or denomination is teaching exactly what the members of the deity intended in its totality.

Secondly, any formal schooling is considered to be the beginning of one's education. The individual student continues to learn and to gain greater depth as he ages and becomes more mature. That's why there is the old cliche about graduation being called commencement.

Thirdly, if individual students have a relationship with Jesus Christ, or Yahweh, then they are being guided directly by them. Denominationalist professors could actually impede growth, by countermanding the guidance the student was receiving directly from the Holy Spirit. I believe this is called "quenching the Holy Spirit" in the Bible, and it is something that Nicolaitane leaders such as those we encountered in Armstrongism, are very good at doing.

There are religious studies departments at most universities where religion is examined from a totally subjective and secular standpoint. I believe that that is on the opposite side of the spectrum, but then again, students know this up front, and do not generally take such courses to enter the ministry. They know that no spiritual guidance is presumed or implied. It's just another subject like history or anthropology.

BB

DennisDiehl said...

I'll tell ya one thing...You don't add the comment "come on folks, where do babies come from?" to the sermon when explaining how Matthew used the OT in his "and thus it was fulfilled" statments to tell the story of Jesus Virgin birth.

Ever hear 8000 people at a feast site suck air? :)

Douglas Becker said...

Now let's see now. Those who do not have the Holy Spirit don't have spiritual knowledge, right? And the assumption of Armstrongists is that the teachers at Yale haven't repented and have not received the Holy Spirit. Worse, they don't keep the Sabbath and Holydays, but by that juncture, it's rather a moot point. So the conclusion is that we can't learn one thing from the teachers of Yale. The Holier than thou of the Armstrongists are exclusivists, not unlike the Pharisees of Christ's time, who kept the Sabbath and the Holydays and paid their temple tithes all so very carefully.

On the other hand, the Armstrongists have their idol founder who didn't make it past the eighth grade, committed incest with his daughter for 10 years, up to the time his son-in-law waved a loaded gun in his face and was a certifiable false prophet.

Herbert Armstrong had as his second lieutenant, Roderick Meredith, the "enforcer" to ply his abuse upon all his victims, facilitated by the fact that he was the Director of the United States ministry. He was also a false prophet. He promoted more abuse than even Herbert Armstrong ever even thought of. He has been the worst of the worst. We advise repentance. He had a PhD as "Dr." from an unaccredited college.

Now here's the kicker: Herbert Armstrong went to the Jewish Rabbis for advice. So have the split-offs as a follow on. By definition, they aren't Christians and so do not have the Holy Spirit. So why do church leaders still look to the Jews to be the final authority in certain doctrines when they were the ones in the First Century who tried to kill off the Christians.

OK then.

I have to believe personally that the free courses from Yale at this point has a lot more meaning and usefulness than a false prophet who did not even finish high school. I appreciate the reference. It will take awhile to get through the material. I'm certain I will be richer for it... In spiritual knowledge. But then, spiritual knowledge is what you make of it and how you use it, no matter where it comes from.

Corky said...

The possession of the "holy spirit" is something that has not been demonstrated except in the NT by the apostles and by the laying on of hands by the apostles.

IF there ever was a holy spirit possession, and not a lot of bunk written by the later church, then it has evidently been removed, along with the spirit gifts, which were removed during the first century.

If the Bible requires the secret decoder ring of the possession by the holy spirit to understand it, then it can't be understood.

If someone thinks they are possessed by the holy spirit, let them demonstrate that possession like the apostles did. Otherwise, they are either deluded or a liar or both.

The warm fuzzies are not the possession of the holy spirit, it is the warm fuzzies. If Christians were in possession of the holy spirit they would all understand the Bible alike and, as anyone can see, they don't.

Is it an unforgiveable blasphemy for one to claim possession of the holy spirit when they don't? Well, that would be blasphemy against the holy spirit, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

Thank you for posting the Yale link.

I’ve watched one video each in Religious Studies, Philosophy, Political Science and Psychology.

Prof. Paul Bloom’s Psychology series is my favorite so far and one I hope to continue with to the finish.

Prof Christine Hayes in Religious Studies is introducing me to area’s of some historic Biblical info I had not been aware of until getting on the internet .

I’ve always wanted to attend classes at a University, but circumstances prevented it.

Thanks to you, and my new computer, a whole new world of opportunity has opened up for me right in my own home.

I’d give you a hug but you don’t have Emoticon’s handy…… :)

Hannah

Douglas Becker said...

Yes, I'm grateful as well, except the Yale flash link seems to be saturated and the OT presentation has simply stopped playing. It may be time for QuickTime.

Byker Bob said...

Corky,

What thought processes went into your usage of the term "possession" as applied to the Holy Spirit? Most learned theologians would not use this term in that manner, but instead reserve it's usage when describing the activities of demons. And there is a good reason for that. God is thought not to interfere with the free will of humans. Satan does not impose such restrictions on himself, nor do the demons. So, while God would influence or help humans through the Holy Spirit,and at their invitation or request, Satan would have no compunctions about taking humans over, body mind and soul.

It's another totally interesting topic, the disappearance of the gifts of the HS, and some of us had a discussion of that at length several years back on another forum.

As far of blasphemy of the HS, Jesus commented about that when the Pharisees attributed the miracles Jesus performed to Beelzebul.

BB

Robert said...

>>Herbert Armstrong went to the Jewish Rabbis for advice.

Herbert Armstrong has the finest Jewish nose I have ever seen!

And considering he claims to be descended from King David, then he certainly is of Jewish descent!

Is it any wonder then, that he sought advice from the Rabbis!

Corky said...

Bob,

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

That sounds like spirit possession to me. Indwelling is indwelling.

I haven't seen anyone demonstrate the spirit dwelling in them though. In the NT, they all spoke in tongues to demonstrate they had received the holy spirit and were rebaptized when they did not.

Fake glossolalia by the Pentecostal types is all I have ever seen.

No evidence of the indwelling of the spirit is visible today.

As far as God not interferring with free-will, he does that with prophecy. If all those prophecies that haven't been fulfilled do come to pass, then that is predestination and therefore, no free-will on the part of the victims of the prophecies.

Douglas Becker said...

Herbert Armstrong has the finest Jewish nose I have ever seen!

And considering he claims to be descended from King David, then he certainly is of Jewish descent!


Thank you Robert. We had forgotten and not made the connection.

Makes you wonder if he was descended through Absolom.

Or maybe not at all, truly: Just make up an ancestry to be so much more impressive to ply your wares.

Anonymous said...

"It's another totally interesting topic, the disappearance of the gifts of the HS..."

Yes, I wrangled with that over and over. Ended up making excuses for God, or blaming myself for lack of faith. The answer is quite simple, though. There are no gifts today because there never were any gifts, nor a HS, nor Jehovah. It's all about as real as Darth Vader or Wonder Woman.

Paul

Douglas Becker said...

It has never been clear in the church of godletts: Just what are the "gifts" of the Holy Spirit?

Anonymous said...

Whatever the gifts are, the ministry clearly didn't have them.

Kscribe said...

...And considering he claims to be descended from King David, then he certainly is of Jewish descent!......

92. Grandiose existence. Bombastic, Grandiose
"Our leader is the Messiah. Our leader is God reincarnated. Our leader is goodness personified, here to battle evil. We are a new order for a new age. We will save the world, defeat evil, bring world peace, end world hunger, usher in the Millenium, and establish God's Kingdom on Earth."
They can't just be normal good people; they have to be moral titans, playing
out grand heroic roles
in an epic cosmic moral melodrama. Many members feel that their lives will be pointless and meaningless if they don't play such grand roles in life -- to live an ordinary life and be a normal good person is "merely meaningless, pointless, existence".

Byker Bob said...

Corky,

Prophecy involves the behavior of masses of individuals. Free will is on the individual level. The way that the majority of the involved individuals exercises their free will determines how the prophecy plays out.

We have the example of Jonah, in which the presumed results of the prophecy never took effect, because the majority actually listened, and used their free will to repent.

I agree with you regarding glossolalia amongst the Pentecostals, false prophecy and pretend healings in WCG, and so many other contemporary examples in other church groups. Church leaders have unfortunately attempted to fake the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in an effort to make it appear that they have the witness of God supporting the validity of their work, and it does great damage when the faithful realize that a fakery has been perpetrated.

I've come to feel that the Holy Spirit is real. This is based on miraculous changes in the lives of formerly incorrigible people close to me, not on mass activities surrounding church groups. I can accept what I see in individuals, but would still have trouble alligning with any specific church groups, based on our shared past cultic experiences.

BB

Tom said...

Corky said:

>>>No evidence of the indwelling of the spirit is visible today.<<<

The above presupposes that you would recognise those who are led by the Holy Spirit of Truth. If what you often say is a true indication of your mindset, it is impossible for you to recognise in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.

Anonymous said...

BB,

So the evidence for a supernatural power is people turning over new leafs?

Paul

Kscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kscribe said...

Byker Bob said...
"Prophecy involves the behavior of masses of individuals. Free will is on the individual level. The way that the majority of the involved individuals exercises their free will determines how the prophecy plays out."
But in the Armstrong cultism group...
Mystical Manipulation
"Everyone is manipulating everyone else, under the belief that it advances the "ultimate purpose". Experiences are engineered to appear to be spontaneous, when, in fact, they are contrived to have a deliberate effect. People mistakenly attribute their experiences to spiritual causes when, in fact, they are concocted by human beings."

The Holy Spirit: It is impossible for the Armstrongites to recognize in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, for in themselves the spirit dwells, but not the one of God. Remember this, the guru criticizes everybody else, but nobody criticizes the guru. Criticizing the leader would conflict with Cult Rule Number One -- The Guru Is Always Right.
And so our funny friend Tom here seems to endorse this believe by his un-dying support of the Herbster and his band of heretical misfits!

Tom said...

Gavin said:

>>>Define "non spiritual."<<<

The bible definition is, "For the natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"(1 Cor.2:14). This verse alone emphatically states the impossibility of the natural, carnal man understanding the bible.

>>>Almost all the university professors / lecturers I've come across in BTheol studies have been / are committed Christians. I suspect the same is true in most US universities.<<<

Labels, Gavin, means absolutely nothing. Anyone may label himself a Christian, and no one would ask for proof, except me, of course!

But if I were to say that I am a brain surgeon, people would want to see my qualifications, and possibly references from those who taught me. And no reasonable person would quibble about their demands. Yet most people are happy to believe and accept anyone as a Christian just because they say so.

Kscribe said...

The gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Let us start with Love, and then there is kindness, and not the least of these there is long suffering .
Perhaps Tom can refresh our minds by adding to this list! Ahh, come on Tom, it will be fun!!!

Kscribe said...

Tom,

What if Herbert W. Armstrong said he was a Christian? Would you believe him? Would you support the man? Would you even question the man about wrong doing? Or would you Tom, receive all that came forth from his mouth and accept it blindly?
Yes, I guess Herbert did have the fruits of the Spirit. I can tell by his actions. After all, this incestuous behavior is common among religious groups......

Kscribe said...

One more item to mention for people who blindly follow Herbert and the splits. Why is it difficult to question Herbert W. Armstrong. A wonderful article worth a reading for those who still hold the apostate apostle close to their hearts.

Anonymous said...

As a former University student in NZ who has sat in on lectures by the late Proff Blaiklock at Inter-Varsity Fellowship,and one who is a former Cogger,you can make comparisons between REAL experts in their subjects(Proff Blaiklock was an acknowledged authority on the Greek World and Proff of the Dept of Classics)and the sort of half-pie,castrated stuff we were fed by Herb's minions.

Yale is doing a great thing,here.The Herbalists definitely were escoteric,maintaining a "them-and-us" regime,handing out crumbs to the hoi-poloi,thus emphasising their "elitism".

Yale,on the other hand,is willing
to share it.And,good on Gavin for bringing this to our attention.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

As a former University student in NZ who has sat in on lectures by the late Proff Blaiklock at Inter-Varsity Fellowship,and one who is a former Cogger,you can make comparisons between REAL experts in their subjects(Proff Blaiklock was an acknowledged authority on the Greek World and Proff of the Dept of Classics)and the sort of half-pie,castrated stuff we were fed by Herb's minions.

Yale is doing a great thing,here.The Herbalists definitely were escoteric,maintaining a "them-and-us" regime,handing out crumbs to the hoi-poloi,thus emphasising their "elitism".

Yale,on the other hand,is willing
to share it.And,good on Gavin for bringing this to our attention.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Please forgive my orthographical error.

Esoteric,it should be.


Seamus

Anonymous said...

Seamus, I have to disagree. I never, ever found any of the Herbalists erotic.


Paul

DennisDiehl said...

From LCG:

"Next August, Dr. Meredith plans to teach a two-semester course sequence on the Epistles of Paul. These courses will focus on the Apostle Paul’s life and letters. The lectures will be a verse-by-verse exposition of Paul’s writings and of the rich doctrinal lessons they contain. If you plan to enroll in an Epistles class next August, be sure you take THL 136 Acts and the Writings of Paul class during the Spring semester. THL 136 is the foundational and prerequisite class for the Epistles of Paul."

I'm signing up for this one! And I am going to raise my hand. I have a few questions this time around I hadn't considered the first time I took RCM's course.

Tom: I love your smug tones and simplistic answers. They give me a low point to compare my progress over they years with. I thank you from the depths of my liberated soul. See, you do have purpose here! :)

Byker Bob said...

Paul,

People's lives being changed has been considered to be evidence of the Holy Spirit from biblical times onward. In fact, this is perhaps the most frequently occurring phenomenon lasting into our present era. Flamboyant, or earth-shaking miracles have always been comparatively rare, unless they were used for a specific purpose, such as to validate a messenger like Moses, the prophets, or Jesus.

I like your use of the analogy regarding people turning over a new leaf. The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the "Ruach", or wind. How do you tell when the wind is blowing? One way is by watching the leaves as they turn over!

BB

Corky said...

Hmmmm, I must have the holy spirit. I turned over a new leaf after leaving the Armstrong cult.

It was like being born again with all that legalism lifted off my shoulders. I quit drinking fine whiskey and getting drunk at the FOT. I quit hollering at the kids and wife over silly bible crap.

I have actually learned how to be friendly toward neighbors and acquaintances, whereas before, I appeared as unfriendly and a snob (so my friends tell me).

I actually have friends now and not the pretend friends of the cult who turned their backs on me when I quit their cult.

Leaving off all the legalism and the added religious bull**** the bible just takes a long, long, long way of saying, "behave and be good to each other", which we all learned in kindergarten.

DennisDiehl said...

Corky...since no man can change in such great ways without the Wholly Spirit, I'd say you are more converted now than you ever have been.

I will never leaf you or fore rake you...turn turn turn...:)

Anonymous said...

"People's lives being changed has been considered to be evidence of the Holy Spirit from biblical times onward."

So if someone's behavior changes, this is evidence that the Holy Spirit of the Bible is dwelling in them? Strange. Why would this Holy Spirit indwell in millions of non-Christians?

Do you think it possible for someone to turn over a new leaf without the benefit of a supernatural power? If so, then how can you ascribe a beneficial change in behavior to the HS?



Paul

Corky said...

I've seen religious people change their destructive behavior but I have seen non-religious people change their destructive behavior too.

One in particular was my son in law's brother, an agnostic. He was a down and almost out drunken bum. House neglected, yard neglected, divorced on account of drinking, four pack a day smoker, obese and drove an old junk car to a part time job at a mechanic shop.

In one year's, he quit drinking, quit smoking, fixed up his house and yard, got down to an ideal weight from obesity and started his own mechanic shop (he was already a good mechanic, just not dependable). Today, 2 years later, he has a thriving business and drives a new car to the bank. He's still an agnostic though and leans heavy toward atheism.

Anonymous said...

"He's still an agnostic though and leans heavy toward atheism."


Aha! Clearly a case of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! How can I make such a bold assertion? Well, for one, the gentleman in question has turned over a new leaf!!!! Secondly (as if one would need further proof in this obviously supernatural situation), he is an agnostic, therefore believing in something; the Lord has seen fit to send him the Holy Spirit. It's all so clear to those with eyes to see. Thank you for sharing your testimony, Corky.

I decided to quit smoking before I became a Christian. In hindsight, I see that it was the work of the Holy Spirit! God surely works in mysterious ways, bestowing his very nature on the unbeliever!

Also, I contemplated the universe. I have no idea how I came to be, therefore it must be the handiwork of Jehovah!!! My logic is pristine and undeniable!



Paul

Byker Bob said...

I don't wish to share too many personal details on a public blog, but the case to which I was referring didn't just involve bad habits. The individual was a sociopath, a pathological criminal, and a hopeless dope fiend.

As a biker, I've been around those traveling through the gutters of humanity. I know the difference between bottoming out from bad habits (which can be done with a bit of logic and willpower), and being on a run-away pathological freight train with virtually no hope. 99% of those in the latter category end up in jails, mental institutions, and halfway houses for the rest of their lives.

Believe me, I would not get all misty eyed and consider it an epiphany if a friend or relative quit smoking and drinking, mowed his lawn, and got a job. That's a fairly regular occurrence. You might say that's a common cold. What I was referring to (in comparison) was like a raging case of typhoid fever or maybe even tertiary syphilis!

BB

Tom said...

DennisDiehl said...

>>>Tom: I love your smug tones and simplistic answers. They give me a low point to compare my progress over they years with. I thank you from the depths of my liberated soul. See, you do have purpose here! :)<<<

I believe you are mistaking certainty for smugness. But then, certainty in an uncertain world astonishes people, especially those who are unable to understand the experiences that have turned them into harden cynics. If you don't believe me, try analysing the distorted minds of Douglas, Bill, Paul, Corky and the rest of the cabal, who hide under various sobriquets.

In addition, since you have defrocked and branded a hireling by Jesus, it is not surprising that no longer understand, if you ever did, the simplicity in Christ Jesus.

Tom said...

Kscribe said:

>>>And so our funny friend Tom here seems to endorse this believe by his un-dying support of the Herbster and his band of heretical misfits!<<<

In a previous post you said you didn't care whether God exists or not. And after I replied stating that "you will rue the day" you made the comment, you retreated into your little cocoon of self-pity and doubt, nursing a gaping wound from the two edged sword of the Word.

Now in an act of profound folly, you have joined the cabal in referring the God's servant as Herster. Will you never learn? And that is a rhetorical question.

Anonymous said...

smug (smg)
adj. smug·ger, smug·gest
Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one's situation;

Anonymous said...

Saint Tom saith: "Now in an act of profound folly, you have joined the cabal in referring the God's servant as Herster. Will you never learn? And that is a rhetorical question."


Tom - You continue to amaze me with the stupid things you post. How on earth can you consider applying an unflattering nickname to a reprobate like herbie a "profound folly"?? Your hero, herbie, was a short fat man. That's all! I don't think any person is above criticism.

You say he was God's servant?? Where is your proof of that? The only thing you have convinced me of is that your are mentally ill. I hope you get help before you get worse.

DennisDiehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DennisDiehl said...

Tom. The tape is eight years old,but I will reproduce it as best I can. Jesus appeared to me when I was de-suit and tied. I never wore a frock. Jesus said he hates that defrocked thing, 'cause rarely would take something from someone he never gave to them in the first place. He said it was ok to record his message to me...

"Pssst...Dennis. It's me Jesus. Relax, I'm on your side. Let me assure you, I wasn't with HWA. If you remember, he scarcely mentioned my name. He was an Old Testament kinda guy and I'm not ever sure he got around to mentioning me in YES lessons.

Think of the hymn book? Ever see me mentioned? Nope! It was God, God, God. Even my Father said, 'he sure don't say much about you does he?' So anyway, I never got much of a say in WCG administration or inspiration. We all laughed our selves silly when you guys sang "climbing thru the windows leap." Like I ever taught that to the 12 signs of the zo...my disciples."

Actually, I brought the receivership on them in '79, but they slipped out of my noose. I tried to get you out over the years, 'cause darn it, I like you Den. I always did since you were a kid always looking for the truth of this or that. I tried to pry you loose in '74, '79 90 and 94 but I know you felt you had to be there. It's ok. I forgive you, and I CAN forgive you! I'm for free choice so I had to let you make them.

And by the way, I did not work any great miracle through the Tkaches. The only thing that was worked was mischief and reckless change. Those boys need help.

I read 'the Surprising God' Blog recently, and my Dad always laughs and says, 'if they only knew how surprised they make me!' See..God has a sense of humor too. You have to with WCG.

At any rate, I just wanted you know that I'm not mad at you or anything. I appreciate you're thinking I was in the whole thing but honest, I was have been busy with the transition between the Age of Aries, the lamb (that's me) and Aquarius stuff. I told the 12 I'd always be with them until the end of the Age and I will be. After that, we'll see.

Satan also asked me to pass on that he was not devouring the sheep in WCG either. That was purely a function of the Administration. He, and I know this to be true, was in the Balkans and Kosovo most of that time and wasn't even thinking about WCG. I even had to tell him what WCG stood for.

So relax. I didn't bust you. I just had stuff for you to learn so you could be more useful to those trapped in religion gone nuts. Just consider yourself to have been taking religion classes the past 30 years.

Well, take care. I love you Den. God the Father, the Holy Spirit and myself along with all the host of heaven crack up sometimes when we read your stuff."

and then last night Jesus stopped by again... "Long time no see" I said.

"Keep up the good work. Satan is laughing here and told me to ask you how you like that old thorn in the flesh Tom, that he sent? We all think it's funny here too. Gabriel even said last night at dinner, 'and I thought Dave Pack was smug.'

Well, the grace of us, the love of God and getting along with the Holy Spirit be with you Den. I have to go. I just wanted you know."

I swear, I lie not, this really happened! :)

Anonymous said...

Too funny, Dennis !

Corky said...

Tom said,

"Corky and the rest of the cabal, who hide under various sobriquets."

You might be pleased to know that Corky is not a sobriquet that I hide behind. It's the name I have used all my life and to everyone I know, I am known by that name.

Is Tom the sobriquet you hide behind?

DennisDiehl said...

"Corky and the rest of the cabal, who hide under various sobriquets'

I"m sorry, guilty here. My full name is Dennis Carlton Diehl'

What was your full name Tom?...I forget.

DennisDiehl said...

But my Sobriquet as a kid was "Mess" because I puked in a friend's car on the way to the lake.

But I asked God, when I went into the Church to NOT have to confess this to the minister, and I was spared. Somehow, "And now for the sermon, Mr. Mess Diehl" just sounded bad.

However, the up side is that when someone says..."you're a mess," I can freely say, "Yes I am but that was a one time event a long time ago and I'd appreciate it if you'd not mention that again."

Come on Tom...they called you "Smugger" didnt they?

Jared Olar said...

Corky said: That sounds like spirit possession to me. Indwelling is indwelling.

There’s a difference between dwelling in a house and possessing a house. As a child I dwelled in a house, but didn’t possess it. Today as an adult I dwell in a house and, er, the bank possesses it --- for another 30 years anyway.

Bamboo_bends said...

DennisDiehl said...

Come on Tom...they called you "Smugger" didnt they?



They called him a wooley pratt.

DennisDiehl said...

off topic but if anyone wants Dave Pack's "Clarion Call" sermon, email me and i"ll send it to you.

"Send it in....either you believe we have 3, 5, 7,9 (23,56, 106) years left or you don't." :) I added the parenthetic part.

Kscribe said...

Tom said...
"you made the comment, you retreated into your little cocoon of self-pity and doubt, nursing a gaping wound from the two edged sword of the Word."

Yes, everyone likes a pity party Tom, however the double edge sword of Armstrong's gauud(and the gauud you share with him)is one of plastic, not metal!

Tom, substance my evil foe wins arguments.

Now Tom I must ask you this very important question. Do you follow Armstrong, and if you do, how many children have YOU molested? One? Two?? Perhaps three? I do know about the testimony of at least 2 witnesses concerning Saint Herb. Will any come forward to accuse you Tom? I hope not. I just hope that you are only mentally ill, and not a child abuser.

So Tom, what is your humble opinion on the Herbster? Guilty or not guilty? Your character is now under the microscope..... Can you be honest and sincere?

Folks, place your bets!!!

Rev. Kscribe.

Anonymous said...

The modern hornsmith Lee Larkin, whose powder horns are seen in the movies The Patriot and Alamo, lacks completing his dissertation [ABD] for his doctorate in Historical Theology. Among other reasons for not completing his degree was the lack of faith, lack of belief of his professors. The men and women under whom he studied no longer believed that the Bible was the inspired word of God. Their studies of the original languages and of early texts had taken them beyond the quagmire of doubt and had planted them in the firm soil of unbelief. Lee was not willing to follow them to his death, but many other disciples have, with these many others now holding graduate degrees and pastorates, large and small, where from pulpits every Sunday they look down on their congregations of believers, each identifying him or herself as a Christian. Yes, they look down on the simple faith of those disciples who still believe, who would contend for the faith once delivered if those disciples knew what that faith was. They look down on the ignorance of disciples who may have heard of “J” and “P” but who don’t understand the significance of these creation accounts or of even why the Old Testament occupies most of the Bible. They look down on those disciples who sit in rear pews. They look with concealed distain at those disciples whose suits look like “church clothes,” whose Bibles are dog-eared. They smile as they look down on the entirety of the congregation, for the smile comes with degree, perhaps the reason why Lee doesn’t smile when he talks about his graduate school professors.

The denominations and sects employing both professors and pastors who have been educated unto unbelief represent visible Christendom, but the problem of unbelief isn’t confined to the Church. The British educator and poet Matthew Arnold wrote in “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse” (1855),

For rigorous teachers seized my youth,
And purged its faith, and trimm’d its fire,
Show’d me the high, white star of Truth,
There bade me gaze and there aspire.
Even now their whispers pierce the gloom:
What dost thou in this living tomb? [stanza break]
Forgive me, masters of the mind!
At whose behest I long ago
So much unlearnt, so much resign’d— (lines 67–75)

What Arnold had unlearned was simple belief in God, what the monks at the abbey displayed as they tended their gardens. Arnold’s unbelief came from his “rigorous teachers” who had him gaze at Truth other than that to which Christ Jesus bore witness (John 18:37). And three, four, five generations of rigorous teachers later, what modern professors and pastors initially learned was what comes from empirical sciences based on observations and experimentations that cannot nor do not attempt to answer the question of why things happen at the foundational level, such as why a Big Bang or any bang occurred. For them, the Genesis creation story is merely one of two creation myths in the Bible.

Theory, theories, and observations confirming theories end where it becomes impossible to measure a position to a precision of less than the Planck length, or to measure duration to a precision greater than the time required for a photon traveling at the speed of light to travel a Planck length. Therefore, by the self-imposed limit of observation empirical sciences reject revelation and become distant cousins to Buddhism, which avoids conjecture about the origins of the universe or the origins of life, focusing instead on more the physical application of how to become a better person, thereby saving the person from suffering by obtaining Nirvana.

But the problem of unbelief is really not a problem for most of those who do not believe. They strive to better understand what can be observed. Their thoughts remain focused on what can be known, not on what cannot. Therefore, they never make a journey to an abbey at any Grande Chartreuse, where they might see the futility of this world—they have not been born of Spirit so their thoughts are only those of this world. Any enlightenment they may have is from this world, where all things are physical. Only rarely will they, on a personal level, ever encounter a disciple who has truly been born of Spirit, and then, they will most likely conclude that the disciple simply suffers from a lack of enlightenment. Hence, they can and usually will (and perhaps should) dismiss disciples as uneducated hicks, the hayseeds of a failed educational system, the refuge from an overtly superstitious age.

Anonymous said...

"The men and women under whom he studied no longer believed that the Bible was the inspired word of God. Their studies of the original languages and of early texts had taken them beyond the quagmire of doubt and had planted them in the firm soil of unbelief."

Shouldn't that tell you something?


Paul

Tom said...

DennisDiehl said...

>>>I swear, I lie not, this really happened! :)<<<

Next time you hear voices, ask them to teach you how to write what they say to you, using the Queen's English. Then I might be persuaded that they are the voices of wisdom.

Tom said...

Rev. Kscibe said:

>>>Tom, substance my evil foe wins arguments.<<<

After writing the above, your substance is to slander HWA, by accusing him of being a child molester. Then when I thought it was impossible for you to descend any further into the cesspit of depravity, you then implied that I was also a child molester. If this is what you call substance, then irrationality is rational!

But then, if you are indeed a Rev., it would be natural for you to hate God and his children, for all Revs are ministers of Satan.

Tom said...

Charlie said:

>>>You continue to amaze me with the stupid things you post.<<<

Wisdom is justified of her children.

>>>How on earth can you consider applying an unflattering nickname to a reprobate like herbie a "profound folly"?? Your hero, herbie, was a short fat man.<<<

Christians don't have heroes. They recognise men and women who have laboured in the service of God, and esteem them highly for their work sake.

If you had been converted, you would have recognised HWA as a servant of God, despite his human infermities. But you were just a tare among the wheat. So now that you have been uprooted, you have become bitter and twisted against God's servant and his children. But it will not be done with impunity!

What does being fat, thin, short, tall, ugly or handsome has to do with one's character or wisdom? "Judge not according to appearance," is Jesus' command to you!

Corky said...

Tom says,
"If you had been converted, you would have recognised HWA as a servant of God, despite his human infermities. But you were just a tare among the wheat."

"Infirmatives" is what you call incest, false prophecies, causing unnecessary divorces, causing financial ruin, causing death, pain and suffering?

Our problem was that we did see HWA as a servant of God. We were wrong - and so are you.

Anonymous said...

Saint Tom saith: "Christians don't have heroes. They recognise men and women who have laboured in the service of God, and esteem them highly for their work sake."

Sure Tom, I agree. I hold Mother Teresa, Pope J-P II, Rev Bragg, and Brother David in very high esteem. Since herbie never labored in the service of anyone other than himself, I hold him in contempt.

Saint Tom saith: "If you had been converted, you would have recognised HWA as a servant of God, despite his human infermities. But you were just a tare among the wheat. So now that you have been uprooted, you have become bitter and twisted against God's servant and his children. But it will not be done with impunity!"

Are you now implying that you are one of herbie's children??? If that isn't deifying herbie than I don't know what else is.

I left on my own accord. I am very grateful that I was not irretrievably converted. Sadly, right before I stopped attending we got a new pastor and I didn't really get a chance to know him very well and he has since died. Dennis Diehl had some very nice things to say about him. (Mr. B.)

Again I will ask you, what make herbie above criticism that unkind things cannot be said about him without 'impunity'?


Saint Tom saith: "What does being fat, thin, short, tall, ugly or handsome has to do with one's character or wisdom? "Judge not according to appearance," is Jesus' command to you!"

My comment was to show you that herbe was a short fat man and that is all! He did not have any supernatural powers or authority. What he did have was a bad case of bi-polar disease and as well as an unhealthy dose of megalomania. He was also a first rate hypocrite and had a near 100% failure rate on his prophecies and predictions.

I believe there is a scripture that tells us if a man says something and the thing does not come to pass, then you shall not listen to him.

herbie said a lot of things...they didn't come to pass, and I no longer listen to him, or any of them.

Kscribe said...

Tom,

You funny, but is your name really Richard Markland? You sound like him!

Your dear friend out of Christ,
Rev. Kscribe

Questeruk said...

Re 'deifying' HWA.

The following I thought was an interesting comment by Mark Armstrong - grandson of HWA, and currently leading the 'Intercontinental COG'.

"How many abuses will be committed in the name of my deceased Grandfather? And how long will some poor abused people remain in a state of deception, or worse, mind control?

I realize that there is a lot of legitimate respect among the churches of God for Herbert W. Armstrong. But honestly! He was not a deity, and no one should be blindly obeying any men, ministers, or otherwise, who falsely claim his authority."

Anonymous said...

Yale Prof. Hales says:

"Now, Jeremiah prophesied--I'm going to do some math now, so this is dangerous. Jeremiah prophesied in the early sixth century and the chapters of Daniel were written many centuries later, someone can figure it out, in the 160's. So was Jeremiah prophesying falsely when he said that God would deliver Israel from her enemies and establish a kingdom in Judah in 70 years? No, not according to the book of Daniel, because in the book of Daniel it's said that Jeremiah also was speaking in a code. Jeremiah meant that 70 weeks of years, which is to say 490 years, would pass before the consummation of all things. And the last week was the reign Antiochus Epiphanes: we are in the last week of these years now.

So the writer is maintaining that he is living in the last days, in the final moments of the last week of years, and this is very typical of apocalyptic literature."

"Now in Daniel, this phrase, the Son of Man--which generally means mortal as opposed to divine in the Bible, but--in Daniel the phrase seems to refer to a figure that's in human form, but more than a human. Probably an angel like Michael or Gabriel. (Both of them are represented as leaders against the forces of Persia and Greece.) And this figure establishes an everlasting kingdom to replace the bestial kingdoms that have preceded it.

So the Son of Man overwhelms the little horn Antiochus, who is said to be making war on saints (that's a code for loyal Jews), who is said to have been trying to change their law and abolish their religion--and we know that these were parts of the persecution in 167 to 164 by Antiochus. He tried to stop worship in the sanctuary and so on.

In a third vision then, the horn that represents Antiochus is said to trample the land of splendor (Israel), to challenge the army of heaven, to remove the perpetual sacrifice (Antiochus did halt the sacrificial service in the temple) and to set up an "abomination of desolation" on the sacrificial altar (and we know that Antiochus set up some kind of pagan altar on the sacrificial altar in the temple in Jerusalem and erected a statue of Zeus in the sanctuary). So this depiction of the persecution under Antiochus is presented here, but it's presented in veiled form for reasons of safety."

Tom said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>Yale Prof. Hales says:<<<

What conclusions do you want us to draw from what she said?

Her introduction to the course strips the bible of its divine origin and reduces it to the status of a pagan document. But what Professor Hayes fails to note is, that the recorded history of the heathen nations surrounding Israel or with whom Israel had contact were piece together from archaeological fragments. Whereas, Israel history is documented in a book that has survived savage persecutions, conflagrations and utter detestation by their enemies, and formed moral basis for what is now laughingly called, western civilisation!

The question that has not occurred to Professor Hayes is, what power was responsible for preserving the bible and the Jewish people from the insane and malevolent attacks of the pagans?

Also, in Professor Hayes introduction, she stated that Israel was divided into two kingdoms. Samaria in the North, consisting of 10 tribes, and Judah in the South, consisting of 2 tribes. This is factually incorrect. The southern kingdom consisted of 3 tribes, Judah, Benjamin and Levi. If Professor Hayes can't get historical facts right, how earth can she claim to be an authority on the bible? If what she writes is called scholarship, then, thank God I have been delivered from it!

And these are only a few of the gaping holes in Professor Hayes "Introduction to the Bible."

Anonymous said...

"...what power was responsible for preserving the bible and the Jewish people from the insane and malevolent attacks of the pagans?"

The Jewish people.

Paul

DennisDiehl said...

Tom, said to Dennis

"Next time you hear voices, ask them to teach you how to write what they say to you, using the Queen's English. Then I might be persuaded that they are the voices of wisdom.

Then Tom said:

"If you had been converted, you would have recognised HWA as a servant of God, despite his human infermities."

Nice Queen's english there Tom. I think karma caught up to you. Or is that how the Queen spells?

"Infirmities."

camfinch said...

Tom writes:
"Also, in Professor Hayes introduction, she stated that Israel was divided into two kingdoms. Samaria in the North, consisting of 10 tribes, and Judah in the South, consisting of 2 tribes. This is factually incorrect. The southern kingdom consisted of 3 tribes, Judah, Benjamin and Levi. If Professor Hayes can't get historical facts right, how earth can she claim to be an authority on the bible? If what she writes is called scholarship, then, thank God I have been delivered from it!"

Well, it's been a long time since I've studied this, but according to the O.T. scriptures, wasn't Levi scattered throughout Israel, with no land inheritance of its own? If so, it might not "count" as a resident tribe in Judah. Judah and Benjamin would have had the inheritance of land. But then again, it is thought by many that at the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom that it was primarily the aristocracy that were carried away, leaving many Israelites in a desolate situation, and that many of them migrated southward to Judah and amalgamated with the Judahites and Benjamites, creating the tribal mix that resulted in Jewry as we know it.

Tom, next time my wife and I visit the West Mids., you should join me in a few pints at Ma Pardoe's (the Olde Swan) in Netherton. We rent out a house just down the street from the wondrous pub. But no theological arguing!

Tom said...

DennisDiehl said...

>>>Nice Queen's english there Tom. I think karma caught up to you. Or is that how the Queen spells?

"Infirmities."<<<

Syntax, grammar and proper subordination dear boy, constitutes much of the Queen's English.

I hope you note my spelling of the word "English" with a capital E.

Anyway, Microsoft spellchecker might make many appear to spell better than they actually can, but wizards that peep and mumble do not teach syntax and grammar.

Tom said...

Camfinch said:

>>>Well, it's been a long time since I've studied this, but according to the O.T. scriptures, wasn't Levi scattered throughout Israel, with no land inheritance of its own?<<<

Yes, in their role as teachers, they were scattered amongst their brethren. But after the building of the temple, in which they were required to serve, they were mostly resident in and around Jerusalem.

However, the history of Israel, from the division of the kingdom, shows that that Levi was part of the southern kingdom.

In addition, because Joseph was given a double portion via Manasseh and Ephraim, there were actually 13 tribes. Ten eventually forming the northern kingdom and three the southern.

>>>Tom, next time my wife and I visit the West Mids., you should join me in a few pints at Ma Pardoe's (the Olde Swan) in Netherton.<<<

I was there last year for a meal with some of my former work colleagues, who were based in Dudley. A very quaint place!

I don't mind joining you and your dear wife for a drink, but mine will be orange juice or coke. I do drink wine, but I have it at home with a meal.

Byker Bob said...

I always thought the Levites were cool! I mean everyone else was tripping around in robes, and the Levites got to design their own clothes. It is in profound admiration of them that I proudly put on my Levis every day! Sure beats the ol' linen ephod!

BTW, I can trace small groups of people who wore Levis all the way back to Aaron! It's just so inspiring to be able to be part of such a group, and to realize the true significance of the wearing of Levis!

BB

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bob:

That could qualify you as being of the tribe of Levi, and as such are now entitled to our tithes & offerings.

Enjoy!

Byker Bob said...

If I had all the tithes, maybe I could warn the world about the ACOGs!

On second thought, send them to Kscribe. He does a pretty good job of filling that commission.

BB