Friday, 8 February 2008

WCG reaches back to its real roots

It should come as no surprise that the ministry of Tkach's WCG is currently having a sweaty, torrid affair with Karl Barth and the Torrance brothers. WCG's roots reach back beyond the Church of God (Seventh Day) and the Seventh Day Baptists. Not to some imaginary unbroken lineage of sabbatarian True Believers anchored in the first century, but to the pestiferous Puritans. Herman Hoeh and Dugger & Dodd had it grievously wrong. Forget Peter Waldo, the WCG's great granddaddy was a highly confused Calvinist in the Church of England.

If that sounds a bit far fetched consider this, almost all Anglo-Protestant denominations and sects have been victims of the Puritan meme: Baptists, Brethren, Adventists, Mormons, Methodists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Episcopalians. You have to retreat to Catholic, Orthodox or Lutheran theology to escape the worst of its overpowering influence.

Which is why WCG once had such drawing power. Strict sabbatarianism, for example, only makes sense in the context of deformed Reformed theology.

The Puritans also raised speculation on The End Times to an art form and railed against Christmas. Sound familiar? The godly non-conformists would have loved the Bible Hymnal, preferring to sing only the psalms. (In fact Dwight Armstrong raided the Calvinist cupboard in putting his hymns together.)

Of course, in subsequent centuries the Puritan imperative has gone forth to multiply and mutate, partly thanks to those tenacious Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. Surface details may differ dramatically among their descendants, but the same Calvinist DNA underlies the astonishing variety.

Even Arminius sprang forth from the Calvinist matrix.

WCG has abandoned only its fictional roots. It's an idea worth exploring, and to set the ball in motion here's a link to From Sunday to Sabbath: The Puritan Origins of Modern Seventh-day Sabbatarianism by Ralph Orr, available at wcg.org.

45 comments:

Bamboo_bends said...

Prosperity theology owes much to Calvinism.

The meek may have inherited the world, but aggressive got North America.

I was in a conversation in England once where a Brit was making fun of an Australian because of that country being a former penal colony of mother England.

I said to the Aussie, "don't feel bad, they shipped all the religious nuts to America!" My Aussie friend replied back to me "And I reckon mate, we Ozzies got the better deal!"

And with that we ordered another round of beer.

DennisDiehl said...

Gavin said:

"WCG has abandoned only its fictional roots."

Perhaps, but has only swapped the one true pure fictional myth for yet another one true pure fictional myth.

I grew up Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)

I have been in touch with WCG ministers who are soaking in Barth and their Surprising God Blog (for ministers only). It doesn't take much of a genuine Biblical errancy question to get them to just stare at you. What never crosses their minds is also fascinating

The WCG ministry has left the actual Bible behind long ago and rarely even quotes it in their musings. They have replaced it with doublespeak with which they all pat themselves on the back in Him.

One sermon would pretty much fix anyone up for life on what they now focus on. A few actually post sermons and they are both fun and painful to listen to.

One dropped out of the Blog assuring me that he and his elders think it's all BS.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that doublespeak is the province of psychopaths.

Perhaps the roots go back much further than this posting would suggest.

DennisDiehl said...

"Puritan oppression, including torture and imprisonment of many leaders of non-Puritan Christian sects, led to the (voluntary or involuntary) "banishment" of many Christian leaders and their followers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony."

There were many forms of torture in WCG. Many members were Waterhoused until they confessed their sins and belief in Mr. Urmstrong.

Singles were easy to spot as they usually were carrying a watermelon to the Church picnic. Something like the Scarlet A but green and oblong. A form of Watermelloning.

Ministers had to send in reports of how many visits they made and why. Making them up was fun but getting caught was torture.

Members were time tortured by having to listen to sermons given over an hour and half that were maybe good for thirty mins. Mr. Pack has perfected this kind of rootlike Puritan torture.

Sometimes, when water was not available, bored worked fine without it.

Having been Waterhoused many times over the years, I feel it explains huge gaps in my mind and the blank look I get when I hear the words.."God says...." Those evenings were also known by myself and to the congregation as "The Feast of Unleavened Bunns"

:) Oh the humanity of it..

tkach's $wiss banker said...

Gavin:
Very elucidating (& well written !) research, it makes sense.

Good analysis of the S.G.B. by DD too. So the WCG, avoiding the pitfalls of biblical literalism, has gravitiated to a narrow theological focus on a 'cosmic' jesus - not unlike the original Pauline theology I suppose.

I would like to examine one of those 'nouveau' WCG sermons , Have you got a link to one Dennis ?

Lussenheide said...

Religious cycles follow in long mega trends that are similar to long economic cycles. These cycles are about 75 to 150 years long.

They follow along in the fashion of this old proverb:

"From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again into bondage."

Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Anonymous said...

Tkach Swiss Banker:

http://theadoptedlife.org/

I think you'll find Tim Brassell's unique

Anonymous said...

I agree with the assessment that the WCG blog is hysterical in a train-wreck syndrome way. They claim they are open to comments from all but mine (it was non-combative I swear!!) hasn't been posted yet.

It's laughable, the way they hand-wave whenever the theology starts to glaze their eyes; they go from biblical exegesis to "Jebus saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaves innit greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat!" and hope no one will notice.

The article Gavin linked to is a good example; reading through it, one wonders just what, exactly, WCG believes? It vacillates between Saturday and Sunday and provides an answer that's just about as clear as mud.

If you want absolutely god-awful (and I mean that literally) sermons online, might I recommend the ones posted over at the CGI Canada site. I'm not posting the link you'll have to find it on your own. You'll laugh til you cry. Or cry til you laugh.

DennisDiehl said...

PurpelHymnal said:

"I agree with the assessment that the WCG blog is hysterical in a train-wreck syndrome way. They claim they are open to comments from all but mine (it was non-combative I swear!!) hasn't been posted yet."

Yes, I posted a simple question, "What the heck is _______ talking about?" No
response.

Here is one comment that struck me particularly odd even for WCG.

"If we believe that all are in Christ then my fellow Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist is included in the Life of God (because he/she is absolutely included in Jesus!). That means that I am in the community of God with them as sure as the God Who is present in all of us, whether I am visiting with these people of other faiths or meeting with the "Christian" Church at a building, work or in play!

Christ does NOT have to be the focus of a community in order for the members of that community to be relating to God and for God to be present. They are relating to God and he is present because Christ has related them to himself and made God present to them, apart from their work or concious knowledge (there is no more Jew, Greek, Christian :-)! Jesus is not an egomaniac demanding our full attentive thoughts on Himself at all times in community. As He shares His love in and through any one of us, we are only sharing in His unending centeredness on the Father and the community he shares with the Father and the Spirit. This is the truth of all truths whether we think of such a thing or not!!"

DennisDiehl said...

But now, I do have to say they have learned their lesson on proof texting...:P

byker bob said...

Some things never change. Armstrongism grew from the psyche of a man who was not schooled, trained, or deeply intimate with theology. Now, it seems, we have some of his followers who, while they have repudiated his teachings, are no better rooted!
The stuff excerpted and quoted here shows they are floundering!

If I were inclined to buy into a pre-packaged deal, I'd have to acknowledge that there are a number of teachers who are much better founded. Joel Osteen, Bob George, Gary Amirault, and Dallas Willard certainly come to mind.

This afternoon, I had some fascinating conversation with a pastor. He supplements his pastoral wages by doing blue collar work in a letter shop owned by one of my customers. The gentleman has some of the same concerns as those we've all expressed here, about error being taught, modern day Pharisees, people judging one another, and hypocritical deacons who cuss a blue streak every time they open their mouths.

I laid Neo's hell concept on him, about how it's locked from the inside, and he shared with me that Noah's ark was not locked for the final 7 days prior to the flood. That's something I'd missed or forgotten. Noah most likely spent the final 7 days evangelizing to his neighbors, and nobody would join his family in the ark! No doubt the Noah family had numerous friends. Imagine their deep and catastrophic sadness as they realized that all had drowned!

BB

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

I like your modern hat.

Would this be the one you wear to church on Sunday,with the buckle all polished and the nap brushed?

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Concerning Hell BB Said:

"I laid Neo's hell concept on him, about how it's locked from the inside, and he shared with me that Noah's ark was not locked for the final 7 days prior to the flood."

Slap slap, biff, boff...doh...ouch...slam....zonk.

Let this be the sound thrashing you both needed :)

dd

Anonymous said...

byker bob,

If they didn't listen to Noah for the years it took to build the ark, what make's you think they would listen in the last week?

Anonymous said...

Is that the Noah story in Genesis or the earlier version in Gilgamesh? Either way it seems a bit of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

"If they didn't listen to Noah for the years it took to build the ark, what make's you think they would listen in the last week?"

I think Noah realized the adding the animals was a big draw the last week. The gun lap so to speak. The final push. The Two T-Rex's final warning. Impressive.

Anonymous said...

The door was open that last week so the animal fumes could get out. The ark only had one small window.
Otherwise there would have been a methane explosion and that would have seemed like the wrath of God on Noah and hard to explain.

Corky said...

I can't believe people are still talking about Noah's Ark as if it was real.

There never was a worldwide flood, get over it. 4200 years ago while the flood was raging, the American Indians had been here for 2,000 years already - or more.

Funny that they weren't washed away, isn't it?

It's a myth from a flood caused by the melting glaciers some 12,000 years ago and recorded by the Sumerians.

When people wonder how or why the American Indians ended up in this hemisphere, I can't help but think that it was because of trying to escape the crazy religious crap invented in Mesopotamia.

In the Bible the time from Adam to the flood was only about 1500 years, does anyone seriously think the earth was full of people in that length of time from two people?

If you do, then you are seriously uneducated in math and birth rates and death rates.

Furthermore, if anyone believes in the face of archeology, paleontology, forensics etc. that Adam lived 930 years - they need to see a psychiatrist immediately.

Anonymous said...

no no no, the door was originally the animal ramp and no one had any clue how to close it when the rain started. God closed it and finished up the pitch and calking around the door so it did not leak.

However, God also had to unpitch and uncalk it to get them out, but that's not specifically said in the story.

Think space shuttle when the crew gets in.

I'm not sure if hell has doors or from which direction it is locked, but I know that once you are in hell, you aren't allowed just run around where you want, so I assume there is some kind of locking in mechanism.

All we have to know is that Hell is not a very nice place and it is reserved by Jesus for those who don't love him, nor he them anymore, or at least not love them in any further way we can identify with.

Anonymous said...

Corky, you'll think differently about this when you are locked in Hell wishing you had done your homework a little better.

Corky said...

Anonymous said...
Corky, you'll think differently about this when you are locked in Hell wishing you had done your homework a little better.

I thought this was an Armstrongite blog. Armstrong theology says that we are totally destroyed in the lake of fire.

Please excuse me if I have wandered into a hellfire torments crowd.

I tell you what, anonymous, if you believe in a god who torments people infinitely for finite crimes - you keep him - he's a monster that I don't care to know.

Anonymous said...

"Puritan oppression, including torture and imprisonment of many leaders of non-Puritan Christian sects, led to the (voluntary or involuntary) "banishment" of many Christian leaders and their followers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony."

Today their decedents have temporary taken control of this country. These folks still think torture is OK.

It must be genetic...

Byker Bob said...

Jeez, Corky, there you go again.

I believe that the Bible, an Israel-centric document, described a large scale,localized, Mesopotamian flood, not a global one. You can tell by the language used in the Bible that it was written taking into account only the known world. The Israelite holydays apply to seasons as they occur in the Northern hemisphere. There are certain times when you can't keep a sunset to sunset sabbath in Iceland, Greenland, on the North Pole, in Antarctica, and probably parts of Canada. Nobody even heard of time zones during the Bible era.

Believers are not always literalists, or scriptural inerrantists.

BB

Neotherm said...

The idea that Hell is locked from the inside was an observation made by C.S. Lewis. I added to it that Hell is eternal because the people confined there will never, ever repent. It is eternal not because God wants it to be but because the people confined there want it to be.

Armstrongism may have had Reformed roots but it was a hyper-Arminian religion. It took Clark Pinnock's Open Theism a radical step further and, without embarassment, recast God in human terms.

The current WCG seems to carefully skirt issues that would align them with either Calvinism or Arminianism.

I asked Joe, Jr. several years back after church services about the doctrine of Predestination, a Calvinist favorite. At that time he said that were still researching the topic and as soon as they had an understanding, they would publish something. Nothing has ever been published. But I don't care now. At that time, I still felt that doctrine was only to be accepted if it had the WCG imprimatur.

-- Neo

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous 2/9/08 3:25 PM: I simply shared a paraphrase of scripture with all here. While that doesn't make me responsible for Moses' or whomever's thinking behind the scripture vis a vis people repenting during the last seven days, I do think that the ark being unsealed for those last seven days is indicative that perhaps YHWH is not the harsh, cruel, unforgiving wargod that some have made Him out to be.

The Jews, having no New Testament, consider their God to be kind and merciful. Somehow, they find this kindness and mercy in the pages of the Torah.

BB

Stingerski said...

B-B said :

. . . that perhaps YHWH is not the harsh, cruel, unforgiving wargod that some have made Him out to be.

Er, B-B, I don't know what Bible translation you are reading these days. But all the ones I have show YHVH to be just that -- a cruel, unforgiving, bloody rascal of a god. Every other page is filled with his wrath burning against his "chosen people" because they had such horribly sinful lusts like :

- wanting some meat to eat,
- wanting some water to drink,
- wanting to know where Moses went after he had abandoned them for over a month,
- wanting to know why their rascal of a god killed 70,000 of them for something David, a man after God's own heart, did when he took a census (which said god stirred him to do to begin with).

And on and on it went. Just ask all the relatives of Korah, who went down into the pit with him, how they feel. :-(

Ooops! You really can't. Since they are all dead. But actually, you can. Because just a few pages over the scribes sort of amended things. After they found some Korahites still running around they had to, er, fix the story.

If the Bible wasn't such a collection of bloody and contradictory superstitions and the acts of a genocidal god, which god had the temperment of a 5-year old when he doesn't get his regular sugar tit, it would actually be an amusing read. And the story of Noah is one of the greatest hoots of all. Even Bill Cosby knew that. ;-)

Anonymous said...

>>>>> Stingerski said...
B-B said :

. . . that perhaps YHWH is not the harsh, cruel, unforgiving wargod that some have made Him out to be.

Er, B-B, I don't know what Bible translation you are reading these days. But all the ones I have show YHVH to be just that -- a cruel, unforgiving, bloody rascal of a god.<<<<<



Well Stinger,

He can't be all that cruel and unforgiving.........

You are still here.... thumping your nose at HIM.

Any close calls with lightening lately?? :)


You know who still loves U........

Anoneemoose

Anonymous said...

God Is Love…?

'Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don't have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies. Slaughter their cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys' (I Samuel 15:3)

'God is love, and anyone who doesn't love others has never known him' (1 John 4:8)

Now there's a conundrum. How do you get your head round those two texts? 'I am love personified - but go kill everyone', says God. One, of course, was Old Testament, and one New. But then God says He is 'the same yesterday and forever'. It's a puzzle that theologians wrestle with. It's a question that many a thinker and many a layman has considered. And it is used as an excuse for rejecting the God of the Christian Scriptures - the Bible. Can the two apparent sides to God's character be reconciled?

...'gods' are legion. Every faith looks to its 'god' - or in Hinduism its myriad 'gods'. Yet there is no consensus as to what he (or she) wants.: how to behave, what to believe, the purpose for mankind. And 'god' is often made in the image of his believer

...based on behaviour the god of Islam would likely choose the Samuel text (above) in their pursuit of growth. For Christians it is 'God is love', though that faith launched the mediaeval Crusades in the name of their god

...the LORD of the Christian Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, lays claim to be the one and only God, while acknowledging the existence of other claimants to be 'gods' (Heb. elohim - eg Deuteronomy 17:4). There can , of course, be but one such supreme God. And He says 'I change not' (Malachi 3:6)

...on the one hand this God is 'love' and on the other He authorises the 'ethnic cleansing' of entire nations (I Samuel 15) - and indeed of virtually all mankind, as in the great flood in Noah's day: '... Jehovah said, I will wipe off man whom I have created from the face of the earth, from man to beast, to the creeping thing and to the birds of the heavens; for I repent that I made them' (Genesis 6:7)

...no whim, this, but an essential step towards the fulfilment of His purpose. The whole of creation had overstepped the bounds of civilised behaviour: 'And Jehovah saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the day long' (v.5).

...mankind was, at his creation, 'very good'. Straight from the hand of God he was in the divine image: 'And God created the man in His own image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female' (Genesis 1:26-27). 'Perfect' - but with freedom to choose how to live: follow God's path, or devise his own. He, influenced by the Adversary, chose his own way - which led to assured destruction. The LORD began again with one righteous family, that of Noah (ch 9:1-2)

...the pattern was repeated in ensuing centuries. When nations corrupted themselves God, for the sake of His grand design, having given them time to change (eg Genesis 15:16, ch 19:24). Yet through all this the unchanging divine character is described as 'gracious and merciful' (eg II Chronicles 30:9), having 'loving kindness' (Psalm 51:1). Remember this is the Old Testament! Consider, too, the New Testament teachings: '...out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations' (Revelation 19:15). That speaks of the not-so-gentle Jesus, who will come 'in flaming fire giving full vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ' (II Thessalonians 1:8). Perhaps it's time to bring our understanding of divine love into line with God's

...all those men, women and children - wiped out by divine command - died that we might live. Had their corruption infected all mankind we would not exist! Speaking of the 'end time' Jesus said: 'And except those days were shortened, not any flesh would be saved' (Matthew 24: 22). But for the sake of 'the elect' the LORD will intervene to end the mayhem

...God, however, has plans even for such: 'And they will come out [of their graves], the ones having done good into a resurrection of life; and the ones having practiced evil into a resurrection of judgment (John 5:29). After the thousand-year reign of Jesus they will, by means of a resurrection to a period of assessment in the flesh, be educated to God's way. His love is more comprehensive than man can imagine (Romans 8:38-39)

END

Jared Olar said...

An excellent scholarly work on the origins of English seventh-day Sabbatarianism is Bryan W. Ball's The Seventh-Day Men. Ball is a Seventh-Day Adventist, but he's still an honest scholar who follows the historical evidence where it leads: to the truth that the English Seventh-Day Men arose from the Puritans, and that no historical link between the Seventh-Day Men and the pre-Reformation Lollards can be documented or demonstrated. This is fatal to the traditional "Trail of Blood" sort of Seven-Church-Eras pseudohistory that was promoted by the WCG and is still promoted by folks like Robert Thiel.

Corky said...

Byker Bob said...
Jeez, Corky, there you go again.

I believe that the Bible, an Israel-centric document, described a large scale,localized, Mesopotamian flood, not a global one.


Oh yeah? Well, then maybe you don't know that the mountains of Ararat are not in Mesopotamia.

How high is Mt. Ararat that was covered by this local flood?
5,137 m (16,854 ft). That's more than a local flood you have there, Bob, That depth would have easily covered the world in water.

Why was the ark so big? If only a few local animals and birds are all that is meant, I can't see the purpose of even including them in the ark.

No, Bob, the Bible is saying the flood was worldwide.

The use of Mt. Ararat is significant though. It is a volcano and Ararat has been revered by the Armenians as their spiritual home and as the home of the gods of the Armenian pantheon.

Byker Bob said...

What would most of us like to do to the Islamofascists of today? They just keep amassing and coming back with their suicide bombings and threats of terror. Wouldn't we love to just wipe them out totally, so the world could live in peace?

How do we know that the Amalekites weren't the same types of people, doing the same things, only in a different era.

Punishment often seems cruel, but it's part of the guidance system that keeps humanity and civilization moving forward. As Dennis pointed out, there is pain, and then there is healing.

I'm reminded of an interview with Ron Howard who gave us some entertaining moments both as Ritchie Cunningham and little Opie Taylor. Howard had an incredible relationship with his screen father, Andy Griffith. Griffith did many of the things with Howard that a parent might normally do, such as play ball on the backlot in between scenes. They actually were like father and son. One time, Howard's parents were on the set. They spanked him for something he had done. His natural reaction was to run right to Andy Griffith for sympathy. However, Andy said, "I'm sorry, but you deserved that!" Years after the fact, Ron Howard said he recognized the wisdom, and appreciated the way Griffith handled the situation.

Korah and his friends, along with the Amalekites, the Sodomites, Noah's friends and neighbors, and others are in "time out" right now. They were disrupting the classroom. Since nothing else worked, God gave them all a "bad weekend", and they'll be back at sometime in the future, hopefully receptive to their lessons!

BB

camfinch said...

Byker Bob wrote:

"What would most of us like to do to the Islamofascists of today? They just keep amassing and coming back with their suicide bombings and threats of terror. Wouldn't we love to just wipe them out totally, so the world could live in peace?'"

BB, I think that violence in the name of religion is absolute evil, whatever the religion might be. Certainly, Islamist terrorists must be stopped; but should their kinfolk, their children, their animals likewise be slaughtered? (A parenthetical question is: Should we, here in the U.S., seek to use force to stop the preachings of Christian theofascists/theocrats, i.e., Reconstructionists or Dominionists, who seek to replace our republican democracy with a legal system based on the harsh Mosaic code found in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy? In other words, get 'em now before they get us...)

"How do we know that the Amalekites weren't the same types of people, doing the same things, only in a different era."

This is exactly the way Armstrongism, and perhaps Christians of all stripes, have tried to justify what sounds like hyper-violent injustice. Why couldn't God direct the Israelites to just kill the Amalekite men who proved to be evil, and a threat to Israel? Why include wives and innocent children? Why slaughter the livestock? Respectfully, old buddy, this directive comes from a deity who conveys nothing but an anger sourced in jealousy--of the gods that the Amalekites worshipped. If the stories of the Israelite conquest of Canaan are based in truth, it is certainly plausible to ask whether the scribes who wrote them are bringing in Yahweh in order to give righteous meaning to the violent militance of the Israelites.

"Punishment often seems cruel, but it's part of the guidance system that keeps humanity and civilization moving forward."

But punishment should be fair. Killing children and innocent people is not fair.

I realize that there is always the final fall-back, among all monotheists, that God is beyond our severely limited understanding, and when we hit the wall with these issues, we must just have faith, and trust God. But if that be the case, it hardly seems worth having rational analytical thought to begin with. If God has given humans the means to think and to discern, but then pulls the rug out from our discernment, leaving us with logical and moral impossibilities--well, that seems like some sort of cruel joke!

But these are some of the prime questions that people of all organized religions, and in particular the monotheistic traditions, have long wrestled with.

Anonymous said...

Dennis says "But now, I do have to say they have learned their lesson on proof texting..."

Agreed. They also seem to be approaching biblio-sanctity, in step with the rest of their protestant cousins.

The quote you've picked suggests a pastor who is either very new to the church, or is on his way to exiting. It certainly doesn't seem like a quote that would fit in with either protestantism or Armstrongism. Calvinism, perhaps, but always with the caveat, which is Armstrongism at its purest.

Corky made a salient point, with regards to "the flood" --- the great flood in the canonical old testament is actually a retelling of (take your pick) Gilgamesh or of the annual flooding of the Nile.

First Nations legends, story-cycles and mythologies do not, on the whole, have a "flood story" although some have a "world ocean" in common with the Egyptian creation myths (and with the distorted Genesis creation myth that was taken from it).

Interesting to note that a "world ocean" creation myth aligns nicely with the pre-Cambrian era; science suggests that we may be descended from these earliest of life-forms, as the first vertebrates with proto-chords (precursor spinal columns) existed then.

The stuff that gets added in between the world ocean of the pre-Cambrian era and how we got to be human beings in the here-and-now, well that was just guesswork in olden times, and the guesser with the loudest voice is the one who traditionally won. Before the advent of those pesky disciplines of study known as naturalism, and later science.

I feel that a quote from Maria Mitchell, 1818-1889 is apropos here:

"Can the study of truth do harm? Does not every true scientist seek only to know the truth? And in our deep ignorance of what is truth, shall we dread the searching after it? I hold the simple student of nature in holy reverence and I cannot bear to have these sincere workers held up in the least degree to reproach. And let us have truth even if the truth be the awful denial of the good God. We must face the light and not bury our heads in the Earth."

Stingerski said...

Anon-e-noose said :

Well Stinger,

He can't be all that cruel and unforgiving.........

You are still here.... thumping your nose at HIM.

Any close calls with lightening lately?? :)

You know who still loves U....


I not only live at the lightening capital of the world, Florida. But I also live near Tampa Bay, the Lightening Capital of the world.

And for some strange reason your god can't seem to hurl a bolt or two at me on target. Perhaps, like most of mankind, you worship a fantasy. A god that belongs in Aesop's Fables.

Come to think of it, Aesop's Fables are a much better read than the Bible. They make far more sense.

Now please go back to that other board, where people are mostly bored with the lack of conversation, beyond the level of what "true" color your zitszits should be.

Anonymous said...

'Why couldn't God direct the Israelites to just kill the Amalekite men who proved to be evil, and a threat to Israel? Why include wives and innocent children? Why slaughter the livestock?'

Compare Africa where huge numbers are already dying of AIDS - men, women, innocent children. And the destructive Foot and Mouth disease in cattle. And Bird flu. And CJD.

Sometimes it is more humane - even in our day - to 'save' through death. JHVH, of course,knows exactly what is the perfect course of action (man doesn't). Perhaps ancient civilisations were indeed better off dead.

camfinch said...

"Sometimes it is more humane - even in our day - to 'save' through death. JHVH, of course,knows exactly what is the perfect course of action (man doesn't). Perhaps ancient civilisations were indeed better off dead."

What kind of life did the Amalekites and other Canaanite tribes have? Were they in the same dire circumstances as the starving or diseased masses in come parts of our contemporary world? Or did they just worship the wrong deities?

Oh, a gentle spelling lesson re: a couple of previous posts: When you are referring to that bolt of electricity found in thunderstorms, it's "lightning", not "lightening". This is a very common error nowadays; I see it quite frequently in essays from my students. :-) Just like getting "it's" confused with "its".

Corky said...

Anonymous says . . .

Sometimes it is more humane - even in our day - to 'save' through death. JHVH, of course,knows exactly what is the perfect course of action (man doesn't). Perhaps ancient civilisations were indeed better off dead.

Then why didn't YHVH kill them himself instead of having a bunch of savages to butcher them?

Then YHVH says the way of peace they know not - hah, I wonder why?

Kill every man, woman and child. Rip the pregnant woman open and kill the fetus, then kill all their animals as well. Wow! What a devil...er, I mean God.

You'd think that he would have killed them himself so that his chosen people would not learn the ways of war but - we can't understand the mind of God.

I wonder if anyone has a clue that it was really the priest who gave those kind of orders and a god had nothing to do with it?

The people come to the priest with a question and the priest goes into his secret section and comes out later and says, "thus sayeth the Lord". . .

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting how people rationalise evil. Old Testament genocide is still genocide, and the blood of murdered children still cries out from the ground.

Job didn't accept all the religious crap about bad things not happening to good people - despite all the "blessings and cursings" proofs to the contrary. Ecclesiastes' Preacher also runs against the grain.

If it's good enough for them to ask the tough questions, so can we. All the trite stuff and rationalisations are just so much horsefeathers!

NB

Anonymous said...

"They just keep amassing and coming back with their suicide bombings and threats of terror."


How many terrorist attacks did we have on American soil prior to 1990?


Paul

Jordan Potter said...

How many terrorist attacks did we have on American soil prior to 1990?

Are terrorist attacks and suicide bombings only important if they happen on American soil?

Anonymous said...

"Are terrorist attacks and suicide bombings only important if they happen on American soil?"

I don't know how you arrived at that from reading my post.

The question still remains. How many terrorist attacks did we have on American soil prior to 1990?


Paul

Anonymous said...

What was special about the year 1990 in the first place?

Did a law change at that time? Was that year somehow significant in Armstrongology?

I'm thinking 1990 was pre Ruby Ridge, and most definitely pre-Waco and pre-Oklahoma city. There were some concerns about the Y-2K New Years celebration and terrorism. There was the bombing in Atlanta a towards the end of the '90s.

Any acts of terrorism are unacceptable, and our government should take a hardline approach to them as opposed to the USA being filled with self-loathing and believing that our actions, wealth, and policies caused such acts.

Byker Bob

Anonymous said...

"....as opposed to the USA being filled with self-loathing and believing that our actions, wealth, and policies caused such acts."

Wait a minute..are you seriously suggesting that staging a coup in a sovereign nation such as Iran to depose an elected PM in favor of an exiled Shah would have no repercussions? Is this what you are suggesting?

By the way, assessing the situation critcally, and admitting fault in a situation in no way means that you forfeit the right to defend yourself. You've been listening to Hannity again.







Paul

Anonymous said...

Hannity? Didn't even know he was still on the air. I always thought he was an obnoxious SOB.

Based on frequent word choices, you seem to belong to a little subgroup yourself there.

Byker Bob

Jordan Potter said...

I don't know how you arrived at that from reading my post.

Someone commented about suicide bombings and terroristic threats. You responded by asking how many terrorist attacks there were on American soil prior to 1990. If terrorism is a serious problem for the world to deal with even if it's not on American soil, then it doesn't matter how many times terrorists attacked on American soil prior to 1990.