Saturday, 3 January 2009

How Then Shall We Not Live - Franky Makes Good

Francis Schaeffer was a cult-like figure among Evangelicals of a past generation, building a personal empire at a place called L'Abri around a pretentious form of Calvinism. Schaeffer produced the hugely influential but deeply facile film (and associated book) How Then Shall We Live: The Decline of Western Thought and Culture - a sort of high-brow version of The Modern Romans. Growing up in his father's shadow was Franky, the son of the legend, destined to also achieve star status in the Lord's work.

"We were earnest and my parents were sincere. Dad had a vicious temper. Mom was a high powered nut. But so what. Given the range of human suffering, I had a golden childhood."

Father/son combinations litter the world of conservative Christianity, what Schaeffer himself calls "the proudly nepotistic American Protestant tradition." Billy and Franklin, Robert H. and Robert A., Francis and Franky, Joe Sr. and Joe Jr., Gerry and Stephen, Herbert and Ted. In most cases it all ends in tears.

There are parallels between Franky and GTA. Both had a wild streak, but played their role to the full despite that. Both achieved fame as celebrity evangelists. Both wrestled with their conscience. But, sadly, only one found the integrity to turn aside and do the right thing.

Franky mixed and mingled with the Evangelical nobility; James Dobson, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and others.

"In private, they ranged from unreconstructed bigot reactionaries like Jerry Falwell, to Dr. Dobson, the most power-hungry and ambitious person I have ever met, to Billy Graham, a very weird man indeed who lived an oddly sheltered life in a celebrity/ministry cocoon, to Pat Robertson, who would have a hard time finding work in any job where hearing voices is not a requirement."

Sounds as though he's describing four COG splinter leaders instead of famous preachers who lobbied in Washington and were regarded as mainstream paragons in the Bible Belt.

Franky preached to large audiences, even appearing in the pulpit of Falwell's Liberty Baptist Church.

And then he gave it all away.

Franky Schaeffer's story appears in a tell-all autobiography published last year called Crazy for God. It's a damning indictment of the evangelical industry, and anyone who hear that siren call would do well to read it. It's also a raw - and even raunchy - self portrait redeemed by its searing honesty and a warts-and-all portrait of the Christian Right.

Schaeffer remains a Christian, but he steers clear of his former affiliations and has embraced the Orthodox faith. He now calls himself just plain Frank.

And he's probably a better man for it.

45 comments:

The Voices told me to said...

"In private, they ranged from unreconstructed bigot reactionaries like Jerry Falwell, to Dr. Dobson, the most power-hungry and ambitious person I have ever met, to Billy Graham, a very weird man indeed who lived an oddly sheltered life in a celebrity/ministry cocoon, to Pat Robertson, who would have a hard time finding work in any job where hearing voices is not a requirement."

Religion draws this type of personality plain and simple. They rise to positions of control and authority and are mistaken for godly and special people where simply odd and strange would suffice.

It's the same from Genesis to Revelation and most of the personalities in between.

"In most cases it all ends in tears."

Well said Gavin.

Anonymous said...

Ah-hahahahahahahaha Teddy still hasn't turned off "links to this post"! I guess that means there is at least ONE way to comment on "The Surprising God Blog" after all!!!!

Gavin said...

I don't quite understand how this entry shows up as linked on Ted Johnston's blog, as there is no link. Oh well, it kinda fits as no-one understands anything on Ted's blog, as far as I can see.

Anonymous said...

"In private, they ranged from unreconstructed bigot reactionaries like Jerry Falwell, to Dr. Dobson, the most power-hungry and ambitious person I have ever met, to Billy Graham, a very weird man indeed who lived an oddly sheltered life in a celebrity/ministry cocoon, to Pat Robertson, who would have a hard time finding work in any job where hearing voices is not a requirement."


Gavin,

Well, what did you expect from what HWA had basically taught were Satan's ministers teaching Satan's customs and ways while rejecting and opposing God's laws, festivals, Sabbaths, customs and ways?

Did you think that anything good would ever come from all those rebels in the world's false churches? Did you carelessly assume that there was some good in them just because you did not really know anything about them?

Look at all the nut cases and evildoers from top to bottom in the WCG and its splinter groups! And these people supposedly once knew something!! So, again, if this is what the "Church of God" was like, what did you expect the world's false churches to be like?

The idea that the leaders and other people in the world's false churches are full of the Holy Spirit, or that they are righteous, or that they are people of God, is simply ridiculous. As "Purple Hymnal" keeps reminding us, their churches are built on pagan teachings.

Anonymous said...

"CRAZY for GOD" ???

NO WAY!!!

They are just crazy for their own unbiblical, pagan-based nonsense.

In other words, they are JUST PLAIN CRAZY.

Anonymous said...

In other words, they are JUST PLAIN CRAZY.

While they are certainly in the WRONG, and this is very SERIOUS, as well as DISGUSTING, they might not be able to do much about it. God may not be calling them now, in this age. Apparently, nobody can come to God unless He first calls them. They act as though they never got a "call." In fact, they act like they don't even have a telephone.

Ned Flanders said...

Anonymous said:
God may not be calling them now, in this age. Apparently, nobody can come to God unless He first calls them. They act as though they never got a "call."

Yes, that explains it! Rod Meredith hasn't been called yet. Nor has Gerald Flurry or David Pack. I think you can definitely say the same thing about Joe Tkach - that's got to be a no-brainer. Who else? Obviously Ron Weinland and Don Billingsley, and I have my doubts about Ron Dart as well.

In short, Anonymous, all the world is uncalled except me and thee...

And, well, I have sneaking suspicions about THEE as well.

How simple and beautiful the Truth is, don't you agree?

Ned
(with tongue firmly in cheek)

Dennis of Biofreeze said...

It's refreshing to find a man who soaked in fundamentalism and stardom in ministry to find, in himself, a more authentic self.

Some are capable of that but in my experience, most are not. The price is too high and the perks too numerous.

Everyone wears masks in life. Some slide off almost before the child grows and you see a pretty authentic person from an early age. Some come off with difficulty and rip parts of the face off with it when you pull on it. Most probably never come off and are stuck for life.

I can only speak for myself but one of my own personal WCG lessons was to become more personally authentic. While very sincere as a minister, I was not always so authentic. I was rather compliant more often than authentic. I was silent when I wanted to speak up. I said yes when I meant no or probably not.

I wasn't that way as a kid but thought I was supposed to be that way as a Christian, and almost required of a WCG minister, sad to say.

I also practiced "ask and you shall not have, do not ask and all things are possible" :) Worked great when you just knew "the rules" were either dumb or going to change again down the road so why bother now.

But it took the collapse of the church and local congregation, for me, to finally realize what I was doing was stupid and futile, and there was smoke and mirrors everywhere in both the Church and religion in general.

Out of that can come a more authentic self, which is an important life achievement for myself. I don't speak for anyone else.

Well, unfortunately instead of going to Church this morning, I have five clients that truly truly expect me to rub them the right way. They really do brethren.

It's always fun to see reversals in life such as in my previous endeavors vs. my past. Most female clients tend to react to that first pressure with hands down the spine and the associated vertebral "klunks" with "Ohhh God.." as they start to zone out.

That's when I say.."you can call me Dennis," and we get started with a good laugh intead of "Good morning brethren. Would you all find your seats. Services begin in about two minutes. "

Authenticity...a great goal in living. Good on Frank. I'm sorry Ted never seemed to find it in life nor many other ministers I have met along the way.

Most of my clients haven't either but they're working on it.

Seeker said...

There is GOLD in them there pages!! Many men have used scripture to enrich themselves. When ever there is an easy way to make a good or soft living or obtain wealth, there will be many unscrupulous men to take advantage. Acts 8 show Simon to be one of those who tried purchase the "power." This has not changed. Paul in Acts 20 said that this would happen...we should not be surprised. Anyway, the failure of men does not denote the failure of scripture. It is up to each individual to fully understand what it is God wants from us. Men will use us if we let them II Peter 2.

Anonymous said...

"Oh well, it kinda fits as no-one understands anything on Ted's blog, as far as I can see."

Now that's the One True Truth ain't it? ;-)

"In short, Anonymous, all the world is uncalled except me and thee...

And, well, I have sneaking suspicions about THEE as well."


Ha! That's great! :-)

"As "Purple Hymnal" keeps reminding us, their churches are built on pagan teachings."

And this is a bad thing why? (Aside from the fundamentalist, literalist bibliomancy, that is.)

They are all reading from the same book, after all, which makes you wonder why the same book can and does have so many different "one true truth" meanings all at the same time.

Come to think of it, by that definition, if their churches were built on pagan teachings, anon....then so was ours.

Corky said...

Well, I had a telephone and I got called. I picked up the phone and said, "hello . . . helloo", but no one answered. So, I figured it was a telemarketer trying to sell me something and hung up the phone.

Hell, it was probably a wrong number anyway. You know, like the one HWA got? God was really calling someone else and . . . well, you how phones are.

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal said...

They are all reading from the same book, after all, which makes you wonder why the same book can and does have so many different "one true truth" meanings all at the same time.

Come to think of it, by that definition, if their churches were built on pagan teachings, anon....then so was ours.



Purple Noise,

It is your own "definition" that is all wrong. The Bible cannot, and does not, "have so many different 'one true truth' meanings all at the same time."

The Bible teaches one true truth.

The churches of the world teach many other things that contradict what the Bible teaches. The truly amazing thing is that so many people who claim to believe the Bible actually do not believe the things it says. Many, like yourself, do not even seem to know what it says.

In all frankness, your posts show the signs of someone who is bent on spreading deliberate misinformation about God and the Bible. But, your attempts to fool people won't change the facts. And, the only people who will listen to your nonsense are those who, like yourself, want to delude their own selves into rejecting God and the Bible so that they can behave badly without their conscience bothering them so much.

Ned Flanders said...

"The Bible teaches one true truth."

Have you ever actually read the Bible?

I mean beyond the proof texts?

Franky Makes Good said...

A few years after his father's death, Franky went back to film making, producing several movies that he deems less than stellar if not abysmal. His failures in film and his departure from the high-paying evangelical circuit left him in dire straights -- even reducing him to shoplifting for food, shoving frozen pork chops into his pants.

Anonymous said...

"Anon" graces us with yet another satirical send-up of the CoG member who is totally indoctrinated. Keep up the good work! :-)

Anonymous said...

Ned Flanders said...

Have you ever actually read the Bible?

I mean beyond the proof texts?



Ned Flanders,

It looks like Homer Simpson had a bad influence on you, but not as bad as the influence of Joseph Tkach and his accomplices.

HERE IS HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED:

The firm of Joe Tkach & Fibbers & Weasels has cleverly put into the heads of sinful goofballs everywhere the idea that every Bible verse that simply, clearly says something and proves a point is to be unthinkingly, mindlessly referred to as a "proof text."

The sinful goofballs everywhere have been taught and conditioned to unthinkingly, mindlessly refer to any verse in the Bible that says anything they and Joe don't like--such as to obey God--as a "proof text."

Once a verse in the Bible has been officially declared a "proof text" by Joe Tkach & Fibbers & Weasels, all the sinful goofballs everywhere are supposed to unthinkingly, mindlessly ignore the verse and reject it, and unthinkingly, mindlessly repeat the magic phrase: "That's just a proof text." Then, the text and its meaning are supposed to magically disappear.

Unfortunately for the sinful goofballs, magic is a sinful fraud, and the text always remains. Only the sinful goofballs' understanding of the Bible disappears.

Another part of the game is where the sinful goofballs unthinkingly, mindlessly refer to Galatians, one of their favorite "proof letters." They basically say things like (and I paraphrase), "The letter to the Galatians, which we do not understand at all, says that we are free to sin. It explains that God's ways and festivals are 'weak and beggarly' (verse 9) and that we are to reject them and instead observe unbiblical, pagan-based, Satan-inspired stuff like Halloween, which is really holy and spiritual and right and good. We want to be in bondage to sin, not to God."

P.S. Isn't Homer Simpson that guy who will falsely claim that the Bible says something ridiculous. If you ask where it says that, he will say, "Uh, somewhere in the back."

Ha ha ha ...

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:09

So did Springfield's protestant pastor, Rev Lovejoy. He quoted a ficticious Bible passage that sanctioned Whacking Day. When Lisa Simpson asked him to show it to her, he simply said, "No".

Obi Wan said...

You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. When we read the Bible, we already have some notions about what it says, and try understand or even interpret what it says based on these notions. We subject what we read to different levels of analysis: with one mindset, everything must fit together logically; another mindset considers this unimportant.

And we are also influenced by the Force, the Dark Side of the Force, and the lighter shade of pale side of the Force.

Anonymous said...

The corruption and moral decay in Evangelical Christianity is the same as that in the old WCG; actually probably worse.

The reason Evangelical Christianity survives is it is Orthodox. Plain and simple.

Morally corrupt and theologically Orthodox is acceptable in our culture.

You can be an adulterer, a pedophile, a thief... anything despicable and it is OK as long as you are Orthodox.

Anonymous said...

"The reason Evangelical Christianity survives is it is Orthodox. Plain and simple."

Wait, what?! Does not compute......."Orthodox" is great-whore-of-babylon-RCC, anon; Evangelicals didn't come along till the 18th - 19th centuries, under the umbrella of the Protestants in the 1600s, who were rebelling against the "Orthodox" Christianity.

The REAL reason Evangelical Christianity survives is because the sheeple like the easy way out, that comes with checking your brains at the door. Which, admittedly, isn't different from "Orthodox" Christianity at all.

Of course, we can all argue this till we're blue in the face about it, but none of us are really going understand the vagaries of Christianity as it existed in "the world" before Armstrongism; we were not Christians, and therefore have absolutely no common frame of reference to understand Christianity "as is" as a result.

lnrd said...

Nostradamus Code

Bamboo_bends said...

"On Franky .......even reducing him to.....shoving frozen pork chops into his pants."


Is this the elusive origin of Franky's famous quotation "relax don't do it?"

Grace Lawless said...

"we were not Christians, and therefore have absolutely no common frame of reference to understand Christianity "as is" as a result."

I was more a Christian in WCG than ever in the Presbyterian Church. We were Jewish Christians endeavoring to recreate a first century experience of the early Jesus movement which was Jewish.

Paul Gentiled Jewish Christianity into a corner where it languished and all but died.

Jesus never expected to build a church and words to that effect were put into his mouth by Gospel authors after building a church around Jesus was all that was left to do. Jesus meant for his actions in the temple at Passover to start God's intervention and throw out the Romans.

It's why he reported to have said, "My God my God...why have you forsaken me?" He wasn't kidding. In Jesus mind, he did all the things a good Messiah was supposed to do and God dropped the ball in the end.

The COG's and all fundamentalist Christians will never understand that the Jesus of the Gospels and the Jewish Church under James was at odds with the Apostle Paul, not team mates. They taught different realities about Jesus and Paul won over time becoming the religion of the realm in the forms we have today.

I can't speak for anyone but me, but I was as much a professing Christian as anyone I ever met in or out of WCG.

Gentile Christians always have to temper Grace with more laws to control the behaviors of the members. Paul learned that the hard way in Corinth where his doctrines of Grace ended him up with a horny misbehaving bunch in need of rules.

Jewish Christians have to temper Law with more Grace since they break them all the time and don't really want to be judged by law. Law also lends itself to self righteous pronouncements where Grace lends itself to lazy ambiguous beliefs.

If you really get Grace Haunted, you end up babbling drivel on the Surprising God Blog.

Questeruk said...

What’s happened to Tom & Robert? Why have they disappeared from the links to Apologetics?

As these were the only UK sites listed, and have now been deleted, is this a case of ‘The Empire strikes back?’ (Or maybe ‘The Kiwi strikes back’).

What has happened to my fellow countrymen????????

Anonymous said...

What has happened to my fellow countrymen????????


MAYBE LURKING IN THE UNDERGROWTH!

paco said...

Off topic here, but I just realized that we are coming up on the 37th anniversary of the church's failure to flee to the place of safety in 1972. Maybe we should have some sort of world wide Worldwide reunion in 2012 on the 40th anniversary - oooh, another 2012 pointer. Maybe those Mayans were on to something.

- Which leads to the thought that maybe we all were supposed to wander in the wilderness for 40 years after missing our opportunity in 1972 because we weren't ready.

There are always some dots left to connect,no matter what the situation.

camfinch said...

"The reason Evangelical Christianity survives is it is Orthodox. Plain and simple."

Let's be clear on terminology: the strict meaning of "Orthodox Christianity" refers to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are often referred to as "Western Christianity."

In a more general sense, and probably in the sense that you mean, "orthodox" means the form of Christianity espoused by the Apostle Paul and became the victorious "brand" of Christianity. Both Eastern and Western Christianities descend from Pauline theology, though the perspective of the Eastern Orthodox church is considerably different from that of the Western churches.

Anonymous said...

The Simpsons television cartoon show is for godless idiots who don't know anything. One episode had Homer Simpson, praying TO Jebus! What idiots, besides those who watch The Simpsons, would be that stupid?

I Chronicles 11:4 points out that Jebus was the former name of the city of Jerusalem when it was inhabited by the Jebusites, before David conquered the place.

II Chronicles 6:1-42 records King Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the Temple he built in the city of Jerusalem. Notice that he repeatedly talks about praying TOWARD the city and the temple, NOT pryaing TO the city.

Anonymous said...

Paco,

That's a great idea! A 40th anniversary convention in some appropriate spot, such as Pasadena or Petra!

My never-to-be-accomplished dream idea is a fictitious biographical film of HWA, done in a similar style to Citizen Kane.

Anonymous said...

"I can't speak for anyone but me, but I was as much a professing Christian as anyone I ever met in or out of WCG."

Right, but you had an idea of Christianity (Presbyterianism) to go by when you signed up, Dennis.

I contend, and will continue to do so, that those of us born and raised in the Worldwide Church of God prior to the changes, have absolutely no common frame of reference with Christianity; Orthodox, non-Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, etcetera.

Christians were members of the harlot daughter churches of the Great Whore of Babylon (RCC), and as such, definitely not something to be identified with, nor to identify oneself as.

"We are a non-denominational Judeo-Christian sect." At no point did we ever, ever, EVER say "Yes we're Christians." If asked "Are you Christian?" the correct response was "We believe in Jesus Christ." If it was followed up with "Are you born-again?" the correct answer was "No," with a brief paraphrase about "the spirit in man". (Which could often lead to an argument, with trinitarianists, and so conversation was generally sidetracked before it could get to that point.)

Those who came to the church with a prior knowledge of what Christianity is and was, doubtless would have identified themselves as Christians, while they were in (albeit "the only true Christians", but Christians nonetheless).

For myself, as one born and raised under pure Armstrongism, unadulterated by any kind of comparative religious teachings, I have no understanding, comprehension, nor attraction towards anything of Christianity. It is just not in my frame of reference. And no amount of reading, so many long years after the fact, is going to change that. Have you done any comparative reading on "mainstream" Christianity?? Depending on the name of the door, one sect is at odds with another on ONE sticking point; they split hairs, in order that they might factionalize further.

I would have better luck learning ancient Coptic.......

Anonymous said...

"In a more general sense, and probably in the sense that you mean, "orthodox" means the form of Christianity espoused by the Apostle Paul and became the victorious "brand" of Christianity."

The apostle Paul never existed. He is a fabrication, though someone did write the epistles.

But the authors of the epistles were not "orthodox" in the sense of what came out of Nicea and later church councils.

The authors of the epistles

o Kept Sabbath
o Kept the Holy Days
o Did not believe in the trinity

The authors of the epistles did add a bunch of stuff, including

o A structure for church government
o A New Testament priesthood
o A "New Testament Passover"
o A unique explanation of grace
o A unique explanation of law

These things by themselves are not "orthodox". They come mostly from second century and early third century theologians.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anon 12:30, for your insightful review. That's why the Simpsons is a comedy, and that's why it's in its 20th season.

Some of the viewers may not agree with your audience profile.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
" One episode had Homer Simpson, praying TO Jebus!"

What about the time when he prayed to Santa: "Why Santa WHY ?" hilarious.

Dennis said...

Purp said:

"I contend, and will continue to do so, that those of us born and raised in the Worldwide Church of God prior to the changes, have absolutely no common frame of reference with Christianity;"

I took your comment out of that context. Yes, I understand that completely. Topics such as "accurate prophecy" "proper sabbath keeping", though I grew up rather strict Calvinistic in Sunday keeping, and especially "one true church" were never on my plate growing up.

I grew up with ministers, all of whom I appreciated and were very educated in the Bible but never with "That's Mr. so and so" It didn't work like that.

As a result, I both thought I appreciated HWA and GTA but when they were wrong, such as comments about science or evolution, I just blew it off. When the more extreme types talked about "fleeing" or "Petra", it both annoyed and concerned me should that ever come to pass. I think I had no personal plan to ever "flee" or tell anyone in my church to do so.

In hindsite, I never belonged in the WCG. I was a kid enamoured with the way it was said and the use of more of the Bible I never heard about as Presbyterian.

Topics like make up, medical use and such turned my stomach when they came up in actual practice. I ignored them when I could and then told members to do what they needed to do privately . I wish now I had given sermons on "the church is not right on everything and you should do as YOU feel serves you," but alas, I felt perhaps it was my lack of something that was the problem. I was not bold and was compliant. This accounts I think now for the "I'll take that into consideration" approach I have now.

"I'll take that into consideration" is basically a , "no, I"m not going to do that."

I don't know how I'd have been, knowing my liberal nature, if I grew up in such a church as WCG. I may have complied until I exploded.

All that to say, I understand now what you meant.

Dennis said...

PS

First of all, it has come to my attention that "Mystery of the Ages", is now to be found in the KENT STATE Library assigned the Library of Congress number of:

BS511.2 .A63 1985
The prefix of "BS" is how the Karma Fairy plays... :)

On another note to Purple Hymnal:

I'm glad you mentioned that actually. I can't say I've never thought of not growing up in WCG, but it would account for a lot in my approach over the years. I was never in the loop as they say.

It was a real head shaker to me when I thought I wanted to, perhaps, teach swimming or canoeing or anything at SEP to get away from church, church, church for a time. I had all the swimming credentials, swim teams, Water safety instructor, canoeing and such merit badges, American Red Cross instructor blah blah....I also was a camp counselor prior to WCG for three years for the Salvation Army Camp.

They kept giving the job to people who could not swim or had no background. I never got to go. Well, I did go one summer when camp was closed (I was still a student) and I spent all summer cutting sod for the grounds.

When it came to SEP, it was who you knew and who you were. Probably that way all around me and I was too naive or in denial to see it.

Ok, off to nursing home to do massage for a stranded client in hip surgery recovery.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Protestants have by and large rejected basic Bible theology but retained the terminology (largely). Yet many are enthusiastic for Jesus, for the Bible and for the ethical teachings of Jesus. We could equate them with those Israelites who worshipped joyfully in the Temple and attended synagogue.

(In this COGs and XCOGs would greatly benefit from following their example.)

They are, like the Israelites, influenced by the Spirit (but not begotten) through contact with the Scriptures - but have not yet committed to the Bible times and pattern for worship.

To the degree they submit to the Bible they are blessed.

It's Not What You think said...

"To the degree they submit to the Bible they are blessed."

To the degree they submit to the Bible they are unconscious, blind, deaf and dumb.

camfinch said...

Anonymous 3:46,

We probably don't have much to quibble about. Whether Paul existed (either by that name or another) or not, some of the epistles attributed to him are probably among the earliest New Testament writings, and present a Christ quite unlike the Jesus of the synoptic gospels (which were perhaps written a generation or more after the events they describe). But the Jesus Christ of the Gospel of John bears more similarity to the Pauline Christ; indicating a probable very late time of writing, as the "proto-orthodox" form of Christianity was beginning to rise. The Jerusalem Jesus movement--yes, Sabbath/Holyday keeping, etc.--perhaps had little to do with "Pauline" Christianity. The ongoing academic work in Christian origins may bear more information in years to come. But: it was the Pauline idea of who Christ was, and his purpose, that began paving the way for "orthodox" forms of Christianity.

jack635 said...

Anon 12:30

"One episode had Homer Simpson, praying TO Jebus! "

uhh...it's a cartoon. A cartoon is not real. It is to make people laugh at unrealistic and ridiculous situations.

I need to prove a point. Please answer this question:
Do you belong to a church?

Anonymous said...

"All that to say, I understand now what you meant."

Thanks Dennis. I can see where you're coming from, too.

Robert Taylor said...

Gavin,

Again, you support the "cohort" of evil doers on the site that hate anything to do with Herbert W. Armstrong and have shown yourself to be biased in their favour.

I am also requesting that you will remove Charlie's offensive comment directed at me and Tom Mahon. I suggest you read your own rules as you have breached them.

They state: "While there is wide latitude on what appears under comments, abusive posts and name calling aimed at other posters will mean a quick trip to the trash folder." Charlie's post is nothing but name calling.

The Ambassador Watch had a useful purpose. Unfortunately you have allowed it to be hijacked by a motley crew of men and women whoses ideas and beliefs would send most of us to hell (even nominal Christianity would consider most of the bloggers heretics for assumptions that Jesus is a pagan myth, the Bible being outdated , containing deceiptful words; the tree to be worshiiped as a feminine goddess and more that comes out of their mouths.

The Ambassador Watch always goes through stages and eventually debate is stiffled by the few with their own agenda to discredit anyone with a Church of God background. The forum some 6-9 months ago was a different place--there was more openness, tolerance of each other and opinions would be shared that were insightful. These days it is overrun by a few personalities that stiffle dissent and you are to blame for allowing this happen.

I urge you to recapture the true values of the Ambassador Watch and let it again be a place to share information and not be a community of hate. People are free to believe what they want but Ambassador Watch must uphold everybody's freedom--that means, the freedom to disagree without censorship.

When you began your campaign to censor people's posts, I decided this was not the place for me. I do not agree with censorship because it is a means of control. That form of government I left behind when I departed the Worldwide Church of God and I do not intend to submit myself to any other form of it.

Regards

Robert
www.biblesabbath.org.uk

Gavin said...

Regarding Robert's request, it's probably fair to suggest that the word "psychopath" (not directed at Robert!) constitutes an ad hominem attack - even allowing for the viscous nature of many of Tom's postings. Having followed Robert's blog I think the term "paranoid" is understandable, but is better applied to the postings than the person.

Anonymous said...

"even nominal Christianity would consider most of the bloggers heretics for blah blah blah"

Guess what, kid, "even nominal Christianity" would consider YOU a heretic, too; but you weren't around for long enough prior to the changes, to understand why.

You never attended a Feast site where evangelical picketers screamed epithets and scared little children. (They were literalists, true, but did have to take the "suffer the little children" so literally?)

You never had to listen to a forty-minute harangue from the alleged neighbourhood "welcome wagon" once they found out your family was sabbatarian.

You never (no matter how much you claim to), not even once, experienced the literal rendition of "Thou made us a scorn to our neighbours around/Our foes in laughter and scoffing abound".

You never had to sit in the hallway, the library, or the principal's office at school, because of your beliefs.

You never had the utter and sometimes overwhelming fear of strangers in "the world" that so often continues to plague those of us born and raised in the church, many long years after our exits.

WCG's version of religion was reviled by the Christian world; why do you think the Christian counter-cult groups were the ones that worked so hard to get Senior and Junior to knuckle under and play ball? Not because they had any concern for the members that were being abused; but because they saw dollar signs, and wanted the complacent, placid sheeple to throw their hard-earned money away on the Evangelicals' plot instead.

Which is a long and winding way of saying, "Pot, meet kettle."

"That form of government I left behind when I departed the Worldwide Church of God and I do not intend to submit myself to any other form of it."

If that were really the case, Robert, you wouldn't be promoting Armstrongism as heavily as you are.

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

I apologize for violating the blog policy regarding ad hominem postings. I do however, stand 100% behind my statements regarding them both.