Monday, 31 August 2009

You're Precluded

... which is, I think, a better title for Mike Feazell's little fireside chats than "You're Included." Included would mean member empowerment, a voice in church decision-making, a vote on who sits in the presidential chair. Theologically it would mean a commitment to the priesthood of all believers, and releasing the death grip the current leadership has over the organization it supposedly serves. It would mean accountability downward, to the people who make up the church, in the spirit of Jesus' example.

But, there I go again; rambling. Mike, if you're out there, the blue coffee mugs with the white logo are cool, so I guess that makes it all right after all.

And now, at last, the new Web address has been released: www.graceci.org. At the moment it just points to dowdy, grimy old wcg.org, but ultimately I guess this will be the new, clean, no-bad-associations URL.

But back to telegenic VP Mike, who has launched another monthly online chat show to supplement You're Prec... I mean You're Included. This one is entitled A Word from Our Sponsor. There's a "kewl" introductory graphicy thingy (though notice that Mike is still styled WCG VP, not GCI veep!), and then you can sit back and enjoy a full thirteen-minute Mike monologue. Oh hey, that's without even mentioning unelected, nepotism-beneficiary PG Joe's wonderful weekly Speaking of Life videos. What an awesome blessing. Outstanding!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

2-to-1 Vegas odds (tipping for you Aussies) that major split is coming for WCG/GCI.

Juan Rheinland said...

WCG Gracie says:

"God is for us!
"The understanding that God is Trinity, tells us not only who God is, but also what God does. The good news is that God, who is relational love in his being, is relationally loving in his doing. Thus to know God as Trinity is to know the God who as love, and in love, saves us. To know God as Trinity is to know that God is for us!

This stunning truth is..."

It's probably me but how stunned would one be by this "truth"?

Of course,God is a trinity in the same sense that Brama Vishnu and Siva, Osiris-Issis-Horus and Larry-Moe-Curly are.

God evolved into a trinity outside of anything actually found in the Bible because one had to find a way for God to be God and Jesus to be God and the Holy Spirit to be God too, and yet be one, as questions answered created more questions. It's a mystery and as rooted in paganism as any concept could be.

WCG Gracie went from a Corporation Sole to a Corporation Sol and adopted every trapping Sun worship..well..under the sun.

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

Everything with Gracie (WCG) is "relational" and "you're included." I grew up Presbyterian and those kinds of concepts and words eventually don't satisfy or inspire anything and one goes on a quest for something more.

Interesting how WCG Gracie now wants us all to know how included we are, after being excluded by the same people, and that God is relational after severing all relations with the included now excluded and with whom they wish no relationship.

Juan more time... said...

WCGracie also said:
"The Triune God created all people to participate through the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ in the love relationship enjoyed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

I'd feel better if the relationship these three guys had with each other included a female deity. It seems so male.

Juan-O said...

"Didache 15:1-2, which concerns bishops, deacons, prophets, and teachers in the church, Quasten states the following about the Didache's stance on prophets:

This reference prompts us to conclude that beside the local hierarchy the so-called prophets played an important role. In ch. 13, 3 we read regarding them: 'They are your high priests.' They are entitled to celebrate the Eucharist: 'Permit the prophets to give thanks...as much as they desire' (10, 7). They are entitled to tithes of all earnings: 'Therefore, take all first fruits of vintage and harvest, of cattle and sheep, and give these first fruits to the prophets...Likewise, when you open a fresh jar of wine or oil, take the first draught and give it to the prophets. Of money and cloth and any other possession, first set aside a portion according to your discretion and give it according to the commandment' (13, 3-7)."

(From James Thoughts and Musings)

Ummm, I think I have found the prime reason to want to be a minister.

Paul said he didn't take anything for his ministry...but also said that they that perform the ministry should live of it. So I suspect even Paul caught on real quick...

bear_track said...

I had an interesting experience with the "Your Included" feature. I listened to Feazell discuss Predestination with Elmer Colyer. I felt that the treatment left a number of unanswered questions.

So I wrote to both of them. Feazell gave me a thoughtful response which I appreciated. Colyer, however, was dismissive. This seemed to be at odds with his public support of the compassionate and encompassing aspects of Trinitarianism. I am sensitive to this issue because of the exlusionary ("we're are the chosen and you're not")approach of Armstrongism. I had hoped to discover among Trinitarians a more collegial mindset. After all, this accords with the meaning of Trinitarian theology. My e-mail to Colyer was was courteous and displayed an honest desire to exchange views.

It left me with a lot of uncertainty about Trinitarians and I tentatively concluded the following:

1) Trinitarians may well have an worshipful regard for Thomas Torrance in the same way that Armstrongists regard HWA. They are unwilling to accept any cross-examination of his theology.

2) The logical construction of Trinitarinism leads to Universalism, though in practice Trinitarians deny Universalism. I have no problem with Universalism but this implies that Trinitarians do not really have this all worked out as comprehensively as they seem to present.

I may revise this opinion in the future. But I can say with certainty that after being snubbed by Elmer Colyer, I certainly don't feel "included". I think many GCI members might be surprised at the attitudes that they would find if the probed beneath the surface.

The Bear

Bamboo_bends said...

Anonymous said...

2-to-1 Vegas odds (tipping for you Aussies) that major split is coming for WCG/GCI.


I was thinking the same thing!

Kind of like how PT Ministries was spun off.

What would you expect from the Armstrong franchise but more franchises!

Bamboo_bends said...

Juan Rheinland said...

Interesting how WCG Gracie now wants us all to know how included we are, after being excluded by the same people, and that God is relational after severing all relations with the included now excluded and with whom they wish no relationship.



Gracie said to George Burns...

Good night Gracie!

Pastor Bugs said...

Gavin, Isn't that Elmer Fudd?

Baywolfe said...

Speaking of things that are not important, why don't we discuss how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Unless I'm very much mistaken, belief or disbelief in the trinity doctrine/dogma does not punch your ticket to heaven/paradise/the world tomorrow/Pittsburgh.

It just seems to be a great topic for people to throw around verses from an ancient book of myths to prove their "point".

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Juan more time... said...

WCGracie also said:
"The Triune God created all people to participate through the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ in the love relationship enjoyed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

I'd feel better if the relationship these three guys had with each other included a female deity. It seems so male."


How about nous, logos, sophia, Dennis? Mind-word-wisdom. The wisdom part of that equation is the same feminine Wisdom spoken of in the OT.

Now that's a trinity I can get behind.

Anonymous said...

"I think many GCI members might be surprised at the attitudes that they would find if the probed beneath the surface."

With a self-elected pope still in power and zero financial accountability, why would anyone be surprised?

Richard said...

To borrow from the old Burns and Allen radio/TV show -- say goodnight, Grace-CI.

Tkach's $wiss Banker said...

What can you say other than SCUMBAGS

You can't tell me these men of letters actually believe the discredited/nonhistorical NT canon/Christ-myth

Their prey: The uneducated/welfare class

Their lifestyle: Californian Millionaire

Anonymous said...

"Unless I'm very much mistaken, belief or disbelief in the trinity doctrine/dogma does not punch your ticket to heaven/paradise/the world tomorrow/Pittsburgh."

Shhhhh! Don't tell Junior and Weazell that! They're hoping if they can hand-wave about the pagan gods of the ancient holy Roman Empire long enough for the tithing sheeple currently being fleeced to punch Pope Joey and his right-hand Mafioso's retirement tickets, they can get away with the scam absolutely scot-free.

Sigh. Thing is, they're probably right.

Anonymous said...

It is Feazall-ble that Mike will be designated GCI Veep.

Veep for all those poor cusses still paying FULL first tithe.


Cheers,

Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the video. Thoughtful, well done and positive.

Might have to rethink some things...

Margie said...

"The Triune God created all people to participate through the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ in the love relationship enjoyed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

KINKY!!!

larry said...

To Bear Track,
Sorry to hear about your unpleasant interaction with Colyer. I don't know him. I do, however, know Mike Feazell and would have been surprised if he had treated you any other way than he did. He is a genuine nice guy.

And to Anon 02:54, it is good to know that someone here actually watched the video. Kudos.

The folks on this board have become so cynical for various reasons, that it is difficult for some to approach any kind of spiritual message with an open mind.

Anonymous said...

"The Triune God created all people to participate through the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ in the love relationship enjoyed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

"KINKY!!!"

Nope. Still sounds like the adults from those Peanuts episodes: Baw-wah-wah-baw-wah-wah-baw.

I honestly don't know how trinitarians can say they understand that utter gibberish with a straight face.

Tkach's $wiss Banker said...

Larry

Want to debate the Christ Myth?
You've come to the right place!
Freedom of speech here unlike WCG Dark Ages religion

Byker Bob said...

Logic is very important. Most of the believers who object to the trinity, or claim not to be able to understand it are binitarian Christians. Now, I could understand a Unitarian claiming not to be able to comprehend the trinity, but not a binitarian. The blueprint for the trinity is already present, with the only extra step being the addition of another personhood to the "binity".

Also, as I've remarked before, anyone who has ever enjoyed SciFi should have no problem at all grasping the trinity!

BB

Leonardo said...

Larry once again blathers:
"The folks on this board have become so cynical for various reasons, that it is difficult for some to approach any kind of spiritual message with an open mind.


Larry, you unfortunately use the word "cynical" when the word "inquiring" would be much more accurate, or perhaps the phrase “These damned folks just have much higher standards of proof and evidence than I can possibly address with my limited reasoning ability” would be even more appropriate.

Just because they actually THINK, and demand some kind of REASONS for belief, doesn't necessarily mean they are cynical. Grab a good dictionary, and note the difference between the words “cynical” and “skeptical.”

You just seem upset because many folks here dare to actually challenge your unproven "spiritual messages" and think at a level far out of your league.

I’m honestly not trying to be insulting here, Larry, but I think it’s about time you face up to the fact that your “spiritual” sound bites are essentially meaningless to those outside of your fundamentalist mindset. They make no sense because they cannot be logically demonstrated to anyone who actually uses the gray matter in between their ears.

You can make your many lame assertions in a typical Church service, and the sheep will just shake their empty heads in agreement. But here, you have to establish and demonstrate the REASONING behind your assertions. Most fundamentalists, because they hardly ever read anything beyond what they already agree with, are just not used to this rigorous demand, which for them would be in many cases a monumental effort, and so they get frustrated when they are forced to have to explain their cherished beliefs with even the most limited amount of clarity and comprehensibility.

Now go ahead, respond by calling me angry, bitter, closed-minded or cynical – anything except actually addressing the basic issues that constantly arise in the course of our discussions.

Bamboo_bends said...

During the WCG reformation the word "Arianism" was tossed around quite a bit. Usually as an epithet. Until recently I did not know why it held the connotation it does with the church.

Arians (not to be confused with Aryans) did not believe in the trinity. There were two competing branches of thought about God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus.

The Arian's did not believe in a 3 in 1 God, to quote wikipedia" Arius lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt.

The most controversial of his teachings dealt with the relationship between God the Father and the person of Jesus, saying that Jesus was not of one substance with the Father...

The term 'Arianism' is also used to refer to other nontrinitarian theological systems of the 4th century, which regarded the Son of God, the Logos, as a created being."


Pay particular attention the location of Arius, Alexandria Egypt. At that time North Africa was the Kansas of the Roman Empire, the wheat bread basket. Alexandria also had a great legacy of knowledge in the library that once stood there.

Move up a bit in time, and a Nordic tribe called Vandals moved out of Scandanavia into the Baltic area. Soon they were pushed out of there by the Huns. Moving south into Western Europe they fought with Goths, Prussians and Germanic tribes and Emperor Marcus Aurelius, dispatched Roman legions to protect the Danube. They were contained north of the Danube, as that river was hard to cross and they made peace with Rome.

The Vandals were Christians, Arian Christians. Their beliefs became heresy and there people were attacked. They almost died out from starvation, until one winter night the Danube river froze solid, and the Vandals realized they were no longer constrained by hostile neighbors and they moved south across the frozen river, pillaging and killing enemies in their path, as much for food and survival as anything. The Romans counteracted, brutally killing the Chieftain father of a young vandal. He witnessed the brutal killing of his father. As he grew he became a great leader of the Vandals, invaded further into France and eventually Spain.

In Spain the Western Roman emporer was a young boy, his mother acted as Regent until he was of age. There were two competing generals who were vying for the control of the western empire. One thought himself very clever, and told the Regent the other was plotting against her. He told her to call him in for an audience as to his intentions. He then wrote the other general telling him that no matter what, he should not go to Spain from North Africa (the home of Arianism) as she was plotting to kill him. The whole scheme goes all pear shaped and the Western empire ends up in civil war. The Vandals take advantage of the situation, they had learned boat making while in Spain, and launched an attack on North Africa. North Africa, seeing these invading fellow Arians, Vandals, welcomed them as liberators from the oppression that the Trinitarian church was putting on them for their beliefs. The vandals attacked Trinitarian Priests, killing or exiling them (as they had done to Arians). St Augustine, the much revered church father, was killed by Vandals.

The Vandals swarm through North Africa burning the wheat of the empire, and before you know it they are looting the streets of Rome of its wealth.

That is why "Arianism" is such an epithet in the Roman Church - and the later the forms of Christianity that sprang from it.

Arianism is deeply intertwined with what has become the modern word for malicious damage "Vandalism". Think of what suicide bombers have done for the reputation of Islam and you get a flavor of this.

Its as much about politics as it is about belief. The vandals eventually were defeated. The Trinitarian Christian Roman Empire prevailed. Arianism was crushed.
And as they say, the victors write the history books.

In a very real sense, you can say Trinity beliefs pay homage to Rome.

Purple Hymnal said...

Most of the believers who object to the trinity, or claim not to be able to understand it are binitarian Christians.

Actually, of all the things wrong with Armstrongism (and we all agree that there is a plethora of things wrong with it), binitarianism is pretty much the ONLY part of the worldview that can truly be said to be "mostly harmless"

Also, I really think your subconscious is trying to tell YOU something, not the rest of us, when you keep comparing your anthropomorphized mystical flying sky buddy to science FICTION.

Freudian slip much??

Anonymous said...

"In a very real sense, you can say Trinity beliefs pay homage to Rome."

Go a little further back than that, and the trinity beliefs pay homage to the Egyptian triune god-family, Osiris-Isis-Horus.

Tkach's $wiss Banker said...

Larry said:
"..it is difficult for some to approach any kind of spiritual message with an open mind."

Well, I think I've got an open mind... I think other minimalists here who cautious about the historicity of the "Gospels" are open minded to hard evidence too... I invited Larry to present his evidence in support of the Christ Myth and he seems to have skipped town !?