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  1. 2 points
    Amen, Twinky. I came out in June 2014 which shocked some people in churches but my friends from high school and college have supported me
  2. 2 points
    That's why we should all endeavour to set a good, Christian, example of how to live, both in and out of churchy settings. To "normalise" decent behaviour, as best we can. We cannot model a better way to live, if we are busy condemning someone else's lifestyle or behaviour. In my (voluntary) work as a Street Pastor, I get to hear many stories from people who have had very bad church experiences. Some of the saddest are from the homosexual community. Many of these males have once had a love for God and know much scripture. But they have been exorcised, ostracised, beaten, pummelled with Bible verses, all sorts of stuff, to try to make them renounce their homosexuality. But I have totally shocked some of them by asking, "Did you know that God loves YOU?" This is one message they never heard in church. I don't know or care what you think about homosexuality (and I'm not telling you my views) - the way some of these people have been treated is very far from Christian. All of us can model kind words and attentive listening. Spouses can model a loving and respectful marriage, where each has a voice: who knows how that might impact the abused woman next to you in the line at the supermarket - or even in church? Parents, discipline children in public gently but firmly setting appropriate limits. Who knows, someone who's only beaten their kids into quietness (or more, those beaten kids) might see a better way. Ministers can show that they respect their congregations by being approachable and listening to concerns - and also by being accountable to church governing bodies (in the UK, to the PCC as well as to the bishop). Bosses can treat employees with respect and appreciation for their skills and abilities, and the benefits they bring to the boss's business. That arrogant TWI "I'm the leader so you must do what I say without question" has absolutely NO place in a decent church environment, and even less in daily life.
  3. 1 point
    For the benefit of those playing at home who want to know what it said without clicking blindly on a link... This Daily Mail link's headline was "Mobster claims he helped Poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide and threatened to kill Pope John Paul II because they both tried to expose a billion dollar stock fraud scam involving cardinals and gangsters in Vatican City." The links I got for that headline, including the msn link and a direct link for the Daily Mail, were: https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/mobster-claims-he-helped-poison-pope-john-paul-i-with-cyanide-and-threatened-to-kill-pope-john-paul-ii-because-they-both-tried-to-expose-a-billion-dollar-stock-fraud-scam-involving-cardinals-and-gangsters-in-vatican-city/ar-AAJ4dhr https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7591789/Mobster-claimed-helped-POISON-Pope-John-Paul-cyanide-stock-fraud-scam.html https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/meet-the-mobster-who-claims-he-helped-whack-pope-john-paul-i-over-stock-fraud/news-story/be68fbd5bff2476b4399a4a2014867f2?nk=db0a493f7ac49f435cb741434597e606-1571628731 The Daily Mail's site included this: Anthony Raimondi, 68, claims he helped kill John Paul I in 1978 because the pope threatened to expose a billion dollar stock fraud scam The scam took place at the Vatican bank, where criminal cardinals and mobsters allegedly sold fake stock certificates to American companies like Coca-Cola Raimondi was recruited by his cousin Paul Marcinkus to help silence the Pope before he exposed the illegal dealings Raimondi reportedly stood watch as his cousin drugged the John Paul's tea with Valium and force fed the sleeping pope cyanide Mobsters and cardinals also threatened to kill John Paul II for the same reason, but let him live after agreeing to keep the scam a secret The revelations are in Raimondi's new book 'When the Bullet Hits the Bone' "A mobster from the Colombo mafia family claims he helped poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide 33 days into his reign to stop the pontiff from exposing a billion dollar stock fraud scam. " " Raimondi dismisses those who question his story or say it closely resembles 'The Godfather III.' 'It was a terrible movie. To tell you the truth I don’t really remember it,' Raimondi told The Post. 'What I said in the book I stand by till the day I die. If they take [the pope’s body] and do any type of testing, they will still find traces of the poison in his system.' " It includes a link to the NY Post. https://nypost.com/2019/10/19/meet-the-mobster-who-claims-he-helped-whack-pope-john-paul-i-over-stock-fraud/ "Meet the mobster who claims he helped whack Pope John Paul I over stock fraud." I see no reason to take this claim seriously at this time. It's true he's making that claim, and it's helping to sell his book. Any death of anyone famous has claims of foul play attached to it. JP I died rather suddenly, and it's easy to find conspiracy theories whenever that happens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_I_conspiracy_theories
  4. 1 point
    Please be kinder to each other, gentlemen. We can "disagree without being disagreeable." You're both capable of kindness, politeness, and intelligent conversation. Please remember that you can do so. I believe both of you can agree that Christ died for EACH of you. Please consider that before taking shots at each other. Thank you both.
  5. 1 point
    As top-tier corps/clergy (cough, cough) splinter from twi.......soon thereafter, some of wierwille's hard-core men desire to subjugate others with new, ongoing teachings, classes and weekends that you just can't miss [and the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round]. In the immortal words of The Church Lady from Saturday Night Live................"How Conveeenient." Subjugate --- 1. to bring under control or subjection; conquer 2. to cause to become subservient; subdue Looking back at wierwille's ministry and corps program........I believe that subjugating was the core of the corps program. Wierwille did NOT design a "leadership program." THAT was all a deceptive tactic. Wierwille designed a FOLLOWship program wherein the youth were subjugated to his control.......and corps women were subjugated to his sexual predation!! He sat back and picked his prey. He targeted the innocent and vulnerable into his classes and programs. Isolation. Immersion. Intimidation. Indoctrination. Idolization. Classes can have profit........or........classes can be steppingstones to indoctrination. Already, we see that Rico has a foundational, intermediate and advanced class/course to offer. THEN.......how about a special weekend in Montana? Enjoy some hiking, fishing, kick-back relaxing and all. Is this good? Or, is this to get you to drop your guard.........and start the CULT PROGRAMMING all over again? HOW does this happen AGAIN? HOW does someone throw off the shackles of twi's hypocrisy and absolute power over the individual.......THEN, fall again into a splinter group that runs classes, demands tithing and claim that they are, indeed, the ones to follow? It nearly baffles the mind to see how some are so easily persuaded against their own will and better judgment to repeat the same cycle. Especially those who follow those corps "leaders" who are ADAMANT that wierwille was "the man of God" who walked by revelation. And, most notably.......those who pattern the SAME pyramid organization from afar, the SAME class structure, the SAME clichés and the SAME approach that "humble yourselves and our classes will answer your questions." Screw that !!! I believe that Taxidev had it right when he stated in Splinter Cults are WORSE: Are you someone who prefers to be led? Are you someone who prefers the life of those institutionalized?
  6. 1 point
    Sorry, I misspoke. What I meant to say is: "There's no 'reason' for 'LIFE', so there's no reason to exist after 'life' in any form. That is, there's no big answer to "We are alive because...." thus no reason for life, so there's no great significance to it- other than whatever significance we GIVE it. So, likewise, there would be no 'reason', no big answer, that accompanied death. We each have one life, and it's everything to US, so naturally we'd like to hang on to it. Most people agree that if you die, you lose something important. I was NOT trying to take a shot at anybody, I was trying to make a flat statement of fact that was accurate. Sometimes around 4am I can miss the mark.
  7. 1 point
    I take exception to this. Those of us who believe there's nothing after this life have EVERY reason to live. What we lack is a reason to DIE. By which I mean, we can understand the value of sacrifice as well as the next patriot (there ARE, in fact, atheists in foxholes), but we understand that sacrifice as being for other people, not for reward.
  8. 1 point
    We're open for discussion or the laying out of more positions, but I'm not going to wait for them to discuss the ones we have at hand. For the practicing (or professing) Christian, what's the standard for what to believe? For those most loyal to a denomination or a church, the answer is usually simple- the official stance of their group is correct no matter what. So, to them, truth is about conformity and/or popularity. That's definitely not my style, but I admit it sure keeps things simple and is very fast, requiring no work on their own behalf. For some, the answer may be more of "the long-held answers have been tested, so they're most likely correct". That can look just like the previous category, but has a bit more flexibility of idea, that is, that poor ideas may have been rejected. Certainly many of the silliest attempts at doctrine get excluded this way, so it's not without merit (although it's not my style, either.) Around this messageboard, it's no shock to see "sola scriptura" discussed or respected- that is, what's correct is what the Bible says, and mistakes are from either not reading it, or no understanding it, or not even trying to use it for a basis of doctrine or beliefs. Like all systems, this one isn't perfect, either. If your translation is faulty, your understanding will be faulty. If you don't understand your terms, your understanding will be faulty. If you come with preconceived notions, your understanding will be faulty. (Naturally, if the entire position is wrong, the same will result, but I count that under the translation being faulty.) That having been said, plenty of people who sincerely claimed they agreed with the Bible have disagreed with each other's positions, so it should come as no shock that those aforementioned problems are nothing small.
  9. 1 point
    While I can't say I agree on ALL points, I agree with Mark that a lot of the doctrine was adapted from Greco-Roman mythology, of shades in the underworld, tortured for eternity. I agree with him and Rob Bell that I don't buy the idea that lots of humanity will be (or are) tortured for centuries or forever. I don't see that squaring the the Bible, and I don't see that squaring with God's M.O. There was a quote, attributed to Mark Twain, where he supposedly didn't agree with it, either. It's one thing to destroy a villain, it is another to punish for a time during his sentence, but to torture forever made no sense to him. (I just don't see "eternal torture for humanity" working on paper.)
  10. 1 point
    Are they aware that the body of Christ includes ALL born again believers?
  11. 1 point
    Hope Beyond Hell The Righteous Purpose of God's Judgment Here is a book that I have read that was written by a dentist from Texas. Yes, it is OK to have worked as a dentist and written a biblical book. As an example, Luke the biblical writer of the book of Acts and Gospel of Luke was a physician or doctor and not an apostle. https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Beyond-Righteous-Purpose-Judgment-ebook/dp/B001T4Z81C/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Hope+Beyond+Hell&qid=1569788663&s=books&sr=1-1 The content of this book relates to the book read by Rocky.
  12. 1 point
    Thanks Rocky.......lots of great insight. There are plenty of ways to supplement this *very real human need for belonging* .......besides going to classes and parking one's butt in a chair. Look around and partake of the vast avenues of BELONGING to something bigger than self: Community.......volunteer work, charity walks, habitat for humanity, red cross blood drives, committee involvement, parks and recreation, safety, etc Religious...........bible study groups, choirs, programs, youth groups, children's activities, daycare, grieving and group participation, societal issues Self....................golf outings, cards and game nights, book clubs, bowling league, bike club, 10-K runs/walks, get a dog and go to your nearest dog park Academic..........take night classes at community college, attend lectures, go to World War II Museum, study different cultures, learn a new language Hobbies.............find other enthusiasts of your particular interest, bee-keeping, woodworking, bird watching, kayaking, camping You belong........get out there and find your true passions. The world is a BIG and EXCITING SOCIAL EXPLORATION....... Do NOT allow some little cult leader to coerce your butt in a chair...... When peer pressure and coercion is involved.......subjugating is not far behind.
  13. 1 point
    Once again, brother, you have nailed it. How does this happen again? That's the ultimate underlying issue. One way to look at possible answers to it is in this book. WHY we fall for it EVERY time... until we choose not to be conned, which goes directly to whether we prefer to be led. Another author, journalist Gail Sheehy published a book, 38-years ago, on finding one's own way, Pathfinders. Might be a good book for those tired of being led by wolves in sheep's clothing. Sheehy wrote a number of other books on subjects that can shed helpful insight. But what she doesn't do and hasn't done, is develop a series of classes that one must take to secure HER (the author's) living. None of the insights from either Sheehy or Konnikova relieve the very real human need for belonging. The con artists Skyrider exquisitely described above grab hold of that human need and try to sell themselves as the answer to that need. But if a person finds her/his own path, (s)he can also find others who share interests in the same or similar paths. That can make for a more fulfilling (self-actualizing) inner AND social life with great meaning. Anyway, thanks Skyrider for your salient post.
  14. 1 point
    I don't know if Mr. Hill is correct, but he's a good guy and makes a compelling argument. The video is around 37 minutes.
  15. 1 point
    Well, couple things off the bat, and I'm sure others will chime in.... First point - The issue of God's sovereignty - some people want to believe that if some of us aren't getting condemned to hell forever then some of us are "getting off the hook".....that a righteous God will serve up justice to those who disobey him and the penalty needs to be eternal punishment of some sort. Needless to say whether it's eternal burning or getting pitchforked forever or maybe just having to hang out with Hitler and some of those nasty assed Popes, it's not something anyone will like. Conversely they believe True Justice will be served when God extends magnanimous gestures of grace and mercy to some of us, no matter how bumbling, incompetent, selfish and inept we really were and waves us through to an eternity of fun with the Son because - I dunno - He "Likes Us", maybe, for whatever reasons....? The assumption is that those who believe this will be most likely to get the pass, of course. The scariest version of this is hard core Calvinist theology, salvation by grace, not works, and that God by His own will chooses who will and won't "be saved". One of the weirder splinter teachers of Christian Reformed Calvinist theology was "Harold Camping" who taught what they call hyper Calvinism with a twist of his own to it - he made the news for awhile because he was predicting the return of Christ from the Bible's "data". More than once. I loved to listen to his call in radio show at night when I'd be on long drives. He was down right creepy, but it kept me awake. : ) That hyper Calvinism also covers the section in Ephesians where it talks about "predestination" - in that Calvinist view that means that God predestines and decides everything - who believes, who doesn't, what happens and when, etc. Everything that happens must happen that way because God is "in charge". So if God doesn't want some of us to believe in Him, we're not going to. Some of us will "go to hell" forever, because that's what He wants. "The Elect" and those He chooses, those "sheep" He gives to His Son the Shepherd, will be saved. Others, won't be, by God's determination. These beliefs were codified by some churches in response to theology like Bell's proposing so that they could shut the door tight on any possibilities that might include those who might get or even deserve "a second chance" or perhaps never had even heard of Jesus Christ. Figure - if God wants them, they're gettin' in, regardless. And If I understand it correctly this drills deeper into that predestination plan of God's where He already knows who would believe or not BECAUSE HE MAKES THEM THAT WAY. BUT - This "administration of grace", of the church of Christ of both Gentile and Jew reflects an inclusion of PEOPLE THAT WEREN'T INCLUDED BEFORE CHRIST. So really, the very existence of this time period reflects God's desire for the world to be drawn to Him in ways PREVIOUSLY NOT UNDERSTOOD but now in movement as an entire world hears a message that the Jews didn't believe was directly for anyone but themselves.....ironic in a way. So, this is kind of chatty I know, but I don't want to presume to try to teach a history of theology here - there's a lot of things this doesn't cover, but I as far as I've studied, the real core, real platform, real foundation of disagreement on any of Bell's premise(s) is the question of heaven or hell, but under it all it's the belief that Bell's position questions and demeans God's Ultimate Authority. And by association, their authority. Cause there's a LOT OF POWER in having the one clear voice of God's will. Lot of power. Hell, you can even demand people pay you to hear it. - My take on it is that if God has given us the ability to choose - and He clearly has from Day One of man's relationship with Him - then it reflects His sovereign will to use it. Remember the "first and great commandment" is "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. " If I don't insert my own logic into that statement then I have to assume that God's logic is clear - He's telling me what He wants me to do, so that I can do that. It's not of concern to me whether or not I am even able to do it or not - if I hear that I have to assume that I should choose to do that, to obey that commandment and my next concern is "how". It's important to see that Jesus never taught people that came to Him to hear him and be helped by Him that they couldn't be helped. He never said "No, my Father has said I can't heal you", or "Sorry, you can't have any of the bread or fish, you're not included in this, my Father doesn't want you". He did reject those who rejected Him, who sought to kill him, He did reprove those who taught error and led people astray and who sought their own good and not the good of God and His people. Not many were turned away who came to Him seeking help - there was the one guy who asked Him to help settle a family inheritance issue, and he told the guy he wasn't a judge of those affairs over him (there were others who could do that).....There were some people who turned away from Him after one particular teaching, but it doesn't said He sent them away, it says they left. Another person He told to see all he had and give it away and that person didn't want to do that so they left. But Jesus never looked a person in the eye who was asking Him and who wanted to follow Him and said "Beat it, my Father tells me He didn't plan for you to believe". People say that today, but I don't see that Jesus took that route. God's "sovereignty" means that what God has put in place and done is what's going to happen, and since He's given us these lives and minds that are designed to think, act, choose, respond and learn, we are going to have to learn to function in this world the way He's made it and with the plans He's put in place.
  16. 1 point
    Interesting that you bring this up. My friend and I have been looking at quantum physics and, as it turns out, it fits perfectly with what Jesus Christ said about believing, and also what it says in Psalms about guarding your heart because out of it are the issues of life. I have always believed that science is pretty good at explaining how things work. For example, chemistry explains the reactions of mixing certain chemicals, and physics explains action/reaction. But until recently they couldn't tell us why, at the root of it, these things work this way. But quantum physics points out very clearly that there is a spiritual energy in everything. So, while the bible tells us what to do and the benefits of that, quantum physics is now explaining what is happening at the microscopic level and smaller. Invisible, in fact. And from what I've seen so far there is nothing indirect about the relationship to "things of God".
  17. 1 point
    My life experience both in TWI and outside of it has shown me that there are many people that prefer to be led. That's why there are still so many people involved with TWI and all of the offshoots. They either don't want to, or don't know how to, do their own research. And I mean real research, not re-searching what was published by TWI or the offshoots. (That was such a stupid concept) Several months ago I stepped away from R&R. I can't even bring myself to listen to the recorded teachings on their web site. Instead, a few of us just get together and actually research topics of interest to the group, or if one of us has been working on something and wants help with it then we do that together. The give and take is wonderful, and it is done without anyone having authority of any sort. Sometimes, we reach a consensus, and we leave there electrified! I can honestly say of the 20+ years going to fellowship I never left feeling electrified.
  18. 1 point
    9. We do not believe that “faith” is a force generated by the human mind that automatically brings either good or bad into one’s life. To me, that's a very bizarre statement, and reads like it's designed to appeal to the ex-Wayfer crowd. I talk to lots and lots of Christians of all stripe and no one is struggling with or promoting the idea that faith is a force generated by the human mind that yada yada.... Faith is trust, and confidence in, about, towards something. "Pistis/Pistueo" in the Bible, a firm conviction, belief, a trust - IN SOMETHING. The bang is in the buck. My exposure to the teachings of VPW in and around PFAL included what certainly sounded like him teaching "believing" as some kind of tangible "thing" that would produce a result when it was at a certain level. "Build up your believing", got used a lot in that context, and the very idea of Christians as "believers" was both their belief in doctrine as well as their "believing walks", what they did with those doctrines. If you "weren't believing" it had a sense of your tank being half full - like you were convinced but not REALLY convinced, even though you may have done the actual thing that needed to be done and didn't get the "results".....because you weren't "believing"....even though you were. It was kind of like a dog chasing it's tail though and every once in awhile it bites it and stops then starts again..........meanwhile all it really amounted to was trying to saturate your thinking and resulting actions with enough of what God instructs you to do so that your "faith" will then be towards Him. It used to seem sometimes like VPW actually repudiated God's grace when he's teach people to not rely on it - when people like me were thinking "fuk, I rely on it all the time, I NEED IT!!!!"..................and I guess what I think he really meant was don't be a lazy ass and avoid doing the work you're supposed to and expect someone else to do it for you. But they're not really the same things, that's not relying on "grace"> The trust and confidence of pistis/pistueo has significance in the Bible because it's GOD WERE' TRUSTING IN. Pneuma hagion is HIS GIFT, TO US. VPW was trying to build a generation of Uber Christians, The True Believers, who knew THE TRUTH and would WALK IT like it hasn't been walked since the first century. In fact, many of his early protege's tanked and were mostly just successful at being good employees and mimics of him in the family business. He died of cancer, alone but for a sidekick, pushing aways all others who might have actually given a crap about him as a person. I'd rather not exit this temporal crust that way. I can say without any doubt whatsoever and complete confidence that today, the greatest cargoes of life come in over seas of grace, in the vast ocean of God's eternal Will. Two words I caught in PFAL that I hold to today are "alignment and harmony".....rather than build an egocentric prideful bucket of pig shit over MY BELIEVING and all that I DO I have found it much better to try to live each day in a harmonious peaceful relationship with my heavenly Creator and Father and put my trust there. That's always worked, and even "back in the day" I was learning not to show up to my Mental Prayer Hut with a box of my believing and demanding God do this or that or whatever. In fact though, God did answer my prayers quite literally one day by reminding me that there's a lot of things I can "do for myself".....like just...go on. There you go. Go do it. Yep, you're fine. Go ahead. I'm with you. Yes. No - YOU CAN'T GO OVER IT AGAIN WITH ME OKAY YOU CAN BUT REALLY.....why not just go on. Do it. See? Right - okay, now do it again...yep...... Anyway, I learned some of that from Lynn too, as when I was around him and worked some with him he could be on the one hand a very nice, hard working industrious person but on the other, as kindly as I can say, something of a flat earth kind of mentality, intellectually. Not that I'm Einstein, but yeah. No.

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