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T-Bone

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T-Bone last won the day on July 10

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  1. In my opinion that is the crux of the matter...growing in analytical skills and exercising the freedom to decide our own takeaways will change things...maybe that's part of how many people outgrow TWI. ...your funny response about the Interlinear probably being okay in TWI-world but “non-sanctioned” material was a no-no got me thinking about all the biases built into the TWI-mindset. Developing our critical thinking skills can help us identify some seemingly automatic biases and help us fine tune them according to our best interests – we might eliminate, reduce or modify certain biases. In that regard , reading those “classic” authors while in TWI probably laid the groundwork for thinking outside TWI's theological box... my biggest takeaways from PFAL are fairly simple and remain in my core of beliefs: The Bible is the Word of God, and that it is best understood in light of the original languages and cultural background... my biggest complaint about PFAL and the Advanced Class is their thematic structure – there is a preoccupying concept that runs through these classes and strategically ties together everything and it's a fairly simple idea – wierwille is presented as the ultimate authority on the Bible, God, salvation, the Christian lifestyle, prayer, receiving revelation, devil spirits, etc.
  2. This is probably off topic but what you just said reminded me of something I've wondered about a couple of times – and maybe there is no definitive answer – but it seems like martindale went to great lengths to distinguish himself from wierwille...and there's been talk here of martindale saying you could get possessed by taking the old PFAL class...I don't have a point here other than thinking out loud along the lines of what you said earlier about sowing the seeds of your own demise – only in this case I'm thinking martindale cutting his own throat – or I don't know - tarnishing the image of wierwille – or challenging wierwille's status – there's a new cult leader in town...did martindale actually think he could fill the clodhopper shoes of a plagiaristic, predatory, narcissistic, megalomaniac? I mean it's sort of like getting rid of Mickey Mouse who is the mascot of Walt Disney and substituting Goofy...and just thinking this through a little further - The Way International is a Mickey Mouse operation in it's own right...so I guess we'd have to change the saying to TWI is a Goofy operation in it's own right.
  3. Oh yeah I got your point about that too...and I agree...for many it was only a matter of time - which varied from person to person – depending on circumstances and the cumulative effect of one's experiences, questions, doubts, learning curve, etc. The reference to my comparison shopping for clothes addressed your idea of the learning curve in unraveling the bull$hit. During my TWI involvement I can chart an up and down graph of my own progress in gaining new skills in biblical research, critical thinking, learning how to compare viewpoints, analyzing logical fallacies and conflicting info...In many ways TWI became sporadic speed-bumps in the road to a better understanding of the Bible. After graduating from PFAL I used to drive my Twig coordinator nuts with all the questions and problems I'd get into from reading the entire Old Testament and trying to understand it from a PFAL point of view. He kept encouraging me to just read and re-read the church epistles addressed to me as well as the PFAL class material... Throughout my TWI-time my curiosity and level of exploration would rise and fall for various reasons – starting off with buying my own interlinear Greek New Testament and learning to read and understand basic New Testament Greek. I have always liked to read and would get into some “classic” authors like A.W. Tozer, John RW Stott, CS Lewis, Oswald Chambers, Jonathan Edwards and even non-Way Ministry Bible resources like The New Bible Dictionary (1962). Generally speaking I usually found this stuff to be more coherent, practical and thought-provoking than PFAL stuff...having a bad habit like that of straying from the intellectual confines of TWI was probably for me a high-performance boost in what seemed to some like I was turning on a dime by leaving TWI so quickly after the patriarch paper was read. After that the up and down graph charting my growth in critical thinking skills goes steadily up. I got into commentaries, systematic theologies, philosophy, psychology, and of course discussions on Grease Spot. ...well enough about me ...now, what were we talking about? Oh yeah oh yeah The Advanced Class...yup - been there done that.
  4. A great point , Oak! your post brought to mind a motto from Syms - an off price clothing retailer “ where an educated consumer is our best customer “… back in my ministry daze I went there quite often after comparison shopping. but that wasn’t the case with many of us TWI-followers. I completely identify with you on how Bible-ignorant I was when I first joined. TWI’s motto could very well be “where a Bible-illiterate person is our best customer “
  5. great job, WordWolf !!!! What a difference reviewing the material from PFAL and the Advanced Class on Grease Spot compared to how TWI-followers reviewed regurgitated class material...here Grease Spotters actually analyze stuff instead of mindlessly absorbing and parroting class material.
  6. If there's one thing wierwille was consistent about it was being contradictory...I think this was at the live Advanced Class 79 - but it could have been the live PFAL 77 class – can't remember which one – but I do remember wierwille talking about “working The Word” and after mentioning Bullinger in passing he says something like “you can squeeze The Word so hard you'll have error running out your fingers”...even back then it struck me as such an odd thing to say that I never forgot it..and now I find it even more amusing – here's wierwille who plagiarized Bullinger's work like crazy is attempting to cut him down to size when actually wierwille's ego needed to be deflated since he was full of hot air. but seriously here's another instance of wierwille saying only he can be trusted to work the word correctly.
  7. Wow – you made an even finer point showing how wierwille's great principle is self-contradictory! I remember wierwille making a big deal about it being Christ in you so that it's Christ behind every cell of your being. “it's Christ's eyes behind your eyes, Christ's brain cells behind your brain cells...” But what you pointed out exposes a big issue. If God who is spirit and inhabits eternity and is omnipresent – permeating everything and everybody – then why wouldn't he be able to communicate directly to us? What is so different about Christ behind every cell of my being and God being behind, in front , sideways, thoroughly and throughly every cell of my being. I guess being infinite has its limitations - which makes me think of the Groundhog Day scene where Bill Murray's character declares I am a god
  8. wierwille disparaged intuition and feelings in PFAL but not in the Advanced Class...In PFAL wierwille would go on about how feelings come and go. But in the Advanced Class I remember him relating an incident of knowing what to minister to a lady for because his “ovaries hurt”. Now how does that not imply it was a feeling? ...and he would say other warm and fuzzy things like revelation can be first thought... ...Now think about the definition of intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning; a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning...I don't doubt that God can reveal anything to anyone by any means. But in my 12 years of involvement with TWI I have never witnessed anyone actually demonstrating the revelation or power manifestations...there was a lot of talk about them...there was the “I know a believer who knows a believer who said some phenomenal blah blah happened.” ....and here's something scary to think about: how many times did you blow off a bad feeling about something wierwille said or did, or any other TWI-leadership? Maybe you just dismissed it as going by your five senses, worldly logic or it's your old man nature rearing it's ugly head. could that have been intuition? could that have been the Spirit of truth trying to warn you about something? Imagine making a habit of that. I tend to think if we ignore our feelings, intuition, common sense we will become numb to a lot of things - and probably impair our critical and creative thinking skills too. ...there's so many inconsistencies when you look at all of wierwille's teachings as a whole like in systematic theology....so many folks who really got into Advanced Class material hit me as know-it-alls and they probably assumed what wierwille taught was unassailable. If memory serves me right, John L. said reading The Word is written revelation and helps grease the pipeline for direct revelation...not sure if there's anything to that but it does make me wonder if there's adverse effects if one misinterpreted or misapplied Scripture – would it clog the pipeline? And maybe a pipeline is a bad analogy – because that's a long pipe for conveying oil, gas, etc. (or figuratively like information or revelation) over long distances...in John 14 Jesus talked about a much more immediate “connection” : 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, (Advocate or Counselor) to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. .. ...25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. No pipeline needed. The Holy Spirit.. the Helper... the Advocate... the Counselor is not far away - and not just in close proximity - Jesus said the Holy Spirit is in you. For me another red flag of error is the great principle – which exemplifies wierwille's dogmatic approach to understanding how God works. wierwille's great principle – if I remember it correctly - stated God who is spirit teaches his creation in you which is now your spirit and your spirit teaches your mind...yada yada yada...the basic assumption of wierwille's great principle is that God is spirit and can only speak to what he is – which is spirit. Yet I can think of instances in the Old & New Testament that shoots holes in wierwille's dogmatism as far as how God can communicate to anyone – be it phenomena, dreams or whatever...For instance in Numbers 22 stubborn Balaam is beating up on his poor donkey which refuses to move ahead because it sees the angel with a drawn sword standing in the middle of the road – but dumba$$ Balaam doesn't see the angel: 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. ...Did God have to create spirit in the donkey? What did God do to open the mouth of the donkey? I don't know. What does it matter? Why do we have to fixate on explaining how God works? Think about Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dreams in Daniel 2 and Daniel 4 . What I remember from the Advanced Class was how wierwille focused on Daniel's supernatural ability to interpret the dreams. What fascinates me more now is that God communicated the original messages to Nebuchadnezzar in dreams. Did God have to create spirit in Nebuchadnezzar in order to influence his dreams? I don't think so... ...Psychologists , neurologists and all kinds of experts continue to explore how the human mind works – there's still so much they don't know...and yet wierwille came across as so definitive in teaching how God and things of the spirit work. is it my imagination or did wierwille try his best to make God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures inaccessible – and that the only approach to them was through wierwille.
  9. eeeeesh...you know how squeamish I am about that stuff...let's pretend it doesn't.
  10. your post brought to mind something I shared of how we deceive ourselves / cognitive dissonance on another thread - see here "How do we handle the internal conflict that arises when facts or events contradict deeply held beliefs? In his groundbreaking book, When Prophecy Fails (1956), Leon Festinger and his co-authors sought to answer that question by investigating a doomsday cult. The group was led by a Chicago housewife who claimed to channel warnings from the fictitious planet, Clarion. Through automatic writing she was told that the Earth would be destroyed by a cataclysmic flood before dawn on December 21, 1954. The faithful quit jobs, left spouses, and gave away money and possessions, in preparation for the arrival of a flying saucer that would rescue them. When the flying saucer did not appear, and the flood did not happen, the cultists changed the narrative, and then changed it again. They convinced themselves that their clocks were wrong. When they recognized that their clocks were correct, they set a new time for the arrival of the spaceship. When that event failed to occur, they convinced themselves that God had chosen to spare the world at the last minute because of their good deeds. To explain this behavior, Festinger coined the term “cognitive dissonance.” This theory states that when there is discordance between our beliefs and external events or actions, we either change our actions or change our beliefs. Many people are reluctant to change their behavior, so they double down on their belief. In the case of the Clarion cult, so many had sacrificed so much in preparation for Armageddon, they were unwilling to change their actions, so they changed the narrative of their belief." From: Psychology Today: 5 Faces of Deception in a post fact world == == == === = The Advanced Class was the perfect booster shot that not only renewed but increased the disharmonious effect of PFAL...students found it was easier and quicker to fight off reality...as a bass player with a wooden ear I liken it to a “stupid-natural” ability to be even more out of tune with the state of things as they actually exist.
  11. ah what the hell - since we're way off topic - might as well go the second mile alternate episode of Handmaid's Tale
  12. Yeah pretty much… A similar theme in many stories - where the main character has to choose between the real world and an artificial world.
  13. You reminded me of the first clear sighting of TWI in my rear view mirror...more like a realization that it was behind me and I was moving away from it. We had already left TWI and were temporarily living with my father-in-law while we were house hunting (how exciting and at the same time nerve-wracking – buying a home for the first time !) ...anyway... ...I was watching the movie Logan's Run on my father-in-law's TV. It's a sci-fi movie about a supposedly utopian life maintained by a computer that takes care of and controls all aspects of life – population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium. Most residents accept this way of life but there are a few who question things, especially the rebirth ritual called Carousel. Those who attempt to flee the city are called “runners”. Michael York plays Logan 5 and he is part of an elite team of policemen assigned to pursue and terminate any runners. That's all I need to say about the plot for now – I don't want to spoil it if you've never seen it – you'll want to savor every cult-like analogy as the story unfolds – going from a supposed utopia to being revealed as a dystopia...and now to why watching this movie at that particular time in my life is so significant to me. I think it was the first time in my life while watching a movie that I had such a profound realization of escaping something so destructive by the skin of my teeth...It was a watershed moment that verified and finalized my new relationship to TWI – I am separated from it...funny how a sci-fi movie can have such resonance. The Advanced Class was one of the major cogs in the machinations of a destructive cult. It reinforces the illusion of a little utopian world known as The Way International – everything in this “life” is under control – under your control, according to your believing, of course. You're safe inside this little world where all your needs should be met – according to your believing, of course. If you run away from this little world you'll find various options of oblivion, according to the believing of the current Bozo-in-charge, of course. After all, the “laws” of this little world are enforced by a cobbled together conglomerate police agency - which again is according to the believing of the current Bozo-in-charge, of course - it's made up (I repeat - it's made up ) of flesh-and-blood wierwille-sycophants, devil spirits, the devil-possessed, the devil-obsessed, the dispossessed who are left with little else to own except for their Advanced Class name tag, the devil wears Prada, the poor devils who need to get a life and a real job, and last but not least the infamous Bigfoot of the baddies – the unicorn of unholy unions, wrong-seed...not to be confused with the seedless grapes of wrath.
  14. Hi again Annio, having slept on it – the thought occurred to me that I was more concerned about digging myself out of a hole than listening to what you said...I also realize the shallowness and narrow-mindedness of my previous post...The thought never occurred to me to consider the perspective of evil done TO a person - - or any trauma they were powerless to prevent. In the flow of this thread, I had in mind the three types of people in a harmful and exploitative cult: 1. the predator 2. the facilitator and 3. the victim... ...a facilitator is a person who makes an action or process easy or easier – such as the process of exploiting or hurting others...I was a facilitator in TWI. I was not a predator nor a victim. By wholeheartedly supporting TWI with my finances, volunteer work, spreading their propaganda, and getting others to join this pseudo-Christian organization, I was making the work of the predators a lot easier by hiding the trek to the slaughterhouse from the eyes of the sheep... Facilitators don't necessarily have to know what they're really facilitating – like even a harmful and exploitative cult ...maybe that makes me somewhat of a victim too - getting suckered in to be a facilitator. Perhaps the lack of depth in my previous post came from old facilitator habits – thinking there's an easier way to fix this...I hope you can accept my sincere apology.
  15. Annio, I really appreciate your feedback – and would like to redeem myself after I failed to limit the application of my post...I was addressing interpersonal problems. - problems people have when relating to each other...for me, that's the extent of Jay Adams' points I referenced...I did mention in that post I have broadened my perspective far beyond Adams – and I have a great appreciation for all the legitimate medical treatments, medicine, research and therapies available – something that Adams lacked...I apologize for my lack of clarity and specificity. I am sorry if I gave you the impression I was speaking to any and all problems that may come upon a person. You are right in mentioning the bigger picture of life and the ultimate priority of healing and deliverance...I totally agree with what you said so maybe I should clarify my perspective. Regarding mental health, medical professionals should be addressing the trauma that befalls a person – by any legitimate means possible – the various therapies, medications, developing technologies, continued research. ...A couple of years ago our daughter participated in a medical study using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation – the research is still evolving but so far the diagnostic and therapeutic potential is promising in treating a wide variety of disease states in neurology and mental health. Results for our daughter were amazing. She has down syndrome and had been diagnosed with clinical depression. To complicate matters she had become very withdrawn and didn't communicate much – it was a noticeable decline. The best we could figure out after talking to medical professionals and reading up on it – she may have been dealing with catatonia – but little is known about catatonia associated with down syndrome...But like I said the results of TMS for our daughter were amazing (the treatment was several times a week over a number of weeks). It was like we got our old daughter back. TMS seemed to have alleviated the catatonia thing and the depression is manageable. She's definitely more outgoing now judging by the feedback we get from the staff at the day hab she attends...and every night we've been watching the series Friends on HBO Max – she will often ask what or why they're doing something – this is a lot of fun and she learns more about our culture...and if you were to visit our home she just might corner you and tell you all about her cat, favorite restaurants or something she wrote on the computer.
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