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Everything posted by caribousam

  1. My experience in Massachusetts - most churches are places where folks come to feel good, feel they have done their "Sunday obligation." There's a lot of crappy teachers, swindlers, fakers, and boneheads. And I'm talking about the church leaders. I'm sure there are some decent groups, but they truly are not the norm. So I am happy with my small fellowships of family, men, and various connections with other Christian groups. To me, a lot of Christian churches are seriously spiritually sick, and I choose to stay away from their illness. Am I arrogant ? Maybe, but to me, I am just trying to protect myself and my family. John Lynn is not someone that I look to as a good spiritual leader.
  2. Well STFI ain't perfect, but they are doing a lot of good. IMHO.
  3. The artificial smile is disconcerting. Hope God is able to help JAL connect with reality. Seems like a long shot, but...who knows...
  4. Yes. CES has been through some pain and some changes, but they seem to be on the right track. John Lynn has separated from them and this is a good thing. JAL was given many chances and ultimately refused tolet go of stubborn sin.
  5. Your premise is interesting but wrong I believe. Anyone could bring up similar arguments about any biblical author. The canon of scripture and the canon of the books refute your argument. Do some prayer and study aboutthose things and God will likely shed light on the matter.
  6. I definitely believe in the direct experience of God. I have experienced it a bunch of times.I don't believe in overly liberal theology where anything and everything is ok.
  7. That all sounds so nice, so liberating. But it is kind of anarchist and rebellious, and leads nowhere. Sounds so "Cheech and Chong." Whoa dude, pass that bong and let's see what God has to say...
  8. While most people agree on the basics of what is right and wrong - God put that in our DNA - we need more than the basics to thrive and have hope. At least I do. Those questions about life and death and eternity keep bugging me. Though people disagree on interpretation of the Bible, it seems that there is a right way to interpret. And it seems that the Bible answers well allthe big life questions. The Way, CES, Baptists, and Pentecostalists all bring some truth to the table. I try to trust God and sort the error from truth. One thing I love to reject is the jaded and decadent and dumb ideas promoted by most mass media and academics in the US.
  9. This got me thinking about the double edge sword that a small fellowship can present. There is the possibility of spiritual intimacy, connection, and growth. There's also a good possibility of serious friction and trouble, even if all claim to be Bible believing types who worship and reverence and love God. Unfortunately, we are all flawed humans. I've found it good to be connected with multiple fellowships, big and small, staying connected to God through holy spirit, and trying hard to listen to the still small voice for direction. There can be some downside to this approach, but it works well for me.
  10. My point is that some who left the Way have been part of new groups, or were involved in developing new groups, which are good and fruitful. I'm not talking about any new group in particular, I'm just talking in general terms. The definition of a cult is another thing. From my experience, neither the Way nor CES had any of the controlling characteristics of cults. There were some incidents with specific people and situations where there may have been cultish controlling beahvior, but that was not the norm, at least in my experience. Not believing in the doctrine of the trinity doesn't make them cults, it makes them heretical groups in many folks' minds. Cheers, CS
  11. Heard he was in Franklin, MA a few years back. Not sure if he's still there.
  12. What you are saying does not make sense. If what you're saying is true, then anyone who was in the Way, left, and sometime later decided to organize some sort of fellowship/church/ministry, would by default be creating another cult. And that makes no sense. "all of the splinters are cults" is in effect saying that anyone who was in the Way has no spiritual future, and that is obviously false. There were some who were in the Way who filtered out the good among the bad, grew from the experience, and continue to prosper.
  13. Yo worryfree.... Wow, interesting stuff. Having been a somewhat close partner of the Way back in the 80's, and an arms length affiliate of CES/STFI at times, it really gets kme to think about what I believe and why I believe what I do believe. I was a teenager when I hooked into the Way in 1978, and it helped bring a real troubled young man (me) out of serious pain (though it took many years to get to some semblance of wholeness...about 16 years...). I have learned a lot from various folks in those two organizations, and I have developed some pretty strong spiritual instincts and a pretty intense prayer life. Now, the American Christian landscape seems a wreck. Most of the "Christian ministers" on TV seem to be frauds. Local churches are stuck in their religious mentality, far from anything like truth setting us really free. Funny thing is, I feel really free in a Christian sense, have found connection with God, and am able to help people. So I guess I'm doing ok, healthy family and family life. Like you, I just have no reason to worry, despite all of the crap flying around...cheers ! Will ponder things more today as I watch some football and sip some Sam Adam's Octoberfest beer. -CS
  14. Yes, excellent interview. It was great hearing Ralph again. Sounds like he's doing fine. I do miss seeing and hearing from that laid back fun to be with man who's not afraid to say it like it is. Not that I knew Ralph well, but I did meet him once at his home in Lincoln, MA where he gave some straight counsel to a young man who was really down in the dumps. And living in Mass. I really enjoyed his teachings and mostly his ability to connect with people and enjoy life. God bless you, Ralph dude, maybe I';; bump into you here in Mass again if you are still here. Cheers. Not having formal clergy training does not bother me so much. There are lots of valid ministers without degrees. Some ministers shoudn't be ministers without a degree or training. Some should. Sometimes "clergy training" can destroy a true ministry. -Right Reverend JJ
  15. Yup, it looks like john schoenheit and dan gallagher are in charge.
  16. Yes all this is tiring. My hope and prayer is that folks will move on break up, repent, reconcile, or do whatever else might be necessary to get on with "living for God and Christ."
  17. hey wordwolf, I have been involved in groups where there is personal prophecy going on. Done right, it is pretty powerful stuff, and can be of considerble blessing and help to the recipient of the prophecy. In any case, whatever is said has to connect with us and make sense to our spirit. If not, we just have to discard it. -CS
  18. i have been involved to some extent in both groups and have to admit that some of the same unhealthy tendencies exist in both.
  19. i wouldn't say it is cultish. there wasn't any push to keep you as a member or anything like that. people were free to speak their mind, and leave at anytime. this type of training is not for all. but some do get a lot from the training. i did. why would you say it was cultish ?
  20. Yup, looks like John Shoenheit is prez, and fully engaged in CES. Not sure about Dan or others...I'll do some checking and get back to you...
  21. Well I can think of a couple possibilitiies...general hatred and jealousy of a group of God's chosen is one reason...maybe denying the Holocaust can make things fit for someone's brand of thinking or religion...Ahmadinejad denies it to try and take. sympathy away from Israel and push forward his end times "Messianic" mission....not sure why the Way might have tried to promote that the 6 million number is an exaggeration.
  22. Simply amazing some of the stuff I've read in GS. The picture it all gives of VPW is not a warm and fuzzy one. I only heard or saw VPW from a distance. While some of his teachings were illuminating and healing for me, I always had the sesnse that there were some serious things just not right with the man. Still, my intro to more in depth Christianity came via The Way, and I am thankful for God's working to bring me to his team. I left the Way about 20 years ago and have had a fairly fruitful life (in a Christian sense). From what I hear and believe and understand, I would say that VPW was a chosen minister of God who went badly astray. The end result of this is similar to a false prophet, but does not match what I think of as a false prophet or false minister. A false prophet/minister to me is a minister who claims to speak for God as an ordained (by God) minister, even though God has never given the person this "gift." God bless! Cs
  23. You know that you are no longer in a cult when you start to really understand what talking and listening to God is all about, and your faith really does start to come together and make sense.
  24. jeaniam, Yep I do believe that if you really hook into "true agape" you will have an almost endless supply of energized love. Not endless because of the limits of our bodies. I think I've hooked in at times... only to later fall off, tangled and brought down by my own weakness, sin, etc. But I always get back up. And I also agree that staying in "agape love" is a good way to keep from being burned out and uninspired. The other kinds of love are energizing too, but prone to failure. Lots of talking with God - prayer - and "doing" have helped me get a better handle on agape. I think I have at least some grasp of what it is and how it works, though I may not always be able to explain it well. peace and agape, CS
  25. Hi shifra, You make some good and important points. I've read some helpful books lately dealing which dug deep into some of loving the "agape" way and staying emotionally and spiritually balanced. The whole thing about loving ourselves and God as ourselves might lead us to think that if we don't love ourselves very much then it will be hard to love others or God very much. If our gas tank is empty, it is hard to do much for anyone. There's a lot of truth to this, though I've seen a lot of vain selfish Christians who can't get past taking care of their own selves. On the other hand, you have folks who's self worth seems to be totally tied to how much they do for others, and who end up burned out and uninspired - this is the other side of supposed "agape" love gone too far. Agape love seems to live best somewhere in the middle between vanity and being a slave for others. I think that the "free indeed" that Christ came to give us is a place that can be found. Not just a land of milk and honey that we'll see in a distant biblical administration. But also a real place possible in the here and now of emotional and spiritual health and true connection to God where we are blessed in a deep way and want the same for others. If we can get there, then we can at least some of the time do the right things for the right reasons. -CS
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