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About Brushstroke

  • Birthday 05/31/1989

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  1. I might, actually. I may disagree, but I want to explore as much as possible. I mean, I just went to a meeting last night for Neopagans and Wiccans whom my friend Denise is involved with. She asked that I take her to their fellowship meeting which they call "moot." They were pretty cool, and they were actually serious about it, unlike a lot of the people who claim such beliefs simply to make a statement. :)
  2. Anyone have any thoughts regarding my post here? I'm really quite curious what you guys think about this.
  3. As I have seen it, this site would not be here provided the abuse in TWI didn't happen. The very existence of this site is evidence of TWI's wrongdoing. Is it "anti-TWI"? I don't think so. I've seen no posts attacking the beliefs of TWI in particular for what they are and not the effects that they may or may not have. I've only seen posts directed at exposing the abuse, which is very reasonable. This site is "anti-abuse" not "anti-TWI."
  4. What? It's true. I didn't mean any offense in my statement. I was just saying they deny the belief that Christ is eternally God and that the Persons of the Trinity are equal in every way. :blink:
  5. This makes me wonder something. People my age, in our generation today seem to have a peculiar outlook or attitude toward life and suffering. I stand as an example. Most people who are born in broken homes these days later come to existential angst which leads to nihilism, and they gain a disdain for religion as a whole. This also accounts for the rising statistics for teen suicide. I wonder, if there were a group similar to TWI that sprung up today, how many like myself, being 17, 18, 19, 20-ish, would join it. Thoughts?
  6. I certainly understand the difference between Arianism and Dynamic Monarchianism. Paul of Samosata and Theodotus of Byzantium taught that Jesus was a mere man who did not have a pre-existence and "became" the Son of God later in life through being endowed with grace (what TWI/STFI/CES would call "holy spirit") from the Father later in His life. This is Adoptionism, which is closest to what TWI/STFI/CES believes and is often called Dynamic Monarchianism. Arianism, from the name of the bishop Arius of Alexandria, is indeed closer to what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, where Jesus is not cosubstantial or equal with God the Father, but is the first-created creature and is considered to have been used by the Father to create everything else. I think the reason they're lumped together is because they both deny Christ's eternal deity and the belief in the co-eternal, co-substantial, co-equal Trinity.
  7. We're talking about STFI here, not TWI. STFI, to me, seems to have done a bit more research than TWI, and it apparently doesn't have much positive regard for Wierwille.
  8. I'm considering asking if they're familiar with any of the early church fathers and theologians, and in particular I'm probably going to focus on the Apostolic Fathers such as St. Polycarp of Smyrna and St. Ignatius of Antioch (who were both taught by the Apostle John), St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Clement of Rome, St. Barnabas (the same Barnabas that traveled with the Apostle Paul in Acts) and his general epistle, and the Didache, otherwise known as the "Teachings of the Apostles." It's a first-century catechism written for Gentile converts, and is said to have been written by the twelve apostles. I might also ask them if they've done any serious and unbiased studying of the history of the Christian Church before Nicaea and after it, such as the subsequent church councils and if they've researched any Church writings from that time period. My point is this: If STFI/CES accepts the Bible as the Word of God, why then, does it not also accept the ones who wrote, copied, compiled and canonized the Bible as we know it today, as well as their theology? It's like taking the battery out of a car and trying to use it to generate power for your house. It actually can be used for that purpose (weird, I know), but it's not recommended and isn't what the battery was meant for. And the existence of God? Hah...for fun I might throw out some Nietzsche to make them think a bit.
  9. Nah, I'm in Arkansas. And yeah, I know what he was talking about. He seemed to make a distinction between what is commonly thought as unitarianism and called their unitarianism, biblical unitarianism. I guess he meant to imply that their unitarian beliefs can somehow be supported by Scripture. I would agree. I say this, because with the general ambiguity (though certainly leaning towards the concept of His deity) of the New Testament concerning Christ's deity compared to other Christian writings of the same time period, a case can be made either way: for Jesus being God, or for Him not being God, for the Trinity, or not for the Trinity. And yeah, doctrine matters to me too. It's why I said I found some things that I thought were not quite right. Indeed, heretical. Well, I was going to say something during the teaching but I wasn't sure if I should, so I didn't. I mentioned this to Chris (someone else at fellowship) and he said I could have said whatever I wanted to say. Matt also said that they've had people come to fellowship and teach on the Trinity or teach that Jesus is God before, and they don't have a problem with people believing that. They simply choose unitarianism because it is what they see in the Scriptures. However, I'm going to assume that he and Chris said and implied this just to say, "Hey, we'll accept you even if your beliefs are misguided. And with time you'll come to know what we think is the truth too!" Oh yes, I welcome differing thoughts as well. You can still accept something without believing it to be true. You can accept that some particular belief has value and meaning without subscribing to it yourself. It's not a surprise for me. Just recounting what happened, is all. Mainly what made me feel that something wasn't right was the love bombing. I was showered with so much attention to the point of creepiness, and I was asked with such enthusiasm, "So, do you think you'll come again?" and "Did you enjoy the teaching?" over and over and over again ad nauseum. How very strange... Did he ever give support of his reasoning, or was it just a pointless ad hominem? I might continue going every so often, and offer my opinions where I see fit and ask some penetrating questions. In so doing, I expect I'll become the black sheep, but if I help them to see another perspective, then a black sheep I shall be.
  10. They didn't use the word "lesson," they used the word "teaching." I just said lesson as I thought it conveyed the same meaning and that you would get what I meant anyway.
  11. Yeah, I know... It's kind of funny in a way. But I just got back from the fellowship. It was...interesting. I definitely noticed the love-bombing, and before everyone got there and everything started going on, I was talking with Chris, Brittany's brother, and we were discussing our backgrounds. I mentioned that I'm an Orthodox Christian, and he said he wasn't quite familiar with it and I didn't really go too much into what I believe and how it may differ, but he seemed to generalize and say that "we're all part of the one body of Christ and I think that doctrine matters, but we think each group has a bit of the truth and learns from each other..." etc. I didn't comment. A few songs were sung, mainly contemporary Christian music that you might hear on the radio, and the teaching was...vague. I gathered that it was about not trying too hard to follow God and realizing that Christ summed up everything in two commandments, "Love God, and love your neighbor." I certainly agree with that, but in part of the teaching they referred to Colossians 1:15 and said that, "He's not God, He's the image of God. But if God came to earth...it'd be Him...God would look like Jesus." I suddenly thought, "Well, that's a dodgy interpretation." I also heard a brief mention of some youth meeting where John Schoenheit taught, and of "abundant sharing." During dinner, before the lesson, I was talking with another person there, Matthew. He was saying how when he found this fellowship, he was home. He had finished his search and had found where he wanted to be, and I heard very similar words from others there. Later on, after the fellowship was over, Matt and I were talking outside about a few things, and I found it pleasing to talk to him, as he was very willing to discuss common objections to STFI/CES. The main objection, he said, is their unitarianism. I mentioned that, as a staunch trinitarian, this was indeed an objection of mine, and we discussed our agreements -- the primary of which is the overarching importance of the Resurrection. He also wished to gain my perspective on various things, and he's certainly open to exploring my faith in return for me taking time to glimpse theirs. Overall, although I definitely noticed a few things that made me think, "Something's not quite right...," I had a nice time and it gave me an interesting glimpse into the way things are done in TWI/STFI/CES. Would I go again? Maybe, maybe not.
  12. ...a Spirit & Truth Fellowship International meeting. I was in my communications class today and Afsaneh, a good friend of mine, and I were talking about where we each go to church. She said her family and Brittany's family, another friend of ours who always sits right around near me and a row down in the giant classroom, always have a home fellowship on Tuesday and Thursday nights. She was really enthusiastic about it. I asked what it was and what she was affiliated with, and I immediately recognized the name from here. I said I'd attend tomorrow night, so I'll stick to my word, but I just wanted to know what you guys think. What should I expect? For those of you who were in STFI or a similar offshoot, what were your experiences there?
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