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  1. Amen to that. It all makes me think that he did go very out of bounds with his pre occupation with his own family and trying to build a "family" of Way Corps and followers close to himself. VPW had a very specific belief that it was necessary for his family to all be together behind him and actively supporting what he was doing for it to succeed. He had gotten son Don to come back and work with him and everyone was required to "stand" with his ministry for it to succeed and live on. He spoke about this more in the last 70's, around 79, 80, 81 and at Camp Gunnison around 1980 with the Way Corps gathered there. He talked a lot to the 4th Corps about his German heritage and history and began the process of memorializing the Weirwille history to illustrate the underpinnings of his own life and ministry's birth. I hesitate to label people narcissists as so much of narcissism is found in normal behaviors but when it becomes as complex and pervasive as his it's probably warranted, especially his view of failure. Anything that failed was nearly ALWAYS someone else's fault and in the end of his life the myth was built that his very death was caused by others he claimed deserted him. Going back into years of exposure to him I saw him repeatedly struggle to work in difficult circumstances - contrary to the tough-guy-rebel personae he put out he would crumble into a teary mess if some small detail was out of order, complain that "no one believed him" while surrounded by 100's of people anxiously hanging on his every word. Any number of minor physical impedances would throw him into a screaming tirade blaming devil spirits, unbelief, even accusing those who worked endless hours to support his teaching ministry of outright colluding to destroy him. Then an hour later, he'd be all smiles - "oh, you're not still made at me are you??" he'd coo....and like the abusive parent cuddling the child they'd slapped around he'd say "Aww, I love you, I only get mad at you cause I want the best for you! hahawhaw!"...... That's not a healthy family environment, trying desparetly to please him, never knowing when Daddy's going to blow a fuse and throw something. Now - VPW never got physical at any time of his life, I want to make that clear, he never hit anyone or anything like that, that I ever saw and I don't want to give that impression or imply that - but the dynamics of the power-authority-role he used was classic manipulation. Those he mentored the closest all picked that up too - Like LCM and others, grown men, some former athletes, fine specimens, absolutely going ballistic if someone sneezed during a teaching they did, or god forbid got there 5 minutes late. They'd find crooked chairs, coffee too cold or too hot, posters they didn't like, lighting too bright, too dim, a tie out of place, a WOW pin on the wrong side, a Holy Spirit dove missing, no glass of water at the podium, too many mints in the bowl, not enough, flowers not right, etc. etc. etc. and any number of reasons that their strength was sapped, concentration ruined and their spiritual armor under violent attack - if the AC went on during their teaching. ( the hum!!! the hum!!!!! ) Self-absorbed "ministers" of their own egos....Far from being tough, single minded and ready for anything and equal to anything as "More than Conquerors", like him they were frail and weak, beaten by their own egos - and for the biggest and loudest of his mentors, pride did come before their falls. It's so telling that VPW rejected his own family and those closest to him at the end of his life...."No friends when it comes to the WORD!!!".....hell, he didn't let anyone be his friend for long. I do think in his mind he was acting out a great drama of his own manufacture.
  2. Hi - Craig learned that from Dr. Weirwille. VPW fully expected everyone to follow his plans and decision, as the Way was "his" ministry and he was president and founder. If you didnt' want to support him as such he'd kick you out, fire you, terminate you. Monstrous lies circulated about those people in the following months and years. It wasn't that Craig invented being an asz hole - he had lots of mentoring.
  3. Hi - couple thoughts... i Timothy 5 gives some good broad strokes as to how we should treat each other in the church - it starts out with this guidance... "Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. When you say honor the "fathers" you seem to be talking about elders in the church - <quote> "Those fathers in the faith who have affected our lives in some positive way, should be honored..." I'd point you to Timothy 5 for that as a good starting point. And the answer is yes but more importantly and this is very important - to not think of ourselves (or anyone else) more highly than we should - Romans 12:3: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. If your point is to ask the question, "How are you at honoring Dr. Weirwille who taught the Bible in PFAL", I can only answer for myself but I would also advise others accordingly in regards to anyone who teaches them anything ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO TEACH THE BIBLE thusly: When it comes to God, the Bible and the things of God which includes first and foremost His people, show great respect and honor to God first, His son Jesus Christ His "logos" as well as the Bible and to everyone, especially my brethren in Christ and those who dedicate themselves to God and the care of His people. Remember too that the commandment of promise, to honor our mothers and fathers, places parents who raise their children in the faith of God as second in the chain of authority - first God, then parents then others. Parental authority can include others too but let's not muddy the waters to say it isn't first intended as a familial parent-child relationship which defines any aspect of a similar relationship of authority. The exercise for many people is to NOT OVER - HONOR those who teach and care for the church. Just as a child can become over dependent on a parent and never become an individual even when they are taught and raised to become such, a member of the church can become reliant on someone else to lead them and decide for them and in so doing subvert God's desire to have a living growing relationship with them. In the same way a "father or mother" can deliberately create conditions that keep their children dependent on them, and unable to live and contribute as an individual. One of Dr. Weirwille's weaknesses was his own need to be accepted and affirmed. I would content that while many of his programs and ideas were good, many of them had components to keep the participants close to home, tied to his chain of command and needing to continually validate his authority and actions. I say that having been a participant in most if not all of The Way's classes, courses, programs and roles. He needed everyone to come in once a year or more so that he could keep the hub of everyone's lives in and at the Way Nash in Ohio. Rather than train, develop and release leaders to the work of God and Christ, he built a network of paid and volunteer members and participants who answered through a chain of command to himself. Of course it grew out of that and to a great degree the failure of the organization of the Way as a functional business and means of outreach for the original teaching ministry it was based on and grew from was due to it being built to work with one man, one authority at the center. When that one man/central authority broke down as it always will, it failed. So I have good memories of the Farm, the pond, the woods, many of the people and he various campuses and places where we worked and spent time, and I do revere God's Word. I would not teach what's in PFAL the same way, and I'd change some of the material based on how I understand the texts and theory it's based on. So I can honor Dr. Weirwille's teaching of the Bible but because he built so much of the Way around himself, his family, his heritage and his history I saw him really hold the whole thing back. People celebrate it today and say "look at what he did" and I'll credit that to an extent but knowing what I do today I'm not going to lead my own efforts with "Dr. Weirwille, The Teacher", because it adds unnecessary baggage to the message of Christ which I personally saw act as an anchor to the long term effort. Some say his unique blend of rebellious and angry personality served a greater purpose. I think it kept him inward faced, in Ohio where he built his ministry in his own likeness. In the same way, people then might say "WELL! You sure did get real smart didn't you? Boy, you sure did get smart!" sarcastically. And my answer to that is - I was 18, 20, 25 then - did I get smarter in the last 50 years?.....YOU BET YOUR ASS I DID. PEACE!
  4. To add - where the dividing lines of administrational thinking helps is understanding that today, we aren't a mix of all the stuff from before but rather have a unique arrangement with and through Christ. Take tithing - the concept of recognizing God's provision with a portion of what I have is consistent since Abraham and Melchizidech, hundred of years before Moses and the old covenant law and while it can recognize a human agency in it's execution it is not meant as a recognition of what a person does for us - it's an act of gratitude and recognition of what God does for us. And we always have reason and cause to do that. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him for righteousness, he was made right to God by doing it. Today, I can tithe but it's not "counted to (me) for righteousness" - that's in the sacrifice of Christ, redemption and salvation. So - the roots of tithing are ingrained in a faithful life throughs out all administrations since it was first recorded being done - faith in God, God's provision, our recognition of that by taking a part and devoting it to God. But today, it's not credited to make us righteous, if we don't tithe our identification with Christ remains. Does God continue to bless us? Well, again I could go back to Church history, Acts 15 - there's no such "imperial entanglements" placed upon Gentiles entering the new Church of Christ, but clearly they were taught and encouraged to give "of their abundance" and shared back to the Church. I'd find it hard to think they didn't learn about the Jewish laws of tithes and offerings but I have to assume they learned "giving" in the context of Christ - freely you receive, now freely give - that's conceptual but is also very practical. Anyway - I'll add Romans 5 to the discussion on sin - Romans 5 repeats three elements - that sin entered by one man, grace and justification abounded by another man, and that those following were "made sinners" by that sin of the one man as well as being justified by another man. - Adam sinned (one man, sin enters) - those following were made sinners by that transgression *even if they didn't commit the same transgression of Adam - v 14. - Christ justified (one man reputes sin) - all made righteous through Christ and "grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." for all who believe. * even if we're not part of the old covenant promises, we are saved by the new covenant. Romans states that when there was no law, there was no sin imputed. This is a very fundamental point of God's justice - man wasn't judged because he broke a law he didn't know about or understand, he was judged by what he knew. Vv 12 - 14 add a very interesting perspective to the idea of sin and what it is and how it relates to "death"........it's worth pondering what the relationship of those two things are and the records of Adam and Eve. 12 Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:— 13 for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come. Several things happened as a result of the transgression - Adam would have to labor the earth to produce bread, Eve with the pain of pregnancy, birth, and childrearing, coupled with subservience to her husband. Human life would end in death. They were both banished from the "Garden". All of those things aren't immediately reversed when we accept Christ and identify with His righteousness but there is a new beginning into a new future - Man must work still but Christ taught that God provides for the birds who have no barns and don't sow or reap - how much more are we to our Father?.....In Christ, men and women have roles where the woman submits to the man but the man gives his life for the woman, and their role is collaborative in the body of Christ as "one".......women still bear a burden in childbirth and we still die - but these things will change in our future. The consistent theme is trust in God and His son, Jesus Christ and the "law of love" in Christ Jesus - grace, mercy and forgiveness. When we are "born again" we no longer have a "sin consciousness" to weigh us down because we are technically "citizens" of the heavenly kingdom now - so sin no longer governs our life. I am renewed in the "life of my mind" says the Bible, transformed by it's renewal - none of that effort replaces what Christ has done, it only transforms me in this life - spiritual renewal has it's privileges and one of those is that we can now pattern our lives after Christ's example and live as the righteous of God. Etc.have to pause....
  5. Sure, my pleasure. : ) There are certainly "dispensations" in the Bible. Administrations, "oikonomia" deal with "house-law". How things are done, engaged with, managed, carried out, between God and man. That's changed over time, since Genesis. Those periods of time and what went on in them are important to understand if we want to get a real handle on our own relationship with God and gain an understanding of our Creator and Father. It's much more than just dates on a calendar of course. There are covenants agreements, between God and man during these times and those provide the structure to how things are done between us. There's consistencies too of course. God's mercy and grace are consistent themes, God's justice. I'm now a bona fide part of God's family, a fully vested child of the Creator. I WAS a Gentile before that, as far as the Old Covenant pre-Christ arrangement and in those administrations God dealt with the other nations of the world differently than with Israel and the bloodline of believers. I can see the transitional phase out - phase in, in Acts during their first Council at which they determined that the new Gentile converts would not be required to become fully invested in Jewish observance of their traditions and laws. They were given a broad encouragement to steer clear of pagan practices and sexual promiscuity and basically live the faith of Christ. Etc. It's easy to see that some of the disciples viewed their faith through their heritage and wanted to maintain that. It was being revealed however that the new identity of God's people would no longer by Israel or the 12 Tribes, but rather this new "church" of all those who followed Christ and accepted salvation by grace. So, first the exegetical work and then the hermeneutics, right? And it's at the hermeneutical stage that this becomes very important because teaching the doctrine of salvation in Christ doesn't have any additional requirements or attachments, it's by grace - and a very simple way to understand that is from the Gentile's perspective, since we, I, wasn't part of the Abrahamic bloodline and would not come into the faith with any of the expectations of a Jew. Everything past and everything coming is clearly understood for me today through Christ, all things are of and will be in Christ. Which is pretty much what the N.T. teaches - when I share salvation therefore I never take the approach that PFAL or Dr. Wierwille did, as if I need to square up some previously misunderstood division of the "administrations". The important part right now is a relatively simple message that spans history in a snapshot of events. The topic of "sin" though - have to get back to that, I guess. Romans 5 covers most of it, for me. A lot of it anyway.
  6. Thank you! It's a learning exercise to write my thoughts out this way. Over the years I have notes, we all probably do on different things and it's fun to to write it out. For me it writes different than it speaks, and speaks different than it thinks, and it gets clarified in the process, if that makes sense. annio really said it all regarding the study of administrations in this original statement - " I think there is a lot more accurate continuity with the perspective that God is always interacting w/ His ppl (and often others) as the same covenanting Father, rather than thinking of Him primarily as a "boxer upper" of administrations..." "Administrations" aren't outlined in the Bible the way we try to outline them as a hierarchy with hard stops and starts and break points noted in the texts by the author. Rocky's noted that the Bible is a collection of stories, of books, and that's true. We can understand them as an entire story and narrative then with a beginning and end (page 1, page 200, last page, etc) but that's not the actual story - is it? That's the book. It came to us in the format of the writers and their times. I would always see it first as history, a historical view of mankind's story from the earliest creation to the future completion of God's purposes for it all, and it's all told from the human angle, our voice. Today everything has rolled up into Christ the Savior. As annio stated there's a flow of events between God and His creation, and the changes that occur within that. It's a much easier way to read the Bible and if it does indeed speak for itself it will as we read it and learn it. So while I might use the idea of labelling the more obvious segments of the history and learning what changes and what stays the same I haven't found any great value to nailing that down till it hurts. Like say, the debate over the ending of the era of the apostles and there being an end to the gifts of holy spirit life manifesting in tongues, prophecy, healing, etc. Clarifying it as a change or no-change in "administrations" doesn't really do anything to move the needle on the real question which is - what does it say happened and does it say anywhere or read in the story we see that anyone written about declared an end to it, or for that matter even a start? And the answer I think is "no". So again, if I clear the table of the arguments over how many administrations can balance on the head of a goldfish, is there anything left and if so, what? And I figure, yes there is and it's.....etc. etc. We know the Bible didn't come to us as a textbook or manual. It does contain some things like that, Proverbs, Psalms, but they're not organized and cross referenced with footnotes as directed by God, they stand on their own word and order, as - is. So, it's not a textbook with an index, it doesn't start out "I the Lord God of all creation will now explain myself, my purposes and how this is all going to work. Let's start at the beginning. Remember there's maps and a glossary at the back of your set of manuals so make sure you have the current versions...." Nor does it lay out as a set of instructions - "Chapter 1 - What To Do Immediately After You're Born", or anything like that. As I grew up in the Way years, when I used to integrate these things into teachings people would usually get it and sometimes I could almost see light bulbs going off in our heads, first the bulb then the soft glow of awareness. Kind of like being in a well lit bookstore, in the back around a table in a room with windows, on a sunny day. That's how if feels to me anyway. : ) It goes to a place where there's no fight or debate or struggle. Instead there's study, discussion, listening, learning and hopefully understanding. God gave me peace with Him through Christ, I enjoy it. Cheers!
  7. You're welcome! Yes, I have. A little early in my youth but moreso in later adulthood. I've read quite a bit about it and have some favorites in the field, although not many. Philosophy wasn't a popular term in the Way anytime I was involved (68 - 89). Philosophy is often considered antithetical to Christianity which is thought to be anti-intellectual by many. That line of thought contrasts Christianity the religion as being a set of revealed truths, a faith in a revelation that defines life with Philosophy as an inquiry into the fundamentals of life that tries to consider it as a whole and reason through what we know by our senses, not "super senses" so to speak, if there were to be such a thing. My thought on that is that if I take it all off the table and go back to zero - what have I got? Christianity itself is a bit of a hybrid, but not for obvious reasons. Christ is "the Logos", the Word, the intent and meaning, the purposes, of God. God who can not be seen by my human eyes can be seen through the human being Jesus Christ, "He that has seen me has seen the Father". A logos is very much attached to it's source, if I can put it that way - it's essentially an expression of the reasoning of the one reasoning. And it's why Jesus Christ can't "Be God" literally, if he's the Logos of God anymore than say, a child I might have and raise whose sole purpose would be to carry on my work and legacy can literally "Be Me". It's a matter of consciousness, Jesus had a conscious life that was not "the same" as God's, they both didn't think through the same conscious facility, seen in how Jesus prayed TO God, and described Him as "Father". So in a way, even considering all the permutations and conjecture throughout history on Jesus Christ "the Word" and what that means, it could never really mean that he's God. He is by intention a necessary part of the means I am given BY God to understand and relate to Himself. That's not a small thing in an of itself by any means. So - that being the case (either way but easier to see through reasoning the "Logos" of God) Christianity is a revealed belief that doesn't rely on human reasoning to exist but the revelation itself is now a part of the physical world and I can now reason with and through it and learn both from it and about it. Now - Paul wrote that the "full" revelation of Christ wasn't a product of man's effort and was unknown, a mystery, secret. He wrote about the physical not being able to understand the spiritual and since I accept that to be true I also have to accept that when and if the spiritual is expressed in the physical, it's expression must then be able to be reasoned to it's source - without that "domain" context I can't really know it in a meaningful way and that's eXACTly what Christianity does, it gives domain context to everything it covers. And I'd argue that while it's outside of the reasoning we see in history it's not outside the range of human reasoning to have considered this time we are in - something that gets missed in theology I think. Granted the Jews and the other nations weren't thinking that way and they were being generally led as Israel to their separate and chosen status - but it wouldn't have been impossible for anyone sitting down and considering what the Messiah might really be like and do in His coming to consider "...hey! What if God draws all mankind to Himself through our Messiah??!! I know, I know, that's not supposed to happen but doesn't it kinda make sense in a weird way...? What if - hey, that's a crazy idea but think about it....."... and then say "nawwwww! that's too crazy"..... Point being that everything about Christianity as it's been revealed and passed down including it's heritage history, is a physical reality, a moment in history, a tangible event, something that happened or was said and that had meaning and understanding in it's day and time. It's been written down, given the stamp of authenticity and can be now clearly understood to be "in" "The Word of God". In the same way we believe in Jesus Christ, not as an idea of an intention - but as person who lived, died, rose again, ascended. A real person. Point to the point being that in order to learn that, know it, understand it and get to the point I'm living it, everything I am doing in believing in Christ is essentially believing in the meaning of past events that have meaning now. So in it's own world it's not just a fuzzy idea or a revealed truth - it's a real man, a real God, and a real meaning for things I now really consider to be - well, real. So the effort I engage in is one of observation and consideration. In this same way the essentials of my own Christianity are tangible, with real events and real things that also have lead me to believe what I believe in - including what I've learned in the Bible. It's not only a belief in a set of values I've been taught or a fact someone told me is true - my own facts follow suit with the ones I've learned from others and in fact are probably at least as important to my beliefs now as what's in the Bible. I guess I choose to not get stuck in arguing objectivity and subjectivity and never get to the real meat of it all which is - is there really anything going on here with all this and if there is, how can I learn and understand it. And since the spirit of God is now in me and I have the "mind of Christ", my new capacity to live in this life would logically include the ability to reason within my new universe. - Glad you liked the Mickey Mouse stuff - an idea once fell on me like a cinder block once - that "the truth" can always be seen from any angle. God is with us always, even to the depths of hell or the furthest reaches of life - God is with us. Some people see God as being someone who does good things. I kinda see good wherever I find it, and see God. Or try to anyway. PEACE!
  8. And Adam and Eve and the Fall and that stuff - This may seem a little sideways, but I'm thinking of how Disney's Mickey Mouse has been described by some writers as "Adam before the Fall", a character who has no guile, no ill intent, and would deliberately cause no harm to someone else but who is overwhelmingly happy living "in the moment", etc. etc. In Disney's world Mickey might do something wrong but it wouldn't be with a deliberate intent to break the rules. This is elaborated on in "The Sorcerers Apprentice" (based on a poem by Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1797) where Mickey's "sin" is to try and be the "Sorcerer". Mickey's fine in the beginning working in and with what he's been given but going on his own to try and wield the power and authority of his "Boss" he's not able to do it and it gets out of hand. Without the correct training and oversight and ultimately by stepping outside his role by his own will, he fails. So there the pure heart of the character goes it's own way thinking he's up to the task - there's no subtle voice of disobedience from another telling him to disobey - step out of his given authority - he decides on his own. It's within him to want to be like the Sorcerer and to go outside his apprenticeship. That's not the Bible's story of course but it makes me think of Adam and Eve, before "the fall"....and if their error was disobedience we have to accept that they were knowledgable enough to not make that mistake. Genesis makes it sound like it was a "once and done" sort of thing, they were told what to do and what not to do and it was fully expected they had all the resources they needed to act accordingly. So what happened? That question takes me to the question, what is "sin". Disobedience, yes, but not every rule that's broken is done by deliberate disobedience. A toddler child will knock over a glass on a table but doesn't even know what the glass or table really is or why they shouldn't hit it with their hand and knock it over. We don't punish that child - or do we? Jesus taught for use to become like children, that to be great in the Kingdom of God we must be humble, like children. Children aren't perfect and their humility isn't the result of a perfect decision on their part. Which brings me to the body/soul/spirit part of all this and the loss of mankinds status with God in the original setting they were placed. There's a lot of theological struggle around understanding what man lost through his disobedience and gains through faith in the obedience of Christ. Cause from that angle it's all about our inability to be 100 per cent obedient to God - right? But Christ, the Perfect Son, lives and dies on our behalf and opens the door to the future for all who follow Him and believe "in Him" which means to accept his being the son of God, who lived, died BUT was resurrected by God's doing and who now resides in a place or state with God, in a favored status of "His right hand". We're told in Genesis that the disobedience will cause them to die. They're told by someone else, no that's not what happens. There may be some specific thing about the "Tree" but if it's a matter of the knowledge of good and evil being revealed BY the act of disobedience then it's pretty simple - while they may have been pure at heart, they would be able to make a logical decision to do something other than what God told them AND to do it as if God was wrong, as if sure, that's what God said but now they're thinking otherwise, maybe not. So "sin" was made not as a mistake but as a decision. Seems unlikely doesn't it? But even today we have the saying "cut your nose off to spite your face", so maybe it's not so unlikely. And following the storyline of Genesis into the rest of the Bible they did start dying. Assuming they weren't going to die physically before that, now they would die physically. That was and is more than these bodies, it's all about "us", the me of me, the life, indeed, the pneuma of me and who I am. To me the Bible's all about LIFE, life, our lives, this life, the fact that we come into being, are born with an expiration termination date based on a bunch of factors but the overall state of our "pneuma" is that it will end and "die" at some point. "Pneuma hagion", spirit or life that is holy, separate, God's pneuma, won't. Doesn't. If I stop for just a second and look at "pneuma" as less a thing and more a kind of thing, with a quality and characteristic of life, it's much easier for me to understand. Instead of it being like a change in batteries, it's more of a transformation, one that we can actually now participate in to a degree in these "old wineskins" to some degree by the transformation of our minds, thoughts and actions, and even in a renewal of our "heart", our innermost essence of our being. To me the administrational thing isn't a tug of war, or a matter of theological debate. It only exists in any form because of the overall timeline and the events. If I follow the events and learn from them, I end up in the same place today - a rank Gentile who is now part of God's family. What was lost is reborn. I am now entered into a series of events that go forward into eternity.
  9. On face value the Bible is a story, a history that follows a timeline. As such it's a complete history - starts at "in the beginning" of everything and ends with the Book of Revelations and events in the future. The perspective, the "one telling the story" is man. It can be believed to be inspired by God and what God wants us to know and to be authored by God and be God's Word. But the story doesn't begin with something like "I the God of all creation will now tell you about myself and what I've done - in the beginning...." It starts with a person writing about what God did in the beginning and what happened, someone recounting and telling the story. Figurative, metaphorical, literal, that's the voice of the Book. Within it there are many places where God is then quoted, or where God speaks in the story and the story unfolds of God, His creation and mankind. Etc. Etc. So - everything within it speaks for itself and to the degree we can understand it we know what it says. "Administrations", I started looking at that in Bullingers Companion Bible after PFAL in 1968, and his book "How to Enjoy the Bible". More important than understanding the jots and tittles of the breakdown for me was understanding his presentation of "structure" in the Bible and how the Bible reads out as a written work. Structure adds well, structure to context, near, distant, all contexts, by allowing a means of getting the rhythm and flow of it. The further I stepped back and view the parts, the more the overall context reveals itself. It also aids in just reading the Bible as I learned to begin to see the repetition and flow of it. And pretty much all language has that. Not every written work does though, and the more I read the Bible for that flow and connectivity the more I appreciated it. I never saw a real conflict with the idea of "administrations" or covenant theology or any of that. The Bible covers all known history from "in the beginning" and within that it does appear that God has made and held to arrangements with mankind, and specifically "His people". Today we're all drawn together under Faith in Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church. For me, the old, the new and everything in-between flows into that and is governed by the Lordship of Christ and what He taught and revealed to His followers, a reign that will come into fulness over time and ultimately bring everyone and everything into God's purposed plan. See you there! Wanted to add: I was a Gentile. I now get to know all of the Bible now as it was brought forth by Jesus Christ and taught, interpreted and then revealed through His own life, death, resurrection and ascendancy to heaven, the "right hand of God". Coming into this as a Gentile, a "non Jew", I have no direct right or claim to any of it. I am not a "child of promise" of any lineage of the 12 Tribes, as far as I know anyway. I'm in the Big Tent of Jesus because that's what God has allowed and through that grace we all are now brought together into this new temple of the Living God. Called before the foundations of the world, yes but it was not clearly understood that this was going to be the plan. Surprise! I only say that because until the day I was born again I had no part of the previous promises and agreements of God with you His people. Called, by Christ, sure but not of the previous nation of Israel. A "new covenant", etc. That's me. So while I do care about the history of God and His people, and all that he's done both in this world and any others, my place is in this one NOW. Everything is of God, and from God and has been, is and will be as God says it will be in the "big picture" - we live on the earth because at some point in the past God put things into place so that there could be an earth so this is our primary domain. Key to everything is that none of this is of our planning or direction. So the variations and changes of any concern to me at all are those that God has set forth. Mankind - we'll change a law or make a law for any reasons, no reasons, or just to have something to do. God's laws are the important ones.
  10. Philipians 1 (we may have covered this somewhere already but it struck me today, reading) 12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 1 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Paul's saying that regardless of the circumstances, if he remains faithful to his beliefs and with their support, his beliefs can be fulfilled. He reached people through his conditions that he would likely not have had he not been there. Rather than complain or be condemned for his conditions, he applied his beliefs to them and - prevailed. This does add layers of texture to the meaning of prevailing too , "more than conqueror". To add: Paul so clearly states that any and all circumstances can be used to serve the "way" he's pursuing, the work, the message of Christ. It's an incredibly powerful section here - even the fact that others use his circumstances as condemnation - I picture people at the Way Nash condemning people who leave their ranks when something goes wrong for them, or their families....."if they'd stood for the Word, if they'd stayed with the ministry that taught them the rightly divided Word (that) wouldn't have happened", but they "gave the adversary opportunity", etc. etc. etc. Paul allowed that even that kind of hatred, "whether from false motives or true", he was happy that Christ is preached. That's a pretty big perspective and not one I tend towards naturally but one that I can learn a great deal from. If the spirit of God lives "in" me then that's the primary turf it will affect. Me - and in many ways I think the understanding that the "pneuma hagion" that is the "Christ in me" is in a relatively ready-state is true. The spirit grows, as "Christ is formed in me". It is a part of "me" now and I'm the driver, with a new instructor with me, that holy spirit that has the character of Christ. Over the years this is how I have come to understand it, this life, of a "new birth". I think it's why the Stoic ideas resonate - that idea of not arguing over what a good man is but rather just "be a good man", puts it all back on me to "do the work" - not to get the spirit but to live this new life and for it to grow and develop "me".
  11. Duke, CD, et al - John changed his own teaching on speaking in tongues in regards to interpretation before he was fired by Howard Allen. He ran around the country "exposing" the Trustees evil ways and handling a laundry list of doctrinal points he wanted to cover and that was one of them. Dr. Weirwille's ground-zero on doctrine was the holy spirit field, and he was adamant on numerous occasions that it was the centerpiece of the PFAL series. He safeguarded everything taught in the PFAL series with the intention of never changing any of it. His son Donald made that clear too after VPW's death when the subject of re doing PFAL was rolling around the Corps, and it did not deal with the presentation package, it dealt with doctrine - "every jot and tittle" as he stated it. All the Corps and staff who'd been around since at least the early 70's had heard that many times from VPW in many different applications - "change one thing in the Word and your whole bible falls to pieces" was the logic being applied. Although he did not state PFAL was specifically a re issuing of the Word of God he did state that he felt it was the "best he could do" and that in fact anyone could do. That was forgotten or ignored later, very conveniently. And I can only restate my contention to John AT THE TIME when we spoke, that IF he chose to change the PFAL series teaching in whole or in part it was NOT his right to infer that Dr. Wierwille would have approved or agreed or as he wrote in a public statement that VPW would be "proud" of his work. Face value - he knew that was a lie and if he actually believed it himself he was living in a dream. Lot of this, a lot of people don't know or admittedly weren't there for. Just as I wasn't around for things Craig did or is said to have done later after I exited formally in 1989. I have changed, adjusted some of the doctrine I learned in PFAL and the Way Corps over the years, some of it I had worked on since my first year in residence. I don't apologize for that or even feel that it separates me from any other member of the Body of Christ, but I DON'T tell people that ol' Dr. Wierwille would be "proud" of what I've done, because as per the last times I heard him talk about changing things he'd taught in PFAL and the people who did that - let's say he didn't support that. Momentous, "personal prophecy", the nature of God and His sovereignty, etc. etc. ......... he's made some more than subtle changes in what he teaches, although the bulk of the public stuff is pretty much "Christian-Lite" Osteen/Meyer level teaching. I'm sure it's inspirational to many people. It's history. And as of 2020 if John's still the deluded but well meaning guy he was years ago, fine. I'm closing the book on beating some of these dead horses as it has no real connection or meaning to my life now, other than I find I have no animosity to him or many others. It doesn't change anything and versions may vary from person to person (and probably should based on individual experience) Carry on!
  12. Reminds me of the 7 basic human needs, an expansion of Maslow's hierarchy 5 human needs. Those focus on individual where the social suite would be group focused. In these the expanded 7 needs are from the view of systematic organization, rather than hierarchical. I haven't studied it in great detail but I assume that viewing them as a system allows for flexibility that wouldn't be as useful in a hierarchy/prioritization approach. Still - my early impression was that the move to a holistic 7 point system of human needs may reflect the times more than anything else. But then, what doesn't, he asked...? They're: Subsistence-safety-security Understanding and growth Connection(love) and leisure Contribution and Creation Esteem and Identity Self-governance(Autonomy) and Freedom Significance and purpose Compared to: My impression of how these two kinds of things work is that the social - group contracts we form together assumes that the most basic need of "survival" is either at stake or accomplished (or in an incremental stage) - put another way, survival is always the box we're checking at a perception level - if it's just being in a meeting with people that we don't know well, and that awkwardness of being unsure how to act or what to say, or not knowing if someone we care deeply about cares about us in a reciprocal way - there's a theme of survival there, albeit not physical life for death but of the emotional layered kinds. We can not be worried about it but all priorities would always re prioritize to recognize the fundamental requirement of survival. If it's at stake then each of the social suite would serve the fundamentals - so friendship establishment would mean sharing food or helping gather firewood for a shared fire, etc. "Cooperation" would serve the greater need of the group surviving, which really means that each individual survives. So - self interest drives our social structures, by necessity. For conversation sake I might propose therefore that if that's the case and in regards to The Way Inc. there was a strong survival element to it that led the individual to see failure or success as something that was always in immediate play. We would read in the Bible that we "were" born again and that we "are" Sons of God and that our "standing" was one of assurance and confidence But our state could always be rocky, "in or out of fellowship", our"walk" wasn't really treated by VPW in the day to day business of the Way as one of stable assurance, EVERYthing was always one hit away from being "off the Word" and "of the Adversary"........in reality the daily success and survival of the individual was always in danger, on a razor thin path of good/bad, evil/righteousness. "No friends when it comes to the Word" could really mean "you swim in a tank of sharks and some of them are your co workers"............... Just some random thoughts here, will kinda gestate this. Thanks!
  13. I would tend to agree with you - although I do think there is a significant number of people "of faith" who have similar beliefs, the greater commonality is less the exact identity of the god/gods of all religions and their similarities, the commonality is that humanity has such a large widespread tendency towards looking for or at a greater authority in their existence. I'm not nitpicking the language so there's some flab in that statement but I'm specifically choosing "greater authority in their existence" to convey the idea that it may be a designer, a giver of purpose, a creator, a giver of laws and rules, of care and guidance, of justice, a sense of order in the short and the long term and the foeveroutthere term....I'm suggesting too that "greater authority" also covers the ground of faith, the part of trusting in something that may not be rewarded or punished in immediate gratification or punishment. All ideas and conception of God exist in a known universe of our own perception at the least (or I guess the most) so while I might think there's no way to know how this came to be or who is responsible, I can allow for greater even "ultimate" forces to be at work. Granted that's more deism than faith and probably covers some atheist ground more than the array of "religious" beliefs about it all, it still lives on that side of the fence, to me. Peace n love homies!
  14. That sounds about as I understand the two. An atheist can have moral values as Rocky notes the example in Stoicism. (the origin of them would be another story but arguably they're ingrained in the human being, the soul if you will and bloom as we grow and develop and which allow the step towards faith - a different view than extreme Calvinism for sure but is how many understand the platform put forth in the Bible's book of Romans, where man is "without hope", with a termination date of death but still very much a living being of say, lesser scope without that faith) ... But nihilism concludes then that moral values are meaningless, there are none and that life will be a general shit fest whether one enjoys it or not, with the Big Flush at the end. Although it covers a lot of ground it seems to be more rejection-of then absence-of, although it appears it could be either / or. I might put it as a question - can one be a nihilist without any experience of life to cause that rejection and be so simply "as born".....my guess, no. It requires some experience to conclude that. Course then, what doesn't? is another question, etc. etc.
  15. The coolest thing about Christianity is that it makes for a lot of wonderful friendships and relationships. I had to learn to not treat it as a company or a business or even an ideal that I was trying to put into action. In the beginning of my Christian faith I didn't see it that way but as time went on I gave little bits of that away in trade for my work, for acceptance and a social circle I felt I could depend on - boy, you find out real quickly in the Way that they really DO NOT have any friends when it comes to The Word, and in order to stay on year after year you have to basically just assemble and work with the others who claim to have the same beliefs. It's not a truly woven in "love" of God or anything else. I tell people today - if you were my friend back then, you still are. Don't give me a reason to change that and we're good to go. On the other hand, if someone did wrong by my then, or if I thought someone was a jerk, ass hole or self serving hypocritical liar then - I'm going to need to see that they've changed before I get involved with them to any degree. I don't feel bad about that, it's just the way it is. I can "love" that person best in the active sense by keeping a distance between us, and if things turn that we are in touch in some way, we can proceed from there. But I don't seek them out, nor expect they will me. Lastly, I consider myself a "free range Christian" and have used that term to describe my place in the church since the 80's when I left the Way. It's a big body of Christ I'm a part of and there's MILLIONS of brothers and sisters I haven't even met in whom God is living and working, as He is in and with me. I am also not a member of any Way or ex-Way groups, ministries, fellowships, splinter groups, societies or assemblies, fraternal organizations or businesses, be it formal or ex-officio. No books to sell, classes to offer or writings based on repackaged PFAL teachings to sell, and no allegiances to base my ties, involvements or agreements on, other than Jesus Christ and God. This allows me to participate as I see fit and God leads. It's working well for both my wife and I. PEACE! Life is a rich experience to be enjoyed, so enjoy it! It's pretty cool too when it doesn't suck and it sucks big time when it isn't cool. Make it cool, friend!
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