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  1. The idea of a tree being a means of getting the organizational framework of the Way built was decent enough for it's own sake, and at the time VPW was surrounding himself with a bunch of barely-20-somethings but was really kind of claustrophobic to stick to, Remember "like a tree that's planted by the wa-ater, Lord, I shall not be moved!" Psalm 1:3-That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither..... THAT PERSON - it's individual. As a simile, they are LIKE that tree, planted and yielding fruit. In the Way it was all about getting, being and staying planted. Deep roots to the root, a real be-leafer. IN THE GROUP. The Treezee-ness was all about these little green leaves growing in these tender little twigs, awwww, so perdy, in these healthy branches of limbs being run by an army of entitled gardners, and all growing from THE MIGHTY ROOT! Success in the organization was to stay in the organization. That's not really what the Bible teaches at all - it's an additional layer on the Body of Christ of Ephesians and it's certainly not how ALL fruit will yield. Now that we've all grown up through and into our lives since then, I have to say in my best "oh you sure did go get yourself all smart didnya!!?" way that there's other organizational models that would work really well to serve the teaching of Ephesians. Come to think of it, I do remember VPW talking about AA, and it's history, but again not specifically referencing the Way Tree schemata. Maybe he did, he talked a lot. A lot. I checked with a couple people from my era who were around all those years before I wrote that, because I wanted to add it IF it was correct, knowing it was but I like to plan ahead. In and of itself, it is. I'm sure there are many things, many stor-eez that fill out the years of that time. Lotsa things, kids. PEACE homies! Stay fresh!!
  2. Imagery, function, now a tree "works". It's all part of the same thing. "If you pick it, it'll bleed" - an old tip for guitarists who spend half their time twicking away all night trying to get in tune. The "truth"? Well, for those able to HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!! it's all part of that great swirling mass of scante that was.
  3. My point in bringing this up was to at least make it part of the searchable record - what VPW said it was and where it came from. VPW did in fact say he was shown it as a revelation, while looking at the big oak tree on the property. Whether that was true or not is another topic but for me a moot point for me today. It did have a huge impact on how the Way's organization got set up after that though, at that time. He may have also talked about it being from AA, I don't remember that specifically but there's a lot I'm sure I don't, as well.
  4. So - for those who may not know - The idea of the Way "tree" was a vision that Dr. Wierwille said God gave him about the Way Ministry, a revelation one day when he was out and about and he was looking at this big oak tree on the property. He said God revealed it to him as a way of understanding both the Way ministry's growth as well as it being a way of understanding how the Body of Christ works, as described in Ephesians. My impression from hearing VPW talk about it was that he explained it as a way to - move forward, as in, here's how we're going to set up now. I "think" it was also described as being somewhat how the Way Nash was working already in certain ways. Prior to that in 1969 and 1970/71 the fellowships in places like California were individual ministries loosely affiliated with the Way through PFAL and an interest in learning from VPW's materials. The Way Tree "revelation" was a core platform for the organization of the Way's capacity, facilities, outreach, growth and the supporting philosophy of it's business model. To me by the late 1970's there seemed to have been a progression of events that culminated with PFAL's filming and establishment as the core offering of the Way's teaching ministry operations, through to the outreach to the east and west coasts, and the Way Tree's introduction as the functional and working model for the future of the growth of the way which held the growth of the Way Corps program as the real "core" of the ministry. (I'm differentiating functional/organizational and business as - functional was how the way worked, the management and leadership structure, the Way Corps, staff, WOW programs, etc. Business is the teaching of the Bible, the classes, the products and services the functional organization delivered.) One thing that was completely absent from the Way's imagery and descriptors though was "fruit". The Way's whole thing was green - well, say green and brown, a "tree". But no fruit was used in the logo or other images in the Way's brand. I once asked a world-class marketing expert what they though of the Way's logo - the green tree thingie. I showed it to them and turned it around and upside down and they said "whoa!" - I wanted to see if they'd catch it - try turning the old green Way Tree logo upside down and you'll see it looks like a sad grimacing face, almost freddie kruger-ish. They didn't get stuck on that for long though but did note that something like a book decal or bumper sticker would be seen from different angles and that should have been considered, from a subliminal "vibe" perspective. Other than that they thought it looked pretty plain, we word-clouded it and came up with words like work, flat, cold, greenhouse..... Interestingly green is a coolish color and doesn't convey warmth. I might invoke or embed that into it by my own perception but as a color on a blank slate it's not on the warm side. No fruit though, no big red apples or oranges or sweet peaches.
  5. On the deathiness of that death - Look at Gen 1:26 and the surrounding record. Man is made in the "image" of God, after" our likeness". Both Hebrew words have similar meanings, image being something that looks like something, a "likeness", and likeness meaning like in quality, a visible or obvious comparison that the two things are hmmmm...alike. All of the "thou shalt surely die" and die language has to match up against that then - If man is EXACTLY LIKE God in a way that makes him visibly like him and obviously fashioned like God is, then his death - well, it would be impossible. 1. God doesn't die, God is eternal. God is "life", pneuma hagion that is called out in many ways in the Bible, the "word of life", in His son WAS life, the light of men, etc. etc. 2. God's life is pneuma hagion, creates by will and produces physical things. 3. God's life is compared to many things on earth that signify abundance and uninterrupted activity - "fountain", river, etc. Man was formed from materials that already existed and "made" a living breathing thing, by God. When Christians or True Believers in any one religion separate themselves out from everyone else I see that as extreme denial of the root meaning of our humanity. That's one of the great strengths of our country's founding formal documents, knowing that all men are "created equal", and exist on a level playing field where their basic rights are self-revealing, where the essentials of our humanity can be ignored or denied but not destroyed as long as we are alive. There's a lot of other information we find out about God in the Bible's records and one of the overwhelming constants is that man describes God in very effusive, grand ways, THE grandes of ways. God is All THAT and everything we can imagine plus everything we can't plus everything else PLUS AND THEN God is greater than THAT. Etc. Etc. A lot of that is gratitude and recognition of a reliance on the benevolence of the Creator but a lot of that is also a very human effort to make sure the reader understands that the Creator is the everything of our lives, the beginning end and all in between. So it looks like we could use a simple logic method with understanding what that "death" was, a 1 + 1 + 1 kind of approach. Man didn't end physically, like "you disobeyed! Peter, you other guys! get the blueprints and coffee we're starting over! These two go in the archive!" Man's days became "numbered" though, man's physical resemblance, likeness to God ended in what way - ? .....................1 + 1 = what changed? Fast forward to the New Testament - Christ, "eternal life", the "hope", not sorrowing for those who die and knowing that in Christ's next coming will be gathering of His followers that will bring us all together under God's grace for - eternity. From a state of what - ? For many it's death, all those who "died" are dead, gone, deteriorated physically to the point there's nothing left "Like" anything else to reconstruct or rebuild. This all then goes into another host of topics but for me, the Genesis records are pretty simple to understand. There's a lot not spoken of and the idea of them being metaphorical also applies, as I get the sense that there's a LOT that doesn't get covered in the storyline, lots of detail. So yeah. PS: The idea that man "without" the spirit of God has absolutely no, zero, no "likeness" to God can't be entirely true, by simple logic. If there is no resemblance left after Adam then I can accept that yes, but it's not understandable, so I would just have to leave it stacked against other contradictory statements of truth, and set them aside as being "that way" and be done with it. I don't think that's the case here though, even though Romans 7 talks about man having "no good thing" for "to will" is present but man doesn't always do what he knows is the right thing to do - and he can't change that inherent capability to have free will choice and still make the wrong decision.....which is in fact the same condition that ADAM AND EVE WERE IN, "in the beginning"......and we generally accept that they God's holy spirit/life was in them at that time........................................................................................................................................................................so.... I would describe the "death" of Genesis as a reduction, a loss of MAN'S CAPACITY TO BE LIKE GOD AND IN HIS IMAGE.....ie, "pneuma hagion", which is eternal life "spirit". Man's capacity went from 100 per cent to 30 per cent, because he was now going to die relying on psuche/life - but it doesn't appear that a lot changed about the "man" - he knew God's will from the outset, he went against God's will at a certain point and outside of having substantially less birthday's to look forward to was very aware of what had just happened afterwards. Mankind tries to love, care, forgive, share, provide, work, earn, procreate, build, be. He also fails, errs, goes up and then down and then down again, lives in valleys when mountains are climbed, views eternity but chooses a moment of hate, day after day - We're like dented cans. We're never going to be right without the light being born again in us, without the eternal fire re lit in our souls. Even if we deny it later, once it's come and illuminated even for a moment, we remember what we saw, what we felt. The "new birth" is so much more than a certificate of completion or license to live....it's the imprint of a new reality on our souls that redefines everything. It would take a 1,000 x a 1,000 lifetimes to grow up and in and around that - an "eternity". In that way, it all makes such wonderful sense.
  6. Nice stuff, T-Bone. Thanks for what you posted, I'll be checking it all out. I read TOOT (I like the acronym) , and moderately familiar with the track he's on. He reminds me that Bergson and Einstein were somewhat at odds - well, they were at odds by their own choice, but from my little cat perch seat I found a strong middle ground to kind of nest in. I think Rovelli's statement "we can see the world without time".....sums it all up. Its less important to me now whether or not it exists as a tangible component or artifact of life. Existence, consciousness, my self awareness is the only fork I have at the table, it's the starting point but more importantly is arguably the end point. So sure, I think therefore I am - but that's a little like asking the nail if it needs a hammer...to what and how do I pin my existence on so as to view it from another angle so that I can judge it or value it? So the measurement of life is like using a mirror - how does it look today? but the mirror isn't me, it's a reflection. Etc etc blah blah. That there "is" God and a larger reality of the pneuma is an absolute truth for me. So I never work from the position of "what if there's no god" or "maybe in this scenario I am god and I create the myths".....I get that llne of thinking and maintain several paths of inquiry that work from that kind of premise but I do that to better understand what I'm missing, what I don't see, what is still "really there" when I take everything I assume or believe away. Under it all - maybe more in it all - how to put this....? - I'm not trying to figure out what "it all is" or isn't or if there's "a God" or not anymore - my own sense of reality is of the relationship I have with God, which is very real, it's not a mental construct, or set of rules or just beliefs. Things happen in my timeline that interrupt, intersect, my perception in ways I now know aren't of my origin, aren't reflections or products of my own but are real confluences from within what I might call the 'greater reality' in which I, we all live. I could describe it easier by just saying "I am never alone", or "I am not forsaken" or even "God is always with me"....the same sentiments expressed by others in the Bible. It's not wishful thinking or a self-fulfilling declaration. So for me it's not all moot or a mental exercise or like in the past, well, I'll just study the Bible and that'll tell me everything. It doesn't - but it tells me everything it's intended to as a history of God's dealing with His creation and there are clear signposts, pointers, guidance and instruction. It is NOT everything that God has ever done or will do or can do anything else like that but it's a start in that it is mostly a statement of what HAS been and a view into what WILL be. What it really does for us is give us place from which to live and learn in our own "fleshly tables of the heart" this life we have with God and each other. My 2 cents, plus a quarter for the meter. : )
  7. "<I mean that pretty much puts the kibosh on critical thinking. And in my opinion critical thinking is pretty much the cornerstone or foundation of how mankind still continues to fill the earth and subdue it. In my opinion asking questions...challenging ideas are all part of the critical thinking process for any discipline - theology, philosophy, the sciences. Even in matters of faith the intellect has its place.II Corinthians 5:7 says we walk by faith and not by sight. It does NOT say we walk by faith and not by reason...I go back and forth - sometimes it's faith in pursuit of reason and sometimes it's reason in the pursuit of faith. oy vey !>" That seems to be the most likely way to understand our current state and status - I was struck by the ideas of a relatively modern philosopher Henri Bergson who did a great deal of work presenting an understanding of time. He described it as duration...although human comprehension may tend to look at time as a way to measure our existence as we experience it and as a long connected stream of events, duration would be more like water. Water in a river running into another river and into an ocean that feeds the river, etc. forever, has been used as a metaphor for "time" and that's one way of understanding it - that we live and exist "in" a state of consciousness that has movement and change but primarily ENDURES and exists as it's most natural state. Things go on that can be measured but our primary means of understanding time as something that "passes" or moves in a direction is through our own physical experience....and without the faculties to remember and anticipate we would simply be in a "now" state - which by human standards wouldn't be a great existence....in fact it can then be postulated that to live in the "now" of a moment is to 1. increase our store of memories and 2. collectively build our understanding of the future. "Learning" by another word. So again, back to basics - Bergson disagreed with Einsteins definition of time as only a physical piece of existence and considered it more perceptual. Their positions most clearly clashed in the consideration of two things happening at the same time -"simultaneity".....and on a practical level I would back out of it all and just say that time is existence, measured by consciousness. If there were no self awareness there would be no concern for the idea anyway, of course. So to me, covenant and dispensational theories are somewhat similar in what they're trying to do - but without a self aware human being living and learning in it's own lifecycle they're meaningless. If I read the Bible the changes in time became self-revealing, it puts them forth in it's own story BECAUSE it's a story and not a set of measured, expected events. In "eternity" our timeline story is actually an impossibly small slice of everything that can't even be seen without getting closer to it....a year in eternity isn't even as big or as "long" as a drop of water in the ocean, .....again, back to basics - that gives a way to understand how God would view it all, much much much much much different than I would or can I have to assume because God is both eternal and now, as seen in God's interactions with humans in our history - assuming that God doesn't move in and out, further and nearer, earlier and later....then He is just "here", "now" and "forever"....and that's pretty much what the Bible tries to say about Him.
  8. Well, my life's cause was and is as "noble" as I thought it to be. I will go to my grave saying exactly what I did and was trying to do my whole life with the message of God and Jesus Christ. I've done a lot of things, partnered with a lot of people - hell, today I pretty much did zip other than pray for some people which in and of itself is no small thing, to me, but I don't spend every day with the best efforts expended or doing them with the best or right people for that matter. My life is what it is - but I am a HELLA lot better for what I've done and learned than if I hadn't. In the big circle of life that sucks some ways and rocks in others - mostly it rocks. If I face my Creator at some point and He says I've been weighed and found wanting, I'll accept that - what else is there to do? In the meantime, I'm full speed ahead until you hear otherwise.
  9. Yeh, millet is one of those things I look at and think "now what can I do with this?"....it does have a huge positive affect on my gut, which I loved when I discovered it. I was born with a stomach ulcer condition, at least it's one of my earliest memories as a toddler - my stomach hurting terribly suddenly for no apparent reason - course I was all of about 3 at the time, so what did I know? Diagnosed as "gastritis" then as a peptic ulcer I had to be careful in the 50's and 60's what I ate and I learned calming and meditation techniques before I was 10, anything to deal with the ups and downs of the condition which could curl me up into a ball for hours when it acted up. I turned to drugs in my youth for the usual social reasons but found pot and methamphetamines took the edge off and a blend of the two could normalize me under almost any conditions. My friends from that era that are still around all have a story or two about how I stayed "high" all the time, and it wasn't until I was prayed for and healed following an auto accident, that I came around. Self-medication of the worst kind - and years later when my kids were getting into music I cried on the floor with them when Kurt Cobaine ("Nirvana") killed himself with a shotgun to the head...they really liked his music and I'd come to appreciate his unusual chords and lyrics and we'd connected on his music, but he suffered from stomach ulcers and god knows what other conditions and it was known the pain he was in sometimes and his use of heroin. I completely understood where it had taken him and and how he'd chosen to end it, anyone who's been down that path knows what it's like to just want the pain to stop and to know how to do it but you just don't want to do it anymore..... It made me so incredibly thankful for the deliverance God and Jesus Christ brought into my life and I told my kids about my own experience with it..........and millet? Millet still has a very settling affect on my stomach, of "well being"....I feel great when I eat it, and of course it's bio-nutrition is good for acting against stomach peptic ulcers.............I get why most people don't like it, but it's one of those foods that does so much good for me I had to figure out how to cook the dammed stuff so it would eat better. Funny how stuff can be so different between different people. I appreciate your candor and effort ms penworks. I told someone recently to check out your book first hand, and that you are entitled to your story and your insight - it's YOURS and provides a view from your vantage point that no one else has and that's important. There are things we may not agree on and I often find myself the odd man out with a lot of people because I am a fully feathered and nested Christian and my faith is for and with no one but God and myself, and those close to me. I value honesty. I find over and over through the years that whether others believe the same as I or I with them is less important than if we love life and live our lives to the best truth we know. I'm really glad we still share a friendship - the wife and I send our best.
  10. Hey kiddo! What's for lunch - millet and carrot - raisin salad? (I say that but I learned how to cook organically grown millet so it's not the consistency of drywall mud and given it's a gluten free "grain" I've played around with it, even working on trying some of it in my whole grain sourdough recipe's.) Your book fills in some blanks for me of the timeline in those early years when the Southeastern Way Home outreach was coming up and online into the Way Corps and the introduction of Martindale from Oklahoma into the mix. There's a couple things in there that open up the "inertia" of The Way. Given that we got involved with the Way within a year or two of the final version of PFAL going into the can in 1967 and he died in 1985, he taught, trained and transitioned his "team" of close followers in a short window of about 17-18 years during which a lot of the work was to memorialize his legacy and heritage into the brand of "The Way". Allowing for a couple years transitioning in (California and New York) and a couple years of ill health at the end restricting his ability to move and travel freely - there's a sweet spot of productivity of about 13-14 years. In that time frame we can see the main players and how they were positioned - and positioned themselves - to be part of VPW's core/Corps leadership. While VPW ran the show, he called the shots and we did it as he directed. He allowed for others to contribute yes but it was always within his aims and goals, his view of the future. He created the system of controls that allowed for a Martindale to take over and do as he willed, without recourse or oversight. Somehow he assumed that he would always keep a guiding hand on the rudder of influence - but when push came to shove everyone after him ran it exactly as he had, with complete autocratic authority within a theocracy and one man at the top who wore the title "God's Man for Our Day and Time". Peace n love!
  11. I see my role as "consultant", with personal experience. The facts speak for themselves...anyone can interpret or align them as they wish but in order to get to the "truth"....the facts must be established without bias or prejudice. To the degree we can do that, and I allow for a certain amount of bias as part of keepin' it real. In the Way there was brain freeze on understanding the relationship between fact and truth - truth was "The Word" and there was no truth beyond the immutable spiritual truths of God and His Word. Facts were treated like the children of a lesser god, the terminal bits of reality that come and go with the winds of doubt and fear, never to be trusted. In the Advanced class the teaching went that the revelation manifestations revealed (God willing) the "truths or facts concerning any situation about which it is humanly impossible to know anything about".......if memory serves and it seems to be, today. So there was a value to knowing "THE" facts of something, but typically that could go be devalued quickly if those facts were inconvenient or well, didn't serve someone's interests.....cause if you think about it God was either a NOT REVEALING ANY FACTS by those revelation manifestations in A LOT OF situations over the years or those facts being revealed were being ignore - or missed. Or both. - And a brief aside into inertia and auto pilots - it's worth considering "that expectation (is understood) to influence perception"....if you ever learned about Heisenberg and the Uncertainty Principle it helps, or has helped me to understand a little better how that works in the day-to-day realities of life and how to deal with "truths and facts" and the cross-life of the spiritual and physical. I picked it up in learning programming and dealing with random logic and how predictive modeling assembles scenarios, stuff that says "what might happen", which all makes my li'l geek brain twitch with excitement. I'm just a low level logic junkie but had the opportunity to work with some bonafide Brainiacs so it helped. I think. Anyway, I would agree with skyrider's hierarchy there and how it relates to the authority structure of The Way Inc. As to inertia - the Way really shows how long something can coast on past energy and go on seemingly forever while not really doing anything to produce new outcomes....but organizations very often do that - they just keep going with or without new energy, in the direction they are pointed until something shifts them into a different direction.....since the earlier generations are so protective of the status quo....it's likely to continue as long as some of them remain. Time does go on however. So - when I was in the way I understood there to be a valid path for facts having a necessary and legitimate place in hmm..."The Word"....if only because the Bible is a book that must be translated and interpreted (ie "rightly divided" in PFAL) and Jesus Christ was a physically living savior who perfectly lived God's will and intents in what He did, said and taught....and I'm a physical human being whose life/pneuma is now holy/hagion and living a life fueled now by and with eternal realities and "truth" that is in fact, "LIVING FACT"....and the redemption and salvation of man has happened is being lives in a physical plane - so if facts are to be avoided we end up with a lot of halo's and no angels under them. So, long winded way to say that ..... in the Way years we kinda never knew what was going on AS A GROUP without validation from Dr. Wierwille or the nearest extension of that authority. Individually we might do like what I did - I participated, learned and deferred to his authority and decision making in many situations and attempted to execute on the greater vision and plan of the Way Nash as it was brought down from VPW or his designees. To me, them's the facts. Everyone may interpret them differently but there's no debate that what VPW said was what was done. That's why I don't subscribe to the theory that "the Way was fine until Martindale/Geer/Finnegan/Whoever screwed everything up".......His main guys all learned from him and acted in complete alignment with his wishes. **** Compared to how I later learned and worked in professional organizations, I'd rate his mentorship about a D plus - he mostly trained others to continue what he was doing and when he felt they'd moved or deviated EVEN THE SLIGHTEST bit from his individual wishes he'd - well, sometimes he'd literally break down into tears and end up yelling at all of us because apparently we didn't care and wanted to destroy him and his life's work or something. I write that and I don't mean it in metaphor or exaggerate - he acted that way many times. And there's no way a growing young man of 20 something can't experience that and wonder if it's how we're all supposed to end up - and realize that no, that's his weaknesses, not mine or ours. Anyway, I do value the time and work that Dr. VP Wierwille put into the Way, the PFAL courses and my overall exposure to his life. I did learn a lot and I grew up myself through that exposure but in hindsight I was never nearly as close to him as I might have wanted to be or even thought I was, for lots of reasons - some mine and some his, as El Presidente' Deluxe of the Way.
  12. It's good to see the different backgrounds and experiences we all brought to "The Word" of God. I had and have little tolerance for what I call "imperial entanglements". Raised Roman Catholic and well educated in the religion I dropped all but the ideas and some of the beliefs by the age of 18. Straight forward teaching and reading in and from the Bible brought me back to Christ and a consideration of the Biblical history of mankind as more than a myth. So I went from a faith defined by ritual and tradition to a faith defined by relationship and the immediacy of that relationship's experience. For the time I was in the Way I deliberately accepted what we were doing as something that I was willing to try so I could see where it would go. I already knew from my first couple years of rebirth into the Christian faith I didn't need another church or another Pope or another set of rules and regs. I bought into the work so that I could see if we could succeed with teaching and music, and the overall vision of "WOW", and reaching people with Christ and the teaching of the Bible. So I never gave up my family relationships, we were always in touch and I considered them about the same as I always had and I was fortunate that they loved me and cared about what I wanted to do. I never felt that VPW's "Way Family" culture he built worked. I got what we were trying to do and I was part of it for several years but it suffered from a form of stasis, caused by how it chose to grow. Ironic, yes but not uncommon in how organizations grow. If an organization tries to dig itself in and establish a rigid culture it can implode while exploding. Messy. The Way's culture was hierarchical, structured and controlled by a central authority. We would say "its the Word" but in practice the central authority of the organization as the Way Corps took prominence in the hierarchy, was Dr. Wierwille. There are many ways to do the same things, but in the Way we got stuck doing things one way - his way. His preferences and ideas drove the direction most of the major programs went in. That approach continued with Craig and proceeded to fail in lesser hands as it became possible for us to look over several years and see how it all worked out. It could change, even today with De Lisle or whoever's in charge - but inertia's preeeeeeetty well got them going in a set direction and way of doing things so I wouldn't hold my breath. Then again, anything can happen. It's up to them. I'm sure if they made some cosmetic changes, moved the furniture around a little and said some nice things, show PFAL a few times again, there'd be some people flocking back.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
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