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  1. I tried to answer some of this but it didn't post so maybe I screwed it up or maybe it will later, or whatever. I see there's an array of notes about the thread, the direction, the this or that, something being locked, unlocked. I don't get it, and it's too tiresome for my old brain. If you'd like I can send a more detail response in email, message me here an address. I promise not to deluge you with ads for books, gadgets or health beverages. : p
  2. Hi Charity. Reading what you've written throughout made me think of a couple things I'll share, not sure that it's to "help" at all, but just to give my perspective on what you're doing. First of which is, you appear to be having a pretty normal experience, living your life the only way you can, which is from your side of the experience. Your life, your story, your stuff. As far as I know nothing of this life survives the inevitable end of it's duration. The stuff stays, every bit of it. If there is something that persists it will be "you", and I'm convinced that whether immediately, over time or someday later, the best of what I am and have done will continue through eternity and in the form of "me", and the life I will continue to have. So to me, authenticity is very important, being as real and honest with myself as I can be. I would encourage you to continue being that, being you and working through this life. Secondly, to describe my own "beliefs" I do use the bible's history, stories and records as a means to understand life. It's not an entirely "faith based" set of beliefs though. I have a lifetime of events and experiences that have built and formed my view of "God", and life. They've taught me, showed me, provided me, given me a growing sense of who I am, what I'm doing and where I'm going. Of the spiritual aspects, call them the metaphysicals, a long history of "miraculous" events have continued through my years. These have shown me both in the moments and then in retrospect a growing and very wide horizon in which there is a godly presence and what I call "forces of nature" far greater and widespread than I can imagine. I can't pretend to grasp all of it but over time I do have what I consider a way to see life, the world I'm in and what I'm doing in it and that includes things that to most others might seem impossible or the products of a delusional mind. But they're real events, delusional or not. Meaningful to me, if not others and even confusing to those who can vouch for them if not explain them as I would. so - I'm just saying I've learned to accept that my life is - mine. I'll share it and live it with others as best I can but I will do my best to not live by someone else's standards if I don't agree with them. To that degree I pursue choice and freedom of will, to the extent it exists for me. One defining moment of my beliefs came to clarity when it occurred with me and my entire family involved in a miraculous event that unquestionably revealed forces at work we were not in control of and not at the center of, but that were specifically directed to our benefit. During that set of events, each one of us have a different memory of what happened about the same thing - each person's involvement was unique and their own and as a result had different meaning but very clearly all experienced the same thing. Later when that sunk in I realized something so obvious yet powerful that it was overwhelming, life changing. And so it's gone over the years and why I say I know my "faith" is my own. I trust in things that others might not, but based on my life's learning they're true and reliable. This includes a belief in the life's purposes of the Jesus Christ of biblical record and the idea of a redemptive purpose to life. Which is a long way of saying, I've learned that if I try to be as honest and thoughtful as I can be I seem to be getting through it all at my own pace and the pace I need to. I'm not a warm and fuzzy foo-foo-your-truth-my-truth kind of thinker, I do believe that there is a reality of which we are part of that is providing the structure and functionality that allows us to consciously go forward in time and that can be learned and understood to some degree. The task is to find the sources and instruction to teach me about that so that I can live the life I'm here to live - which is what I'm doing, amongst other things but I think that's the priority that informs everything I do, trite or serious or whatever it might be that I'm fuzzing around with that at the moment. : ) I wish you the best, you deserve it. We all do, and why not? We didn't get to choose when we were born or who would bring us forth or even when....yet here we are. That in itself is astounding.
  3. The idea of the Aramaic phrase and the translation of it ("that is to say") is that Jesus said, for this purpose He was kept, reserved, spared...it doesn't carry the emphasis of being kept/reserved/spared from something (like death) but rather that His life had been kept/reserved/spared for something, for a purpose and the His death was going to be part of accomplishing that. The purpose was his life and death, the crucifixion which was in fact the next phase of the redemptive plan of His life. There are lots of iterations of that phrase, some are similar, others different to what VPW had taught from Lamsa's translation and that they seem to be regurgitating. I do agree that a cry of victory to God at that time makes more sense in the entire context of the gospel records than a cry of confusion and desperation. https://thewaymagazine.com/did-god-forsake-jesus-as-he-was-dying-on-the-cross/
  4. Thanks cman and chockfull, WW for the topic thread and opening up so many aspects to it all. PFAL's teaching on this attempts to off an answer to the question of how we came to be, how the earth and the universe we see around us came to be to the end it produced us today, and account for all the fossil records and prehistoric evidence of the past. But what if I take that question away, what if I'm not trying to have a Bible, "faith based" response to evolution or the age of the earth or prehistoric fossils or where this all came from that fits with anything else....? What if I'm just reading the Bible and taking what it says at face value? I have a record that isn't all that hard to understand, with a little study, and on face value. I don't know what it all means, by any means, but I know what I'm reading to a great extent. One thing PFAL did point out of course is that the English translations of all those ancient Hebrew and Greek scrolls and scriptures are subject to interpretation - which is what VPW did with PFAL. There is no effort to translate one language into another that doesn't require interpretation - of words, grammar, history, culture, usage and on and on. VPW posited a process that's fairly conservative, in my opinion but then I wasn't and still aren't trying to attack or defend anything. If it was recipes for Chili it might not be a big deal but sure, anything of such importance is going to be a challenging effort, to say the least. So here we are. I can read and learn today, without the artificial impetus of supporting anything other than a God who creates with purpose, loves like a Father and Who has shared Jesus Christ with me to bring me to the place I need to be in this life to live it as He would have it and I am privileged to work out. But I don't need an answer to evolution - if the Bible is to be taken at "it's Word", at face value, then I believe the best approach is to just read it, study it, do my best to learn it and from it, and let it speak for itself. It doesn't need to "fit like a hand in a glove", it doesn't need to harmonize or organize by my standards or any I put on it. It will, it does, but that was NEVER the intention of the Bible, the "Word of God". Men organize, God creates. Men wear gloves that fit, God doesn't, He is the fit. Men lie, God doesn't. The written Word is a human effort. I do believe I benefit from the efforts of men and women in the past to write and pass on what they lived and learned. I expect a level of integrity to it. I also understand that doing something by "inspiration" of God doesn't guarantee literary perfection, using an imperfect tool to build a perfect outcome. This is "Treasure in earthen vessels" at best, indeed. Any perfection or higher standards of accomplishment I see in the Bible and learn from it have to be the product of God's divine interaction over thousands of years. To be celebrated yes, taught yes. So I have no problem with people putting forth teaching and guidance with intention and passion, myself included. Peace and love and music and stuff!
  5. Interesting topic, my response is to what the meaning of Genesis 1:1 and 2 is and considering the Way's teaching on it, going back to VPW and PFAL. VPW seemed to have accepted the interpretation of Genesis 1: 1 and 2 from Bullinger's work, who held that the Hebrew word "hayeha" translated and meant became, rather than was (the root is "to be"). So with the words tohu va boho he read it "became without form, and void"....as if to say - the earth was created one way in verse 1 - and then it became without form and was void". “form and void” - I seem to recall that phrase isn't actually 2 things but was a kind of hebrew homophone....I may not have that exactly right, but the best I understand it's meaning is that it isn't two different things - not form, and void as the english reads in KJV - but it describes a formless state and basically means no form, formless or empty - which adds a very interesting context to the record then, not that it's literal but rather simply the idea of an emptiness, formless(ness), a state of not being filled or put into order....and so on. So verses 1 and 2 could read something like "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form". Two things are covered - the heavens (whatever that is) and the earth (whatever this is) and the earth is, at that time, without form. The bibles books cover a history of the earth and mankind and their creator, God. That's the perspective of the narrative, God and His creation, specifically the earth and mankind. A lot of other things are covered too but it would seem clear the vast detail, such as there is, deals with those things, not the whole of everything else that was or is. VPW seemed to take the Bullinger translation as a way to explain how the earth could have millions of years of history - a first heaven and earth in which God created…whatever it was He created and then between verses 1 and 2, the earth became messed up, formless, in a degraded, destroyed state. Or - 1 and 2 are a continuous thought - in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and the earth was without form and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Some research notes a use of the figure of speech polysyndeton in the greek text and used throughout Genesis 1. Forms of anaphora are commonly used in any language to add impact, as a rhetorical tool. It’s still used today, a lot. So again, to me Genesis reads as more or a continuous set of statements that go through the creation record, rather than what amounts to a Grand Canyon size hole between verse 1 and 2. And of course, there’s no real detail of any kind about what that verse 1 earth would have been like, other than to offer a biblical explanation for fossils we find today from millions of years ago that seemingly contradict the record in Genesis. So it is a huge assumption that aside from a few verses that refer to what are interpreted as related events (Lucifer’s fall from “heaven”, etc) there is never any reference in the Bible at all to what that first creation would have been like. Even the idea that Adam and Eve were told to “replenish” the earth I understand to mean it to “fill” the earth, not re fill it, again. Granted, the biblical authors weren’t scientists or archaeologists but from their perspective in the human history it could seem to make more sense that there’d be reference to what would have been if there was ANY knowledge of it, passed down over time. But there isn’t, really. So while Adam and Eve wouldn’t have necessarily known what had come before, the author would have had to, to some extent if the “became void” was the correct translation…..sot to me anyway, there’s mostly a void of that making any sense after I read the rest of the bible. As a researcher VPW struggled with his linear literalist thinking. On the one hand he wanted the Bible to be taken literally where it could be, while at the same time informing any textual translation with huge amounts of figurative and historical information (“orientalisms”, figures of speech and context considerations that spanned generations, etc etc) Die hard Weirwille-ites want to make that out to be a strength but over the years it seems obvious he used it all to support his earliest convictions, not add to them or certainly not to change them. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t know for sure about Genesis 1:1 and 2 - there’s a lot of translation work that supports a bunch of conclusions. I know all of the other references that try to fit some history into the space between verses 1 and 2 aaaaaaand, I'm not so sure. Today I will say I tend towards it being a continuous creation record and 1 and 2 that moves right into 3 and forward. "YMMV". Hope this adds to the discussion.
  6. I agree. Anyone that uses the Bible as source material could have the same question. In that sense it's more of a general theological discussion. And to my knowledge VPW took the record on face value. Tyson I can accept but so much of the world of butt-hurt anti-religious drones celebrate him as their own personal patron saint of the New Age of Science and Data. Not you Rocky, this isn't personal to you, just my reaction which I admit is, you know, biased by my own opinions. Sure, he comes off narcissistic and in love with his own voice, but he's an astrophysicist and one helluva "science communicator" with a respectable education and resume. He can bang the drum and get the word out and he's done so successfully. What he doesn't do for me is engage me in a way that pushes me to know more, to get answers for questions I have - but that's me, and this only speaks for me. So sure, that's me and I suppose to some it just indicates what a flawed person I am and how biased and bent my thinking is so how COULD I ever get answers. Right? But aside from that, that's how he strikes me. Not everything can be measured by the known measuring tools - or CAN it....? .... but if it could be then how would I ever learn if there WERE any new ways to learn, perceive, etc? Knowledge is - to me - isn't really subjective or objective, by nature. The struggle is to learn what is real, what is true and the struggle is real. To that end Tyson does encourage the scientific process and I respect that, but I also have other means by which I learn and he's not my go to guy for that. But overall, I don't think VPW had any response to that record specifically that was unusual to the norm of what most religious views would be.
  7. He did read this record in a few teachings, I forget what the topics were, it might have been part of some Advanced Class sessions over the years, I can't quite place it. He didn't try to explain it or offer an explanation as to what effects of such an event would have been, or would be, that I recall. As far as the record goes, you're correct, if someone of that time wanted to extend the day so they could continue fighting in daylight, they had no idea the earth rotated the sun in any way that would have compared to how it was later understood, my impression of the record is that Joshua just wanted to delay night fall. As far as any literal understanding of the record the issue isn't the ask - it's the part that says, "So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on b its enemies"...it seems to confirm the wrong thing. And I guess on some level of what-if, the record could have read "and then the Word of the Lord came to Joshua in a big PowerPoint screen that showed him yea all of Israel, how the earth rotated the sun and yea verily thus be it so and as it was will be, it was as Joshua had asked, and they continued to kick their enemies ass for as long as was necessary. Amen." But it didn't of course. I take it at face value having asked for some rather outrageous things myself over the years and learned that what I think is happening and what I need isn't always what's really happening and what I need. This record might tell us that as far as the people who carried this story forward and into the canon of scrip, Joshua got what he needed to win that battle and that there was an extraordinary component to it, something that they remembered, was worth retelling because it was so extraordinary.
  8. When a brown metal folding chair seems to be the only kind that feels comfortable so you tell your local Leadership that and act like its a good thing.... You just might be brainwashed. When you can't remember if it's your night to bring the coffee, or the cookies, so you just bring both because you know you'll get reproved if you bring the wrong thing... You just might be brainwashed. When the dial in number goes dead and there's no sound but you just stare at the speaker because you want to report to Leadership what you did and tell them "that's just how faithful" you really are... You just might be brainwashed. If your local Leaders criticizes a local "believer" because they don't give a lot in abundant sharing by saying "I'm glad I don't have to try and live off what they give!" and you don't take the opportunity to tell them what an asshole they really are... You just might be brainwashed. (and yes, they all actually happened)
  9. If you hear the joke about "millions now smoking" for the 758th time and laugh on cue... You just might be brainwashed.
  10. Cheers, and you, you real one! I like that photo, that - if that's from 1971, it could be the Sunday Night Service when everyone was on stage during the closing evening events. Orange paint? Cool. That's interesting. Nice choice actually. My take, considering the theory of the cyclical nature of systems and the good ol' laws of inertia, The Way Nash and its current iteration is pretty much what you'd expect - more of the same. I know they probably see all sort of steps towards change and godly inspiration and even guidance - but one thing history shows us is that change happens very slowly on a large scale, even when it happens very fast. I have only to look at the Bible's history timeline and I can see that. A messiah promised, expected, then - Jesus. Something might seem huge and monumental to "us" at the time, sure but factored into a 10,000 years it's a data point. Imagine what this all seems like to an eternal perspective? Still, we are who we are in the time we are and there's no one else but us to do what only we can do. So...we do. Stuff. We were talking with some friends our age about the whole "hippy" era and how it's memory and many of the period's artifacts have endured into today's culture. I was a teenager in the "summer of love" era, got around because I was playing so much music in the SF Bay Area, but a tad young for full participation. But many of the people of that era still live the life and gather to celebrate it. (you remember Crowbar....? Saw him at a club years ago, he's all in it and doing well bless his heart, I mostly hear through other friends and source of his ongoing efforts - in a lot of ways he's one of the many "real remnants" of the Christian faith that brought us all across each other's paths so long ago) Anyhoo, hope you're doing well! I enjoy keeping up with your writing. Take care!
  11. Hmmmm...yes. That's an interesting correlation you made there. I bet you're right. That brings up a lot of thoughts. Thanks!
  12. My favorite R of A dinner was a WOW burger with ketchup and mustard. And a Snickers candy bar, with coffee. Two sugars. Good eats.
  13. Yeah - that's the truth there cm. Over the years I've seen the "train wreck strategy" used a lot. People in the middle of something they know is failing will choose to just let it happen rather than try to fix it. Then they don't hold any accountability and can rebuild from what's left. It's a dangerous game to play though and he lost miserably playing it.
  14. Thanks Rocky. Juniors initial post got me to thinking. Good question though. I don't know, no idea really. I don't mean to demean the current leadership group there but I've worked with and learned from some pretty heavy hitters in the years since leaving there. We all have, I know I'm not the only one. I really don't know that they've grown up and out enough to have the kinds of skills that they would need to do great work. Good work, good enough, maybe. Sure. But "excellence" isn't a self defined self-congratulatory metric. So much of what we struggled to do under VPW's vision was limited to his personal preferences, his ego. In the 90's they had an idiot-squad there working with Martindale and then Rivenbark, a group of survivors who screwed over anyone who challenged their positions in the food chain. Looking back it's easy to see why it failed - no one was willing to let go of their own egos long enough to let great work happen. Like the lawsuits - settling isn't exactly a claim to innocence or greatness on their parts. It was great for the Allens case, and well deserved to see Rosalie and her team of toadys run like bunnies from getting Martindale on the stand. Can you ev-en imagine what that would have been like? Is it different now? No idea. Some of the faces and names I am aware of might have a chance buuuut - and I take no pleasure in saying this - so many of them are just the ones who've manage to stay on, hold on and keep on coming back. The Way Nash is ending up as an archive and museum of it's own past, with young talent selling tickets. Good looking bunch of kids though, I will say that. It's nice to see the kids growing up. May they have long healthy lives.
  15. Former RC here, had a very good education in the RC doctrine. This was in the 50's and 60's. Kinda dropped off the rack about 1965. I don't embrace the religion but I appreciate the community and the way they've designed their church service buildings. My take is that RC's developed their doctrines on hell, purgatory, satan and their view of heaven from a mix of early Christian records and doctrines, Jewish history, Roman philosophy and dieties and ancient Egyptian mythologies. The history of Christianity includes Roman influence, Constantine making it a legally recognized "state" religion. It all gets a long way from the Gospel records and the earliest epistles that spread the new doctrine of salvation in a faith in Christ. Me? I believe that some of all that just reflects the simple realities of what we in fact see in natural life - humans die and our bodies turn to dust. If we're buried we are in the ground, in the dark and we have no consciousness that we know of. Dead bodies exposed to the elements look deformed and misshapen and frightening. The grave, the holes in the ground, the disposal and destruction of the human remains - all that's cold, dark, terrible. Our consciousness isn't there anymore, at least as far as we know. The "me" of my life is somewhere else. Interestingly the body that my consciousness was in and knew, that hurt, got tired, was in pain or had pleasure, is gone. So any sense of "me" having any experience with it in a post-death existence wouldn't seem possible. So - what's this post Me, and what's it doing if in fact it's doing anything at all...? Good question. My impression is that the idea - idea only - of a purgatory, might be seen in the process of our lives after death and over a future time. Not in a punishment or pseudo hell way or any of that but - if we do in fact die and lose consciousness but have a future restoration of it, in "new" bodies, there will be a process of purification that occurs where by our pneuma hagion fueled consciousness will have shed all past references to these bodies and this new life consciousness will inhabit a new body. I'll spare dragging out all the verses in Corinthians and Thessalonians, etc etc that we all probably know, but I derived that from what's in the Bible. It seems to be similar to the process Jesus Christ went through - lived, died, resurrected, lived, ascended to the right hand of God (whatever that really means) If we follow suit in this timeline we have from here, it will be a process of change that will ultimately produce the New Me, in a "3rd heaven and 3rd earth". YMMV. Peace and plenty, to all.
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