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Everything posted by socks

  1. Lotza things kids, Having been around during that period of Lynn 's exit and having spoken with him twice the year he skated out, John Lynn's "quitting/getting fired" from the Way Ministry was kinda self serving. It benefitted him in several ways: - He crafted his own exit message around his personal involvement and culpability in the things that were "wrong" with the Way Inc. I mention that because when he and I spoke the first time about his leaving, he didn't want to talk at all about issues I brought up to him that I felt he had some accountability for. - He was able to personally attack all of the Trustees and anyone he wished without any chance of their rebuttal or responding. - He created and managed the environment in which he WOULD deal with anything he chose - He was able to start teaching what was to become a long string of half-assed-theories-of-the-week ideas unchallenged, while claiming he was walking in "Doctor's Footsteps" (which he told me over the phone). And when I told him he and I both knew ANY deviation from PFAL would have "The Doctor" shoving his foot up his ass he just chuckled and said "well, we'll all know someday" and continued to blab on. When I last spoke to him in - 1987? - I was still formally attached to the Way Inc. via my then-current Corps assignment but I was very aware that the Way Nash's leadership structure was in rack and ruin and I had no rose-colored expectations that it was going to get better. IMO however, Lynn did no great service to anyone in "revealing" the evils of the Way Trustees that he didn't get a lot in return for. It set the stage for all his future efforts and effectively made him an heir-apparent for all the ex-Wayfers who still needed a nipple to suck on and a warm crotch to lay their head on while being taught "the Bible" again and again and again and again. And again. Other than a phone call in the '90's when he was traveling around with a new book to sell and a coffee can to collect money in when he taught, I have had no contact from him at all. I wouldn't get involved in any of his enterprises, listen to him talk or buy anything he was selling. I'd love to engage in any number of normal real life activities, if the opportunity fell into my lap but other than that I do pray for his health and healing. Over the years I've heard and seen a few things here and there that he's done and - maybe it's just me - but he's turned into a terrible speaker and teacher, IMO. He's not really "funny", which everyone likes to say to get you to listen...."He's just as funny as he ever was".....and I'm not hard pressed to find yet another LOL jokester. I'm sure he's about as good as anyone would be who's been pounding the book for this many years but it's been years since I was dependent on the Teaching Teat of Ex Way Teat-chers. Seriously - there's a lot of sludge out there. As long as they mean well and do their best, I'm fine with it, just don't try to tell me it's next level stuff or particularly meaninful or anything like it. But my Gad-a-mitey, this is ancient history. Why do I persist, and to what ends? I guess it's a way to sort through the detritus and dust and pull out the odd dime or quarter lost in the cushions. God bless 'im but if the intent is to carry on with the message of Christ and salvation to the future generations it's time to give this bullshit a rest and focus on "GOD'S WORD" instead of whether or not one of us old and breaking down former wannabe-s can still punch our old weight. I would say this with no equivocation however and with all the state and stature it deserves - Lynn is the Undisputed King of The Church of JAL. All hail the King of JAL!!
  2. "Men like Heefner, Doop, Anderson, and Wade saw it "up close and personal"........and EXITED." VAST over simplification of those 4 men, their involvement and reasons for leaving, not to mention many others who left and who stayed. Where to start? Jim and I spoke a couple times the year before he died and I think we both got most of our mutual questions answered. I have great respect for him but it would be incorrect to say he didn't have his own issues and baggage he was dealing with even then. For a few months before that final night in Mill Valley that the fellowship saw, he was ready to quit, then back in, then going to quit and going back and forth. I remember him talking about what was going on. There's a myriad of reasons and one that I didn't even know until we spoke last, but the primary reasons at that time were a conflict that he would have preferred to work out. VPW didn't want to, and between them they would either one cut their nose off to spit their own faces - but Jim was more inclined to do so than VPW. Jim returned to the Way, as I'm sure you know. I sat with him and Judy in '75, think it was, as he had returned to do work at the Way, was running some local coffee houses, and went into the Family Corps. He was assigned to Maine then later as Limb boss. His removal from there is something I have first hand knowledge of, having dealt directly with it. One of the saddest times of my time in the Way seeing what had developed. And again, Steve had told him not do do it but he did anyway. And again, there were reasons. I felt a kinship with Jim and in the end he with me, and he told me he remembered how he and I and many others he'd known "know. WE KNOW, like you know your own fuking face in the mirror and nobody has to read it to you", is how he put it. I miss knowing that I may have a long wait to see him again. I'm not going to debate it but "seduce" IMO isn't being danced around and doesn't explain exclusively anything, anymore than all of the earlier names you mention "exited" in some righteous reaction against VPW. If that's how you wish to explain it, go for it. I will not say that everyone was seduced, when so many knew exactly what they were seeking to get out of the Way in return, be it, truth, spiritual enlightenment, knowledge, friends and fellowship, careers, lifestyle changes, a way out of a bad situation or a way into a good situation, a job, a good time and getting laid, power and position, etc. etc. etc. Lots of reasons.
  3. I would also add in general agreement to many of the comments above that TWI's definition of an "unbeliever" was a mix of theology and what I'd call social prejudice. I'll explain - Those of us involved from the late 60's through the 80's know that the Way advertised itself as a non-sectarian and non-denominational group. At the same time the Way was creating it's own denomination, so defined because - if it succeeded in it's goals of "Word Over the World" (not Craig's later lack of interest in continuing to try and just declaring by sacred fiat that voila! it had been achieved) then it would in essence create a new, "true" body of the Church that would stand out separately from all other denominations and churches by it's own, "accurate" and correct theology. While the Way liked to give lip service to the truth and fact that the New Testament teaches that the "church of believers" is ALL those born again of Christ, using the simplest and sparest of essential points of doctrinal requirement..... They/We didn't live that, didn't apply that, didn't believe that part of God's Word. VPW taught that the "family" of God might include all born again believers, all "sons", all those who were born again but - The "household" was all the accurately taught and actively believing believers. "Standing" believers. And he taught from the epistles from the perspective that the "true believers" in the Way were the same "household" as the "true standing believers" in Pauls day. Within that he created sub groups of "corps", and "staff" and "WOW Ambassadors", and other forms of commitments that allowed for specific application of time, talent and service within that household of "standing believers" ..... Who in our day and time just happened to be Way PFAL grads and who fulfilled some basic requirements of what I would call "non-membership", laughingly....those are people who go to a Way fellowship at least once a week (it had been once a month at one point), manifest "power from on high" and speak in tongues, and who financially support the ministry. Anyone who was around from the late '60's will remember how that language got introduced and how it slowly evolved into a set of expectations, requirements, traditions and rituals - all the components of a developing religious denomination. It just did. I get frowns from Wayfers who have left at some point and who feel it didn't go that route, and especially those who adhere to all or some of what they learned from the Way. I do too but even allowing for differences of opinion I see it as both naive and facetious to not see that was happening as it did. And it's self serving to not recognize it now.
  4. On the "atheist" and being an un That's about the way I recall it yes, and with a twist of irony and salt on the glass of the remarks. More of a "I'm so smart, look at me thinking, those dummies don't think, they just think they think" kinda
  5. Definition of “unbelief” was defined in PFAL. Apistia, apeithia and was defined contextually by the relationship of the individual and “the rightly divided Word of God”. Insert not “walking in power” to “the rightly divided Word”, and that’s about it, with the underlined beliefs of “Jesus Christ Is Not God”, the dead aren’t in Heaven but are dead, and a full “operation” of the “9 manifestations.” so...either you don’t know about those things or know enough, to believe...or you’ve heard and been taught but choose to not “believe”....making you an unbeliever. In the Ways earlier population growth of the 60s/early 70s VPW didn’t have his organizational culture fully baked, as it became in later years when so much of The Ways striving to be relevant revolved around him and his own heritage and legacy. Emporia and the Way Corps program put a stamp of integrity on one’s faith that really defined The Way, as time went on and IMO significantly contributed to its implosion. = Unbelievers are those who aren’t members of the Way, meaning they haven’t demonstrated their beliefs in a meaningful way through participation and support in programs, meeting attendance and financial support. That has remained true over the decades, While they change what the “accuracy of the Word” is or what the current “man of God for our day and time” says (read: what the Pope of the Way declares) they still require you to go along with it, 100 percent. Or else you’re an unbeliever. Dr Weirwille died of cancer, and his “true believers” blame the unbelief of his unbelieving followers for his death. So.......apparently by that story the guy who taught it was an unbeliever himself. In many ways unfortunately the Way can be really understood by its failures, using that logic.
  6. socks


    There's a lot of self guided, self developed and self managed providers out there. People who have decided that through their own experience, intellect and / or personal enlightenment have a way to help others with their problems. As a consumer of those services I suggest people look at it with at least the same seriousness as they would buying their food or their clothes....asking the questions, where did this come from, how was it made, who made it, how does it hold up? Who else has used these, what did they think? You eat a can of tuna fish and get sick, every can in your city gets recalled and the world goes crazy warning everyone about the bad tuna. Tuna fish everywhere celebrate and swim worry free for weeks, even months. You take a "class" and first you have to sign a contract saying that no matter what happens and definitely if anything BAD happens, you won't hold the providers of the class responsible....? That's stupid. Don't do it. If it's that risky and you have REAL problems and needs, you WANT assurances, and confident guidance so that the risk of what might go wrong is minimized. I had a triple bypass several years ago. My surgery was my Doctor's "One o'clock". He did two that day, and had done over a 100 such surgeries, plus 100's of other similar and related types of surgery plus years of study and interning prior to his years of actually doing them. We prayed and did everything we know to do as a family, myself included of course, prior to the surgery to make sure that we knew what was going on and going to happen. The hospital did several days of preparation while I was there, communicating with me, prepping me. Fortunately we had the time to do all of that, it could have been an emergency surgery done within hours of diagnosis. In either scenario, the important issue of my life and my future wasn't in the hands of a guy with a couple sharp knives who'd been a veterinarian until he decided he'd learned enough to work on people and who had a pretty good idea that his methods were better than anyone else's. And wanted to be paid in advance and have me sign a contract saying if I ended up barking like a dog after the surgery I wouldn't hold him responsible. Momentous? Revenant? (do you get a signed photo of Leonardo DiCaprio with it?) Come on - let's treat our lives like they count for something and that the God we believe in might have a better way to proceed than someone's latest bright idea income stream. To everyone who's done these classes and swears by them and say it did them good - you spit in the wind enough times it's not going to hit you back in the face every once in awhile. But - for those who really really really need to be yelled at and told what doofus's they really really are and need for someone to validate their well being with a few familiar bible verses and a lot of personal innuendo and have a bunch of cash they don't need - see me. I, socks, may be able to help. But it's not cheap.
  7. socks


    You can skip the froth below but - What I would suggest is if you're concerned and if you haven't, find an attorney or a Social Services professional, say with the County services and ask them about your concerns. Just make it clear, be specific what your interest is, why you have concerns and what can you find out about how all of this works. Let them know you have a personal concern about the specific well being of a person that's involved in the program. And - Whether or not they're operating legally in California or not, I don't know. And my answer to the question of "do you have any exact direct contact with these groups or people from which you can base your review" the answer is "no". (This reminds me a lot of - I've had people swear to me - that the cure to cancer is to take a couple tablespoons of Baking Soda every day, to "alkaline-ize" their "systems", because cancer "cant exist in an alkaline environment", and all the big pharma companies are hiding that from the public so they can get and stay rich. Cancer cells can't exist in an alkaline environment? At the levels required to fizz out a cancerous growth, neither can we. Our bodies govern ph levels when they're healthy and the idea of dosing a specific area by guzzling baking soda in order to kill cancer cells is ludicrous. It might have an affect on correcting our ph levels but so will a healthy diet and correcting an acidic ph - in fact that can have a huge affect on our overall health. For a person with a serious cancer condition however I wouldn't use a spoonful of Baking Soda and a pat on the back to "cure it". A quazi-professional-folksy approach has benefits as long as it's sound and doesn't go beyond it's own limitations, whatever those might be. That gets into areas of health care, health insurance, etc. And I am of the opinion that every person deserves to have access to whatever levels of health care they need, as practically and efficiently as possible. Without any moral considerations it's most efficient to be involved in a process early, planned and as needed, rather than later and in emergency, so there's different ways to view the issues and solutions besides "doing what's morally right" - morals don't exist in vacuums - who pays, how we do it, what happens when and to whom and how - those are all issues to be solves. We're a smart nation, we could do it but instead we have crazy ass politicians debating the issue. I'd suggest we have an 8 year old dying of a curable disease and an elderly invalid struggling to breathe debate what they think should be done for them, and do that. For everyone. Just help for Christ's sake, it costs less than several hundred highly paid elected politicians trying to figure it out.) It reminds me of that because some people force these "solutions" on others and mean well but are motivated by other concerns - not getting the health care they really need might be one, a misguided idea of the teachings of the Bible, or as part of a business, a personal income stream, as part of making a living, That can muddy the waters. If someone's making a buck off my problems, I will absolutely be cautious in how I engage them. Amd I've always felt that if someone's obeying the laws of the land and is acceptable in their neck of the woods in their local culture, they're free to do as they will. That's based on the idea that we see in the Bible, that while God's plan in Christ and for mankind is an inevitable one we have choices to make of our own "free will." I may disagree and if I have concernsI also have the right to get involved in making things better, if I choose to.
  8. socks


    Sure - Momentus has left a trail. My impression - and I'll be generous - is that for those who didn't really have serious issues or problems, it was an exercise in self examination via some external parameters and direction. Like people that are 12 pounds overweight going on a strict diet and deciding to start training to run a marathon....Push! Go! You're lazy, get up and put that extra piece of wheat toast down and get out there! Those new $150 dollar running shoes aren't going to tie themselves!! You always do this you lazy assed doofus - now answer to these reactions from others who know you! Face the truth!! You can do it! As opposed to someone who's 100 pounds overweight, diabetic, on medication and suffering from high blood pressure and terrible year round allergies exacerbated by a sub standard diet and they're disabled and on a fixed income....who requires expert care and experience and a steady diet of healthy, motivating guidance. That person's not going to take well to a ham handed, non professional self developed guidance system. Sure - some of that may be part of the road up and out but where there's a lot of moving parts a very skilled mechanic is required. Momentus has it's roots in the Bible, Christianity. Christianity is fueled by some very powerful and personal things, ideas, truths. Where it and other programs like it run aground is that they put the emphasis on the process that brings a person to making a decision that can then potentially help them, as in Christianity, a belief in the resurrected Christ, forgiveness of sin, peace with God and a spiritual regeneration that puts a person on a path of "eternal life". The power in that is in Christ, and the act of faith that the person puts forth to trust God and accept His plan for yourself. The most damaged, invalid non ambulatory crippled blind people that Jesus Christ healed and taught weren't pushed and throttled to "make a decision" and "face their own realities" or anything of the kinds. I can do all of that I want and if it helps me fine but that's not Christianity, that's extra baggage. Feed the hungry, heal the sick, provide for those with less, all of that is the kind of activity that reflects God's grand generosity but it's contextual - a day will come when those things won't be the issues, nor the personal ones we struggle with in this life. "Revenant" looks very hmmmm.... "trendy". A re visualization of something that doesn't require it. Jesus doesn't need to be re packaged and presented. That puts most churches and self help groups out of business but it does give everyone a lot more time to "freely give" as they have freely received.
  9. Sure, that would work.
  10. No sweat, and no hurry. I made it like it was more urgent than it is probably. But It May give a clearer path to that kind of discussion. Thanks for looking at it. And whatever you end up deciding is fine, of course.
  11. Okay - but I disagree with your disagreement that "Questioning Faith" isn't misleading in it's current position. Look at the screen print below of how it appears in a Firefox browser - (it's exactly this way in the mobile view too on my iPhone) The description of what "Questioning Faith" is isn't readable until I open Doctrinal and click on Questioning Faith and then open "About this forum". In fact, it's obscure as to whether it ISN'T part of what Doctrinal is, in my opinion. So let's look at what's on the screen up there - "Doctrinal" and underneath it a little connecting line to "Questioning Faith", and then a description "discussion of religious/spiritual beliefs. Since this site is not a religious site, please keep all doctrinal discussions in here". In where? In the Doctrinal -> Questioning Faith forum? Let's not belabor it - if your position is that having an explanation 3 clicks in under the top level is sufficient to clarify what's on the top level, we're on different pages and aren't going to agree. Give it some thought though, if you would. The simplest thing to do however would be to just move "Questioning Faith" down into a thread level, in the forum itself so that there wouldn't be confusion. It's a topic in a forum then. In the view the platform gives you for Forums then the description is clear. For that matter, "A Place for Faith" could go there too, but it's likely that whatever goes into a subforum list in the forum view will be unclear, if there's only one. As it is now, it's well - sorry, it's obtuse. I'd suggest naming it "A Place for Faith".
  12. socks


    Well. let's see.... Tochini has a long history in northern California. (his family owned businesses in Sonoma county, some movie theaters.) I have never met the man but have met people over the years who have been involved in his self-help pseudo Christian activities - people outside of the ex Way circle, who have no past connection to The Way, John Lynn or other former Wayfers who have since hooked up with Tochini. None of the people I've met were happy with their experience or the results of his efforts, certainly no ringing recommendations. This goes back to before Momentous when he broke away from his church, to Momentous and now this. In between he's done some other businesses, I think he had a web/internet marketing thing going for awhile, some sort of platform/service offering. I only hear about them through certain sources I have, never on the open market where I don't believe he has a great impact, but I could be wrong. This link has a post from 2018 - https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?4,7414 Look at their site - they have multiple businesses they offer in addition to their "Academy" of self help. https://crossingthejordan.org/our-story/ It's a free country. Unfortunately that does allow some of these people to take advantage of people who need help the most. At the same time I'm sure some of these self-helpers believe they're doing something useful. My advice on face value would be to steer clear of anything with Tochini's name on it but there is no scenario in any stretch of the imagination that I'd encounter any of it or have to deal with it, so it's easy for me to say. I can honestly say I've had some exposure to some well known and some lesser known but very effective "coaches" of various disciplines in my professional career and in over 30 years of active participation in the business world I've NEVER run across any of these people - from Lynn to Tochini to any of them. They do have an impact in the ex Way community and certain high risk user circles but it's a tiny tiny subset of society. Not to say those they affect aren't important, just that there's not a lot of them from what I see. I may very well be wrong though - you're here and I have no idea what your exposure has been so...yeah. What is it you're most concerned about?
  13. Sure, and thanks Wordwolf. I appreciate your insight, as always. Frankly - I"m past the bull shit. Anyone who wishes to drag a discussion into the gutter in a way that's offensive to others and won't accept the boundaries of others has a problem I can't fix in this kind of set up. I'm not past taking a low shot myself, if I think it's deserved but I'm less inclined to do that these days in regards to the heart felt concerns and interests of others. Anyone who can't see that an even hand and steady voice is needed in this world today lives in a different one than me. We probably aren't going to cross paths in a meaningful way. I'm not interested in re facing GS either, or making it out to be something "it's" not, whatever that is or isn't. Your ideas sound like good ones. Thanks.
  14. Upon reflection, let me be more specific. Faith is a reflection of Doctrine and belief - "complete trust or confidence in someone or something." It also carries the weight of a trust that goes beyond proof that can be displayed to others. It's personal, it's "mine". I might tell you my wife loves me madly, I could review examples of that on display. Someone else might say it isn't love it's something else, obligation, expectation, foolishness. I know and she knows however, that she loves me. And I her. So we tell others about that love, and what it means to us, how we came to have and where we think it's going. Some can relate, others can't. Others have similar experiences, etc. When I see the Doctrinal forum on any device the view says "Doctrinal" and right below it the sub forum title is "Questioning Faith." That's misleading, to me. Granted it's not a description of Doctrinal but it appears to be - by the way the lists are laid out. Doctrinal discussions aren't about questioning faith, specifically. That's a different topic. Since it's probably not possible to change the core layout of the forums or even worth the effort it would take to do so, I would suggest a compromise - include "A Place for Faith" in that spot, so there's equal time. Let's not make this about that however, although they're related imo and if you want to move "Questioning Faith" to a place where it doesn't fall under Doctrinal as if a description, that would be fine too. But my purpose is to simply have a discussion around the topic of faith and Christian faith, specifically and in a location where the prevalent environment isn't one of doubt or dissension but rather one of declaration and discussion. One that covers it from an inherently positive view while allowing for all sides of it to be discussed, including any negatives, if there be any. Capiche? Thanks for looking at this.
  15. I felt it might be useful to the area of "Doctrinal" to have an area where anyone can present and discuss their own stories of their faith and beliefs. As a Christian, a follower of Christ, a "believer" and something of an open-range disciple, I've seen the benefits of knowing about what the larger face of the Church, the body of Christ looks like. If possible, I'd like it to be a "sub forum", and not a topic, placing it under the main banner of "Doctrinal", if there's a mod' out there who knows how to do that. Or perhaps a discussion then if that's not desirable, and why. I'm not a card carrying member of any specific denomination, congregation or organization, nor any ex-Way groups, clubs, societies, ministries, fellowships, or other assemblages, non-profits or businesses. So this is less a focus on ex-Way and how what I'm doing relates to that as the starting point (although it can be, and that may certainly be what brings you here), and more just - what am I doing? Now? As a Christian? What do you think of you faith now? What does it mean? What works, what doesn't, what would I recommend? And pret' near wherever you might wish to go with that. There could be multiple subsets under this. Anyway, that's it. Your story of faith and your thoughts and on it. Perhaps somewhat less personal than a diary entry but if someone were to read it 20 years from now, they'd get a bit of a sense of what faith in Jesus Christ meant to you and why. Beyond that I don't have more to write or post on this topic here, now but I have several topics I'll probably get up here this summer.
  16. Howdy - I just saw this and realized this is what you were talking about! Yes, I've heard of this book but haven't read it, only parts. It's going to be on my list. I do think this perspective is a very useful one and is a way of allowing our lives to move forward in all categories of growth and aging. Less solution and more process, more "tools", a way to do whatever it is worth doing and even more so less "the way to do it" but like a welcome mat for the get 'er done mentality. I often think Marcus O'Aurelius was talking to me when he wrote "Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one." I've still always got a minute or two for for it but duty always seems to come calling, invited or not.
  17. Context is a significant part of PFAL - how the Word interprets itself. Immediate, extended context, etc. History, geography and culture provide contexts in which to understand the Bible, and that was prominent in PFAL. One of the biggest takeaways from PFAL for me was to read the Bible. I'm looking at my 1970 hard bound copy of Bullinger's "How to Enjoy the Bible" right now and it contains a huge amount of information and guidance for anyone wishing to begin layering their reading and study skills. I recommend it to ex Wayfers when we're talking about this and that if I find they haven't ever read it or dove into it. The connection between Ethelbert and VPW will be obvious to PFAL grads who learned much of the same material in PFAL as a means to understanding Christian faith as a living reality. It's interesting to me that the academic approach of EWB was first used then dropped by VPW for his own rhetorical style of teaching PFAL. I think we must accept that fact that when working with a written form of communication that is first constructed from ancient samples written in an ancient language that must then be translated through several layers of refinement to get a modern version, the outcome must be an interpretation. When anyone says that a translation is accurate to the original and "according to usage" as VPW said, interpretation is required. Yes yes yes, let's let the Word of God speak for itself. Once we construct a complete sample that we believe represents the best possible record and translate it into English, a language made up of many many other languages, the result will require interpretation. The net results can look like the unwieldy statements of an Amplified NT, not due to an over wrought torturing of the content but because it may require many english words to specify anything close to an exact translation of the Koine Greek words. "As the spirit guides" indeed, but where words can be vague, the heart gets the impression of the message clearly. Thus, the "spirit" teaches us, as we read and study. How well VPW or anyone else uses any of these tools is a measure to be discussed but where I see that article putting a person is to crack the book, allow others to guide and help you learn and don't go the "sophomore's shuffle" route just because we have some tools to use, whether we're newbies or elders. Stay meek, read, and enjoy. Article quote: "I’m not saying that Greek word studies are bad, or totally unnecessary (after all, we are not native Greek speakers). But unless you do them properly, they’ll simply give you the illusion of knowing something when you really don’t. Most of the time you’ll do better to simply compare a number of solid translations like the NASB, ESV, NIV, and NLT. After all, the people who translated these Bible versions understand Greek far better than you or I ever will. So don’t throw away their expertise. And as you read, pay attention to the context. An ounce of good contextual analysis is worth a pound of poorly done Greek word studies. (I'd add don't rely solely on a single teacher or source either, over the long haul. I do have some basic fundamentals that I feel solid about and I can move amongst many different sources without fearing anything at all. After all, if I ask God for Him to teach me, is He going to fool me and lie to me? Of course not. So there's every reason for trust and confidence - it''s HIS Word, not mine.) "So take your English Bibles and read carefully. When you do word studies, avoid the root fallacy, take advantage of scholars’ expertise, and remember that context is king. In short, read, reread, and reread again. It’s not as flashy a study method, and it probably won’t make you feel (or look) as smart, but it’ll give you much more accurate results." (Actually by reading and working context, you'll probably look very smart because you'll know what's in the Book, and not just lists of verses organized by topic, in your head. Few are those who say they "believe the book" who have ever read it in it's entirety. Not reading it all and saying I believe it would say something about how I believe. It. The book thing......It's worthwhile to do so, I highly recommend it, taking one's time, "no worries mate", just enjoy the ride. )
  18. socks

    A few thoughts

    I think another I learned through this is that in the Way, a lot of the doctrine was taught as inward facing stuff, things I do as a lifestyle and some things I do with others. At the same time VPW would say things like “it’s just a walk kids, you just walk”. But unless we disconnected from the programmatic mechanical nature of the lifestyle (12 keys to this, 3 steps to that, memorize this, practice that) it was extremely difficult to “just do it”. I compare it to say, having a hammer. And I learn all about that hammer, get taught about hammers, the history of it, how it’s made, the different types, and practice holding and using it, and even go out and hammer some nails in someone’s else’s project. But then if I never got up one morning and grabbed it, some nails and went out to build something and used it with my drill and saw, I wouldn’t Use it anywhere near it’s full potential. That to me is what the Way Corps lifestyle became. As long as everything was connected back to VPW, The HQters, and the program it was valid. Stepping out of that or even producing work that USED “the principles” but didn’t lead back to VPW’s ministry was invalid. Tripped out. “Back 40 stuff”. That kept the sphere of endeavor very small. And it was nearly impossible to see that unless you broke away, which isn’t how it had to be. At all. I got my hammer - and the life I build can now be with and through the faith of Him who loved me, and gave himself for me without extra attachments. It’s very direct and to the point - God through Jesus Christ can be glorified in me. Not “this ministry that was the only thing that could have reached you, and which you now owe your life to and is the only thing worth telling people”. Point being - Stoicism is a philosophy of practical application, not only thought. The idea is "Be the changed you want to see". One of the Stoic writers put the thought forward in their day as "don't waste time arguing what a good man should be. Be one." And that's an idea that is very much the essence of Christian faith. If that's what a person would really like to do then "being" a new person with a "new life" in Christ is exactly where it goes. And that's where it resonates with me, rather than a new way of thinking or a system of tenets, it's a reflection of an attempt to encourage us to live thoughtfully and not solely for ourselves.
  19. socks

    A few thoughts

    Nice! Yes, and the journals of Marcus Aurelius - Roman emperor, and a Stoic who wrote his thoughts down. I've read he probably didn't expect it to be read 100's of years later, but it's a great read, kind of Ecclesiastes-style in parts, other parts sort of a "don't forget to buy eggs today" tone. But great observational thought. He wrote in the Koine Greek, which is the same as what was used in Bible translations. I encountered snippets of his work used in the exercises in a greek class I took years ago. It was nice to broaden my own, mmm, context, I wanted to clarify what I knew about using it in study. I didn't enjoy it enough to keep at it but it was fun as I remember, more or less. "Seneca" is another Stoic writer who's stuff has made it down the line, seems popular today too and there may even be a connection between he as a convert to Christianity or not, and Paul of the New Testament. I think it's interesting too that in Acts 17 when Paul is in Athens and encounters the philosophers in the "marketplace" he addresses the people from the position of religion, and what he sees of their desire to have multiple gods, idols and icons. Philosophy is a field of ideas and thought, reasoning, reflection, observation, discussion, debate, postulation, etc. Religion is - well, I'd describe it as more the memorializing of an idea or belief into a recognizable statement, with then it's own rituals, observances and traditions that proceed logically (or maybe not so) from that. So Philosophy is a work in progress with some anchors from which one works and religion is an acceptance of something and to then give it value and access. Religion is commonly associated with recognizing the larger force(s) at work in our universe, "God" and in specific, accepted ways. Philosophy is a way of thinking and considering, and is more general and even abstract to varying degrees. IMO, anyway, that's my take. Paul dealt with both, but from a religious viewpoint when he addressed the over abundance of gods and deities at the Areopagus and the relative uselessness of them all being reflected in their "Unknown God". Epicurean and Stoics had asked him to clarify what he was talking about. Pauls message dealt with God as "the" Creator, and one who in their efforts they didn't know and who therefore could very well be their "Unknown God". God, a Creator, with a human plan, a destiny reflected in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Some believed, others considered it for another day, some didn't believe. ------------ 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” -------------- My impression is that Stoicism is a philosophy that contains a great deal of - call it "godly" thought - in that when we reflect and consider our lives and their patterns, goings and comings, and are not focused solely on self and what that self wants, we are led towards seeing what Paul meant when he said to them - "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us." Where many Christians see this as a complete rejection of all their efforts, Paul is really leading them to his point with a very gentle hand, saying "you look, so look around you now and you see the acts of your Creator, who has reached out to you now through this Jesus Christ." I see this stuff not as "hellenizing" our Christian doctrinal ideas and precepts with other beliefs or ideas, but more as the possible outcomes of any honest and reasonable inquiry. When anyone does that they will likely encounter some of the "truth" of life and godliness. If I were using the Bible as a standard, I'd be looking for "truth" everywhere in God's creation and celebrating it when it is there. I enjoyed the movie Ghost Dog because it's got this humorous linkage between old school Italian Mafia, modern American culture, and ancient Samurai / Buddhist thought, "Hollywood style". In that movie it has the line - It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways and be more and more in accord with his own. That's got some Stoic in it. Anyhoo - peace n love!
  20. socks

    A few thoughts

    Yeh well. I will say this now, publicly and before all here, that I, socks, have learned a great deal via these message boards and most specifically WayDale and GreaseSpot Cafe and that includes all of you. (A lot of that has been seeing how communication functions in the online world, and how discussion proceed amongst a peer group networked together to respond to each other in near-immediate time). Something I learned about myself when I hit my 40's was that while I THOUGHT I could agree or disagree with someone and love them equally either way, or even let's say just have a level of tolerance that could allow for an equal distribution of whatever shared rights were forthcoming to all involved, I didn't really live that way - and I felt there was a conflict in how I actually lived using the Way Corps "lifestyle" in any form and what I understood the Word to teach. Once I stepped out of functioning in the hierarchy of the Way and the Way Corps I saw very quickly how much of a facade had been built, how many unnecessary layers had been put between myself and the real true simplicity of living "The Word". My last year as a fellowship leader ("Twig") I spent most of it unloading and basically doing a brain dump of teachings to our fellowship of everything I'd learned up to that point that I felt was relevant to "standing on the Word of God" with or without the Way Nash. I saw as I examined my own life in relation to others and specifically my wife and two children, how I was able to love them all. And really specifically with my kids. I never reached a point where i was more proud or involved or disappointed in either of them, I was always close to them and proud and supportive of them. In fact with my wife and kids I was never actually disappointed or let down, ever, no matter what they did or didn't do. They're always AAA Plus Great, to me. Our relationship just was what it was, as it is what it is now. It hasn't changed, despite the fact that not everything we've all done has gone as planned or even as well as any one of us might have wanted. Day after day I am one hundred per cent on their side and for them. Buuuut, there's other people, uh uh, not so much. So I saw a conflict of sorts - is that right? I'd separated most people into groups that I parceled my love and concern out to - believers get it all, unbelievers less, "believers who don't know the rightly divided word" were never entitled to as much as others, but if they believed, that could changed. Etc etc. etc. It felt mechanical and wrong. So, back to the Book and much prayer. And I realized I needed to re calibrate, and that would take a reset of sorts. We've all done that to varying degrees. What I found were some simple tools to kind of tend the field of life regularly and with a gentle but firm purpose. It's wrapped up in a saying that's a product of the Stoic philosophy and it's wrapped around a core idea that I think is both godly and very much in evidence in the life and teachings of Jesus, as well as that of the Christ centered Christian faith of grace and love. It looks at this new life of ours as a very all encompassing, universal framework of inevitability that moves forward in it's path and deals with everything in that life as a way to live that path, including obstacles and impedences, ie "problems". A saying goes "the obstacle is the way", meaning that anything that stands counter to my intentions is simply a means of applying my values to it, and so actually provides a way to move forward in my intended path. Stoic philosophy articulated that idea much earlier as, actions can be impeded but our own intentions or dispositions can not be impeded, they're a product of our value and will. Thus if I evaluate, review and reflect regularly on myself, and my own actions and the life around me and how I deal with it, I can learn to bring my core values to the forefront and apply them. In everything. To do "all things, through Christ who strengthens me". So there's a level of work involved as well as a level of intuitive living. You can think of it as "God working and willing in (us) to both (have) the will and to then do His good pleasure"....the spirit is "willing" and it "constrains", that new life of this so called "new birth" is inclined to be and think and act in certain ways...."by God's will".....and so I can live that way, with both an intuitive subconscious "spiritual-pneuma-hagion" will that is then acted out and upon. And this idea is very much supported in the bible, once you put the writings into the context of the writers and their times and what they were living and struggling against. I learned a lot of this in the Way as the "believers-can-do" everything by pushing ahead with "believing energy" and "godly focus" to "achieve my vision" - "more than a conqueror"...........and that's clearly PART of the godly life in Christ, but not nearly all of it as we see in the apostles life and of course in Jesus, that the greatest triumph over the "death sentence of sin" is not that we will never die but rather that we will all ultimately be transformed to something greater where the human perspective of immortality is raised to an eternal standard of life that is "holy", separate, pure, eternal. As Paul stated so clearly, he'd learned to live and retain his core beliefs in times of both need and plenty, in pain and in relief, with or without physical reward, he overcame NOT by getting what he "pictured in his mind and believed for" but by letting his faith rule in even the worst of circumstances. So....there was something else percolating there, more than just "believing" to succeed. I first glommed onto this idea in the Book of Acts, as it seemed so obvious that the only way to love and work with those we disagreed with even at the deepest levels was by working other parts of our faith into the relationship and letting those be the guide, ie not making "agreement" being the goal but rather a part of a process that ends up in a far greater goal.....NO ONE ever fully agrees, no one's every completely "like minded" if that means they have to think and feel everything exactly the same way because they both "believe" the same things. And people like Craig and VPW illustrated that. Anyway - then I saw it in the writings of Henri Bergson, a French philosopher who wrote some very cool stuff about time and what he described as "duration", where life is not viewed as a series of incremental steps but more a flowing cognitive exercise similar to a river of water. And on and on and along the way I picked up on the Stoic stuff which to me describes a process more than an outcome, comparable to the Buddhist idea of life being like the space in a bowl, and not the bowl itself. Which can also be put as having "treasure in earthen vessels", etc. etc. etc. Gestalt baby, it's a gestalt thing. Anyhoo - I disagree with a lot of y'all, about a lot of things, but I don't hate you or think you're bad. I might think some people are stupid or foolish but that falls into a different category - if there's something I can or should do about that, but honestly in many cases there isn't. So, do I hate everyone because I think they're stupid? No. I would hope others would try think of me the same way if that were the case. Ultimately being stupid becomes something else anyway. But to be honest, the best and easiest way I know of for any of it is to start from the "new life in Christ", and then thoughtfully deal with each other as best we can. Other than that - you can all go to hell in a go kart anytime soon. Just remember though, should God come back to me and do a survey, I'm on your side, on principle alone. Please do the same for me if given the opportunity. God knows better than any of us, this life can just absolutely suck dog sh it sometimes, so the more rope we can give each other and the more help along the way, the better. I really really do believe God expects us to do that as part of His Plan. And thanks for getting the board back up!
  21. This article covers some things I’ve learned over the years regarding bib’cal research. Thought it might be of interest here. The examples will probably sound familiar. Thoughts? ( https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/3-ways-not-to-use-greek-in-bible-study/?amp )
  22. I think the Genesis record and the "serpent" is the classic religious train wreck where supporting an interpretation of an idea is more important than the idea of the record. Now - Gawd forbid that someone insert their own god warrantied brain into it but it would seem to me the record is an invitation to "selah". To consider what the Writer might be telling me using the most expressive language they can. I am perfectly willing to read it on face value, take it as is, and do that. Far be it from me to argue with God or his earliest scribes, my prayer is simply to get the message. Put it into another highly opinionated and emotionally drive topic like politics. Say I call a politician, okay let's say Trump, I call Trump an ignorant swine. Or Nancy Pelosi - equal opp offender here - Pelosi is an ignorant swine. And now let's go into that circle of swirling dipshit on facebook where these things are debated seriously and endlessly and break it down - "ignorant" means "lacking education or knowledge." "swine means" 1. Any of various omnivorous, even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae, having a stout body with thick skin, a short neck, and a movable snout, especially the domesticated pig. 2. A person regarded as contemptible or disgusting. And now let's put together that group of people who are .... actually going to debate, discuss, dismantle and re ass emble multiple platforms and positions on what these words mean, how they're used historically and how they apply or don't apply to this current usage.....and let them go at it for awhile but stop it midway, say after about 5,478 comments, replies, smilies and laughing icons. Nowhere near done yet but for the sake of this discussion, under 10,000 important and insightful comments towards finally solving this important question of if this is right or not. Or what.... Now - I know that kind of discussion goes on. I see it, I try to steer clear most of the time and although I have relative opinions about the performance of both those people under discussion I'm not going to invest a lot of time or energy in whether they are now, ever were or could be at some time in the future, "ignorant swine" in the sense of the words being literally true to some definition of them being high-school drop out, even-toed pigs. Why? Well, lots of reasons but mostly because I myself know that the word "swine" can be used to describe both pigs AND people I want to describe as contemptible or who for one reason or another I don't like or disagree with. And I already know that a human isn't a pig, even if they have seem to act like it. In fact, my image of their "swine-liness" is probably even an exaggeration of an actual swine, but in usage most everyone - most everyone but not all - kinda gets the point at first hearing and might be more inclined to debate the temerity on display in it's usage. Or something. At this point I'm not even sure if this is an exact comparison, as the hebrew word translated "serpent" or "snake" in Genesis is "nachash/nakhash" and it's root definition seems to mean and include an intuitive skill or intelligence, where something can happen or be accomplished but where the effort or work done to accomplish it isn't immediately visible or obvious....thus, a sense of "magic" or wonder accompanies it. "Shining", "brilliant" are part of it. A snake is an animal whose very movement forward or back seems to be a marvel of engineering and to me the relationship makes sense. So - it was the "serpent". Which came first, the snake or someone going "oooooooh! look a dat thing!"......? Dunno, but I think I get the word and how it could be applied to different things, people, stuff. But if that was Trump or Pelosi we wouldn't be debating if they were actual snakes or swine and only a very few people, like those who believe that Area 51 is really where the alien invaders developed the Ben and Jerry ice cream as part of a long term strategy to enslave the earth, are going to debate that reality. Anyway, I'm not a Hebrew scholar or academic or theologian with an expert's grasp on the religious history involved in the record and it's many translations and interpretations. I do know however that any English version of the Bible that I use and read is a TRANSLATION and an INTERPRETATION of some earlier, more original version, be it written in Koine Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or any other dialect of any other "ancient" language. One thing I did learn in PFAL and since many times over is that someone some where has to interpret and translate, has to come up with an English language version that I can read, even letting it "speak for itself" when they produce the INTERPRETATION......... I can do some of that work myself, and it has appeared now lo these many years later that a reasonable approach is to sit down with my Bible and whatever other tools I can use and - prayerfully - read it and ask the God recorded in it to guide and help me, as He will. Thus and so - if someone still has to have a snake, it really doesn't matter since I asked a snake myself at one point if it had heard the stories about it's ancestors and Eve and it just looked at me and slithered away, which would prove to many that YES of course it knows them, and it refuses to discuss and waddya-expect-from-a-snake! but to me just meant - hey that's a snake. I also don' think the serpent was really Adam because if it had been it would have .... said that. And it didn't.
  23. "GYM", (Give Your Money) offers none. In fact, you needn't concern yourself with any kind of results or returns of any kind. No pressure, no stress, no believing required, no grading system, no better or best and best of all, no disappointment. Just the wonderful relief of getting into the GYM and getting with it! Do it - now! You're going to love being part of the solution!!
  24. Of note: on the mobile version of this page the DONATE button is right above the topic Prosperity Preachers. And right under “Greasespot Cafe”. : p I have to say though, seriously, this entire topic continues to be a hurtful blight in the field of humanity and faith. I’ve decided to help. I’m forming a foundation which will provide resources to organizations and individuals working to rid the world of this problem. Finally, for all those seeking a truly non sectarian, non denominational, cross-discipline and multi national support system, help is on the way! The good news doesn’t stop there-you too can be involved in this daring effort to promote real world peace and harmony! No time? No worries! Don’t know where to start? Start here! Lets cut to the chase - you know this is a problem you could fix but you’re just one person - how to leverage your compassion, intelligence and exercise your under appreciated creative energies with an effort you can trust and proudly support? Join the GYM!!!! Now!! “Give Your Money” is as simple as it gets. No explanations, no results and no free gifts. Just the knowledge that you finally did the right thing!! No one will call and there are No phoney self help promises or wellness benefits - ever!! Lifetime memberships still available to the next 10000 respondents! Just do it and get working it - GYM style!! Your first deposit opens your account! Give your money starting today, to top-ramen-institute-for-higher-learning@gmare.oryphis
  25. socks


    On the overall topic of how the Way dealt with homosexuality, I take it back to doctrine. VPW believed the Bible taught that homosexuality was the result of a devil spirit, of "possession". I don't recall him ever getting into the biology of it all or trying to learn if there was any other reason for it occurring. He recognized that genetics and overall physiology could cause a person to be inclined in any number of different ways, and used the sports type analogies to illustrate that as well as other things like upbringing, etc. So he knew enough about "environment versus heredity" psychology and science to form a position on it from what he understood of the Bible. He didn't like to take things to their ultimate outcomes logically though despite his emphasis on "being logical" because if he had he would have had to answer at the least that the logical outcome of the state of "sin", man's fallen nature as the Bible spoke of it would produce a biology that would pass on traits from generation to generation and that those traits would express themselves in progeny. Of course he knew that and included that in some of his Advanced Class teaching on these "spirit possession" topics, and in so doing had to teach that the only "real" solution to it as a human problem was the spiritual "new birth" to right size and correct the physical degenerative results of sin in human nature.............but to fully embrace that he would have had to recognize that even the Bible itself states that the new birth is not a 100 percent physical correction of our human shortcomings and is rather a "promise" of a "hope" and that the "treasure is in an earthen vessel........a reality seen if only by the fact that everyone ever healed by anyone in the New Testament then still someday died, including Lazarus who apparently died. Twice. Once all of this is extrapolated out to practical applications, the question of human sexuality becomes a much much broader topic. Easy enough to spiel off in a 10 minute teaching that then falls apart under scrutiny, because it's not "The Word", it's someone's version of it. From the years of say, 1969 through 1980, I heard him teach multiple times on the topic in Advanced Class sessions, Corps meetings and in response to events and various kinds of media coverage. After that until he died in 1985 I had less contact with his live teaching so I can't say where he might have taken it but it would be news to me and others who had heard him teach on the topic many times if he explored other aspects of it. He taught that homo's are possessed by a devil spirit, which could be cast out, or repelled by the new birth and a life of living by God's Word, scripture. I would say for all those who became fully embedded and engrossed in that teaching (especially the form of it that Craig fronted) there was little compassion felt for homosexuals. He created an entire society that celebrated ridiculing and debasing homosexuality, justified in his mind by the fact that doing so was simply ridiculing Satan and the devil spirits possessing people. If he was in fact striking out against his own family and close associates it makes it all the more vicious - it wasn't just business, it was personal. Craig wasn't alone in that regard, he and a few others of the early group were fully on board for that, without much thought about it at all. He and a few others gloried in how quickly they could accept and start repeating anything that dripped out of VPW's mouth the night before. It was embarrassing to see all these red blooded young men act that way, until I realized some of them had their eye on being the next Pres' and were willing to trade their manhood to be his "transition plan". For the rest of us it was still all about "people". Craig could live ungodly all day long in his crystal "Word" bubble and convince himself he was still God's Man, while attacking and flailing on homo's, homo sympathizers and anyone who smelled suspiciously homo to him that day. And lots of that Emporia crew had been fed that and backed it. Not everyone though - but if you swallowed VPW and then Craig's limited view understanding of it and fed whatever was bugging you that day with it you didn't have much compassion or care for people, other than to smugly make fun of them.
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