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socks

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  1. Yeh, I remember How to Enjoy the Bible Doglover, it was a very good book of Bullinger's, I got a copy shortly after taking PFAL the first time in '68, along with one of the early hard bound Companion Bibles, a huge book that was cheaper than the leather bound, which I got later. There was also a set of tapes the Way did titled "How to Enjoy the Bible", with a lot of the parts taught by Walter Cummins, and VPW, if memory serves. It was basically a shorter rehash of the book..I know because the Way West had a copy of them and my wife and I got them after we were married in '71 and listened to them off and on over the next month. HTETBible really did have most of the study and "research" methods taught in PFAL. It was a very good book, and one I sued to recommend people get after they took PFAL.
  2. socks

    The Way "Gift Ministries"

    Gift ministries - a short hand term for the stuff in Ephesians 4:10 - 12. They're gifts, they're ministries, etc. I don't spend much time tripping on that one. Today we have a collection of scripture from which to establish a usable context for the Christian message, religion, belief, history, etc. And we have a "New Testament" of writings. From which I gather that all of the things specifically listed in Ephesians 4:11 are also generally the kinds of things that followers of Jesus Christ are able to do, or can be doing let's say. The Way's teaching sub text for 4:11 was that all those born again had the "same measure of faith" that wasn't received or achieved by their effort and wasn't earned but is given equally to all who believe in Christ. The "gift" of "holy spirit", pneuma hagion. There are therefore no special accoutrements that are given to some and not others. All are enabled with the "enablements", and that is whatever well, whatever we're told in the New Testament. So - without going into a lot of detail we're probably all familiar with I think one has to ask themselves what makes these 5 things different from anything else the born again child of God receives in the gift of the new birth? Today I would assume from what the NT says every born again child of God.... Can apostle - and is sent to bring the message of Christ to others. Can be a prophet - and speak for God and on God's behalf. Can teach - and teach the Word of God. Can pastor - and provide support and care for the church, the "flock". Can be an evangelist - and act as an ambassador for Christ and tell others about HIm. ....Without a special dispensation from God to the Church. Where this has gone for me is a slightly different view of what the "Church" is, and what exactly the "body of Christ is", and what God through Christ is doing ... with all this. Man's "Church" is largely a collection of traditions and tangibles that deal with the physical world and lives and so that needs support and provision, ordnance and protection even.....but....a lot of that deals with the affairs of a kingdom that is not part of what God is actually building and won't be resurrected in a future phase. One point I would call out is that it appears these 5 things listed in Ephesians (and referred to elsewhere too) and termed for "the work of the ministry" is for a specific kind of function or "office" within the church. And that carries a hella bunch of baggage with it in today's religion, but not if it's viewed in an Ephesians context, a "spiritual one" where there's no phoney man made construct. A function or even call it a "distribution" isn't a job or a position. Man thinks up and down and sideways, hierarchically - in the Kingdom of God there's no big hierarchy of mid management, which is how I think the religious version sees it. Anyway, however we view it we're given very clear instructions by both Jesus and "Paul" on how we should treat each other, think of ourselves and conduct our affairs in this life, as His followers, children of God and it isn't political or economic - it's social, familial. Abusive behaviors and practices in the Church by people doing "the work of the ministry" always reveal a departure from the fundamentals of our faith. It's not nearly as exotic or complex as we might make it - Jesus told us don't act prideful, don't put yourself above others, don't be an ass hole and treat people like shi t and they should be grateful you even talk to them. Be meek, be a servant to others, help them, treat them nice, be willing to forego revenge everytime someone looks at you wrong, forgive. And I guess Jesus could have said "Look at how I put up with you morons. Remember that the next time you want to hate someone who's cut in front of you at the pita bread stand." God didn't send a judge, He sent a savior. Dig it.
  3. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    R and R - Martin Luther's objections to Roman Catholic doctrine and practice led his actions. RC doctrine was a hybrid of the Bible's "saved by faith" or as Paul put it another doctrine that wasn't really another doctrine but a completely different animal of it's own kind. Luther also objected then of course to them selling Indulgences, certificates that gave remission of sins after one died. Now THAT'S a scam worthy of some effort. If you're going to absolutely degrade anything resembling even the slightest bit of good, then go all in - put one's eternal future on it and sell that puppy. Sit back and watch it roll in. Pretty nifty. If you're THE DEVIL. Anyway, Luther wasn't really trying to demolish or destroy the Catholic Church, he wanted to clean it up, purge it. He also had some ideas that would become popular later, like getting rid of the Jews in Germany. Anyway... Restoring and reviving is only important to people's lives. I can say that easily because whatever I lost through my dis association with the Way has been far outweighed by not having to be entangled with their bullsh it. The only thing I care about still today are the people involved, but if they're happy stewing and simmering there I can't do anything about that. Frankly I've never made it a full time job to "save" them from themselves. Cuz they don' a wanna change, so they's a not a gonna change, no matta wattah I do. Luther never got the RC's to change. Well, maybe a teeny bit sort of over years but not in any real substantive way that they would recognize. More recently I think it was Pope Benedict who tried to establish some ecumenical platform for RC's accepting a couple tenets of Protestant theology buuuuuut I think that's just window dressing on the ol' RC Childcare Store front. I mean, they're church face. Anyway - that's why I don't worry about what the next wave of geezers leaving the Way is doing. The only advice I would give them is they aren't young anymore, so there's not a lot of years to burn doing something you don't really want to do. So get busy livin' and get on with it.
  4. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Thanks. The stand-for-the-boss routines used in the Way were, are heinous. You'd think if they read Corinthians and Ephesians they'd get the idea that when the "believers" get together to hang out, pray, fellowship or eat it should be the ONE and possibly last place on earth where you can chill and be yourself and not have to lose a good seat and the big piece of chicken to some "elder" everyone feels the need to impress since they took their precious time to come and eat your food, drink your coffee and talk to you about something you may have already heard. Many times. And better. So I agree with that. Someone told me once they'd drive hours to hear Lynn teach - "He's SO FUNNY". He's not that funny. You gotta be pretty lonely, desperate or just plain sad to think that. I think that's why he mugs it up so much - he uses physical tips and triggers to signal when he's trying to be funny. Somewhere between the standing up for His Reverendship and the auto-laughter triggers there's a sore butt in a chair, that much I know. But - it's better than robbing a 7-11 I guess.
  5. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    You're a ramblin' TBone, but no more than me! Great stuff, I'll be digesting for awhile.
  6. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    True. But I am not for reviving and restoring anything from the past, to be honest. I made a mostly rhetorical statement with that, since I think we can guess that as long as some of these peeps have an audience, an interest and a paycheck be it dollars or just ego-boosting praise and worship, they're going to go their own way. But yeah, remove and replace is the ideal way to go. My view of the Gospels, Acts and Epistles are that while they give me a view of what happened, and why and a strong degree of "what God wants us to know" in terms of doctrine and practice I don't think they should be viewed as the one-and-only way in which to do things, to live. They don't really provide a finished template from which a final product will be produced, rather they give what I'd call a "functional guide" as to how to proceed to build what is really described as a growing, dynamic living organism. We're really like a body, we have attributes of say, a fountain or a river - everyone sees the water and hears the sound of the water but it's not the same water every minute. The whole of the expanse of what is that river or fountain is much larger than the single drops I see at one time. For generations the word "Church" has been synonymous with "Building". The Church has for many been first a place where a leader of some sort presides and the people gather and attend to listen and participate in some form of ritualized activity. Yet we don't see that happening in the first few generations of Christians and there's nothing written indicating that's the desired state for the Christians in the records we see generated by Luke, Paul, Peter, and other writers and scribes of that early era. So we get from the Bible a kind of "how to do all things through Christ, how to be abased and how to abound", in both individual life as well as group church life. The clearest message of the epistles is that there is no need for anything extraneous beyond the people themselves and their ability to come together and meet and interact as a "body" of Christ, with each person an individual part contributing to the whole, with support and assistance from God through Christ to each member. A "diversity" of ways and means, all through that "selfsame spirit". So - and this is like preaching to the choir I suppose - but by building an extensive library of copy cat rituals, traditions and requirements that essentially act as governance for individual and group behavior we, they, whoever, severely restrict their own ability to really "be" the body of Christ. Any artifice or facade, any set of authorization codes for specialized access, any levels of participation, titles, recognition and reward that restricts the free movement of all the parts will reduce and even prevent growth and function. Timothy and Titus give us a well rounded view of how the church should "run" itself, and there aren't any peripherals. Anyway - I find churches pretty boring and dull if all they do is meet/greet/sit down/shut up/listen/and go home, and they'll become germ-farms for all manner of ungodly viruses. Today more and more churches diversify and work "across the aisle" with other churches who may do different things. And they should - if we're all Christian in essence we're all related and have a godly right to our own diversity as well as a godly responsibility to share with others. What say ye?
  7. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Not for everyone, WW. But yeah, I get what your'e saying I think. Your "selective memory" may parse the experience one way, but someone else, particularly someone who actually had an experience with VPW's "system" and it's "perfect" status as you called it, or otherwise will have theirs. In fact I think a person's actual experience is going to be primarily for them to evaluate. They may be wrong or right by any number of values including yours and my opinion and informed evaluation - but it's theirs to have. And I would add in my own sphere of contacts I would say there are people who see their past experience differently than I do, and who in fact see certain things more favorably and positive than I do, or would and vice versa. I've come to understand through extensive conversations with them - as friends and not to debate or condemn or even arbitrarily correct anything but just to share the loving friendship we have - that they do think differently than I do about certain things. I offer my perspective and where I think it's a matter of "handling the Word of truth" I do my best to help where I can but it's up to them to consider and decide. Interestingly these are not all cut and dry matters looking at it within people's lives and not as an academic reconstruction of a past I have only heard about. And to be clear, I have NO skin in this game, theirs or any other, other than to put forth my own ideas and information. I am still not a member of any Way or ex-Way ministries, fellowships, groups, churches or organizations, formally or ex officio. I'm still me. And I can promise you that barring a hand written granite card from God showing up on a Grand Canyon wall addressed to me saying do otherwise, I have no intention of joining in anyone's effort to restore, revive or restuff and pickle anything to do with The Way. I'm just fine, thankya. I do know some of these people being named and have varying interests in their well being but overall I'd say I have an interest for anyone and everyone to be well and learn and enjoy the life God has for them.
  8. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Innerestin' - there's a bit of that in the contect of 2 Twinky, as the writer is warning Timothy about a couple people who were teaching and misleading people. Here's a nice translation of that section of 2: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. "handling the truth" correctly, or "making a straight way" with the Word of truth.....later in verse 25 it reads "Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth"... "Restoration and revival" - The phrase implies there's a former state that is being restored and revived, presumably a right one, a good one, one that should be present. It has to be a personal thing, a people thing that deals with individuals lives. Frankly I think it's going to have to be more than mirror image of what once was, and it's really just like the logic of Timothy's wisdom and in the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 9 - "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins." When Jesus was asked why His followers didn't observe fasting practices and traditions that were were advocated by the religious leaders of the day he used that example to illustrate that it was better to not try and put His teaching into the old practices that didn't serve or represent the same things he was teaching. Much like today we would not want to dress up or refresh old ideas based on doctrine that was was wrong and then try to achieve different results - it doesn't really make sense. (or you might say "....doing the same things over and over and expecting different results is insanity....") Ephesians 4:11-16...."Ministries" are God given spiritual gifts from God to the Church, the body of Christ. They are given to people, for people. God doesn't give "Gift Farms" or "Gift Buildings" to the Church, he gives spiritual gifts to His people and the "work of the ministry" is to help support each other into a rich full relationship with God, in the "church of Christ". The realities of that are in us, in our lives, thoughts, feelings. The "invisible" things of God are then visible through our lives. So every church pastor needs a sign in his office that says "it's God and the people, stupid!"....because everything in the Bible leads us to understand that all this claptrap we're so earnestly building to glorify God is going to turn to dust and end up in someone's else's landfill. What will go on forever is - "Love", the essence of the pneuma hagion that is the "us", reborn, anew, and rockin' that new body smell someday. The BRC won't be resurrected, that grass I cut so clean and neat to look good for the Sunday Night Services won't be restored. It's "LIFE", our lives, eternally bound together with God, now. One thing I learned is that I needed to REMOVE and REPLACE some of the things that had accumulated and worked their way into my spiritual life, things I thought were necessary, things that were comfortable and familiar. In reality they were just baggage, dead weight. "Nice to have's". So perhaps there needs to be a REMOVE and REPLACE movement too.
  9. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Yae! That's nice work, T-Bone and TaxiDev. Thanks. I read 2:15 now and I see it pointing towards how the truth is handled, and as the person being one who "works the ground", a cultivator. To an extent it was self serving for VPW to overly emphasize 2:15 as meaning researching the Bible since that's what he said he did. He expounded on how he had spent hours and hours every day for years "working that Word", studying it, "rightly dividing it". Yet, in context the reader would never get that impression from chapter 2, without the impression of the English word "Study"...."spoudazo" is used 11 times in the N.T. and is never translated study anywhere else, or anything similar. In fact in use it deals more with what one does and how they do it, like being diligent or eager, or putting forth strong effort, "work". It's not sitting behind a desk racking up hours in books although that could certainly be part of how it could be understood in broader context. Yet, without doing that and doing it with a high degree of honesty and integrity, the Bible can be very misunderstood. So it's really .... ironic. How this all shapes up. Life can be - just, weird and wildly whacky. I for one appreciate what VPW did with PFAL and although I was very young first taking it I got it fairly quick. The 1967 version was at least the second formal collation of the teaching into a "class". It would have benefitted from a Ver 3.0, maybe even a 4.0, to straighten out a few sections and shorten it to it's leanest and greenest rendering. He never - ever- ever- supported the idea of continuing to work on PFAL to improve it - in the Way culture of that time it was sacrosanct. And as time went on and I got to know VPW more it always seemed clear to me that he was overly impressed with himself, or at least wanted everyone else to be. That said, most of the work he pulled together and taught has been very useful to me.
  10. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Sure, thanks. I've picked that up, yes. I think you're pretty astute in your estimation that all of this is different for those who had experience with how all this went down over the years we were involved. While that teaching is Vintage Way and actually fairly consistent with what is taught by many other non-Way sources, there's one part that is easy to gloss over and actually freaks a lot of old timers out when they hear that it might not state exactly what VPW taught about it, and that's his teaching on 2:15, "study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that doesn't need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth". Once I got it clear for myself my Bible didn't exactly "fall to pieces", simply because my understanding was different, rather it came together right in front of me. Whenever I hear Vintage VPW teachings being repeated, I'm reminded of this. Bear with me if you would. VPW taught 2:15 as a foundational scripture for every Christian, every believer, and his own research and teaching ministry. "Rightly cutting" the Word of truth, described by him as the exact "working" of scripture by the "workman" to properly "divide it", sort it out, parse it out to line up properly "just like in the original". 2:15 is carved in stone for those of us who took PFAL in the 60's and 70's, and who remember that story about Mrs. Dotsie VPW cuttin' that pie of hers so accurately. In fact, further study over the years has led me to some additional understanding on this - first that "study" means exactly what he taught, "spoudazo", or "earnestly endeavor".....so it isn't specifically saying crack open the books and start studying, Paul is saying to "Work hard" to do something......and to be a "workman".....the kind of workman referred to is someone like a laborer or a field worker. We already are told in 2:6 that "the husbandman that labors must be first partaker of the fruits". The workman is a farmer, vineyard tenders, laborers, those growing a crop, tending a field, bringing up a crop, fruit.......so we can read it as "Work hard to show yourself approved to God by being a worker that doesn't need to be ashamed (of his work)..... Rightly dividing is the single word orthotomounta, or orthotomeo per many sources and it means among other things "to make straight and smooth" as well as "to cut straight ways, to cut a straight path, to proceed by straight paths, hold a straight course, and equivalent to - to do right". So we have "Work hard to show yourself approved to God by being a worker that isn't ashamed of his work, making sure to hold to a straight, right course with the Word of truth"...... There's a better translation of that I've worked up, I'm doing this from memory, but that's the basic idea and if put forth that way is truer to the context of chapter 2, which is handling the behaviors and correct actions of a church leader in the church, with others. It's not talking about academic study, it's talking about accurately "handling" God's revealed Word, of how it's lived and taught - not a mechanical process of efforts to set it straight, separate it or literally "divide" it. To this we can consider Isaiah 40:3 "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.", and then John 1:23, ""I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Make straight the way of the Lord"...... Here the word euthyno is used, meaning "to make straight, level, plain, to lead or guide straight, keep straight"....... I'd also have to consider the use in chapter 2's context the usage of the word "husbandman" - Jesus compared God to a husbandman in John 15 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” ........A husbandman cultivates the earth, his plants, and naturally expects them to produce fruit as a result of the amount of effort he has invested in them. Our heavenly Father, the divine Husbandman, seeks to produce fruit through us as we ... abide in Christ. All of which leads me to understand that ll Timothy 2:15 is talking about bringing people to God through Christ, "showing them the way", to make the way to Him clear, to help others through what we teach and what we do to come to Christ. As if to say "here He is, this is who He is, this is the Way".....Remove obstacles, clear the "way", make the path clear and open. Work hard to do that, be diligent in bringing forth fruit. This involves much much more from a person than teaching if they really want to have skin in the game. Timothy is told a lot about that, how to, what to do, what to look for, etc. etc. Teaching isn't excluded, far from it, but it's not limited to public speaking. I'm NOT saying that we should never study the Bible, or never attempt to do the work to allow it to be so clearly and plainly understood that it can literally "interpret itself", nor am I saying that there aren't many wrong interpretations of the Bible, resulting in wrong teaching that makes it hard and difficult if not impossible to come to God through Christ and that those do need to be handled as part of "making that way" straight - but all of this fits very well with the words of Jesus when He said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but through me"....
  11. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Taxidev, I've spoken to a couple people who were at the Florida Labor Day conference. As to the teachings, I doubt the majority of what was taught would seem foreign to anyone who dates back to VPW's early ministry years, specifically the early Way Corps that were centered at the Farm and heard him in various settings settings ranging from the BRC, "Night Owls" in the Woods, under the "Apple Trees", Corps teachings and the many times he taught on other occasions and I'd also include Walter Cummins' teaching in that mix. The content followed a similar path that he took on the topic of "the Hope" and the presentations themselves, while unique to the individuals presenting, were very similar to his style and the style that was developed later by Craig Martindale, WITH THE EXCEPTION that there's a noticeable lack of the insulting, degrading motor-mouth childish imprecation and meaningless innuendo that he developed in his latter years at the lectern. For example Moynihan's teaching on ll Tim 2:8-19. He held forth in a very compact 30". It's a very simple setting forth of those verses, and in the context of the theme of the weekend, "the Hope", carries some significant, relevant points. It carries the context of what VPW taught to the 4th Corps, in his Timothy teachings, which I was there for as were the Moynihan's who were also in residence at that time. A minor point but worth noting about those Timothy teachings is that the 4th Crops started as a 2 year program and early in the first year the 3 year program was put in motion (which eventually became a full 4 year plan, including a pre-Corps year, a res-year, field "Interim" year and then a final year in res.) The original intention was to complete the study with VPW of both l and ll Timothy with the majority of it being done in the first year, but it extended out over the entire 2 in res years. Walter Cummins handled a lot of material too. My point is that from my standpoint, hearing what Moynihan taught, it's a pretty systematic rendering of what VPW taught, with an emphasis on the 5, arguably 6, encouragements that Paul gives Timothy in that chapter. My point - I'm not a fan of the Moynihan I knew years ago or have heard about from others more recently but I don't really know him at this point and arguably would have to give him the benefit of at least recognizing he finally left/got booted by/extricated himself from that snake pit at the Way. Saying that, I wouldn't have any problem with anything he taught, as one example of what was set forth that weekend. In fact, it's a teaching that nearly any Christian, AKA "Mystery minded" believer as he called it, or "those faithful followers in the household" or whatever context they choose to put it into, would benefit from hearing. Aside from that his presentation style is one that is respectful of both material and audience. What's not to like? It's certainly not the only place that could be heard, but it was the place it was heard that day, there. I do want to also note, I heard a Pastor of a church who is completely disconnected from any Way history, people or teachings - no exposure whatsoever - teach essentially the same thing a few years ago. In fact, I've heard that taught and taught it myself, many times, and covered the same ground, without any specific adherence to anything VPW taught. That's because what he taught, what I've studied, what others have studied, will be pretty much the same in those verses if they're just read and not interpreted or placed into a self serving context to make a point. I've spot checked some of the others earlier that I was interested in, I don't have anything to add really, other than the "simplicity" of God's Word, salvation through Christ, is a living simplicity, not a doctrinal exposition. It's very very simple to understand what we are to do if we simply see what Jesus Christ did and bring the message to others by being the ones who don't simply talk to them or shun them when we think it's necessary but rather prepare, engage and support, which is what Jesus Christ did for the many weak, suffering, hurting people of His time, and for all time.
  12. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Unfortunately there aren't very many religious organizations that don't ask for money and all seem ready to accept it. Some teach the tithe as (insert any number of doctrines here), others sell products. Most accept donations. Jesus Christ accepted donations but He didn't fund brand a "worldwide ministry of hope and deliverance" or whatever and run it with donations. By all appearances He and His followers lived pretty basic lives, didn't accumulate possessions, buy land or property or invest or for that matter, loan. To me it IS a fundamental issue if a religious business asks for and accepts donations from people. The IRS doesn't require a group of people who form a "church" let's call it, to apply for any exempt status or to classify themselves as anything. In fact, it's only after a certain amount which I think is $25K that they recommend an organization file. If they make over a $1K on unrelated activities they have to file. There's nuances to it all and a lawyer or good accountant could advise on best steps to take but the truth is, if a group of people wanted to meet formally and informally to share their faith and paid their own way doing it, the government doesn't want or need to know about it. Once a group of people "form and file" with an external licensing agent (IRS) they can accumulate and use tax free income and those giving the group money can deduct it from their taxes. But there''s no need to do any of that to read the Bible, study it, teach it and conduct activities around a shared common interest. Compare a small group of Christian believers to say, the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts can be tax exempt, and are asked to file now using a 990-N form. But a group of families don't need to be tax exempt to get together to camp, or learn carpentry skills or build go-karts and have picnics and sleep overs with the kids. The issue of "mammon" and serving God is huge - today many churches of all types would consider it persecution if their tax exemptions were threatened, I'm sure. The real question isn't why do they have it and who's being served by it - it's why do it at all? When a Church like The Way restricts it's members from giving anywhere else and penalizes them, socially or otherwise, if they do, is that really in the spirit of our laws, or the Bible's teaching for that matter? This is all so embedded in our country's religious culture it's difficult for people to see a way out. Which is exactly why as of 2020 I will be fully set up to receive any and all offerings from anyone, for anything they believe in, don't believe in or would like to consider either way, including money, precious metals, cars, recreational vehicles, homes, property or anything else you'd be blessed to share with someone who, like me - socks - could accept and use in a fashion that will reflect the appropriate "no strings attached or accepted" philosophy of giving. (For all who have recently left the Way and are still working out what it's like to decide what's funny or not for themselves, that last paragraph is meant to be a joke, comparing accepting money from those who....well, just give it a day or two and if it's not funny to you, it's not. Enjoy the rush of fresh air freedom brings!)
  13. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Yep. I would go with saying most churches today are a form of "religious business", and especially so for small, localized groups like The Way Nash, ie anything that calls itself a "ministry" or a fellowship and that then declares itself tax exempt. The Way was supposedly all about "the church in the home". There's no part of that which requires legal protections or definition. People meeting to do as they believe is correct, within the laws of the land - what's to declare to the government about? "God bless America" indeed. The Way Nash received "donations" from all over the country, from people meeting in their homes who basically felt they wished to give and support the work of a ministry they were being taught by. Big deal - right? Well, yes, since The Way had declared itself tax exempt it needed to answer to the government for those donations so as not to pay taxes on them as income. So being a tax exempt "church" actually required them to be as tied to governmental controls as if they were just licensed as a business, maybe even more so. Without being cynical or judgmental, I think it's just obvious and logical to recognize that when a Wafer group splits off from the main mother-ship and forms their own group and gets recognized as a "tax exempt church" the primary reason is so that money can be received to support the church operations and not get taxed. That's business. Non profit, charitable action can happen without forming a legal entity to do so. Jesus told His followers to give Caesar what he's got coming, and do the same with God. I might actually debate Him on the former, while accepting the latter, but that was His position and in many ways it makes sense. And arguably if Caesar had given a pass for traveling Rabbi's maybe He would have put in for it, being the Messiah and all though, I kind of doubt it. We do know what He said though and that He paid temple taxes. He also accepted financial support and had a close follower manage "the bag" accounts. (Who tragically but interestingly turned out to betray Him and got paid for doing so. ) In short, Jesus actually appeared to steer clear of "Imperial Entanglements" unless they came to Him for help, as did the soldier seeking help for his servant.
  14. socks

    The Way of the Wiki

    Hello BlueCord! Wikipedia may well be correct in their interpretation of their policy and guidelines. I've been through this ad nauseam in other unrelated areas of Wikipedia. I'm not sure I agree how they're describing their position but - well, take a look at a couple other entries for organizations that are very publicly labelled "cults" by many people including former members - Scientology's page opens with this line: Scientology is a body of religious beliefs and practices launched in May 1952 by American author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–86). LDS/Mormons open with this: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), often informally known as the Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. Yet if we look up "Cult" on Wikipedia we read a very broad discussion of the topic that starts with this: And so on and so forth.... To your intent and point however, it could be appropriate to say something to the affect of the Way being considered a cult by many (for the following reasons)....etc. etc. Whether anyone believes that to be true or not, it has been a fairly consistent accusation historically since it's growth in the 70's and as such would simply be a statement of a significant fact reflecting a concern of society in regards to new religious "movements". So the logic is kind of like saying "John Lennon once said that he felt The Beatles were more popular then Jesus, given the reactions of their fans around the world to their music".....as opposed to saying "John Lennon said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus"......both statements are "true" but arguably the first statement gives more information. The Wikipedia page covers a great deal of information on The Way and in my opinion does a decent enough job - but you'll notice that while there's mention of Martindale's "sexual misconduct" and other issues, nothing's mentioned of that being an accusation made against his predecessor. VPW gets a pass on that - and that's buggy to me from a historical standpoint but - I get why that's probably the case, ashis accusations don't have any legal or formal record and Martindale's does....so a writer would be on safe ground to note LCM's history as it's a matter of court record, but VPW's problems with it such as they may have been - are not. Still and all it has become a very public part of the Way's history, of that there's no question. And while reading it I think there's a very telling few lines about the Way West and East, and the era of Jim Doop and Steve Heefner.....it's this part under the paragraph "The Way": "Some of the groups he met later incorporated as The Way East (based in Rye, New York) and The Way West (based in Mill Valley, California), groups that utilized Wierwille's PFAL class in their ministries.[10] Wierwille also recruited a number of new members on his trip, marking a period of large growth for his ministry. Wierwille later merged The Way East and The Way West into The Way Inc., now the Way International.[21][22]" That very succinctly describes what happened, and the results of what they're calling a "merge" indicates the intent of VPW to grow his ministry's assets into a larger organization. But calling it a merger is like calling a shi t storm a reason to buy more toilet paper. Clearly the writers of the Wiki page are giving VPW a pass and making the earlier history of the Way dust free, while lightly covering the later problems that more people alive now are likely to know about. Anyhoo - don't sweat it. Peace!!
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    Wikipedia Scrubbed?

    This one?
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    Revival and Restoration

    Hmmm. no. I'm not kidding. Was I not clear enough? Let me try again, more seriously. "So is that correct - did LCM's legacy amount to "0" for EVERYone, whether they continue to maintain some, all or any part of what they were taught by The Way....?" I'm going to put your answer as a "Yes", my question/statement is true. So far everyone appears to agree. Thank you for your response, it's appreciated. If anyone reading disagrees or has other thoughts or perspectives please feel free to respond! Thanks!
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    Revival and Restoration

    Speaking of Refesteration and Revilery, here's a question fer y'all...lemme see if I can make this make sense...I was thinking about it after reading that one of the principles of the STFI/Truth of Tradition ministry had left and was teaching something radically different than what the group teaches. It made me wonder - would those who leave that group refer back to their roots and the points at which they left the herd by name and by date, for instance using the name of John Schoenheit or John Lynn or whomever....since they're branching off from a group that built their doctrinal platform by the hands of a few people, it would make sense if they did. It might also make sense for them to reach even further back or for that matter, to skip people altogether and just start from "scratch" so to speak, from "The Word" and not what their previous founders and bible-pounders taught. Or from some other point of reference that they consider important. Likewise, today there are groups, ministries, fellowships and otherswho are carrying forth the teachings of Dr. Wiewille, by name, both in part and whole. Refaced PFAL classes, reworked teachings and books, in whatever form, some people openly favor all or some part of "what they were taught" and are willing and ready to keep the candle burning for "What Doctor Taught".... But - I never hear of anyone referencing or building their platform from what Craig Martindale taught - and he redid the Way's "Foundational" series class....yet there seems to be a vast void of anyone who references him directly as "What Rev. Martindale Taught" or as a way of calling the fold together around something he taught in the past....it seems no one sees a point of his involvement as a milestone date or event in a positive way. And I could see why - I personally can't think of anything he did or said that's worth remembering, other than some personal communications I might have had with him, but nothing on a deeper scale. I was only involved for a short few years after he took over but others were on board with him for many years.... So is that correct - did LCM's legacy amount to "0" for EVERYone, whether they continue to maintain some, all or any part of what they were taught by The Way....? Your responses are welcome.
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    Revival and Restoration

    That's a good recap, DWBH, thank you. So much of what I've seen as well as heard from others says that the Moneyhands are a very damaged couple who are not interested in helping much less "restoring" anyone unless it serves their own purposes. Taxiperson, you're on the right track. Remember, in the "old" days everyone used to say that The Way was....Jesus Christ, and that we were followers of the Way, of Jesus Christ, not people. That has a practical application and requires you and I actually do it, and understand that Jesus Christ was and IS the Living Logos, and it is through that Word that we understand and have a perspective of God. God magnified "His Word" above His own name, which puts the Living Word as the thing that we must live to see and follow. Men and women will always want you to follow THEM, as an aid, a means to better do that....their "ministries", so called, if given by God are in SERVICE to God's people and will always magnify Jesus Christ, making His Way clearer. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word, indeed....and it's that "faith of Jesus Christ" which is complete and full and all that we need to rely on and identify with. Yes, thank God we have a written record to read and learn from - but we must always remember that the Way of Christ is straight, simple and easily intreated, not burdensome though we may choose to bear the burdens of others as Christ has our own - it's loving, forgiving and only requires that we subject ourselves to God's forgiveness, knowing that we need it - we need the broken ends of our lives brought that together and "restored" - so we can live for God. The Way was so subtle replacing the simplicity in Christ with the complexities of it's own religion, born out of The Way Corps program which ultimately drilled down into every fellowship The Way held for many years. Ultimately in order to be true to God, each person that came out of the Corps program had to divest it'self from the authority of The Way in order to make any use of what they'd learned. I for one did learn a great deal and I do not understate the value of the experiences I had, including of course the mistakes I myself made and those of others that affected me. It's far outweighed by what I gained. This in no way values bad over good, error over truth or ungodliness over true faith. However everything I am today is the sum total of what I have been and done up to this point, and it will never be the perfection that God promises through eternal life wholness, in Christ. Still I persist! There's really nothing else to do but that. PEACE!!
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    Revival and Restoration

    I fielded a couple questions recently on this group and their communications. I only know what I've seen online but note that it's Moynihan who says - 'nothing happens without leadership, and when we have great leadership things happen greatly'.... Given the last few decades and what they've being doing, I'd have to agree - it appears obvious that In the absence of anything close to "great" leadership in the Way ... nothing great has happened for many many years, unless you count leaving being great. In which case, now that they've left, perhaps...."great leadership"....might develop? I won't develop that idea further but this is why you can't trust what so many people say. They just don't really think about what they're saying but sometimes the truth comes out anyway... Also the woman who emphasizes that the 'self governing, self propagating' aspect of the home fellowship has been "slowly taken away" is showing how blind they really are and have been. It was not slow, and for practical purposes once the 'Way Tree' was installed as a functional organizational tool that's been gone, going back to the early 70's. I would say that since Dr. Wierwille really hit the road looking to promote his newly filmed PFAL class, the organizational model of close corporate level control over everything has been in place. Certainly since the late 70's it's been impossible for any smaller ministry units like "twigs" to be truly self governing unless it's in strict "cooperation with the next higher level" of leadership. It wasn't slow by these peoples' timeline, some of them didn't even know about the Way until the 80's......edits were made to the pamphlet "First Century Church in the Twentieth" when it it went into the New Dynamic Church "The Green Book" that left out key parts of the early Acts model of growth. All classes related to the "Way Tree" and ministry outreach hammered the point of maintaining accountability to what the New Knoxville "leadership" said and did at "The Root". Allegiance to the "man of God" was promoted and the idea that you HAD to stand with him and the Way to be a "true believer" became essential long before Craig got a hold of it. (that's why Craig was able to step so easily into being a self serving Hitleresque President, the frame work already existed to keep all control within the BOT's, he just exercised it to a greater degree across all parts of the Way. ) Likewise for years and years there was a growing development of process and procedure for local fellowships to support the Way Nash by giving TO them and supporting them in all ways but little to no development of process and procedure for the Way Nash Trunk/Root level organizations BACK to support local fellowships - except in products and merchandise. The products of the ministry were books, classes, tapes and visits and assignment of Way leaders and teachers to live in areas where the ministry had work. But there was no real tangible connection to allow for the local expanding churches/twigs in a state to have autonomy amongst themselves. Everyone followed the same ministry calendar of events, parallel classes and concurrent meetings, plus attendance at all larger state and multi state meetings, reviews f the Way Magazine being done week after week, the SNS teachings being reviewed in twigs week after week - the only way or reason a local fellowship coordinator could be assured of exercising self governance was to just not tell his "next higher" level of leadership, to hide it. Which oddly was something even Dr. Wierwille advised regarding certain things....! Slowly taken away, indeed...............ah, kids, lotta things, but you gotta see it in the original to really appreciate it. It was hardly "slow" - it was actually rather quick, starting in about 1971 and moving forward from there.
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    Athletes of the Spirit Video (from the '80's)

    Yes, that's it! A very bizarre flick, and at 11 years old, seemed kinda kinky. Wacky! AOS - We drove up with another couple for the premiere weekend showing. Stayed a night, and were back home Monday. We all discussed it for a long time on the way home - and remember we were broadly pro-the-ministry, and weren't looking to trash it. I had friends involved, and really really wanted to like it, to learn something from it, to be encouraged the Ministry was moving in a healthy direction that we could all grow with. Plus this was seeing our new Pres Craig in action and saw it to be something of a harbinger of his future. Buuuuuuuuuuut...outside of the dancers trying to do their best I thought it was a terrible production. It had no natural rhythm or flow that carried the viewer, no real story being told, no narrative quality, texture. Considering I was very well schooled in what they were trying to communicate I felt I knew less about the topic after seeing the production - seriously, the imagery was, to put it into a word, "corny" and took away from the realities being referred to. It removed all sense of horror from the reality of a rebellious adversary working contrary to God the Creator's will. It made it seem like an academic exercise - given Craig's failure and that he was about to have his defeated "Adversary" tying a plastic bag around his head while being drug into quicksand, he was being cavalier at an almost Shakespearean level. In the Way we were taught to see God as the sum of the things He does for us. We lost the magnitude of His glory, the breadth of His will as Creator by reducing it to words and definitions we could parse. We knew the greek nuances of the words that told us that God was beyond our highest perceptions but ignored what that meant and how it might affect our actions and attitudes. AOS was a perfect example of Craig's "flat earth" view of spirituality. Lacking grandeur and scope, but struggling with every wiggling drop of sweat to communicate. Anyway, I'd never show that to anyone. We never watched it back home in our fellowship. It eventually was shown locally buuuuuuuuut I barely remembered it. There was an incident on the road trip home from Ohio that has lived on our memories as one of the more hilarious travel stories we accumulated but that's another story. Anyway. Yeah.
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    Athletes of the Spirit Video (from the '80's)

    To add: I'm sure there was but it doesn't ring any bells. It likely ran around 2 am, right after the "Shepherds Chapel" and the Bahai Events Calendar for that month.
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    Athletes of the Spirit Video (from the '80's)

    When I was a kid going to Cat'lic school, we used to get summer Movie passes to a local theater, and it included weekly cheep matinee showings. Sold a lot of popcorn and soda, I'm sure. They would show all kinds of fringe stuff in the matinees with an emphasis on cheesy horror and sci-fi flicks. (back when there were 2 movies plus cartoons and news reels) There was a movie I saw then that I would bet you've heard of - "The Mask". It wasn't the Jim Carey movie but the plot was somewhat similar - there was this African witch doctor kind of mask that would give the person wearing it wild hallucinations, visions of alternate dimensions which of course had a scattering of weird looking women in tights and tattered colored clothing, dancing around being menacing - I don't remember all the details but I've never seen it shown anywhere since then. It was so odd - it could have been an early reference to the coming DMT and LSD movements. It was in 1961 or so I saw it, and it's now available through some streaming services. Anyway - I wonder if anyone else has ever seen it? AOS and all the undulating dancing "spirits" reminded me of that movie's look and feel when it goes into the hallucination sequences when the person wears the mask. So few have ever seen that movie it barely qualifies for cult classic status but it's really a fringe-gem. Anyway, figured you might like to know, if you haven't seen it, might be worth a shot.
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    Anybody got the words?

    Speaking of that tune.....I re read Craig's July 1994 letter to the Corps covering the current status of his "Homo Purge". In it he added a PS that is really a commentary on his entire future as Pres' of the Way. I wasn't involved in the Way at that time, wasn't getting corps-espondence or Happy Ho Ho' Holiday cards, so I only saw this later as it was shared by others. It went out that year a month before the August Corps Week and ROA, I'm not even entirely sure if there was even one that year but it sounds like he was gearing up for a real rip roaring time in the tents that year if there was. Anyway - he notes early in that letter about VPW's "older standard" he had taught of dismissing anyone who was "caught in the act" of - well, I guess "being homo". Craig says they can no longer "wait" for that kind of thing. (I picture him pacing and fidgeting day after day at his desk, "did you get 'em?? did you see 'em?? No??!! Keep at it, we have to catch them IN THE ACT!! and GET PICTURES!) ....He ramps it down to "genuine spiritual suspicion" guiding the noses of those in "leadership"... ( I really struggle even writing that word in regards to the hose-pumps that ran the Way at that time, so I get where he's going with his sense of disgust). So the ethical rubber met the road in VPW's time only if you got caught breaking a fundamental rule of his organization. Craig is clarifying that back in the day he understood that whatever you could get away with was okay by VPW. Just keep it down, manage your stuff, take care o' business and have a nice day. He might not like it, it might not even be "off the Word" but hey. So Craig wanted everyone to get out their genuine suspect-acles and eyeball everyone for homo-nistic influences. I shudder at that thought - no unnecessary offense is intended to anyone including myself but the Way had a lot of people in the Corps who couldn't tie their shoes if they didn't have someone to tell them why and then had practiced doing it a lot...I'm not trying to be mean but it's the truth...plus a growing percentage of the "leadership" at the Way by that time were those who were too corrupt to pass up the emerging opportunities it's failure was offering...Yikes!! Knowing now that Craig was looking down the lane at a sh it storm of biblical proportion his PS to close that letter is telling - it read: "Howard Allen said quite a thing to me by way of a note the other days, when he said that he never saw Dr. Wierwille work as hard as I do to keep the household clean...." and he closed it by saying "so either get on or get scared to death and get out." Of course he didn't - why do you think that was, genius! Craig was so busy busting other people from his elevated perch of judgment that he couldn't see the irony of a man who enjoyed the privacy of his own sexual activities looking under every rock to smoke out the activities of others. Kinda bad form as that kind of thing goes, you'd think. "No honor amongst those thieves" to be sure.
  24. Hi WW. I think we can say that no, VPW did not cite his sources in a consistent, professional or scholarly way that would allow a reader of most of his work to track it. I used those three words deliberately - there are some references here and there but there is a notable absence of him foot noting sections of what he published under his name that were clearly and closely identical to other work of other writers and doing it consistently or in such a way that it would be on record. Nor did he observe professional and legal best practices in that area, nor educational standards. He did talk about them, at times. He referenced Bullinger, Leonard, etc. etc. but never in a way that credited them, nearly always making note that they had all somehow stepped into error at some point or stopped "believing" God at His Word. I think one of the likeliest reasons he did that was to support his claim that God would teach him like no other since etc. if he would teach that to others. If he referenced huge chunks of his ideas and language used to express them to others having it first it would erode that claim. The best thing he could have done was invite all critics including those he quoted, to question and negate his work if they so desired and then let the pieces fly as they might. That would have suited his two-fisted mans-man motorcycle riding personae he promoted. Instead he talked about it in ways that allowed him to "credit" them while making sure the listener understood they were not fit to judge his ultimate use of their words. Matthew 5 – "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not swear at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." "Honesty" is a moving target for a lot of people. In the Way it's reserved for "the truth of God's Word". Everything else to them is a "fact", unreliable and invalid. Facts are ignored and replaced by "what's the Word say?"....and of course the Word says to be honest and truthful in regards to our "facts". Jesus taught His followers to pursue honesty through clarity and performance. Say what you mean, mean it and do your best to do it. We're not going to perform a 100 per cent of that all the time, we know that, but any effort to redefine that blurs the reality Jesus led us to.
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