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Oakspear

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Oakspear last won the day on January 27 2016

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About Oakspear

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    The Way? Who're They?

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  1. I took the PFAL class in Flushing in '76 and lived in Kew Gardens through '80 before moving to Nebraska
  2. The subject of whether or not someone is a Christian and how to determine that was not meant to be a major part of this discussion. My fault for including that one sentence at the end of my initial post. My point in starting this topic was to discuss the lengths some people go to in order to harmonize biblical contradictions. The criteria that the writers of the bible set down about what makes someone a Christian might be an interesting topic, but I ask that a separate thread be started if discussion on that topic continues. I'm sure the mods could move any relevant posts if asked. Again, my fault for leaving an opening by including that one sentence.
  3. I expect that it's a given that anyone posting on this thread knows that we don't have the originals and have no access to them. However, despite this, we (on this thread and in other places) discuss "the bible", what it says, what's in it and what its meaning is all the time. We have a collection of books that some time around 1600 years ago (referring to what we call the New Testament) were collected into a canon of scripture. Understanding that what we have are versions and translations of various manuscripts that underwent copyists' errors and do not all agree with each other, we can still manage to ahve a discussion about the bible. Resorting to "you don't know that, we don't have the originals" leaves us in the place where any discussion is pointless. We don't have the originals and no one knows precisely what was in them or what was changed before some of the earliest manuscripts that we have appeared, but we have what we have, and what we have contains contradictions.
  4. There are many definitions, back in TWI we supported Romans 10:9 & 10 as the confession that got us Christianized, some denominations rely on "repent and be baptized (Acts 2) as the gold standard. I've heard some say it's "accept Jesus into your heart". Still others require water baptism. Many just claim to "believe in Jesus". And of course there's those who emphasize the outside, the works, maintaining that reciting a formula is worthless without acting like Jesus. Most, if not all of these different groups can point to and interpret some section of the bible to support their view, and if they can't, so what? Who am I, or you, or anyone else to decide whether anyone else is a Christian?
  5. I've said it before on this thread...in any category or "rung on the ladder" it depended on the individual the degree to which they could be a victim or oppressor or somewhere in between. Surely there was enough variety to demonstrate that there is no one-size-fits all description. The degree to which a person who was inclined to be an "oppressor" actually was able tp act oppressively depended on the degree of authority that they had within the TWI structure. As a WOW, we could all be jackasses to one another, but it was only the WOW coordinator who could do it "officially". In a twig setting anyone could be judgemental and nosy about the details of others' lives, but only the limb coordinator could mark and avoid you...etc, etc.
  6. Or, as I believe, Paul and the writers of the gospels simply had differing opinions; later church leaders and theologians had to find a way to make them fit together, a late example is dispensationalism.
  7. I presume nothing in my observation that there are contradictions in the bible, they're all over the place, some major, some minor. There are different conclusions one can derive from that observation: one is that there are only apparent contradictions that need harmonizing, another is that the bible is a book wherein you would expect contradictions, because it was written at different times by different people with different agendas. Other conclusions are possible. I hold to the definition that if one self-identifies as a Christian, then one is a Christian. I do not believe that any one person can make that determination for anyone else.
  8. Sky - good points, but I guess since I was kind of a knucklehead when I came to GSC, I'm cutting him some slack. It takes some of us longer than others
  9. Skyrider - for many of us, the outcome, as you call it, was all that we ever saw, Wierwille just being a guy we saw on tape during PFAL or from afar at the ROA. It is not unreasonable for a person to view Way Corps people in a bad light if that's all that was seen. In my own experience I tended to blame individual Way Corps (and non-Corps) twig leaders & such, for their behavior at the time, but from the vantage point of many years later I see that it was a bit more complex than that. Wierwille was indeed the source of the evil, but individuals still had free will to act ethically or not.
  10. MRAP - there are often very good reasons for concealing ones identity here. Since Day One here at GSC posters have always been free to reveal or conceal at their own discretion. You of course are free to believe or disbelieve what you see written here and judge whether you have enough information. Posters are not likely to publish their own names or previous positions in TWI just to satisfy your curiosity.
  11. I can see some sense in holding questions until the end, sometimes you have to have more complete information before you can formulate a question, but that's not what was going on in PFAL. It wouldn't have been too bad if questions actually were answered at the end of the PFAL class, but more often than not you were still told to hold it "in abeyance" until you understood more, or took another class... In general, it's a good idea to question everything
  12. Good point. I highlighted "hidden" - I cannot believe that the creator of the heavens and the earth caused his book to be written in such a way that you had to be a sudoku master to divine the "real" meaning behind it. How many teachings involve skipping all over the bible to make a point? Yeah, there are verses about confounding the wise and all that, but if you need a degree in advanced biblical Greek and hours a day of free time to wade through it all, it's not very accessible to the common man is it? Nice :evilshades:/>
  13. One of the things that I try to apply the "outsider test" to is prayer I'm not talking about the kind of prayer where you talk to God, or praise God, or anything other than asking God to do something, or provide something I know a lot of people who are sure that "prayer works", and are vocal about providing examples of the many times where prayer "worked", i.e. they asked God for something and they received it, or it came to pass My outsider test in regards to prayer is that even a superficial look at the track record of prayer "working" would likely result in a very low success rate I understand that I am not proving anything - maybe your individual experience is that you receive 100% of what you pray for 100% of the time, but it has been my observation that people who make this claim employ rationales or weasel words to explain why not receiving what was prayed for: God answered, but he said "no"; the ever-popular "God works in mysterious ways"; "God gives you what you need, not what you want"...the list goes on and on Confirmation bias, selective reporting, rationalizing lack of success all serve to explain away the times when prayer doesn't "work" My own favorite reason for disbelieving in the effectiveness of prayer: disasters, either natural or man-made, when the survivors claim God's blessing for sparing them when many others were killed, or lost their homes Applying the same standard that is applied to psychics, fortune tellers and predictors-of-the-end-of-the-world to prayer and you'll get the same results
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