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Everything posted by Raf

  1. My study of this topic led me to believe that the New Testament strongly encourages generous giving without attaching a percentage to what qualifies as generous. There is no "at least." Your giving should be a reflection of your faith, your understanding of the Word, the extent to which you preach the word (in word or deed), your diligence in seeking the things of God, and your agape love. Ten percent was never a standard of giving for the church.
  2. Ok, where were we. The show ran for eight seasons on a traditional broadcast network. The seventh season was interrupted by the pandemic. It was the only season without a planned ending. When the show returned, one of the two original main characters was gone (the other having left many seasons earlier). Despite the absence of anyone who could be referred to by the title of the series, the quality of the show barely diminished (as it had become a little more of an ensemble series during the course of its run). The vast majority of the main and secondary characters were women. The men were really there primarily to propel the women's stories. One actress wore a fat suit to hide her pregnancy for half a season.
  3. I did not go in determined to manufacture errors. They were simply there for the finding. Anyone who had studied the books knew they were there. Like the meanings of "all" changed. They could not both be right. And Judas hanging himself having two explanations that cannot both be accurate. And David being a man after God's own heart after the episode with Bathsheba, except that's not what the Bible says. We didn't even get to the good stuff. You didn't like the methodology because it was HONEST, not because it was flawed.
  4. It is almost impossible to overstate how much this reeks of bullcrap. I'll be gentle: If Euclidian geometry were wrong on one point, Euclidian geometry would be perfectly content to remove that one point and salvage all the others. This is not true of PFAL and God's Word. By PFAL's standard, if the wrong pronoun is used in the wrong place, the entire word of God falls to pieces. Nothing in Euclidian geometry makes that kind of assertion about the whole of geometry. Further, let's dispense with the intelligence-insulting conditional "if" in your opening sentence. We produced more than 30 such contradictions and errors, even after handicapping ourselves with a ludicrously generous definition of "error," and for you to come here 20 years later and say "IF there are contradictions" is such a craptacular crapfest of crappy crap that it needs to be flushed before toilet paper is applied because no septic or sewage system could handle the volume. By the way, to avoid an allegation of plagiarism, the old poster Mr. PMosh gets partial credit for the preceding paragraph. If PFAL were God-breathed, it would be correct about the characteristics of the God-breathed Word. And if it were God-breathed and therefore correct about the characteristics of the God-breathed Word, it would share those characteristics. It doesn't. We've demonstrated it time and again. In 20 years, you have not adequately addressed a single demonstrated error/contradiction. You just pretend they don't exist. Dodge. Distract. Deny. Never admit an error is an error. It's dishonest handling of "The Word" and it would insult our intelligence if it were possible for us to think any lesser of your tactics.
  5. To me the hilarious thing in all of this is that the verse in question [knowing this first] has nothing at all to do with interpreting the scripture. That's a bad translation. Wierwille comes SO CLOSE to revealing this, but it would undermine his larger point, so he lets the bad translation stand instead of out and out correcting it. However, if you apply the keys to How the Bible Interprets Itself, you're left to conclude that this verse does not illustrate what PFAL uses it to illustrate. This verse is talking about the ORIGIN of scripture, not about the reader trying to understand it. So the whole doctrine of "private interpretation" is misleading. The Bible never says to avoid it [because it's the world's least necessary instruction. You never saw Stan Lee worrying about people privately interpreting Spider-Man. The Bible assumes its meaning to be clear, and the section of II Peter 1 containing this instruction is telling its readers that "we" [I no longer include myself in that pronoun, so, y'all] are not following cleverly devised fables dreamed up by man, but real doctrines revealed by God. That is, of course, if you still believe Peter wrote II Peter, but that's another can of worms and off-topic here. Here we assume for the sake of this discussion that Peter wrote his epistles, and we discuss accordingly. In that vein, Peter was not talking about the meaning of scripture. He was discussing its origin.
  6. The show's original focus was on three characters, two of whom, in the first season, could have been "the" title character. Although the identity of the title character is ambiguous, it's generally agreed that it's the oldest of the three characters. As the show progressed, the focus shifted subtly from the household of the main characters (one of whom was eased out of the show and the subject of a previous clue) to the circle of friends that helped the main characters confront their issues. One scene found the [presumably title] character on the set of her previous series and mocking one of that series' notable tropes, which was walking down a corridor to make a conversation look more important.
  7. Not sure I know this one. Maybe a few more clues.
  8. No. I should be more clear that the show did not end on a cliffhanger. The production company knew the last of its eight seasons was its final season, so when relationships did not resolve, it was by decision, not by running out of time.
  9. I'm here... Rare for its genre, this show featured one significant primary relationship that ended without a positive resolution and a significant secondary relationship that ended without a positive resolution. Oral sex is performed on screen on two females during the course of the series. We don't see the oral sex, but we see the women's faces. One of the scenes ends tragically. The series dealt with profound themes of alcoholism and drug abuse, the long term effect on multiple generations, death, depression, gambling addiction, grief and the decision to give a child up for adoption. It's a comedy. Well, it was.
  10. No idea on the fourth clue. I have an idea on the fifth. but nothing solid. The first three are all giveaways to me.
  11. I would be impressed if they sold the new class freely to anyone who would buy it, if we didn't have to attend a fellowship or whatever in order to take it. Buy it like you'd buy a book or a video or Netflix. Cultflix. Dumflix. That would impress me.
  12. "I wlll teach you the Word as it has not been known since the First Century." Umm.. the Word was not known in the First Century. Most of it was not written in the first century. And no one had a collection of all the documents. "Exactly!" The Bible teaches that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Wierwille tells us God reached him at a point he no longer believed the words Holy or Bible on the cover of the book. The ministry of VPW was NOT the ministry of a believer. It was the ministry of a con man who wanted "abundance" and no longer believed the Bible was holy. No wonder he scratched out verses and replaced them with "literal translations according to usage." In the end, he had no more respect for the Bible then than I have now. He was a counterfeit.
  13. Mistakes are perfectly normal. Everyone makes them. It's only when your words are held to an impossible standard... say, PFAL's definition of God-breathed... that mistakes undermine a claim to inerrancy.
  14. In case anyone is late to this 20-some-odd-year-old "conversation," the real problem is that Wierwille in his writings which ARE allegedly God-breathed provides us with very specific characteristics of the "God-breathed" word, characteristics his own writings do not live up to. We have cited multiple examples, any one of which would disqualify the thesis that Wierwille's writings are God-breathed according to Wierwille's outline of the characteristics of God-breathed writings. The preferred method of dealing with these... let's call them Actual Errors in PFAL, has been to dodge. Distract. Deny. Anything but admit an error is an error. I swear I am not making any of that up. Anywho, My views have changed dramatically since we first engaged in this debate. I've come to the realization that the only thing Wierwille wrote that was genuinely true was that he reached the point in his life where he no longer believed the words "holy" or "bible" on the cover of the book. Everything he said and did in his life from that point forward is consistent with a con man milking gullible people for everything they're worth, abusing their sincerity for his own personal profit. But to be certain, one can remain a faithful believer in Christ while also realizing that Wierwille's characteristics of the God-breathed Word not only don't apply to his own writings, but they don't apply to the Bible either. Because the Bible is not God's Word. I'm not saying that because I'm an unbeliever. I'm saying that because if you read the Bible, you realize very quickly that it does not consider itself God's Word. It doesn't even consider itself a thing. The Bible is not aware of itself as "a" book. That's why Wierwille can say he didn't believe the word "holy" (because his education showed him it wasn't) or "Bible" (because that gives the 66 documents a unity they never had in authorship or compilation). Wierwille came to the same realization I did. He just chose to milk the church where I chose to leave it. The Bible is not the God-breathed Word even according to the Bible! God's Word, Biblically, can be learned from reading the Bible, but they are not the same thing. They do not pretend to be. When you see it that way, contradictions and errors are just things to ignore. Mistakes made by men making a good faith effort to communicate God's will. Nothing falls apart if a preposition is out of place. Luke and Matthew can just disagree about what happened to Judas, neither of them knowing for sure because they didn't know any apostles. Biblical errors and contradictions are the natural result of different authors writing about the same characters decades apart with conflicting sources of information. And Wierwille's errors can just be ignored as the growing pains of someone who adjusted his teaching as he learned more, whether he was sincere about it or not. But Wierwille's books are God-breathed? Nonsense. Not if Wierwille was right about what God-breathed means. And you can bank on that regardless of how you feel about my current beliefs.
  15. Let's put it to the test: The name of the show is "Scream Queens" Who is the actress we're talking about (without looking it up)?
  16. By "reasonably" you mean "probably the first one that comes to mind, though she is not the first or the last... but probably the best known." Right?
  17. Hey folks. We never quite reached our goal last year. I just put in another $100, and though we're not in "official" fundraising campaign time, I still hope we can string a few more donations together to help Pawtucket out. Or not. Your call. Thanks.
  18. Hi Stephen. I'm a moderator on this site now (Modcat5) so sometimes a lot of time passes before I sign on as Raf. Sorry about that. So, here's the quick bio: Nov. 1988: I graduate PFAL. Sometime in 1989: Graduated Intermediate. Spring/Summer 1989: Left the Way along with most of NY State. Summer 1991: Met the first Mrs. Me Fall 1992: Married the first Mrs. Me. 1992-1996: Ran a fellowship in the Bronx. 1993-1999: Worked at a major metropolitan newspaper in NYC famous for having a globe in its lobby, as seen in the 1978 movie Superman. 1997: Split from the first Mrs. Me. 1999: Moved to Florida for another newspaper job. 2000: Met the second Mrs. Me. 2006: Started dating the second Mrs. Me. 2007: Married the second Mrs. Me. 2009: First son born. 2011: Second son born. 2012: After years of struggling with various questions of faith, I realize my worldview makes more sense without a god than with one. 2019: Won a (shared) Pulitzer for coverage of the aftermath of a local tragedy in South Florida. 2021: Mrs. Me and I begin fostering kids.
  19. My official involvement in TWI was brief. My emotional involvement is another story. I was introduced to The Way in late December 1986. It took a lot of persuading, but I finally sat through the class nearly two years later. By then I had sat through dozens of hours of teaching tapes and Way music was part of my regular diet. I even taught a couple of times: Before I took the class! I was not abused in or by The Way. No one hurt me. No one stole my girlfriend or wife. I parted with my money voluntarily. i left because I was loyal to those who were fired en masse in the spring of 1989. Leaving The Way did not affect my worship life one whit. I was of the belief that we who were cast aside were the ones who were truly most loyal to the Word as taught to us by Dr. Wierwille. In the decade that followed, I got married and became a fellowship coordinator at our offshoot in the Bronx. I got divorced and had a crisis of conscience. I tried hard to stay true to Biblical principles no matter who taught them, and to reject non-Biblical principles (again, no matter who taught them). I ceased being loyal to any particular group, defending and challenging various offshoots at various times. I also began attending mainstream churches after I moved to Florida. After my divorce, I discovered this online community of former Way believers. In my naiveté, I guess I must have come off as quite arrogant and inflexible. Honestly, I was not emotionally prepared for the realization that people had such a wide variety of experiences. I think I grew with this site, both in my understanding and in my flexibility, at least when it comes to doctrine. Today I am not a Way believer. I am not a believer in any supernatural religion. I am a humanist: I believe it is incumbent on man to identify and seek to solve the problems we create, so that our progeny can live in a future worth living for. I can work with anyone who has the same belief, whether that belief is driven by an underlying belief similar to mine or by the belief that a Higher Power demands it of us. So be it. I am writing this (and opening this thread) because I wanted to articulate a simple truth: The "members" of this web community are not an ideological monolith. The only thing we have in common appears to be that we sat through some version of a class that The Way called "foundational." Some of us experienced more. Some of us, far less. We are not all here because we were hurt, though some of us were. We are not all here because we are bitter, though some of us are. We are not all here because we hate God or the Word. Some of us love both with all our hearts. Others would no sooner hate God than Godzilla, for all their ability to demonstrate their existence. We are in various states of personal recovery. Honestly, I'm here out of habit. I've been done with this stuff for years. But now and then I am called upon to explain some of the things I wrote when I was young, idealistic, and enthusiastic about my faith. What about the Blue Book review and Actual Errors? The Blue Book Review (look it up) is a sincere effort by a sincere Christian to weed out truth from error in the works of VPW. Actual Errors, while limited in scope and purpose, was apparently QUITE influential despite itself. It was, at its heart, a defense of the class and the collaterals: A defense against an effort to exalt them above the Word we purported to believe. It was never intended to be an attack on PFAL. It was intended to be a recognition of the obvious: That PFAL was not perfect. That discussion died out years and years ago. But not and then it comes back up, and my name is attached to it. So now and then I remind people what it was all about. From the horse's mouth, as it were. Anyway, back to this thread: There is no single "why I left the way" experience. There is no single "why I'm still out" experience. We are individuals. We are here to give a reason for where we are today. Just ask us.
  20. Oooh, did this just become a Mike thread? Sign me up! Just kidding. To each his own.
  21. Ah, Japan. The nation with the highest vaccination rate, where everyone wears masks. Imagine that.
  22. That is a powerful analogy, STL. An instruction book that needs instruction books to interpret its instructions isn't much of an instruction book at all, is it? I would only answer that the "Word of God" is the instruction manual, that it is not complicated, and that it is not the Bible. If I were a believer, that is.
  23. I was laughing because I just used the movies that you had already referred to in a previous clue. Gene autrey. I am crying.
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