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fooledagainII

Confusion and dazed... what was real

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This story may sound similar or maybe not.

Before I got involved with WTI (mid 80s), I had been to many different types of denominational churches but felt I like there was a piece missing... I just didn't understand how these great men and women of the bible had this great relationship with God. I did my best to love and serve God but had more questions than answers.

To be honest, I read a couple of verses a day (short ones... because I was completely lost), went to Sunday school (which was usually a printed booklet for that week) didn't really see how it related to me, went to church services and that was about it. But I did my best to live what I thought was Christian life.

Speaking only about my experience (very summed up)... here's where the confusion get me in a complete circle.

  • A. Before TWI, living life and doing my best to live the way I'm suppose to. Have belief system in place.
    B. Mid 80s, take PFAL and instructed to put what I've learned before "spiritually" on hold.
    C. I question what I been taught (spiritually) before hand.
    D. Get involve with TWI, living life, doing my best to live that way I'm suppose to. Have belief system in place.
    E. Don't like the direction TWI is going, decide to leave. But still believe in what they taught me.
    F. After leaving TWI, living life and doing my best to live the way I'm suppose to.
    G. Find GS, read about abuse, doctrine errors, etc...
    H. I question what I been taught (spiritually) before hand.

Now I feel I back to square one. But what was real in TWI scripture wise? Where can I go for real answers?

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Fooledagain

When I left in 2000, I continued to go to fellowships in my area..I sat thru a class that was about 24 tapes. It was on the book of Galatians...I actualy teared several times throughout that class because I saw where TWI II had driven many back into the law and ultimately bondage thinking...

I knew I needed to correct alot of doctrine that was forced into my thinking...

I think surrounding myself with good hearted patient people was a start for me....

We are at different stages...continue to learn and dont let your heart harden...:)

SOme of my learning came from GS back around 2000 -2004, there was alot of valued understanding going on then..if you can did up the old archives I would start there.

Edited by likeaneagle

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Yeah, it was real.

A lot of folks feel the same I think.

This is a good place for answers, with the right questions.

Staying flexible in listening and speaking will help bring peace to your heart.

By that I mean to relax a bit and don't get stuck in one belief system.

We all grow into learning more each day.

All beliefs will cross paths in one way or another.

The more peaceful we are the more we can spot those times.

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fooledagainII,

Very honest, much respect to you for doing so.

Your experience is very similar to mine with a few exceptions.

I took the class in 1975.

Felt compelled to get out of TWI after a couple of years.

Involved in many different churches/denominations (mostly through music)

Always questioning, listening and matching it up to what I had learned.

No allegiance to TWI, CES, STFI, etc but still reading and evaluating.

Thought maybe someone would step up and spoon feed me the answers but I remember where that got me the last time.

I do not totally discount everthing I had learned or am learning now just because it has been associated with TWI or any other name.

Like yourself I too have been confused and dazed. I knew in the beginning that I wanted to serve God but got caught up in the I know more than you syndrome of TWI. As basic as it may sound, just as I believe works without faith is empty so is knowledge/information without your motive being to please God and not man.

I share this with you not trying to give the perception that I know anything.

But this has served me and my family very well. It seems to be finally sinking in what it really means to love your neighbor and to honor God first. It is my understanding that God has promised to teach us if we trust in Him. (NOT MAN) Been there done that. Sometimes we need to shut out the noise and just listen and that is easier said than done.

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This story may sound similar or maybe not...

...Now I feel I back to square one. But what was real in TWI scripture wise? Where can I go for real answers?

Great responses on this thread! Thanks everyone. I hear ya, Fooled Again II. I can relate to what you feel - and I appreciate your honesty & humility! Those are useful tools on the journey, IMHO... After I left TWI, I spent a number of years in a confused and sometimes scary state…and I don't mean my home state of NY either :biglaugh: . It's been a loooooong deconstruction process…and by no means finished. But it's no longer as scary or confusing…those feelings being eclipsed by a newfound taste for adventure, growing confidence in analytical thinking skills…..and tempered with a realistic outlook on life – which is accepting the fact that there's just a lot of things I can't figure out.

At its most critical moment, my crisis of faith boiled down to a single core element – is there a God? To which I answered yes! My next question was – do I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God? To which I also answered yes! That was my taking it back to square one. And it was from that point my spiritual journey really got exciting. I've pasted a couple of excerpts of my posts from other threads [see below] to give you a peek into the details of my journey – but I'm not suggesting I've figured it all out or that my process of doing things is the only way.

And to answer your questions – I offer a condensed version – which boils down to three books that come immediately to mind:

Understanding the Bible by John Stott. Still my all time favorite. Gives a good, simple scope of the Bible along with a rock solid method of interpretation: Look for the natural sense [the obvious, logical meaning], look for the original sense [historical, cultural, grammatical], and look for the general sense [in harmony with the rest of Scripture].

Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible by James Sire. One of the first books I read after leaving TWI. It's a great book not only for identifying where TWI screwed up Scripture, but helps to develop critical thinking skills when reading the Bible.

Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life by Richard Paul & Linda Elder. Another great book for developing your analytical skills. And so applicable – not just in personal Bible study, but in unraveling the TWI mindset, understanding your own viewpoint…and it comes in handy for discussions on Grease Spot :) .

...I was raised in a good Roman Catholic home – believed there was a God as far back as I can remember. Though I didn't see life as a journey back then – I acted as a person on one…searching…exploring…thinking…taking stock of where I was and where I think I should go. I didn't consider myself a musician – just a technician who given enough time can figure out how something works. I wondered how creativity and playing came so easy for some of the folks I played with – and the artists I admired – surely they have "arrived" – they tapped into something. This was a key point in my outlook. There was more to life than meets the eye…Maybe some things can't be figured out. There is something more to what's going on...

...Not sure of the exact time frame – but I think it was within a few months after that prayer I began dating a girl [Lisa], I met through my best friend's girlfriend. Lisa invited me to a twig. The fellowship was so sweet. Everyone exuded such a confidence…they hit me as folks who had something figured out.

For me, that was the appeal of the PFAL Class. It was so darn technical – I loved it! It's got everything figured out for you! How we got the Bible, how the biblical languages work, how the spirit works, how the law of believing works, how the Bible interprets itself, etc. [i've made some harsh criticisms of PFAL on Grease Spot – I'm merely stating my first impressions of it here. I'll forego any critical analysis of PFAL here since I've done that elsewhere – and will continue to do so on Grease Spot as I deem appropriate.]

I didn't follow the guidelines of vpw after taking the class - for the next three months set aside other reading material and read only the epistles addressed to you. Nope - I was all over the place: reading the entire Bible through a number of times, making a list of things to study in more depth later, buying an interlinear Greek/English text, learning biblical Greek, and drooling over the sweet words of Jesus in the gospels. As I got more involved in TWI TWI got more involved in me. It became such a spiritually/intellectually stifling experience in terms of personal Bible study - no one was ever encouraged to pursue his or her own interests – the priority was to get strong in the PFAL material…and run more PFAL classes.

For me – PFAL was like going to a bad swimming instructor. A lot of their instructions may be wrong, they may not even get in the water themselves – but at least it got me in the water. Like someone said in one of those cult books – "cults are the unpaid bills of the church." I didn't have much knowledge of the Bible from my Roman Catholic upbringing – TWI definitely served a purpose in that regard. Where TWI went wrong doctrinally ["morally" is a whole other issue and worthy of a gazillion other threads], was in being satisfied with the intellectual standards set in PFAL. Nobody is perfect. There's always room for improvement.

The way I think now, some of my doctrinal beliefs are in a state of flux. We learn and grow [in life, as well as in Bible study] as we realize our mistakes, recognize failures, raise our intellectual standards and readdress the problems. You can't do that if your thinking process is set in stone. Which reminds me…PFAL principles are NOT the Ten Commandments – but for many it became a rigid mindset, formed in concrete by a simple Green Card. You know what I have figured out after leaving TWI? How critical thinking works. It's analyzing information – as opposed to absorbing information.

Reading the Bible put me in touch with THE "Higher Power" – God! Now I still have a very technical approach in Bible study, engaging a wide variety of references but the tool I draw on the most nowadays is critical thinking. This is truly intellectually satisfying. But there's more. One of the most humbling experiences I ever had was watching my belief system crumble after leaving TWI, realizing PFAL didn't have it all correctly figured out after all and that some things in the Bible and in life will remain a mystery. Yup – it was like being at wierwille road and highway 29…when all of a sudden from out of nowhere Jesus knocked me off my high horse. "Thank you, Jesus." He continues to answer my simple prayer, "Jesus Christ help me."...

...I hear ya on TWI's interpretations coming to mind as you read KJV. I was in TWI for 12 years. I've found as I progressed in personal study AND explored other viewpoints [systematic theologies, commentaries, discussions on Grease Spot and some Christian websites] – those annoying TWI pop-ups were squeezed out by my own developing viewpoint. There's a lot to be said for learning how to read intelligently. And to that, I recommend How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren.

That book reminds me of a very simple idea I came across in another book and that is - read the Bible as you would any other book [from Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli]. For in doing so – I think our mind takes on a more active role in processing stuff. I do believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that the Holy Spirit oversees the written Word and speaks to every searching soul – but I also take very seriously any Scripture directives that encourage the reader to engage the mind, reflect, meditate, etc.

I've read KJV so much - that still to this day, it's quicker for me to recall a KJV phrase and look it up in a Strong's Concordance [ I recommend The Strongest Strong's fully revised and corrected by John Kohlenberger and James Swanson]. Since I left TWI in 86, my favorite version was NIV [that's some useful stuff by Word Wolf in post # 38] but has been eclipsed by NASB. I have about 34 different versions of the Bible on my shelf [some just NT] and a bunch more on software. But for comparative study purposes, I often use two handy books: The Comparative Study Bible with NIV, KJV, NASB, & Amplified and The Essential Evangelical Parallel Bible with NKJV, ESV, NLT, & The Message.

As far as commentaries go, I find the Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary by Kenneth Barker & John Kohlenberger affordable, handles key Greek & Hebrew words and since it is an abridgement of the 12 volume set Expositor's Bible Commentary [which I also have in software form], it doesn't get bogged down with a lot of cumbersome technical stuff.

There's some good systematic theologies out there [there's a few I highly recommend – if anyone's interested, PM me – as it is this post is way too long already :biglaugh: - my apologies to Just Thinking and everyone else on this thread…actually it's just a poll…man oh man, I'm outta control here!...but I haven't posted much lately, and I gots to keep up with my quota dontcha know :biglaugh: ] – but there's one I especially like – again it's affordable and simple: More Than Redemption: A Theology of Christian Counseling by Jay Adams. Doctrine affects practice – and much of this book got me to look at the practical impact of doctrine.

With regards to your mentioning "the law of believing" – one of the first books I read after leaving TWI was Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity by Dave Hunt. It gets into certain deceptive doctrines and is still very timely today, IMHO. Not long after I left I found myself quoting from it quite a bit in letters to those in my Family Corps.

I wish you the best on your journey.

Love & peace, T-Bone

Edited by T-Bone

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"Back to square one"

Yes, in a sense, you are "back to square one".

But, that is not at all the same thing as STILL at square one.

Think of it as one of life's many, many round-trip journeys.

It's not so much where the trip starts and ends but what you experience in the process.

Just a thought.

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http://youtube.com/watch?v=yGa3LXyuIXI

(hey, somebody had to do it)

Hi FAII.

It's always so easy to hand out advice when somebody opens up like you have, so I'll try not to be preachy.

I'm just struck by how you seem to want to find the real answers on how to live life. But, there just might not be any, ya know? Certainly lots of folks wanta believe there are, and lots of others claim to have found them. But it seems to me we're all just making this up as we go along.

It doesn't seem to me that there's any ironclad guarantees of much of anything - save death and taxes.

So my advice? Don't be a jerk, pull your own weight (and maybe a little more when you can), and try to enjoy yourself along the way. This may be (and likely is, if you ask me) the only shot we have at life. Don't waste too much of it chasing tinkerbells.

And for Gawd's sake, don't spend any time with anybody who wants a donation to "help" you understand anything...

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Great tune, George!....funny, what came to mind when I saw this thread title was

1219~Dazed-And-Confused-Posters.jpg

I love that movie! One of the best lines: Don't let your mouth write a check your bu++ can't cash.

Thanks Like an Eagle and Jeast.

Edited by T-Bone

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I thought of the Led Zep song too. The title seemed an obvious reference.

Anyway, I went through a "back to square one" scenario a few different times. I was raised Roman Catholic, then I became what was called a "Jesus Freak" in the early seventies. Then I got involved with TWI and was with them for almost 20 years. Each change was "back to square one" for me, and I gradually re-evaluated Way doctrines while involved in a couple of offshoots for another 10 years. Then I got kicked out of one of them and had to start over YET AGAIN. I started studying on my own, and learned a lot online, and I can now say that my beliefs are my own, and not based on what anybody told me I should believe.

That's not to say I didn't learn from other people. It's important to see what other people are saying. One of the problems with TWI was that we were discouraged from considering other viewpoints. But once I got over the fear of looking at other beliefs and started considering them, I could see which were based on sound logic and which were not. But I would not have come to that understanding had I not checked out other viewpoints first hand, because often what we are told the "other guys" say is not actually what they say.

I've written a longer, more detailed description of my journey on my website: http://godskingdomfirst.org/Seeking.htm.

Since others are recommending different sources, I thought I'd put in my two cents worth. I have learned a great deal from Anthony Buzzard's site http://focusonthekingdom.org. Also Vince Finnegan's site (http://kingdomready.org) has a lot of good stuff by him and his son, as well as other people. They are light years from The Way doctrine. And you're welcome to check out the rest of my site too (http://godskingdomfirst.org).

Edited by Mark Clarke

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Welcome to GSC!

I can relate with your story - it's similar to mine except I found Waydale before I left TWI but was well "enlightened" on others' experiences that were similar to my own.

You're not back at square one but older and wiser than you were before your TWI experience. Use it to your advantage, whether it's that you "don't get fooled again".

Peace.

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It was Pleasentville...just a big money sucking company that needed and still needs warm

vunerable bodies.

I saw it as a little town youcannot leave and everything outside is in Color,we were black

and white like the old tv sets.didn't even REALIZE the freedom out there(meaning out of THE WAY)

hELL yes it was REAL (A REAL PAIN IN THE a$$,TO INCLUDED "DOLLARS SIGNS"!!!+%^%^&$#%^&*(

hotel california has nothing on The Way(friggin spiritual vampires,we checked out anytime we liked

but..we can never leave!

Meanwhile the so called "higher ups having there own way" and YOU and I paying for it,working part

time,it was bull crap!

Yes..it WAS real. a real nightmare of half truths,a waste of my REAL life,a risk of my REAL life and

after all that was said and done!

I still loved God. but felt broken ....because of the liars,the real liars(head liar mr.weirwille) and even

after all that I loved the wows in OKC in 78 because their HEART was in the right place with the

WRONG TEACHING.

victims of The Way International..I still love the people. I hate the teaching,I hated that I was leading

other people down the wrong path.... a path of arsenic and lace,I hated that fact that I sponsered

people I loved thru the way corp and turned my back on my "earthly family"

I threw my bible in the fireplace along with all the other really wrong biblical research of the liar.

I got a NEW BIBLE (UNTOUCHED BY THE MARK OF PFAL CRAP )and started all over again and became

real,and over time healthier but I am still angry that The Way International is STILL out there hurting

people.

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