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I am soooo glad to be snuggled into a vibrant Christian community, where words are profound yet simple, and actions abound in service to others. 

I know this : if I'd known then of church communities like those I'm involved with now,  I'd have called some of the things I saw when I was first beginning to get involved with TWI for what they were - unkind,  unloving, egotistical. 

Scratch the surface of R&R. Hmm. Wonder what's underneath? 

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26 minutes ago, JayDee said:

Do any of you know any Christian denominations or organizations that DON’T ask for money? Who DON’T have a donate button or n their websites? 

I’m not defending the practice. But why think it’s so unusual for any group that asks?

I belong to two churches here. One I rarely support except for special things.  Nobody ever enquires.  There are occasionally invitations to donate.  The other, that I regard as my main church, is a group of churches very active in supporting the community. Again,  regular attendees are invited to donate,  but nobody knows who does or doesn't,  and there's absolutely no compulsion.

I give, because I WANT to, because I know it costs money to help those with nothing. To provide the weekly free meal and hangout time for very lonely, or rather strange, or really impoverished, people hereabouts. To run after-school clubs, homework club, toddler group for young mums. To pay for the outgoings on our building and to heat it. Why would I NOT want to support that?

And every year, the church treasurers present a report to explain how money is spent and answer any questions. Oh, and both churches support external groups - partner ministries overseas and such like. Sometimes an individual or couple undertaking work in Christian or non-Christian communities overseas. 

The question isn't whether one should donate or not,  but is there compulsion? And who benefits from the money received? 

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25 minutes ago, Twinky said:

I belong to two churches here. One I rarely support except for special things.  Nobody ever enquires.  There are occasionally invitations to donate.  The other, that I regard as my main church, is a group of churches very active in supporting the community. Again,  regular attendees are invited to donate,  but nobody knows who does or doesn't,  and there's absolutely no compulsion.

I give, because I WANT to, because I know it costs money to help those with nothing. To provide the weekly free meal and hangout time for very lonely, or rather strange, or really impoverished, people hereabouts. To run after-school clubs, homework club, toddler group for young mums. To pay for the outgoings on our building and to heat it. Why would I NOT want to support that?

And every year, the church treasurers present a report to explain how money is spent and answer any questions. Oh, and both churches support external groups - partner ministries overseas and such like. Sometimes an individual or couple undertaking work in Christian or non-Christian communities overseas. 

The question isn't whether one should donate or not,  but is there compulsion? And who benefits from the money received? 

Whole heartedly agree Twinky. Personally I give where I’m inspired to give. There’s a family in my area who’s 12 year old son developed a virus in his spine that paralyzed his legs. He’s going through a very challenging rehab and the family are incurring mountainous medical bills. I’m helping them as much as I can. 

Yes. Giving without compulsion. Amen. 

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I also give monthly to Medicine San Frontiers aka Doctors Without Borders. Why? They're definitely not a Christian organization. 

Why? Because I'm so thankful for the extraordinary access and free healthcare available to me under our National Health Service.  Some people have to walk days for medical treatment and even then it's not good. MSF provides services in remote areas, free of charge. I can't help those citizens directly,  but indirectly via MSF works for me.

And, of course, because God makes his rain,  his blessings, fall on the just and the unjust. He has compassion on the needy. He doesn't expect payment, just thanks, and sometimes he gets it.

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5 hours ago, JayDee said:

Do any of you know any Christian denominations or organizations that DON’T ask for money? Who DON’T have a donate button or n their websites? 

I’m not defending the practice. But why think it’s so unusual for any group that asks?

It's UNusual for a group to NOT ask. Like I said to our not so curious and surprisingly trusting (in the R&R group) taxi friend...

 

On 9/22/2018 at 11:32 AM, Rocky said:

The issue is not whether they eventually start asking for money, but whether or not they decide to build their new splinter group.

If they don't want to build their group, that's no skin off my nose... they'll just all fade away.

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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!)

Edited by socks
forgot to add - special this week for GS Admins only! you can get in line for that 2020 donating by sending a request to me, socks, at pleasetakemystuff@donnitfeelgood.com and I'll make sure your place in line is reserved.
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On 9/24/2018 at 10:21 PM, Rocky said:

It's UNusual for a group to NOT ask.

That's true, it really is unusual.  I've not seen any religious group that doesn't have some mechanism for receiving funds.  Refreshingly, though, quite a few don't call it tithing nor make any demands, they just have a donate button on their web site, or a mail in address.

 

On 9/24/2018 at 10:21 PM, Rocky said:

If they don't want to build their group, that's no skin off my nose

I would think there's no skin off your nose either way, no?

 

On 9/24/2018 at 10:21 PM, Rocky said:

surprisingly trusting (in the R&R group) taxi friend

It's not so much that I'm trusting, but that I'm not critical.  Very different.  I believe anyone can change - I'm living proof that an evil person can do an about face.  And I have good company - his name is Saul of Tarsus. 

I am no better than any of them, and they are no better than I.  And so, I'm willing to give anyone a chance to prove themselves, unlike many here who are quick to be critical and condemn them to a life of evil.  I'm even willing to give all of you a chance to change your view and to be willing to forgive and move on.  Would you call that surprisingly trusting Rocky?  Because I wouldn't.  It wouldn't impact me at all, it would only benefit you who do it.

The truth won't be hidden for long, and while I wait to see what that truth actually is I am at arm's length.

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2 hours ago, Taxidev said:

 

It's not so much that I'm trusting, but that I'm not critical.  Very different.  I believe anyone can change - I'm living proof that an evil person can do an about face.  And I have good company - his name is Saul of Tarsus. 

I think this is comparing apples to oranges; Saul of Tarsus attacked the church from the outside - being a zealous Pharisee.

 

Phonies like wierwille and Rico (supposedly Christian ministers who should have known better) have preyed or continue to prey upon those within   “the household of faith “ ( that’s their distinction for those committed to following some form of wierwille’s teachings)...it’s an inside job - a royal scam ! Not an outside attack - but sabotage from within.

i realize your comment was in reference to yourself and the R & R group - - but I would be very wary of anyone who associates with Rico or for that matter anyone as their teachings are put into practice - starts showing their true colors as being some form of wierwille’s teachings.

Edited by T-Bone
Clarity

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53 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

I would be very wary of anyone who associates with Rico or for that matter anyone as their teachings are put into practice - starts showing their true colors as being some form of wierwille’s teachings.

If you can ignore who the teachers are and instead just listen to what they are teaching, this is from their Labor Day conference in Florida.  I've listened to almost all of them, and they don't sound at all like what I've heard from TWI.  Granted, for me that only goes from LCM to early this year, but I'm sure that would have included a load of VPW's vomit.  I'd be interested in your feedback.

https://cms-production-backend.monkcms.com/Clients/player/videoplayer.php?sid=19447&url=https://d5bbe83c60a04a394646-483f0bef34c369da37be1439b575ba1f.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/uploaded/h/0e7751730_1535766778_hope-conference-opening.mp3&mediaBID=5973404&template=https://cms-production-backend.monkcms.com/Clients/player/videoplayer.php&module=sermon&content_id=1473504&type=sound&CMSCODE=EKK&skin=skin_plain.xml&CMS_LINK=https://cms-production-backend.monkcms.com&width=400&height=300&fullscreen=&image=&overrideImage=false&playlist=true&autostart=true&target=MediaPlayer

 

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That’s a lot of teachings - and don’t think it would be a fair assessment on my part unless I listened to them all - and to be honest, i think it would be a waste of my time - I mean, the topics look like they’re about the hope - I’m not that interested in some feel-good-pablum over one interpretation of the return of Christ...been there done that...

 

...my intention in referring to Rico’s teaching on the household of faith was to point out the same captivating or ensnaring technique that wierwille used to make “true followers “ feel duty bound to stick with his group. Manipulative!

 

My point was when a teaching or doctrine is put into practice- when the rubber meets the road - when a theory or teaching is put to the test...how do they handle it when their teachings don’t jive with the real world or that their teachings are hypocritical? Or for that matter - how about asking if what they teach is consistent with the biblical data? Do they get into dispensationalism? I know this is not the doctrinal forum - but I think there’s a lot more debatable issues than what’s been lightly touched upon on this thread.

 

I don’t want to steer you one way or the other on what to think...I’m merely pointing out something obvious in Rico’s teaching.

 

Another thing that occurred to me by you wanting my feedback - I was wondering what other churches or teachings, Bible studies, etc. that you have checked out besides stuff from TWI or former TWI personnel.

 

Edited by T-Bone
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25 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

my intention in referring to Rico’s teaching on the household of faith

Sorry, I don't know what this one is.  Do you have a link to it?  I'd like to hear it so I know what you are referring to.

26 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

I was wondering what other churches or teachings, Bible studies, etc. that you have checked out besides stuff from TWI or former TWI personnel.

It's difficult for me to know if they were all former TWI folks.  One for sure is Joel Osteen.  I don't listen to him often, and I keep him at arm's length also, but he has helped me understand certain scriptures, merely by his delivery.  I have read some of the research by Ernest Martin, that was interesting.  I've watched Ravi Zacharias on YouTube, he has some interesting stuff.  I'm currently reading a book by Bullinger on Job.  I believe that would be it.

36 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

Another thing that occurred to me by you wanting my feedback

The reason I'm interested in what you think about them is because of what you have written here that I have read.  For the most part I find your perspective to be fresh.

 

34 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

I’m not that interested in some feel-good-pablum over one interpretation of the return of Christ

I understand, but that's not what they are.  They are geared more toward the freedom we have because of what Jesus Christ did, and the perspective we can have because of the hope.

Then others go into being a spiritual leader.  There are still 4 or 5 I haven't heard, so I can't comment completely.

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5 hours ago, Taxidev said:

That's true, it really is unusual.  I've not seen any religious group that doesn't have some mechanism for receiving funds.  Refreshingly, though, quite a few don't call it tithing nor make any demands, they just have a donate button on their web site, or a mail in address.

 

I would think there's no skin off your nose either way, no?

 

It's not so much that I'm trusting, but that I'm not critical.  Very different.  I believe anyone can change - I'm living proof that an evil person can do an about face.  And I have good company - his name is Saul of Tarsus. 

I am no better than any of them, and they are no better than I.  And so, I'm willing to give anyone a chance to prove themselves, unlike many here who are quick to be critical and condemn them to a life of evil.  I'm even willing to give all of you a chance to change your view and to be willing to forgive and move on.  Would you call that surprisingly trusting Rocky?  Because I wouldn't.  It wouldn't impact me at all, it would only benefit you who do it.

The truth won't be hidden for long, and while I wait to see what that truth actually is I am at arm's length.

Critical thinking skills are crucial for people who want to avoid the very human condition of being subject to con games.

Wierwille was a con artist. Martindale, though he exercised misdirection more often by way of bullying, was still a con artist.

TWI splinter groups are con games.

The truth isn't hidden now for people who actually are interested in it.

For those who are not, they often resort to calling critical thinking and analysis "speculation."

Your analogy about "evil persons" changing and then invoking Saul of Tarsus is a logical fallacy and unrelated to the discussion on this thread. But you'd know that if you weren't actively avoiding critical analysis.

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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. 

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2 hours ago, Taxidev said:

Sorry, I don't know what this one is.  Do you have a link to it?  I'd like to hear it so I know what you are referring to.

 

link to Rico's teaching "obedience to the household of faith" was a link on this thread in Skyrider's Sept. 13th post - see below

On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 9:33 AM, skyrider said:
Apologia, Part V: Obedience to the Household of Faith (R. Magnelli)

 

Closing out his "class" with Obedience to the Household of Faith...........SEE, back to following orders!! 

Him leader........you grunt.

SSDD   :asdf:

 

 

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2 hours ago, socks said:

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.

Thank you, socks.  That's great feedback.

And, as I'm sure you've guessed, I don't date back to VPW - he was dead already when I started attending my first twig.

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1 hour ago, T-Bone said:

see below

Thank you, I will give it a listen tonight.

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2 hours ago, Rocky said:

Critical thinking skills are crucial for people who want to avoid the very human condition of being subject to con games.

I really don't appreciate, nor understand, your insistence that I exercise critical thinking regarding the R&R group.  It isn't necessary to just listen to their teachings, which is all I do.  Then I may or may not go over the teaching to see if what I see in the Word agrees with what they are propounding.  I am by no means "subject" to a con game, any more than I would be reading the works of Ernest Martin.

2 hours ago, Rocky said:

The truth isn't hidden now for people who actually are interested in it.

For those who are not, they often resort to calling critical thinking and analysis "speculation."

I prefer to have some evidence before attempting to determine the truth.  Maybe you're clairvoyant?  For me, having no evidence of anything and making a claim is absolutely speculation.

2 hours ago, Rocky said:

Your analogy about "evil persons" changing and then invoking Saul of Tarsus is a logical fallacy and unrelated to the discussion on this thread.

Actually, my invoking Saul was to make a point about myself, and isn't necessary to be related to any discussion here or anywhere else.  I guess your critical thinking skills aren't all you think they are.  Rather, you seem to just be critical.

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7 hours ago, Taxidev said:

If you can ignore who the teachers are and instead just listen to what they are teaching, this is from their Labor Day conference in Florida.  I've listened to almost all of them, and they don't sound at all like what I've heard from TWI.  Granted, for me that only goes from LCM to early this year, but I'm sure that would have included a load of VPW's vomit.  I'd be interested in your feedback.

 

Well that’s just it - - I can’t ignore who the teachers are…maybe it’s helpful for you try to hold folks at arm’s length – but I like to take it all in - I still go by a simple principle:  actions speak louder than words...I’m not convinced anything is any different than before…the thing about such hypocrisy and callousness is  they slip by unnoticed when history, context or any personal dealings with these folks are ignored…I’ve already mentioned about Rico’s “great” PR work at TWI to dismiss charges of fraud and sexual abuse by TWI leadership in an earlier post  here .

And others have commented on certain R & R leaders herehere , and here. 

I’m probably jaded about these folks because it all sounds like what I’ve heard before - -  when I was in…it looks to me like all they want to do is carry on the same old con of playing at church. What credentials or titles do any of them have other than what they got through TWI? What makes their spiel noteworthy?

Yeah, and how about TWI’s “great” standards of excellence!  :evilshades: They told me The Way College in Rome City was accredited…imagine my surprise when one of the staff at a professional resume company looked into that and informed me that it wasn’t – and so they recommended I leave that off my resume.

I would probably have some respect if I’d hear them renounce the insidious…dishonest…manipulative…exploitative  nature of wierwille’s teaching and practices...and come clean themselves…instead of regurgitating the same old BS…but I guess there is something comfortable about the same old BS - - there’s no great challenge to one’s thinking.

I think the elephant in the room is wierwille…his insidious teachings and practices live on in TWI and beyond...granted some of it may have been sanitized by now but no one wants to talk about the creepy side of wierwille's legacy.

 

Sorry to sound so negative – I guess my criteria for judging are different than yours.

maybe I'm just old school ...We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this... II Corinthians 4: 2 NLT

Edited by T-Bone
Is it wrong to yell “apostate” at a crowded heretics convention?

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31 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

Sorry to sound so negative – I guess my criteria for judging are different than yours.

No need to be sorry.  You have live through something entirely different than I have.  Your perspective of these people is extremely different than mine.  Reading what they had done in the past is vastly different than living through it.  I really couldn't even guess how my view would be today had I lived through everything you did.

So, I don't know that our criteria are different, but our experiences absolutely are.  Thank you for sharing them with me, and us here.

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2 hours ago, T-Bone said:

link to Rico's teaching "obedience to the household of faith" was a link on this thread in Skyrider's Sept. 13th post - see below

On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 7:33 AM, skyrider said:
Apologia, Part V: Obedience to the Household of Faith (R. Magnelli)

 

Closing out his "class" with Obedience to the Household of Faith...........SEE, back to following orders!! 

Him leader........you grunt.

SSDD   :asdf:

 

 

okay, ...I clicked on it.  (thinking, it's really bad, it shouldn't take too long to figure it out.)

and yep... less that a minute into it, and it was pretty clear.  (and a few minutes more of it was all I could stomach...)

In short, if you are convinced (or persuaded) that the church (i.e., the called out) of the body of Christ start on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), I suppose it's a piece of cake for certain talented or charismatic leaders to  likewise convince or persuade you - in one way or another - of incorporating and equating certain portions and aspects of the law into your own senses driven servitude.  In other words, your obedience to the spirit of God within you is thwarted and/or replaced with an obedience to the spirit in others. 

Seriously now... merely try looking up the word "obedience" in the church epistles, and see for yourself who or what it refers to.

Obedience to... some certain household ?
Surely you jest, if you say that is something aligned with what is written.

Ah, but this "teaching" was no joke.  He was as serious as a heart attack when he equated it with your "obedience to God."

 

 

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4 hours ago, T-Bone said:

link to Rico's teaching "obedience to the household of faith" was a link on this thread in Skyrider's Sept. 13th post - see below

Okay, I made it to 5:31.  That's where Rico declares that Rom 1:5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith - faith, which is the Greek word pistis, meaning strong conviction as to be unshakable - means the family faith.  I don't even know what that means.  It was something I heard Craig spewing constantly, and it made no sense to me where that definition came from.  Obviously it came from VPW as a means of manipulation.  But everywhere I see the word faith, it is that same Greek word.  And no other Greek source I have found ever mentions anything other than a belief or a strong unshakable conviction of something.

24 minutes ago, TLC said:

Ah, but this "teaching" was no joke.  He was as serious as a heart attack when he equated it with your "obedience to God."

That was sad.

 

7 hours ago, T-Bone said:

my intention in referring to Rico’s teaching on the household of faith was to point out the same captivating or ensnaring technique that wierwille used to make “true followers “ feel duty bound to stick with his group. Manipulative!

And what you pointed out with that seems perfectly accurate.

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11 hours ago, Taxidev said:

Thank you, socks.  That's great feedback.

And, as I'm sure you've guessed, I don't date back to VPW - he was dead already when I started attending my first twig.

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"....

 

Edited by socks
It just needed to be better.
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6 hours ago, Taxidev said:

I really don't appreciate, nor understand, your insistence that I exercise critical thinking regarding the R&R group.  It isn't necessary to just listen to their teachings, which is all I do.  Then I may or may not go over the teaching to see if what I see in the Word agrees with what they are propounding.  I am by no means "subject" to a con game, any more than I would be reading the works of Ernest Martin.

I prefer to have some evidence before attempting to determine the truth.  Maybe you're clairvoyant?  For me, having no evidence of anything and making a claim is absolutely speculation.

Actually, my invoking Saul was to make a point about myself, and isn't necessary to be related to any discussion here or anywhere else.  I guess your critical thinking skills aren't all you think they are.  Rather, you seem to just be critical.

You've never been conned? Surely you jest. Even setting aside anything TWI and our involvement therein, we've ALL been conned. It's a part of life. Not a pleasant part, but it's there anyway.

Do you have any idea how contradictory your statements above are? Critical thinking isn't necessary to just listen to their teachings? That's all you do? Really? You just absorb them without a thought as to whether they are reasonable, relate to anything you've ever heard before, or could possibly be the truth? Oh, yeah, you said you might go over them to "see if what I see in the Word agrees..." But critical thinking and analysis is SO unnecessary. :wink2:  :rolleyes:

 

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5 hours ago, socks said:

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

I completely agree.  I recently did a study on this verse and reached the same conclusion.  All my reference sources were NOT from TWI.  It's amazing the depth of the Word that is available when one looks elsewhere.

I'm not big on bible commentaries, but for this study I utilized two of them.  This is from one of them.

Vincent’s Word Studies:

“The thought is that the minister of the gospel is to present the truth rightly, not abridging it, not handling it as a charlatan (see on 2Co_2:17), not making it a matter of wordy strife (2Ti_2:14), but treating it honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner.”

My opinion of commentaries has changed drastically.

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4 hours ago, Taxidev said:

I completely agree.  I recently did a study on this verse and reached the same conclusion.  All my reference sources were NOT from TWI.  It's amazing the depth of the Word that is available when one looks elsewhere.

I'm not big on bible commentaries, but for this study I utilized two of them.  This is from one of them.

Vincent’s Word Studies:

“The thought is that the minister of the gospel is to present the truth rightly, not abridging it, not handling it as a charlatan (see on 2Co_2:17), not making it a matter of wordy strife (2Ti_2:14), but treating it honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner.”

My opinion of commentaries has changed drastically.

mine has too...Vincent's Word Studies is great !

Shortly after I left TWI, I “discovered” a whole other world of perspectives at an estate sale of a pastor in my neighbor; I bought a few one day and after looking through them I went back the next day and got a few more…I got the biggest kick out of reading one commentary disagreeing with another author over the interpretation of a certain verse – giving other scripture references to back it up too…this really got me mulling over how in TWI it was more or less expected that you absorbed information and never questioned or challenged the teacher…these commentaries awakened something in my head…so besides baseball, maybe this too was a thinking man’s game :biglaugh:  .

I have a few sets of commentaries on my bookshelf but I always come back to these three favorites – concise, technical but brief with good cross-references:

The New Bible Commentary Revised

Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary vol 1 & 2

The Bible Knowledge Commentary vol 1 & 2

 

Speaking of II Timothy 2:15, I like what The Bible Knowledge Commentary offers in vol 2 page 754:

Paul had spoken of shame before men (2 Tim. 1:8, 12, 16); far worse is shame before God. Timothy need not fear such shame if he would correctly handle the Word of truth (cf. Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5; James 1:18), which for him included both the Old Testament Scripture and what he had heard orally from Paul. The Greek orthotomounta, “ correctly handling” found only here and in the Septuagint in Proverbs 3:6 and 11:5, means literally “to cut straight” but just what image Paul had in mind here is uncertain. Stone masons, plowers, road builders, tentmakers, and (least likely of all) surgeons have all been suggested, but a firm conclusion remains elusive. What is clear is that the shame of God’s disapproval awaits those who mishandle His Word.”

Edited by T-Bone
what he said was, and I quote "I will never quote you again"

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