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23 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

:eusa_clap:  :eusa_clap:   :eusa_clap:  :eusa_clap:  great job,  WordWolf  !!!!

 

What a difference reviewing the material from PFAL and  the Advanced Class on Grease Spot compared to how TWI-followers    reviewed    regurgitated class material...here Grease Spotters actually analyze stuff instead of mindlessly absorbing and parroting class material.

The advanced class was all bulls*it... of course it's easier to see 40 some years later. 

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1 hour ago, T-Bone said:

:eusa_clap:  :eusa_clap:   :eusa_clap:  :eusa_clap:  great job,  WordWolf  !!!!

 

What a difference reviewing the material from PFAL and  the Advanced Class on Grease Spot compared to how TWI-followers    reviewed    regurgitated class material...here Grease Spotters actually analyze stuff instead of mindlessly absorbing and parroting class material.

It gets worse when you see the twisting involved to try to make this nonsense apply after that.

In Genesis 3, Man has sinned and lost spirit.  God communicates with him without any problems, making a voice (the first mention of the word "voice" in Genesis, the first time an audible sound is actually needed.)  God can communicate any way He wants to -He is God.        Makes the Universe, organizes the stars, fine-tunes details for the Earth, the biosphere, the plants, the animals, the humans.   Communicate with something that isn't spirit?  Sorry, too difficult!     What is this nonsense? 

Anyway, then we get nonsense like Balaam's donkey had to have spirit upon him.  Why can't God ALMIGHTY use a bit of that ALL MIGHT and make a miracle where a donkey briefly can talk and reason as a donkey?  

We also get the incident of "the writing on the wall".  The Babylonian smart people couldn't make sense of it.  So, according to vpw, it was "written in spirit" (WHAT?  SINCE WHEN?  ONLY HAPPENS HERE IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE) which is why they couldn't understand the writing.   Couldn't possibly have another explanation, something more simple.   FF Bruce had already explained that decades before.  Somebody (like vpw) who was poor with languages couldn't even imagine it was a mundane TRANSLATION problem.    The writing, if read in ONE language, was "weighed, numbered, divided"- and the specifics of what was weighed, numbered and divided was not provided- there you needed revelation.  Read in Babylonian, and the writing- missing vowels like it did made it easy to mistake ONE language for the OTHER- and it read something like "a dollar, a quarter and change" (I'm paraphrasing, but it would have been a money denomination, a smaller one, and something like spare change.)      Not terribly hard to understand the confusion when trying to make sense of something when reading it in the wrong language.

Anybody who wants to discuss incidents of confusing language should probably start a new thread in Humor, or possibly Open.

 

So, having to distort all sorts of incidents to try to make this silly explanation work is far too much work, and it's unproductive work because it makes one MORE confused, not less.

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3 hours ago, WordWolf said:

Anybody who wants to discuss incidents of confusing language should probably start a new thread in Humor, or possibly Open.

...or simply try to learn another language that has a fundamentally different structure than English, making it impossible to do word-for-word translations.

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7 hours ago, T-Bone said:

:eusa_clap:  :eusa_clap:   :eusa_clap:  :eusa_clap:  great job,  WordWolf  !!!!

 

What a difference reviewing the material from PFAL and  the Advanced Class on Grease Spot compared to how TWI-followers    reviewed    regurgitated class material...here Grease Spotters actually analyze stuff instead of mindlessly absorbing and parroting class material.

 

YES........succinctly stated, provoking thought.  Thanks WordWolf.

 

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21 hours ago, Oakspear said:

Wierwille, after spending the first four sessions of PFAL repeating in various iterations that the Bible is without error, then spends a few sessions pointing out contradictions (or "apparent" contradictions if you will) and then shows you how they're not really contradictions...here's what it really says, what it really means, building up his own street cred as someone who can uncover the truth when every denomination in history got it wrong. That was the real purpose of PFAL, beneath the veneer of Biblical research that any Joe Schmoe could do was the idea that it was Wierwille who's conclusions should be trusted without question. If anyone questioned Wierwille's conclusions they were strongly encouraged to "hold it in abeyance", since obviously you were missing something if your conclusions were different than Wierwille's. Which was why things that made no sense, even within the context of "research" that Wierwille pushed, were accepted, at least provisionally. Things like "The Great Principle", or the idea that the original sin of Adam & Eve was masturbation, or the thundering herd of grammatical errors and leaps of illogic that filled so much of his "teaching"

 

Yes.....subtle, subliminal attacks on organized church denominations.  Yet, wierwille was attempting to build "his ministry" on a foundation of unquestioned loyalty and servitude to him.  

And, for all those questions *held in abeyance*..........did they EVER get answered?  Nope.  Those questions got pushed aside and shelved in the warehouse of wierwille's pathologies. 

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13 hours ago, Rocky said:

I never took the WAP class (even though as a child in upstate NY, of Italian descent, I was called a WAP numerous times)...
 

I thought that slur was spelled "wop"?

I always referred to it as the WayAP class, although a lot of people called it the WAP (pronounced to rhyme with "wrap") Class. At some point Martindale decreed that we should call it "the Way Class"...

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2 hours ago, skyrider said:

 

Yes.....subtle, subliminal attacks on organized church denominations.  Yet, wierwille was attempting to build "his ministry" on a foundation of unquestioned loyalty and servitude to him.  

And, for all those questions *held in abeyance*..........did they EVER get answered?  Nope.  Those questions got pushed aside and shelved in the warehouse of wierwille's pathologies. 

Of course they didn't get answered. I can only speak for myself, but I didn't know squat about the Bible before I got involved in The Way Corporation. Wierwille's explanations, as ridiculous as they sound from my current vantage point, made sense to my ignorant teenaged self. It's easy! Point to a Bible verse that appears to contradict mainstream church teachings. Do this enough times and you've undermined the credibility of mainstream Christianity to the newbies who don't know anything. 

In some ways TWI planted the seeds for its own destruction by emphasizing Biblical research (even though they didn't mean it).

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1 hour ago, Oakspear said:

Of course they didn't get answered. I can only speak for myself, but I didn't know squat about the Bible before I got involved in The Way Corporation. Wierwille's explanations, as ridiculous as they sound from my current vantage point, made sense to my ignorant teenaged self. It's easy! Point to a Bible verse that appears to contradict mainstream church teachings. Do this enough times and you've undermined the credibility of mainstream Christianity to the newbies who don't know anything. 

In some ways TWI planted the seeds for its own destruction by emphasizing Biblical research (even though they didn't mean it).

A great point , Oak!

your post brought to mind a motto from Syms - an off price clothing retailer “ where an educated consumer is our best customer “… back in my ministry daze :rolleyes: I went there quite often after comparison shopping.

but that wasn’t the case with many of us TWI-followers. I completely identify with you on how Bible-ignorant I was when I first joined.

 

TWI’s motto could very well be “where a Bible-illiterate person is our best customer

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38 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

A great point , Oak!

your post brought to mind a motto from Syms - an off price clothing retailer “ where an educated consumer is our best customer “… back in my ministry daze :rolleyes: I went there quite often after comparison shopping.

but that wasn’t the case with many of us TWI-followers. I completely identify with you on how Bible-ignorant I was when I first joined.

 

TWI’s motto could very well be “where a Bible-illiterate person is our best customer

I mentioned that TWI plated the seeds of their own destruction. Even though so much of what they promulgated was illogical nonsense, some of the methodology encouraged us to look at Way doctrine critically and question it later on when we weren't so ignorant or naïve. Understanding verses in the context, in light of Biblical era customs etc were all good tools for understanding the Bible - tools that Wierwille undoubtedly intended merely as cover for his agenda of command & control, but turned out to be effective means to unravel the BS. 

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2 hours ago, Oakspear said:

I mentioned that TWI plated the seeds of their own destruction. Even though so much of what they promulgated was illogical nonsense, some of the methodology encouraged us to look at Way doctrine critically and question it later on when we weren't so ignorant or naïve. Understanding verses in the context, in light of Biblical era customs etc were all good tools for understanding the Bible - tools that Wierwille undoubtedly intended merely as cover for his agenda of command & control, but turned out to be effective means to unravel the BS. 

Oh yeah I got your point about that too...and I agree...for many it was only a matter of time - which varied from person to person – depending on circumstances and the cumulative effect of one's experiences, questions, doubts, learning curve, etc. 

The reference to my comparison shopping for clothes addressed your idea of the learning curve in unraveling the bull$hit. During my TWI involvement I can chart an up and down graph of my own progress in gaining new skills in biblical research, critical thinking, learning how to compare viewpoints, analyzing logical fallacies and conflicting info...In many ways TWI became sporadic speed-bumps in the road to a better understanding of the Bible.

After graduating from PFAL I used to drive my Twig coordinator nuts with all the questions and problems I'd get into from reading the entire Old Testament and trying to understand it from a PFAL point of view. He kept encouraging me to just read and re-read the church epistles addressed to me as well as the PFAL class material...

Throughout my TWI-time my curiosity and level of exploration would rise and fall for various reasons – starting off with buying my own interlinear Greek New Testament and learning to read and understand basic New Testament Greek. I have always liked to read and would get into some “classic” authors like A.W. Tozer, John RW Stott, CS Lewis, Oswald Chambers, Jonathan Edwards and even non-Way Ministry Bible resources like The New Bible Dictionary (1962). Generally speaking I usually found this stuff to be more coherent, practical and thought-provoking than PFAL stuff...having a bad habit  :spy:  like that of straying from the intellectual confines of TWI was probably  for me a high-performance boost in what seemed to some like I was turning on a dime by leaving TWI so quickly after the patriarch paper was read. After that the up and down graph charting my growth in critical thinking skills goes steadily up. I got into commentaries, systematic theologies, philosophy, psychology, and of course discussions on Grease Spot.

...well enough about me  :redface2:    ...now, what were we talking about? Oh yeah   oh yeah The Advanced Class...yup - been there  done that.  :biglaugh:

Edited by T-Bone
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And for those of us still in during the WayAP years - Martindale came up with his own version of the Advanced Class which meant all of us Advanced Class grads were no longer Advanced Class grads and had to spend the time and money to get our butts to get to New Knoxville to take the new class. And it came complete with brand spankin' new name tags: white on blue! Yay! Once I made the mistake of wearing my "old wineskins" white-on-green nametag at a Way function and got reproved for it. 

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:offtopic:

This is probably off topic but what you just said reminded me of something I've wondered about a couple of times – and maybe there is no definitive answer – but it seems like martindale went to great lengths to distinguish himself from wierwille...and there's been talk here of martindale saying you could get possessed by taking the old PFAL class...I don't have a point here other than thinking out loud along the lines of what you said earlier about sowing the seeds of your own demise – only in this case I'm thinking martindale cutting his own throat – or I don't know - tarnishing the image of wierwille – or challenging wierwille's status – there's a new cult leader in town...did martindale actually think he could fill the clodhopper shoes of a plagiaristic, predatory, narcissistic, megalomaniac? I mean it's sort of like getting rid of Mickey Mouse who is the mascot of Walt Disney and substituting Goofy...and just thinking this through a little further - The Way International is a Mickey Mouse operation in it's own right...so I guess we'd have to change the saying to TWI is a Goofy operation in it's own right. 

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Mickey Mouse versus Goofy - clash of the Cartoon Titans
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5 hours ago, Oakspear said:

I thought that slur was spelled "wop"?

I always referred to it as the WayAP class, although a lot of people called it the WAP (pronounced to rhyme with "wrap") Class. At some point Martindale decreed that we should call it "the Way Class"...

Perhaps you're right. I was never involved with the Martindale flavored classes.

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5 hours ago, Oakspear said:

I mentioned that TWI planted the seeds of their own destruction. Even though so much of what they promulgated was illogical nonsense, some of the methodology encouraged us to look at Way doctrine critically and question it later on when we weren't so ignorant or naïve. Understanding verses in the context, in light of Biblical era customs etc were all good tools for understanding the Bible - tools that Wierwille undoubtedly intended merely as cover for his agenda of command & control, but turned out to be effective means to unravel the BS. 

 

Oakspear......while I agree with what you are saying, to me there is a larger issue.  As teenagers we were manipulated and coerced to follow without getting some of those questions answered.  BUT..... as we grew into adulthood, we had REAL-LIFE RESPONSIBILITIES staring us in the face.  When corps couples and advanced class grads got married and pregnancies/babies followed shortly thereafter..... no longer was it smart or feasible to jump thru every twi-hoop.  Bills to pay.  Comfort accessories were needed at every turn for wife/mother and baby.

We were moving into adulthood and all the classes and claptrap of the cult could NOT stop the reality of these adult responsibilities.   No longer could we sleep in a pup tent at the rock of ages and enjoy that cold shower in "camp city."  Babies and diapers and air-conditioned motel rooms were fast becoming a necessity, not a luxury.  

Year after year......dozens (hundreds?) of long-standing corps couples were leaving the rock of ages early and heading home.  It didn't matter that wierwille opined in his corps letters (1977-1982) that corps were abandoning him...... the 20-year olds were NOW 32-35 year olds and time was marching on.

People recognize hypocrisy when they see it........ and with wierwille, it was in BOLD COLORS.

 

.

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9 hours ago, skyrider said:

 

Oakspear......while I agree with what you are saying, to me there is a larger issue.  As teenagers we were manipulated and coerced to follow without getting some of those questions answered.  BUT..... as we grew into adulthood, we had REAL-LIFE RESPONSIBILITIES staring us in the face.  When corps couples and advanced class grads got married and pregnancies/babies followed shortly thereafter..... no longer was it smart or feasible to jump thru every twi-hoop.  Bills to pay.  Comfort accessories were needed at every turn for wife/mother and baby.

We were moving into adulthood and all the classes and claptrap of the cult could NOT stop the reality of these adult responsibilities.   No longer could we sleep in a pup tent at the rock of ages and enjoy that cold shower in "camp city."  Babies and diapers and air-conditioned motel rooms were fast becoming a necessity, not a luxury.  

Year after year......dozens (hundreds?) of long-standing corps couples were leaving the rock of ages early and heading home.  It didn't matter that wierwille opined in his corps letters (1977-1982) that corps were abandoning him...... the 20-year olds were NOW 32-35 year olds and time was marching on.

People recognize hypocrisy when they see it........ and with wierwille, it was in BOLD COLORS.

 

.

Another way a similar phenomenon manifested itself was when JALvis came here or on FB and without much thought to the reality ended up talking down to 50+ year olds like we were still teens or twenty-somethings. I remember having to remind him of the fact that we were no longer young people. Of course I was in my early 30s when I departed the cult.

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2 hours ago, Rocky said:

Another way a similar phenomenon manifested itself was when JALvis came here or on FB and without much thought to the reality ended up talking down to 50+ year olds like we were still teens or twenty-somethings. I remember having to remind him of the fact that we were no longer young people. Of course I was in my early 30s when I departed the cult.

That's because JALvis never thought about what he was doing and why he was doing it.  He was just plodding along, trying to redo the same things he did decades ago with young innies, when he was facing mature ex-twiers.  Few people were foolish enough to go along just on his say-so, and had many concerns the kids didn't HAVE decades ago.  Since it was about what HE wanted, he just blew all that off, and approached us all like a used-car salesman.  To this day, he STILL doesn't get it!

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19 hours ago, T-Bone said:

starting off with buying my own interlinear Greek New Testament and learning to read and understand basic New Testament Greek. I have always liked to read and would get into some “classic” authors like A.W. Tozer, John RW Stott, CS Lewis, Oswald Chambers, Jonathan Edwards and even non-Way Ministry Bible resources like The New Bible Dictionary (1962).

Interlinear was probably fine, but weren't the others bordering on heresy??  :evilshades:

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20 hours ago, Oakspear said:

some of the methodology encouraged us to look at Way doctrine critically and question it later on when we weren't so ignorant or naïve. Understanding verses in the context, in light of Biblical era customs etc were all good tools for understanding the Bible

I think this is one of the best takeaways from TWI.  Reading the Bible, attempting to understand customs of the time, looking at verses (and recorded actions and events) in context, etc, and engaging brain, are all good research tools.

Not sure that "used before" is necessarily a good way to do research; might help or might send the reader off in completely the wrong direction.

Whatever Greek (or Hebrew) we were supposed to learn was probably enough to be dangerous, rather than truly helpful, for most people.  Just because something looks similar doesn't mean it's the same.  And I'm sure distinguished scholars have put interlinears together; but "root words" may still be somewhat subjective.  And, as we know, Wierwille put a lot of pressure on the research team that put together that supposedly Aramaic NT version with its concordance.  

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In The Way, we wanted to treat translation like it was a recipe for baking muffins. Take this much flour, add that much sugar, etc., bake at a set temperature and there you go...muffins. Language isn't like that. It's complex, it's nuanced and, most importantly of all, it's dynamic, constantly evolving, sometimes coming to mean the antithesis of what it meant in it's original form. While it is , at times, possible to single out a specific word or phrase and come to a reasonable understanding of its intended meaning, "word studies" , for the most part, are an exercise in futility. Even the concept of "no private interpretation" is a recipe for failure because it fails to recognize the fluidity and evolving nature of language. In my mind it's like asking a preschooler how a car works...."You put some gas in this hole and it makes the car go."

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2 hours ago, Twinky said:

Interlinear was probably fine, but weren't the others bordering on heresy??  :evilshades:

 

2 hours ago, Twinky said:

I think this is one of the best takeaways from TWI.  Reading the Bible, attempting to understand customs of the time, looking at verses (and recorded actions and events) in context, etc, and engaging brain, are all good research tools.

In my opinion that is the crux of the matter...growing in analytical skills and exercising the freedom to decide our own takeaways will change things...maybe that's part of how many people outgrow TWI. 

...your funny response about the Interlinear probably being okay in TWI-world but “non-sanctioned” material was a no-no got me thinking about all the biases built into the TWI-mindset. Developing our critical thinking skills can help us identify some seemingly automatic biases and help us fine tune them according to our best interests – we might eliminate, reduce or modify certain biases. In that regard , reading those “classic” authors while in TWI probably laid the groundwork for thinking outside TWI's theological box...

my biggest takeaways from PFAL are fairly simple and remain in my core of beliefs: The Bible is the Word of God, and that it is best understood in light of the original languages and cultural background...

my biggest complaint about PFAL and the Advanced Class is their thematic structure – there is a preoccupying concept that runs through these classes and strategically ties together everything and it's a fairly simple idea – wierwille is presented as the ultimate authority on the Bible, God, salvation, the Christian lifestyle, prayer, receiving revelation, devil spirits, etc.
 

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