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Law of Believing


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Maybe this needs to be moved to doctrinal. At the heart of the way international's deception is the law of believing. John Juedes and other's have done a lot of work on the topic and there certainly are many threads here. I wrote this article and thought I would put it out there for discussion. I'm still Christian so it's written from a Christian perspective. Have at it and I will follow along.

 

https://cloud.disroot.org/s/o2n6WBFDT3BNnSQ

Edited by OldSkool
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3 hours ago, OldSkool said:

Maybe this needs to be moved to doctrinal. At the heart of the way international's deception is the law of believing. John Juedes and other's have done a lot of work on the topic and there certainly are many threads here. I wrote this article and thought I would put it out there for discussion. I'm still Christian so it's written from a Christian perspective. Have at it and I will follow along.

 

https://cloud.disroot.org/s/2eaS5BbmzAQcMHZ/download

Nice paper, OldSkool ! 

I like the stuff about tracing the origins of the law of believing

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28 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

Nice paper, OldSkool ! 

I like the stuff about tracing the origins of the law of believing

Thanks! One thing for sure...the LOB didn't originate in the Bible.

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9 hours ago, OldSkool said:

Thanks! One thing for sure...the LOB didn't originate in the Bible.

Yup – you're right on that, OldSkool !!!!

In my two-bit sociological opinion, the desire to have power and control one's own destiny has been around ever since humans have been on the Earth...I discussed an aspect of this on a thread in doctrinal not too long ago – citing the big philosophical difference between superstition, magical thinking, the law of believing, the occult, etc.  and faith in God...the thing that distinguishes the two is by looking at who is thought of as being in control:

You are in control
in some religions, superstitions, occult practices, proponents of the law of believing etc. even if there is a deity involved – the practitioner of this belief system may offer sacrifices, perform rituals, recite affirmations, cast spells, focus their thoughts, pray, direct certain actions  in order to influence the deity, or in some way force the deity to act...if there is no deity / deities involved, the idea is that you have to take advantage of or harness certain existing forces... A slight variation of this is the law of believing presented in PFAL – where wierwille says it's a power that works for saint and sinner alike and  he even goes further to say if one had some fear of death or set the time of their death - God would have to change all the laws of the universe not to accommodate you. That sounds more like someone is describing the Force of Star Wars...The idea is that you are in the driver's seat. this thinking gives “the believer” some false sense that they are in control...overall whether a deity / deities are involved or not – in my opinion, the person that subscribes to this belief system is on their own...good luck!

 

God is sovereign
In my opinion, faith in God has the focus on God - He is the object of my faith  rather than money, a  person or situation being something that "I'm believing for"... God is sovereign.  I think true faith is a trust in God – that He is sovereign and hears our prayers – and answers them as He sees fit – and maybe not always as we expect. Ephesians 3:20 should relieve us of any concerns that God is limited by our believing – for he is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think...Most of the time this world seems like it's out of control and I can't make sense of many things.  But I do believe in a higher power who has a plan and a means to execute it (execute the plan that is – not the world  :rolleyes:  ).  This leaves God in the driver's seat.
 

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

God is sovereign
In my opinion, faith in God has the focus on God - He is the object of my faith  rather than money, a  person or situation being something that "I'm believing for"... God is sovereign.  I think true faith is a trust in God –  
 

YES!! They had to redefine one of the key concepts in the entire scriptural canon - faith. And it's just that simple. Have faith in God. We were taught to have faith in our faith, or to trust our own believing...talk about circular logic. Circular logic works because it works ya know.

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Interesting. The so-called law of believing as promulgated by Wierwille certainly encouraged a mindset of self-flagellation when things went horribly wrong. At best it was an attempt to take the blame off God in instances of death, disease or other calamity. I've seen plenty of people whose experience of bad things happening in their lives caused them to get mad at God. People need to find a way to explain (or explain away) when those bad things happen. Is it "the god of this world"? Is it "part of God's plan"? Is it a result of our own actions? is it some kind of biblical version of karma? The "law of believing" is just another attempt to make sense of the way things are.

Full disclosure: I'm no long a Bible-believer in any sense of the term. While I'm not an atheist, I don't feel the need to look for supernatural explanations for bad (or good) things. Stuff happens. What's that verse about the rain falling on the just and the unjust? If there is a God or gods, I don't give them blame or credit. But the law of believing as applied by The Way went well beyond seeking an explanation for suffering and became just another way to assert control by manipulating people's emotions

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2 hours ago, Oakspear said:

Full disclosure: I'm no long a Bible-believer in any sense of the term.

Well, you're certainly not the first (nor are likely to be the last) to proclaim that.  Typically stirs a rather simple question in my mind as to whether (or perhaps I should say, why) someone ever truly believed that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.  Because I see that as the real (and perhaps the only) crux of the issue.  Furthermore, there's not a doubt in my mind that more that a few think that they do (or did, at one time or another) "believe" it... but if the truth be known, don't (and/or didn't ever.)

Okay, so it brings up the question of what "believing" really is or isn't, which I don't have a pat answer for.  But speaking from an obviously personal perspective, I simply can't relate to a "change of mind" about something that from a strictly "physically real" perspective is genuinely impossible to believe. So, to ever arrive at a time or place in life that you can and do cast aside the reality that you know, and replace it with the risen saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.... well, seem to me that it goes way beyond a crossing of the Rubicon, mentally speaking.  I just don't know how anyone that "makes that jump" ever ends up being appeased or satisfied with going back to what was (or might have been) before. 

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TLC

I don't think you have any idea how unbelievably condescending that sounds to those of us who spent a lifetime pursuing God and the things of God and leading people to Christ, only to have some self-appointed authenticity cop come along and say "You know I bet if you look deep down he didn't REALLY believe." $#%! you, if the truth be known.

Because your inability to process a genuine change of heart doesn't invalidate it.

Try again,

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By the way, I say the above as someone who has done more than most to explore the change-of-heart issues that led me from faith to "seeing the dark."

People change their minds. And it's a long, often painful process. To dismiss it, just because you lack the depth of perception to understand it, says more about you than about us. I wonder if it's a defense mechanism. The last thing you want to do is admit that a reasonable explanation could lead you down the same path, so you just deny that we were ever people of faith. That way you don't have to come to grips with the fact that people of genuine faith could genuinely reconsider and genuinely realize a worldview without a deity at the center of it actually makes a good deal of sense.

 

In any event, I was a believer. So was Oakspear. So was Sudo and so many others. And you do not get to come along decades later and rewrite our journeys just because you're uncomfortable with where we began. Get your edit-pen out of my past. It is not yours to rewrite.

Edited by Raf
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1 hour ago, Raf said:

TLC

I don't think you have any idea how unbelievably condescending that sounds to those of us who spent a lifetime pursuing God and the things of God and leading people to Christ, only to have some self-appointed authenticity cop come along and say "You know I bet if you look deep down he didn't REALLY believe." $#%! you, if the truth be known.

Because your inability to process a genuine change of heart doesn't invalidate it.

Try again,

thanks for the reminder why I stopped coming around here.  It's mean, arrogant, comments like yours that just can't stand the plainly stated opinion of another ... which reveals far more than I care to think about or know.

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Anytime, bro. Let me know if there are any other uncomfortable truths you can't handle. Be more than happy to serve you a little more of what you're dishing out, just to see your shocked SHOCKED reaction.

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6 hours ago, TLC said:

thanks for the reminder why I stopped coming around here.  It's mean, arrogant, comments like yours that just can't stand the plainly stated opinion of another ... which reveals far more than I care to think about or know.

He called you out for being condescending.   HE wasn't the one being mean or arrogant.

Since there's something you can admit you don't understand, you can TRY to phrase a question-without an accompanying insult-  to one of several posters here who actually can explain.   Instead, you drew a conclusion.  You also engaged in the "no true Irishman" logical fallacy.

If you're interested in learning, you can ask questions.   If it's a matter of being offended by being around people with whom you disagree, well, then we know why you stopped coming around here.   BTW, nobody is even asking you to change your opinion to make it less offensive.  When you post, however,  you should make an effort not to be so transparently offensive.   No, you didn't MEAN to be offensive-  but you were, nonetheless-  and that's coming from someone whose worldview may not look that different from yours.

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7 hours ago, TLC said:

thanks for the reminder why I stopped coming around here.  It's mean, arrogant, comments like yours that just can't stand the plainly stated opinion of another ... which reveals far more than I care to think about or know.

project much?

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TLC, this in no way is directed at you and I'm doing my best to stay out of the fray. 

I think one of the things I've learned to value the most since leaving TWI 13 years ago is people have the God given freedom to believe what they want to believe. Personally, I had several years where I simply was not an active Christian and spent most of my time in bars either working on getting drunk or maintaining my drunkeness. Honestly, I simply didn't care anylonger about anything related to the Bible, Jesus Christ, God, etc. Yes, I allowed TWI as an excuse in my life to go down that road, and not that they sent me there - that was my choice. Honestly, I used to hide who I was from people who didn't know me when I was way corps and all that jazz. I was ashamed of the fact that I got sold out to an abusive cult when frankly I should have known better. As time went on I totally quit drinking, I won't touch even a drop, and I went straight back into the Bible with a fresh perspective. I can honestly say that I have a great relationship with God and am learning what it means to follow Jesus Christ. Now. Heres my point. Not everyone is going to go my route, and hopefully not since I did spend several years on a self-destructive binge. Whether or not people believe what I do, or live the way I do, no longer matters to me. I simply respect the God given freedom that God gave us to choose what we believe and why, and I've learned to respect others boundaries and do my best to not cross them. Obviously I am excited to work and share scripture again or I never would have put the work into the article I posted. I really enjoyed doing the homework, and I'm just simply sharing what I am learning and living so I can hear other's perspectives and learn. So whether or not someone was a Christian and no longer is doesn't matter to me. It's simply not my place to judge. One thing I do know is that the Lord Jesus Christ draws people to God and what route folks take to get there isn't my business. My job is to simply love people and help them out in life the best I am able without regard for any potential gain on my part. Some of you may disagree with my point of view and I completely respect that, let's just be respectful and help each other out. Peace!

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Thanks for that perspective, OS.

I'll just add that one cannot be respectful while rewriting someone else's past to conform with one's own preconceptions.

You don't get to tell people who spent 40 years caring about little more than getting God right, who spent their lives in prayer and pursuit of the things of God, that their faith was simply not genuine, and then write that off as a plainly stated opinion.

 

And then accuse ME of arrogance when I hold a mirror up to YOUR actions? [Not you, OS].

Horse hit.

 

You don't get to rewrite my history and call it your opinion. 

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10 minutes ago, Raf said:

You don't get to tell people who spent 40 years caring about little more than getting God right, who spent their lives in prayer and pursuit of the things of God, that their faith was simply not genuine

I totally understand this statement to the core of my soul. That's how I learned the law of believing is complete BS (thats not the only topic but it's the one that took me over the top) - I put it to the test and I can say before God with an open heart that I had complete faith and as a result of believing some complete BS that was packaged as "biblical" I damn near wound up in an early grave. So yeah, we agree completely. I think what people need to understand is when people lose faith (and it happens) there's a lot of deep hurt that goes along with it. I know because I lived it. The last things that anyone needs is to feel judged by their fellow humans because of it, because that only adds to the hurt. Again, I know because I've lived it. 

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23 hours ago, TLC said:

Well, you're certainly not the first (nor are likely to be the last) to proclaim that.  Typically stirs a rather simple question in my mind as to whether (or perhaps I should say, why) someone ever truly believed that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.  Because I see that as the real (and perhaps the only) crux of the issue.  Furthermore, there's not a doubt in my mind that more that a few think that they do (or did, at one time or another) "believe" it... but if the truth be known, don't (and/or didn't ever.)

Others responded to your comment much more politely and succinctly than the responses that I had teed up. I'm also a non-practicing moderator, so I know the rules. 

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WordWolf brought up the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy in reference to a condescending response to my admission that Christianity is in my rear view mirror. It got me thinking about how the 'Law', as applied by TWI, was a variation of this fallacy.

We were taught, i.e. indoctrinated, with the perspective that whatsoever we believed "for", would definitely, without question, come to pass. God allegedly promised as much. When we didn't receive, that was supposedly evidence that we must not have been "really" believing. It didn't matter how much you were convinced that you were believing, you couldn't be if you didn't get the result that you believed for. 

On a side note, my disbelief in the Bible doesn't preclude me from comparing TWI doctrine and practice with what it says in the Bible, which is really the point of this thread as I understand it. I'm keeping my own opinion about the efficacy of prayer, whether God intervenes in the world, or even the existence of God out of this discussion because it would be off topic. 

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1 hour ago, Oakspear said:

efficacy of prayer, whether God intervenes in the world, or even the existence of God

Crazy thing is these are all valid points of consideration that should be welcomed in a legitimate discussion. The irritating part is that even most "long standing Christians" tend to be judgmental towards others who are looking for answers. I've dealt with similar attitudes from people on other topics. 

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about the word “believing

wierwille liked to redefine many things – and that was generally a ruse to manipulate his adoring students into one of his many elaborate mental traps that seemed to have no exit. Take for example, a little thing like “believing”. If you believed “The Word” under his ministry then it was generally understood there was no alternative way for you to think or believe other than by his viewpoint. The only choice outside of wierwille's sanctimonious little kingdom was oblivion! It goes along similar lines as “crossing the Rubicon” – an   idiom which means to commit to a particular plan or course of action that cannot be reversed. The phrase refers to how Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river and became embroiled in civil war in 49 BCE. 

Controlling cults constantly work to shore up a high commitment level from their followers to ensure retention . They don't want you to change your mind - alter your beliefs - and leave. It would be bad for business. They warn that you will disappoint God, your fellow believers and lots of bad $hit will follow you for the rest of your miserable life. You will be a tripped-out-believer.

Speaking for myself, I've found that beliefs and priorities can change. Over the years since I've left TWI, many of my beliefs about God, the Bible and even life in general have been in a state of flux just because I now exercise my freedom to think more deeply, the freedom to question and the freedom to consider other viewpoints. I even started a thread to talk about my journey   Concerning the Bible - confessions of a former fundamentalist     

 

It was uncomfortable at first – just from exploring territory that was unfamiliar to me and there was no one to hold my hand...that's because TWI had “trained” the adult out of me (putting it in Advanced Class lingo – they exorcised the ability to think and act like a grownup out of me – I really got delivered    deluded   in that last session, praise wierwille and all the head table hosts!

We are free to believe whatever we want to believe  – that's why controlling cults have to resort to soft-sell, deception, manipulation and eventually hardcore indoctrination tactics to get followers to adopt new attitudes,  values, and beliefs.  Edmund Burke an Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher once said “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion”...

...I used to have the following quote at the bottom of every post – not anymore – but it's still on my profile page About Me along with some other rascally ramblings of my TWI experience:
Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even specially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities.....by  Allan Bloom...from  The Closing of the American Mind 

Edited by T-Bone
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1 hour ago, Oakspear said:

Others responded to your comment much more politely and succinctly than the responses that I had teed up. I'm also a non-practicing moderator, so I know the rules. 

As a practicing moderator, I immediately reported myself and requested mod review.

 

Quote

On a side note, my disbelief in the Bible doesn't preclude me from comparing TWI doctrine and practice with what it says in the Bible, which is really the point of this thread as I understand it. I'm keeping my own opinion about the efficacy of prayer, whether God intervenes in the world, or even the existence of God out of this discussion because it would be off topic. 

 

That should be the M.O. in doctrinal threads, a standard I have tried to uphold in various conversations. Comparing a doctrine to scripture should not require that a person believes in either the doctrine or the scripture. I can compare Marvel's Spider-Man characters with the MCU's Spider-Man characters and be able to say the MCU's Aunt May is considerably more attractive than its comic inspiration without a belief that Spider-Man and Aunt May actually exist.
 

One can actually accept a "Law of Believing" in one way or another without believing the Bible! (At least, according to Victor Paul "But I Do Not Believe In Your Jesus" Wierwille). All views are ripe for consideration and exploration. And we can all agree there is no need to get cynical about other people's beliefs in a thread in which that is not the topic of conversation.

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