Saturday, October 29, 2016

What is Truth? The Answer to the Age-Old Question

Historical and Philosophical Perspective
In the Christian scriptures, the roman ruler Pilate is quoted as asking the age-old question "What is truth?" in John 18:38. Through the years, many have claimed they have "the only truth". I want to caution you to beware of people who claim there is only one truth - and especially to be aware of the human tendency to believe you are always right.

It is a fact of life that truths we once held dear change. Whether because of age and experience, or whether it is because we learn more, change is a fact of life. Likewise is our understanding of a subject. We have seen this in the world of religion especially. Martin Luther, the world-famous reformer of Catholicism into Protestantism was himself in doubt on his deathbed as to his statements on the book of James. He had held, through many lectures and books, that faith needed no works, and was infuriated over the book of James.

Nonetheless, his deathbed doubts didn't reform Protestantism. It is unknown to most that he even had such doubts, and that is probably for a very good reason. People didn't like the implications.

Truth In Your Own Life
The same can happen if you hold a religious view as "the ultimate truth." You end up disregarding everything that contradicts your opinion. Not necessarily from a conscious standpoint, but simply because you are in a safe "comfort zone" when you know what you believe.

This is one of the primary reasons why thinkers are a hated people. Philosophers and thinkers have no preconceived ideas. That is why they are thinkers. They dare to think.

In a similar way, many Christian groups have preconceived ideas about the Bible. When faced with new views, many react with negative sentiments because it causes insecurity to even consider being wrong...

Why is it we humans are afraid of change? Simply because our comfort zone is built using little boxes in a jigsaw puzzle. If some of those boxes change shapes, we are somehow afraid it will destroy the whole puzzle. Instead of just realizing we just need to readjust the complete image, people react in the opposite way.

This is caused by exactly the same dynamics as why habits are so difficult to remove. We get set in our beliefs, and if we are not careful we might end up losing the first joy of affirming what we know. If we set ourselves a goal of always searching whether these things are really so, we will be much more open to change in the future.

So the answer to the age-old question "what is truth?" is to say there are no absolute truths, but there are assumptions as to what that truth could be - but that we are willing to examine whether we are right at all times. That would make us less defensive when our beliefs are challenged.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Confusion Among Date-Setters

We are all more than familiar with date-setting in Armstrongite circles. We all experienced wild fantasies about timelines that could confuse anyone when you added and subtracted various numbers based on lots of fun with prophecy - something Ronald D Kelly was scolded for pointing our when he gave his famous sermon with that exact title: Fun With Prophecy.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

3 Decades Ago That Herbert Armstrong Died

Former Armstrong-believers will immediately recognize that three decades have passed since Herbert Armstrong died. 16th January 1986. Much discussion has been going on amongst former ministers. Some feeling apostasy set in around 1987, others that it happened in 1989 - and others moving into the 90s...

Chief among all of the splinter groups has been the scattering of ideas and thinking. Ironically, precisely what Herbie predicted about founders dying in the church pamphlet about 7 laws of success. :-)

I think all of us who have come out of Armstrongism can agree that it has been very good to come out of confusion. Friends still trapped in this ideology are missed, but we have all found new friends, and reached new levels of self-awareness that is in sharp contrast with the self-degrading (nearing masochist) mindset involved in Armstrongism.

Happy weekend everyone. :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gerald Six-Pack Flurry - Political Involvement?

You will no doubt want to read Redfox's article Reading PCG's Booklet, Lawless: Why America Is Losing Its Rule of Law.

It does contain some interesting perspectives on Gerald Six-Pack Flurry's political views. He may be following the traditional perspective of supporting the Republican wing, but there is a rather interesting perspective in all of this. Traditionally, Armstrongism - like the Jehovah's Witnesses - discouraged participation in politics, even discouraging that its members voted at elections.

The inserted words Flurry uses seems to indicate that he is getting politically involved, and not nearly as faithful towards the principles of respecting 'the powers that be'.... Quite informative indeed, and a very good analysis of the PCG-booklet.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Get Out - Get New Focus on Life

I recently received a question in my inbox concerning how to survive Armstrongism, and what people could do to restore their spiritual sanity. I will gladly answer that question in the hope that others can benefit from this also.

As you know, Armstrongism is all about mental control - people have been brainwashed into reading scriptures from a specific perspective. Things are 'read into' the scriptures, and therefore, restoring clarity involves getting out of that mental trap.

You need to restore your ability to read the Bible for what it TRULY says. Not what any minister told you it says.

In other words, you need to leave the Scriptures for a time. Getting a new focus on life involves prayer, going through the many errors and all the confusion you had - and THEN, and only then, you will be able to read what was actually in your Bible again.

Some will argue that they would want to do it another way, and if it works for them, that is just fine. But offering my perspective was the point of this reply to the question, and that is the best advice I have to offer on what worked for me.

Happy new year. I hope 2015 will be a year of freedom for all of you out there in the blogosphere. :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Child Abuse In Armstrongism Continues!

As regular readers will remember, I offered a review of Benjamin Grant Mitchell's book The Last Great Day where vivid child abuse was described in shocking detail.

Now, the Philadelphia Church of God continues the advocacy of corporal punishment - three pages devoted to the subject in the January 2015 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet. Dennis Leap nowhere refers to the book, or to the actual point that parents who can't keep their calm while disciplining are unfaithful to their so-called calling.

It is so sickening to read about this double-standard that keeps growing in the churches of Armstrongism. All the talking about love and teaching is pointless when the subject of authority is so clearly evident for anyone who knows what is actually being written.

We are nearing the 28th 'anniversary' of the death of the founder, Herbert W Armstrong, and NOTHING has been learned! Even WHEN obvious abuse takes place, everyone is silent. It is mind control above what is otherwise known and evident...

Truly sad that so few speak out on this subject - and even more sad that so many stay in a cult that is based on a lie, the lie that everyone 'outside' is evil, and a belief that the 'few' are chosen...

Friday, May 16, 2014

David Hulme's Disfellowship of Steve Andrews

Many old-timers will remember David Hulme from the World Tomorrow telecasts that WCG sponsored on numerous TV-stations. It recently came to my attention that David Hulme disfellowshipped Steve Andrews - source: http://www.thejournal.org/issues/issue157/david-hulme-disfellowships-andrews-cgic-problems.html.

There are a few excerpts I would like to quote for those who haven't read the article, as they are interesting from a historical perspective:
There's something about David?
Mr. Andrews continued: "Too often, those in authority in the Church adopt the premise that there is something about them that actually qualifies them to govern others...
"When it becomes clear that they are no better at governing than any other human before them, they selectively misuse scripture in an effort to excuse their failings. This has been manifest in many, if not most, Church leaders in our age.
"Once in power, leaders seek to protect that power. Not surprisingly, by asserting their authority, based on their position, to do so. This kind of circular reasoning has been true even of Church leaders.
"What makes it worse when Church leaders behave in such a manner is that they misuse scripture to justify their acquisition, possession and retention of authority. That is precisely what you did in your sermon on government, gospel and godliness."
Mr. Andrews said the story of Adam and Eve and the two trees revealed mankind's inability to govern itself.
"Simply stated, Adam and Eve found themselves outside the garden because," he wrote, "they proved incapable of self-governance."

This has certainly been evident in virtually all offshoots from the WCG. People in authority ALWAYS claimed you were either in rebellion, demon-influenced or not converted if you failed to accept responses to serious questions at face value of the minister.

Here's another quote from the article:
Blessing of children
Then Mr. Andrews challenged Mr. Hulme:
"So please explain how your view of, and the actual exercise of, authority on your part is different than the abusive authority to which the Father's children have been subjected in the past."
Mr. Andrews addressed other concerns in his letter.
He mentioned an incident in which Mr. Hulme supported an elder who refused to bless a child at a CGIC service, because the family did not regularly attend the CGIC.

If you are suddenly reminded of double-standards stolen directly from Protestantism, it's no surprise. The blessing of children was a tradition which at least portrayed just a bit of empathy - if you disregard the fact that it was done to try to ensure that members' kids would stay in the claws of Armstrongism...

David Hulme seems a nice guy, but there's more to him than meets the eye - as close friends have apparently discovered in more ways than they could ever have anticipated. Best of luck to Steve in whatever he wants to do in the future.

His ability to think COULD drive him far - and far away from Armstrongism... :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Is the Government Reading Your E-mail?

The title above is the title of the most recent issue of the Philly Trumpet where contributing editor Robert Morley is trying to speak authoritatively on the issue of surveillance by the US. What has failed their attention is that Echelon is old news. In fact, two journalists [Bo Elkjær and Kenan Seeberg] wrote a book entitled "Gåden om Echelon (in Danish, obviously) over a decade ago, in 2002.

Don't misunderstand. It is, certainly, a serious issue. But indeed a loser's game. What about focusing on all the prisoners in Quantanamo? They were specifically promised by then Senator Barack Obama that they could come in front of a judge and jury once he was elected.

THAT was a lie - it never happened, and that is a much more obvious lie in front of the public...

The government can register anything they want. I never write things I can't face once again, so I am not in the least bit worried. Even though numerous movies have also played on this subject.

It was long ago that history taught me people would be willing to compromise their freedoms for anything. The moment they feel threatened by an external factor [such as 'terrorism'?], they will compromise anyway.

Even if you had a political party that was started in an effort to restore decency, it would not survive. People are unwilling to face the music and put their vote where their mouth is. The sooner you face it, the sooner you will also understand why some people are still caught up in cults...

That was, of course, a lesson Gerrys minions won't tell you... :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Funny Coincidence...

As many former members of Armstrongism will remember, there was a tradition of unleavening your homes leading up to Easter (or Passover). A tradition many were proud of, and in the antisemitic attitude they often belittled Jews for 'selling' their leavened products instead of physically removing them from their homes.

This year, I had a new kitchen installed in my flat, and funnily enough, dust was EVERYWHERE. So I actually had to do some spring cleaning - this time solely for the purpose of actually getting rid of dust from drilling holes in the walls... :-)

The reason I thought this was a bit funny was that spring cleaning IS good, but this time it actually coincided with the actual season.

Have a nice mini-vacation everyone. I hope you will enjoy the weather, and some family fun now that you don't have to spend countless hours listing to the same cacaphony of noise you have heard at nauseum.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Flurry Keeps Dreaming...

Flurry-minion Joel Hilliker is the lead author in the latest edition of the Philly trumpet, and asks "What Happens After a Superpower Dies?"... In yet another effort to rekindle what Roderick Meredith also tried back in the 1990's, they want their readers to believe the US is on the way down and out.

Where is their patriotism?

Where is their optimism?

It has been buried, just as these ministers deposited their brains when they began living off religious illiterates who only see Armstrong's writings as their last hope.

How UTTERLY depressing to consider that people have given up their lives, and now their ONLY hope is the total smashdown of everything...

Guess what? The doom and gloom they want quite simply won't happen in that way.

Tough words, I know. But look at the evidence. The idea of a negative Germany coupled with a conspiracy based upon the Vatican is so silly it doesn't really deserve an answer. You owe it to yourselves to start examining things freely without having to be guided by MEN in what to believe...