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Friday, January 29, 2010

What Do We Do Now?

What are the responsibilities or duties of those who are now outside the WCG or any of its offshoots?

Are we really a part of anything? Are we even important in the scheme of things?

To that I answer Yes! We are now more important, as individuals, than we ever were as members of the WCG or any group that we can name!

It all boils down to the same questions we heard so many years ago: Who am I? Why was I born? What is my purpose?

Is there a God? What is my relationship, if any, to that God?

When you walk away from the various WCG offshoots, you are now forced to ask that question of yourself. Not as part of a group, but as an individual! We might ask "Who am I NOW?"
"What do I do NOW?", "Am I important as an individual NOW?"

You are more important now than ever before! You, of all the masses and millions who exist on this earth, are able, perhaps for the first time in your life, to ask the above questions, As an individual, and that alone makes you more important than the masses of people who dare not step out and live as individuals!

You and I have now discovered that there is no church of God we can join. We have now discovered that all the religious organizations of men are a farce, a scam, and we have been suckered for the final time.

But really, isn't that exactly what the bible told us all along? Can we organize in the name of God? Can men rule over us in the name of God? Does any person on this earth have the right or the authority to represent God on our behalf?

No, and they never did! What did Paul tell us in Romans 8:7?

"Because the carnal(fleshy, natural) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be".

If your natural mind is not and cannot be subject to the law of God, who, then, can make you subject to that law? Well, God would, IF we could prove there is a God, right? Can we prove it? No! We simply can't! We can hope there is a God, believe there is a God, and do everything possible to make others agree that there is a God, but we simply don't know!

So, let's assume someone comes up to you and say "I represent the truth! I know why you were born! I can tell you what you need to know!"

If you're like me and most others who have left the "true church", you're going to say, "Yeah, right, head on down the road, Jack, and don;t let the door kick you in the rear as you leave".

If there is one thing that we can agree on, those of us who have taken that step to freedom, we know better!

If somebody comes around saying "here is Christ!" We can look them squarely in the eye and say "Prove it!".

But they can't, and we know they can't!

But isn't that exactly what Jesus told his followers in Matthew 24, the big chapter that HWA used to show us the 'Key to Revelation"?

Jesus told his followers "Take heed that no man deceive you, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many".

Does that mean we should listen to no one who comes claiming that THEY are Christ? Who's going to be deceived by that nonsense? Of course no man living today is Jesus. We know that from simple logic. If there was Jesus, he lived two thousand years ago, and he was put to death. No man coming today can be him.

Old Herb actually had a point. If any man comes in the name of Christ, or saying "lo, he is here, or there", Jesus told us plainly to "believe it not!(Matthew 24:23)".

Of course! If the natural mind is enmity against God, and cannot be subject to God's laws, and a whole bunch of people come claiming to either be the Christ or represent the Christ(messiah in that time), how in the world are we going to prove it? You can't prove it. It's impossible!

If it were possible, why are there an estimated 38,000 versions of Christianity? Why does the number keep growing? When I was a boy, it was estimated at over six hundred. Now, it's over 38,000!

God did not create us to stand around and follow orders like some kind of robot! If he had, we would be able to prove what those orders are, know how to obey them, and understand them completely.

But here's the problem: if we can do that, we can program those same orders into a computer, and make that computer a perfect representative of God! If we can understand it, we can translate it to language. If we can do that, we can translate it to algorithms, and if we can do that, we can fully program God's law into a computer! But we can't do that!

How do we know? Romans 8:7! The natural mind cannot be subject to God's law! Godel;'s theorem! In any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exist undecidable propositions. In other words, we know from both the Bible and ,mathematics that there is no way any man or group of humans can represent God by any process of law!

Did Jesus tell us that? Yes, in Matthew 24:23! Did Paul tell us that? Yes, in Romans 8:7!

You cannot join into the collective, finite, rational, logical laws of men and expect to be the son of God! It cannot be done! Paul told us this emphatically. God foreknows his children, he predestines his children. he calls his children.

Who is "called"? I have no idea. Who are "elect"? Not a clue. But neither does anyone else on this planet!

Jesus said that you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. What is the truth? The truth is that I am the truth. YOU are the truth, YOU are the individual who has a right to live freely according to your conscience, and no other person has the right to tell you otherwise!

Those of you who have come this far, YOU are the "salt of the earth" to which Jesus referred. YOU are the individuals now prepared to "come out and be ye a separate people". YOU are now empowered, AS INDIVIDUALS, to question the rules and powers of men, to live by the rules and freedoms that God grants you, here and now, on this earth, at this time.

"Our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."

It's is not and CANNOT be about collective rules and laws and governments. It's about YOU as a child of God, a free individual, now empowered to think, to question, to learn, and to grow!

YOU, the individual who reads this, are free! You are free from the collective will of men, free of collective religions, free to live by your conscience, free to live peaceably with all people, free to demand that you have the right of your conscience.

This "alienation" that you are now feeling is actually the greatest gift you can be given! You are more than rules, more than laws, and more than the collective will of men. You are free before God!


Anonymous said...

"You are free from the collective will of men, free of collective religions, free to live by your conscience.... free to demand that you have the right of your conscience. "

Free to be who I REALLY AM! When I left the cult, I went out that Saturday and had a good time doing what I wanted to do, being who I wanted to be, never again having some jack-ass minister telling me what I MUST DO THIS, how I MUST THINK, and how I wear my hair, or to buy a new suit. Screw-em.

I now know how the blacks felt when they were freed. Never again will I allow others to rule over me, tell me how to think, and what to do.

The shackles of slavery to a man and an idea shall never again come to pass. The HWA's of this world, or the Al Gore's of this world have no hold. Religion is religion, no matter what label or color it is painted.

Anonymous said...

I was free at 18. Having grown up in a cult, at 18 my freedom was overwhelming. To quote Brave heart, “every man dies, but not every man really lives.” How true is that huh? Being set free, by way of excommunication, I didn’t know what to do first. This was over 20 years ago. But I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Friday night. My first Friday night in my 18 years of existence that I could go out on a Friday night. Not stay home for the Sabbath, studying Armstrong crap. You know I never really bought into all that BS anyway. I was fortunate to have perfected a way to sleep through the grueling two hour service. Whew!! Can you imagine two hours sitting in a metal fold up chair??? Well your reading this so I suppose you can imagine it. Horrid for sure. No wonder I have a flat butt now…haha.
So there I was at 18. Never really having truly lived, I just went crazy. It was Friday night. Not really a party, but I was out of the house. I remember how great it felt.
It was the second time I had been kicked out. And this time it was forever. I just felt that. I knew I was never going back. The only down side, if there had to be one, is that I wasn’t equipped to handle my new found freedom. Having been robbed of a childhood, I felt I was making up for lost time. Now that I look back, I see that I was suppressing what had happened. I drowned myself in alcohol and drugs. It was party central with me. A different bar seven days a week. I can see that now. Having found various sites that explain what happened, I can see now what a mess I was involved in.
When I found out about HWA being worm food, I wanted to find his grave and piss all over it. Then go loot his mansion. From what I understand, he had drawers full of Rolex’s, custom tailored suits, jets, limo’s, and so on. I grew up with clothes that the salvation army wouldn’t sell. But this guy never wore the same suit twice. Not that any material things could make up for a stolen childhood.
For years I carried anger, guilt, and horrid memories of the awkwardness that was my life. I was also angry at my parents for all this. One thing people need to know is we were all victims. Our parents suffered even more than we did. Can you imagine putting your own kids through a cult life? I will spend the rest of my life protecting my kids from animals like the Armstrong’s.
Having come to grips with my cult years has been a major help in recovery. Above all, it is important to keep in mind that WE WERE ALL VICTIMS. I’m not saying I have healed completely, but with more knowledge of my past, I can build a better future.

Vaughn said...

I freed myself, three years ago at the age of 47, having been in for 45 years. I was reminded of the old joke, that used to go around WCG, about the boy who finds out that Santa Claus did not exist and then says he needs to now look into this whole "god" thing too. I have felt the same way finding out that HWA was every bit the fraud that Santa was.

Anonymous said...

You say: If someone comes around saying "here is Christ!" We can look them squarely in the eye and say "Prove it!".

So, when you say: "It's about YOU as a child of God" I say: Prove it!

Mankind keeps making up gods to fill the gaps, there is no god, no holy spirit, no jesus. Get over it.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous 2:33 PM, it's good you have found certainty in your own mind, but the dogmatic style in which you express it reminds me of the dogmatism we are trying to get away from.

You and I may not accept Ralph's belief that some sort of god exists, but the important thing to me is the difference in the way you and he relate to your readers. He is saying we should each find our own frame for viewing the universe, and you are urging us to believe the way you do.

I've found my own frame for trying to making sense of things. It comes closer to yours than to Ralph's, but I will refrain from urging him to adopt it.

Anonymous said...

Retired prof, all I'm asking for is for writers to show the proof. Or stop preaching with dogmatism about things being a certain way. Dogmatism that says we are a child of God.

Ralph said...

Thanks for all the great comments. While I believe we are children of God, I do not urge others to believe that. As I said above, there is no way to prove there is a God. If I believe in a God, I have no proof. It is my belief and nothing more. I was reading an amazing book this morning writtgen by Howard Bloom, which your responses "provoke" me to refer to in another essay.

Far be it from me to tell anyone what to believe. I really love Ayn Rand's ideas, her thoughts on logic and reason, and I believe that if there is a God, then it stands to reason that God must be consistent with that expression of reason and logic. But I also agree with Rand that there simply is no proof whatever of such a God.

What I AM saying, above, is that if someone wiahes to believe in a God, it would be WRONG in any sense, to believe in a God who can be represented by any man, whether it is me, the pope, HWA, Billy Graham, or whoever.

No matter what we choose to believe, we can all agree on one thing: we don't have to follow anybody else, and for you folks, that includes me!

Anonymous said...

If there is a god, he never wrote a book.

Anonymous said...

"When I left the cult, I went out that Saturday and had a good time doing what I wanted to do...."

I had the opposite reaction; for a couple of years after my family fell away (post-changes), I was way more militantly "keep the Sabbath" than I had been before. I think I was still clinging to that, because it was really all I had left. A recurring nightmare during these years, involved me running around the union hall where we met, looking for the entrance (and not being able to find it), after the piano music had already started. I usually woke up in a cold sweat, by the time the congregation inside had started singing the hymns.....

My viewpoint was really skewed, though, as I had not only been born and raised in the church, I really WAS a "true believer in god's true church". Yes, one of those self-righteous idiots everyone loved to hate. Good thing I was only a little kid (even though I was 20 when we fell away).

If the church hadn't changed, and made me realize that all religions are false, and all gods are created by men, there's no doubt in my mind I would still be in the church, parking my butt in one of those perfectly-aligned chairs (ours were not folding, and they had padding on them, still far from comfortable though), in a rented union hall every Saturday, singing hymns to a god I would "worship in Thy fear towards Thy holy place".

I would also probably be some form of the Gestapo, or associated with them. I was a true believer, see, so "God" never would have caught ME dead, hanging out with "the unconverted" or "the liberals" in the church, if things had proceeded without the changes.

Were the changes a good thing? Absolutely, I'm a (slightly) more decent person than I would have been, for getting away from Armstrongism. Though I still have a long way to go, before I sleep....I do think a lot about what was, and what could have been.

I honestly think we were in a parallel universe, and that reality just doesn't exist anymore. Including that god.

Corky said...

In case no one has figured it out yet, there is no supernatural realm/world and even if there were, man does not control it.

Once upon a time (heh heh) men thought that if they knew the name (the sacred name) of the god, that they could command/control the god. The story of Balaam is an example of that idea, i.e., necromancy.

In the Bible, necromancy (sorcery) is real and it took the lord of the gods to thwart Balaam's plans to curse Israel using this sorcery. In the book of Revelation, this same idea was used by some Christians at Pergamus, i.e., praying for God to curse Israel, using the sacred name of Jesus (the Christian God).

In other words, Christians think things like sorcery and witchcraft are real or else they'd throw the book of macabre fairy tales away.

Please get a grip, there never was a witch of Endor who conjured up the ghost of Samuel for king Saul any more than there is a supernatural world of gods and demons galore. It's all the child-like foolishness of superstitious bronze age men.

Free yourself of it, throw that damn rabbit's foot key chain away - it didn't do the rabbit any good and he had four of them.

Ralph said...

Certainly worthwhile points to ponder, but also ponder this:

Within all the rather ridiculous fairytales of israelite history, certain themes do continue to go beyond the stories made up by men.

Examples of this would be the Old testament law itself, developed and spread by the Pharisee branch of the Jews, pervertd greatly by Jewish interpretations of the Talmud, but still producing amazing conclusions in regard to law. For example:
1.Right to a presumption of innocence(Isaiah 54:17)
2.Right to face your accuser(Isaiah 50:8)
3.Right against "corruption of blood" as mentioned in the US Constitution(Deuteronomy24:16)
4.Right in all cases to face two unbiased witnesses(Deuteronomy 19:15)
5.Protection against perjury by witnesses(Deuteronomy(19:19)
6.Trial by Jury(1 Cor 6)
7.Right to settle matters out of court(matthew 5:25, 18:15-18)
8.principle of "habeas corpus" as absolute for all who do not harm others(Romans 6:4)
9.Right to havre charges presented and proven(Romans 8:33)

If you look beyond the mythology and look at the law, you find such things as: from lending at interest(Deut 23:19, later extended by jesus to apply to all people, and the curse of our central banking system on American citizens today)
2. Separation of church and state, such that an "eye for an eye" is permitted only to state authorities, and only AFTER the people have tried every other alternative.

These are principles that developed within our framework of Anglo Saxon law, and are still advanced beyond what Americans do today, applying
laws that represent a congealed "mobocracy".

3.Protection from entrapment(Isaiah 29:21)
4.Protection from judges ruling in their own interest as representatives of some entity called 'the people'(Jeremiah 5:26-31)

Further, imagine going into a court of law today, and instead of being entrapped into swearing or affirming, by which you surrender your rights before the law, you are able to request observation of the "Lord's prayer".

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. How?

Forgive us our trespasses(debts), as we forgive those who trespass against us(owe debts to us).

Jesus pointed out that not one jot or tittle of the law would pass away until all is fulfilled. Imagine going into a court and declaring the protection of all the rights listed above, and the judge bound by oath to obey them.

Pretty advanced stuff, I'd say.

Kscribe said...

Corkey, Ralph is not a believer as like a Christian. You should read some of his stuff on the PT and see where he is coming from.

If the constitution is based on the laws of the bible, then the rule of law must conform to the basis of the bible law. Ralph is putting forth "Conjecture Theory."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Examples of this would be the Old testament law itself, developed and spread by the Pharisee branch of the Jews, pervertd greatly by Jewish interpretations of the Talmud, but still producing amazing conclusions in regard to law."

Yes, let us take a brief tour through Leviticus, then Ralph. Let's see what some of those "amazing conclusions in regard to law" the ancient desert tribe fairy tales of the Middle East have given us.

Two of the sons of Aaron "offered strange fire before the Lord" and "there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord." 10:1-2

Moses tells Aaron that his sons were burned to death to sanctfy and glorify God. 10:3
Moses tells Aaron's cousins to drag the burned bodies out of the camp, and he warns Aaron not to mourn the death of his sons or God will kill him too, along with everyone else. 10:4-6
If priests misbehave at the tabernacle by uncovering their heads, tearing their clothes, leaving with holy oil on them, or by drinking "wine or strong drink", then God will kill them and send his wrath on "all the people." 10:6-9

God will kill any priest that leaves the
tabernacle. 10:7

If priests misbehave at the tabernacle by by drinking "wine or strong drink," then God will kill them and send his wrath on "all the people." "It shall be a statute for ever." 10:9

God warns Aaron that he might have to burn him to death like he did his sons. (10:1-2) 16:1-2

If you upset God, he'll cause the land to vomit you out. 18:25

"Whosoever shall commit any of these abominations ... shall be cut off from among their people." 18:29

Don't eat sacrifices on the third day or God will cut you off from among your people. 19:6-8

Kill anyone who "gives his seed" to Molech. If you refuse, God will cut you and your family off. 20:2

If you refuse to kill someone who gives his seed to Molech, God set his face against you and your family. 20:4-5

"For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." 20:9

Both parties in adultery shall be executed. 20:10

If a man has sex with his father's wife, kill them both. 20:11

If a man "lies" with his daughter-in-law, then both must be killed. 20:12

If a man has sex with another man, kill them both. 20:13

If you "lie" with your wife and your mother-in-law, then all three of you must be burned to death. 20:14

If a man or woman "lie with a beast" both the person and the poor animal are to be killed. 20:15-16

(OK, the funky sex stuff I can see being on the books of "the law of the land" just fine, but capital punishment is going just a touch too far for those sex crimes listed above that might actually have been consensual (not the pedophilia, obviously), wouldn't you agree?)

People with "familiar spirits" (witches, fortune tellers, etc.) are to be stoned to death. 20:27

A priest's daughter who "plays the whore" is to be burned to death. 21:9

A man curses and blasphemes while disputing with another man. Moses asks God what to do about it. God says that the whole community must stone him to death. "And the children of Israel did as the Lord and Moses commanded." 24:10-23 Can you say "overkill", boys and girls? I knew you could!

Here's my particular favourite:

If you don't follow all of the laws in the Old Testament, God will shower you with all of the curses in the next 25 verses. 26:14-15

Kind of puts paid to the Armstrongist idea of cherry-picking, wouldn't you agree?

The Painful Truth said...

I just love the bible. Really I do. Its a book that we can make say damned near anything. It is also the book that can make you a lot of money as we see with these mega-churches.

Ralph said...

Yes, Purple and PT, thank you for making my point, which I will have to address in the next essay.

Anonymous said...

Ralph said: "While I believe we are children of God... If I believe in a God, I have no proof. It is my belief an nothing more."

partly in response to my challenge of prove it.

Thanks for the comments Ralph, I'm comfortable with that. I have a friend who "feels" God's presence. And subsequently believes but, like you, is honest about their faith. What galls me is those who go around finding evidence that proves God's existence and the evidence is just their interpretation.

Corky said...

Yes Ken, I know Ralph is not a "christian" believer but since they (Paul and others) were first called "christians" at Antioch . . . Ralph quotes Paul as authoritative, soooo...

Anyway, and even though Paul says the things Ralph quotes, Paul also says a lot about how to organize the church and preaches a lot about following correct doctrines etc.

Paul tells us all about the heirarchy of the church, and founds and organizes churches himself, but then turns around and says that men can't organize churches in the name of God because of the flesh being at enmity with God? Does anyone know what contradiction means?

Cherry picking what Paul says is "making the Bible say what you want it to say". As PH points out, you can't pick the laws you like and throw the rest out. In other words, it's all or nothing.

As I was attempting to point out was the rules and examples of necromancy and witchcraft in the Law. Okay, we know that we can't make cattle look at striped sticks and end up with calves with spots etc. but, it's in the Pentateuch that Jacob did this.

To use the Bible for anything is reverting back to Jacob's use of magic, Balaam's use of necromancy and the witch of Endor's conjuring of spirits of the dead.

Those things are ridiculous and that makes the whole book ridiculous and Jesus and Paul's belief in that book is also made ridiculous.

The fact that the American bill of rights is based on cherry picking the law of Moses is because the founders of this country were Masons and Deists who also cherry pick the Pentatuech for the "good" parts and reject the rest.

However, the overall picture of the Pentateuch isn't done by cherry picking what you like and rejecting what you don't like. You have to accept it all or be under all the curses that PH pointed out in Leviticus.

Ralph said...

It's interesting, Corky, how you generally throw out things like Paul establishng a hierarchy and doing this, that, the other. How about some specifics? I can;t respond to general stattements. No one can. Exercise a little discipline.