The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 73)

(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)


3/19/03

A quick comment to Arnie's email.

Arnie, kudos to you for having gotten out of the cult at an early age. You mentioned being a "Christian" but didn't elaborate, which is fair enough, because you knew that the PT is not a venue for religious preaching. But whatever you are, I would humbly request that you look at one aspect in your nice rant that goes a bit far: your use of the term "wog". That is an explicitly racist term. You don't need to stoop to such a level. You have a fine head on your shoulders; don't betray your good standing by using a reprehensible term simply because certain world leaders that Herb bribed with crystal were of a swarthier complexion. They are no "less" persons than, say, King Leopold of Belgium, or other lighter-hued folks that Herb visited. Let's keep the discussion as dignified as possible, fair enough?

Francis


I was curious to know if you have read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and if so, what you thought of his arguments for Christ.

Thanks for sharing your views.

Heart4jchrist

REPLY: 

Heart4jchrist,

I was wondering if you have ever tried proving that your Jesus Christ ever existed?

Editor

REPLY: 

No need to be defensive. I am not trying to get into a debate or argument with you; I was just interested in hearing your thoughts on some things. I would be glad to answer your question if you are truly interested in my answer, but if you have no desire to exchange ideas then I won't waste your time.

Thanks.

REPLY: 

YOU WROTE: I would be glad to answer your question if you are truly interested in my answer

REPLY: Only if you have some proof, otherwise it is just your opinion. Unless you have something that nobody else has been able to produce in the last 2000+ years, I guess we can end this right here.

Not interested in exchanging ideas on whether fairy tales are really true. They are so easily proven untrue to all except those that WANT to believe them, contrary to every proof.

Have a nice life.

Editor

REPLY: 

What do you consider to be proof? The book The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel offers evidence from several angles (medical, archaeological, legal, historical, etc.) There is more evidence for the life of Jesus Christ than the assassination of President Lincoln. I have no desire to change your views on anything, but you stated that you are only interested in dialoguing "Only if you have some proof, otherwise it is just your opinion." Yet, you don't really appear open to proof (as in your statement, "Not interested in exchanging ideas on whether fairy tales are really true.") I admire you for choosing your agnostic theological stance and standing by it, and I can sympathize with your feelings after your experience in the Worldwide Church of God. Yet if you are so secure in your idea that Christianity is a fairy tale, why are you so hostile towards listening to an opposing viewpoint?

REPLY: 

 

YOU WROTE:

Yet if you are so secure in your idea that Christianity is a fairy tale, why are you so hostile towards listening to an opposing viewpoint?

REPLY:

How about: I have a life? Do you think all of this hasn't been debated ad infinitum already? Why do the two of us have to exchange our thoughts on the subject? There is plenty of evidence out there on the Internet for anyone that has an open mind. The problem with Christianity is that they don't want you to have an open mind. They want you to only read their propaganda and not read any dissenting opinions. You might get confused if you read something other than what they want you to believe. You will be confused because you will see that what they tell you as "facts" are really not facts at all and they are merely trying to control your mind.

Look: Don't expect me to read every stinking book written by Christian Apologists trying to justify their belief in things unprovable, just because, well, they want to believe them. I was a true believer in your Jesus for 25 years of my adult life. I  know the bible. I have not left Christianity because I have not researched enough or found the right book that will finally explain all the problems that the Christian belief has. I am almost 60 years old. If I had any doubts about what I believe or if I thought there was any validity at all to the Christian religion, it would certainly be in my best interests to return to Jesus now and assure my future life after death. I'm sorry, but there is too much evidence that the Bible is not inerrant and is not a reliable source for basing my life.  I would hope that, if you had done as much research into what you believe as I have, you would come to the same conclusion.

I would suggest that you do some reading of critics of the book, 'The Case For Christ' and then tell me why I should give this book any credibility at all:

The Case Against 'The Case for Christ',  A study in Christian apologetics:
 htt p://www.bidstrup.com/apologetics.htm

Origins of the Bible and Christianity:   
 ht tp://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm

What The Christian Fundamentalist Doesn't Want You To Know,  A Brief Survey of Biblical Errancy
htt p://www.bidstrup.com/bible2.htm

The Mind Virus, Ideas behaving in society like viruses in the body
 http: //www.bidstrup.com/virus.htm

Editor

REPLY: 

Well, I've read through the articles on your links, and I think the evidence there is no more compelling than the evidence for Christ. And if we're truly honest, both sides can make things appear the way we wish. So it really does come down to faith. Do you believe that there are things that a finite mind won't be able to understand about an infinite God? I believe the evidence will never be able to come together in my limited mind until I meet God in heaven. You've chosen to believe that all things must make sense and agree before you will believe it is truth while living here on Earth. I respect your opinion and appreciate the links you shared. Though, just because a two-year old can't comprehend the physics of a black hole or an atom doesn't mean they don't exist.

I appreciate your help in educating myself about other belief systems. The articles you mentioned are correct that the majority of Christians read only Christian material. I enjoy hearing the viewpoints of others. And who knows, I guess if I'm wrong we'll both end up in the same place anyway. By the tone of your emails, though, it sounds like maybe I'll have lived a little bit happier, kinder life.

I wish you the best Mr. Editor.

REPLY: 

 YOU WROTE: And if we're truly honest, both sides can make things appear the way we wish

REPLY: No. One side has facts. The other side has faith. If you see no difference it that, then I can't help you.

YOU WROTE: So it really does come down to faith.

REPLY: Yes. I know what faith is. Absolute, unfounded belief in things that you cannot prove. So, how is a person that can think and reason supposed to be able to argue against that? I could produce all the facts of science and history in the whole Universe and all you would have to say is that it is irrelevant because you have "faith." And, you think your "faith" is a viable alternative to facts and science. I'm sorry but I can't compete with that. And you wonder why I don't want a dialog with people who think like that? Give me a break.

YOU WROTE: By the tone of your emails, though, it sounds like maybe I'll have lived a little bit happier, kinder life.

REPLY: Maybe you don't have to put up with people who refuse to use their brains and think that they are superior to you because of their mindlessness.

I also wish you the best.

Editor

REPLY: 

You don't have anything that can be considered fact that would be more believable than the evidence of the Christian side of the argument. In your words, show me the proof and not just some verbose article from an angry soul. But I'll give you your way there is no Jesus or God involved in the course of this world. So what does an agnostic think the point of all this is? If you believe we were created (which I'm assuming you do if you are agnostic) then what? why? what's the point? Is there meaning to life?

YOU WROTE: Maybe you don't have to put up with people who refuse to use their brains and think that they are superior to you because of their mindlessness.

REPLY: I don't believe that I am superior to you, and my emails shouldn't have led you to think that I believe otherwise. You chose to put up with "people who refuse to use their brains..." (which I guess is me) by publishing a website and posting your email address, and most of all, by reading and replying to my emails. Don't blameshift what is in your control. You believe what you believe, and that is cool with me. But, if you don't want to talk about it why put it out there in the first place?

REPLY: 

 YOU WROTE: You don't have anything that can be considered fact that would be more believable than the evidence of the Christian side of the argument.

REPLY: Now you make me laugh. Christians do not have arguments, they have excuses, propaganda and faith in a book full of holes. Your faith is not in a god, it is in a book. The book is easily discredited and so your faith is easily discredited and your god (in the book) is easily discredited.

YOU WROTE: In your words, show me the proof

REPLY: Sorry, not interested in converting you from your mindless beliefs. I don't have the time. Believe whatever makes you happy. As far as I can see, it doesn't really matter in the long run unless you are affecting other people. I just could never be happy believing things that I have to turn my brain off in order to accept.

YOU WROTE: Is there meaning to life?

REPLY: I gather you mean is there a purpose for life? Don't know. Anyone who says they know is either a liar or an idiot.

My life has meaning. I love. I care. I help. I make a difference. There is meaning in that. I do that without being bribed that I will receive an eternal reward if I do it. And I also do not do it out of fear of a god that will fry me forever if I don't do what He wants.

YOU WROTE: You chose to put up with "people who refuse to use their brains..." (which I guess is me)

REPLY: You said that, not me. I actually have found that you are fairly personable, just misled.

YOU WROTE: But, if you don't want to talk about it why put it out there in the first place?

REPLY: The purpose of the website it to preserve the true history of the Worldwide Church of God; what really happened to people's lives and what was really taught. People send me their experiences and I post them. I have never solicited any debates. People can believe whatever they want as far as I'm concerned, as long as they are not hurting others.

If you want to see some experts debating Biblical Issues with Christians that think they know the Bible, then I would highly recommend getting on this email list: Internet Infidels Errancy Discussions. Bible believers come on all bragging and proud and leave with their heads down and their tails between their legs. None survive these bible experts. It is really interesting to see how ignorant most of these true believers really are. It seems as though ignorance is almost required to believe the Bible.

"ii_errancy This is a list for discussing the errancy of the Bible. Appropriate topics include infallibility, inspiration, contradictions, and harmonizations. The list moderator is Farrell Till and this is the same list which was formerly hosted by the Internet Infidels."

http ://ii_errancy@topica.com/search/?query=ii_errancy&search_type=cat 

Click here for a discussion taking place just today.

 Now, let's make a deal: I won't send you any more messages and you won't send me any more.

Editor


Dear Editor,

Roughly 1 yr ago I came across your site and have really enjoyed reading the various subject matter you've covered. You use to list a link entitled "Things we didn't find out about in Sunday School". I was completely blown away with the level of intelligence necessary to compile such an overwhelming critical analysis totally debunking Christianity. Very unfortunately, about mid way thru my study of this site it either moved, changed names, or was just no longer available on the net. A short time after this your link also went dead. Just recently I found it on a search engine and thought I'd give it a try and there you were! You may have let people know it was changing or being moved, but I was working a lot at the time and missed it. I'm grateful I've got your site up and running again.

    Is there any information you may have (since you use to list the link) about who the people were or how I can get in touch with or even get a written format of the things covered by "Things we didn't find out about in Sunday School" as I still consider it to be the most definitive work done in its analysis of Christianity. I would like to Thank you in advance for any effort expended on this request.

Sincerely,

Carl

REPLY: 

 Carl,

Thanks for your message. Here is a link to what you are probably referring to: http://www.mindspring.com/~bab5/BIB/lessons.htm

 Hope that helps,

Editor


4/12/03

 Re: John B's fine article about the backward masking hysteria back in the 80's, and on church teachings about pop music generally: All too true, John, and those so-called ministers would give any sort of negative opinion they could invent to condemn any music that was fun to listen to as "satanic".

A couple of comments: mention was made that Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Croce died after they'd been famous for about a decade. (Ostensibly because they'd made "deals with the devil".) Actually, those three, as well as any number of other rock stars who died before their time, had really been shooting stars, as far as their fame went. Joplin and Hendrix had been famous about three years each when they died; in fact, they are forever linked in that they hit the "big time" at virtually the same time, both having appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival in June '67, which gave them their big push, and then died within weeks of each other, in early fall of '70. Another figure who is always linked to those two was Jim Morrison of the Doors, who also (with his band) got nationally famous in the summer of '67; he died in '71. As for Jim Croce, he had only hit great fame about two years before his tragic death in a small-plane crash in '73. And while drugs were responsible for the deaths of Joplin and Hendrix, and perhaps contributed indirectly to Morrison's death, Croce, as far as I know, was not a "druggie" in any sort of hard sense; he did imbibe in cannabis, but that is virtually harmless if not abused, and has no commonality with drugs like heroin, cocaine, etc.

Last comment: if one takes drugs or commits crimes because of music they heard, you are right, they're losers. But if song lyrics help one to develop (thoughtfully) a sense of right-and-wrong, and that sense leads them to protest the insanity of war--then more power to 'em. Music has great power: this was correctly realized by the cultist dictators/mediators of the Worldwide Church of God, and many fundamentalist churches; what they are afraid of, though, is that the music that their members/teenagers might be hearing will be powerful enough to destroy their own brand of "brainwashing". That's the real kick. It's why Herbert Armstrong wrote that completely disgusting, abjectly uninformed article condemning John Lennon after Lennon's murder. Herb was JEALOUS of Lennon because of the power that Lennon had had as a result of the music he created, and the stances that he took. Herb could not bear anyone competing with him as an object of worship. He had always hated the Beatles, and probably sensed that great numbers of young folks in the Worldwide Church of God were (justifiably) mourning the senseless slaughter of John Lennon.

FrancisP

P.S. One very last comment! Peter, Paul and Mary have always denied that "Puff the Magic Dragon" is a drug song. Make of their denial what you will...:-)


Subject: Fabulous work -keep it up.

One note:

 I have been fascinated by the differing opinions on the Iraq war. Generally, people faithful in God seem to be faithful in Bush, and the war.

But on a broader plain, I've searched for articles on WHY, exactly, some people NEED to believe in ....something, or some one. Any direction to reading material/research would be appreciated.

Great Site! And thanks,

Mike

REPLY: 

Mike:

If I would recommend one book, it would be:  "The "God" Part of the Brain " by Matthew Alper 188 pages $11.95

Read a review.

 Other good books:

"The Mind of The Bible Believer" by Edmund D. Cohen 432 pages.

"Why People Believe Weird Things" Michael Shermer 306 pages $11.96"

Editor


I have been in search for the truth of god for a long time. I quickly discarded the Jewish/Christian mindset that I was raised on and starting looking into the eastern religions. Although they appeal to my sense of how people should treat each other, they still attributed to many unbelievable acts to god. I have recently started studying Thomas Paine and through him Deism. I'm starting to explore your site and am glad to see someone else escaped the mindless sheep following required to believe in the holy nature of the bible. When we are told to have faith in god, we really having faith in a man who says he was inspired by god.

Keep up the good work.

Tim

 REPLY: 

Tim,

Always good to see a person think his way out of the trap of mindless belief in things unprovable or unknowable.

I know that you will have a much better life since you are free of the religion trap.

Editor


Hi,

Back in 1999 I sent you a email about a member from Waterloo, IA that had been disfellowshipped and committed suicide as a result of it. While looking thru your suicide page, I came across the 8 suicides in the Bethlehem, PA area. There is a cruel irony here, the same minister for the Waterloo, IA congregation is now the minister for the Bethlehem, PA area. He has been out there for over 5 yrs. now.

Anyway, I just wanted to send this to you and tell you about it.

Thanks,

Lori

 REPLY: 

Lori,

Thanks for your message and the update on the "minister." I wonder if he is still driving people to kill themselves?

Editor


4/20/03

I have spent a great deal of time at your website of late and I must admit, I am confused! On one page you sound like a diehard atheist on the next you sound like a disgruntled church member. On one page you rant about how weak and spineless our God is,quite incapable of being responsible for any good that happens in the world, on another page he is evidently, all powerful as he has caused all the sickness, deaths,diseases,wars, earthquakes,

typhoons, hurricanes and any other calamity that may befall us. So, which is it? Do you believe in God or not? And if the answer is not, shouldn't you stop blaming said "non-existent God" for everything that has ever gone wrong in your life.

I have read enough to know that you have gone through quite an ordeal in your previous church affiliation and I am very sorry for the things you suffered.

That said, I also have to say that we are all given a freewill and, in your case,a very sharp mind that we are to use when making life choices. I know there are somethings you had no control over,you could not help that your wife became ill, you COULD have done things to make her illness less devastating. You could not help that your wife passed away, you COULD have taken steps to ensure her last few weeks and days on this earth were as pleasant and painless as possible.

I have a very hard time with people that give up control of their lives to ANYONE and then turn around and lay all the blame at others feet when it turns wrong.

I do not mean to be unkind[and I don't think I have] but, at some point in our lives we have to take a good hard look in the mirror and face the "Painful Truth" about where a great deal of the fault REALLY lies, at our own feet.

I do hope you will find peace of heart and the happiness we all deserve to enjoy.

Lynn Strickland lightenup007@netscape.net

 REPLY: 

 YOU WROTE: On one page you sound like a diehard atheist on the next you sound like a disgruntled church member.

REPLY: Perhaps, if you take into account that the site has been in "the process" for the last five and one half years, you might be able to figure this out for yourself. Also, you might try reading the FAQ which I ask everyone to read BEFORE THEY WRITE TO ME so as to clear up a lot of DUMB questions ahead of time. I think the FAQ states where I stand today. I'm just not going to go back through the nearly 1,000 pages on the site and try to update every one to match what I think today. We learn, we grow, we change. Deal with it.

YOU WROTE: On one page you rant about how weak and spineless our God is,quite incapable of being responsible for any good that happens in the world, on another page he is evidently, all powerful as he has caused all the sickness, deaths,diseases,wars, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes and any other calamity that may befall us.

REPLY: Sorry, there are almost 1,000 pages; you would have to be more specific than this. If you are referring to the Acts of God page, the point of the examples on the page is, if you are trusting god for healing or protection, your chances of dying before "His" help arrives are almost certainly 100%. If a god can help, save, heal, etc. and doesn't, then what good is it? Regardless of how you may try to justify it or excuse it, I have no use for such a god. It doesn't matter if this god exists or not because it is useless other than as a drug to it's believers.

So, do you want to take this opportunity to PROVE to me that your god or any god is doing ANY good in this world? Don't bother because I know you can't.

YOU WROTE: ..... shouldn't you stop blaming said "non-existent God" for everything that has ever gone wrong in your life.

REPLY: Well, where did you find that on my site? You can't just make shit up and get away with it here.

YOU WROTE: .... you COULD have done things to make her illness less devastating.

REPLY: Are you saying that I didn't? How could you possibly know anything about my wife or what I did or didn't do for her? I have never made her the subject of any of my pages. She is only mentioned in passing.

YOU WROTE: You could not help that your wife passed away, you COULD have taken steps to ensure her last few weeks and days on this earth were as pleasant and painless as possible.

REPLY: You know what? You are one pompous ASSHOLE.

YOU WROTE: I have a very hard time with people that give up control of their lives to ANYONE and then turn around and lay all the blame at others feet when it turns wrong.

REPLY: I have a hard time with people that HWA said would NEVER be in God's kingdom because they did not fully submit to the authority of the church, which would include it's healing teachings, preaching to me. If HWA had been right, my wife, through her own choice to follow this misleader of people in god's name, would have been in God's kingdom and you would have been on the outside and there would have been great weeping and gnashing of teeth from you. You were the lukewarm one, a "Laodecian," while my wife was very fervent to follow god as she was taught by "god's apostle."

YOU WROTE: we have to take a good hard look in the mirror and face the "Painful Truth" about where a great deal of the fault REALLY lies, at our own feet.

REPLY: You are one sanctimonious asshole. I take full responsibility for letting myself be misled. It will never happen again. Being raped because you were stupid does not absolve the rapist.

Now, before you do anything else, read the FAQ. Then, and I don't want to be unkind, but, after you read it, Fuck off you jerk.

Editor

 

 

 


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