The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 74)

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


5/29/03

 Dear Ms. Strickland:

I read your letter to the editor of the Painful Truth website. You stated that: "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." The editor acquitted himself well enough and does not need my defense, but did it ever occur to you that people raise their CHILDREN in these situations? Who is responsible for the child? Is the child responsible for being in the cult?

Many Worldwiders, myself included, were brought into the cult at a very tender age, far too young to make such life-altering decisions for ourselves. Such children grow up believing what they are taught, just as children raised as Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or any other religion grow up believing what they were taught. Having been indoctrinated with such beliefs from the cradle, many (if not most) such children continue in those beliefs for their entire lives. A few are able to finally see the light and break away, as I did at age 44; but many others will live and die inside the prison-bars of the cult.

I am one of the contributors to the web site, and sometimes I do take serious shots at Armstrong and his henchmen. Do I have a right to be angry? Or would you say I was willingly complicit in my own enslavement? As for those who came into the cult as adults, have you ever been sold a bill of goods by a shyster (used-car salesman, telemarketer, etc.)? Did you ever trust somebody and find out later they had deceived you? How did you feel? Foolish? Used? Betrayed?

Angry?

Lighten Up, 007! Give us a break! We are no different than you. People get taken all the time. People get conned, robbed, raped, murdered -often because they were trusting or stupid (or both). Do you blame THEM for their misfortune? Or perhaps you blame the perpetrator who victimized them?

Think about it.

John B


I didn't see this on your web page and I don't know if it's been verified; however, this was sent to me by a friend. Dean Blackwell was a pretty big Worldwide Church of God name here in the Midwest.

Regards, Thomas


Dean Blackwell dies on April 14 ,2003
UPDATED April 14, 2003

 From Michael Blackwell, pastor, Springfield/Joplin/Rolla, MO; Harrison, AR:

My brother, Dean Blackwell, died at about 8:30 a.m. this morning, as a result of his recent strokes. Memorial services are being arranged at this time. As soon as they are made we will let you know the plans. It will probably be in about two weeks in Big Sandy, Texas.

During his illness he got a large stack of cards, some of which were read to him by his children. Please remember his children at this time as they go through the loss of their father so closely after they lost their mother. We appreciate all the prayers which were offered for his healing during this ordeal.


Editor,

I sure am glad that "Christianity" is not pagan: http://home.earthlink.net/~pgwhacker/ChristianOrigins/PaganChrists_Mithras.html

Bill

REPLY:

Bill,

Don't you remember? Satan had these counterfeits setup long before Jesus just to test our faith and separate the true believers from the unbelievers.

;-)

REPLY:

Oh how well I remember that lame-ass excuse. I thought you might like yet another website with anti-Jesus info. It's looking more and more as if Mithra was the one. I wonder if there are any legitimate Mithra-worshipping cults around. I sure would like to fellowship with them. That's what the gang of four told me from the stage in MAR 96 when I asked what the hell to do with my confusion - go find another Christ-centered fellowship with which you are more comfortable was the answer. Since Christ=Mithra, I guess I should be seeking a Mithra-centered fellowship to see how comfortable they make me feel. After all, we are also supposed to get back to the faith once delivered. Maybe I should be looking for a Nimrod-centered fellowship instead. We've got Wicca groups, Druids, neo-pagans, why can't we have Mithra and Nimrod groups, too? This looks like rank discrimination to me.

Bill


 I just read your FAQs, and let me say "Right On!!!!" While I was reading what you wrote regarding the fact that there is no proof of God's presence or intervention, just stories in a book that our culture has deemed the "true breath of God", which subsequently was written by fallible men, men who new nothing of science, men who could be influenced to bend to other people's agendas.

I have been a "Christian" all my life, 29 years, up until five months ago. I had been in a Pentecostal church, speaking in tongues and giving prophecy, the whole nine yards. I was a robot.

Then one day, while I was listening to some music and working, I had an epiphany that has shaken the very foundation of my soul. I thought a simple question, "Why do you believe in this religion?" That was it. 29 years of going thought the motions was over. I realized I had NEVER experienced the true presence of the God everyone else in my church was enjoying everyday, I NEVER saw an obvious answer to a prayer despite the bible's promise of the gathering of believers. I saw no deliverance from the pain of this life, nothing the bible promised for me on earth has EVER come to fruition, so I quit. I told every person I know that I no longer will be coming to church or engaging in any practices of the "Christian" faith. This of course has not gone over very well in any area of my social life.

It has been very interesting to see people dance around and back pedal when we discuss God. I ask them to tell me of one obvious miracle in their lifetime, or the last millennia. They can't. Just stories of obscure healings or financial graces. There are no more pillars of fire from the sky. There are no seas parting or mass exodus' of an enslaved nation. No, people just seem to run out of their apologetic class ammunition after an hour or so and lean on the "faith of a mustard seed" defense. PLEASE! I know the bible from cover to cover. I know the signs, I know the inconsistencies, I see the flaws. Especially in the first five books of the O.T. Genesis alone proves to be a mere mythological tale that parallels several earlier stories from a mix of ancient Cretan and Cenozoic era plates and tablets. I have studied this intensely for a while now. Read Joseph Campbell's "Faces of God: Occidental Mythology" Very informative. I will not go into everything I have found about the canonization of the Bible, but I fear that man has it wrong. Plain and simple. I have taken myself off of spiritual auto-pilot, and now I am actively searching for the true God that I am part of. I offer my ear, mind's eye, and subconscious thoughts constantly for a response from that force. I want to know the truth, and he hasn't answered yet. I'm waiting....

Please respond to this. You are the first person I have ever met who understands my point of view!!!!! PLEASE!!!!

Josh B.

REPLY: 

Hi Josh.

YOU WROTE:
 I offer my ear, mind's eye, and subconscious thoughts constantly for a response from that force. I want to know the truth, and he hasn't answered yet. I'm waiting....

REPLY:
 You will wait a long time and never hear a response from this "god." The truth is that nobody really knows what is going on here. Nobody knows if there is an afterlife. Nobody knows if there is a purpose for our being alive and able to think and reason. It is uncomfortable at first. You have to go through it step by step. There is a grieving process as it dawns on you that this is probably the only life you will ever have. But then you can go on to make this life the very best you possibly can.

Many people waste a lot of time and money to try to meet the requirements of a god so as to be accepted by IT. They waste this life in exchange for a promised life after they are dead. The only trouble is that those who promise this "life after death" are not basing these promises on anything that can be proved and verified. And, after you are dead and there is no afterlife and you have proved them wrong, there is no way for you to go get your life back again.

Anyone can make up anything they want, call it a religion and people will follow. I remember reading science fiction books written by L. Ron Hubbard when I was a kid. This guy started his own religion with all kinds of weird beliefs (Scientology) and now it is a major religion in the world today. As P.T. Barnum said: "There is a sucker born every minute."

People are desperate for answers to unanswerable questions. All it takes is some con-man to put on a funny looking outfit or carry around a, so-called, "holy book," and say that he has the answers, and the suckers will flock to him. And, because we have freedom of religion in the USA, these con-men can say whatever they want and say that they are speaking for god and they can get away with just about anything.

YOU WROTE:
 You are the first person I have ever met who understands my point of view!!!!!

REPLY:
 Patience my friend. There are plenty of people out there who share your point of view. Lots of them are afraid to say anything for fear of hurting people's feelings. Here is a hint, if you should be unlucky enough to be at an occasion where a public prayer is said, keep your head up and eyes open and look for the others that will not bow before a fairy tale god. We are out there.

Keep reading and thinking. You will do okay.

Best Regards, Editor


You are without doubt, the most cold,calloused,stonehearted,unfeeling SOB to have ever been put on the face of the earth! How dare the parents of Laci Peterson be THANKFUL that the bodies of their daughter and grandson were found so they could give them a decent burial and say their final goodbyes! How dare they continue to believe that, even in tragedy,God is still in control of their lives!?! HOW DARE YOU USE THE TRAGEDY IN THEIR LIVES AS FODDER FOR YOUR "SEE, I TOLD YOU SO,IN YOUR FACE" for your anti-christian rhetoric! Here's something REALLY unchristian for you...the day I hear YOUR bloated corpse has surfaced somewhere, will be the day I will have had a prayer answered...BY SOMEONE!! Don't bother responding to this, it will be deleted unread.I don't read mail from SHITHEADS!!

Scott Davis ScottADavis2@netscape.net

REPLY:

Scott,

Thank you for your kind, Christian message. Whatever happened to the Bible verse about "nothing will offend them" (speaking of true Christians)? I guess you haven't read that one.

I have always said that, if I ever had a choice between an atheist or a Christian to be in a war, fighting for my country, I would have to choose the Christian because the Christian will fight for his God and think that there is a god that is helping him, no matter how badly things go for him. Christians make good warriors because they know that they are not going to get any demonstrable help from their god and so they have to fight all the harder.

You demonstrate this trait by attacking me. Why not just pray for your god to take care of me? Why not just ask your god to stop me from making you think? Why is it necessary for you to send me a nasty email? Well, it is necessary because you KNOW that just talking to your imaginary "friend" is not going to do you any good and is not going to change anything. Therefore, you must take things into your own hands and do something yourself. You show how weak your god is and how weak your faith is in this "god."

You are right: Thinking is not off limits for this website. You may want to try Christian sites if you do not want to think.

Editor

REPLY:

I told you NOT to respond! I told you it would be deleted unread [and it was!] you're not very good a listening are you? Save your energy, I'm sure you need all you can get for christian bashing and poking fun of grieving relatives!

REPLY:

Heheheheheheheheheheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..............................

I know you are reading these messages.

You are too angry not to.

At least I am not LYING like you are. What does your paper god think about lying?

Editor

REPLY:

You are one sick puppy !!

REPLY:

Sorry for making you think, if even for one split second.

Don't worry, just trust in your "faith" in things that you cannot prove. Keep taking your "faith drug" so that you don't have to acknowledge the obvious.

I'd rather be thought of as "sick" than to have to turn my brain off in order to exist in an obviously god forsaken world.

Regards, Editor


Periodically some in the Black community re-ignite the case for all of white America to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves. I'm trying to figure out why I disagree with this premise, but at the same time I'm anxiously awaiting the sale of the Pasadena property so we can get our "reparations".

REPLY:

Perhaps your feeling that we should receive reparations and that Blacks, today, should not, goes to the fact that WE are actually the ones that were damaged by the Cult. They blackmailed OUR money out of us and used it on themselves. They directly affected OUR lives in negative ways. Now they use OUR money to feather their retirement beds and make themselves feel important.

Will the Blacks get their reparations which I don't thing they have any right to at all? Elect enough Democrats and maybe they will.

Will we get our reparations or at least a refund of some of our money, which we fully deserve? About the chance of a snowball in a nonexistent Hell.

There would have to be a God that gives a shit about mankind and justice and right and wrong.

Editor


I am writing to you today on behalf of my Pastor, Randy Hadwick, who has just written a fabulous book of healing and restoration that ministers to all who read it. This book, When Shepherds Become Wolves, exposes the tragically common situation in Christianity today where the shepherds we rely on to love and pastor us, can become wolves who slaughter the ones they are commissioned to care for.

 This book is a quick read, written in simple terms and supported by many scriptural references.

We would be interested in linking to your page, or any other means by which we can work together to get this book into the hands of people who need it.

 In His Service, Bob Klem Managing Editor, Last Days Harvest Publishing

REPLY:

Sorry, not interested in linking to any cults, including "Pastor" Hadwick's. Christianity is a CULT. Recognize it. Deal with it. It is reality.

 Editor

REPLY:

I will pray that God (there is only one) softens your heart to the truth that is Jesus Christ. Be blessed, and thanks for your reply.

Bob

REPLY:

Yeah. Right. That will work. Why not pray for something that we can prove happens or not? How about a little challenge prayer for you? You tell me that you will pray for something specifically to happen and set a time limit on it.

If it happens, I will follow your god.

If it doesn't happen, you will start to use your brain.

And, how do you know there is only one? There may be millions of gods. I would be satisfied with just ONE god that gave one little shit about mankind. Show me proof of a god that cares about mankind.

Editor


 When I read over why you reject Christianity the emotional impression I got was of one simply in pain. Of the three premises that you stated that HWA taught I believe he has basically correct but things did not work out for ONE specific reason. That reason involves the "key" which Herbert W. Armstrong did not have. That key or the "key to authority" lies in that in the last days a priest would arise with the Urim-Thummim.

 REPLY:

YOU WROTE:
 When I read over why you reject Christianity the emotional impression I got was of one simply in pain.

REPLY:
 Well, you are mistaken. The impression that you should be getting, without relying on "emotion," is that I reject Christianity because I am able to use my brain. If you will also start using your brain instead of your "emotions," you will also be able to, eventually, reject Christianity. You don't have to do it. I realize that it is a lot more comforting to believe in fairy tales, but that is up to you.

You might ask yourself why you accept Christianity while rejecting all other gods. There is as much evidence that these other gods exist as there is for your Jesus.

I merely reject one more "god" than you do.

Editor

REPLY:

thank you for your sermon sir

REPLY:

Go back to sleep now.


Editor


Dear Editor,

I have noticed your listing for GLSBR for an Armstrong Splinter Group. We kindly request that you remove it. GLSBR Does Not Teach Armstrongism. It was abandoned in 1974. Only 2 people with worldwide background remain. As far as I know, the others don't even know what they teach. GLSBR does not teach tithing or other Old Testament rituals. The teachings of GLSBR are based on the life of Christ. We emphasize Christ's standard of the healing of the broken hearted by a willingness to forgive as well as a willingness to change when necessary. We also try to reach out to those who are not being reached. I understand that many have been hurt by the world wide, but just as you may dislike them, we also desire not to be associated with their teachings, doctrines, or rituals. If you have further interest, you can go to the becketfund.org site and read about us.

With kind regards,

Tim De Young

REPLY:

The Ambassador Report is historical data. It is not meant to be current teachings or beliefs. If what was reported was true at the time, then it will stay as it is and was. You don't go through old Time Magazines and ask Time to change something that doesn't reflect what is now different today, do you?

How about changing the Bible now that you know that the Sun does not revolve around the Earth? You do that or at least admit that the bible is riddled with errors and contradictions and I will change the historically accurate AR.

Editor


 Dear Editor,

Is there any genuine firsthand evidence that Herbert W. Armstrong was an admirer of Adolph Hitler's book, Mein Kampf? I remember reading something about it years ago in David Robinson's book, but I don't know if this was an urban legend within the church or if anyone can document that he did base his ideas and his dealings with subordinates on the principles found in Mein Kampf.

I am interested in writing an essay on the parallels between Hitler, both as a man and regarding his leadership in the Nazi Party and Germany, and the governmental structure of the Armstrong era Worldwide Church of God, and the similarities between the organizational structures of the Worldwide Church of God and Hitler's organizational techniques, use of propaganda, his love of modern technology but his hatred of modern morality, etc., which stemmed from the Volkish traditions, Hitler's version of Spokesmen's Club and its purpose [hint: it wasn't to create good speakers], the fact that he had very few original ideas, but rather had an energetic, forceful and charismatic personality which mobilized the NSDAP. There were many groups at the time with views similar to those of the Nazi Party, but none of them had an Adolph Hitler. For anyone interested in reading more, both to draw their own conclusions, and to gain more information than the excerpts that I would cite in my essay, I recommend that they read Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History Jackson J. Spielvogel, c. 2001, Prentiss Hall. This is very readable upper division college textbook, and Speilvogel is a highly respected historian of Western Civilization. I see quite a bit on the internet where similarities are noted between life in the Armstrong Worldwide Church of God (and beyond) and other groups or nations which suffer under dictators, but my interpretation of Speilvogel's text in relation to the Worldwide Church of God goes beyond these general similarities, which would be consistent with anyone's experience in a cultic organization.

I am interested in knowing if an historical case can be made that the Radio Church of God/Worldwide Church of God under Armstrong was deliberately patterned on Adolph Hitler's understanding of individual and mass psychology, as well as many of Armstrong's doctrines being based upon the Volkish ideology of which Hitler was an almost lifelong ideologue. Is there anyone who can supply me with firsthand information that Herbert W. Armstrong was both a reader and student of Mein Kampf or other Volkish literature?

Kathleen  kakacek@srv.net 


To Whom it may concern,

 I am concerned about the selling of copyrights to 19 Herbert W Armstrong books to the Philadelphia Church of God. I have been paying passive attention to both World Wide Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God, and other Worldwide Church of God splinter groups over the concerned Herbert W. Armstrong literature. I read in the PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet that after 6 years of court litigations that Worldwide Church of God sold the copyrights to PCG of 19 HWA books. I have written to Worldwide Church of God if they have plans to write annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 HWA books Worldwide Church of God sold copyrights to PCG. Here are the first 7 that PCG is presently distributing:

Mystery of the Ages The Incredible Human Potential The Missing Dimension in Sex The United States and Britain in Prophecy The Wonderful World Tomorrow What will it be like? Which is the Christian Sabbath? Pagan Holidays or God's Holy days Which is it?

I do not think it is appropriate nor Christian like not to dispel these doctrinal errors found in these 19 HWA books that Worldwide Church of God sold the copyrights to PCG. I can not let these doctrinal errors be spread without me doing my "Christian Duty." annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 Herbert W. Armstrong books need to be made freely available to the people of the world.

Would you like to help me write these annotation versions?

Here is what my intentions are. I plan on writing letters to:

1. Christian Research Institute and Hank Hanegraaff to discuss publishing the errors of these concerned 19 Herbert W. Armstrong books.

2. All Worldwide Church of God splinter groups to inquire which of these erroneous doctrines they agree or disagree to and publish their findings.

3. Any Anti-Cult Organizations such as CRI or the Watchman to discuss publishing the errors of these concerned 19 HWA books.

4. Any Christian Organizations who I feel appropriate to assist in devising accurate annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 HWA books.

5. I request your help in writing these annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 Herbert W. Armstrong books.

6. I plan on deciding on a means of advertising so all the world will be able to read these annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 Herbert W. Armstrong books. After flooding the search engines with these 19 HWA books annotation headlines, I would like to see an offline campaign to get these annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 HWA books to people already indoctrinated into "Armstrongism."

7. If I go it alone I will personally write these annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 Herbert W. Armstrong books myself using God's Word as my guide. I might ask for help from the webmaster of the Graveyard Church of God. http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ gycg/index.htm

I will start my research of each book with the help of "God's Word" and gather information for the annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 HWA books. I think it is just unacceptable to allow PCG to distribute these erroneous doctrines un protested. If no one helps me with this issue I will consider it my "Christian Duty" to publicly announce these annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 HWA books.

Make no mistake annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 Herbert W. Armstrong books will be written either by Worldwide Church of God, some qualified Minister/ Christian, Me or Me plus webmaster of the Graveyard Church of God. http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ gycg/index.htm I will be properly quoted from the source books but as sure as death and taxes, there will be annotation versions dispelling the doctrinal errors of the concerned 19 HWA books freely available via Internet if it takes the rest of my life to do so.

I will wait for your response.

Best Regards Michael

REPLY:

Michael,

I appreciate your concern and desire to right wrongs. Save yourself a lot of time and effort: forget about it. There is enough material available for enquiring minds to completely discredit the teachings of HWA and his imitators. The True Believers won't read or believe what you write. Those that are looking for answers can find them without you devoting yourself to this project.

Get on with your life and put all this crap behind you.

Best Regards,

Editor


One of Mark Twain's many maxims:

"All schools, all colleges, have two great functions; to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten."

Instead of "The Word of God is the foundation of all knowledge.", the motto on the plaque at Ambassador College should have been "A basket of strawberries, one half rotten. Come ye and eat."

Of course, many readers will argue that my fraction of rottenness is way too low.

Bill Fairchild Douglas, Mass.


 From: Jlordfrvr@aol.com

Re: the article no morality w/o the bible by Mr. Till posted 10/14/02

 Hello,

 I am a first time visitor to the site. I have a journalism degree and a law degree. I am also a Christian. Stop. Do not generalize or make assumptions based on that alone. I perused your site, and putting aside what I believe are a number of errors in reasoning, poor decision-making and inappropriate and/or uncivilized thinking and treatment of thousands of sincere people whom we know as "christians" (of which I am humbled to be numbered among), I believe I do have one comment to the article noted supra in the subject line.

 Let's begin, Mr. Till quotes the bible (the word of God) himself, so do not "discard" my comment for "quoting scripture" as I am merely responding to his quote. He quotes Romans 2:14 in support of his position that non-christians know the moral law. Guess what? Many intelligent christians, including C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity, agree with him. God does place a moral law upon all of our hearts as He is the lawgiver. At any rate, the scripture is correct in its assertion. People do know right from wrong. Simply keep in mind that people do not do what they know is right. They violate the very standards they believe are correct for themselves. If you traveled around the world, you would find evidence in every society and culture of God's moral law (of right and wrong). For example, all cultures prohibit murder, and yet in all societies that law has been broken time and again (read today's headlines from any source). Simply stated, we belong to a stubborn race. We do know what is right but insist on doing what is wrong. It is not enough to know what's right; we must also do it. The scripture is only helpful if the "fundamentalists" believe what Mr. Till alleges. I do not speak for them personally, but I am a christian, and I know that God does place a moral law upon our hearts. It is our selfish human nature, however, which is naturally attracted to sin and chooses through its own God-given free moral agency to do that which it knows is wrong. Mr. Till should read more scripture so that he can have a more complete understanding of God's truth in our lives. Finally, try to admit to yourself and to God that you frequently fail to live up to your own standards (much less God's), and that will be the first step to forgiveness and healing. You are skeptical of a God whose standards you break on a daily basis.

 I will pray for you.

 REPLY:

 YOU WROTE:
 Let's begin, Mr. Till quotes the bible.....

REPLY:
 If you want to debate Mr. Till, just join his Errancy II forum and he will eat you alive. http://ii_errancy@topica.com/search/?query=ii_errancy&search_type=cat

YOU WROTE:
 "...the word of God..." "God does place a moral law upon all of our hearts as He is the lawgiver."

REPLY:
 He who asserts must prove. Go ahead and prove either statement to be a fact.

YOU WROTE:
 At any rate, the scripture is correct in its assertion

REPLY:
 Prove it.

YOU WROTE:
 Simply keep in mind that people do not do what they know is right.

REPLY:
 Speak for yourself.

YOU WROTE:
 If you traveled around the world, you would find evidence in every society and culture of God's moral law (of right and wrong).

REPLY:
 Prove that it is "god's moral law" and not man's moral law.

YOU WROTE:
 We do know what is right but insist on doing what is wrong.

REPLY:
 I don't know where you live but most people that I know do what is right for the most part. They don't "insist" on doing wrong. Do you?

YOU WROTE:
 I know that God does place a moral law upon our hearts.

REPLY:
 If you "know" it, then you must be able to prove it.

YOU WROTE:
 Mr. Till should read more scripture so that he can have a more complete understanding of God's truth in our lives.

REPLY:
 I can assure you that Mr. Till knows the bible a lot better than you do. Go tell him how much you know about the bible and see what he tells you.

YOU WROTE:
 You are skeptical of a God whose standards you break on a daily basis.

REPLY:
 Prove to me that a god that orders men, women, children, babies and animals to be killed by "his" army, has any standards at all.

Prove to me that a god that kills all human life on the planet except for a few hand-picked men and women, has higher standards than I do.

Prove to me that a "god" that thinks it is okay for women to be treated as property has higher standards than I do.

Prove ANYTHING that you believe about your god. You can't do it can you? I know you can't. Your beliefs are all based on a book and the book can easily be discredited and so your god is easily discredited. You, therefore, are discredited. All this as a result of bad decision making and faulty reasoning on your part. You accept an error filled, confused, unscientific book as being from a perfect god. Not very smart Mr. Journalism/Lawyer degree. You really should have higher standards for your gods.

YOU WROTE:
 I will pray for you.

REPLY:
 Here is the challenge for you: Pray for something that we can prove happens or doesn't happen. Put your god to the test otherwise your god is weak and impotent, just like you.

Now, go play somewhere else.

Editor

 REPLY:

 

 OK then, Mr. Editor...

 First let me state that I am glad Mr. Till reads scripture. He should Keep reading ... there's always hope for him and you.

 Moreover I will begin with your simple and offhand remark that the people you know "do what is right for the most part".

 Ok then, "for the most part" implies that there is some ascertainable standard which is not being followed. So you admit there exists some standard to which these people do not meet? Obviously there is a real standard or how do we in this e-mail know the standard to which you refer? Where does that standard originate? I believe in the idea that God has given us this standard. I suppose you could argue it is man's standard of conduct so that he does not harm himself or others. But why is this even necessary (and why so obvious)? This leads to my next point -that human nature is currently flawed -and observably so.

 For thousands of years people have understood there is something awry with human nature. When such nature is left unchecked it is destructive beyond imagining (including abuse of religion by those who are not truly following the scripture). For example, there are checks and balances imbedded in our U.S. Constitution. Why? -because human nature is easily corruptible (by power for example). Those checks on power are necessary. That is why our document of origin is successful -because our founding fathers were astute enough to recognize human nature for what it is (they were skeptical of the human capacity to govern without restraint). This is also why communism in its true form doesn't work -wonderful theory...wrong species (share and share alike works with the ants perhaps). Simply stated, "if men were angels, we would need no police force." Christianity has the correct perspective on this issue because it correctly identifies this problem of sin and/or flawed human nautre.

 Moreover I doubt that true biblical Christianity is what you are fully attacking. You seem to be attacking Roman Catholicism (the "armies" refers to the Inquisition). Simply put, the Inquisition is not biblical! Cults seem to play a part in your thinking also (Armstrong for one). First, you must separate out these erroneous ideas from what Christianity is all about. What you need, with all due respect, is faith -and a little bit of context.

 I think that your attacks upon the bible are displaced and/or irrelevant because you do not understand the stated purpose of the book itself. Let me attempt to convey the appropriate "context" so that you may understand better what the scripture is communicating.

 It is obviously a book of faith. It is not intended as a scientific treatise, so therefore your requirement of tangible, scientific proof is contrary to one of the given purposes of the book itself (belief in God by faith). Also, the book clearly purports to be about things which are SUPER...NATURAL (e.g., God the Creator and HIS relationship with His creation, etc.).

 Remember, context determines the meaning, and context is your guide to understanding a written work. Slamming a book of faith because it is unprovable by sense perception creates a contradiction of absurdity.

 Inside the book there are statements such as: "It is impossible to please God without faith." Again, what? Faith. Yes.

 Also: "We walk by FAITH and NOT BY SIGHT."

 Moreover, Jesus said: "blessed are those who believe who have NOT SEEN." I believe and have not seen. If you saw would you believe?

 So, let's be truthful. If your requirement of tangible proof was met, you would likely still not BELIEVE. Many saw the miracles of Jesus. Many disbelieved. They chalked it up to a thousand other possibilities. Would you believe? Are you telling the truth as you respond or are you skirting the issue of faith?

 Last but not least, Proverbs states: "a fool says in his heart there is no God." Being an atheist is simply untenable once you factor in the unknown or unknowable. You seem arrogant to me. I think you could use a little modesty. I know one thing without proof, your beliefs are contrary to the vast multitude of human experience which includes FAITH -and always has -and always, always will.

 Finally, the bible covers approximately 2,500 years of human history. I don't know your age but I trust the accumulated wisdom of God's word as it stacks up against your knowledge of life and wisdom. Is your wisdom superior to that of so many? (only in your dreams perhaps).

 The "painful truth" is this: The Word of God will outlive you -for good reason. It has existed for many thousands of years. Millions have turned to it for comfort and truth. And perhaps someday when you stop judging God and place yourself in the humble position of the one being judged, you will have a new perspective.

 Finally, please read a book other than the propaganda for the "atheist" position which fills your site. I suggest Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

 So, Peace be unto you and thank you sincerely for taking the time to respond regardless of you current opinions. I am after all glad that both of us are free to express our opinions in an open forum. I welcome your reply. Have an interesting day.

 REPLY:

 YOU WROTE:
 Ok then, "for the most part" implies that there is some ascertainable standard which is not being followed.

REPLY:
 Yes: self preservation. And, by extension, preservation of the group because this will preserve the self. Killing people is bad because then we are all threatened. Stealing is bad because we don't want to have our things stolen. Adultery is bad because it hurts the partner and the family relationship. Lying is bad because we have to be able to trust one another. There was never a need for any god to give people these "laws;" they are as natural as eating and drinking.

 YOU WROTE:
 I believe in the idea that God has given us this standard. I suppose you could argue it is man's standard of conduct so that he does not harm himself or others. But why is this even necessary (and why so obvious)?

REPLY:
 Because we are human beings. We are not perfect. We have natural pulls. When it comes right down to it, we may just be the most advanced animals on the planet. Maybe we did evolve; I don't know. If we did, it would explain, very obviously, why we have a nature that may do bad things.

YOU WROTE:
 You seem to be attacking Roman Catholicism (the "armies" refers to the Inquisition).

REPLY:
 Not at all. I was attacking your "Holy Bible." Your god is an evil being. Haven't you ever read the Bible? Your "god" is the greatest mass murderer to ever exist.

YOU WROTE:
 It is obviously a book of faith.

REPLY:
 Faith being belief in things with absolutely no proof at all. If there were any proof, there would be no need for faith.

Tell me: How can a seemingly intelligent person, such as yourself, believe things, such as this, with no proof at all? At what point did you willingly turn your brain off and reject all your natural, lawyerly instinct to demand proof of any unbelievable statement? Isn't it just a little disorienting for you? When it comes to religion, you will swallow whatever some "holy" types will tell you but, in all other things, you will be skeptical and demand proof. Shouldn't religion, if it is true, stand up to the same tests of truth or error as any other thing? Shouldn't the bible be subjected to the same standards of truth or error as every other book?

YOU WROTE:
 It is not intended as a scientific treatise

REPLY:
 I thought it was supposed to be inspired or breathed by your god. If that were true, it should at least be scientifically perfect. In fact, the Bible has no more scientific information in it than was common knowledge at the time of its writing and then a lot of it wrong. One "inspired" writer thought that the Sun revolves around the Earth. This shows that you cannot trust at least some parts of the bible. If you cannot trust some parts, you cannot be sure what parts you can trust. What kind of god would give you a holy book that you couldn't figure out what "he" had inspired and what was put in there by mortal men? How would you know what to believe?

YOU WROTE:
 Slamming a book of faith because it is unprovable by sense perception creates a contradiction of absurdity.

REPLY:
 You are the one that says it is a book of faith. As far as I am concerned, you are just pulling that out of the air trying to make excuses for your belief in unprovable things. The book is physical. It purports to be the only communication available from a perfect god. It has definite statements in it. Those statements are either true of false. If they are demonstrated as false, then the book cannot be trusted as being inspired by a perfect god. If you want to devote your life to following a book that is demonstrably not perfect and that also portrays an evil, megalomaniac, narcissistic god, that is your business. Just don't expect people who prefer to use their brains, to accept your delusions as facts. Your whole religious belief system of believing things just because you want to believe them, in the face of facts to the contrary, is the real "contradiction of absurdity."

YOU WROTE:
 If your requirement of tangible proof was met, you would likely still not BELIEVE.

REPLY:
 I have been searching for "god" for the last 60 years. I would be more than happy to follow such a god but I refuse to follow by "faith" any more. I have to have some irrefutable proof. Look at all the "faithful" people around the world murdering and killing for their god. Faith is NOT a good thing. Faith is evil. People should not be believing things without proof. If there is a perfect god, do you really think that he would fault me for using my brain? Do you think that he praises you for turning off your brain to believe things without any proof at all? What kind of god do you worship?

Why do you reject the Veda? The Upanishads? The Tao-te-ching? The Koran? The Five Classics? The Bhagavad Gita? The Analects? What standard do you have for rejecting these other "holy books" but you don't apply to the bible? Why? Why do you adamantly defend your book but reject all others? I would say that it is because of where you were born. You believe in and defend to the death your religion because of where you were born and what those around your believe. Is this a sound basis for belief in a god? Is this sound judgment for intelligent people? I don't think so.

YOU WROTE:
 I know one thing without proof, your beliefs are contrary to the vast multitude of human experience which includes FAITH -and always has -and always, always will.

REPLY:
 That does not mean that I am wrong. It only means that, if you promise people a life after death, they will be willing to give up much of this life to follow you. It is, plain and simple, fear religion.

YOU WROTE:
 Is your wisdom superior to that of so many?

REPLY:
 I can tell right from wrong; truth from error. Apparently many cannot or at least they are able to turn their brains off because it contradicts what they want to believe.

YOU WROTE:
 It has existed for many thousands of years. Millions have turned to it for comfort and truth.

REPLY:
 Yes, it does give them comfort but it doesn't give them truth. That is easily proven. Comfort in a lie or a delusion is not enough for me. Drugs can give you comfort too. Doesn't mean they are good for you.

YOU WROTE:
 Finally, please read a book other than the propaganda for the "atheist" position which fills your site. I suggest Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

REPLY:
 I am not an Atheist. Read the FAQ.

Finally, please read things that are other than the propaganda of the "Christian" position which fills your mind. I would suggest " Mere Assertions " by Dan Barker

I am still waiting for your proof that the bible is the word of god. I'm sure that I will wait a long time for that.

Editor

REPLY:

P.S. If you need scripture chapter and verse for my quotations let me know.

REPLY:

What good would it do to quote me "scripture chapter and verse" out of a book that I do not accept as truth? What would the point be?

Editor


Sir,

I'm sorry to hear that you believe that the bible is a fairy tale. Although my article quotes the bible extensively I hope that you will read it. It gives the biblical reason why Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was inaccurate in his administration of the Worldwide Church of God. Unless you can show this on your site you fail to prove that Mr. Armstrong did anything wrong in God's sight.

Thanks in advance,

Gregory

 REPLY: 

Sorry, not interested.

I really don't give a shit about what "god" thinks about Herbert W. Armstrong.

Editor


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