What Is True?
November 1, 2004

< Part I

Part II - Reply from Vic: Stand back - See the Big Picture

> ... I better start off by saying that I have been a non-Christian for
> years now ...

I am glad to see you call yourself a non-Christian. Those called Christians in the first century have nothing in common with those who call themselves Christian to-day. For example. I was asked a few years ago if I was a Christian. My reply, I strive to follow the example of Christ. His reply "so long as you believe in the Trinity you are a Christian." On this basis I am not a Christian ( the Trinity doctrine is very deceptive. It was developed by the Catholic church after the stoush of Arianism and Binitarianism about 350A.D.) Briefly - one god = three persons. Person = human being. (Putting God down to earth as if God were human). You are required to accept it on faith because it cannot be explained. That is blind faith.

>... It also means that I still believe in the
> concept of right and wrong. There are principles that guide man in the
> right path and these are discovered by reason, experience and flawed
> human traditions (I include the Bible in that).

Oops - We are taught to reason- hopefully even learn wisdom by our experiences. I had no concept of right and wrong when I was born. When I was growing up I followed my parents or copped it physically till I learned what is right and wrong. Later on I learned to choose and establish my own moral and belief standard. Personally I have found that over the years the Bible is the foundation of knowledge. Real knowledge that cannot be established by observation and repeated experiments, not by the scientific method. It is not set out as a scientific thesis, but composite, not organized as encyclopedia, but many examples of peoples' experiences good and bad. Above all it is book of past, present and future.

> I have to give a lot of credit to the Worldwide Church of God
> reformers who argued their case very carefully in the early stages and
> eventually opened my mind by teaching that there were Christians in
> other churches...

Personally I give no credit to those "reformers" Stavrinides, 5 hours of tapes really just hot air. Born or begotten it is really only a conceptual thing. Result God is .... - whatever you replace the dots with, Mike Feazel, (I spoke to him personally about 7 months ago- spoke on the prodigal son - the purpose to emphasize what he had said over 2 years ago. ie. that the prodigal son is not in any way about repentance) - Joe Sr. he started out with a good heart "we are family" great concept but was overcome by his son and Mike and others. We are no longer family. Randall Dick another I spoke to personally about 15 months ago. J.M., A.W. [other ministers] up until a few years ago attended services with them. These all are now the product of re-cycled orthodoxy - the customs and doctrines that I personally investigated and rejected ( Mark 7:6-13) for myself 15 years before I was baptized. I have read their reasoning - it is demonstratably flawed, took part in courses and intensives. Even paid $150 for a course "Life and Teachings of Christ" One part I found offensive - how the scribes and pharisees established how far above the elbow they had to wash to be ceremonially clean. The rest photocopy of other "evangelists". Absolutely nothing to do with Christ. What has happened is legalism has been repackaged but it is still the same. The new financial plan 75 - 25 split just another way of siphoning off more money.

> I had been a very strong Armstrong believer in the 80's, and then I
> had been persuaded first by Joe Tkach Sr.'s positive reforming
> attitude, and then finally by his biblical arguments that the Law in
> its Old Testament form was not necessary for salvation.

There is one thing I do thank HWA for "Prove all things hold fast that which is Good." For me that proving is the living vital part of my walk.

>... I realized that Joseph Tkach Jr. was going too far and was starting to
> even push the orthodox doctrine about hell, and ...

Joe seems to view everything from a physical view point. ... my wife says he write from social worker's viewpoint.

> ... I believe the ones who remain are divided
> between those who quietly hold to Armstrong views and those who want
> the Church to become even more mainstream.

There is a third group - those who pray for the spirit of God to work in all of us. I personally believe that God led, cajoled, pushed, gave me opportunity me to be where I am now. No man is going to be successful in getting me to shift. Several have tried, some continue to try. In the end some end up going themselves. I think I can help and support my friends best from where I am now. In fact in talking to one minister after he said "In a way I rule over you" - I responded - Maybe I am here to witness to you.

> The biggest disappointment of all was that they would not deal with
> the past abuses and scandals which I had to learn about unofficially.

Abuses are still going on, some the same and new ones as well.

> They would not address where the Church had gone wrong in policies
> and practices - never mind doctrines - and they would not try to
> assist people in sorting themselves out in anyway and in trying to
> reach out to former members in order to explain what had really gone
> wrong from the beginning. This is what I think should have been done,
> but I was just dreaming. If there has been any attempt to do this
> since then, I don't know. I had expected a church to be led
> spiritually and take some hits for its mistakes rather than persist in
> its chameleon-like and unrivaled public relations expertise.

They are controllers and strive for non-accountability - they even call it corporate worship now.

> ... Now I just think that the old
> doctrines of the Law were as equally wrong or right as the new
> doctrines of Grace - and I perceive these two sets of doctrines as two
> different religions coming from the same Bible...

You are 100% right the two sets of doctrines and practices and legalistic institutions are both wrong. Both are based on physical carnal of the world standards. ALL THE DENOMINATIONS ARE JUST BIG COMPANIES JUST LIKE General Motors, Ford. All have C.E.O's. Pastor general, archbishop etc. All collect money and spend it on themselves. Whether tithes or offering or donations. Whenever you have men employed and paid by a human organization, Church or whatever you call it, the man has a conflict of interest - with all the best goodwill they cannot serve two masters. It will be GOD OR MANNON. The body of Christ is not an organised church with an ordained ministry separate from the members. We are all at the same level. All sinners in past, now - present and future. We are all ministers.Think through the teaching of the parable of the workers in the field. The only way you can make sense of the saying the first shall be last and the last first is that we are all equal before God.

> ... If it's not a religious lie in this world, it's a political lie or a
> secular or materialistic lie. We need to learn about "cults" and
> empower ourselves. We need to learn how to avoid those who seek
> ultimate power over us to devour us, to use us up, to take our energy
> and time and money - for their war or their cult or their church.
> We need to learn how to control our own lives and not be controlled. ...

Please remember Peter said "We ought to obey God not man". Under the new covenant we have direct access to God not through a minister or an other priest or anyone, all we have to do is ask. Our Messiah lives.