Doctrine vs. the Bible
In the August 2007 Journal, Jeff Maehr's letter ("Confusing Salvation") responds to Brian Knowles' letter ("I'll Bite," in the June-July issue) and defends the truth as Jeff sees it. This is proper, but I don't really see it his way.
Mr. Maehr uses several religious-sounding terms--God's law, sanctification, grace, forgiveness, commandment, perfection, freedom--and he gives them a doctrinal rather than biblical definition.
As others besides myself have found, it is impossible to reason with people who insist on using doctrinal rather than biblical or even dictionary definitions.
When I see the Ten Commandments displayed, I wonder which one people still have trouble with. With Sabbatarians it often seems to be the Fourth Commandment, Sabbatarianism being doctrinally defined as Saturday or Sunday observance.
If we listen to them, we might think they had never read the Fourth Commandment, which says to take a break from telling everyone what to do.
In most cases, whether Saturday or Sunday, they not only tell people what to do but what to think, believe and say, and every day of the week too.
Brian is more than reluctant to run other people's lives, from what I have seen. Is Brother Maehr a better Sabbatarian than Brother Knowles, or should we even compare ourselves among ourselves?
Galatians 5:14 says all the law is fulfilled in "one word": "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Micah 6:8 says: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
We can do away with these scriptures doctrinally, but you might want to research and find out just where the idea of doctrines came from.
It wasn't the Bible. It was interpreted and translated in with the Latin. The modern concept of doctrine was unknown to the New Testament writers. To them faith was more a work in progress than a statement of doctrines. To them the historical writings were reference material, not a God that talked to them by doctrinal interpretation.
Brian seems a bit more tolerant of other people's ignorance than I am. Ignorance is something that I have as bad a case of as anyone else, but I don't see the value of doctrinally celebrating our ignorance with religious-sounding words.
Truth is relevant, not theological word games or intended insults. If it isn't relevant, it isn't truth. It is trivia. A statement can be true and not be Truth.
At some point we seem to decide that we alone have the truth and that changes everything. When we lose the ability to see our ignorance, we learn no more.
Thanks, Dave, Brian and Jan
This letter is to thank Dave Havir and Brian Knowles for their articles and insight. They are a bright light in The Journal.
The rest of the letters and articles, for the most part, are negative, depressing, funny and sad, etc., in my opinion.
I would cancel my subscription if you guys quit writing. Keep it up. Thanks again.
Also, Jan Aaron Young's articles [in Connections] on the "Plane Truth" are right on.
Most people don't want to believe these events are happening. People want to believe that our government cares about us.
Wrong. It's about world government and their own pocketbooks.
So, Mr. Young, keep those articles coming, and I hope that the readers of The Journal will take the time to see what's going on behind the scenes.
This country is just about toast. The 1975 in Prophecy booklet by the WCG was off by 30-40 years.
Please don't print my name because of my fear of retaliation from the Philadelphia Church of God.
Name and location withheld
Pam could preach if she wanted to
I read your article about the lady teaching [see "The Deweys' Ministry to Hit the Road," The Journal, March-April 2007].
There is nothing wrong with a woman giving a sermon or being a local elder. God did not call women to make coffee and cookies for the church.
The New Testament did not come into being until about A.D. 396 in Rome. Most if not all who chose what books would be in the Bible were of the Catholic Church. The way women are treated today in and out of the church is the Catholic Church's doing.
I recommend that every Christian read the book by Bart Ehrman called Misquoting Jesus.
Paul did not write 1 Timothy 2:11-15 nor 1 Corinthians 14:33-36 about women's role in the church.
In 1 Corinthians 14 he speaks to the church on the issue of prophecy in the church and how a prophet is to behave in the Christian service of worship.
In Romans 16:7 Paul speaks about Junia and a man named Andronicus, both of whom he calls foremost among the apostles. This is the only place in the New Testament in which a woman is referred to as an apostle.
Mary, instead of being Christ's wife, like they try to make her be, was an apostle because she was taught by Christ Himself.
Most of the people who were loyal to Christ were women. They were with Him until the end.
A man's first duty is to God. His second is to his wife. His third is to his children.
A woman's duty is first to God, second to her husband and third to her children.
Any Church of God leader who says a woman does not have a right to teach may as well be a member of the Catholic Church because that is where the teaching comes from.
Jerry D. Lewis
The god of this Internet?
Satan is the god of the air. Satan is the god of computer messages. Seriously. If times are prophesied to get worse and worse, does that not include the worse and worse of computer output?
How many parents in the COGs are unaware of the intrusion of computer-related teachings emanating from their schools' non-Christian teachings? How many parents in the COGs are aware that they are the major guilty parties?
It is a long and saddening study. You ministers need to address it. It is extremely hard to delete a real handwritten or typed letter. Written evidence!
3 Santee Rd.
Lincoln, N.D. 58504
Lovers of pleasure
I recently read a letter by a man of integrity.
I consider him to be a converted, dedicated man who earnestly proclaims what he considers to be truth.
You should be interested. See what you think.
In his letter he correctly portrays the motives of many churches when he says: "People are so intent on pleasures that many local churches feel they have to cater to this pleasure-seeking in order to hold or grow their membership. So churches have put forth many gimmicks from rock bands, stage performances, fairs and bingos to attract audiences."
What do you think about that? Sounds like he hits the head right on the nail.
But wait. Amazingly, in another letter (dated one day apart) he speaks about the "fun and fellowship" at the Feast of Tabernacles. In this letter he tries to encourage people to keep the Feast with him and his church. He writes:
"Afternoon services include beach volleyball, a golf tournament, a women's tea and a senior luncheon. Evening activities start with the . . . dance . . . a very fun night. Friday evening we will be treated to a Christian puppet musical . . . Saturday night--a karaoke and a dance band."
Also "a young adult evening with games, movies, etc." And "we will have our farewell banquet on Wednesday evening."
What are you thinking?
Then, incredibly, he writes: "With so much talk about 'God,' there is still widespread ignorance of the Bible and its teachings. The Bible characterizes the 'last days' as a time when people will be 'lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.' They will have a 'form of godliness' but deny the power of godliness. 2 Timothy 3:4-5."
Now you know what God thinks. So what do you think?
Paul and Micki Herrmann
'God's Footprints in the Sands of Time'
From the turning point of the Balfour Declaration . . .
Made by Ephraim where David's throne resides
Decreeing Jews could return to their land of origin
After two millennia of being denied,
Which they first did under General Allenby
(Exactly 2,520 years to the day
After Nebuchadnezzar Jerusalem besieged)
. . . Until the current next possible Feast of Trumpets
That is still preceded by a 1,335-day countdown . . .
(As Herbert W Armstrong would have counted it)
Is a period resonating with prophetic sound and song
. . . Being exactly 70 x 70 weeks long,
Making it possible that on Rosh Hoshanah 2011
The universe will reverberate
To the blowing of Heaven's Trumpet Number 7,
Heralding the day Messiah enters Jerusalem's gate.
If so, "the 1,335 days" start on the 74th anniversary
Of The Plain Truth this coming February,
And 45 days later the Abomination that Desolates
Occurs 555 days after 9-11 America did agitate,
With Tribulation starting the night before Passover 2008,
Exactly three 19-year cycles after the EU first stirred.
If these are the footprints of God in the sands of time
They lead to the last half of the 70th week in Daniel's rhyme:
70 x 70 weeks for the end time--
Followed by the end of the 70th week prophecy--
Christ will confirm in Zion.
Geoffrey R. Neilson
Cape Town, South Africa