You know what
In response to "Bible and Science Mutually Compatible," by Walter Steensby, in The Journal of May 31, 2007: The Genesis account of creation and re-creation is true, scientific and easily understood if you allow the Bible to interpret the Bible. The Noachic rainbow is the key (Genesis 9:13).
Why? Because before the Flood there was no rainbow, and afterwards there was.
Take a flashlight and shine it through a glass of water. What do you get? A little rainbow. That is a refraction of light. White light is diffused into its colors. Sunlight diffused is a rainbow.
If you take the Genesis account at face value from the point of view of a person "hovering over the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2), you see that Satan's rebellion caused "darkness," thick clouds all the way up that blocked all light.
So God cleared away some of the clouds to let enough light in to tell the difference between day and night (verses 3-5). There was still an expanse of water above that blocked direct sunlight. Because there was no direct sunlight, there was no rainbow.
Later all that water came crashing down at the time of the Flood. Noah entered into a new world of direct sunlight, hence the rainbow.
You know the rest of the account. It took God six days to recreate the earth. Genesis shows exactly what God did in six days from the point of view of a person hovering over the waters in darkness. It is true. It took six days. It is scientific.
When science conflicts with the Bible, the Bible is right. What may be wrong is our understanding of the Bible. The Church of God "gap and reconstruction" understanding is right. Don't let Satan's minions keep you in darkness, and don't let some scientist baffle you with you know what.
Moon Township, Pa.
Jezebel and the IRS
Regarding Wesley White's article "Do You Preach Politics From the Pulpit?" in the November-December 2006 issue of The Journal:
Many of us can recall in the 1960s and 1970s the baby doctor, Benjamin "Permissiveness" Spock, M.D., marching with peace demonstrators to oppose the Vietnam War.
Along with the marchers were a host of various churches and their leaders. They would give speeches at the reflecting pool and in front of the White House and in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and they would certainly advise people from the microphone who not to vote for.
This was perfectly okay with the Internal Revenue Service, and it would have considered itself as meddling if it had squelched their freedom of speech.
However, in the 21st century, as right-wingers are playing the same game, suddenly the IRS thinks it's time to abrogate freedom of speech. After all, the religious right is the new enemy.
This is just one more tool to ensure that Jezebel will, in fact, become the leader of what used to be a free country.
North Miami, Fla.
Wrong, wrong, wrong
Regarding William F. Dankenbring's article on Pentecost observance in the June-July 2007 issue [in the Connections section, on page 15]:
The Pharisees were wrong about when to keep the Passover (John 18:28). They were also wrong on which day to keep Pentecost.
Acts 2:1 relates that Pentecost was "fully come," which points to the later or Sadducean reckoning.
We should not forget also that Jesus Christ, the first of the firstfruits or wave-sheaf offering, was still in the grave on Abid 16 and could not appear before the Father until the Sunday morning (John 20:17). I think the winner of this round is the Sadducees.
Incidentally, the current Pharisee practice of holding Pentecost on Sivan 6 came into existence only with the fixed calendar. Before that, when the length of the months was determined by visual sighting of the new moon, Pentecost could easily vary a day or two about Sivan 6.
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.
Also, Jan Aaron Young's articles [in Connections] on the "Plane Truth" are right on. Most people don't want to believe certain 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
I thought Harry Curley's commentary ("Beware the Leaven of Your Group's Leaders") in the September-October 2007 issue of The Journal made some helpful points.
But when a 16-year-old can convince his elders that it is their idea for him to do all the driving, Harry may not realize it but Ithink we're seeing a good example of Christian leadership on that adolescent's part.
That seems to be the way our Heavenly Father treats me. Situations cause me to ask Him to do exactly what He wanted to do in the first place, and yet I think it was my idea.
For a family to work, doesn't the woman have to have the same leadership qualities as the man? When person A or person B expects the other one to show more aggressive affection then he or she does, the other one or both become impotent.
Isn't that the downfall of every failed relationship or fellowship?
The WCG is a case in point. If we expect to get something we are not willing to give, it doesn't seem to work over the long haul.
Some seem to think that advice, criticism and preaching are obviously signs of affection when, in fact, they may even show our lack of affection and respect for others.
Most often people want to play king on the mountain in their relationships, claiming the moral, financial, intellectual or other high ground when we should be seeking a level playing field.
Harry's lack of enchantment with mountain climbing or mountain climbers is refreshing.
If not wasting our time criticizing someone isn't what true religion is all about, then I need to go back to square one. Oh! That is square one, isn't it? Let's see. Maybe square two is not wasting our time arguing about the future.
COGs don't have to incorporate
As brought out in Wes White's commentary [The Journal, November-December 2006, page 3], here are the consequences of becoming a 501(c)3 church in the words of an IRS official:
"We only want to point out that federal statutes prohibit using church donations and church assets from being used to promote or to oppose political candidates and/or political issues."
So we have to ask: If a church becomes incorporated, just who is it serving? "No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other" (Matthew 6:24).
Is there a law that requires a church to incorporate?
No. Churches in America have always been immune to taxation. Government has no jurisdiction over the Body of Christ. When a church reduces its status from immunity to government-granted tax-exemption, strings are attached. Certain worldly offices must then be filled such as president, secretary, treasurer, etc., all of which are accountable to the state.
Here are the only scriptural offices and their function, to build up the body:
"It was He who gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists . . . so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12).
Yes, our Western culture is sliding into the abyss of godless anarchy. Why? State-sanctioned and -muffled churches.
Most professing Christians, when they read or hear something different from their churches' beliefs, assume a position of indifference. Their attitude? "I don't care."
Protestant Christians react to new information with an I-don't-care outlook because they truthfully don't think there is anything more to learn. "I'm doing everything my denomination wants me to do, so I don't care about growing in grace and knowledge with new information."
Church of God Christians have a different reason for saying "I don't care" when they hear or read something that doesn't jibe with what their leaders tell them they must believe. If something makes little sense to them, they are hesitant to follow up by asking questions, discussing it with others or checking into it to see whether there may be some validity to it. They too in effect say, "I don't care."
Fellow Christians, brethren, surely we must know that God is not pleased with a response of "I don't care" when it comes to seeking His truth earnestly.
So which is it? Can you honestly say you do care? Or not?
Burning the ruins
On page 24 of your May 2007 edition Mark Kellner [in a review of the book Raising the Ruins, by Stephen Flurry] does not mention that Garner Ted Armstrong said he was responsible for about 85 percent of the growth of the church.
When GTA commenced broadcasting on The World Tomorrow around 1955, there were only about 100 members in the church, which grew to more than 100,000 members by the time he was removed in 1978.
Although Mystery of the Ages was attributed to his father, that book contains material that was written by GTA but was not acknowledged.
I was recently refused permission by the WCG to purchase a copy of a 1974 program held by a TV station that includes some GTA material but also contains some WCG copyrighted material.
The WCG has not only trashed the historic material but even stopped access to what little still exists. Seems the dark ages and book burning are still with us.
North Sydney, Australia