I have already challenged Rod Meredith. Teaching certain biblical truths does not make a man or a group of men true ministers of God.
As I pointed out to you in the interview, being "sincere" does not mean you truly represent God. All religions--including Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims--are sincere in their beliefs. But they cannot all be representing the God of the Bible.
I realize The Journal has to be careful what it prints. That is why I will post my challenges on my Web page, and I want to be clear that I welcome any challenge anyone wishes to make.
I know I am the most unlikely candidate to make this stand. But I also know God often chooses such unworthy individuals to confound those who profess to be wise (1 Corinthians 1:26-31.)
I am just arrogant enough to actually believe this is a very important issue with God. My entire point is to challenge God's true people to determine where they stand spiritually. My Web address is thelivinggodministry.org. Anyone who does not have access to the Web can write to me at P.O. Box 2784, Eugene, Ore. 97402, U.S.A.
Those crazy unitarians
Have you noticed the deeper implication of Paul's admission in 1 Timothy 1:13 that he had been a blasphemer and a persecutor?
Blaspheming in this context means to speak irreverently against God, but in Paul's case against which God?
Paul's devotion to the Jews' religion means he was not a blasphemer against the God of Israel, whom Jesus acknowledges is His Father. Therefore Paul could have blasphemed against Jesus only as he persecuted the fledgling Christian church.
This means that only after his conversion on his way to Damascus did Paul recognize he had blasphemed against Jesus.
Paul then recognized that Jesus had been, before His incarnation, a self-existent deity with an independent mind who agreed fully with His fellow God, now His Father.
Although Jesus surrendered His former self-existent deity to become and die as our atoning Passover Lamb, Jesus retained His former God mind, and to that mind, Paul teaches in Philippians 2:5-8, we should aspire!
How powerful a testimony is 1 Timothy 1:13 against the blasphemous denying of Jesus' original deity by today's self-wise unitarians!
Let us pray that today's unitarians may consider the deeper implication of 1 Timothy 1:13 at their next One God Seminars as well as consider there my one-page articles A4 and A12 and the in-depth study P5 at www.rightly-dividing.net.
May they understand that "one God" refers to Jesus having surrendered His former self-existent independent deity, leaving only one truly self-existent God, who is our Father in heaven!
Belmore, New Zealand
As an alternative to F. Paul Haney's belief in one God and Jan Young's belief in two Gods [see the letters sections of the June and August 2010 issues], may I offer this:
Elohiym (Strong's H430) by its very spelling (iym) connotes a plural of at least three. Please compare this suffix in such words as sheloshiym (H7970) and tishiym (H8673).
There is a completely different suffix to indicate a dual meaning, or plurality of two: yim. Please compare this in Mitsrayim (H4714) and Yeruwshalayim (H3389).
Because of this peculiarity I am firmly convinced that three (or more) members of Elohiym were present and accounted for in Genesis 1:1. Nothing else makes sense linguistically.
It is unfortunate that our English language doesn't afford this preciseness in making words plural, for it would have clarified an unnecessary controversy before it got started.
Richard A. Heath
How many is God?
[Regarding two letters, by James N. and Margie Coulson Pope and F. Paul Haney, respectively, on page 23 of The Journal of Aug. 31, 2010, about Jan Young's letter in the June 17 issue titled "Is God One or None?":]
My letter covered how many Gods there are and, to save space, mostly just referred to the verses without quoting them. To read each of the verses proving Jesus is God, go to goldensheaves.org and the article "How Many Beings Are in the Godhead?"
The debate and more
I would like to comment on the debate [see the issue dated June 17, 2010, and follow-up articles in subsequent issues].
I'm quite sure that Dennis Diehl finds it difficult to change his mind on evolution. Evolutionist and manager Colon Patterson of the largest fossil collection in the world, in Britain, has asked scientists at their meetings if any of them can give him just one fact about evolution.
No one has been able to do so. The model and mathematical probability put forth need more time to produce one protein for a cell than it would take for an amoeba to take one molecule at a time transporting all the matter in the universe from one end to the other.
The term "big bang" was coined in derision by an atheist to discourage people from accepting it because it was tangible evidence of creation rather than of an eternal uncreated universe.
The best Web site with bona-fide scientists who believe in the Bible and can answer most questions on the subject is reasons.org with Hugh Ross.
The three kindest debaters I know who are very knowledgeable about their subjects are Art Mokarow, Anthony Buzzard and Hugh Ross.
There are others who believe in a young earth instead, as espoused on answersingenesis.org. Robert Schmid has an interesting article, "When Did Jesus Become the Son of God?"
I think the concept has merit that God's seed was not created. I had not realized that that could make a difference and so will give that serious consideration.
I had for more than 10 years realized that Jesus was literally begotten just as Psalm 2:7 claimed He would be and would become David's lord as well as everyone else's.
In the same issue, Henk Jens really missed the mark on Melchizedek and Abraham [see Mr. Jens' article on page 25 of the June 17 issue]. One reason people draw the wrong conclusion on subjects is due to rejecting the meaning of clear scriptures.
Also: Good job, Dr. Phillip Arnold, on the Waco article [beginning on page 1 of the June 17 issue].
The WCG's plain truth
In issue No. 141, page 23, of The Journal Robert Schmid says the WCG brought people out of Catholicism/Protestantism. Did it really? If there was a change, was it for the better?
I suggest the vast majority of us went through the revolving door of the WCG--even though we may have gained some faith by exposure to the biblical writings of the prophets and apostles--and came came out choking on Bible trivia and misinterpretations, with less faith, love for our fellowman and respect for God than we went in with.
Some who stayed on that merry-go-round of endless posturing and little service may be in worse shape.
If you think any father is impressed with his children spending their time psychoanalyzing him to determine what his nature is, we are not on the same page.
I don't think it takes much understanding to question if God or anyone else wants to spend eternity with people who think rituals and ceremonies are more important than morals and ethics or even of equal significance.
If you think I am suggesting the WCG didn't give us the plain truth, you are right. Even the real Sabbath is not about ceremony, custom and ritual. It is about the way we treat people, and not only people: It is about not being cruel, inconsiderate and uncaring even to animals. Even the OT commandment makes that clear.
It's not about what the s-u-n is doing in the heavens. It is about what the S-o-n is doing in us.
We went into the WCG because of what many of us came to believe was a lie: that it was God's only true church. Didn't we have to say that to get in? I did. I have come to believe that was an error of biblical proportions.
I am not sure I like God's sense of humor if He thinks the Armstrongs were a good joke. Practically, though, they did get some of our noses into the Bible. It is up to us, not them, to make use of that for the pursuit of our salvation.
Maybe some of us just outgrew the childish fussing over what God wants and started thinking about what God needs. Or did we?
Maybe we're ragged and funny
Have you ever noticed that most theologians and preachers always give their side of the story and never the other side? For example:
If their side about baptism is the requirement to sprinkle, they never explain baptism by immersion.
If their side believes Sunday is the day to attend church, they never explain the Sabbath.
If their side is to believe people should tithe, they never explain that the tithe has been eliminated.
If they explain their understanding of what hell is, they never tell the other side, whatever it may be.
Why do religious leaders not want to give the other side of the story?
One reason is they are not interested in growing in spiritual knowledge because if they learn something different from a set of standard beliefs they will be afraid to teach them for fear their followers would leave their group.
If this happens, the church income will drop and this will affect the leaders' income, job and security.
Can you add to this? Is there another side?
Paul and Micki Herrmann
Freezing frames of reference
My jaw dropped as I read with interest the article "Parents See Something Odd Involving Daughter, Vehicle" published in the Aug. 31, 2010, issue of The Journal.
I had a similar experience on the morning of Sept. 7, 2010. It made such an impression on me that I noted it on the daily planner book I use in my business.
Like the experience of Ken and Sharon Mason and their daughter, Jennifer, my experience involved a vehicle speeding toward me and a "frame-freeze" happening.
I surmise the Masons use "frame freeze" as an analogy to describe what occurred as like a single frame on a motion-picture reel.
On the morning of Sept. 7 I was walking in my community and I came to cross a street.
I looked both ways before crossing, and the street was clear.
Suddenly, out of almost nowhere, a car came speeding and turning onto the street I was crossing. It came straight toward me while I was now in the middle of the street.
I am guessing the car was traveling 35-40 miles an hour in the 25-mile speed zone.
Similar to the Masons' frame-freeze experience, my last frame of recollection was that the vehicle was right at my legs ready to hit me dead-on right in front of the car.
A sudden surreal feeling occurred, and in a split second of time my next frame of recollection was me standing safely to the side of the car in the street and out of its direct path, with the car driver hitting her brakes and stopping her car.
The woman in the car had her window down and kept saying to me as I stood safely beside her window: "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Are you okay?"
I assured the woman that I was okay and not to worry. She then drove on. I was thankful for my "street angel" that morning.
Man insists on wearing pajamas during Sabbath services
Wondering if readers can help with an etiquette query.
A chap I know joins in with services via Skype. But he wears his pajamas all day Sabbath. Personally, I feel this is an affront to God. How do I approach this without offending the (elderly) chap. (He is in good health.)