Blog closed!
Come see me at As Bereans Did

Comments are again being allowed.
I figure there may be someone who needs my help, and posting a comment may be easier than emailing me. I would prefer an email, but I am here to help those in need.

**Do you have history in the Worldwide Church of God? Are you still attending one of its offshoots? Do you see cracks in the doctrine and want more information, or do you not know why you're still there anymore? Is there a hole in your heart and just don't know why God isn't granting you the happiness you were promised would come through tithing and following a man? Do you find that no matter how hard you try you cannot live up to your own standards, and you feel like a failure? Do you find your pursuit of God to be based on fear?
Investigate with me the answers to these questions and more!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

I wanted to get this in today, before you all go about your busy-ness.  


Remember it's not "Turkey Day", but "Thanksgiving" - so give some thanks!!!! Be liberal about it and festive and just pour out thanks. I will be thanking God for just about everything. I have MUCH to be thankful for this year! Including, I might add, the blessing of being able to put up this blog and help people escape from Armstrongism.

Actually, I would like to especially thank everyone who reads this blog. If you think you are helped by me, then you should know that I am even more so helped by you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Romans 14 and Meats

In Romans 14 we see another controversial area between those who advocate eating unclean foods and those who do not. Here again we must look at what Paul is talking about. What is the context of Romans 14?

(ROM. 14: 1) Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

Paul begins where Romans 13 left off, by warning about strife and envy, and following the law of love.

[GENEVA] Him that is weake in the faith, receiue vnto you, but not for controuersies of disputations.
[CEV]Welcome all the Lord's followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don't criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours.
[LITV] And receive the one who is weak in the faith, not to judgments of your thoughts.

The context is first about strife and envy, manifested in passing judgment on people who might not agree with you on a certain disputable subject. There are certain areas that people should grow to understand that aren’t so immediately important that we need to make demands about them only to end up breaking the law of love by judging our brother over them. When a church demands all people speak, think, and believe the exact same thing, they pass judgment without recognizing that even Paul admitted some areas are disputable. Sometimes that comes from the weak in faith, sometimes from the experienced. But it should always be avoided.

Some people say the following verse is about vegetarianism, but it’s really not. It’s about what background you came out of. It’s about much more than that even. First off, you have to understand that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. He often dealt with this subject we’re reading about here, it was dealt with in I Corinthians and again in Colossians. The Gentiles were given to Greek philosophy and superstitious idol worship. At the same time, the Jewish converts were coming from a very strict legal background. Both had issues to grow out of.

(ROM. 14: 2) One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
The two judged each other, one in fear, and the other in confidence.

(ROM. 14: 3-4) 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Knowingly eating foods sacrificed to idols is inappropriate. Jesus deals with this subject twice in Revelation 2, in verses 14 and 20. Foods offered to idols were one of the items required to be avoided by the Gentiles as we see in Acts 15 & 21. Not for the food’s sake, of course, but for the conscience of others who are weak in faith. Clearly God hates idolatry, and it has been a problem for ages. Unknowingly eating foods offered to idols was neither here nor there, for an idol is nothing and the food is nothing (I COR. 8: 4). Clean/unclean meats laws is not the focus here; meats offered to idols were not the focus here. Love is the focus here. As Paul makes abundantly clear in I Corinthians 8, there are Gentile converts to whom idolatry is very much something. We can discern that Paul was not telling people who were strong in the faith to eat foods offered to idols, but that there are people who are not so strong in their Christian faith as to have left behind all of their old superstitions, and they fear all meats offered in the marketplace and refuse to take the chance with any of them.

The early church had a set of issues to deal with. A person’s background beliefs are incredibly difficult to grow out of. (Anyone trying to exit Armstrongism fully understands this.) Paul says, all should be patient and gentle with each other.

(ROM. 14: 5-8) 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Worldwide taught that, “The Romans were abstaining from eating on certain days.” But this would be what you and I commonly call “fasting”, and it is highly recommended that all people do such. So this very idea, though it sounds quite learned and scholarly, is silly. We all abstain from meats on certain days.
If anyone taught “Paul was basically telling them that until they had a more perfect understanding, they should attribute their understanding not to a pagan god but to Jesus,” then that is akin to saying, “Until you know better, regard your drunken orgy festival,” for such were pagan celebrations, “to Christ rather than Zeus”. I find this reasoning nonsensical. And of course it is! The reason for the wrangling is to try and claim the Old Covenant Holy Days are still binding on New Covenant Christians. This is simply not so. Worldwide had layers upon layers of such convoluted reasonings to explain away Christ's grace and lock us all back into legalistic bondage.
If the context were only idolatry, then Paul condones idolatry in verses 5-8 - which is contrary to multiple verses where God Himself clearly says to do no such thing. How does one keep idolatry to the Lord after all?
We cannot conclude that we are to regard pagan holidays as special to the Lord, therefore we cannot conclude Paul is referring only to idolatry. It makes more sense that Paul is dealing mainly with people’s backgrounds. The days are like the meats, some were eating and some were not, some were regarding as special, some were not, some were weak in the faith and abstained for conscience’ sake, and some were confident in faith. Each had their own background that separated them, and were not quite used to the Christian methods of worship. 

If you kept in mind that Paul was dealing with Jew and Gentile converts, trying to juggle the fact that Gentiles were never commanded to keep the Old Covenant laws while the Jews were zealous for it, you should by now understand that most definitely clean and unclean meats are covered within this chapter. Paul was commanded to teach the Gentiles to avoid meats offered to idols, not to eat them to the Lord. But to the Jewish converts, who stirred up trouble for Paul constantly and wanted all Gentiles to be Jews first in order to be Christians, this would appear that Paul was teaching the replacement of the Old Covenant food laws. Paul was teaching the magnification of the spirit of the law. To the Jews, abstain to the Lord with thanks; to the Gentiles, eat to the Lord with thanks. Only regard others' sensibilities in whatever you do. As for the days, it would make more sense in my mind that Paul was including the Jewish traditional days like Hanukah and Purim or perhaps non-idolatrous Gentile celebrations like birthdays or national celebrations.

(ROM. 14: 13) Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

Unfortunately, this was something most people NEVER learned, all the while condemning people for eating pork or whatever else. I wouldn’t be writing this study now, disputing over disputable matters, if we’d learned this lesson back then.

Now, here we see something new. This is the clincher that shows Paul was most definitely talking about the clean/unclean meats laws.
(ROM 14: 14-21) 14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing [“no thing” includes “no food”; the context is what you eat] unclean, [Strong's 2839: shared in common; or ceremonially profane, defiled] of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean [2839], to him it is unclean [2839]. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food [1033: food (literally or figuratively), especially (ceremonial) articles allowed or forbidden by the Jewish law: - meat, victuals], you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food [1033] the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 
19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food [1033]. All things [“all things” includes “food”; the context is what you eat] indeed are clean [2513: clean, clear, pure], but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. 

What a statement “I am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself”. “Unclean” here is the same word “common” from Acts 10: 14, 28; 11: 8-9. Just as Jesus told Peter to call nothing “common” that He had cleansed, Paul says he was also convinced by Jesus that nothing was “defiled”; same word. This is the exact same thing God said to Peter! But in that case people say “God only meant the Gentiles”, and here they say “God only means idolatry”. (The same people who keep a tradition because the English text says "forever" will in this case work to undo what God clearly says when it doesn't fit their theology.) Incredible!! Indeed this deals with meats! If we are to demand the context of the section be closely guarded, then the context here is undeniably about food. We cannot just wrangle this away!

I have prayed and pondered about this for some time. I have come to the conclusion that I agree with Paul. Nothing is inherently defiled except to those who feel it is defiled. For Worldwide, as it was with the Jewish converts, what is defiled includes what God has cleansed... and that is their prerogative. If you don't think you should eat, then by all meant do not! So long as they condemn no one else for eating what has been cleansed. But what does that mean? Nothing defiled is made to be defiled in and of and by its self - but if someone regards something to be defiled then to him it is defiled. Since the law is summed up as “Love your neighbor as yourself”, causing someone else to do something they consider a sin, even where there is no law against a certain thing, in this case eating, it is then made a sin to do such a thing. The defilement came not from the outside via the meat, as Jesus shows nothing from the outside defiles us, but from the inside, by loving one’s brother less than one’s appetite.

The idea that Paul considers absolutely nothing to be unclean is misleading. Remember, Paul is referring to food here, not all things in existence. Paul does indeed consider some things to be impure, unclean, or common. Search Paul's works for the word 'unclean' once; you'll see.

We know that in the New Covenant, those things that defile are spiritual; the things that come from within.
To that end, Paul rightly concludes, if eating something bothers you that much, by all means don’t eat it! Law or no law. However, don’t judge someone else for eating, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (ROM. 14: 17). And if you do eat, please be considerate to those who do not eat, and refrain from eating in front of them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Do You Mean, One True Church - part 2

Here is the addendum to the first part of this post which you can find here.

The United Church of God has responded to my inquiry!
Here is the majority of their response to me (I've omitted the parts linking to their publications).

"Thank you for writing to us. I have to admit that I'm not exactly sure how to interpret your question.

If you're asking what sets the Church of God apart from other churches, I think the answer is clear. The doctrines of God's Church are quite different than mainstream Christian beliefs and include our understanding of the nature of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit; our reliance on the inerrancy of Scripture; the purpose for which mankind was created; the observance of the weekly Sabbath and annual Holy Days; the purpose and role of the Church, etc. If you would like an overview of the teachings of the United Church of God, I suggest you read our booklet "Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God."

If you're asking what the United Church of God teaches that is different than what is taught by other "Churches of God," that's another question. Because many of us come from the same roots, many of the Church of God groups naturally have much in common with each other. We do not consider ourselves in competition with any other group, nor do we seek to compare ourselves with any. We regard those who believe and practice as we do to be our spiritual brothers and sisters. [empasis mine]

The following statement was issued by the United Church of God Council of Elders in May 2000:

"The Church of God is a spiritual body of which Jesus Christ is the head. Members are called into the Church, and God is preparing them for the Kingdom of God through the work of the Church. As the head of the Church, Christ has placed some in positions of leadership for the edification and unity of the Church. The United Church of God, an International Association, is a continuation of that body Jesus Christ founded. We, in the United Church of God, an International Association, do not claim that all Christians are among our fellowship. Neither do we claim to be the only organization through which God may be working. However, we have a distinct identity and endeavor to function according to the principles of unity and organization found in the Scriptures."

As a church, we remain dedicated to our stated purpose of "teaching the gospel and preparing a people." Article 1.0 in the United Church of God Constitution says, "The mission of the Church of God is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in all the world, make disciples in all nations and care for those disciples." 

Thank you again for writing to us." --end quote

As you can see, the UCG excells their sibling churches by directly stating they are not in competition with anyone else.  I see that they are the only group to mention Jesus by name; another bonus!
On the down side, once again we see reliance on human understanding over the saving work of Jesus Christ.  The word "grace" is not found in this response.  (Keep in mind, this is but a brief summary of their positions).  Even so, I would have liked to see it prominantly displayed and at the forefront of the response.

Though I can hardly sum things up perfectly, I would love to see a COG tell me something like this:
"Jesus as 'the Word' was God and with God from eternity.  Having bound Himself to a perfectly sinless standard, a way had to be made for the redemption of mankind.  To that end, the Word became flesh, lived as a man, and died for the ransom of all mankind.  We now have, through His selfless sacrifice, unwarranted grace from God through faith in Jesus Christ.  God sends His Spirit to those who accept His calling in order to help us and to teach us in this life.  Though man is not saved by any personal work or understanding, the presence of the Spirit will be manifest in good works and a repentant heart.  One with God in spirit, we are all equals and brothers in the spiritual body of Christ, growing in the mind and ways of God throughout our lifetime.  The examples of both the Old and New Testaments are a guide and lesson for us in our journey.  And we await that day when we are called out of our graves to join Him in eternity - the assurance of which we have in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from His grave."

Something like that would be terrific.  I didn't see that, though.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Do You Mean, One True Church?

What is it that the COGs say sets them apart? Well, which one of the COGs do you mean?

I have sent an email off to the following organizations: United Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God, Living Church of God, Restored Church of God, Church of the Great God, and Church of God Fellowship. I asked them the following questions: "What thing or things sets the Churches of God apart?  What unique knowledge, specifically, do we possess and teach that only we possess and teach?" 
Here are the responses I received:

The Restored Church of God sent me this:

"To answer your question—and it certainly is a fair question—the true Church of God can be identified by certain earmarks:

1. It carries on the Work of preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God to all nations (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10) and warning modern Israel of the difficult times that lie ahead (Eze. 3:17-21; 33:1-7; Isa. 58:1). This narrows the field down to about four or five organizations and at least two of these now preach a corrupted gospel (II Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9).
2. The true Church continues in the governmental structure outlined in the New Testament (Eph. 4:11-12, II Cor. 12:28). This excludes at least two more of the groups above.
3. Since the true Church is called the “pillar and ground of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15), it continues in—holds fast to (Rev. 3:11)—all of the true, scriptural doctrines that were restored to the Church in the twentieth century (Matt. 17:11). This narrows the field down to only one—The Restored Church of God. This can be easily proved by comparing our doctrines with those of any of the groups mentioned above—or any group, period.
4. Finally, RCG is the only organization that actively teaches (through hundreds of pieces of literature, as well as hundreds of broadcasts and sermons) and practices all of the truths mentioned in point three. We are also the only group that provides the tools necessary to thoroughly research and prove our doctrinal positions, in both hardcopy and electronic form. We do not ask you to accept this on our statement alone but to prove (1 Thes.5:21) the truth through diligent study.

To some, this may seem “too simple.” But we must ask ourselves: Would God expect each of his people to spend the rest of the age as “detectives”—responsible for investigating the “pedigree,” of hundreds of tiny groups. Also, would Christ somehow lead separate “twin,” “triplet,” or any other manner of multiple organizations? No. Christ is not divided (I Cor. 1:13).
We have no statement of beliefs; our statement of beliefs is our literature. Our literature is what makes us unique and our vast array of literature explains in exact detail the doctrines we teach. We invite you to study and draw your own conclusions." --end quote

NOT A WORD about Jesus Christ. I copied and pasted these responses from their email to this page. Go ahead, search this page for the name 'Jesus'. You won't find it but in my comments. You will find the title "Christ" one time - but not until later on. You will see the word "God". I would call it a name, but I wonder who these people are referring to when they speak it. I get the distinct impression they have set themselves up as gods.

From the Church of the Great God, I received this:

"The Holy Spirit (the mind of God) dwelling in us sets the Church apart because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50-53); only that which is spirit. God is in the process of saving us through the renewing of the Holy Spirit within us (Titus 3:4-7). We (the Church) are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
It's not necessarily a matter of unique knowledge. It 's a matter of obeying and living God's Truth.
(2 John 1-6)" --end quote

NOT A WORD about Jesus Christ. Not a mention of the author and pioneer of faith. Not a passing credit to the Head over all things to His Church. I like what they had to say about it not being a matter of unique knowledge. But you just try to disagree with the leadership and you'll see what they feel about their knowledge then!

From the Church of God - Fellowship, I received this:

"This is a basic list of the differences between the COG-Fellowship and the "world's" Christian churches:
1.   The recognition of both the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God
2.   The understanding that man can become God
3.   The understanding of what God is
4.   The understanding of what man is
5.   The recognition there is a spirit in man (not an immortal soul)
6.   The understanding that only those called by God can be converted now
7.   The understanding that God has a plan of salvation for all mankind (The Great White Throne Judgment)
8.   The identity of modern Israel
9.   The recognition of the Sabbath as the day of worship
10. The understanding of the annual Holy Days and their description of the plan of God for the salvation of mankind" --end quote

NOT A WORD about what Jesus did.  All law.  All about what we can do. All about unique knowledge.
In responding more thoroughly, they defined salvation as, "Salvation is being married to Christ" (That makes them the one group to mention the title "Christ". Good for them!) They explain this will not happen if we do not change and conform to the character of Christ [humility, love, charity, etc.], which is only possible through the Holy Spirit.  I applaud this statement with much gusto! It is true. Of course they also add in a heavy dose of 10 Commandment keeping as a requirement for being accepted by Christ.

...About the keeping of the law, I once wrote to the COG-Fellowship and asked:
"I want to know what you mean by "law".  Or more specifically, I want to know what you think the Apostles meant by "law".
In one part of your Galatians 2:11-3:18 message, you said something like "Romans 3: 20 and Galatians 2: 16 read 'the works of the law', but that is incorrect, it should read 'works of law'."  You follow it up by saying something like "now we can see how Paul isn't talking about God's Law, but the Jewish added laws."  So, law=Talmud.
Later you explain that when James says "works" he means law.  So, works = law.
Later, you show how law=10 Commandments.
Now, I know from years in the church that when we say "law" we do not just mean 10 Commandments, we also mean tithing, meats laws, etc.  So we really mean the whole caboodle.
That's 4 different things!!
So, I ask you... how can there be so many aspects contained in this one word "law", and how on earth is the Bible reading Joe Idiot like me supposed to keep all this straight?  How do I know when it means Talmud, and when it means 10 Commandments and when it means all law?  Because it says none of those - it just says "law".  To be honest, it seems a bit like picking and choosing to me.  I can completely understand why the Protestants have a hard time. 
[No offense to Protestants intended. I was writing in the COG fashion, and speaking tongue-in-cheek.]
Also, this thought just popped into my head as I was about to click 'send'.  If "the works of the law" means God's law, why doesn't "works of law" mean all law?  The wording seems to me, in the incorrect version, to be narrow and focused, but in the corrected reading to be all inclusive.  In pointing out this mistranslation, isn't it just making it easier for the Protestants to say we're crackpots who write our own Bibles?  I mean, now we're picking and choosing what "works of law" means, arbitrarily, aren't we?
Which brings another point to my mind.  If we're talking Talmud here, decades after Jesus died, why didn't anyone seem to get the point that while Jesus was alive He taught against the Talmud?  You pointed out that in Acts 10 Peter was quoting it.  You show in Galatians and then again in Romans how it seems to be an issue; Peter, James, and even Barnabas were carried away by it.  We always say "if Peter didn't know about meats laws being gone in Acts 10, then Jesus must not have taught it."  But clearly Jesus taught against the Talmud and 30 years later His own Apostles are regarding it."

Here is the response I received (in part):
"Rather than trying at this time to address your frustrations with what is meant by "law" or "the law", I would prefer you listen again to GAL 2:11-3:18 and then listen to the upcoming section (GAL 3:19-4:20) next Sabbath. There is further explanation in the next section that should help answer several of your questions.
 The important point to remember throughout the central part of this letter is that Paul, in trying to clarify the difference between the covenant God made with Abraham and the covenant He made with Israel at Mt. Sinai, refers to the covenant with Abraham as "THE PROMISE" and the covenant with Israel as "THE LAW". If you can keep that in mind while listening and reading the material, you will see how the other references to "law" fit in." --end quote

You should know by now if you read this blog that I understand "THE PROMISE" God gave to Abraham and his seed as having been passed down to us through Christ. We now inherit that same promise through Christ since we are one with Him, body and blood. The memorial of the bread and wine symbolize that very thing. The spiritual Church is His body, and He the Head of that body. 
This is important to understand since the COG-F defines "salvation" as "marriage to Christ". That is not a direct Biblical statement I can find anywhere. I believe the saved will be the bride of Christ, but I don't think this is a great definition of 'salvation'. But I can certainly use that same line of thinking then and say "salvation is sonship to and inheritance from God." (Not that I mean to say that actually, just as a point of argument.) And this promise is in no way related to the covenant with Israel, of which the 10 Commandments is a major part. The law cannot undo that promise (GAL. 3: 17). Our inheritance is of the promise, not the law, or else it wouldn't be by promise (ROM. 4: 13-14GAL. 3: 18). It is that promise that makes the inheritance sure, or the only sure thing would be our failure to achieve it!
My point being, they keep mentioning the 10 Commandments when the 10 Commandments have nothing to do with the promise that comes by faith.

As for the Living Church of God: 
From them I received 2 booklets: 'What Is A True Christian?' and 'Satan's Counterfeit Christianity'. 
These booklets dealt mostly with Alexander Hyslop's theories, were based upon the identity of modern Israel (British Israelism... which is dead-to-rights bogus), and a concentration on what we can do to retain salvation through legalism. Barely a mention of Jesus Christ. No mention of His saving sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world. 
There were a few things I agreed with wholeheartedly! They actually say clearly that we cannot earn salvation - it is a gift. I applaud that! However, from there they go immediately downhill. The booklets were so useless it was startling.

From the Philadelphia Church of God, I received this:


That's right. I got no response whatsoever. That makes it among the best response of the bunch in my eyes. 
Perhaps they refuse to speak to me after I gave a somewhat critical sermonette about Gerald Flurry a few years ago when he declared his faithful followers were forbidden to even speak to their own families outside of his cult. I noticed my subscription to the Key of David stopped coming about that time. They haven't responded to me at all since. 
NAH! They wouldn't pay any heed to what I say. But it's a fun thought to amuse myself with.

From the United Church of God, I received this:

Tied for #1 with Philadelphia. But I'm a little curious as to why they didn't respond. It's not characteristic of them. I intend to try again and add that here as an addendum.

One thing I would have you notice as you consider these things is the infighting among Armstrong's splinter groups. They bite and devour one another (GAL. 5: 15). The Restored Church of God actively pitted itself against the others in their response to me. The other groups had no mention of each other. They all want to be THE true church. Of these groups, the COG-Fellowship and the CGG do the best job at saying they don't believe they are the only true church, but once you get behind the curtain, both groups have their internal opinions that they are.

Also, I've highlighted the fact that none of these groups emphasize Jesus Christ. They all emphasize who they are, not who Christ is. To be fair, I asked them to emphasize who they are. I can't quite get after them for answering the question as I asked it. But I honestly expected to hear MUCH more info about Christ and what He did. All I got is what their organizations of men are and what they (or I through my own effort) can do for me. Thanks, but no thanks.

Now, I've told you what I've found, but I've given you very little about what I think you should do about it. Pray! That's one thing. And feel free to discuss.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just Happy to be Free

Got nothing to blog about right now. Just happy to be free from Armstrong. I've been so wrapped up in this whole election thing that I haven't been blogging.

I've been out for over 2 months now. None of my old church members has contacted me. I sent an email to my old minister and he wrote back asking to see my paper on tithing that I mentioned in an earlier post. that was back on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. He hasn't contacted me since (or before). Well, I wouldn't expect anyone to. After all, I'm the deceived enemy now, and they are missing me and praying for me to come to my senses and return. "Be warmed and fed!"

I've been reading "The Babylon Connection" by Ralph Woodrow. It was a simple book, but I 100% recommend it for all who even entertain the idea that Alexander Hyslop and his book "The Two Babylons" could be factual. I think I'll post a book report on that soon. I also have a nice project in the works on salvation from the Armstrong perspective. I've written to many of the most popular splinters and asked them to tell me what sets them apart. I was a little set back by the responses. Stay tuned!