(Editor’s note: Call him what you will. Contrarian. A man who loves to stir the pot. Rabble rouser and proud of it. Of all the comments suggested, you must appreciate the fact that former WCG minister Dennis Diehl makes you think. Yes, he does take you out of your own comfort zone and when he does it you are a better and sharper thinker for it. Co-equally and co-essentially, he is a man of compassion. During the Christmas season, on Gavin’s blog, one poster gave his candid feelings about his prolonged singleness for many years due to the restrictive policies and practices of the historic WCG which effected him psychologically and naturally frustrated this person sexually. Dennis response is compassionate. Dennis does not make jokes like, “It is my understanding from studies that a wife will cost you about the same as a nice new fuel efficient car.Are you sure that you wouldn’t want the car instead?At least, when it’s working right, a car will take you where you want to go.” Which was actually told (as I said not by Dennis) but being a polite Canadian I followed along with some responses (while I was exploding mad inside). Frankly, the joke is extremely insensitive, especially from someone who has been married for a long time and has purely no concept of understanding the frustrations of being single. Dennis does not make another cruel condescending comment like, “Sex and marriage isn’t cracked up what it supposed to be!” Or other silly statements like, “Pray more! Serve the brethren more!” Just read what the poster says and what Dennis reponds. You might not agree with everything he says but is at least reflective, respectful and sympathetic.)
Dennis Diehl,You have opened up some WCG wounds of mine on this Solstice Holiday.Having grown up weird in the WCG and left when I was 20, I never found “the wife of my youth”. Part of it was the WCG cult teaching that we were not to marry outside our cult. I didn’t attend AC (thankfully) so the opportunity to find a mate within the cult was nil. I felt inferior (“weak of the world”, a “base thing”) and took me another 20 years to overcome after I left the cult.Therefore, I had no real sex life throughout what should have been the most productive period of my life. To this day, I never married and I remain unmarried. I never had a regular healthy sex life and I do attribute it mostly to the WCG and my upbringing.Why did Terry Ratzmann go on his shooting rampage in Milwaukee? What were the 9/11 terrorists promised as their ultimate reward? Both answers: Sex.My understand of what I have read about Ratzmann was that he was frustrated by not having a wife (with sex implied). I believe Ratzmann was age 44, and well past his sexual prime.Not everything written in the Bible is bad. A Proverb that has always stayed with me all these years is the Proverb “Hope deferred makes the heart sad”. For me, and perhaps many others, the long postponement of one of life’s most intimate enjoyable physical pleasures can make the heart sad.
Thanks Dennis for understanding. I respect the fact that you are the ONLY WCG ex-minister with the integrity to post here under your own name, and your posts have been very helpful to me.
Name witheld by Editor
Dennis Diehl responds
Thank you for your kind comments and I am very sorry for the pain that has come in hindsite with your church associations.
First of all..you thought you were doing the right thing at the time. So don’t be the monkey on your own back anylonger in this issue.
People don’t even talk about such things in most churches, much less address or solve them. My mind turns off these days when advice contains the words “should” or “must.”
There are more ways to develope relationships that just those expounded by the rather Talibanish OT and NT.
Terry R was no doubt torn between his need for touch and intimacy and “the rules.” He struck out, wrongly so, against the symbols of his pain.
Humans were never meant to be celebate and I find that Paul probably was, not because he was such a stud with character for his cosmic Christ, but that he was unlucky in love and hung up on the rules, fear, guilt and shame. I believe Gerald Waterhouse was married for four months once. I see similarities in mentality in he and Paul. I bet there were similar “problems” that went with it.
I’ll stick my neck out here and say,I am not the same person I was just a few years back. I believe in “intimate friends” and those I know who also do are the most balanced, happy, openly communicative with partners and mates that I know. They are not hung up on should and must. None of them allow a church to define their life experiences or lack of them. They all were once in churches and none are now. They are happier by far.
I guess I can only say so much on an open blog concerning these things. Give me a call and we can chat. Contrary to Tom’s ideas, today means little to me except that I know the sun is coming back and we aren’t going to be plunged into eternal darkness (hey think about that analogy!)
We all put portions of our brains and lives on hold for religious ideals. It’s done all over the planet. How will the dead suicide bomber feel when he finds all the virgins have left town or there are none left for him?
While it might take not doing so for a time, learning to think for oneself and then act on it regardless of the opinions of others is a freedom most never experience in life.