Open Reply to 1st Apostle of WCG Alumni

Note: On my previous blogsite, I put another poster’s comments from WCG Alumni FYI Again as The Intelligent Quote of the Day. FYI Again was responding to 1st Apostle’s post about the eternal validity of The Ten Commandments. 1 st Apostle thought I was giving him the raw end of the stick  by not explaining his side and other “strong” statements. I wanted to make my open reply to WCG Alumni but as of recent times, I have had trouble getting in. I thought my own blog may do the trick. I apologize to all for the reply for being long but I felt this demanded an immediate reply and some “thorough” explanations.

Hello 1 st Apostle

It has been a long time that we talked. I hope I can clarify a few things about what goes on my blog.  Among first things to be clarified: I have a section called Intelligent Quote of the Day.   Whatever anyone says I think is worth of value, I put it down as a quote. That’s all. It is from anybody from any background—whether they are Sabbatarian, Calvinist, Arminian, Dispensationalist, atheist, agnostic, gay, straight or whatever.  The purpose of the blog is to get people thinking big ideas. They didn’t get that chance or opportunity in their years in Armstrongism.

You have some very strong passionate statements (and very SERIOUS charges). They need to be immediately answered. I want to respond to your statements said on your post at WCG Alumni,

 Giving slanted, biased, one-sided, or misrepresented versions of events is bearing false witness. As one who apparently feels a need to defend the validity of the Ten Commandments as an eternal law of God, you might want to pay as much lip service to #9 as you do to #4.

I have explained what “Intelligent Quote of the Day” is.

FYI Again had a very good statement and it was used as a quote. It is not a commentary of itself. Its purpose is not “equal time” to compare someone else’s opposing view. It is just a snapshot of what someone said. It rests on a person to draw any conclusion on that quote. Do I have time to look at everybody’s post at WCG Alumni, JLF, etc?  You know as I know that is impossible?  I can not accommodate everyone’s responses to posts.  I will admit that all blogsites have a bias and I don’t think that’s an evil thing. Gavin Rumney has a liberal theological bias and I think it’s great!!! You might not agree with every single thing Gavin may post or comment but I find it a treasure understanding his personal worldview. Stand Gardner of Ambassador Reports has a bias. It is slanted toward ALL churches to be accountable and to restore the public trust!  If you felt that something was out of context, you could have explained on the comments section —as long as one is cordial and respectful, freely and openly.

 To say that I have a need to defend the validity of the eternal ten is an assumption. My theology is not the theology that you knew me 7 years ago. For example, I do believe in the concept of the immortality of soul. I believe it is not necessarily pagan idea.  This is only the beginning but that’s another topic for another time. To be more on topic, you mentioned about the Ten Commandments. I do not feel a need to defend the Ten Commandments as an eternal law of God. I recognize it as a valid theory among many theories. May I add one caveat? I have no problem when people believe that the Ten Commandments are the moral law of God but I do have problem when people believe that keeping it is the root of one’s salvation, not the fruit. On this I cannot compromise and make a stand to the contrary.  Actually, I do not have a problem with the concept in your post that it’s not what I do have a problem is with anybody beating (metaphorically speaking of course) anybody else with scripture. The website The Painful Truth does not care for it, neither do I.  I do not care what topic it is. Did I feel that the statement was sort of “beating up” someone or something? Probably yes, but it was the delivery of that message—not the messenger (1st Apostle), I probably had the problem with.  This is not paying lip service to #4 while ignoring #9 as you asserted.

   For starters   For I notice in the interchange between you and Douglas Becker under Comments that you stated: “Former WCGers and others who devote sooo [sic] much time attacking the seventh day Sabbath and people who wish to keep it, I find have jumped one ship of intolerance to another ship of intolerance.” This was not a statement directed to you personally. You were not even in mind. I want to directly apologize if I suggested that this was case. It simply wasn’t. At the same time, I have through personal experience certain individuals who fit have fit in the category. I can not deny that.  I find it incredibly interesting to notice. I have the right to dissent and give opinion to contrary.  If people can’t take that, sorry this is a free country! There have been both proponents of New Covennat Theology and Sabbatarians who will not and cannot find common ground to agree.  I apologize if I may be crass but I frankly attitudes where people refuse to find common ground and have this idea that things can be settled with a fight in the parking lot, make Christianity and faith a “sick joke” to say the least. They are not a worth of my damn time!  As one who is tolerant of the religious beliefs of others as long as they don’t infringe on my own rights, I find your comment misleading as it imputes motives and actions to me that were not evident in the exchanges with FYI Again. There is no misleading and there is no intention of implying motives.  I am wondering that the last comment I said to Douglas was more upsetting than anything else???   I also find why Christianity in general are so mellow towards Sunday Sabbatarians as opposed to seventh day ones is more likely a neurotic desire to be so separate in every way from Judaism. For to celebrate the seventh day Sabbath is just too close to the Jews for some. Christians must need to keep that hard firm line! I think it’s time to just live and let live but hey, this is religion. One party needs to control another. That’s how the game is played. Sigh. I am standing by that statement, I have a right to say what I said and I am going say again that statement has nothing to do with you in a personal way. 1st Apostle is strictly irrelevant to the last paragraph of my response to Douglas. You may wonder that this is merely a statement from the head of Felix Taylor, well my thoughts are supported by a book called “The Next Christendom” by Phillip Jenkins talking about the Ethiopian Church and churches in Africa more attached to things Hebraic, “As we will see, many modern-day African Christians likewise fell very comfortable with the word of the Old Testament, and try to revive ancient Hebrew customs—usually to the horror of European Christians.” Dr.John Garr’s book Restoring Our Lost Legacy, he states that mainline Christians are pro-Judaism but have problems recognizing the existence of Israel and evangelical Christians recognize Israel’s right to exist but inimical to Judaism I truly apologize if I did bore you of the details from these books but I think you know what I am attempting to do by constructing my case. I ask you to respect and understand it but there is no implication that one needs to submit to it. I know you may uncomfortable with it but I can be uncomfortable with stuff from my fellow ex-XCGers who are now Roman Catholics (Jared and Darren). I may not agree with what they may say all the time but I do respect it and learn from it. Why don’t you come down from your spiritual high horse long enough to check with FYI Again, 

Let me stop here and say that this is a statement I do not appreciate and I do not care for in the strongest terms. You accuse me of implying motives on you.  This is a serious accusation on me that I have a secret agenda. This is a two way street. There is no rationalizing about it!  I am a person who is far from perfect, who is continually searching and understanding spirituality as I see it.  I have no spiritual high horse to ride upon. Just like you, sir—I am going through the same journey on this earth as you are.

who is not presently keeping the seventh day Sabbath himself or aligned with any COG, to find out if I recently told him by email that if I were him I would attend a church that keeps the seventh day Sabbath overseen by his brother in law to find out if that religious system still has meaning for him – hardly the action of someone who is attacking those that observe the seventh day Sabbath.  

If FYI Again, approves and grants his permission (his privacy should be seriously considered) I would like to see it.  If not, you can summarize the exchange at the same time keeping what needs to be private and confidential—private and confidential.  Respecting FYI Again’s privacy is very paramount to me. I am sort of in FYI Again’s position. I still attend Good News Fellowship which meets on Saturdays —but I am not into the business of “Sabbath do’s and don’ts.” To quote that song from Fleetwood Mac, “Never going back there again!”  Hey, I have worked at my current job at Home Depot a few Saturdays, voted at an advance poll for a provincial election this past Saturday. Hey for goodness sakes, if my mom is alone and wants to shop on a Saturday—I go. I like FYI Again, I am not keeping the seventh day Sabbath in the religious sense  but I do respect those who do.  Though I have been somewhat a lot more agnostic on the issue, I have shifted somewhat into a pan-Sabbatarian view that everybody needs and deserves a day of rest and the day sometimes does not necessarily matter. There are those who do not have Armstrongist background who believe in the value of the seventh day Sabbath and I do not believe that these people should not belittled, condescended or excluded in anyway. One example comes to mind is a young woman by the name of Victoria Sheppard who frequented Mark Tabladillo’s Jesus Loves Fellowship who is a Seventh Day Baptist. I know in my heart, she is a genuine Christian. She believes in the validity of keeping the seventh day Sabbath. She has faced criticism for her doing and believing so. This is so wrong. I believe it is wrong and arrogant to label this woman a Galatianist, while this woman through many trials and suffering had Jesus Christ literally changing her life for the good and better. For me to say this woman is spiritually lacking is just as insulting as a charismatic or Pentecostal who asserts the non-charismatic or non-Pentecostal is lacking because they don’t have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I will even dare say, if one dares to question Victoria’s salvation because she keeps the seventh day Sabbath (it is the fruit of her salvation not the root), after the amazing Christian witness of her life changing experience from God, is a modern-day blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  I will defend any underdogs who are being misrepresented, pushed around or bullied. Believe it or not, there is a good-size portion of FDR classical Democrat in me (I know, I know—some would like to call me a Republican of the North) when it comes these things! LOL!!!

  I want to apologize for a very long response but I think a long response was the best way I can explain myself on the issues you raised.  Yes, I was longwinded but I hope there was at least “some” substance to my clarifications. I hope I am somewhat out of the “dog house” and in your good graces. I hope my apologies for any misunderstandings that I have created whether real or imagined will be accepted.  I do remember clashing over a similar issue before and I believe we will clash some more (chin up and be brave, it is a good thing!). I hope we can understand each other in somewhat greater detail at the same time we are complex (and maybe sometimes perplexing and paradoxical). Take care and blessings to you!