Intelligent quote of the day

den2The degree to which anyone “gets over” anything is directly proportional to the value one has placed in what or who has changed, happened, abandoned, died, left, hurt or snookered someone.

The more valueable the loss, the more it takes to never quite get “over it.”

I remember friends who lost a son in a car wreck being told “It’s been six months…get over it” by the minister. Between that and “be thankful you have more children” (the lost a second son a few years later), “you’ll see them again in the kingdom,” and “God lost his son too,” they just about lost their minds with grief.

The “God lost his only son too” was the ministerial crack that caused the mother to yell back, “NO!, Jesus got to come back better than ever in three short days. My daughter is DEAD. Jesus was a weekend inconvenience for himself and God.” Whew…. now there is a piece of theology born from loss.

I can’t say I have gotten over WCG. It got into my DNA. I can’s say I’ve gotten over ministering. But I think less and less about it. I have other issues in life I am “trying” to get over and sometimes don’t do so well with it because of the value placed on the loss.

So, IMHO, we need to be careful in expecting others to process our “get over it”s the same way we feel we have.

I noticed this woman was a mere 13 when the church snagged her imagination, hopes and dreams. Pretty tender years and her investment was heavy and from a young age.

That makes getting over it harder I think than someone who came from another faith to compare it to and move on.

I long ago and certainly for sure now, have given up telling people to “get over it.” We all simply have the right and no choice really to process our losses as our chemistry, hurt, pain and the value of that which was lost dictates.

“He will have no mercy who shows no mercy,” seems appropriate even from where I seem to be in my beliefs/no belief moments.

—Dennis Diehl commenting on Gavin’s blog rightly refuting the notion from XCGers when they scream “Get over it!” to their former counterparts experiences in their own respective groups.

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Dennis Diehl and takes on the sexually repressive historic WCG

thumbnail_mem_pics(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.) 

 

 

 Anonymous said…  

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

Hi ——–

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.

http://dennisdiehl.com/

 

Intelligent quote of the day

How do you know when to question authority? We need authority at times for our good and the orderly running of society. But how do you know when to question it? You’ll know! When your head says yes and that feeling in your tummy, right below the end of your sternum says “no”, then go with the feeling in the gut! You know. But all too often we know for a short time, and then we think too much and the knowing fades to a thinking which talks us out of it with ideas like, “well the BIble says,” or “the Pastor says.” Once that happens, we lose and comply to that which our tummy has tried to warn us about.

—Dennis Diehl, in an article titled, “Question Authority When that Feeling in Your Stomach is Stronger than the Thoughts in Your Head” rightfully telling anybody and everybody not to be afraid in using their intuition when it comes to dealing with authoritarian church leaders who don’t respect their followers but instead demand complete submission with everything they say. Expect more intelligent quotes from Dennis soon. The brother speaks the truth!

A Special Bill of Rights from Dennis

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Editor’s note: Thanks to Kscribe from his website which had the link to Dennis Diehl’s website which had this special article that he had written. All trapped in the bonds of Armstrongism (or for anyother restrictive religious group) is not only entitled to read the following about The Church Members Bill of Rights but LIVE IT!  The original print is at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Dennis_Diehl. I just felt that this Bill of Rights needs to be spread EVERWHERE and read by EVERYONE as possible.

The following are basic human, religious and spiritual rights any person has as a member of any and all religious organizations or church congregations.

You have the right to expect the church to keep your personal contributions private and should be able to expect that any who deal with such things for accounting purposes will do the same.

You have the right to expect that your membership in any church or congregation is not contingent on how much you give or do not give. You should also expect that jobs, positions, opportunities or offices are not given based on the amount anyone gives to the church.

You have the right to say I can only give this even if it is not a tithe of your income gross or net.

You have the right not to be spiritually judged or have your loyalty or sincerity questioned based on what you are able or unable to give financially to the church.

You have the right to ask a Pastor if he checks tithes and offerings for any of the above reasons before giving to a church.

You have the right to say “I’m tired and won’t be there, “ to any and all activities, plays, fundraisers, studies, seminars, prayer groups, rehearsals, practices and sermons.

You have the right to say “I don’t care about that.”

You have the right to question the advice, counsel or sermon of any minister, elder, deacon or any other person in authority. You have the right to question authority and to still expect to be allowed to attend your church. You have the right to question a minister who declares himself one or both of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, a Prophet, the Supreme Watcher of Mankind for God, The Only True Apostle in this Age and any other title or position he can come up with to impress you as to why you need to support him. [Editor’s note: Gerry, Dave, Ron—are you guys listening and paying attention?!!!]

You have the right to suggest a pastor get spiritual or psychological help should the need arise. You have the right tell him that the congregation is noticing a trend here.

You have the right to ask why the church believes what it does when the Bible might say otherwise, or why the Bible says something that the church practices that seems scary, weird, inappropriate for this time, out of date or controlling. You have the right to notice that ministers often quote scriptures out of context or fail to enforce or address the rest of the story that does not agree with the point they are trying to make.

You have the right to ask all the “how can that be,” “how could that happen,” “why does it say this here and that there,” questions you can come up and expect an intelligent answer. If you are told that you are using human reasoning, ask the pastor what kind of reasoning he uses. If he says “God’s,” find another church.

You have the right to not want elders, deacons or your friends accompanying the minister on visits to your home to talk to you.

You have the right to discuss or not discuss your life with the minister as you see fit.

You have the right to expect absolute confidentiality and for your story not to show up in the sermon next week, even though “I won’t say the name.”

You have a right to be called ahead of time when the pastor wants to ask about stopping over.

You have the right, when he calls to say, “I’m tired,” “I’m busy,” “No, but I appreciate the call,” without repercussions.

You have the right to keep a dirty home, grass not mowed perfectly, an older car, red in color and kids that don’t say “yes sir, nice to see you sir,” in just the right way.

You have the right to watch and read what you wish even if the pastor just got done bashing that particular program, movie or book from the pulpit in his sermon on “Demons in Your Home—Six Ways to Assure Your Eternal Death.”

You have the right to ask the pastor not to call on you at work, even if you own the business.

You have the right to say, “I can’t afford to take you to lunch.” “I can’t afford to give you free wood or brick.” “I can’t afford to fix your house up free,” “I can’t fix all your teeth,” to your pastor should he expect professional courtesies, even if he offers to do your funeral free.

You have a right to expect free use of your church for weddings and funerals.

You have the right to expect these usages are not dependent on you, your parents or children living a sinless life six months prior to the date of the event.

You have the right not to answer questions your pastor may ask you or your children about your sexual practices. If he insists, then insist that you all share together.

You have the right to not let the pastor inform you as to who you can and cannot date or marry.

You have the right to enjoy your sexuality free of church or pastoral approval. Something that is wrong for the pastor is not necessarily wrong for you in how you express yourself to your partner. There is no Bible prohibition against….well you know. And if there were, you’d have the right to disagree with that too.

You have the right to not share which or if you are taking medications of any sort with the pastor.

You have the right to take such medication and not be judged as having a lack of faith or trust in God to heal you.

You have the right to seek professional help without informing your Pastor of the nature of the help and you have the right to not be helped solely by the pastor under threat of repercussions.

You have the right to insist the pastor get professional help should the need arise and the man is causing more harm than good. You have the right to remind him that God does not directly speak to him nor express His will only through the mind of the pastor and that makes you uncomfortable if he thinks that is so.

You have the right to be wrong about a many things.

You have the right to believe you are correct about many things without repercussions. You have the right not to care about everything that others think you must care about to be a good Christian.

You have the right to tell the pastor he is wrong, mistaken or exaggerating.

You have the right to dress as you wish, wear the jewelry you wish and make up you wish or not wish without being labeled a whore or a goody goody.

You have the right to feel that dressing as if it was still 1957 and only watching Disney Movies or How the West Was Won as proof of your pureness is baloney. You have the right to not be told that the best times for entertainment, movies and TV was when the Pastor was a boy. You have the right to like the food he does not like and to not like the foods he does. You have the right to like the schools he doesn’t and not like the ones he does.

You have the right not to bear your soul to the ministers wife.

You have the right to like or not like, agree or not agree with the ministers wife.

You have the right to not view the world through the pastor’s eyes morally or politically. You have the right to hate the war while he believes the war in Iraq is God’s will and thinks it’s all in the Bible.

You have the right to expect him to speak clearly where he thinks the Bible speaks for us today and to walk slowly and drink cool water where it doesn’t.

You have the right to tell the pastor that that is his opinion and not necessarily the only true opinion on earth.

You have the right for you, your children, your partner and your friends to be themselves.

These are but a few of the rights any member of any Church, congregation or religious organization has. In short, you have the right to not be required to check your brains, your insights, your perspectives and your free will at the door to be welcome and a member of any church.

Editor’s note: Rock on Dennis and KICK ASS!!!